New to Fantasy Throwdown?
  • Head-to-head weekly fantasy football
  • 3 NFL games form player pool
  • Traditional draft-style format
  • Play for free or cash stakes
Tutorial · Rules
Throwdown Showdowns
  • 4-player, 1-week events
  • 3 game round robin
  • 90% payout, winner take all
  • $2, $5 and $10 entry levels
Details · Past Results

IDP Insight – Week 13: Happy Thanksgiving and Turkey Day IDP Stars

S h a r e :

We have much to be thankful for in IDP leagues this year.

We’ve seen studs like linebackers Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers and Lavonte David of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who is sadly nursing a sore hammy and questionable for Week 13) post the big numbers we expected. Youngsters like Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen and Washington Redskins linebacker Keenan Robinson have exceeded expectations and then some.

And Chris Borland? Don’t even get me started on Chris Borland.

However, most importantly of all we have friends and family who haven’t had us committed for pursuing our little hobby with a passion that (for some) borders on the maniacal.

Of course, they may enjoy all that time off they get from having to actually talk to us from September to December. That’s possible, too.

In any event, Happy Thanksgiving!

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

  1. J.J. Watt – DE, HOU (vs. TEN)
  2. Cameron Wake – DE, MIA (at NYJ)
  3. Jason Pierre-Paul – DE, NYG (at JAX)
  4. Calais Campbell – DE, AZ (at ATL
  5. DeMarcus Ware – DE, DEN (at KC)
  6. Mario Williams – DE, BUF (vs. CLE)
  7. Robert Quinn – DE, STL (vs. OAK)
  8. Everson Griffen – DE, MIN (vs. CAR)
  9. Rob Ninkovich – DE, NE (at GB)
  10. Olivier Vernon – DE, MIA (at NYJ)

Jared Allen – DE, CHI (at DET)
We’re going all- Turkey Day with our “under-the-radar” picks this week. With Allen that’s apt, because for most of the year he’s been a big fat turkey. However, Allen does have seven tackles and a sack over his last two games, and if ever there was a time for him to break out it’s against a Lions team that was having all sorts of problems protecting Matthew Stafford before left tackle Riley Reiff got hurt.

Justin Smith – DE, SF (vs. SF)
Smith finally broke out of a long sackless streak in Week 12, notching his first takedown of a quarterback since Week 2 in the Niners win over the Washington Redskins. Granted, a lone sack doesn’t necessarily spell a rebound, but Smith draws a favorable fantasy matchup this week in their hated rivals from Seattle. The same Seahawks who allowed three sacks to defensive end Calais Campbell a week ago.

LINEBACKERS

  1. Luke Kuechly – MLB, CAR (at MIN)
  2. Chris Borland – ILB, SF (vs. SEA)
  3. DeAndre Levy – OLB, DET (vs. CHI)
  4. Paul Worrilow – ILB, ATL (vs. ARI)
  5. C.J. Mosley – ILB, BAL (vs. SD)
  6. Jamie Collins – ILB, NE (at GB)
  7. Bobby Wagner – ILB, SEA (at SF)
  8. Keenan Robinson – ILB, WAS (at IND)
  9. Mychal Kendricks – ILB, PHI (at DAL)
  10. Jelani Jenkins – OLB, MIA (at NYJ)

Connor Barwin – OLB, PHI (at DAL)
I will freely admit that I’m generally a huge fan of pass-rushing outside linebackers. However, there’s no denying the impact Barwin has made, both for the Eagles and in Fantasy Throwdown IDP games. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis chalked Barwin’s big year up to increased familiarity with the scheme while speaking with Reuben Frank of CSN Philadelphia. “Really, they got a feel for each other now,” Davis said. “They know who they’re rushing with, what the guy’s strengths and weaknesses [are], what they do well. So I think Connor has just got a second year in the system and second year with his teammates.”

K.J. Wright – OLB, SEA (at SF)
Wright has been manning the middle for the Seahawks with Bobby Wagner sidelined by a toe injury, but with Wagner back in the fold it’s back to the outside for the fourth-year pro. Yes, that switch outside (and Wagner’s return) knocks quite a bit of the meat off Wright’s IDP drumstick. But, all is not lost – in gravy matchups (such as Thursday night’s showdown in San Fran) Wright still maintains more than a little fantasy value.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

  1. Morgan Burnett – SS, GB (vs. NE)
  2. Harrison Smith – FS, MIN (vs. CAR)
  3. Charles Woodson – SS, OAK (at STL)
  4. Jonathan Cyprien – SS, JAX (vs. NYG)
  5. Barry Church – SS, DAL (vs. PHI)
  6. Eric Weddle – FS, SD (at BAL)
  7. James Ihedigbo – SS, DET (vs. CHI)
  8. Reshad Jones – SS, MIA (at NYJ)
  9. Antrel Rolle – FS, NYG (at JAX)
  10. Rashad Johnson – FS, AZ (at ATL)

Antoine Bethea – SS, San Francisco 49ers (vs. SEA)
On its surface, the 49ers matchup with a Seattle Seahawks team that ranks 30th in fantasy points per game allowed to defensive backs wouldn’t appear to be one that would behoove rolling Bethea out there. Of course, the veteran has been proving people wrong his entire career, including pundits who said Bethea’s fantasy production would fall off a cliff in his new digs in San Francisco this season. What can I say? Hard as it is to believe, I am occasionally wrong.

