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Three Keys to Victory – Week 9: Comparing ADP and Player Performance to Find Value

S h a r e :
Thinking about drafting Tony Romo over Carson Palmer this week from the Dallas Cowboys-Arizona Cardinals game? Romo typically gets drafted first, but Palmer appears to have a higher floor and ceiling.

Thinking about drafting Tony Romo over Carson Palmer this week from the Cardinals-Cowboys game? Romo typically gets drafted earlier, but Palmer appears to have a higher floor and ceiling.

In case you missed it, Mike created a page showing average draft position of players for all Fantasy Throwdown drafts on a weekly basis. The information also includes which NFL games (or teams) are selected the most for Throwdown games each week. If you want to get a good idea about when to draft certain players, this data could prove invaluable.

This week, I’m looking at some of the most popular teams picked weekly, and I am comparing ADP’s of players on those teams vs. how consistently they are performing. The top 5 teams selected in Throwdown games in the last three weeks are: Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.

In order to compare player performance, I used player stats from DraftBuddy.com (same scoring used at Fantasy Throwdown) and set benchmarks at four different levels – elite (top 3), #1 Starter (top 10), #2 (top 20), and subpar (below average starter). Using current averages at each position, I set the benchmark average.

For instance, Giovani Bernard is currently the 10th running back in average points per game with 13.2 points. Andre Ellington sits at 11th with 13.1. Thus, a running back needs to score better than the average 11th place running back to have a top 10 score. For fantasy purposes, looking at how many times a player actually plays like a starter, in conjunction with ADP, can prove valuable for future success playing Fantasy Throwdown.

QB RB WR
Elite 24.2 17.7 14.5
#1 21.8 13.1 11.5
#2 9.9 10.0
Subpar 16.1 8.6 6.8

Dallas (2nd) vs. Arizona (22nd)

Although, neither QB is drafted particularly high an any week, Tony Romo is drafted higher than Carson Palmer in almost every week they have both been an active. Last week, Romo had an ADP of 10.3 (56th best), while Palmer’s ADP was 13.29 (90th best). Many drafts did not select Palmer. But according to the data, Palmer is a much safer bet on a per week basis. Palmer has scored above the elite 24.2 benchmark in half of his starts this year, compared to only 25% for Romo. Palmer’s worst game of the season thus far sits at 19.65, while Romo has four games lower than that. Thus, Palmer has a higher ceiling and lower floor at the moment and should be drafted higher. He should outplay any Dallas QB.

The wide receivers in this matchup are tricky. If you look at the body of work for the entire year, the order of consistency and elite performance would rank (in order): Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, John Brown, Michael Floyd, and then Larry Fitzgerald. Thus, Dallas is higher, but if you are ranking them on performances from the last three weeks, all of Arizona’s receivers would rank higher, with Fitzgerald leading the way and Brown second. Fitzgerald has had two elite performances in the past two weeks, with one zero mixed in. The only other receiver to top 10th twice in the past two weeks in this matchup is Floyd, but he zeroed last week as well.

The Cardinals offense in the past three weeks has been better, and Dallas will most likely lean on the run with Romo ailing. According to Rotoviz data, Dez’s numbers go down in games without Romo. Either way, you can probably hold off on Cowboys wide receivers and wait for the Cardinals corps. Last week, Floyd was the only Cardinals WR on the top 100 ADP board.

Indianapolis (8th) vs. NY Giants (3rd)

Here are the seven guys that have performed above the top 10 running back mark in over 50% of games played this season: DeMarco Murray (100%), Matt Forte (75%), Mark Ingram (75%), Arian Foster (71%), Lamar Miller (71%), Le’Veon Bell (50%), and Ahmad Bradshaw (50%). Only five of those guys have performed at elite level in over 25% of their games, and Bradshaw is in that group as well. He’s the best running back in the matchup even if Jennings is back.

The second best running back in the matchup is actually Bradshaw’s backfield mate Trent Richardson. Only 11 running backs are averaging more points per game in the past three weeks. Surprisingly, he is putting up decent numbers. Richardson has scored above 11.84 in over half of his games, and Andre Williams has been a huge disappointment. Two weeks ago, both Colts were drafted over Andre Williams. But last week, Richardson was not in the top 100. That should change in this matchup.

If you’re looking for elite performance out of wide receiver, your best bet is T.Y. Hilton, who has scored over 20 points in two of his last three matchups. But, the receiver with the highest percentage of games as a number one receiver on the year in this matchup is Odell Beckham Jr. (33%). Granted the sample size is small, but Beckham has two games out of three with 10 points or more. All three of his touchdowns came within the red zone, and the Giants like to throw there. Wayne, Hilton, and Randle are all getting drafted ahead of him in recent weeks. It’s time to wake up and smell the Beckham.

Denver (7th) vs. New England (17th)

On the year, Peyton Manning is second only to Andrew Luck in consistency and elite scoring, and he is drafted as such. But, looking at the past three weeks, no quarterback is outperforming Tom Terrific. Only four quarterbacks have had 100% elite production in the past three weeks (Luck, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady), and none of them are averaging over 30 fantasy points per game like Brady. This is going to be a great matchup to watch, but there is a good chance you can grab Brady second and outscore Peyton Manning.

