Thursday, November 16, 2017

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 11

Every week of the 2017 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 11?

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John Trifone: Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs ($8,000)

Hunt's price this week isn’t cheap due to the matchup with the Giants, but I like the value from a leverage standpoint. Everyone knows the Giants are the absolute worst against TEs, and they have given up a touchdown vs. the TE every week this year. Travis Kelce is going to be incredibly highly-owned, even at $7,300. If that’s the case, it’s unlikely they’ll also pay up for Hunt, who is capable of a two-TD, 100-plus yard game. I think Hunt is an excellent tourney option.

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Kevin Hanson: Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals ($4,000)

Posting his second lowest yardage total after Week 1, Mixon had just 10 touches for 40 yards last week. On a positive note, that means that the rookie's salary has now dipped below $4,500 for the first time in his young career. There are 38 running backs priced higher than Mixon, who is my 12th-ranked PPR running back this week. Mixon has double-digit carries in five of his past seven games, three or more catches in six games this year and has now scored in back-to-back weeks. Given his discounted salary, he should easily reach value with upside to generate plenty of profit for those that roster him.

Brendan Donahue: Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots ($3,600)

In his last two games, Burkhead has 15.3 points and 15.3 points on Draftkings. How's that for consistency? His snap count has gone up each game after coming back from injury and last week we even saw him take over most of the every-down work for Mike Gillislee, who was a healthy inactive which shows how the Pats feel about Burkhead moving forward. This week he goes up against the 29th-ranked defense in the league vs. opposing RBs and is way underpriced at only $3,600.

Dan Yanotchko: Mlevin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers ($7,600)

This week I really like Melvin Gordon at home against the Buffalo Bills, who suddenly have a weak front-seven after the Marcel Dareus trade. Gordon was stymied last week by the best run defense in the league at Jacksonville, but his touches will be massive, and I look for him to have a bounce-back week. The Bills now allow 114 yards rushing per game and 4.2 yards per carry, but an astounding 14 touchdowns on the year to opposing rushers so far. With the chance that Phillip Rivers might miss a start with a concussion, I would say they lean on Gordon even more this week. Remember the Saints cracked them for six rushing TDs last week on the road, and now they have to face one of the best three-down backs in the game. The arrow is definitely pointing down for the Bills run defense.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Week 10 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 10 NFL picks against the spread:

Jacksonville Jaguars -5 over Los Angeles Chargers (3 Units)

This is a Jacksonville team that has made great strides in becoming a playoff contender, and the next step is taking care of the teams they should beat at home. The Jaguars have two great matchups that bode well for them this week, as you will have a motivated Leonard Fournette fresh off of team suspension going against a rushing defense that allows 135.1 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry. Also you have the best pass defense in the league with Jacksonville, who will be able to stifle Philip Rivers, as they only allow 156 yards passing per game, and they lead the league with 35 sacks. This will be another cross country 1 PM start for the Chargers as they played New England two weeks ago and then had the bye.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2 over New York Jets (4 Units)

I think one of the most disappointing teams all year certainly has to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From the hype of Hard Knocks, to the expected leap for Jameis Winston, to the outstanding offensive talent they have in Mike Evans, Doug Martin, DeSean Jackson, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard, and a respected offensive mind in Dirk Koetter not being able to put it all together. It has certainly been a year of the underdogs, and I love Ryan Fitzpatrick getting the start against his former Jets squad, as there certainly will be a revenge factor in play. The Jets are very weak against the pass, as they allow 234 yards per game and 19 touchdowns on the year, and they really don't get after the quarterback as they only have 18 sacks on the year. I believe that it is time for some Fitzmagic at home, and that Tampa will be eating a W, or at least will be within two points.

Minnesota Vikings -1.5 over Washington Redskins (3 Units)

Washington is certainly a very hard team to figure out, as they trekked all the way to Seattle, and beat them on their home field. The Vikings will come into this game off the bye, and it couldn't have been at a better time to get rest to their star wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The Vikings will need this game to keep the lead in the NFC North, and in order to maintain their lead, it will be done by a stifling defense. The Vikings will be able to shut down a weak Washington run game completely, as they only allow 81.4 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry. Washington could be missing as many as four starting offensive lineman, and the Vikings have a great pass rush, and pass defense that only allows 201 yards passing per game, only 9 touchdowns on the year, and they have compiled 24 sacks. This will be the case of a well-rested team playing against a team that just got back from a physical game in Seattle, so I look for the Vikings to win this one.


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Week 10 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 10 NFL picks against the spread:

New England Patriots -7.5 over Denver Broncos (3 Units)

Losers of four games in a row, the Broncos have been outscored by a margin of 124-52 during that stretch. Denver may rank second in total defense (280.8 YPG allowed), but they currently rank 25th in scoring defense (24.8 PPG allowed) this season and struggle (in relative terms) at defending tight ends. The top-five highest receiving yards against Denver this season is Travis Kelce (7/133/1), Jason Witten (10/97/1), Alshon Jeffery (6/84/2), Evan Engram (5/82/1) and Hunter Henry (4/73). In other words, good luck slowing down Rob Gronkowski. Meanwhile, points should be at a premium for Brock Osweiler and the Broncos.