Kam Chancellor – SS, Seattle Seahawks (at SF)
According to Jayson Jenks of The Seattle Times, Chancellor gave an impassioned pre-game speech a week ago that teammate K.J. Wright credited with helping propel the team past the Arizona Cardinals. “It was probably the best one I’ve ever heard in my life,” Wright said. “Usually guys are just talking to talk, but I actually felt him and he just spoke from the heart.” Hopefully Chancellor has another one of those in his hip pocket, because the Seahawks need this win every bit as much as last week’s.

 
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 13: Something Called Optimal Prime Strategy

S h a r e :
No, not Optimus Prime - even though he is beyond cool - but Tim is telling us about his Optimal Prime strategy.

No, not Optimus Prime – even though he is beyond cool – but Tim is telling us about his Optimal Prime strategy.

Fantasy Throwdown may be one of the only times you get to draft from a pool of six NFL teams. As discussed last week, the “pick the first two games” option can give you an advantage, but the wisest of wise fantasy players play Fantasy Throwdown, so they are constantly looking for ways to thwart your plans.

Last week, we discussed block strategy in Fantasy Throwdown and limiting the player pool. This works great providing your opponent allows it, but what happens when your opponent attempts to add more good swimmers to the pool and maximize the talent? This is where I employ some strategy to ensure I get the best of that available talent.

Like any theory, it only works when the players on the field play like they should, but like they say, “that’s why we play the game.”

Optimal Prime Strategy

That’s Optimal Prime and not Optimus Prime, although that is much cooler. I’ll give you the first steps of this strategy and how to employ.

Optimal Prime Strategy is simply adopting the best path to getting a premium grade player at every position by limiting your opponent’s choices. To put it another way, you want to allow yourself the opportunity to have the best player at every position. And, as you will see below, this strategy works best when your opponent is aware of pool-limiting and block strategies.

The key point is, how can you throw off your opponent’s plan and trick him into giving you more of what you want?

The steps to ensure optimal prime picks are:

  1. Identify the correct top picks

  2. Attack your opponent’s counter attacks (i.e. he takes your running back, keep wiping out another position.)
  3. Know your opponent’s most likely move and limit their choices
  4. Don’t emotionally deviate from your strategy or panic.

Identifying the Top Tier Correctly

In order to appropriately gauge your course of attack, you need to correctly identify who are the most likely candidates for the top spot. Who are the juggernauts in this draft?

Regular readers know I like to find baseline measurables. In this case, I’m using the top average at each position, and how many times players have crossed the highest average at their respective positions. For example, Andrew Luck is averaging 29.0 PPG and is the highest average quarterback. Luck has scored higher than 29 points in 6 games this season, the most of any quarterback.

This gives us a good idea of the consistent top scorers at the position, and those who are not. Below is a list of players in the four major offensive positions that have crossed that barrier (PPR scoring).

Quarterbacks Running Backs Wide Receivers Tight Ends
A. Luck (6) D. Murray (6) A. Brown (5) G. Olsen (6)
A. Rodgers (5) M. Forte (5) J. Nelson (4) J. Graham (5)
P. Manning (3) M. Lynch (4) J. Maclin (4) J. Thomas (4)
T. Brady (3) E. Lacy (4) E. Sanders (4) M. Bennett (4)
J. Charles (3) D. Thomas (4) R. Gronkowski (3)
A. Foster (3) R. Cobb (3) A. Gates (3)
L. Bell (3) G. Tate (3) D. Walker (3)
D. Bryant (3) Tim Wright (3)
S. Watkins (3)
B. Lafell (3)
B. Marshall (3)
M. Evans (3)
T. Hilton (3)

These are the players that are truly the high class at their positions. They are the only ones consistently scoring big. In many drafts, there are players getting selected above some of these players based on past years’ performance.

Frank Gore is an example of a running back drafted too high many times. Gore has only performed as a number one PPR running back in 10% of his games this year, and he is 39th in average points per game (1 spot below Steven Jackson and tied with Darren McFadden). He’s in many drafts this weekend playing Thursday night on Thanksgiving, and guys like Shane Vereen and Joique Bell should be drafted ahead of him, especially against Seattle.

Likewise, Matthew Stafford is the 21st ranked quarterback in average PPG, now below Kyle Orton, Kirk Cousins and Nick Foles. His failing accuracy and play have diminished returns on Calvin Johnson’s play as well. The point is draft the players that are playing like top tier this year and not just a good-looking name. The more accurate you are on this evaluation, the more effective your strategy will be.

Attacking the Counter Attack

You only get to pick a maximum of two NFL games in a Fantasy Throwdown challenge, so limiting the pool can be difficult against better players. They are looking to counter what you are doing. This is where optimal prime strategy kicks in. Let me explain.

In a game last week, I attempted to limit the quarterback pool by selecting Packers-Vikings and Cowboys-Giants. In hindsight, Romo’s performance nullified this approach, but in theory, Aaron Rodgers was the only elite option. My opponent then countered by selecting Broncos-Dolphins, which inserts another elite option into the ring with Peyton Manning.

Instead of abandoning my initial approach, I stuck with it and employed what I believed was the best course to getting to the best players.

STEP 1: Select Aaron Rodgers (my top rated QB based on recent play)

  • If opponent does not select Manning, I can block next round

  • If opponent does select Manning, he is only able to select one other player allowing more good players to fall to me

STEP 2: Select top options in position opponent left

  • Opponent selected Manning and DeMarco Murray

  • Select optimal wide receivers – Jordy Nelson and Demaryius Thomas
  • Opponent’s optimal choice: chase wide receivers or limit pool of running backs for me.