Ask one hundred people who the top 3 wide receivers in this matchup are, and you will get a variety of answers after Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. The correct answer, though, is Brandon LaFell. LaFell is currently the 20th best wide receiver in standard scoring formats. He’s one of only nine players averaging over 15 points per game in the past three weeks. He’s had more number one performances than Edelman this season, but Edelman was ranked 59th in ADP last week while LaFell was unranked.

Finally, here is a list of running backs that were drafted over Hillman last week and have a higher percentage of subpar performances this year (excluding race for the bottom guys): Andre Ellington, LeSean McCoy, Ben Tate, Justin Forsett, Jerick McKinnon, Doug Martin, Joique Bell, Shane Vereen, Eddie Lacy and Darren McFadden. In games started, Hillman has not scored below 11 points in any contest. He should be drafted higher.

Week 8 Throwdown Showdown Results

S h a r e :

sword_140x140Showdowns are 4-player, 1-week round robin, winner-take-all format events. They are essentially a mini-tournament, and a great way to play a trio of games in a single week and show off your skills winning a group beyond individual matches. Showdown winners also receive the sword icon and 2.5 achievement points towards their Leaderboard ranking for the win.

We hosted two Throwdown Showdowns for Week 8. Check out the Throwdown Showdown page for rules, links to past results and to sign up for Week 9.

#20 – Ditka vs. Wilforkisland vs. kwinkelman07 vs. rhazes_darkk

Wk 8 – TS20 – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Ditka 2 1 470.5 407.4 63.1
2. Wilforkisland 2 1 423.5 348.3 75.2
3. rhazes_darkk 1 2 344.4 380.2 -35.8
4. kwinkelman07 1 2 330.5 433.1 -102.6

Ditka finishes 1st using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Wilforkisland.

Ditka 144.6
Wilforkisland 123.35

Ditka 157.5
kwinkelman07 162.2

rhazes_darkk 121.85
Ditka 168.4

Wilforkisland 164.6
kwinkelman07 92.05

Wilforkisland 135.5
rhazes_darkk 111.6

kwinkelman07 76.25
rhazes_darkk 110.95

#21 – jeffNFL vs. Wilforkisland vs. awilde27 vs. patwat

Wk 8 – TS21 – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Wilforkisland 3 0 449.0 349.5 99.5
2. jeffNFL 2 1 522.3 449.3 73.1
3. awilde27 1 2 393.8 481.6 -87.9
4. patwat 0 3 406.9 491.6 -84.7

Wilforkisland finishes 1st with a perfect 3-0 record.

jeffNFL 147
Wilforkisland 155.75

jeffNFL 173.2
awilde27 139.3

patwat 154.2
jeffNFL 202.1

Wilforkisland 163.7
awilde27 94.45

Wilforkisland 129.5
patwat 108

awilde27 160
patwat 144.7

Week 8 Throwdown League Results

S h a r e :

trophy_105x105A league is usually an 8-player, 8-week event, with players playing a 7-week double header regular season. The top two teams after the regular season compete in the eighth week in a triple header championship. A league gives some flexibility to have a little fun with the format, implementing neat twists and turns from regular Throwdown matches over the course of the regular season. Some examples include, “bench only challenges”, or “#RaceToTheBottom” (must pick all uninjured starters, but lowest points wins).

We currently have only one official Throwdown League running, but that should change once sign ups and results become more automated. Then people can even start and run their own league, which would be pretty cool, but we’re not there yet. The payout for this $10 entry fee league is $50 for 1st place and $22 for 2nd place. Each player who placed in these spots also receives the trophy icon and achievement bonus points of 10 and 5 respectively, towards their Leaderboard ranking.

This one started in Week 3, so there are only one weeks to go in the 7-week regular season after the conclusion of Week 8. The game format this week is #RaceToTheBottom. That means, LOWEST score wins. Our players had to pick starters, and suffer a penalty if they pick a player who is declared inactive, so they are drafting players who were playing but not expected to perform very much for fantasy.

Complicating things, I neglected to change the lineup requirement from the prior week, which was dual-flex. I didn’t realize until late in the week when one of our league members mentioned adding a third TE to their roster. Sorry about that! But, everyone was on equal footing, and with more roster spots than intended, it made #RaceToTheBottom even more challenging.

Throwdown League #1 (reg. season week 6)

Wk 8 – TL1 – 10 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Wilforkisland 9 3 1,124.4 979.8 144.7
2. jeffNFL 9 3 1,133.8 997.9 135.9
3. TheKommish 7 5 1,202.1 1,204.4 -2.4
4. Bigchief37 6 6 1,045.5 1,022.5 23.0
5. mikemar 5 7 1,056.1 1,146.1 -90.0
6. Luxuriousdusti 5 7 1,009.7 1,125.4 -115.8
7. tttimmyg 4 8 1,092.7 1,105.9 -13.2
8. rhazes_darkk 3 9 1,002.1 1,084.4 -82.3

It flipped again. Wilforkisland is back in 1st place ahead of jeffNFL, but by the slimmest of margins. They played each other this week, and Wilfork won, resulting in them splitting their season series. Jeff won the first head-to-head match back in NFL Week 4. From there, we go to the points differential, and Wilfork holds the slight 10 point advantage. FYI, points for this week went in your points against category, and points against when in your points for category, since the game format was lowest points scored.

