Thursday, September 21, 2017

Week 3 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.

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With that said, here are John Trifone's Week 3 NFL picks against the spread:

Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 over Baltimore Ravens (3 Units)

The London games have historically been pretty sloppy. The time change clearly plays a role, and is a big reason why I like the Jags with the points here. I expect a low-scoring game, and I'll ride with the Jags defense against Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense.

Cleveland Browns -1.5 over Indianapolis Colts (5 Units)

This is the third straight week I'm taking Cleveland. They're 1-1 ATS so far this year, but have had two pretty brutal division games against good defenses to start the year. This week going to Indianapolis is going to feel like playing against the practice squad by comparison. The Colts only gave up 16 to the Cardinals, but that seems like more of a reflection of the aging Arizona offense. This is a bad defense and Isaiah Crowell and DeShone Kizer could both have breakout games. I like the Browns to get their first win this week.

Cincinnati Bengals +9.5 over Green Bay Packers (4 Units)

This game is mostly about the number for me. I like the Packers to win at home, but at 0-2, I expect Cincinnati to play with a pretty big sense of urgency. I wouldn't be surprised to see them get out to an early lead, and get beaten late. Andy Dalton is not as bad as he's looked through two weeks, and he should have a bounce-back game. The line here is just too big to me so I'll grab the 9.5 and take the Bengals.


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

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DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 3

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 3?

Kevin Hanson: Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns ($4,800)

Not only did the Browns improve their offensive line this offseason, but coach Hue Jackson talked about getting Crowell the ball more consistently. Facing a couple of tough run defenses to open the season, Crowell has managed only 2.6 YPC (27 attempts for 70 yards), but it's possible that Crowell could get a larger workload this week.


While he hasn't been efficient on a per-touch basis, the Browns are small road favorites this week. (Yes, the Browns are actually ROAD FAVORITES). Crowell could get 20 or so touches and be relatively low-owned given his lack of production thus far. With 21 running backs priced ahead of him, Crowell has the upside to finish as a top-12 running back this week.

Editor's note: Play for $1 Million in DraftKings Week 3 Millionaire Maker ($4.5 Million in prizes, $1 Million to 1st, $20 to enter)

John Trifone: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans ($6,200)

Hopkins looks like a high-floor, high-upside guy this week. He hasn't had a real monster game yet, but has had two games above 14 DK points, averaging over 16 per game. Hopkins has seen an insane 29 targets so far (Antonio Brown, by contrast, has 22 targets), and he is clearly Deshaun Watson's favorite receiver. Houston will likely be playing from behind the majority of the game this week at New England, so all the variables are lining up for DeAndre to have a pretty massive fantasy game.

Brendan Donahue: Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,000)

Ertz has been targeted 18 times through two games already and has a plus matchup vs. the Giants this week. Ertz has 13 catches for 190 yards, but is still without a TD which he should be able to get against the 30th-ranked defense vs. tight ends this year. Between the injuries and inconsistencies at the tight end position, I will have Ertz in almost all of my lineups this week at a very fair price at $5K.

Sean Beazley: A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals ($8,100)

One of my favorite DK plays this week is a player on a team who has not scored an offensive touchdown this season. I love A.J. Green at $8,100. Green always sees a bunch of targets, but in a game vs. the Packers where they should be trailing, Green should see even more work. Baltimore and Houston have good defenses; the Packers do not. I think Green could be the top WR on the week.

Dan Yanotchko: James White, RB, New England Patriots ($5,400)

I like James White of the Patriots this week, as he has a great matchup against Houston. Last week, White had eight catches for 85 yards and with the mounting receiver injuries, he is in line for a lot of snaps. Combine that with Houston giving up 118 yards per game rushing, White will have a high volume day.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Week 2 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.

One of the picks I wanted to use this week was Pittsburgh -6, but the spread jumped to eight points given the uncertainty around Sam Bradford's knee. Given how well Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers play at home, I still considered using this pick, but I'll pass on it and just stick with my other two picks.

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With that said, here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

New England Patriots -6.5 over New Orleans Saints (4 Units)

Since 2003, the Patriots are 47-1 straight up and 34-13-1 ATS coming off a loss. Even if their Week 1 loss dropped them from the top spot in our consensus NFL power rankings, they are still the best team in football.