STEP 3: Snag prime running backs

  • Opponent actually split RB/WR, which was least optimal and allowed more good players to fall

  • Select Eddie Lacy and C.J. Anderson – two prime backs.
  • Opponent most likely takes two WR and leaves one more good one for me.

STEP 4: Remaining receiver and limit other positions

  • Should have selected Odell Beckham here and a TE, but the theory was still correct.

Below is the completed draft, but as you can see this works with a good opponent who maximizes pools that you tried to limit. I ended up winning despite the ODB mistake, as you can see. This strategy allowed me to grab two of the top three running backs and the top wide receiver along with a top tier quarterback. Hopefully, you can use this or block strategy in your Throwdown games this week, and earn a victory.

tttimmyg-opponent

Perfect 3-0 for gtrain and @belaireric in Free Tourney (TT5) Championships

S h a r e :

medal_110x110Tournaments are larger scale, elimination competitions, with players split into groups, each attempting to advance from their group through a bracket to the Championship.

Tournaments are usually run over a consecutive two, three or four week span, depending on the number of players involved. Tournaments are the toughest competitions to win given the larger field, and hence offer the most reward. If you want to join a new tournament, check the Throwdown Tournament information and sign up page.

#5 – Free Entry Tourney (Weeks 11-12)

In this 16-team, free entry tournament started in Week 11, the winner of each 4-player group from Round 1 advances to the A-Championship in Week 12. The second place finisher in each group advances to the B-Championship. After Week 12, $10 is awarded to the A-Champion and $5 to the B-Champion. Champions, plus the 3rd place finisher (runner-up in A-Championship) each receive the medal icon plus 10, 5 and 2.5 achievement points, respectively, towards their Leaderboard ranking.

A-Championship
gtrain vs. Wilforkisland vs. mikemar vs. Scott Kuff

The winner is . . .

gtrain

Wk 12 – TT5 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. gtrain 3 0 391.8 352.1 39.7
2. Wilforkisland 2 1 399.1 330.3 68.9
3. mikemar 1 2 343.4 386.0 -42.6
4. Scott Kuff 0 3 326.4 392.4 -66.0

gtrain wins the A-Championship group with a perfect 3-0 record. Wilforkisland finishes second with a 2-1 record.

Congrats gtrain! He wins the $10 cash prize plus the medal icon and 10 achievement points towards his Leaderboard ranking.

Wilforkisland, as runner-up in the A-Championship, is our overall 3rd place finisher in the tournament. He earns the medal icon and 2.5 achievement points.

gtrain 126.95
Wilforkisland 118.9

gtrain 135.35
mikemar 120.85

Scott Kuff 112.35
gtrain 129.45

Wilforkisland 152.05
mikemar 87.8

Wilforkisland 128.15
Scott Kuff 115.5

mikemar 134.75
Scott Kuff 98.55

B-Championship
@belaireric vs. Luxuriousdusti vs. Doclate vs. ShanePHallam

The winner is . . .

@belaireric

Wk 12 – TT5 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. @belaireric 3 0 387.6 286.5 101.1
2. Doclate 2 1 300.8 325.7 -24.9
3. ShanePHallam 1 2 352.8 353.0 -0.3
4. Luxuriousdusti 0 3 324.3 400.3 -76.0

@belaireric wins the B-Championship group with a perfect 3-0 record.

Congrats! @belaireric wins the $5 cash prize plus the medal icon and 5 achievement points towards his Leaderboard ranking.

@belaireric 117.05
Luxuriousdusti 103.75

@belaireric 127
Doclate 79.9

ShanePHallam 102.85
@belaireric 143.55

Luxuriousdusti 110.65
Doclate 121.35

Luxuriousdusti 109.9
ShanePHallam 161.85

Doclate 99.55
ShanePHallam 88.05

Thanks again everyone for playing! Feel free to sign up in one of the next available tournaments.

Week 12 $10 Entry Tournament (TT6) Results

S h a r e :

medal_110x110Tournaments are larger scale, elimination competitions, with players split into groups, each attempting to advance from their group through a bracket to the Championship.

Tournaments are usually run over a consecutive two, three or four week span, depending on the number of players involved. Tournaments are the toughest competitions to win given the larger field, and hence offer the most reward. If you want to join a new tournament, check the Throwdown Tournament information and sign up page.

#6 – $10 Entry Tourney (Weeks 12-13)

In this 12-team, $10 entry fee tournament started in Week 12, the winner of each 4-player group from Round 1 advances to the A-Championship in Week 13. The second place finisher in each group advances to the B-Championship. After Week 13, $60 is awarded to the A-Champion, $30 to the B-Champion, and $18 to the 3rd place finisher (runner-up in A-Championship). Each of the winners also receive the medal icon plus 10, 5 and 2.5 achievement points, respectively, towards their Leaderboard ranking.

The Round 1 group results are final. Detailed group standings and game results are shown below. Our A-Championship and B-Championship, to be played in Week 13, are as follows:

A-Championship
thunder vs. Doclate vs. atcdav

B-Championship
Ditka vs. mikemar vs. tttimmyg

Thanks to all of our participants, and congrats to each of our players advancing from Round 1 to the Championship round. The games can be found on your Game Manager or My Throwdown page soon. Good luck!

