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  • Head-to-head weekly fantasy football
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  • Traditional draft-style format
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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 11: LB Chris Borland Shines for 49ers and Fantasy Owners

S h a r e :
LB Chris Borland, San Francisco 49ers

“That’s right Drew Brees – I’ve got the ball!” San Francisco 49ers LB Chris Borland is lighting up fantasy scoreboards since taking over for injured Patrick Willis.

2014 may go down in 2014 as the year of the injured linebackers in IDP leagues, but the theme song for the season may be the Ballad of Borland.

Since Patrick Willis went down with an injured toe a few weeks ago, rookie Chris Borland has drawn a pair of starts. All the former Wisconsin star has done in those two starts is rank as fantasy football’s top-scoring linebacker by a sizable margin while piling up an eye-popping 35 total tackles.

Borland’s play drew the praise of head coach Jim Harbaugh, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “Fun to watch,” Niners coach Jim Harbaugh said of Borland. “He’s doing a great job. He does have a … he’s got a sense for the ball. I’ve been watching it in practice and you watch it in the games. He’s like a thief in the night. He’s going to get under somebody, get around somebody.”

Now, with Willis on season-ending injured reserve, Borland is locked into the starting lineup and the top 15 among fantasy linebackers. If your opponent in Fantasy Throwdown this week hasn’t kept up on the latest shakeups in San Fran, and the Niners’ tilt with the New York Giants is one of the games you’ll be selecting players from, be sure to snag Borland as one of your IDP starters. You won’t regret it.

Now, let’s take a quick look around the NFL in Week 11, from the top 10 Individual Defensive Players at each of the “major” IDP positions to a couple of under-the-radar plays you can use as late values to give you an edge on the opposition.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Nominate Gary for the 2014 FSWA Awards.

Nominate Gary for the 2014 FSWA Awards.

  1. J.J. Watt – DE, HOU (at CLE)
  2. Robert Quinn – DE, STL (vs DEN)
  3. DeMarcus Ware – DE, DEN (at STL)
  4. Cameron Wake – DE, MIA (vs. BUF)
  5. Everson Griffen – DE, MIN (at CHI)
  6. Mario Williams – DE, BUF (at MIA)
  7. Calais Campbell – DE, AZ (vs. DET)
  8. Jason Pierre-Paul – DE, NYG (vs. SF)
  9. Rob Ninkovich – DE, NE (at IND)
  10. Carlos Dunlap – DE, CIN (at NO)

Jerry Hughes – DE, Buffalo Bills (at MIA)
Usually, I’m not a fan of recommending players on “Thursday Night Football.” More often than not, the game is just what you’d expect from tired players on a short turnaround – a slop-filled turd of a football game that results in lousy stat lines. However, Hughes is thriving in his first year as a 4-3 defensive end, with teammate Kyle Williams telling Sal Maiorana of The Democrat and Chronicle “If I had to give a crown to who I thought was playing the best football, I’d give it to Jerry. He’s had a great year.” Throw in a favorable matchup with a Dolphins team that just lost left tackle Branden Albert, and you have the recipe for IDP success.

Jurrell Casey – DE, Tennessee Titans (vs. PIT)
Much like Hughes, Casey is making a positional switch in 2014. For Casey it’s from 4-3 tackle to 3-4 end, but unlike Hughes, Casey told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean that he hasn’t been satisfied with his progress. “For me to have nine games and only have four sacks, to me, personally, I don’t think that’s where I should be at,” Casey said. “That’s not good enough. I should have way more than that,” Casey has an excellent shot at increasing his sack total this week against Pittsburgh. For all the plays Ben Roethlisberger has made over his career by extending the action with his legs, holding the ball that long also means taking a lot of sacks.

LINEBACKERS

  1. Lavonte David – OLB, HOU (at WAS)
  2. Luke Kuechly – MLB, CAR (vs. ATL)
  3. Karlos Dansby – ILB, CLE (vs. HOU)
  4. Paul Worrilow – ILB, ATL (at CAR)
  5. Jamie Collins – ILB, NE (at IND)
  6. DeAndre Levy – OLB, DET (at ARI)
  7. Mychal Kendricks – ILB, PHI (at GB)
  8. Lawrence Timmons – ILB, PIT (at TEN)
  9. Chris Borland – ILB, SF (at NYG)
  10. Brandon Marshall – OLB, DEN (at STL)

Josh Mauga – ILB, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SEA)
Mauga is one of the many reserve linebackers thrust into starting lineups across the NFL this year, thanks to the torn Achilles suffered back in September by star linebacker Derrick Johnson. Mauga has been a capable replacement both in NFL and IDP terms, emerging as a solid (if unspectacular) high-floor IDP LB3. This week the stage is set for even bigger and better things from the 27-year-old. The Seattle Seahawks have been as run-heavy as any team in the NFL of late, and last week that equated to 12 tackles for New York Giants middle linebacker Jameel McClain.

