Posts Tagged ‘green bay packers’

NFL Playoffs Challenge Conference Championships (Round 3) Results

Monday, January 19th, 2015

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Conference Championships gave us one heck of a football game from a competitive and, “What the heck just happened?” stand point. And then there was the mismatch of all mismatches, which I was fortunately watching on delay and zipped through most of the second half. Here are the results for Round 3 of our NFL Playoffs Challenge, with just one Throwdown game to go for the Super Bowl pitting the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots.

The NFL Playoffs Challenge is a competition where each contestant plays two Throwdown games per week of the NFL Playoffs (one game for Super Bowl), and we tally points for how well they performed in those challenges. Players earn 2 points for a win, plus 0.5 points if they win a challenge by 21 or more fantasy points. There is an also an additional 0.5 points awarded after the Super Bowl, for each time they drafted the eventual Super Bowl MVP in all of their Throwdown games in this contest.

We have 20 entries in the contest, prizes for Top 5 overall finishers, plus a weekly prize. Check the full rules and results from Wild-Card Weekend and Divisional Playoffs.

Round 3 Standings

If this was Throwdown1 vs. Throwdown2 competition, T1 is winning that battle hands down. T1 went 14-6 while T2 did the opposite, posting a 6-14 record for the Conference Championships. Based on the rankings, T1 generally took Rob Gronkowski first overall (if given the first pick), and T2 took Marshawn Lynch. One would think the records would be flipped, but maybe since T1 didn’t take a RB early, perhaps they were more likely to nab LeGarrette Blount and his 3 TD day.

W L +21 Pts PF   PA   Dif  
1. tshnide #2 2 0 2 5 275.5 192.1 83.5
2. tshnide 2 0 1 4.5 266.9 199.7 67.3
3. Wilforkisland 2 0 1 4.5 263.3 212.1 51.3
4. gtrain 2 0 0 4 235.0 206.7 28.4
5. jeffNFL 2 0 0 4 237.2 223.4 13.9
6. thunder 2 0 0 4 236.5 229.7 6.9
7. Luxuriousdusti 1 1 1 2.5 240.5 224.1 16.5
8. WeilCats 1 1 1 2.5 230.1 227.4 2.8
9. mikemar 1 1 1 2.5 228.3 233.3 -5.0
10. Cacciatorini #2 1 1 1 2.5 205.3 239.2 -33.9
11. sguile 1 1 0 2 235.4 226.7 8.7
12. Cacciatorini 1 1 0 2 237.0 231.7 5.4
13. tinmac 1 1 0 2 208.5 203.3 5.3
14. sguile #2 1 1 0 2 206.8 212.9 -6.1
15. WeilCats #2 0 2 0 0 222.6 230.4 -7.8
16. rhazes_darkk 0 2 0 0 194.4 243.1 -48.7
17. Doclate 0 2 0 0 176.0 231.0 -55.0
18. laoch 0 2 0 0 176.5 232.7 -56.2
19. atcdav 0 2 0 0 175.3 234.0 -58.7
20. puntacanapeo 0 2 0 0 132.9 276.4 -143.5

tshnide was on fire this week! Not only did he win the weekly prize with a perfect 2 wins, both by 21+ points, but his closest competition was himself with his other entry! The #2 entry that topped our chart was the only entry to earn the full 5 points this week. Congrats!

Overall Standings

There is only one week to go in the contest and one game to play, but keep in mind that game is worth double points! Plus, the Super Bowl MVP bonus points will be awarded after the Super Bowl for all games played throughout the contest.