Group A

Wk 12 – TT6 – $10 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. thunder 3 0 378.0 323.8 54.3
2. Ditka 1 2 398.5 352.5 46.0
3. Wilforkisland 1 2 314.1 360.4 -46.4
4. Luxuriousdusti 1 2 340.6 394.5 -53.9

thunder wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record. Ditka finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker over Wilforkisland and Luxuriousdusti.

Ditka 115.65
thunder 121.85

Ditka 128.15
Wilforkisland 131.25

Luxuriousdusti 99.4
Ditka 154.65

thunder 122.2
Wilforkisland 76.95

thunder 133.95
Luxuriousdusti 131.15

Wilforkisland 105.85
Luxuriousdusti 110.05

Group B

Wk 12 – TT6 – $10 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Doclate 2 1 390.5 409.1 -18.6
2. mikemar 2 1 354.7 242.9 111.8
3. Jessect6 1 2 364.7 453.0 -88.3
4. rhazes_darkk 1 2 355.1 360.0 -4.9

Doclate wins the group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over mikemar, who finishes second.

Doclate 171.15
Jessect6 146.35

Doclate 107.35
mikemar 97.25

rhazes_darkk 165.45
Doclate 111.95

Jessect6 76.35
mikemar 151.35

Jessect6 141.95
rhazes_darkk 130.45

mikemar 106.05
rhazes_darkk 59.15

Group C

Wk 12 – TT6 – $10 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. atcdav 2 1 402.3 405.9 -3.6
2. tttimmyg 2 1 380.4 368.4 12.0
3. EyeoftheGator 1 2 429.5 439.9 -10.4
4. raptors 1 2 409.8 407.8 2.1

atcdav wins the group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over tttimmyg, who finishes second.

raptors 170.15
atcdav 131.35

raptors 99.7
tttimmyg 125.45

EyeoftheGator 150.95
raptors 139.95

atcdav 123.55
tttimmyg 102.35

atcdav 147.35
EyeoftheGator 133.35

tttimmyg 152.55
EyeoftheGator 145.15

Week 12 Free Entry Tournament (TT8) Results

S h a r e :

medal_110x110Tournaments are larger scale, elimination competitions, with players split into groups, each attempting to advance from their group through a bracket to the Championship.

Tournaments are usually run over a consecutive two, three or four week span, depending on the number of players involved. Tournaments are the toughest competitions to win given the larger field, and hence offer the most reward. If you want to join a new tournament, check the Throwdown Tournament information and sign up page.

#8 – Free Entry Tourney (Weeks 12-13)

In this 16-team, free entry tournament started in Week 12, the winner of each 4-player group from Round 1 advances to the A-Championship in Week 13. The second place finisher in each group advances to the B-Championship. After Week 13, $10 is awarded to the A-Champion and $5 to the B-Champion. Champions, plus the 3rd place finisher (runner-up in A-Championship) each receive the medal icon plus 10, 5 and 2.5 achievement points, respectively, towards their Leaderboard ranking.

The Round 1 group results are final. Detailed group standings and game results are shown below. Our A-Championship and B-Championship, to be played in Week 13, are as follows:

A-Championship
Rydawpark vs. kwinkelman07 vs. mkmayers vs. atcdav

B-Championship
uswjnk85 vs. ljs44 vs. Bigchief37 vs. raptors

Thanks to all of our participants, and congrats to each of our players advancing from Round 1 to the Championship round. The games can be found on your Game Manager or My Throwdown page soon. Good luck!

Group A

Wk 12 – TT8 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Rydawpark 2 1 374.9 318.7 56.2
2. uswjnk85 2 1 323.9 316.1 7.9
3. tttimmyg 2 1 293.5 316.7 -23.2
4. thunder 0 3 271.0 311.9 -40.9

Rydawpark wins the group using the points differential tie-breaker over uswjnk85 and tttimmyg. uswjnk85 finishes second.

uswjnk85 118.4
tttimmyg 80.45

uswjnk85 106.05
thunder 89.4

Rydawpark 146.2
uswjnk85 99.45

tttimmyg 91.35
thunder 84.05

tttimmyg 121.65
Rydawpark 114.2

thunder 97.55
Rydawpark 114.45

Group B

Wk 12 – TT8 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. kwinkelman07 3 0 366.8 311.9 54.9
2. ljs44 1 2 386.0 376.6 9.4
3. gtrain 1 2 356.6 364.7 -8.1
4. mikemar 1 2 334.2 390.3 -56.2

kwinkelman07 wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record. ljs44 finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker over gtrain and mikemar.

kwinkelman07 102.7
gtrain 101.65

kwinkelman07 115.95
mikemar 98.4

ljs44 111.85
kwinkelman07 148.15

gtrain 126.5
mikemar 135.75

gtrain 128.45
ljs44 126.25

mikemar 100
ljs44 147.85

Group C

Wk 12 – TT8 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. mkmayers 3 0 384.9 339.0 45.9
2. Bigchief37 1 2 323.9 291.3 32.6
3. Luxuriousdusti 1 2 337.6 356.3 -18.8
4. rhazes_darkk 1 2 314.5 374.2 -59.7

mkmayers wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record. Bigchief37 finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker over Luxuriousdusti and rhazes_darkk.