Avery Williamson – ILB, Tennessee Titans (vs. PIT)
Just like Mauga, it was an injury that forced Avery Williamson into the starting lineup in Nashville. However, whereas Mauga has been solid but unspectacular, Williamson has seemingly appeared to get better with every game. Williamson told Wyatt he’s only getting started. “That’s what I want to do every week,” he said.” I want every team to know that Avery Williamson is a legit linebacker — that is my goal until the end of the season. I want every NFL team to know who I am, no matter what the circumstances are.” IDP owners need to know who Williamson is, especially headed into a favorable fantasy matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

  1. Harrison Smith – FS, MIN (at CHI)
  2. Morgan Burnett – SS, GB (vs. PHI)
  3. Charles Woodson – SS, OAK (at SD)
  4. Reshad Jones – SS, MIA (vs. BUF)
  5. Antrel Rolle – SS, NYG (vs. SF)
  6. James Ihedigbo – SS, DET (at ARI)
  7. Eric Berry – SS, KC (vs. SEA)
  8. Antoine Bethea – SS, SF (at NYG)
  9. Eric Weddle – FS, SD (vs. OAK)
  10. Donte Whitner – SS, CLE (vs. HOU)

Robert Blanton – SS, Minnesota Vikings (at CHI)
Mind you, in no way is Robert Blanton an elite talent, whether we’re talking NFL or IDP-wise. Blanton’s not in the same “weight class” as batterymate Harrison Smith from a talent standpoint, and he’s not going to post the sort of stat line that will single-handedly win you your Week 11 Fantasy Throwdown matchup. However, the odds of Blanton leaving your team swinging in the breeze are low as well – the 25-year-old has played the most snaps of any defender for the Vikings this year, and only once in 2014 has Blanton failed to notch at least six tackles in a game.

George Iloka – SS, Cincinnati Bengals (at NO)
While highly-drafted young safeties like Kenny Vaccaro of the Saints continue to disappoint, Iloka is quietly becoming a very good NFL safety in his third year in the league. That improved play has equaled improved statistical production as well, with Iloka racking up 13 tackles and an interception over his past two games. That production places Iloka eighth among defensive backs in Fantasy Throwdown Scoring over the past two weeks. Look for that top-10 streak to hit three weeks in a row Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, who rank third in fantasy points per game allowed to defensive backs so far this season.

 
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 11: Running Back Matchup Analysis Spotting Plus Opportunities

S h a r e :
Fantasy Throwdown players love drafting running backs early and often. Tim finds some plus matchups this week at RB, including Philadelphia Eagles LeSean McCoy. I just can't quit McCoy, even after another solid game by teammate Darren Sproles.

Fantasy Throwdown players love drafting running backs early and often. Tim finds some plus matchups this week at RB, including Philadelphia Eagles LeSean McCoy. I just can’t quit McCoy, even after another big game by teammate Darren Sproles.

Based on average draft position this year, the running back position is the most coveted roster slot in all Fantasy Throwdown games. Locking this down seems to be of the highest priority. If you look at the top 10 highest ADP in the last four weeks, the rundown (8/10, 7/10, 5/10, 7/10) shows this preference among Throwdown drafters.

This week is dedicated solely to helping drafters know when to snatch a guy early, or wait for a running back later. To do this, I took a look at how each running back in the league performs above average versus each team. This is a little different than just simply fantasy points allowed. Instead, I took a look at percentage increase or decrease running backs have against each team in particular categories (rushing averages, attempts, touchdowns, receptions, fantasy points.)

Example: Denard Robinson is averaging 4.8 yards per rush on the season. Against the Bengals in week 9, he averaged 5.5 yards per rush – a 15 percent increase over his season average. The composite average shows us how running backs are doing versus certain teams.

Nothing is guaranteed but this gives us a good idea of what to expect. If you had simply applied the performance percentages to Justin Forsett‘s attempts and yardage prior to last week’s game, you would have come up with an estimated increase in carries and yards to 20/116. Forsett finished with 20 carries and 112 yards. The formula is not that accurate, of course, but the approximation gives us a more educated projection.

Increased Carry Opportunities

On average, running backs are averaging 22% more carries per week against the Cincinnati Bengals. For evidence of this, you have to look no further than last week’s Cleveland Browns. Terrance West carried 26 times and Isaiah Crowell 12, both of which were above their season averages of 13 and 7 respectively. Mark Ingram is running as strong as any running back in the league, and he comes in averaging 19 carries a game. Jeremy Hill has been a popular pick, but you’d be wise to ride Mark Ingram like the New Orleans Saints are doing. He is now top five in average standard fantasy points per game at 16.3 ppg.