With a mini-bye and New Orleans playing on a short week, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick & Co. will be ready to exploit a vulnerable Saints defense that just allowed Sam Bradford to look like Brady. I expect a better performance from Drew Brees and the Saints offense than we saw last week, but I expect the Pats to continue their post-loss success.

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Denver Broncos +2.5 over Dallas Cowboys (2 units)

The Cowboys looked impressive on Sunday night, but part of that (at least) was how unimpressive the Giants looked. While the Broncos nearly blew a large lead, they played better than the score indicated on Monday Night Football. If I were setting this line, it'd be closer to a pick'em than the Cowboys being favored by nearly a field goal. As a Cowboys fan, I hope I'm wrong here, but I think the Broncos win this one outright so I'll take the points.

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

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 2 Fantasy Wide Receivers

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, Martavis Bryant is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

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

In other words, if you owned both Julio Jones, Doug Baldwin and Bryant and start two receivers, you should start Jones and Baldwin -- and in turn, bench Bryant.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 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 2 Fantasy Football WR Start'em


WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (at IND)

Only DeAndre Hopkins (16) had more targets than Fitzgerald (13) last week and the Cardinals will now be without both John Brown and stud running back David Johnson. The passing offense in general and Carson Palmer struggled as Fitzgerald finished the game with only six catches for 74 yards. Fortunately for Fitzgerald, he gets another favorable matchup in Week 2 against the Colts, who allowed the first-ever 300-yard game for Jared Goff last week. And given the team's injuries, Fitzgerald should easily get double-digit targets this week as well.

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WR - Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. PHI)

Hill had seven catches for 133 yards and a touchdown plus two rush attempts for five yards in their Week 1 win over the Patriots. Given the injury to cornerback Ronald Darby, who will be out for a month or so, the Eagles defensive weakness is clearly the secondary. On a weekly basis, Hill will have the potential to touch the ball 10 or so times giving him a solid floor with plenty of upside.

WR - Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. MIN)

Coming off a full-year suspension, Bryant managed just two catches for 14 yards on six targets in the season opener against the Browns. A big play waiting to happen (especially at home), Bryant has scored 11 touchdowns in 12 games at Heinz Field and averaged 18.5 Y/A and 70.9 YPG at home. Drawing a less challenging matchup than Antonio Brown, Bryant has plenty of upside this week.

WR - Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (vs. NYJ)

With the Jets coming to town, both Amari Cooper and Crabtree are in the WR1 mix. Technically, Crabtree is at WR13 in my rankings, but the duo and team have enormous touchdown upside as they are nearly two-TD favorites. Crabtree converted six-of-seven targets for 83 yards in Week 1 and was one of the most heavily targeted receivers in the red zone last season. Only four players had more targets than Crabtree (21) inside the 20-yard line.

- Related: Our contributors provide their Favorite Week 2 DraftKings Plays

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Week 2 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em


WR - Brandon Marshall, New York Giants (vs. DET)

It appears that Odell Beckham's status for Monday night is trending in the right direction after he sat Week 1. That could actually help Marshall, but the veteran wideout was nearly invisible in what seemed like an excellent opportunity against a bad Cowboys secondary as he finished with one catch for 10 yards. Ultimately, I think Marshall can be a viable WR3 this season, but I'd prefer to take a wait-and-see approach until he and Eli Manning build a stronger rapport.

WR - Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams (vs. WAS)

Watkins got off to a good start in his debut with the Rams as he finished with five catches for 58 yards in Week 1. Second-year quarterback Jared Goff did target rookie Cooper Kupp (six) more than Watkins (five) and it's possible that Watkins draws some shadow coverage from Josh Norman. There are worse options in Week 2, but Watkins is outside of my top-25 fantasy wide receivers this week and more of a WR3/flex type.

WR - T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (vs. ARI)

Regardless of who is under center for the Colts, we know that it won't be Andrew Luck. Making matters worse, Hilton should draw shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson. In other words, Hilton is a very risky start for fantasy owners this week.

WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (at LAC)

After being a late addition to the injury report, Landry (knee) is expected to play on Sunday but that doesn't mean he should be in your lineup(s). After Jay Ajayi emerged as the lead back last season, Landry's volume dropped considerably (5.25/63.42/0.25 on 7.17 targets per game). With Jay Cutler now under center for the injured Ryan Tannehill (ACL), I'd expect Landry's volume to fall even further as DeVante Parker becomes the team's most involved receiver.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 2 Fantasy Running Backs

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, Terrance West is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as one of my starting running backs.

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

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, Marshawn Lynch and West and only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Lynch -- and in turn, bench West.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 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 2 Fantasy Football RB Start'em


RB - Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (at ATL)

In Week 1, Montgomery had 23 touches for 93 total yards and a touchdown as he finished the week as fantasy's RB7 despite a tough matchup against the Seahawks. While the Packers drafted three running backs including Jamaal Williams in the fourth round, it was (almost) all Montgomery on Sunday. Monty out-touched the rookie by a 23-to-two margin and was on the field for 74 snaps compared to just six for Williams.

Getting a more favorable matchup this week, no team allowed more receptions to opposing running backs last season than the Falcons. To begin this season, Chicago rookie Tarik Cohen led all running backs with 12 targets as he had eight catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Look for Aaron Rodgers to target Montgomery often on Sunday night, making him a top-five option in both PPR and standard-scoring formats for Week 2.

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RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (vs. CLE)

One year after leading the NFL in pass attempts (679) and ranking last in the league in running-play percentage (34.01%), the Ravens opened the season with a 42-to-17 run-to-pass ratio. Clearly they won't be able to do that every week and last week's blowout victory (20-0) over the Bengals allowed them to keep the ball on the ground. But they are big favorites (-8.0) as they host the Browns on Sunday. If the game script follows suit, it could be another massive workload for West, who had 80 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.

RB - Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CHI)

Poised for a substantial workload due to Doug Martin's three-game suspension, Rodgers had 15-plus touches in the last five games he played without Martin. In those five games, Rodgers had 107 carries for 462 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 10 catches for 65 yards. In addition, he scored double-digit fantasy points in four of those five outings. Chicago's front-seven is more talented than their secondary, but Rodgers should get in the neighborhood of 20 touches this week.

RB - Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders (vs. NYJ)

After taking a season off, Lynch dominated backfield touches for his hometown Raiders in the season opener. Beast Mode had 18 carries for 76 yards and a 16-yard reception compared to 11 total touches for the team's other backs combined. Nearly two-TD home favorites against the worst team in the league, few running backs have greater probabilty to score in Week 2 than Lynch. In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise if he rushed for 100-plus yards and scored multiple touchdowns after LeSean McCoy and the Bills ran for a massive 190 yards against the Jets in Week 1. Only the Patriots (31.50) and the Falcons (29.50) have higher Vegas implied totals than the Raiders (28.50) this week.

- Related: Our contributors provide their Favorite Week 2 DraftKings Plays

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Week 2 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em


RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (vs. IND)

Blown out on the road last week, Gore and rookie Marlon Mack split workloads evenly -- 11 touches each. Gore turned his 10 carries into 42 yards and added a 10-yard reception. The Colts shouldn't lose by 39 points again, but the matchup isn't any more favorable this week and the Colts are 7-point underdogs at home. With Andrew Luck ruled out early in the week, there is no reason to expect the Colts to sustain many drives. If it turns into another blowout, it wouldn't surprise me if Mack gets another sizable share of the workload. In either event, neither Gore nor Mack is worth a start this week.

RB - Adrian Peterson, New Orleans Saints (vs. NE)

Higher than most on Peterson entering the season, my "bold prediction" is admittedly off to a bad start. At some point, Peterson should become more involved although the MNF fiasco has led some to wonder if he will be on a different roster by the end of the season. I wouldn't go that far, but it seems more likely than not that it's another frustrating outing for Peterson and his fantasy owners with the Patriots coming to town this week. A touchdown underdog to Tom Brady and the Patriots, the Saints running back rotation likely features the duo of Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara more than Peterson (again).

RB - LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles (at KC)

One target. One catch. One yard. One touchdown. Not much of a factor in the passing game, Blount was able to catch a one-yard touchdown in addition to gaining 46 yards on 14 carries.