Anyway, with these two both at 9-3, and the next closest team, TheKommish at 7-5, they may have already punched their ticket to the championship final next week. The only thing that could happen is one of our top two go 0-2 this week, while TheKommish goes 2-0, and Kommish holds a head-to-head tie-breaker over the player he ties with. Improbable, but not impossible.

Bigchief37, who got off to a fast start in the league, dropped both games this week bringing his record to 6-6, out of championship contention. Everyone split their games this week except Wilfork and Bigchief. mikemar and Luxuriousdusti are 5-7, while tttimmyg and rhazes_darkk round out the league standings.

Note, the standings, for simplicity are sorted by record and then points differential, but head-to-head is still the first tie-breaker if needed to decide playoff spots at the end of the season. Each player should play every other player twice over the course of the season.

mikemar 86.4
Luxuriousdusti 98.4

Bigchief37 91.9
tttimmyg 97.9

Wilforkisland 126.05
jeffNFL 42.65

rhazes_darkk 99.8
TheKommish 98.15

rhazes_darkk 87.05
mikemar 92.7

Bigchief37 77.05
Wilforkisland 97.95

tttimmyg 64.55
jeffNFL 76.3

TheKommish 129.25
Luxuriousdusti 111.85

DFS For IDP Fantasy Players – Week 8: No Surprise, Another Top LB Injured

S h a r e :
Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny sustained a torn pectoral muscle in Sunday's win over Cleveland and will be out the rest of the season.

As if the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t in bad enough shape as it is, they lost their defensive leader, LB Paul Posluszny, for the season last week with a torn pectoral muscle.

Injuries are a fact of life in football, whether it’s the NFL or the hobby we all enjoy so much. It’s a violent sport played by very large men in suits of armor crashing into one another as hard as they can. Guys are going to get hurt.

Still, when Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle last week, it continued a staggering rash of injuries that have ravaged the linebacker spot dating all the way back to training camp.

Of the Top 20 fantasy linebackers by virtue of Average Draft Position at My Fantasy League in 2014, 11 have either missed multiple games, are injured now or have been ruled out for the remainder of the season. That’s over 50 percent.

Needless to say, these injuries have had a massive impact on IDP leagues. In “standard” fantasy formats they have left teams scrambling to the waiver wire, sometimes to replace their entire starting lineup.

In Fantasy Throwdown, it means that knowing which rocks to turn over in what games to unearth hidden defensive gems can make the difference between a win and a loss.

With that in mind, let’s get to it – before someone else gets hurt.

GAMES OF THE WEEK

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars
I know what you’re thinking, and no, I haven’t been drinking. Yes, the Dolphins and Jaguars aren’t exactly offensive juggernauts, and at first glance there doesn’t appear to be a ton of IDP talent either. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll find some very nice under-the-radar IDP options, from Miami linebacker Jelani Jenkins to Jacksonville defensive end Chris Clemons. The Dolphins and Jaguars have also both been extremely generous to defensive players in 2014. Both teams rank in the Top 10 in fantasy points allowed to IDPs (Fantasy Throwdown scoring), and the Jaguars lead the NFL both in sacks allowed and in fantasy points surrendered to IDPs.

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints
Nothing beats having a player or two starting for your fantasy team in the week’s primetime tilts. One last player to cheer for. One last chance at that miracle comeback. Not only does Sunday night’s big duel in the Big Easy meet that end, but there’s IDP talent at every level of the defense, including two of fantasy football’s top defensive backs in Kenny Vaccaro of the Saints and Morgan Burnett of the Packers. Throw in a pair of high-octane offenses capable of both long, sustained drives and quick scores and you have the recipe for fat stat lines on both sides of the ball.

Now that we’ve looked at a couple of games that should interest fantasy owners in Fantasy Throwdown IDP games in Week 8, let’s start flipping over rocks and see if we can’t unearth a potential “sleeper” play or two.

No-Name All-Stars

DEFENSIVE LINE

Olivier Vernon – DE, Miami Dolphins
Batterymate Cameron Wake may get all the headlines, but Vernon’s hardly chopped liver himself. Yes, the third-year pro threw up the dreaded IDP doughnut in Week 7, but the week before Vernon tallied 7 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. That latter stat line is much more likely this week against the Jaguars, who have allowed the most sacks in the National Football League (29) in 2014 by a sizable margin.

LINEBACKER

Josh Mauga – ILB, Kansas City Chiefs
Mauga was thrust into the starting lineup for the Chiefs by the season-ending Achilles’ injury suffered by Pro Bowler Derrick Johnson back in September. Mauga, who leads the team in tackles heading into a matchup with a St. Louis Rams team giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to linebackers this year, told Matt Conner of SB Nation that starting has been an adjustment, but he has the hang of it now. “Each week,” Mauga said, “I feel I’ve gotten more comfortable and used to being on the field a lot more. I feel great.”

DEFENSIVE BACK

James Ihedigbo – SS, Detroit Lions
As Justin Rogers of MLive.com reported, after the Lions came back to defeat the New Orleans Saints in Week 7, Ihedigbo chided fans who left Ford Field early. “You know, people had the nerve to leave the stadium,” Ihedigbo said. “You’ve got to understand the type of football team you have here. You never leave the stadium. Never. We’re always going to fight and be resilient and we showed that today.” Meanwhile, I’m here to chide those who haven’t noticed that only two defensive backs have more fantasy points over the past four weeks than Ihedigbo.