Maybe due to their teams having leads, running backs are carrying the ball 31% this year when facing the Oakland Raiders. This has also led to better production when facing the Raiders. The San Diego Chargers have the Raiders on tap this week, and Ryan Mathews is expected back. The reports are that he is to assume lead back duties, but may have to work his way back in. According to Rotoworld, Mathews says “My legs feel good. My body feels good. I feel fast.” I would expect both him and Branden Oliver to have good days versus the Raiders, especially coming off a bye week.

Running backs with plus attempts matchups: LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Ryan Mathews, Branden Oliver, Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown, Lamar Miller, Mark Ingram, Frank Gore, Alfred Morris, Arian Foster, Charles Sims, Matt Forte, Jerrick McKinnon, Jonathon Stewart, Steven Jackson

Increased Production Opportunities

San Francisco showed a renewed dedication to the ground game last week, and Frank Gore was the beneficiary. Gore had his second highest attempts of the year, and he faces the New York Giants this week who just gave up four touchdowns to Marshawn Lynch. On the year, the Giants have allowed a 45% average increase in yards and a 16% increase in fantasy points to all running backs. This would put Gore safely at about 80 yards and 10 standard fantasy points, with a chance for more. Selecting this matchup limits the player pool a little as Andre Williams vs. San Francisco is not as enticing.

Eddie Lacy is averaging more than 3 ppg than either LeSean McCoy or Darren Sproles in standard leagues. But he should be drafted after these two this week, as Green Bay is allowing an average increase of 48% in running back yardage and 53% increase in fantasy points per running back. The Eagles are a pass happy team, but McCoy and Sproles could be in for a feast this week vs. the Pack. The Eagles have allowed five rushing touchdowns as well. So, if you want a lot of juicy running backs in your pool, this is your matchup.

Running backs with plus yardage matchups: Alfred Morris, LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Frank Gore, Ryan Mathews, Branden Oliver, Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown, Arian Foster, Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch, Steven Jackson, Jerrick McKinnon, Lamar Miller, Jonathon Stewart, Alfred Morris

Increased Reception Opportunities

Marshawn Lynch is the top back in this matchup in PPR formats, averaging almost exactly four more points per contest than Jamaal Charles. Coming off a four touchdown game, he is still hot, and he is actually averaging slightly more receptions per game than Charles.

Despite that, I’ll be choosing Jamaal Charles in this matchup for two reasons. Primarily, running backs are averaging 50% more receptions above their season averages against Seattle. They’ve had a running back catch at least 5 balls in almost every game this season, and even “stone hands” Andre Williams caught five last week. Secondly, the Chiefs have allowed 0 rushing or receiving touchdowns to running backs this season. As long as Andy Reid doesn’t pull an “Andy Reid”, Charles is the better back this week.

Ahmad Bradshaw is the most exciting PPR play this week as he faces the New England Patriots. Bradshaw is sixth in the league in receptions per game (3.78), but that number is set to skyrocket this week. Running backs average 18% boost in receptions versus the Pats, and New England has given up the most receiving touchdowns to running backs this year (6.) Trent Richardson‘s 2.63 receptions per game could see a boost as well, and both running backs may compete with Shane Vereen for best PPR running back in this matchup. In what proves to be a shootout, you may want to have these guys this week.

Running backs with plus reception matchups: LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Frank Gore, Jamaal Charles, Ahmad Bradshaw, Trent Richardson, Darren McFadden, Tre Mason, Joique Bell, Theo Riddick, Eddie Lacy, Lamar Miller

Week 10 Free Entry Tournament (TT4) 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.

#4 – Free Entry Tourney (Weeks 10-11)

In this 16-team, free entry tournament started in Week 10, the winner of each 4-player group from Round 1 advances to the A-Championship in Week 11. The second place finisher in each group advances to the B-Championship. After Week 11, $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 11, are as follows:

A-Championship
patwat vs. atcdav vs. rhazes_darkk vs. gtrain

B-Championship
mikemar vs. cconway vs. uswjnk85 vs. Bigchief37

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 10 – TT4 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. patwat 3 0 431.1 356.2 74.9
2. mikemar 2 1 356.4 379.3 -22.9
3. Luxuriousdusti 1 2 425.5 411.5 14.0
4. mkmayers 0 3 380.8 446.8 -66.1

patwat wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record. mikemar finishes second with a 2-1 record.

patwat 163
mkmayers 133.05

patwat 132.8
mikemar 92

Luxuriousdusti 131.15
patwat 135.3

mkmayers 113.95
mikemar 122

mkmayers 133.75
Luxuriousdusti 161.8

mikemar 142.4
Luxuriousdusti 132.5

Group B

Wk 10 – TT4 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. atcdav 2 1 431.6 350.9 80.8
2. cconway 2 1 402.5 412.9 -10.4
3. kwinkelman07 1 2 368.2 421.4 -53.2
4. rayrayl 1 2 351.4 368.5 -17.2