Bigchief37 95.25
Luxuriousdusti 95.75

Bigchief37 126.35
rhazes_darkk 86.6

mkmayers 108.95
Bigchief37 102.25

Luxuriousdusti 107.15
rhazes_darkk 125.75

Luxuriousdusti 134.65
mkmayers 135.3

rhazes_darkk 102.1
mkmayers 140.65

Group D

Wk 12 – TT8 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. atcdav 3 0 395.2 321.9 73.4
2. raptors 1 2 342.9 356.9 -14.1
3. Ditka 1 2 350.6 368.1 -17.5
4. tony25f 1 2 312.6 354.5 -41.9

atcdav wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record. raptors finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker over Ditka and tony25f.

raptors 117.35
atcdav 136

raptors 135.55
Ditka 109.05

tony25f 111.85
raptors 89.95

atcdav 128.55
Ditka 107.7

atcdav 130.65
tony25f 96.8

Ditka 133.85
tony25f 103.95

Week 12 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 12. Check out the Throwdown Showdown page for rules, links to past results and to sign up for Week 10.

#41 – Wilforkisland vs. kwinkelman07 vs. jeffNFL vs. thunder

Wk 12 – TS41 – $5 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Wilforkisland 3 0 422.4 401.8 20.7
2. jeffNFL 2 1 406.4 395.3 11.1
3. kwinkelman07 1 2 317.7 337.7 -20.0
4. thunder 0 3 369.9 381.6 -11.8

Wilforkisland wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record.

Wilforkisland 118.9
kwinkelman07 109.25

Wilforkisland 157.85
jeffNFL 151.25

thunder 141.25
Wilforkisland 145.65

kwinkelman07 108.35
jeffNFL 119.25

kwinkelman07 100.1
thunder 99.55

jeffNFL 135.85
thunder 129.05

#42 – Luxuriousdusti vs. rhazes_darkk vs. jeffNFL vs. gtrain

Wk 12 – TS42 – $5 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. jeffNFL 2 1 363.4 398.1 -34.8
2. rhazes_darkk 2 1 392.6 367.3 25.4
3. gtrain 1 2 340.1 346.5 -6.5
4. Luxuriousdusti 1 2 358.9 343.0 15.9

jeffNFL wins the group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over rhazes_darkk. And their game was decided by just 0.6 points! So close!

Luxuriousdusti 118
rhazes_darkk 127.85

Luxuriousdusti 149.75
jeffNFL 95.5

gtrain 119.65
Luxuriousdusti 91.1

rhazes_darkk 138.3
jeffNFL 138.9

rhazes_darkk 126.45
gtrain 110.35

jeffNFL 128.95
gtrain 110.05

Thanks everyone for playing! Feel free to sign up in one of the next available Showdowns.

Turkey Day Challenge IV

S h a r e :

turkey2_140x140Happy Thanksgiving! We’re going to do things a little different this year with our Turkey Day Challenge than in the past.

The format this year is similar to last year’s NFL Playoffs Challenge, where each member signs up to play in the TDC, and receives three Fantasy Throwdown challenges to be played against an independent Throwdown admin player.

The individual games include at least two of three Thanksgiving Day games, and the overall winner of the TDC will be the player who earns the most points, based on wins and margin of victory, in their three games.

Sign Up

EventPlayersPrizesJoin
Wk 13, $20Ditka, Doclate, jeffNFL, Kjhawkey, Luxuriousdusti, mikemar, raptors, rhazes_darkk, thunder, uswjnk85, Wilforkisland, _____, _____1st: $150
2nd: $75
3rd: $50
4th: $25
1st-6th:
t-shirt
sign up

Note: Wilforkisland and Luxuriousdusti each have 2 entries

Format and Rules

  1. Sign up by purchasing an entry in the Turkey Day Challenge. One entry is $20, and members can purchase multiple entries.

  2. Each contestant receives three official Fantasy Throwdown challenges marked “TDC” (Turkey Day Challenge).
  3. Contestants need to accept the challenges and finish their drafts against a representative from Fantasy Throwdown prior to the start of the first game on Thanksgiving Day.
  4. Once results are in after the last game of NFL Week 13, points are awarded for wins, and standings are tabulated for the Turkey Day Challenge. Contestants earn 2 points for a win, plus a half point bonus if they win by 21 or more points.

First Two NFL Games (Player Pool), Lineup and Scoring

TDC Game #1

  • Bears-Lions and Eagles-Cowboys

  • 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF, 1 Block
  • Standard performance + 1 PPR

TDC Game #2

  • Bears-Lions and Seahawks-49ers

  • 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 O, 1 DEF, 1 Block
  • Standard performance + 1 PPR

TDC Game #3

  • Eagles-Cowboys and Seahawks-49ers

  • 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 O+, 1 DEF, 1 Block
  • Standard performance + 1 PPR

O = Flex RB/WR/TE; O+ = Flex QB/RB/WR/TE

Prizes

Overall Prizes

1st Place: $150 + t-shirt

2nd Place: $75 + t-shirt

3rd Place: $50 + t-shirt

4th Place: $25 + t-shirt

5th Place: T-shirt

6th Place: T-shirt

Turkey Day Challenge winners (1st through 6th) also receive the turkey icon (only time of the year to receive it!) and achievement bonus points of 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5 and 2.5 respectively, towards their Leaderboard ranking.

Entry Fee

$20 per entry

This contest is capped at a maximum of 15 entries. Contestants can purchase multiple entries to help increase their chances of winning.

Important Points

Contest Entry Deadline

The deadline to join the Turkey Day Challenge is Wednesday November 26th at 10:00pm Eastern, to help ensure drafts are finished prior to opening kickoff of the first Thanksgiving Day game.