Atlanta Falcons -3.5 over Dallas Cowboys (2 Units)

No Ezekiel Elliott. No Tyron Smith. Dez Bryant at less than 100 percent. While I still expect Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense to move the ball against the Falcons, they are clearly not at their most explosive. Losers of four of five games, the Falcons offense has struggled to put up points as they have been held to fewer than 20 in all four of their losses over the span. Perhaps this is more of a hunch (or some reverse psychology as a Cowboys fan), but I expect the Falcons offense to break out and cover the 3.5-point spread.

Washington Redskins +1.5 over Minnesota Vikings (2 Units)

As John Trifone discussed in his Week 10 NFL picks, the Vikings have had an easier schedule (with their wins) than Washington has had (with their losses). One of my favorite bets in general is small home favorites and I expect Kirk Cousins and the Redskins to get the win outright at home this weekend.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Week 10 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Sean Beazley's Week 10 NFL picks against the spread:

Cincinnati Bengals +4.5 over Tennessee Titans (4 Units)

As I mentioned in my DK pick this week, I think A.J. Green is in a perfect spot this week vs. a Titans defense that struggles against elite WRs. I think Green and the Bengals keep this one close, and the Titans aren't good enough to put away teams. Titans 26, Bengals 23.

Atlanta Falcons -3.5 over Dallas Cowboys (5 Units)

I think the loss of Ezekiel Elliott will really hurt this Dallas team. Teams will be able to concentrate on stopping Dak Prescott now. The Falcons haven't had that eruption spot yet this year. I think a game on national TV vs. “America’s Team” will be just that spot. I'll be pairing my A.J. Green with Julio Jones in many lineups this week as I expect Julio to have a big game as well. Falcons 38, Cowboys 24.

Rams vs. Texans, Under 46.0 (4 Units)

Everyone will be on the Rams offense after a 50 burger vs. the Giants last week. I expect a lower-scoring game in this one, plus I don't think Tom Savage can do anything on offense for Houston. Rams 27, Texans 16.

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Week 10 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

On the season, John Trifone has a 18-8 (69.2%) record against the spread with +31 units. More impressively, he's had a winning week in seven of nine weeks this season.

With that said, here are John's Week 10 NFL picks against the spread:
Washington Redskins +1.5 over Minnesota Vikings (5 Units)

This is one of my favorite games on the slate. The Redskins are better than their record indicates and they certainly could make a playoff run. They still can’t seem to figure out a solid run game, but I think Washington is poised to build off an upset win in Seattle last week.

Minnesota is a solid team, but the four wins they have in a row are against the Browns, Ravens, Packers (without Aaron Rodgers) and Bears. I’m not holding that against them -- you can only play the teams on your schedule -- just pointing out that not all 6-2 records are created equally.

The Redskins have played at Kansas City, at Philly, vs Dallas, and at Seattle in four of their last five games. I like Washington to win this one over the Case Keenum-led Vikings this week.

Cleveland Browns +10.5 over Detroit Lions (3 Units)

This is a little bit of a let-down spot for the Lions, coming off a division win in Green Bay to keep them in the mix to win the division. They have another division game in Chicago the following week, so this one is sandwiched between two division games and against an 0-8 team. I give Cleveland an outside chance at the upset, as nearly a double-digit 'dog, though I don’t expect that, but I do like the Browns with the points.

Denver Broncos +7.5 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

Denver has been atrocious in their last four games, going 0-4 and being outscored 124-52 in those games. I’m sure the public will be heavy on the Patriots, in part because of how bad Denver has looked. I like the way they matchup with the Patriots though. Though this isn’t the same defense that won the Super Bowl, they still rank at or near the top in several categories. They’re playing at home on Sunday night, and I expect a very competitive game. The Patriots are dealing with an injury to Chris Hogan, who is out this week. Give me the home team with the points here.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 10

Every week of the 2017 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 10?

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John Trifone: Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants ($4,500)

Taking anyone from the Giants offense right now gives me plenty of pause, but Darkwa does seem to be in a premiere matchup and provides a lot of salary relief at $4,500. The 49ers just got gashed by Adrian Peterson, and have the literal worst rush defense in the league. Darkwa has emerged as the lead back for New York and has been producing pretty well in the past few weeks. Typically, I’d still lean toward a fade purely because of the lack of touchdown equity, but this matchup provides a good amount of it, and I think it’s likely Darkwa actually does find the end zone this week. If he doesn’t, he still should be able to pay off $4,500, or at least not kill you, but if he does score, he may smash value. The 100-yard bonus and 1+ TDs is certainly in his range of outcomes.

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Kevin Hanson: Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears ($6,100)

Volume is king and Howard is a lock for a massive workload in Week 10. Despite playing in the game with this week's lowest total (38.0), Howard should have positive game script working in his favor -- six-point home favorite with rookie Mitchell Trubisky getting his fifth consecutive start. Carrying the ball 80 times in his past three games, Howard has 100-plus rushing yards and 18-plus DK points in two of those three games. He has a minimum of 19 touches in six consecutive games.