W L +21 Pts PF   PA   Dif  
1. mikemar 5 1 4 12 844.1 694.4 149.7
2. Wilforkisland 5 1 2 11 833.9 737.6 96.4
3. tshnide 4 2 1 8.5 817.6 758.5 59.1
4. gtrain 4 2 1 8.5 796.3 750.7 45.6
5. jeffNFL 4 2 1 8.5 821.4 779.0 42.4
6. sguile 4 2 0 8 789.0 747.0 42.0
7. tshnide #2 3 3 3 7.5 832.4 762.9 69.5
8. WeilCats 3 3 2 7 784.8 781.1 3.7
9. tinmac 3 3 2 7 747.1 769.8 -22.8
10. sguile #2 3 3 1 6.5 744.8 757.9 -13.1
11. thunder 3 3 1 6.5 766.5 782.4 -16.0
12. Luxuriousdusti 2 4 1 4.5 770.2 786.7 -16.5
13. rhazes_darkk 2 4 1 4.5 748.9 792.3 -43.5
14. Cacciatorini 2 4 1 4.5 731.3 791.0 -59.7
15. Cacciatorini #2 2 4 1 4.5 695.3 759.9 -64.6
16. puntacanapeo 2 4 1 4.5 688.5 796.7 -108.2
17. Doclate 2 4 0 4 698.0 798.2 -100.2
18. WeilCats #2 1 5 1 2.5 776.6 773.1 3.5
19. atcdav 1 5 1 2.5 714.1 795.6 -81.5
20. laoch 1 5 0 2 712.4 796.7 -84.3

Things got a lot tighter at the top of our overall standings. mikemar is still in first, but his 3 points lead over second place after the Divisional Playoffs dwindled down to just a single point. mikemar split his games this week, while Wilforkisland went 2-0.

After our top two, tshnide, gtrain and jeffNFL are all tied in points, and there are numerous entries right on their heels. Should be an exciting finish in our contest. Good luck!

Round 3 Game Results

Throwdown1 101.45
atcdav 97.7

Throwdown2 132.5
atcdav 77.6

Throwdown1 122.75
Cacciatorini 112.4

Throwdown2 108.9
Cacciatorini 124.6

Throwdown1 148.25
Cacciatorini #2 88.8

Throwdown2 90.9
Cacciatorini #2 116.5

Throwdown1 126.75
Doclate 88.6

Throwdown2 104.2
Doclate 87.4

Throwdown1 116.45
gtrain 126

Throwdown2 90.2
gtrain 109

Throwdown1 123.25
jeffNFL 129.1

Throwdown2 100.1
jeffNFL 108.1

Throwdown1 123.75
laoch 98.6

Throwdown2 108.9
laoch 77.9

Throwdown1 126.45
Luxuriousdusti 113.4

Throwdown2 97.6
Luxuriousdusti 127.1

Throwdown1 144.05
mikemar 92.8

Throwdown2 89.2
mikemar 135.5

Throwdown1 149.95
puntacanapeo 65.5

Throwdown2 126.4
puntacanapeo 67.4

Throwdown1 109.55
rhazes_darkk 106.8

Throwdown2 133.5
rhazes_darkk 87.6

Throwdown1 118.65
sguile 116.2

Throwdown2 108
sguile 119.15

Throwdown1 121.95
sguile #2 96

Throwdown2 90.9
sguile #2 110.75

Throwdown1 121.65
thunder 121.7

Throwdown2 108
thunder 114.8

Throwdown1 105.15
tinmac 90.6

Throwdown2 98.1
tinmac 117.9

Throwdown1 110.45
tshnide 131.4

Throwdown2 89.2
tshnide 135.5

Throwdown1 119.95
Wilforkisland 125.6

Throwdown2 92.1
Wilforkisland 137.7

Throwdown1 134.25
WeilCats 110.1

Throwdown2 93.1
WeilCats 120

Throwdown1 121.85
WeilCats #2 118

Throwdown2 108.5
WeilCats #2 104.6

Throwdown1 102.85
tshnide #2 140

Throwdown2 89.2
tshnide #2 135.5

Three Keys To Victory – Week 10: ADP and Elite vs. Subpar Performances, PPR Scoring

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

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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

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

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

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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 5: Punch It In From The Red Zone!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

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RB Jamaal Charles

When the Kansas City Chiefs get Inside the red zone, expect RB Jamaal Charles and his sidekick Knile Davis to get their number called most of the time.