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

rayrayl 132.85
atcdav 101.8

rayrayl 112.7
kwinkelman07 139.9

cconway 126.8
rayrayl 105.8

atcdav 164.95
kwinkelman07 86.05

atcdav 164.85
cconway 131.95

kwinkelman07 142.25
cconway 143.75

Group C

Wk 10 – TT4 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. rhazes_darkk 3 0 365.0 307.1 57.9
2. uswjnk85 2 1 419.1 384.8 34.3
3. thunder 1 2 369.8 391.2 -21.4
4. tttimmyg 0 3 323.5 394.2 -70.7

rhazes_darkk wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record. uswjnk85 finishes second with a 2-1 record.

thunder 109.4
tttimmyg 104.35

thunder 142.4
uswjnk85 167.25

rhazes_darkk 119.55
thunder 117.95

tttimmyg 127.75
uswjnk85 154

tttimmyg 91.35
rhazes_darkk 130.75

uswjnk85 97.8
rhazes_darkk 114.65

Group D

Wk 10 – TT4 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. gtrain 3 0 439.1 359.1 80.0
2. Bigchief37 1 2 407.7 402.5 5.2
3. Doclate 1 2 385.4 422.9 -37.5
4. @belaireric 1 2 398.6 446.4 -47.8

gtrain wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record. Bigchief37 finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker over Doclate and @belaireric.

Bigchief37 150.45
Doclate 112.35

Bigchief37 114.65
gtrain 145.2

@belaireric 144.9
Bigchief37 142.55

Doclate 126.75
gtrain 136.4

Doclate 146.3
@belaireric 136

gtrain 157.5
@belaireric 117.7

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

#24 – awilde27 vs. mikemar vs. Wilforkisland vs. jeffNFL

Wk 10 – TS24 – $5 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. mikemar 2 1 379.6 323.5 56.1
2. jeffNFL 2 1 441.2 388.3 52.9
3. Wilforkisland 2 1 379.2 391.0 -11.8
4. awilde27 0 3 323.5 420.7 -97.2

mikemar finishes 1st using the points differential tie-breaker over jeffNFL and Wilforkisland.

awilde27 98.4
mikemar 113.85

awilde27 98.2
Wilforkisland 137.75

jeffNFL 169.05
awilde27 126.85

mikemar 156.1
Wilforkisland 89.6

mikemar 109.65
jeffNFL 135.5

Wilforkisland 151.8
jeffNFL 136.65

#30 – kwinkelman07 vs. thunder vs. rhazes_darkk vs. patwat

Wk 10 – TS30 – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. rhazes_darkk 3 0 423.8 365.8 58.0
2. patwat 1 2 407.8 391.5 16.3
3. thunder 1 2 441.4 478.1 -36.7
4. kwinkelman07 1 2 343.8 381.4 -37.6

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

kwinkelman07 130.9
thunder 147.2

kwinkelman07 102.95
rhazes_darkk 126.15

patwat 108
kwinkelman07 109.95

thunder 147.6
rhazes_darkk 162.65

thunder 146.6
patwat 184.55

rhazes_darkk 134.95
patwat 115.25

#31 – mikemar vs. Bigchief37 vs. jeffNFL vs. thunder

Wk 10 – TS31 – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. jeffNFL 3 0 454.6 384.8 69.8
2. Bigchief37 2 1 361.7 378.1 -16.4
3. thunder 1 2 382.3 381.1 1.3
4. mikemar 0 3 350.7 405.3 -54.7

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

mikemar 111.3
Bigchief37 113.3

mikemar 143.2
jeffNFL 170.75

thunder 121.25
mikemar 96.15

Bigchief37 103.35
jeffNFL 144

Bigchief37 145.05
thunder 122.8

jeffNFL 139.85
thunder 138.25

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

thunder Claims $10 Tournament (TT2) A-Championship; Luxuriousdusti B-Champ

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.

#2 – $10 Entry Tourney (Weeks 9-10)

In this 12-team, $10 entry fee tournament started in Week 9, the winner of each 4-player group from Round 1 advances to the A-Championship in Week 10. The second place finisher in each group advances to the B-Championship. After Week 10, $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.

A-Championship
atcdav vs. rayrayl vs. thunder

The winner is . . .

thunder

Wk 10 – TT2 – $10 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. thunder 2 1 314.3 233.9 80.4
2. atcdav 1 2 272.9 235.6 37.3
3. rayrayl 0 3 207.5 325.2 -117.7

thunder wins the A-Championship group with a 2-1 record.