As a six-point road underdog with a implied total in the bottom 12 this week, Blount may not get many opportunities to score a touchdown. And if the team is playing from behind (unlike last week), it's possible that Blount also sees fewer than the 14 carries that he had last week and isn't any more than a flex play this week.

RB - Paul Perkins, New York Giants (vs. DET)

Perkins ran the ball seven times for 16 yards and added two catches for nine more in the team's Sunday Night Football loss to the Cowboys. Perhaps Odell Beckham will return for Monday Night Football and help open things up for the offense in general, but the team's offensive line is bad and that will be a concern for the running game all season long.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 2 Fantasy Quarterbacks

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, Jameis Winston is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as my starting quarterback.

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

In other words, if you owned both Tom Brady and Winston, you should start Brady -- and in turn, bench Winston.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 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 2 Fantasy Football QB Start'em



QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CHI)

The only quarterback in league history to begin his career with back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons, Winston gets a significant upgrade in weapons going into his third NFL season. The presence of a true vertical threat like DeSean Jackson should really open things up underneath for the team's other pass-catchers.

While Chicago has built a talented front-seven, the back end of their defense remains an exploitable weakness. Both times that Winston has faced the Bears in his young career, he has thrown for 295-plus yards and multiple touchdowns as he averaged 9.79 yards per attempt. Based on implied totals from Vegas odds, the Buccaneers are projected to score the ninth-most points (25.25) this week.

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QB - Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. MIA)

Finishing as a top-12 fantasy quarterback on the road in Denver, Rivers threw three touchdowns (and only 192 yards) against a tough Broncos secondary. As he returns home (and it seems weird to call Los Angeles "home"), Rivers draws an easier matchup against the Dolphins.

Since 2014, Keenan Allen has played 24 games and missed 25 games. With Allen, Rivers has completed 68.5 percent of his pass attempts for 284.46 YPG (7.59 Y/A), 2.04 TD/G and 0.88 INT/G compared to 60.6% for 273.16 YPG (7.24 Y/A), 1.88 TD/G and 1.28 INT/G without him.

With a healthy complement of pass-catchers (minus their first-round pick) and a favorable matchup, Rivers is a top-10 option for this week and one of my favorite QBs in DFS contests this week as well.

- Related: Our contributors provide their Favorite Week 2 DraftKings Plays

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (at IND)

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again? In a prime spot, Palmer failed to exploit a matchup against the Lions as he completed just 27-of-48 pass attempts for 269 yards and threw three interceptions and only touchdown. Once again, he gets a favorable matchup, but he can exploit it?

Last week, the Rams put up a league-high 46 points (although two of their scores were defensive TDs), but Jared Goff threw for a career-high 306 yards against a Vontae Davis-less defense. In such a soft matchup projected to be one of the highest-scoring teams of the week based on implied totals, I'm cautiously optimistic that we see a better outing from Palmer this week.

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Week 2 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em



QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (at DEN)

In most weeks, Prescott is a back-end QB1 and his stats as a runner typically keeps his floor relatively high. That said, facing the Broncos on the road is obviously not the recipe for fantasy success.

Since the start of the 2015 season, the Broncos have allowed only two 300-yard games -- Ben Roethlisberger (380) and Drew Brees (303) -- and neither of those games were in Denver. In fact, only four opposing quarterbacks have thrown for 230-plus yards in Denver -- Tom Brady (280), Teddy Bridgewater (269), Rivers and Matt Ryan (267 each).

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. DET)

On a positive note, Odell Beckham appears to be trending in the right direction for their Monday Night Football matchup against the Lions. That said, Eli and the offense got nothing going against a vulnerable Cowboys secondary in Week 1 as he threw for 220 yards and no touchdowns.