The great John Madden once said, “They’ll score if they can just get into the end zone.” It does seem to make sense, doesn’t it? Part of the trick to fantasy football is figuring out who is going to score each week. Just like I mentioned last week, I think opportunity is the key here. Although not a perfect measure, looking at red zone data can help identify team-specific trends when they near the end zone.

After Week 4 there are six NFL teams that are averaging 11 or more red zone plays per game (BAL, IND, NYG, MIA, KC and CIN). Five of those teams are in the Top 10 in points per game, and the sixth is 14th. All of them are averaging 24 points per game or higher, and the Colts and Giants are the top two red zone scoring teams, with over three red zone touchdowns per game.

I looked at rushing and passing tendencies from all 32 NFL teams from inside the 20 and inside the 5 yard line. The most interesting trend was that only six teams change their approach drastically when entering the goal line zone (inside the 5). For the most part, if a team likes to run or pass near the goal line, they do it consistently from either distance.

Red Zone Rushing Tendencies

Hue Jackson’s Cincinnati Bengals are the prototype for red zone rushing and are Top 6 in the league in getting into the red zone. They run the ball on over two-thirds of the plays inside the red zone, and that increases to 90% of plays inside the five. Both are tops in the league. They are the only team to have 80% or more of their red zone touchdowns come from running plays. Giovani Bernard has three red zone rushing touchdowns and Jeremy Hill has their other two. New England has given up six touchdowns to running backs already this year and are reeling after their trouncing on Monday night. Look for more of the same here.

Baltimore is averaging the most plays inside an opponent’s red zone of any team (13.5 plays per game). Unfortunately, they are second to last in touchdown conversions (13%), which is good for Justin Tucker but no one else. The good news is they run more than they pass, and with Bernard Pierce out the last two weeks, they have trended up. Simply put, Lorenzo Taliaferro has been better. Taliaferro is third in the league in red zone rushes (9) the past two weeks, and he has converted two of those into touchdowns. Justin Forsett had a third, while they only managed one in the first two weeks. They have a plus matchup in Indy this week that could keep them on this same trend.

Kansas City is 50/50 split on pass/run inside the red zone, but 54% passing inside the 5. This is deceiving though, as Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis have combined for 65% of all looks and touches, and seven of their nine red zone touchdowns have gone to running backs. They feed their running backs and will feast again this week at San Francisco.

Red Zone Passing Tendencies

100% of the Chicago Bears’ red zone touchdowns have been passing touchdowns, and they have one of the highest touchdown conversion rates in the league (26%), helping them average 2.5 passing touchdowns per game inside their opponent’s 20. They throw a pass over 70% of their plays inside the red zone and it only decreases to 63% inside the 5. The beneficiaries of this are Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett, as 61% of all red zone targets are throw their way, and they have combined for 9 touchdowns on the season. With Marshall banged up, Alshon Jeffrey has been second in targets the last two weeks. They match up with Carolina whose defense has been atrocious the past two weeks against good receivers (Antonio Brown, Steve Smith and Torrey Smith.)

The Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers don’t seem to believe in running the ball into the end zone. They each have the throw the ball inside the five yard line an astounding 69% of the time. They actually increase their pass rate the closer they get to the end zone. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are the top receiving tandem in the league in percentage of red zone targets (66%), while the Thomas pair, Demaryius and Julius, garner 63% of red zone targets themselves. They are playing the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings, respectively. Both of which are in the top five of least allowed red zone plays, but neither have faced such high caliber offenses.

Red Zone Dominators

The top five players in the league with the highest percentage of red zone involvement (looks and touches) are Marshawn Lynch (58%), Matt Forte (50%), Lamar Miller (48%), Matt Asiata (46%) and Rashad Jennings (44%).

Interestingly, Seattle actually increases their amount of passes by 15% inside the five yard line, but Marshawn Lynch has two receiving touchdowns already this year, and he has garnered five of the six red zone touchdowns for Seattle. Rashad Jennings is facing the Falcons this week, who are bottom three in the most red zone plays allowed, and they have been terrible against the run. Even with Jerick McKinnon‘s big game, Matt Asiata will continue to be a monster red zone threat until someone can stop him, and I expect Matt Forte’s scoring drought to end soon even if it is a receiving touchdown. DeMarco Murray leads the league with four rushing touchdowns.