Brendan Donahue: Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Detroit Lions ($6,200)

Over the last 4 games, jones has been a model of consistency with at least 6 catches in each game. He also has 3 tds in those 4 games and at least 96 yards in 3 out of 4 them. The Lions have now positioned themselves to make a serious playoff run and will not overlook Cleveland, so I expect the same consistency out of Jones again this week. Sean Beazley: A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals ($7,700)

When I saw what A.J. Green did to Jalen Ramsey last week, I was pretty pumped as I thought for sure he would be suspended for this week when they play Tennessee. (Disclaimer: Titans Fan). Not sure how Mike Evans gets suspended and Green doesn’t, but hey that's the NFL for ya.

If you think what Green did to Ramsey was bad? Just wait until Sunday when he gets a fantastic matchup vs. the Titans, who struggle vs. big-time receivers. Green will be this week's top WR, and my bold prediction is that nobody will come within five points of his total. At $7,700, I will be all over Green this week.

Dan Yanotchko: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers ($6,600)

I like Ben Roethlisberger getting a great matchup off the bye against the Indianapolis Colts. Roethlisbeger has a great four-week split averaging 276 yards per game with four touchdowns. Add this to a Colts defense that gives up 280 yards per game and 13 touchdowns and no Vontae Davis equals a great buy at $6,600.

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Sean Beazley's Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:

Indianapolis Colts +6.5 over Houston Texans (5 Units)

We have seen what this Texans team has been like without a competent QB. Indy should be able to stay close in this one, and I actually think they win out right. The loss of Watson too much. Colts 26, Texans 20.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 over New Orleans Saints (4 Units)

The Saints defense has been night and day better thanks to Rookie CB Marshon Lattimore. He will have a tough battle this week with Mike Evans though. I'll take the points in a tough divisional battle. Saints 28, Bucs 24.

Green Bay Packers +2 over Detroit Lions (5 Units)

I think an extra week to prepare for Brett Hundley will be the difference in this game. He clearly looked like crap in his first start,but I think with the additional prep and a game plan tailored to his skill set will lead the Packers to a win at home. Packers 23, Lions 21.
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Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:

Kansas City Chiefs +2.5 over Dallas Cowboys (2 Units)

Once again, the Cowboys will have their suspended running back in the starting lineup. In terms of fantasy football, Ezekiel Elliott is my top-ranked fantasy running back this week. But my concern with the Cowboys isn't their ability to score points. It's their ability to slow down a Chiefs offense that ranks third in yardage (377.9 per game) and scoring (29.5 per game). I'd expect this game's line to be closer to a pick'em so I'll take the points here.

Oakland Raiders -3 over Miami Dolphins (4 Units)

The Dolphins rank last in the NFL in total offense (252.4 yards per game) and just traded away Jay Ajayi to the Eagles. Following their 40-0 loss in prime time, the Dolphins rank last in the NFL in scoring (13.1 PPG) as well. With Derek Carr back, I expect a better performance from Oakland's offense this week. In turn, I think points could be a premium for Jay Cutler and the post-Ajayi Dolphins.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:
Los Angeles Rams -4.5 over New York Giants (4 Units)

So this is one of those lines that make you scratch your head, as the Rams are certainly a superior team, but why is the spread so close? I know everyone loves to point to the West Coast team playing at 1 PM vibe, but I think the Rams will go into New Jersey and get the win. The Giants have been pretty bad on defense all year, as they allow opposing running backs to gain 120.7 yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry. Also, they have a pretty shabby pass defense as well, as they allow 259 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, and they have given up 14 touchdowns as well. This will be a heavy usage of Todd Gurley day, combined with a patchwork Giants receiving corps, just does not bode well for them on the day.

Seattle Seahawks -7.5 over Washington Redskins (4 Units)

This is a game where if Washington was healthy, I would expect fireworks on offense just like last week Seahawks vs. Texans game. Sadly, Washington is really banged up on the offensive line, and while Seattle does have minimal sacks so far this year, they will be able to capitalize against the Redskins patchwork offensive line. Not only will the line have trouble holding up, I don't expect a big day by Kirk Cousins against the Legion of Boom, as they only allow opposing quarterbacks a 56.5% completion percentage. I think the Seahawks just have too much for Washington, and also will look for Russell Wilson to exploit a passing defense that gives up 217 yards per game. Seattle will get back defensively on track here, and I expect minimal points from Washington.

Arizona Cardinals -2.5 over San Francisco 49ers (5 Units)

I think the biggest splash and cheers will not be during this game at all, but rather pre-game when new 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garapolo is introduced. In probably the worst quarterback duel game of the year, we will get Drew Stanton going against rookie C.J. Bethard, making his second start. Since this is the case, I am looking at Adrian Peterson to have massive usage this game, as the 49ers allow opposing rusthers 131.8 yards per game and nine touchdowns on the year. San Francisco's secondary is not much better, as they give up 250 yards passing per game, so even Drew Stanton should exploit them. The Cardinals need this game to keep the playoff hopes alive, and therefore should win going away.