Congrats thunder! He wins the $60 cash prize plus the medal icon and 10 achievement points towards his Leaderboard ranking.

atcdav, as runner-up in the A-Championship, is our overall 3rd place finisher in the tournament. He earns the $18 cash prize plus the medal icon and 2.5 achievement points.

atcdav 171.45
rayrayl 75.05

rayrayl 132.45
thunder 153.75

thunder 160.5
atcdav 101.4

B-Championship
Wilforkisland vs. rhazes_darkk vs. Luxuriousdusti

The winner is . . .

Luxuriousdusti

Wk 10 – TT2 – $10 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Luxuriousdusti 2 1 286.9 227.0 59.9
2. Wilforkisland 1 2 247.9 218.2 29.7
3. rhazes_darkk 0 3 214.7 304.3 -89.6

Luxuriousdusti wins the B-Championship group with a 2-1 record.

Congrats! Luxuriousdusti wins the $30 cash prize plus the medal icon and 5 achievement points towards his Leaderboard ranking.

Wilforkisland 138.75
rhazes_darkk 96.8

rhazes_darkk 117.85
Luxuriousdusti 165.5

Luxuriousdusti 121.4
Wilforkisland 109.15

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

qryztopher Edges ShanePHallam in Free Entry Tournament (TT3) A-Championship

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.

#3 – Free Entry Tourney (Weeks 9-10)

In this 16-team, free entry tournament started in Week 9, the winner of each 4-player group from Round 1 advances to the A-Championship in Week 10. The second place finisher in each group advances to the B-Championship. After Week 10, $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
qryztopher vs. laoch vs. ShanePHallam vs. rhazes_darkk

The winner is . . .

qryztopher

Wk 10 – TT3 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. qryztopher 2 1 384.7 363.5 21.2
2. ShanePHallam 2 1 442.4 385.8 56.6
3. laoch 1 2 374.3 427.0 -52.7
4. rhazes_darkk 1 2 389.1 414.2 -25.1

qryztopher wins the A-Championship group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over ShanePHallam.

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

ShanePHallam, 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.

qryztopher 142.15
laoch 109.45

qryztopher 135.5
ShanePHallam 119.95

rhazes_darkk 134.1
qryztopher 107

laoch 115.6
ShanePHallam 164.55

laoch 149.25
rhazes_darkk 120.25

ShanePHallam 157.9
rhazes_darkk 134.7

B-Championship
mikemar vs. Scott Kuff vs. gtrain vs. BeastModeCV

The winner is . . .

gtrain

Wk 10 – TT3 – $0 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. gtrain 3 0 436.7 391.9 44.8
2. BeastModeCV 2 1 475.0 414.4 60.6
3. Scott Kuff 1 2 447.4 449.1 -1.7
4. mikemar 0 3 317.3 421.0 -103.7

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

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

mikemar 125.6
Scott Kuff 150.95

mikemar 80.75
gtrain 107.55

BeastModeCV 162.45
mikemar 110.95

Scott Kuff 158.45
gtrain 163.7

Scott Kuff 138
BeastModeCV 159.8

gtrain 165.45
BeastModeCV 152.7

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

jeffNFL Wins Throwdown League Championship

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).

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.

Throwdown League #1

Best-of-Three Championship
#1 jeffNFL vs. #2 Wilforkisland

The best-of-three Championship was played in Week 10, and the winner is . . . by split decision . . . okay, I already gave it away in the title . . .

jeffNFL

Congrats Jeff!

Clearly these were three tough matches, as it was decided two games to one, and there wasn’t a big discrepancy in any of the scores. In fact two of the three games were decided by less than 4 points each! The third and deciding game, Jeff pulled away from Wilfork by a little over 18 points.

Wilforkisland 142.65
jeffNFL 145.85

Wilforkisland 120.35
jeffNFL 116.4

jeffNFL 155.1
Wilforkisland 136.9

Jeff wins $50, the trophy icon and 10 achievement points towards his Leaderboard ranking. Wilforkisland wins $22, the trophy icon and 5 achievement points. We don’t plan to start any more leagues this season, so these two will be the only two members with the trophy icon this year, which is pretty cool distinction.

Thanks again everyone for playing in the 2014 Throwdown League.

Fantasy Throwdown Strategy – Flex Your Advantage and Block Smart

S h a r e :

The following is a guest post from Adam Wilde, better known around here as Throwdown member awilde27.

Playing Fantasy Throwdown is not always about drafting the best team, as much as it is forcing your opponent to draft the worst team.

There’s a whole new animal in the fantasy football town known as Fantasy Throwdown, and being top dog in your home fantasy league is about as useful as a knife in a gunfight when it comes to Throwdown.

It is not always about drafting the best players in the NFL, as much as drafting the potential best player for the current week. Imagine the look on your friends’ faces when Eddie Royal is drafted, leaving someone by the likes of possible Hall Of Fame inductee Andre Johnson on the sideline. If this were the case Week 4 this season, your pockets may be twice as large.