The Lions allowed the second-most fantasy points in 2016 so the matchup is exploitable and the presence of OBJ would give Eli a greater chance of being able to exploit it, but I'd rather take a wait-and-see approach until we see something more from this offense before trusting him this week.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at NYG)

Last week's matchup wasn't favorable and Stafford ended up throwing four touchdowns to finish as the week's QB2 so it's certainly possible that he has a solid outing despite another difficult matchup. That said, the Giants have allowed 20-plus fantasy points to just one opposing quarterback over their past 17 games since the start of the 2016 season. Facing the Giants in MetLife Stadium last December, Stafford threw for 273 yards, no touchdowns and one intercception to finish with 10.22 fantasy points (weekly QB24) in that outing.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 2 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, Coby Fleener is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as my starting tight end.

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

In other words, if you owned both Rob Gronkowski and Fleener, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Fleener.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 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 2 Fantasy Football TE Start'em


TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (at KC)

Ertz led all tight ends with eight receptions in Week 1 and only Austin Hooper (128) had more receiving yards (93). Going back to last season, Ertz has 48 catches for 536 yards and three touchdowns on 62 targets over his past six games. Typically a matchup against the Chiefs is a difficult one for opposing tight ends, but the season-ending Achilles injury to Eric Berry changes that dynamic completely.

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TE - Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints (vs. NE)

In an expected shootout with the week's highest over-under (57.0), many players in this game should have productive outings on Sunday. In the opener, Fleener had five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown to finish with 11.4 fantasy points (TE4). As the Patriots typically game plan to take away an opponent's most dangerous weapon, that could open things up for Fleener as the Patriots try to limit Michael Thomas.

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (at CAR)

Still available in more than three-quarters of Yahoo! leagues, Clay is a solid streaming option. Given the turnover in the receiving corps, Clay led the team in targets last week and actually tied Delanie Walker and Jason Witten for the most targets by any tight end in Week 1. With nine targets, Clay's 33.3-percent target share led all tight ends and he converted his opportunities into a 4/53/1 line, good for the fifth-most fantasy points last week.

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Week 2 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em


TE - Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (vs. ARI)

Getting just three targets last week, Doyle had two catches for 41 yards against the Rams. The Rams are historically tough against opposing tight ends, but so are the Cardinals. With Andrew Luck (shoulder) sidelined another week (and probably more), the Colts are projected to be one of the league's lowest-scoring offenses once again. Only five teams are projected to score fewer points than the Colts (18.50).

TE - Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. MIA)

Per PFF, Henry logged just 23 snaps (compared to 38 for Antonio Gates) on Monday night. More importantly, only seven of Henry's snaps were pass snaps (30.4 percent) compared to 27-of-38 (71.1%) for Gates and the second-year tight end was not targeted by Philip Rivers on any of those seven snaps. Ultimately, I expect to see more of Henry this week and in the future, but he is just outside my top-12 fantasy tight ends for Week 2.

TE - Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (at DEN)

Last week, Witten was on the "Start'em side" of this post as he faced the Giants. In five games against the division rivals since the start of the 2015 season, Witten has averaged 6.8/56.8/0.6 on 9.4 targets per game. In comparison, he has averaged 4.25/41.46/0.14 on 5.75 targets per game in all other games during that span.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Week 2 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.

Earlier this week, John Trifone posted his Week 2 picks and Dan Yanotchko posted his picks. Now it's Sean Beazley's turn to post his Week 2 picks.

Editor's note: Play for $1 Million in DraftKings Week 2 Millionaire Maker ($5 Million in prizes, $1 Million to 1st, $20 to enter)

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With that said, here are Sean Beazley's Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Tennessee Titans -1.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (5 Units)

It's time to capitalize on Week 1 overreactions. The Jaguars defense was amazing on the road vs. Houston last week recording 10 sacks and four turnovers. The Titans didn't play well in a loss at home vs. Oakland. I think the Titans will be fired up in this one especially since they were humiliated in Jacksonville last year. Titans 27, Jags 21.

Los Angeles Chargers -3.5 over Miami Dolphins (4 Units)

I love the Chargers in this spot. I love all of the Chargers weapons in this one -- Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen. I also love the Chargers defense. They can put pressure on the QB, and their corners are probably one of the better duos in the league. I expect Jay Cutler to play like, well, Jay Cutler. Chargers win big, 30-17.