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Week 9 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are John Trifone's Week 9 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Jets +3.5 over Buffalo Bills (3 Units)

I like what the Bills are doing and adding Kelvin Benjamin strengthens the receiving corps - clearly the team's biggest weakness. That said, the Jets look very similar to the Bills by several advanced metrics. The biggest discrepancy between the teams is turnover differential -- Buffalo is +14 while the Jets are -1. Assuming this difference isn’t really skill-based, I’ll take the Jets as home dogs in an important division game.

Carolina Panthers +1.5 over Atlanta Falcons (5 Units)

I’ll take another home underdog in an important division game here. Although the Panthers just traded away Kelvin Benjamin, that’s unlikely to impact them too much. Devin Funchess should be able to step into the role, and the Falcons are among the league's worst in defending RBs in the passing game. I like Christian McCaffrey to have a big game and I like Carolina to win this one at home.

Washington Redskins +7 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

The Seattle offense has come alive in recent weeks, and coming off a big win over the Texans in what may have been the best game of the year is going to have a lot of people on Seattle. Washington has had some tough losses but are better than their record indicates. Seattle is a tough place to play, but their defense is significantly worse than it has been in previous years. I like this to be a close game so I’ll take a full touchdown the Redskins are getting.

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DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 9

Every week of the 2017 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 9?

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Kevin Hanson: Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts ($4,300)

One thing is certain: Doyle will be heavily targeted. Coming off a season-best performance (12/121/1 on 14 targets), Doyle now has double-digit targets in two of three games since returning from a concussion. Over that three-game span, he has racked up 25 catches for 215 yards and two scores on 32 targets. In PPR formats, he's a top-three option for me this week yet seven tight ends (excluding Greg Olsen and Jordan Reed) have higher price tags this week.

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John Trifone: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($7,800)

Early in the week, I don’t see a ton of value in DK pricing. A few spots, like Alex Collins at $4,600 is intriguing, but the theoretical high-floor, high-ceiling guy who’s price is under 8K is Julio Jones. Jones hasn’t had a really big game yet and remarkably has only one TD to date. His one pretty big game in Week 7 vs. New England (9-99-1) for 24.7 DK points is his only game over 20 points this year. I’m betting on some TD regression to the mean in the second half of the season, and I like this spot at Carolina as a potential start to that. At minimum, Jones has 30+ point upside for tournaments for $7,800.

Brendan Donahue: Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys ($6,400)

With the news of the Ezekiel Elliot suspension being back on, it has created the perfect storm for Dez to have a breakout game this week. In Week 2 vs. Denver when Dallas went away from the run and only gave Zeke nine carries, Dez was targeted 16 times, catching seven of them for 59 yards and a TD vs. one of the toughest defenses in the league. This week, he gets a defense in KC that has given up the most fantasy points to opposing WRs on the season. In a game where Dallas may lean on the passing game, I expect Dez to be the biggest beneficiary.

Sean Beazley: Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans ($6,000)

This is going to be the Marcus Mariota-wins-someone-a-GPP week. I absolutely love Mariota and the Titans offense this week. Mariota is back to 100 percent. First-round pick Corey Davis is back practicing in full as well. There were so many people who were burned by the Titans vs. Cleveland game two weeks ago so there definitely will be some recency bias. I think Mariota will be sub-5% in GPPs and given a full playbook again, he has the potential to break a slate.

Dan Yanotchko: Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints ($7,600)

Ingram has a great matchup against the Buccaneers, who give up 25.4 FPS in PPR formats. The Saints have been running the ball a lot lately, and his splits certainly show it. In his last four games, he has 79 carries, 85 yards per game and four touchdowns. Throw in 19 receptions as well in his last four, and I will pay the price for him here.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Washington Redskins +3 over Dallas Cowboys (3 Units)

This is a game that could potentially have playoff implications, as both teams need this win badly to keep pace with the Eagles. Dallas still will have Ezekiel Elliott in the lineup, but he will have a hard matchup against a Washington defense that has only given up 94.5 yards per game and only 3 touchdowns. I like Kirk Cousins being able to attack a weak Dallas secondary that has given up 11 touchdowns and 216 yards per game. Take the points at home here.

Atlanta Falcons -6.5 over New York Jets (5 Units)

The Falcons were stifled by the Patriots in their rematch last week, and this is a game that feels like the Falcons will use to jump start their second-half campaign. The Jets have played great all year, and they have been in most games, but Atlanta will have a much needed breakout game for their struggling offense. The Jets allow opposition rushers 126.6 yards per game, 4.3 yards per carry, and five touchdowns. The Jets secondary has also allowed a league-high 15 touchdowns through the air. This is a get-right game for Atlanta, so I'll give the points.