Had this decision been too unbearable to make, have no fear. There are multiple different configurations of game play including, varying quantity of positional picks, flex positions, and even block features. Players can go from consideration as stud to dud and back again rather quickly depending on the lineup for your Throwdown challenge, and chosen NFL games impacting the depth of the player pool.

In any given Fantasy Throwdown event a drafter has the ability to choose players from three NFL games in a given week. The act of picking the game pool is an art often overlooked. If it is known you have the first draft pick, then be sure you pick up whichever game the Broncos are in, assuming Julius Thomas is healthy and has a favorable match-up.

Being the drafter with the second and third pick is equally as strategic, because if it is known Thomas is going first overall, not only ensure the games picked include another tight-end option but also someone like Brandin Cooks, to then take over the advantage at a different position. Think about these strategies before you pick your favorite teams match-up next week.

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Utilizing the flex may seem a bit obvious. You’d like to take whichever available player is going to score the most points right? Sure, if someone like Demaryius Thomas is available, snatch him up, but chances are once it is time to fill the flex slot there will be some questionable options. In this event, begin to think of the flex similar to a block feature, which will be explained in more detail later in the article.

Once the time comes to draft a flex, say Julius Thomas has already been added to a team, and your opponent has decided to wait to draft a tight-end. Now comes the time to crush hopes and dreams of scoring any points at tight end. Draft someone like Vernon Davis, and leave only an array of back-up, low caliber tight ends to choose from.

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The block is always difficult to feel good about. Why block a player, completely kicking them out of the game and wasting a draft pick, when you could draft them to your team? There are a few reasons, one being, to cripple a position.

After drafting a player in the flex at a position that is being dominated by your team, another tight-end is unable to be added. With Julius Thomas and Davis on the squad, there is still a great option with Jordan Reed. Block Reed towards the end of your draft, and almost scratch that position from the opponents line-up.

Next comes a unique situation, where a player is questionable as Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was Week 4, and you aren’t willing to take the chance on him for yourself, but you surely dont want your opponent to own a top 5 running back. Once you’ve confidently filled the running back position with better options, you block him, as done below with Reggie Bush (questionable for Week 7). Had you let him slip you may have gotten hit with 3 touchdowns equivalent to a ton of bricks as Charles owners did to their adversaries Week 4. Ouch!

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Playing Fantasy Throwdown is not always about drafting the best team, as much as it is forcing your opponent to draft the worst team. Think ahead as far as possible, asking yourself which position you can get the advantage of, which sleepers you are comfortable with drafting, and when to use the block, if at all. Once you’ve sidelined the generic drafting ideas, and given new light to the idea of Throwdown, your success will improve tenfold. Happy drafting!

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DFS For IDP Fantasy Players – Week 10: Cure All (?) For Bye Week and LB Injury Woes

S h a r e :
Looking for help at LB? Cue up the old warhorse, Larry Foote of the, "we haven't skipped a beat with all of the injuries", Arizona Cardinals.

Looking for help at LB this week? Cue up old warhorse, Larry Foote of the, “we haven’t skipped a beat with all of the injuries”, Arizona Cardinals.

It’s just been that kind of year.

I’ll freely confess that in my decade-plus of playing and writing about fantasy football, I’ve never seen anything like the injuries that have ravaged the linebacker position in IDP leagues in 2014.

And the hits just keep on coming. Yet another big name went down for the season in Week 9, when DeMeco Ryans of the Philadelphia Eagles tore his Achilles tendon. It means a bump into IDP LB1 territory for batterymate Mychal Kendricks, but it also leaves IDP owners digging that much deeper to find quality starters.

Of course, it doesn’t help that six teams are on a bye this week, complements of an NFL schedule that looks like it was designed by a nearsighted nine-year-old.

With that in mind, once again in Week 10 we’re dispensing with the pleasantries, cutting out the fluff and getting right to the heart of the matter, by pointing out both the top 10 Individual Defensive Players at each position and some less than obvious IDP options who are set up for solid fantasy production this week.

The best part? Odds are better than not that your opponent won’t be as familiar with these relative unknowns as you are, meaning that you can load up offensively early in your Fantasy Throwdown draft, only to circle back around for the kill by snaring these value picks late.

Well, unless they’ve read this article too.

Crap. Maybe I didn’t think this all the way through.

Oh well. Too late now. Onward and upward!