Incomplete Drafts

If a contestant fails to accept and sufficiently complete their draft (at least 7 picks made) prior to Thursday at 10:00am Eastern on Thanksgiving, then Fantasy Throwdown cannot guarantee the draft will be finished before opening kickoff. An incomplete draft will expire, and no points awarded to the contestant for that match.

Standings Tie-breakers

In the event contestants are tied in the standings based on points earned, the first tie-breaker is overall point differential.

Multiple Entries

Contestants can purchase multiple entries. These will be marked TDC (first entry), TD2, (second entry), TD3 (third), etc., etc. Contestants cannot combine TDC game results from one entry to another. Each will be tracked separately.

 
I hope you decide to join us in this contest to celebrate Thanksgiving and fantasy football at Fantasy Throwdown! Sign up today so you don’t miss out. Good luck!

IDP Insight – Week 12: Can’t Get Enough Chris Borland and Gary Says, “Screw Math”

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That's right, he said it. Screw math. What, I was going to post another picture of LB Chris Borland this week?

That’s right, he said it. Screw math. What, I was going to post another picture of LB Chris Borland this week?

It’s Chris Borland’s world. We’re all just living in it.

Since the rookie entered the starting lineup for the San Francisco 49ers a few weeks ago, all he’s done is average 16 total tackles a game, pick off two passes, recover a game-clinching fumble and rank as fantasy football’s top linebacker by a staggering margin.

Other than that though, the kid’s done spit.

Borland’s 13 stops and two picks in last week’s win over the New York Giants netted the former Wisconsin standout NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors and drew raves from the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.

“He’s just dripping with instincts,” Jeremiah said. “We like to say in scouting, ‘You really want a linebacker to shoot his gun and make a decision.’ … And he does that.”

Unfortunately, there is but one Borland, so for those of us left sifting through mere mortals for our Week 12 IDP options, here’s a look at the top 10 players at each position and a couple of under-the-radar picks.

Who knows? Maybe one will be the next Chris Borland.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Nominate Gary for the 2014 FSWA Awards.

Nominate Gary for the 2014 FSWA Awards.

  1. J.J. Watt – DE, HOU (vs. CIN)
  2. Robert Quinn – DE, STL (at SD)
  3. DeMarcus Ware – DE, DEN (vs. MIA)
  4. Cameron Wake – DE, MIA (at DEN)
  5. Mario Williams – DE, BUF (vs. NYJ)
  6. Muhammad Wilkerson – DE, NYJ (at BUF)
  7. Jason Pierre-Paul – DE, NYG (vs. DAL)
  8. Everson Griffen – DE, MIN (vs. GB)
  9. Rob Ninkovich – DE, NE (vs. DET)
  10. Calais Campbell – DE, AZ (at SEA)

Marcell Dareus – DT, Buffalo Bills (vs. NYJ)
Sunday’s Jets-Bills game (which may not be played Sunday thanks to the several feet of snow dumped on Western New York this week) may be light on offensive firepower, but it’s a bonanza on the defensive side. That includes Dareus, who has been propelled to the top spot among defensive tackles in Fantasy Throwdown Scoring by a huge margin with 10 sacks in as many games. Add in a matchup with a Jets team allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to defensive linemen, and both Dareus and end Jerry Hughes are rock-solid fantasy options in Week 12.

Jacquies Smith – DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at CHI)
Calling Dareus an “under-the-radar” IDP option may be stretching it, but until last week Smith wasn’t even on the radar. However, after racking up a pair of sacks last week against Washington, it’s another story altogether. Head coach Lovie Smith told Pat Yasinskas of ESPN that Smith’s play has earned the 24-year-old journeyman a larger role moving forward. “He has continued to get more plays based on his play,” Smith said. “He’s come a long ways from being cut by the Bills and coming down here and now really being a factor.”

LINEBACKERS

  1. Lavonte David – OLB, TB (at CHI)
  2. Paul Worrilow – ILB, ATL (vs. CLE)
  3. Chris Borland – ILB, SF (vs. WAS)
  4. DeAndre Levy – OLB, DET (at NE)
  5. Jamie Collins – ILB, NE (vs. DET)
  6. C.J. Mosley – ILB, BAL (at NO)
  7. Brandon Marshall – OLB, DEN (vs. MIA)
  8. Chad Greenway – OLB, MIN (vs. GB)
  9. James Laurinaitis – MLB, STL (at SD)
  10. Mychal Kendricks – ILB, PHI (vs. TEN)

Christian Kirksey – ILB, Cleveland Browns (at ATL)
In Week 11 Karlos Dansby of the Cleveland Browns became the 28th top 25 linebacker (yes, you heard me – screw math) to get hurt in 2014, suffering an MCL sprain that will cost the veteran a month or more. Dansby insists he might still play against the Atlanta Falcons this week, but the odds of that actually happening are slim. That means full-time roles for Craig Robertson and Christian Kirksey against the Falcons, with the rookie having the higher IDP ceiling as the more dynamic and explosive player of the two.