FLEX

Jelani Jenkins – OLB, Miami Dolphins
According to Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report, Jenkins has been a revelation for the Dolphins in 2014. “If Jenkins can continue his ascension and high-level play,” Wharton said, “he can be a solid building block moving into the next decade. For an organization that’s been plagued by mediocrity, Jenkins represents hope that the future will be brighter.” Jenkins has also been something of a revelation for IDP owners. Despite cooling off the past two weeks, Jenkins still ranks among the Top 20 fantasy linebackers, and a tilt this week with a Jaguars squad allowing the most fantasy points per game to linebackers this year should help the second-year pro shake off his recent mini-slump.

 
Have a question regarding a specific player or game? Hit me up on Twitter and I’ll do my best to help!


Gary Davenport is a Senior Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks, an NFL and Fantasy Football Analyst at Bleacher Report, a Contributing Author and Associate Editor at Football Diehards and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America. Gary’s work has been featured in a number of national print publications and on both satellite and terrestrial radio, and he was a finalist for the FSWA Web Article of the Year in 2013.

Three Keys To Victory – Week 8: With Or Without You, Palmer, Orton, Megatron and Alex Mack

S h a r e :

Any type of change for a team or player can change their outlook on the field. A receiver clicks with a certain quarterback or a guy steps up when someone gets injured. Either way, it’s important to pay attention to ebb and flow of these changes during the season to see how it affects play on the field.

I looked at three different changes (quarterbacking, missing key players, and time of year) to see how it affects some key offensive weapons. Using these three keys may help you spot other good picks this week. Good luck and draft wisely in your Fantasy Throwdown games this week.

Where’s My Quarterback?

Michael Floyd was picked by many as a breakout sleeper this year, and when he started off the season with a 5 catch, 119 yard performance, it looked to be true. His next game was poor though, and he has struggled with consistency.

A closer look tells us that Floyd’s success hinges on Carson Palmer‘s health. This season Floyd is targeted less when Palmer is on the field, but every other number is up. Palmer’s accuracy as a quarterback allows for a more efficient offense. According to Pro Football Focus’s measure of catchable balls throw, 81% of the balls are catchable when Palmer throws to Floyd. This is drastically different without Palmer this year, as only 40% of balls are catchable. In two career games vs. the Eagles, Floyd has scored in both games, and I look for a third this week.

Michael Floyd, 2014 Games Targets Rec Yards TD
With Palmer 3 5.7 4.0 71.0 0.7
With other QB 3 7.3 2.3 46.7 0.0

Speaking of inaccurate quarterbacks, E.J. Manuel is 30th in Pro Football Focus’s true accuracy percentages, while Kyle Orton is listed at 16th. The change at quarterback in Buffalo has led to better numbers for Sammy Watkins, similar as the Michael Floyd case.

In this case, though, Orton knows to target his best receiver, as he is averaging almost 10 targets a game with Orton (and approximately 80 yards and a touchdown per game.) Orton’s already passed Manuel’s passing yards and passing touchdowns in one less game, and organized a magnificent comeback last week finishing with a touchdown to Watkins. Facing a reeling Jets team, these two should continue their success this week.

Sammy Watkins, 2014 Games Targets Rec Yards TD
With Orton 3 9.7 6.0 78.7 0.7
With other QB 4 8.0 4.3 49.3 0.5

We’re Missing Something…

There is a very small number of games that Calvin Johnson has missed over the years, and thus, the sample size is small. But, based on that number, Matthew Stafford throws 3 less passing attempts per game, approximately 70 less yards, and about 1 less passing touchdown. This seems reasonable with a beast like Calvin off the field. His absence this season, coupled with the poor play of Reggie Bush, boosts the numbers of Joique Bell. In the two games Megatron has been absent, Bell has a significant increase in carries and yards. He scored in both of those games.

Calvin is unlikely to play this week again based on all reports and Bell is facing one of the worst rush defenses in the league in the Atlanta Falcons.

Joique Bell, 2014 Games RuAt RuYd TD
With Calvin 4 12.0 38.0 0.3
Without Calvin 2 18.0 61.0 1.0

Sometimes an entire offense simply suffers when a key piece is missing. Football is a team sport. You can’t pin everything on one guy, but Alex Mack made a big case for it on the Cleveland Browns this week. Isaiah Crowell said that “Alex Mack being hurt is a big hindrance in the running game. Weren’t as many holes.” This was evident in their entire running game, but specifically, I would be wary of Ben Tate this week despite a good matchup. Mack was rated as the third best overall lineman this year according to Pro Football Focus and fifth best run blocker. And based on stats below, Crowell may be right about not finding holes.

Ben Tate, 2014 Games RuAtt RuYd TD
With Alex Mack 3 17.7 81.0 0.7
Without Alex Mack 1 16.0 36.0 0.0

Quarterbacks or Fine Wine?