Indianapolis Colts +7 over Arizona Cardinals (5 Units)

Another overreaction spot this week as I think most think the Colts are going to get run out of the building given how they played vs. the Rams last week. The Cardinals will be without David Johnson and two linemen this week. I think it will take time to adjust without DJ. Carson Palmer is done. I think the Colts win this one outright. Colts, 23-20.

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

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Week 2 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.

Earlier this week, John Trifone posted his Week 2 picks against the spread. Now it's Dan Yanotchko's turn.

Editor's note: Play for $1 Million in DraftKings Week 2 Millionaire Maker ($5 Million in prizes, $1 Million to 1st, $20 to enter)

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Here are Dan's Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

New England Patriots -6.5 over New Orleans Saints (4 Units)

It's been a crazy start to the season, and I think perhaps most surprising of all was the Patriots losing to the Chiefs on championship banner night. As a certified Patriots homer, I know there has been a lot of panic in Patriots Nation, but in the end, we trust Bill Belichick to fix it. Look, the Patriots were not that bad last week as they had the lead going into the fourth quarter.

Yet New Orleans defense was certainly as bad as usual as they let Sam Bradford rip them for 341 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Not one team in the league bounces back from a loss better than the Patriots. I would look for Tom Brady and Brandin Cooks to have huge days, as Cooks is going against the team that traded him in the offseason. This is a get-right game for both the New England offense and defense, and I like them by more than a TD going after that horrible Saints defense.

Oakland Raiders -13.5 over New York Jets (3 Units)

About four years ago, the roles were reversed as Oakland was a team tanking and the Jets were an up-and-coming team. No matter what, the Jets have been historically bad in the Black Hole as the Jets have posted a record of 1-4-1 in their last six when travelling west against the number. I expect that loss column to expand by one. While the Jets typically have a stout run defense, they were shredded by the Bills to the tune of 190 yards and 4.5 yards per carry. Hence all the love this week from my colleagues in DFS for Marshawn Lynch this weekend and I expect him to have a big day as well as the Jets just won't be able to put up more than 13 points.

San Francisco 49ers +14 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

While no one really expects much from the 49ers this year, they still have some positive signs in the first year of their rebuild. The Seahawks were humbled last week against the Packers, but they still showed that they have a long way to go on that offensive line. The 49ers were pretty inept on offense, but they had some excellent numbers against Cam Newton & Co. last week. The 49ers allowed only 3.1 yards per carry last week to Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey and they were also equally adept at holding Newton in check with 171 yards passing and a 56-percent completion rate. While I don't think that the Niners will win this one outright, 14 points just seems like too big of a number for a team that has one of the worst offensive lines out there. This has junk TD back-door cover written all over it.


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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Week 2 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.

In Week 1, John Trifone got off to a good start with his picks against the spread as he started 3-1 ATS. He looks to continue his momentum in Week 2.

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With that said, here are John Trifone's Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

New Orleans Saints +7 over New England Patriots (4 Units)

You certainly don't make a living betting against Tom Brady the Patriots, especially coming off a surprise Week 1 loss on opening night. I just think that happening has inflated this line, which should probably be around four points. The Saints underwhelmed against a tough Minnesota defense on Monday night, but they're going home this week and will be playing a much weaker Patriots defense. I think the Patriots likely win, but I'll take the touchdown, in what will likely be a high-scoring affair.

Houston Texans +6.5 over Cincinnati Bengals (3 Units)

The Texans performance was the biggest surprise of the week in my mind. Not only did they lose to the Jags at home, but the offense looked completely inept. I'm going to credit the Jaguar defense, who has continued to improve, and looks like one of the best defenses in the league this year. The Bengals also looked pretty bad, in their home loss to the Ravens. Both teams will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start. I expect a close game and will take the 6.5 here.

Cleveland Browns +8 over Baltimore Ravens (4 Units)

The Browns covered against Pittsburgh Week 1 and I'm jumping on them again. Cleveland has been historically bad for a long time, and that public perception is creating value in the line. The Browns defense bottled up Le'Veon Bell this past week, and kept the game relatively close throughout. DeShone Kizer was also impressive in his first start and he'll be looking to build on that. I like the Browns to win this one outright, so I'll definitely take the points.


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DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 2

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 2?

Kevin Hanson: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders (vs. NYJ), $6,100

Of the 30 touches by Oakland's running backs in the opener, Lynch had 19 of them as he finished 92 yards from scrimmage. Favored by two TDs with the second-highest implied total of the week, Beast Mode is more likely than not to score a touchdown and has the upside to score multiple touchdowns. In a PPR format, more involvement in the passing game would be preferred, but there is massive TD upside with a secured role in what should be a blowout.

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John Trifone: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CHI), $4,400

With the Bucs game getting cancelled Week 1, I'm hoping Jacquizz will go a bit forgotten this week, but at $4,400, he's a great value. He's the lead back while Doug Martin is out, so he should get solid volume. I also think he has reasonable touchdown equity. At just $4,400, he also opens up some higher priced options if you want to look at the GB/ATL or NE/NO games.

Brendan Donahue: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders (vs. NYJ), $6,000

Lynch gets a Jets team that gave up 190 rushing yards last week to Buffalo including 110 to LeSean McCoy. While I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from Lynch this year, he quickly reassured me that there's still gas left in the tank after running 18 times for 76 yards and even catching a pass for 16 more. In a game that has Oakland as almost a 2-TD favorite, I expect a lot opportunities for Lynch to get into the end zone this week and possibly multiple times.

Sean Beazley: Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. MIA), $5,800

One​ ​of​ ​my​ ​favorite​ ​plays​ ​for​ ​Week​ ​2​ ​is​ ​Chargers​ ​WR​ ​Keenan​ ​Allen.​ ​​ ​Allen​ ​is​ ​extremely​ ​underpriced​ ​sitting​ ​at​ ​only​ ​$5,800.​ ​​ ​​ ​Allen​ ​is​ ​a​ ​target​ ​machine​ ​when​ ​healthy.​ ​​ ​​ ​I​ ​think​ ​the​ ​Chargers​ ​will look​ ​to​ ​air​ ​it​ ​out​ ​against​ ​this​ ​Dolphins​ ​defense.​ ​​ ​​ ​I​ ​think​ ​Allen​ ​has​ ​​5​x ​upside​ ​this​ ​week; 8-120-1​ ​line​ ​is​ ​my​ ​prediction.​ ​​ ​I​ ​will​ ​have​ ​massive​ ​ownership​ ​of​ ​Allen​ ​this​ ​week.

Dan Yanotchko: Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings (at PIT), $5,500

This week I really like Sam Bradford going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I know Bradford won't be as letter perfect as he was against New Orleans throwing for 356 yards and three touchdowns. Pittsburgh also gave up 255 yards and two passing touchdowns to a rookie quarterback making his first League start. I love the weapons he has with Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, Adam Theilan, and Kyle Rudolph.

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Week 1 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.

Earlier this week, our other contributors posted their picks:
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With that said, here are my Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Under 38.5 (3 Units)

Without J.J. Watt, the Texans led the NFL in total defense in 2016. Meanwhile, the Jaguars added free-agent studs Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye to a defense that ranked sixth in total defense last season. On the other side of the ball, the Texans will start inexperienced quarterback Tom Savage as Doug Marrone reluctantly switches back to Blake Bortles after Chad Henne started the third preseason game.

My only concern with the under is the potential for a pick-six or a lot of turnovers that lead to favorable field positions. That said, I could see this game turn out to be a 17-7, 20-10 type of contest.

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Houston Texans -5.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (1 Unit)

As noted above, this matchup features two outstanding defenses. With Bortles under center, however, I think there's a much greater chance that the Jags turn the ball over and struggle to get something positive going. My biggest worry, in terms of Houston covering the spread, is the fact that they could try to force things early and make some mistakes as it will certainly be an emotional game given what the city has gone through with Hurricane Harvey.

Tennessee Titans vs. Oakland Raiders, Over 51 (3 Units)

Unlike the Texans-Jaguars game, this one features two young starting quarterbacks on the rise. In turn, their defenses are the weak(er) link.

Both teams should be able to run the ball behind outstanding offensive lines, but Marcus Mariota has several new weapons in Eric Decker, Corey Davis and more to join Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews. Meanwhile, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree were the first pair of 1,000-yard wide receivers for the Raiders since 2001 (Jerry Rice and Tim Brown).

In what should be a close game, I could see this game turn into a 31-28 type of shootout.

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Week 1 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.

Yesterday, John Trifone made his Week 1 NFL picks and Dan Yanotchko made his picks. Now, it's Sean Beazley's turn.

All three are on the Rams bandwagon -- at least the Week 1 version against the Andrew Luck-less Colts.

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With that said, here are Sean's Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:
Los Angeles Rams -4.5 over Indianapolis Colts (4 Units)

Pretty crazy seeing the Rams favored over the Colts, but you have to love the Rams in this spot. Andrew Luck is out for Indianapolis, which should be troublesome against a pretty good Rams defense. I will be rolling with this unit as my cash game defense in DFS as well. I think they should be able to force a few turnovers from Scott Tolzien.

On the flip side of the ball, I'm extremely interested to see how this team will look under new coach Sean McVay. I am super high on Todd Gurley this week, and I think he should eat against this poor Colts defense.

Rams 26, Colts 20.

Houston Texans -5.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (5 Units)

There aren't too many non-playoff games that I remember, but one of them was the Saints home opener after Hurricane Katrina. The Saints played inspired football and that was with a pretty mediocre defense. Houston has an elite defense, and they are playing up against Blake Bortles. (Side note, his name autocorrected to Aborted on my phone.) I bet ya the Jags wish they aborted that pick as Bortles is awful.

Texans 23, Jags 3.

Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks -- Over 51.5 (4 Units)

I think this game is going to be a shootout. I really like the Seahawks side of the ball in DFS this week. I think Russell Wilson is the top option at QB and I will be pairing him with everyone. We all know Green Bay can move the ball versus anyone, especially at home. My hunch is a Seattle win on the road even though Wilson is historically bad vs. a Dom Capers D.

Seahawks 34, Packers 31.
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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Week 1 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.

Earlier today, John Trifone made his Week 1 NFL picks against the spread. Now, it's Dan Yanotchko's turn.

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With that said, here are Dan's Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Atlanta Falcons -6.5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

Everyone says that the Super Bowl Hangover is for real, and quite a few people expect the Falcons to flop this year. While I think they will not be as great on offense as they were last year, in part due to the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shananhan, I still see Atlanta coming out strong against a fairly weak Bears team, who will be down their top receiver Cameron Meredith for the year.

The Bears secondary was awful last year, as they allowed 22 TDs and certainly were in the bottom tier of ball hawkers with only eight interceptions. I think this will be a big day for Matt Ryan & Co., as Mike Glennon just does not have the weapons and ability to hang with this caliber of a team.

Los Angeles Rams -4.5 over Indianapolis Colts (4 Units)

The Rams will have a fresh start with new coach Sean McVay, and they will look to have a bounce-back year after last year's dismal results. The Rams boast a great defense, and even without All-Pro Aaron Donald, they will get a massive boost with coordinator Wade Phillips coming to town.

The Colts will struggle as Andrew Luck is still on the shelf with a shoulder injury and journeyman Scott Tolzein will start in his stead. He will have an uphill battle against a Rams defense that only allowed opposing passers 223 yards per game last year.

I also look for a big game from Todd Gurley, who gets a great matchup against an Indy rush defense that allowed 4.7 yards per carry and 120 yards per game last year.

New York Jets +8.5 over Buffalo Bills (4 Units)

I know it looks like the Jets are trying to be the 76ers by tanking and going though The Process, but there are just too many question marks still about this Bills team that makes this matchup stand out to me. The Jets were successful last year against the Bills, as they went 2-0 against them. Also the Bills have a decimated passing attack with a hobbled Tyrod Taylor, and new receiver Jordan Matthews. The Bills really run the ball well, but they will be going against a Jets defense that is strong against the run, as they only allowed 3.7 yards per carry and 98.8 yards per game last year.

The Jets have no receivers of note, and will start old wily veteran Josh McCown, but they have a great matchup on the ground against Bills defense that gave up 133 yards per game and 4.6 yards per attempt last year. I look for a big day by both Bilal Powell and Matt Forte, and they will keep this game close.


Related: Powell was Dan's pick in our Week 1 DFS Round Table post.

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