Vincent Rey – OLB, Cincinnati Bengals (at HOU)
Rey has become the equivalent of the best pinch-hitters in baseball – a reserve who would start for more than a few teams across the NFL. Just as he did last year, Rey is putting up big numbers in 2014 in a relief role, this time in place of the injured Vontaze Burfict. In Week 12 that could make Rey a sneaky-great play against the Houston Texans, who have surrendered the most fantasy points per game to linebackers this season.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

  1. Reshad Jones – SS, MIA (at DEN)
  2. Jonathan Cyprien – SS, JAX (at IND)
  3. Charles Woodson – SS, OAK (vs. KC)
  4. Harrison Smith – FS, MIN (vs. GB)
  5. Morgan Burnett – SS, GB (at MIN)
  6. Antrel Rolle – FS, NYG (vs. DAL)
  7. Barry Church – SS, DAL (at NYG)
  8. Eric Berry – SS, KC (at OAK)
  9. Eric Weddle – FS, SD (vs. STL)
  10. Antoine Bethea – SS, SF (vs. WAS)

Michael Griffin – FS, Tennessee Titans (at PHI)
Griffin is the poster child for the boom/bust defensive back, and has been throughout his eight-year NFL career. One week Griffin will explode and single-handedly win you a weekly matchup, the next he’ll completely disappear and cost your squad a loss. It makes Griffin a risky play, especially in weekly formats. However, while the 29-year-old may be all over the place Griffin also ranks as a top-five fantasy defensive back in most scoring systems this year, and no team has allowed more fantasy points to the position in 2014 than the Philadelphia Eagles.

Kemal Ishmael – SS, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CLE)
It pays to have a very short memory where defensive backs are concerned in fantasy football. In Week 10, it looked like Kemal Ishmael was falling out of favor in Atlanta, as the second-year pro lost snaps to Dezman Southward. William Moore is off short-term injured reserve and expected to return in Week 13, which could send Ishmael right back to the bench. However, for Week 12 at least Ishmael will be on the field as an every-down player, fresh off a Week 11 performance that saw him finish the week seventh among defensive backs with 12.5 fantasy points in Throwdown Scoring.

 
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 12: Block Strategy

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When I think football and block, former Seattle Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones sure comes to mind. Channel your inner Walter Jones when using the block playing Fantasy Throwdown.

When I think football and block, former Seattle Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones sure comes to mind. Channel your inner Walter Jones when using the block playing Fantasy Throwdown.

One of the best parts of Fantasy Throwdown is the “block” as a draft position. This unique aspect of the game is unlike any other fantasy draft that I know, and has an addicting appeal.

I wrote about blocking on the very first article I wrote for Throwdown, but I haven’t touched on it in a while. As Matt Waldman put it, use your block wisely and, “force your opponent to settle for a scrub.”

Related Reading:
Flex + Block
Strategy by awilde27

Setting up the Block

Limit the player pool

The first key to blocking in Fantasy Throwdown is setting yourself up during the NFL game selection process. The goal is to select matchups where there is one or two elite options surrounded by several average players. The best way to do this is by finding one or zero elite options (at one position) in the matchups that you choose.

The easiest positions right now to gain an advantage are QB, RB and TE.

  • Only five quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Jay Cutler) have gained 21 or more points in 70% of their games this season.
  • Conversely, there are 19 quarterbacks who have scored less than 16.25 points in 50% or more of their games.
  • Only three tight ends (Rob Gronkowski, Julius Thomas and Greg Olsen have six games of 9 or more points. Gronkowski is far above any TE.
  • Likewise, Demarco Murray, Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Mark Ingram, and Matt Forte are the only running backs to score 13 or more points in 70% of their games this season, and it’s no better than 50/50 for anyone else.

It’s possible to actually gain advantage in two positions by selecting the only solid option in one position, while blocking another. Select the, “choose the first two NFL games” option at the inception of your challenge to give you the best advantage in setting this up.

This strategy, of course, assumes that your opponent wasn’t left with the likes of a “Jonas Gray” surprise performance when you do block them.

TE example for Week 12: Select Pats-Lions and Browns-Falcons. With Rob Gronkowski, and no other legit option, odds are that there will be a very shallow pool of tight ends.

Evaluating the Block

Shallow vs. deep, and timing

The second key point in blocking effectively is correctly identifying:

  1. Which position is shallow and
  2. Which round is best for blocking

Evaluating this at the beginning of the draft is important, but this process is also fluid as positions become shallow through the drafting process. For instance, there may only be four good running backs, and you each have one. The next possible round look to grab one and then block the other.

Three other rules to remember:

  1. Wide receiver is the least valuable block at beginning of drafts – Almost every week there has been a different number one wide receiver, but if you’re in a draft with Antonio Brown, this could change.
  2. Don’t be afraid to draft a QB or TE first if it is the most shallow position – Remember you’re looking for a statistical advantage.
  3. Adjust your shallow/deep marks based on your lineup – If you’re playing in a massive game, shallowness of position will definitely change. Judge where the drop-off is for each position and plan accordingly.

Top values at each position (based on consistency + elite level performance): Andrew Luck, DeMarco Murray, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski

Putting It All Together

Here’s a real life example from last week in a battle between Mike and I. As you will see, we both used blocking effectively, but I was able to use the combination of a shallow position and an effective block to give myself an advantage.

STEP 1: Choose select first two NFL games and limit the player pool

I chose Texans-Browns and 49ers-Giants, which in my opinion had no automatic start at quarterback, a lot of question marks at running back, and only Larry Donnell at tight end.

STEP 2: Evaluate the shallow position (my ranks below based on average performance)

Quarterbacks Running Backs Wide Receivers Tight Ends
Drew Brees Arian Foster (Q) A.J. Green Jimmy Graham
Colin Kaepernick Mark Ingram Odell Beckham Larry Donnell
Eli Manning Jeremy Hill DeAndre Hopkins Vernon Davis
Andy Dalton Rashad Jennings Brandin Cooks Jermaine Gresham
Brian Hoyer Frank Gore Anquan Boldin Jordan Cameron
Ryan Mallett Terrance West Mohamed Sanu Garrett Graham
Isaiah Crowell Andre Johnson
Reuben Randle
Marques Colston
(Browns Receivers)

Quarterback and Tight End are the most shallow, but possibly running back. I was oblivious to Arian Foster’s health status at the time of our draft. So, I left him in my evaluation but moved him further down the draft board.