The other situation that is changing for all teams and players is the time of year. For each person, how they finish seasons is different, but since 2011, there are two quarterbacks in particular who have a track record of playing better towards the end of season than they started – Tony Romo and Tom Brady. These two, like fine wine, only get better with time.

Romo is infamous for late season collapses and failed playoff runs, but most of these memories we have of Romo are based on one or two memorable infamous plays in the fourth quarter and not his body of work. Using Rotoviz’s game splits app, I compared numbers in the first eight games of each season and the last nine games.

As you can see from the chart below, while his yards and attempts have stayed fairly similar, his touchdowns have increased. In addition, he has a history of finishing the season with a better touchdown to interception ratio. Since 2011, Romo has faced the Redskins 6 times and is averaging 267 yards and 1.8 touchdowns in those contests, and with the way these two teams are playing he could be really good this week.

Tony Romo Games PaAtt PaYd TD INT TD:Int Ratio
Weeks 1-8 25.0 36.5 277.3 1.8 1.1 1.6:1
Weeks 9-17 28.0 35.0 266.2 2.1 0.6 3.7:1

Tom Brady is even better towards the end of the season than Romo. He seems to be heating up early this year, with seven touchdowns in the last two games. The loss of Stevan Ridley is also forcing the team to rely on Tom a bit more. Since 2011, Brady has increased his statistics in every category during the final half of the season, and garnered an astounding 4.0 touchdown to interception ratio. The Chicago Bears are rated as the 7th worst team in pass coverage, according to Pro Football Focus, and Brady has his team rolling right now. He should outduel smokin’ Jay Cutler.

Tom Brady Games PaAtt PaYd TD INT TD:Int Ratio
Weeks 1-8 29.0 38.2 277.0 1.8 0.7 2.8:1
Weeks 9-17 25.0 39.1 312.2 2.2 0.6 4.0:1

Week 7 Throwdown Showdown Results

S h a r e :

sword_140x140Showdowns are 4-player, 1-week round robin, winner-take-all format events. They are essentially a mini-tournament, and a great way to play a trio of games in a single week and show off your skills winning a group beyond individual matches. Showdown winners also receive the sword icon and 2.5 achievement points towards their Leaderboard ranking for the win.

We hosted four Throwdown Showdowns for Week 7. Check out the new Throwdown Showdown page for rules, links to past results and to sign up for Week 7.

#16: Kjhawkey vs. Wilforkisland vs. rhazes_darkk vs. jeffNFL

Wk 7 – TS16 – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. rhazes_darkk 2 1 343.6 278.8 64.8
2. jeffNFL 2 1 341.2 305.2 36.0
3. Kjhawkey 2 1 384.0 401.4 -17.4
4. Wilforkisland 0 3 282.5 365.9 -83.4

rhazes_darkk finishes 1st using the points differential tie-breaker over jeffNFL and Kjhawkey.

Kjhawkey 135.15
Wilforkisland 128

Kjhawkey 132.65
rhazes_darkk 126.95

jeffNFL 146.4
Kjhawkey 116.15

Wilforkisland 61.35
rhazes_darkk 120.75

Wilforkisland 93.15
jeffNFL 110

rhazes_darkk 95.85
jeffNFL 84.75

#17: kwinkelman07 vs. Bigchief37 vs. Wilforkisland vs. jeffNFL

Wk 7 – TS17 – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. kwinkelman07 2 1 400.9 329.1 71.8
2. jeffNFL 2 1 345.5 322.3 23.2
3. Bigchief37 1 2 322.8 395.7 -72.9
4. Wilforkisland 1 2 325.6 347.7 -22.1

kwinkelman07 finishes 1st using the head-to-head tie-breaker over jeffNFL.

kwinkelman07 171.6
Bigchief37 93.5

kwinkelman07 111.15
Wilforkisland 142.05

jeffNFL 93.55
kwinkelman07 118.1

Bigchief37 113.85
Wilforkisland 94.8

Bigchief37 115.45
jeffNFL 129.25

Wilforkisland 88.75
jeffNFL 122.65

#18: Mike vs. awilde27 vs. patwat vs. Wilforkisland

Wk 7 – TS18 – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Wilforkisland 3 0 421.3 350.0 71.3
2. awilde27 1 2 399.0 397.6 1.4
3. Mike 1 2 369.9 391.6 -21.7
4. patwat 1 2 328.0 379.0 -51.0

Wilforkisland finishes 1st with a perfect 3-0 record.

Mike 136.15
awilde27 164.35

Mike 127.35
patwat 92.95

Wilforkisland 134.25
Mike 106.35

awilde27 109.55
patwat 116.5

awilde27 125.1
Wilforkisland 144.95

patwat 118.55
Wilforkisland 142.05

#19: tttimmyg vs. awilde27 vs. j0eo1s vs. laoch

Wk 7 – TS19 – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. j0eo1s 3 0 378.0 313.9 64.2
2. awilde27 2 1 376.5 376.1 0.5
3. tttimmyg 1 2 362.8 386.7 -24.0
4. laoch 0 3 314.1 354.8 -40.7

j0eo1s finishes 1st with a perfect 3-0 record.

tttimmyg 132.7
awilde27 148.05

tttimmyg 103.4
j0eo1s 130

laoch 108.65
tttimmyg 126.65

awilde27 112.05
j0eo1s 136.3

awilde27 116.4
laoch 107.05

j0eo1s 111.7
laoch 98.4

Week 7 Throwdown League Results

S h a r e :

trophy_105x105A league is usually an 8-player, 8-week event, with players playing a 7-week double header regular season. The top two teams after the regular season compete in the eighth week in a triple header championship. A league gives some flexibility to have a little fun with the format, implementing neat twists and turns from regular Throwdown matches over the course of the regular season. Some examples include, “bench only challenges”, or “#RaceToTheBottom” (must pick all uninjured starters, but lowest points wins).