Detroit Lions +3 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

The Lions have had a strong year, and now they also have a shot to win the NFC North due to the injury suffered by Aaron Rodgers. The Steelers have reeled off back-to-back impressive wins in Kansas City and against the Bengals as well. The Lions have a very stout run defense that only allows 94.3 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry, and they will be able to slow down Le'Veon Bell. Also the Steelers do not do well with distractions and Martavius Bryant is a big one. It's been an underdog year, so take the points at home.
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Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Jets +6.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 Units)

Since losing their first two games, the Jets are 3-2 with both of their losses being one-score games. On the other hand, the Falcons began the season with three consecutive wins only to lose three straight including an embarrassing primetime loss against the Patriots last week. While I don't expect the Jets to pull off the upset here, I do expect them to keep this game closer than the spread suggests.

Los Angeles Chargers +7.5 over New England Patriots (2 Units)

Like the game above, I don't expect the Chargers to win this game outright, but I do expect them to keep the game close enough to cover. The Patriots have seemed to turn around their leaky defense by limiting their opponents to 17 points or less in three consecutive games, but the Chargers have won three consecutive games after their first four. I wouldn't be surprised if that extra half-point turns out to be the difference in this one.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos, Under 43.0 (2 Units)

Leading the NFL in team defense, the Broncos currently allow just 258.5 of total offense. Not only are they the only team to not yet allow a rushing touchdown, but they have limited opponents to just 3.0 yards per carry. Meanwhile, Broncos offense has scored 16, 16, 10 and zero points over their past four games, respectively. As great as Kareem Hunt and Kansas City's offense has been this season, I expect this one to be a low-scoring affair with the Chiefs winning a 20-13, 23-16 type of game.

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Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Sean Beazley's Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Cincinnati Bengals -10.5 over Indianapolis Colts (3 Units)

This game has blowout written all over it. The Colts offense will struggle again, and I believe the Bengals can score at will vs. the Colts defense. Bengals 34, Colts 17.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3 over Detroit Lions (4 Units)

The home/road splits are real when it comes to Ben Roethlisberger, but the difference here will be Le'Veon Bell. I think he propels the Steelers to a big win Sunday night. Steelers 30, Lions 24.

Los Angeles Chargers +7.5 over New England Patriots (4 Units)

The Patriots defense has looked better the past couple of weeks. This week, they get a hot Chargers team. This will be the game of the week IMO. A late Tom Brady comeback drive is the difference here. Patriots 31, Chargers 29.

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Week 8 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are John Trifone's Week 8 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers +1 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4 Units)

I’m going back to the well with the Panthers this week. After back-to-back losses, they have a road division game against the 2-4 Bucs. The division is still wide open, so if the Panthers are going to hang with the Saints, they need to win games like this one. Carolina put up only three points at Chicago, but get a much weaker defense this week. I expect a close game so I’ll take the point, but I like the Panthers to win outright.

Washington Redskins +2 over Dallas Cowboys (3 Units)

The Redskins are 0-2 in the division this year with both losses coming to the Eagles. They’re coming off a 10-point loss on Monday night, while the Cowboys are coming off a 40–10 thrashing of the winless 49ers. I expect most people will like the Cowboys here, but I think Washington bounces back and gets their first division win.

New York Jets +6.5 over Atlanta Falcons (3 Units)

The Falcons appear to be a lot more mediocre than they were last year. Whether that’s the play calling, scheme, or lingering injuries to guys like Julio Jones, they’ve been unimpressive this year, coming off perhaps their worst game yet against the Patriots. They had all the motivation in the world after last year's Super Bowl collapse, and they weren’t even competitive -- finally scoring a touchdown in garbage time.

The Jets, on the other hand, are coming off two straight close division losses, but have looked a lot better than expected. They lost to the Patriots by a touchdown and were one controversial call away from potentially pulling off the upset. I think they have a chance to win this game but like them to at least keep it competitive. I’ll take the 6.5 points at home.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 8

Every week of the 2017 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 8?

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Kevin Hanson: Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals ($4,700)

Averaging nearly seven yards per carry last week, Mixon had 68 yards from scrimmage on 10 touches (seven carries and three receptions) in the first half yet did not touch the ball in the second half. While Mixon expressed his frustration with the lack of opportunities after halftime, that is unlikely to occur again.

Since Bill Lazor took over as coordinator, Mixon had a minimum of 15 carries in his other three games and a total of 57 touches over that span. With a favorable matchup against the Colts, who have allowed the third-most DK points to opposing backs, Mixon and the Bengals are double-digit home favorites in Week 8. Given what should be a favorable game script in a lopsided contest, Mixon should get in the neighborhood of 17-20 touches with some TD upside at his bargain sub-$5,000 price tag.

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John Trifone: Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins ($5,800)

Chris Thompson has been getting more and more work lately, and has emerged as the Redskins clear best running back option. His role as a third-down back has been expanded and he has become the Redskins most explosive offensive weapon.

At just $5,800, Thompson has raised his floor high enough that he’s relatively safe, and still has a lot of upside. He has only one game all year with fewer than 15 DK points. I expect that to continue against Dallas.

Brendan Donahue: Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins ($3,900)

While his stat line of three catches for 39 yards on five targets Monday night wasn't very encouraging, the fact that he got the start and played 54 of 64 snaps was. After the game, coach Jay Gruden said: "We drafted Josh to be the No. 1 guy. He just has had some injuries. Now that he's healthy, we want to see what he can do."