Andre Johnson (55%), Larry Fitzgerald (41%), Jordy Nelson (38%) and Vincent Jackson (37%) are the top targeted wide receivers in the red zone. While the top targeted tight ends are Delanie Walker (43%), Larry Donnell (35%) and the trio of Martellus Bennett, Rob Gronkowski and Julius Thomas (29% each).

Aside from the two old guys (AJ and Fitz), all of these players have multiple red zone receiving touchdowns, and their streaks probably won’t end anytime soon. All five of those tight ends seem unstoppable as they all have four red zone touchdowns, except for Gronk, who while ailing still has three. Brandon Marshall leads all receivers and players with five red zone touchdowns on the year.

Finally, if you’re looking for a matchup to exploit for touchdowns, the Falcons and Titans have allowed the most red zone touchdowns, and they join the Bears, Jaguars and Raiders as the top five most allowed red zone plays/touchdowns.

Good luck scoring big in your Throwdown challenges this week!

Three Keys To Victory – Week 1: Hot Starts, Bad Defenses

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

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RB Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Expect Matt Forte to continue his trend of a big Week 1 performance, this time at the expense of the Buffalo Bills defense.

The NFL season is finally here!

The first week for fantasy footballers brings those same feelings of a seven year old waking up on Christmas morning. We’re all excited to play with our new toys. Just don’t let the shiny new toys distract you from sound judgment. There’s a reason the “start your studs” mantra echoes from every fantasy football expert, particularly for Week 1.

It’s true for Fantasy Throwdown as well, but I don’t think you need me telling you to draft Peyton Manning or Demaryius Thomas in Week 1. Your studs will most likely do well, but I’m going to give you some information to help you spot some other Week 1 performances that may help you win your games this weekend. There are three profiles from recent history that may help you spot a gem or feel better about picking the stud.

Slow Starting Defenses

There are some defenses that have been very generous to teams in Week 1 in recent years. For instance, here is a graph of four quarterbacks that have faced the Green Bay Packers in the past four seasons.

qb_performances_vs_packers_week_1

Even the cautious side arm of Alex Smith had a successful opening day against the Packers defense. It was Colin Kaepernick’s best game of the entire year, and guess who gets to face them first this year – Russell Wilson.

Odds are that history will repeat itself, on Thursday Night, in a rematch of the Fail Mary. For those looking forward to Sunday games, don’t fret. Green Bay is not the only team with interesting trends on opening day. Here are three position profiles that are trending in the past two seasons.

week_1_fantasy_performances_2012-2013

I’ll start with running backs. Two Top 5 running backs have chopped up the Jacksonville Jaguars in the past two years, and this year, their first week they face LeSean McCoy. I’d say that’s a safe bet for a three-peat.

Buffalo Bills are squaring off against the Chicago Bears, and have given up big weeks to number two receivers the past two years. That’s enough to make me take Alshon Jeffrey over Brandon Marshall to see if the trend continues.

Ryan Fitzpatrick does not fit the profile of Drew Brees or even Michael Vick, but there’s a good chance he has an above average start versus the Washington Redskins this week.

Hot Start Players

Just like certain defenses start slow, there are certain players that have been trending towards hot starts.

I’ll start with quarterback first. For the past three consecutive years, there are only four quarterbacks who, when active and healthy, have averaged 20 fantasy points per opening day and Top 10 performances. The first three are Brees, Peyton Manning (injured one year) and Aaron Rodgers.

The fourth guy is Robert Griffin III. According to DraftBuddy.com (4 points per TD scoring), Griffin has finished 2nd and 10th in Week 1 each of the past two seasons, with a low of 24.9 points. He now pilots Jay Gruden’s high flying attack, plus has a fully healthy Pierre Garçon, Jordan Reed, and a new weapon in Desean Jackson at his disposal. Despite the porous preseason, Griffin could easily keep his trend going.