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

  1. Robert Quinn – DE, STL (at ARI
  2. DeMarcus Ware – DE, DEN (at OAK)
  3. Cameron Wake – DE, MIA (at DET)
  4. Cameron Jordan – DE, NO (vs. SF)
  5. Carlos Dunlap – DE, CIN (vs. CLE)
  6. Muhammad Wilkerson – DE, NYJ (vs. PIT)
  7. Jason Pierre-Paul – DE, NYG (at SEA)
  8. Mario Williams – DE, BUF (vs. KC)
  9. Calais Campbell – DE, AZ (vs. STL)
  10. Olivier Vernon – DE, MIA (at DET)

Cameron Heyward – DE, Pittsburgh Steelers (at NYJ)
The Pittsburgh defense has generally been something of an IDP wasteland for defensive linemen, as they’re charged less with making plays and more with taking on blockers so the linebackers behind them can clean up. However, Heyward quietly finished just outside the top 25 defensive linemen in Fantasy Throwdown scoring a season ago, and in Week 10 the Steelers draw a New York Jets team that’s third in fantasy points allowed to defensive linemen in 2014.

Cameron Jordan – DE, New Orleans Saints (vs. SF)
In many respects, Jordan doesn’t really fit the mold of an “unknown,” having racked up 12.5 sacks for the Saints a year ago. However, many IDP owners cooled on Jordan after a horrible start to the 2014 campaign. Jordan has shaken off that funk recently, posting seven tackles and three sacks over his past two games. There’s an excellent chance Jordan’s hot streak keeps rolling right along against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, especially after the Niners allowed an eye-popping eight sacks in a loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 9.

LINEBACKERS

  1. Lavonte David – OLB, TB (vs. ATL)
  2. Luke Kuechly – MLB, CAR (at PHI)
  3. DeAndre Levy – OLB, DET (vs. MIA)
  4. C.J. Mosley – ILB, BAL (vs. TEN)
  5. Paul Worrilow – ILB, ATL (at TB)
  6. Lawrence Timmons – ILB, PIT (at NYJ)
  7. Mychal Kendricks – ILB, PHI (vs. CAR)
  8. Karlos Dansby – ILB, CLE (at CIN)
  9. James Laurinaitis – MLB, STL (at ARI)
  10. Curtis Lofton – ILB, NO (vs. SF)

Larry Foote – LB, Arizona Cardinals (vs. STL)
The last time the Arizona Cardinals started a season 7-1 was 1974, which was Larry Foote’s third season in the NFL. Kidding aside, Foote has been little more than OK from an IDP perspective in 2014, ranking 49th among fantasy linebackers after nine weeks. However, if ever the table was set for a big game from the old man it’s Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. Not only have the Rams allowed the most fantasy points per game to linebackers in 2014, but Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers just lit the Rams up for 15 solos (and 18 total tackles) a week ago.

Jacquian Williams – OLB, New York Giants (at SEA)
Williams 18-tackle outburst against the Indianapolis Colts is a great example of the disconnect between “IDP Good” and “NFL good.” The fourth-year pro’s game looked awesome on the stat sheet, but the fact is Williams made that many tackles only because he was repeatedly abused in coverage. With that said, Williams should have plenty of opportunities to make stops Sunday when the Giants travel to face the Seattle Seahawks, especially if Seattle gets staked to a lead and starts pounding away with Marshawn Lynch on the ground.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

  1. Reshad Jones – S, MIA (at DET)
  2. Morgan Burnett – S, GB (vs. CHI)
  3. Charles Woodson – S, OAK (vs. DEN)
  4. Antrel Rolle – S, NYG (at SEA)
  5. Jonathan Cyprien – S, JAX (vs. DAL)
  6. Dawan Landry – S, NYJ (vs. PIT)
  7. James Ihedigbo – S, DET (vs. MIA)
  8. Eric Berry – S, KC (at BUF)
  9. Kenny Vaccaro – S, NO (vs. SF)
  10. Antoine Bethea – S, SF (at NO)

Kemal Ishmael – SS, Atlanta Falcons (at TB)
After the Falcons destroyed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 56-14 back in Week 3, Ishmael told Vaughn McClure of ESPN, “The sky’s the limit with this defense. We have so much talent on this defense. It’s crazy how much talent we have. We just have to go out there and make the plays.” Of course, since that win the Falcons haven’t won a game, in large part because that defense hasn’t been making those plays. Still, Ishmael took a Josh McCown interception to the house when the teams played in Atlanta, and guess who just got named the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers in Week 10?

Major Wright – SS, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. ATL)
After the Buccaneers traded Mark Barron to the St. Louis Rams last week, Wright was inserted into the starting lineup as his replacement. Head coach Lovie Smith lauded Wright’s 13-tackle effort in last week’s loss to Cleveland while talking to Matt Baker of The Tampa Bay Times. “Major Wright had a good game,” Smith said. “He was one of the guys that really played well for us.” IDP owners will take 13 stops all day long and twice on Sunday, and this week’s matchup with the Falcons is a favorable one.

 
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 10: ADP and Elite vs. Subpar Performances, PPR Scoring

S h a r e :

To quote the immortal Tommy Boy,

[A] guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box ’cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside.