Doctson has the talent -- and now the opportunity -- to produce big fantasy numbers against the Eagles, who have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing WRs. At just $3,900, he is the bargain of the week.

Sean Beazley: Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7,900)

I'm​ ​playing​ ​a​ ​ton​ ​of​ ​Mike​ ​Evans​ ​this​ ​week.​ ​I've​ ​been​ ​waiting​ ​weeks​ ​for​ ​a​ ​smash​ ​spot.​ ​​ ​Since​ ​his first game where​ ​he​ ​scored​ ​22.3​ ​points,​ ​he​ ​has​ ​faced​ ​the​ ​following​ ​corners: ​Xavier​ ​Rhodes, Janoris​ ​Jenkins,​ ​Pats​ ​D​ ​scheme/Malcolm Butler,​ ​Patrick​ ​Peterson,​ ​and​ ​last​ ​week​ ​was​ ​playing​ ​with​ ​a banged​ ​up​ ​Jameis​ ​Winston.​ ​​ ​​ ​These​ ​are​ ​some​ ​pretty​ ​brutal​ ​matchups.​ ​​ ​Evans​ ​has​ ​a​ ​great matchup​ ​at​ ​home​ ​vs​. ​the​ ​Panthers,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​think​ ​he​ ​will​ ​score​ ​the​ ​most​ ​of​ ​any​ ​receiver​ ​this​ ​week. Fire​ ​up​ ​Evans​ ​in​ ​your​ ​lineup​ ​this​ ​week.

Dan Yanotchko: Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots ($4,600)

This week I like the value play of Dion Lewis, and the matchup he has against the Chargers. Ever since Mike Gillislee fumbled, Lewis has grabbed the reins as the primary Patriots running back. In his last two games, he has had 24 carries, 128 yards, 5.25 yards per carry, and a touchdown. The Chargers have the second worst run defense that gives up 140.6 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry as well. With the fearsome Chargers pass rush, I like Lewis and his receiving ability here.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

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With that said, here are my Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers -3 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

Making his NFL debut, Mitchell Trubisky threw the ball only 16 times as the Bears relied heaviy on their ground game -- 36 carries for Jordan Howard and 14 for Tarik Cohen. Few teams have a receiving corps as bad as Chicago's so it would make sense to try to rely on their running backs and take pressure off their rookie signal-caller, but Trubisky should expect a lot of eight-men boxes this week. So far this season, the Panthers have allowed only two running backs (and Tyrod Taylor) to rush for 50-plus yards against them and no back has more than 67 rushing yards (LeGarrette Blount). It was a nice start for Trubisky, but I expect things to be much more difficult this week.

San Francisco 49ers +6.5 over Dallas Cowboys (2 Units)

The 49ers are 0-6, but aside from their 23-3 loss in the season opener, they have lost five consecutive games by a field goal or less. Following this week's game, the Cowboys have Washington, Kansas City, Atlanta and Philadelphia over the next four weeks. In other words, it wouldn't surprise me if they are looking ahead a little bit, which makes this a dangerous trap game. I could see this turning out to be another field goal type of game for the 49ers as they keep it close enough to (at least) cover.

Seattle Seahawks -4 over New York Giants (3 Units)

Nearly two-TD underdogs on Sunday Night Football, the Giants looked much better than anyone could have expected as they blew out the Broncos on the road. They now return home to face another tough defense and are small road underdogs this week. Eli Manning threw only 19 times for 128 yards against the Broncos, but even if Sterling Shepard returns (a game-time decision), he has limited weapons around him given the team's injuries and a poor offensive line. I expect tough sledding for the Giants offense overall and like that the Seahawks don't have to start at 1 PM ET, which can be tough for west coast teams traveling east.

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Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

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With that said, here are Sean Beazley's Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Seattle Seahawks -4 over New York Giants (4 Units)

I normally don't pick West coast teams going East, but the Seahawks were blessed with a 4:25 start not a 1 PM start. I'll take Seattle with this small line as I think they are clearly better than the Giants. Seattle 26, NYG 20.

Green Bay Packers +4 over New Orleans Saints (5 Units)

I wish I got this pick in earlier this week when the spread was a couple points higher. If Aaron Rodgers were playing, this line would probably be in the -6 range, which just shows you how important he is. Brett Hundley steps in this week, and I like him so much I am playing him in cash on DraftKings (DFS) this week. (Scoop my H2H if you disagree!) I think Hundley has a solid game and the Packers win at home in a shootout. Packers 38, Saints 34.

San Francisco 49ers +6.5 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

C.J. Beathard stepped in for an ineffective Brian Hoyer this week, and I really like their chances to pull the upset at home in this one. They are better than their record indicates, so this will be no cake walk for the Cowboys. I’m not gonna call for the outright upset, but I do think it will come down to the final drive in the game. Dallas 24, San Francisco 23.