We currently have only one official Throwdown League running, but that should change once sign ups and results become more automated. Then people can even start and run their own league, which would be pretty cool, but we’re not there yet. The payout for this $10 entry fee league is $50 for 1st place and $22 for 2nd place. Each player who placed in these spots also receives the trophy icon and achievement bonus points of 10 and 5 respectively, towards their Leaderboard ranking.

This one started in Week 3, so there are only two weeks to go in the 7-week regular season after the conclusion of Week 7. The games this week used a dual-flex lineup, and QB is included in the flex. There were some real dog QB performances this week, so some of our players might have been attracted to using a QB in the flex spot, but ultimately to their own detriment.

Throwdown League #1 (reg. season week 5)

Wk 7 – TL1 – 10 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. jeffNFL 8 2 1,014.8 807.3 207.5
2. Wilforkisland 7 3 900.4 860.1 40.4
3. Bigchief37 6 4 876.5 826.6 49.9
4. TheKommish 6 4 974.7 992.8 -18.1
5. mikemar 4 6 877.0 960.7 -83.7
6. Luxuriousdusti 4 6 799.4 909.8 -110.4
7. tttimmyg 3 7 930.3 937.7 -7.4
8. rhazes_darkk 2 8 815.3 893.5 -78.3

In a continuous flip-flop battle, jeffNFL pulled back into first place this week ahead of Wilforkisland, as Jeff won both of his matches and Wilfork dropped both of his. TheKommish won his pair of games, Luxuriousdusti went 0-2, and everyone else split. We’ve got quite the battle brewing for those top two playoff spots amongst our top four teams.

Note, the standings, for simplicity are sorted by record and then points differential, but head-to-head is still the first tie-breaker if needed to decide playoff spots at the end of the season. Each player should play every other player twice over the course of the season.

mikemar 121.3
TheKommish 143.15

Bigchief37 89.4
Luxuriousdusti 81.55

Wilforkisland 101.2
tttimmyg 168

rhazes_darkk 94
jeffNFL 122.15

Wilforkisland 126.3
mikemar 148.1

rhazes_darkk 163.3
Bigchief37 130

Luxuriousdusti 126.4
jeffNFL 163.6

tttimmyg 124.7
TheKommish 140.65

Daily Fantasy Sports For IDP Fantasy Football Players – Week 7: When To Draft IDPs

S h a r e :
Luke Kuechly of the Panthers in action during the regular season play between the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. September 7, 2014; Photo: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Draft Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly or your RB2 next? Gary gives some guidelines when to pull the trigger on your IDP picks.

If there’s one question I get asked more than any other (except maybe, “are you Brad Pitt?”) it has to be, “when should I start drafting IDPs?”

It’s a loaded question, and one that can have very different answers depending on a particular league’s scoring and lineup requirements. However, for those of you planning to incorporate individual defensive players into your Fantasy Throwdown games, here’s a general rule of thumb.

The same fantasy points scoring used for Fantasy Throwdown is used for the player stats at DraftBuddy.com. This allowed me to examine last year’s top fantasy options in this scoring.

The top scoring defensive player of 2013, Karlos Dansby (then of the Arizona Cardinals), tallied 196.5 fantasy points. That would have ranked Dansby just inside the top 20 at running back using PPR scoring.

So, you can guesstimate that the fantasy value of an elite linebacker (such as Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers) in this scoring is that of a mid-level fantasy RB2. Players a bit farther down the list (such as St. Louis Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree) would have value comparable to a “flex” option.

There are, of course, exceptions. For instance, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt ranked as the top overall IDP two years ago, and ranks number one in point per game this year (minimum two games). His overall production is similar to Dansby’s.

But, much like Jimmy Graham‘s dominance of tight ends, the gap between Watt and the number two ranked defensive lineman is staggering. That added edge at his position bumps his value, to the point that Watt merits a look early in Throwdown drafts, perhaps even in the first two rounds.

Defensive backs, on the other hand, should be waited on. It’s a ridiculously deep and unpredictable position in fantasy football. Play your cards right and identify the proper matchup plays, and you can wait until the end of your Throwdown draft and still acquire defensive backs capable of generating a solid box score.

With that said, the point of all this is simple – don’t overpay for your IDPs. You can wait, grab running backs and receivers (and maybe even a quarterback) and then hit the defense without digging a hole. It’s partly to do with a solid amount of depth at the linebacker and defensive back spots, and partly a function of knowing how IDPs compare to their offensive brethren.

Now that you know (in a very broad-strokes sense) when to draft your IDPs, let’s look at which games and players to target in Fantasy Throwdown for Week 7.