And while I can’t guarantee you points in fantasy football, I’ll get you as close as I can by revisiting who the most consistent performers are in some of your top matchups this weekend.

Last week, I looked at some of the most popular teams picked on a weekly basis, and compared ADP’s of players on those teams vs. how consistently they are performing. This week I am doing part two of this analysis, but this time, we’ll look at PPR performance and how it affects ADP.

The top 5 teams in the most games in the last three weeks are the: New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears.

In case you missed last week, check out last week’s article for a review of the benchmarks below:

QB RB WR TE
Elite 24.4 23.4 20.0 16.0
#1 21.9 16.2 18.1 11.7
#2 12.4 14.3 8.5
Subpar 16.3 11.1 11.5 7.3

Pittsburgh Steelers (9) vs. New York Jets (24)

Big Ben Roethlisberger is tearing up the history books in the past two games, but he was barely start-worthy in his first part of the season. What’s changed? The addition of Martavis Bryant is definitely one factor. Bryant was out of action for the first six games, and all he has done since is come in and catch 5 touchdowns in the past three games. That touchdown mark leads the league in the past three weeks. He also has more #1 level performances this year than Percy Harvin and Eric Decker, with far fewer games. Next to Antonio Brown (fantasy’s most consistent and elite performing wide receiver), he is forming a dynamic duo. Decker and Bryant were very close in ADP last week, but Bryant should stay ahead.

Although, the Steelers offense as a whole has been better, it’s worth noting that with the change to Michael Vick, Percy Harvin and Eric Decker did have their best PPR games of the season, and the Steelers are playing without Troy Polamalu and Ryan Shazier. Their ADPs are almost off the board, and all Jets and Steelers receivers could make solid upside plays this week.

Performers with 50%+ number one games in this matchup:
Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Le’Veon Bell

New York Giants (1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (22)

If you look at averages for the year, Russell Wilson is averaging 22.7 points per game and Eli Manning is averaging 20.6, but this number is deceiving. They have both performed above the #1 mark in 38% of games, and they have both fallen below subpar in 63% of games. But Eli actually has more elite games than Russell Wilson – 38% to 25%, which means Eli is the better value on the year. Digging further into the last three weeks, Eli is at 100% elite level while Wilson is 1 for 3. The problem is Wilson doesn’t throw when the Seahawks game script doesn’t warrant it, especially when winning. Thus, he has become a riskier play. Whereas, Eli is going to be behind a lot and throwing, and he was drafted at ADP four rounds after Wilson, according to last week’s data.

Last week, I wrote that readers need to, “wake up and smell the Beckham” and draft Beckham over T.Y. Hilton, but it appears everyone ignored my bad pun and stayed asleep. He had an ADP of 12.74 last week, which was below Reuben Randle and Doug Baldwin in this matchup. Beckham proceeded to outscore Hilton, and had a top 10 PPR week. He now joins Sammy Watkins, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb, and Golden Tate as the only 100% elite PPR performers in the past three weeks. He’s scored at least 20 PPR points in his last two weeks, and he’s getting better each week.

Performers with 50%+ number one games in this matchup:
Odell Beckham Jr., Larry Donnell, Marshawn Lynch

Green Bay Packers (4) vs. Chicago Bears (5)

Randall Cobb should be the top drafted Green Bay Packers wide receiver, but he is outdrafted every week by Jordy Nelson. On the year, he has crossed the elite and #1 wide receiver marks more times than Jordy Nelson, and he has three more touchdowns on the year. In the past three weeks, Cobb is the only Green Bay receiver to perform like a number one wide receiver at all. Nelson’s boom is a big one, when he goes off, but if I’m looking at guarantees, Cobb is my man.

I’d draft both Green Bay receivers before any Chicago receivers, as Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey have been wildly inconsistent. Chicago’s situation closely resembles Green Bay’s, in that Marshall is consistently drafted above Jeffrey. Jeffrey though on the year is the better PPR play, and he has performed as a number one receiver 38% of games, which is higher than Marshall’s 29% and the same as Jordy Nelson. Jeffrey leads the team in receiving also, with almost 200 more yards than Marshall.

Jeffrey and Marshall are not the top two receivers on the team, though, as they are third and fourth on the team in receptions, falling behind Matt Forte (58) and Martellus Bennett (47). Bennett is the third most consistent PPR tight end behind only Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. What’s even more astounding is he has crossed the 16 point mark (elite PPR TE) in 5 games this season, which is more times than either Jeffrey (4) or Marshall (3) have scored 16 PPR points in a game this season. He went virtually undrafted in Week 8 and proceeded to outscore both receiving teammates.

Forte, on the other hand, is second only to Antonio Brown in the league lead for receptions, but he’s already being drafted higher than everyone but DeMarco Murray.

Performers with 50%+ number one games in this matchup:
Matt Forte, Randall Cobb, Martellus Bennett, Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler