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.

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

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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.

- 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 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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