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Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

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With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

New Orleans Saints -4 over Green Bay Packers (4 Units)

It stinks to see one of the best quarterbacks in the game go down with what will most likely be a season-ending injury to Aaron Rodgers, and I just don't think that they are equipped to overcome this. The Saints have been resurgent as of late, and they will be looking to thrust themselves into the fore of the NFC playoff picture with a suddenly winnable game at Lambeau.

The main reason I think the Saints will trounce Green Bay, is that the Packers pass defense just isn't good enough to handle Drew Brees, and their high-flying offense. The Packers allow 208 yards passing per game, and also have allowed eight touchdowns on the year, but their main problem is that they have only generated 11 sacks so far. I think Brees will have a clean pocket and time to throw, and also couple that with the first career start for Brett Hundley ... good luck with that.

Cincinnati Bengals +5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

Ok, so first the Steelers look old, washed up, dysfunctional, and just an overall mess by losing to Jacksonville at home, but then totally redeem themselves with a massive road win against the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals looked dreadful out of the gate, but they have managed to right the ship, and now this game is huge in terms of AFC North standings.

I think the Bengals are much closer to the Steelers overall than 5 points, and the main reason is that they have such a great defense. The Bengals have one of the best pass defenses in the league that only allows 160 yards passing per game, and a 57.4 completion percentage. While we know that Ben Roethlisberger is struggling, the Steelers will lean on Le'Veon Bell, but Cincy also only allows opposing rushers 103 yards per game, and a low 3.8 yards per carry. I just feel that Cincy will be able to keep this game close, and they could really need this one for tie-breakers.

Miami Dolphins -3 over New York Jets (5 Units)

There have certainly been quite a few surprises this league year, but I don't think that anyone saw the Jets beat down of Miami 20-6 in Week 2 coming. I see this game as a pride and revenge factor, and of course it never hurts to be playing this game at home to return the favor of being embarrassed. The Dolphins will certainly be loading up with running back Jay Ajayi, and he gets a great matchup against a Jets rush defense that allows 138.8 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry. Also the Dolphins have a very stout front-seven that allows opposing rushers 80.4 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry. I think Miami is returning the favor here to the Jets, and I think they will just blow them out.

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Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

John Trifone is a perfect 5-0 against the spread over the past two weeks and 9-2 ATS over the past four weeks.

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With that said, here are John Trifone's Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Indianapolis Colts +3 over Jacksonville Jaguars (4 Units)

The Colts ended up losing big late at Tennessee this past weekend, but through three quarters had been leading for most of the game. Jacoby Brissett continues to impress me, and I like the Colts as home underdogs in a division game this week. Jacksonville only put up 17 points at home against the Rams, and one of their scores was a Leonard Fournette 75-yard run. I’m not banking on him to get another one of those this week, and Fournette may miss this week's game after hurting his ankle in the second half of the Rams game. I like the Colts in a close and relatively low-scoring game here.

Carolina Panthers -3 over Chicago Bears (5 Units)

Prior to their loss at home against the Eagles on Thursday night, Carolina had been looking a lot like their 15-1 season where a couple years ago they made the Super Bowl. With the injury to Aaron Rodgers, the Panthers look like one of the top teams that could emerge in the NFC. They have a little more rest coming into this week since they last played Thursday night, and I like the defense to rattle rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Chicago has been competitive - much more than expected coming into the year - but they are overmatched this week. I don’t typically like small road favorites, but this is one of my favorite games on the board this week. I see a 31-10 kind of game with Carolina easily winning the turnover battle and the game.


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Thursday, October 19, 2017

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 7

Every week of the 2017 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

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Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 7?

John Trifone: Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers ($7,000)

I’ll be going back to the Melvin Gordon well again this week. DraftKings has priced him down due to a tough matchup with Denver. However, Orleans Darkwa just burned them this past week, giving us their first 100-yard rusher of the season. Perhaps we can chalk that up to being a little fluky, but that aside, Gordon is heavily involved in the passing game as well. Week 1 in Denver, Gordon rushed for 54 yards but gained another 25 from five receptions and scored a touchdown. I expect he’ll have more success running the ball this week at home, and he always has touchdown upside. For the savings you can get for him versus some of the other top backs, Gordon looks like one of the better plays on the board.

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Kevin Hanson: Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers ($4,200)

Facing difficult corners on the outside, teams have had more success targeting their tight end(s) over the middle of the field against the Broncos as they have allowed the fourth-most DraftKings points to the position this season. Henry is starting to be more (consistently) involved in the passing attack as he a total of 18 targets, 10 receptions, 148 yards and two scores over his past three games. If you're playing the main slate, which excludes Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, etc., there are limited options at the position and Henry is one of my favorites.

Sean Beazley: Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans ($5,800)

One of my favorite plays this week is Titans TE Delanie Walker. Walker is at his highest price of the year, and is the top TE on the slate this week. TE is usually a position I pay down at, but on DK you can roll out a double-TE lineup. In fact, a double-TE strategy is a great way to differentiate yourself from the field as most people play a RB/WR in the flex spot. The Browns have been torched all season against the TE, and they haven't faced anyone nearly as good as Delanie Walker. With Corey Davis still out, I expect Walker to be the focal point of the passing attack.

Dan Yanotchko: Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers ($5,900)

This week I like Carlos Hyde of the 49ers, who gets a great matchup against the Cowboys. Hyde has been pretty steady over his last four-game split with 62 rushes, 181 yards and four touchdowns with 14 receptions as well. He gets a Dallas D that allows 118 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry. With rookie C.J. Bethard starting, his usage should be heavy.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

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With that said, here are my Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Baltimore Ravens -6.5 over Chicago Bears (2 Units)

Making the switch from Mike Glennon to Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears scored a total of 17 points on Monday Night Football at home. That said, punter Pat O'Donnell threw one of the team's two touchdowns. The rookie will head to Baltimore on a short week where it's never easy to get a win. Few teams, if any, have less talented weapons than the Bears, which makes things even more difficult for a rookie quarterback. Even though Joe Flacco has looked bad -- more interceptions (six) than touchdowns (four) thrown -- this season, I think the Ravens will win by at least a touchdown.

DraftKings NFL $450K Post Pattern: DraftKings is running a one-week contest with $450,000 in prizes, $50,000 to 1st place and only $8 to enter.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 over Kansas City Chiefs (2 Units)

Coming off a five-interception performance, there is real concern in Pittsburgh for Ben Roethlisberger, but I think we'll see a better performance in Week 6. (Of course, it can't get much worse than Week 5.) Instead of 55 pass attempts from Big Ben, I'd expect to see a lot of Le'Veon Bell early in this game. I'm not sure if the Steelers will hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season, but I do think this game will be close (enough to get the cover).

Jaguars vs. Rams -- Under 42.5 (2 Units)

Like we all expected, the Rams currently rank second in the NFL in scoring offense (30.4 PPG) just ahead of Tom Brady and the Patriots (29.6). Meanwhile, the Jaguars have run the ball extremely well behind rookie Leonard Fournette as they lead the league in rushing offense (165.2 YPG). In addition, Fournette (466) and Todd Gurley (405) trail only Kareem Hunt (609) in rushing.

The Jaguars have one of the league's best overall defenses and (in my opinion) the best cornerback duo in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. As they load the box to slow Todd Gurley, I think we see less efficiency from the Rams offense. Much of their early-season success has come against bad defenses, but they managed to score just 10 points last week against the Seahawks.

I could see this game turning out to be 20-16 type of game with a lot of field goals and good defense. I'll take the under.

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 6 Fantasy Tight Ends

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Evan Engram is listed below as a "start" for Week 6. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 6 with him as my starting tight end.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Travis Kelce and Engram, you should start Kelce -- and in turn, bench Engram.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 6 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

 

TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, New York Jets (vs. NE)

Since serving a two-game suspension to begin the season, Seferian-Jenkins has a total of only 106 yards (7.07 Y/R). But the volume has been encouraging as ASJ has averaged five catches and six targets per game. With 26-percent team target share in two of his three games, he's one of just five tight ends to have two such games this season. (The other four are Charles Clay, Jason Witten, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz.)

In a favorable matchup against the Patriots, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Seferian-Jenkins could have his best game of the season this week. And given his volume, he has a pretty high floor for a position that is so TD-dependent.

DraftKings NFL $450K Post Pattern: DraftKings is running a one-week contest with $450,000 in prizes, $50,000 to 1st place and only $8 to enter.

TE - Evan Engram, New York Giants (at DEN)

Odell Beckham Jr. Brandon Marshall. Sterling Shephard. All out for Week 6 (or much longer). Losing their top-three wide receivers in Week 5, the Giants and Eli Manning will undoubtedly look Engram's way often this week. Of course, the Broncos will know that too, but I wouldn't be surprised if he sees double-digit targets this week.

Engram is coming off an 0-for this past week, but he has scored the 12th-most fantasy points (ninth in PPR) among tight ends this season with a 19/200/1 line on the year. Tied with Jimmy Graham with 34 targets, only Ertz, Witten and Kelce have more targets than Engram among tight ends.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at ARI)

It's been a challenging year for tight ends, but Brate has exceeded expectations with the fourth-most fantasy points this season even though he's already had his bye. Much of Brate's success is due to his three-game touchdown streak, but he has finished as the weekly TE10, TE3 and TE4 over the past three weeks, respectively. In each of those games, Brate has a minimum of four catches and a total of 19 targets.

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Week 6 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

 

TE - Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (at NO)

Ebron has played five games this season and he's had four duds. Aside from Week 2 (5/42/1), he has two or fewer catches every week and has failed to reach double-digit receiving yards in three of five games this season. With the exception of Rob Gronkowski (116 yards), the Saints have held the other tight ends they have faced to less than 30 yards. Perhaps Ebron has a bounce-back game, but he needs to show more before I can trust him.

TE - Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders (vs. LAC)

Technically, Cook is my TE13 so he's not too far removed from being start-worthy in 12-team leagues. That said, the Chargers have yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing tight end and only Ertz has reached the 50-yard mark against them. One positive is that Cook has five-plus targets every week and has averaged 6.2 per game this season. That said he has finished as the TE20 or worse in three of four games and the Chargers have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position this season.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 6

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