STEP 3: Attempt to grab Drew Brees, and use the block to create a bigger gap in another position

Again, these are my ranking assumptions. Statistically none of the other quarterbacks are stable.

This is the how the draft went:

  • I was able to select Drew Brees first and complete phase 1 of my plan (although after the fact, given his and other QB performances in this challenge, that seemed moot).
  • Mike went with Mark Ingram and Jimmy Graham, effectively swallowing out those two positions slightly.
  • I then grabbed the most stable wide receivers in a healthy A.J. Green and Odell Beckham.
  • Mike evaluated Frank Gore higher than me, but the block on Jeremy Hill was good strategy.
  • I was able to turn the deep position of wide receiver into a shallow one by grabbing my top three and blocking the fourth.
  • I got lucky that Donnell wasn’t blocked and he happened to outscore Graham.

tttimmyg-Mike

Sometimes, you can implement the best strategy and still lose, but hopefully, this gives you a better idea of how to use your blocks. Good luck and good blocking this week!

Week 11 Free Entry Tournament (TT5) Results

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medal_110x110Tournaments are larger scale, elimination competitions, with players split into groups, each attempting to advance from their group through a bracket to the Championship.

Tournaments are usually run over a consecutive two, three or four week span, depending on the number of players involved. Tournaments are the toughest competitions to win given the larger field, and hence offer the most reward. If you want to join a new tournament, check the Throwdown Tournament information and sign up page.

#5 – Free Entry Tourney (Weeks 11-12)

In this 16-team, free entry tournament started in Week 11, the winner of each 4-player group from Round 1 advances to the A-Championship in Week 12. The second place finisher in each group advances to the B-Championship. After Week 12, $10 is awarded to the A-Champion and $5 to the B-Champion. Champions, plus the 3rd place finisher (runner-up in A-Championship) each receive the medal icon plus 10, 5 and 2.5 achievement points, respectively, towards their Leaderboard ranking.

The Round 1 group results are final. Detailed group standings and game results are shown below. Our A-Championship and B-Championship, to be played in Week 12, are as follows:

A-Championship
gtrain vs. Wilforkisland vs. mikemar vs. Scott Kuff

B-Championship
@belaireric vs. Luxuriousdusti vs. Doclate vs. ShanePHallam

Thanks to all of our participants, and congrats to each of our players advancing from Round 1 to the Championship round. The games can be found on your Game Manager or My Throwdown page soon. Good luck!

Group A

Wk 11 – TT5 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. gtrain 3 0 446.9 349.1 97.8
2. @belaireric 1 2 378.5 398.1 -19.6
3. mkmayers 1 2 315.6 336.8 -21.2
4. patwat 1 2 340.4 397.4 -57.0

gtrain wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record. @belaireric finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker.

@belaireric 123
gtrain 169.45

@belaireric 120.05
patwat 121.95

mkmayers 106.65
@belaireric 135.45

gtrain 166.65
patwat 127.85

gtrain 110.75
mkmayers 98.25

patwat 90.55
mkmayers 110.65

Group B

Wk 11 – TT5 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Wilforkisland 3 0 265.3 221.4 43.9
2. Luxuriousdusti 2 1 248.0 187.9 60.1
3. rhazes_darkk 1 2 290.2 354.3 -64.2
4. thunder 0 3 275.1 315.0 -39.9

Wilforkisland wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record. Luxuriousdusti finishes second with a 2-1 record.

thunder 101.05
Luxuriousdusti 108.25

thunder 78.4
rhazes_darkk 78.55

Wilforkisland 128.15
thunder 95.65

Luxuriousdusti 139.75
rhazes_darkk 85.85

Luxuriousdusti DNF – 0
Wilforkisland DNF – 1

rhazes_darkk 125.75
Wilforkisland 136.15

Group C

Wk 11 – TT5 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. mikemar 2 1 343.3 380.5 -37.2
2. Doclate 2 1 442.2 347.2 95.0
3. Bigchief37 1 2 328.7 358.1 -29.4
4. uswjnk85 1 2 292.4 320.8 -28.4

mikemar wins the group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Doclate, who finishes second.

uswjnk85 128.95
mikemar 66.55

uswjnk85 69.35
Bigchief37 106.55

Doclate 147.65
uswjnk85 94.1

mikemar 131.25
Bigchief37 114.45

mikemar 145.45
Doclate 137.05

Bigchief37 107.65
Doclate 157.45

Group D

Wk 11 – TT5 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Scott Kuff 2 1 386.1 313.3 72.8
2. ShanePHallam 2 1 350.5 354.1 -3.7
3. tttimmyg 1 2 324.5 382.1 -57.6
4. Mike 1 2 259.7 271.2 -11.5

Scott Kuff wins the using the head-to-head tie-breaker over ShanePHallam, who finishes second.

Mike 98.75
Scott Kuff 92.35

Mike 79.45
ShanePHallam 82.65

tttimmyg 96.15
Mike 81.45

Scott Kuff 152.25
ShanePHallam 108.65

Scott Kuff 141.45
tttimmyg 105.9

ShanePHallam 159.15
tttimmyg 122.4