Games of the Week

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams

Granted, this game would be quite a bit more appetizing if Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner wasn’t battling turf toe, but even if Wagner misses the game there’s plenty to like IDP-wise. Not only do both of these teams feature more than a little fantasy-relevant talent, but both teams have also been kind to opposing individual defensive players. Both the Rams and Seahawks rank inside the top 10 in fantasy points per game allowed to linebackers, and no team has allowed more fantasy points per game to IDPs overall in Fantasy Throwdown scoring in 2014 than the Rams.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

Admittedly, this game is a little light on the pass-rushers, with New York’s Jason Pierre-Paul easily the top option available. However, the Giants and Cowboys are top 12 fantasy matchups for both linebackers and defensive backs in 2014. Even better, in players such as linebackers Jon Beason of the Giants and Rolando McClain of the Cowboys, and safeties like New York’s Antrel Rolle and Dallas’ Barry Church, the teams have talent capable of taking advantage of those favorable matchups.

Now that we’ve hit the when and the where of Fantasy Throwdown IDP drafts in Week 7, let’s put some lipstick on this pig with a look at some under-the-radar players who are set for big things this week.

No-Name All-Stars

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Everson Griffen – DE, Minnesota Vikings (at BUF)
Griffen’s been riding something of a hot streak of late, with eight total tackles and a pair of sacks over his last two games. The 26-year-old has an excellent shot at keeping that positive momentum going this week, as the Bills have allowed the most fantasy points per game to defensive linemen this year in the NFL.

LINEBACKER

Vincent Rey – OLB, Cincinnati Bengals (at IND)
This is something of a conditional add, but if both Emmanuel Lamur and Rey Maualuga miss Sunday’s big game in Indy (a real possibility) then that means a three-down role at middle linebacker for Rey in a top five IDP matchup with the Colts. The last time Rey had that gig, over a three-game stretch in 2013, he was the top scoring linebacker in all of fantasy football.

DEFENSIVE BACK

Quintin Demps – SS, New York Giants (at DAL)
Demps has played well since taking over for the ineffective Stevie Brown, with the 29-year-old telling Dan Graziano of ESPN, “It’s an opportunity for me, so I just take advantage of the chance to be the best I can be for this team and go from there.” This week, Demps represents an excellent opportunity for IDP owners as well, as the Cowboys have been very generous to opposing defensive backs in 2014.

FLEX

K.J. Wright – OLB, Seattle Seahawks (at STL)
As we stated earlier, Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is questionable for Sunday’s matchup with the Rams after injuring his toe last week against the Cowboys. If Wagner can’t go, Wright will kick inside against a Rams team allowing the most fantasy points per game to linebackers this year. Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton told Clare Farnsworth of the team’s website he trusts Wright to get the job done. “K.J. is a guy that we know is very capable of stepping in and doing a fantastic job,” Norton said. Should Wagner miss the game, IDP owners should trust Wright in Week 7 as well.

 
Have a question regarding a specific player or game? Hit me up on Twitter and I’ll do my best to help!


Gary Davenport is a Senior Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks, an NFL and Fantasy Football Analyst at Bleacher Report, a Contributing Author and Associate Editor at Football Diehards and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America. Gary’s work has been featured in a number of national print publications and on both satellite and terrestrial radio, and he was a finalist for the FSWA Web Article of the Year in 2013.

Three Keys To Victory – Week 7: We’re Going Streaking!

S h a r e :

Streaks are hard to believe sometimes, and too many times, we hop on board after the streak has already passed us by. Knowing who’s hot (and who’s cold) can help you win some games. Forgetting about the name value and just plugging in a hot player can win you some games. Below are some teams and players that have current streaks you should pay attention to this week when drafting and watching games.

Quarterback Streaks

Philip Rivers now has a touchdown pass in 22 straight games, the longest current streak of any NFL quarterback. In addition to that, he is tied for the longest current streak of games with over 250 yards passing and 1 touchdown at five. The only other guys that come close to his performance this season are Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck (currently on 4 straight games with 300 yards and 1 TD). If his line can stop the Kansas City Chiefs pass rush, their secondary is beatable, and they have given up at least 1 touchdown to every quarterback they’ve faced.

The other quarterback who is tied with Rivers with five straight games of 250 yards passing and 1 touchdown is Kirk Cousins. He’s also fourth on the current streak of games with 30+ passing attempts with eight straight (games played). Cousins is facing the Tennessee Titans this week, who in their last three games have given up two 300+ yard passing games and two 3+ touchdown games to quarterbacks. Two of those three games were against Blake Bortles and Brian Hoyer. Cousins is rated as the number two best quarterback on play action according to Pro Football Focus (premium access required), and I expect Alfred Morris to run effectively against Tennessee setting up good play action for Cousins all day. He’s a good sleeper pick this week at Tennessee.

Receiving and Running Streaks

I mentioned Kirk Cousins chances this week vs. Tennessee, and that success may trickle down to DeSean Jackson this week as well. DeSean and Demaryius Thomas are coming off back-to-back games of at least 3 receptions and 100 receiving yards. Jackson has performed like this against two of the league’s best in Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson. Jackson is a good bet to make it three in a row this week. Cousins has the second highest Yards Per Attempt (YPA) on play action this year; which means he is throwing deep a lot. Jackson is the deep guy, and if they get the run game working with play action, as mentioned, he should have success.

Everyone is aware now that DeMarco Murray is tied with Jim Brown for most 100 yard rushing games to start a season, and Le’Veon Bell is the current leader with 12 straight games with at least 50 yards rushing (Murray second with 6). But only Arian Foster and Branden Oliver have 2 straight games with at least 100 yards rushing and 1 touchdown.

Everyone knows that Foster is a beast when healthy, but Branden Oliver has been a revelation for the San Diego Chargers. Oliver and Murray are the only players in the NFL this year to have two or more games with at least 100 yards rushing, 20 yards receiving and a touchdown in the same game. With a middle of the road matchup at KC, Oliver should continue to find success this week and can easily be grabbed after Jamaal Charles with a chance to outscore him.

Only the Houston Texans (at PIT), New York Jets (at NE), Carolina Panthers (at GB) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have given up 20 or more passes in five straight games. This increases the odds of high passing and receiving stats. Tampa is on a bye, but the rest have matchups that you will want to exploit. The matchup I like best is New England Patriots versus the Jets. Stevan Ridley is out, and I think Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski will lead the way to a higher passing game.

Touchdown and PPR Streaks

Only one guy in the NFL has 10 receptions in back-to-back games this season and he has a chance to do it again this week. Surprisingly, it’s not a receiver, its Matt Forte. He’s currently sitting on three straight games of 150 total yards and two straight 10 reception games. At this point, he’s a PRR goldmine, and, according to DraftBuddy.com, Miami is giving up the 9th most receptions per game to running backs and the 14th most fantasy points per game to running backs (PPR scoring). Matt Forte has a chance to repeat against the Dolphins this week.

Antonio Brown has now upped is streak of 5+ receptions to 22 straight games. The next four on that list are T.Y. Hilton (9), Golden Tate (7), Matt Forte (6) and Steve Smith (6). But, Antonio Brown also has at least 50 receiving yards in every game in that streak, and T.Y. Hilton is the only other player to have a current streak of five or more games with at least 5 receptions and 50 yards. Hilton has now done it in five straight games. Pair that with Andrew Luck’s streak mentioned above, and this streak should last for a while.

Julius Thomas currently has five straight games with a touchdown and nine total on the year. He’s a no-brainer high draft pick, but the only other player who currently has four straight games with a touchdown is Antone Smith. I rarely write about a guy in this column two weeks in a row, but this guy is playing amazing right now. At 3.8 touches per game, this streak has to eventually end, but there is a measure of consistency now scoring in five out of six and four straight.

Week 6 Throwdown Showdown Results

S h a r e :

sword_140x140Showdowns are 4-player, 1-week round robin, winner-take-all format events. They are essentially a mini-tournament, and a great way to play a trio of games in a single week and show off your skills winning a group beyond individual matches. Showdown winners also receive the sword icon and 2.5 achievement points towards their Leaderboard ranking for the win.

We hosted three Throwdown Showdowns for Week 6. Check out the new Throwdown Showdown page for rules, links to past results and to sign up for Week 7.

jeffNFL vs. Mike vs. rhazes_darkk vs. Wilforkisland

Wk 6 – TS – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. rhazes_darkk 2 1 320.7 296.9 23.8
2. Wilforkisland 2 1 350.9 340.8 10.1
3. Mike 1 2 282.6 339.4 -56.8
4. jeffNFL 1 2 376.0 353.2 22.9

rhazes_darkk finishes 1st using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Wilforkisland.

jeffNFL 98.6
Mike 105.4

jeffNFL 145.05
rhazes_darkk 105.95

Wilforkisland 141.8
jeffNFL 132.35

Mike 67.95
rhazes_darkk 115.55

Mike 109.25
Wilforkisland 125.2

rhazes_darkk 99.15
Wilforkisland 83.85

rhazes_darkk vs. jeffNFL vs. mikemar vs. Ditka

Wk 6 – TS – $5 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Ditka 2 1 398.7 320.1 78.6
2. rhazes_darkk 2 1 355.2 374.3 -19.1
3. mikemar 1 2 355.6 398.7 -43.1
4. jeffNFL 1 2 370.7 387.2 -16.5

Ditka finishes 1st using the head-to-head tie-breaker over rhazes_darkk.

rhazes_darkk 123.95
jeffNFL 104.05

rhazes_darkk 126.4
mikemar 120.3

Ditka 149.9
rhazes_darkk 104.85

jeffNFL 141.75
mikemar 144.95

jeffNFL 124.9
Ditka 118.25

mikemar 90.35
Ditka 130.55

awilde27 vs. j0eo1s vs. mikemar vs. Wilforkisland

Wk 6 – TS – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. j0eo1s 3 0 349.4 337.6 11.8
2. Wilforkisland 1 2 339.4 331.0 8.4
3. awilde27 1 2 368.3 369.7 -1.4
4. mikemar 1 2 368.0 386.7 -18.8

j0eo1s finishes 1st with a perfect 3-0 record.

awilde27 131.65
j0eo1s 138.85

awilde27 131.75
mikemar 108.45

Wilforkisland 122.4
awilde27 104.9

j0eo1s 124.1
mikemar 119.85

j0eo1s 86.45
Wilforkisland 86.1

mikemar 139.65
Wilforkisland 130.85