At running back, outside of Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte is the most consistent opening day starter in the past three years. He has breached 15 standard fantasy points for three consecutive years. He’s an underrated stud who should be the best running back in the Bears-Bills matchup.

Finally, at wide receiver, if you get stuck with the Broncos-Colts game, don’t fret if you lose out on consistent opening day freak Demaryius Thomas. The third most consistent opening day wide receiver in the past three years is playing for Indianapolis. His name is Reggie Wayne. Every year, people suggest Wayne is done, and every year he produces near 100 receiving yards and 1 TD in Week 1. In fact, his lowest yardage output in the past three is 96 yards, and one year he didn’t score (but did get 136 yards).

Dismal Defenses Ready to Get Lit Up

This happened at a profound level last season when Baltimore Ravens faced Denver. They lost several key players in the offseason, including future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. They were strong up front with Elvis Dumervil and Haloti Ngata, but struggled at linebacker and secondary. Pair that with the greatest offense the NFL has ever seen, and you get Peyton Manning with seven touchdowns (and almost every other Broncos player with a career day).

I’ll give you one defense this year that is struggling with almost identical issues to start the season, and they are located in Texas – the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is reeling on defense right now. They lost DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher this offseason, and they lost Sean Lee (again) and Orlando Scandrick to injury. Pair this with an unheralded, unproven secondary, and you have another recipe for disaster.

Luckily, they’re not playing against Manning, but they are playing a very good offense in San Francisco. I’d say this is a huge advantage in Fantasy Throwdown, as most Cowboys, based on August Average Draft Position, will be picked before 49ers. But I could easily see Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis outscoring Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray and Jason Witten this week. As sloppy as the 49ers have looked, coupled with the losses of Navarro Bowman and Aldon Smith, this game could produce a lot of fantasy superstars.

Hope you have a good start to the fantasy season, and maybe one of these profiles will help you spot other gems in Week 1.

Three Keys to Victory – Week 15

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

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In speaking of the fluctuating market, the British economist John Maynard Keynes once said, “the expected never happens; it is the unexpected always.” The same could easily be said of the fantasy football world, as every week the unexpected occurs. No matter what you expect this weekend, there will be surprises. This week, I took a look at some trending bad defenses to target potential big fantasy output games. Good luck!

 
Tony Romo plus Cowboys Receivers

Over the past three weeks, the Green Bay Packers defense is tied for the most big plays allowed (20+ yards) with 18. Thirteen of those big plays were pass plays, and this week they are facing the Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo’s numbers have been less than superb over the course of the season, and even in plus matchups he has come up short. This could be the week he gets back on track.

The emergence of Cole Beasley in the slot and the excellent running by DeMarco Murray could free up the big plays on the outside to Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams. Romo is only averaging about 250 yards per game this season, but he should be well over 300 in this game with multiple touchdowns. It should also be noted that the Dallas defense is also tied for the most big plays allowed. This game should be a shoot out. Draft accordingly.

 
Chris Ogbonnaya

The Chicago Bears have now allowed 14 running backs in PPR formats to reach double figures. This is a list that includes names like Brandon Jacobs, Roy Helu, James Starks, Benny Cunningham, and, most recently, Joseph Randle. Their porous front has allowed the most gains of 20+ yards to running backs over the past three weeks (7), and this week they face the Cleveland Browns.

Willis McGahee is dealing with concussion issues, which leaves Ogbonnaya as the beneficiary. With his superior hands and Chicago’s swiss cheese-like defense, Ogbonnaya should be in for a big day. He’s averaging 5.3 yards-per-rush and 7.1 yards-per-reception this season. If he gets the full workload, he could be in for a big game.

 
Delanie Walker

The Arizona Cardinals have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. A TE has scored in nine games this season versus the Cardinals, and they have given up multiple TE touchdowns in five games. They are averaging 6.5 receptions a game and 1 touchdown to the tight end position this season.

Walker should be a good bet to suit up this weekend, as he was almost ready last week. Barring a setback, he’ll be in line for a big day. In his last three games with Ryan Fitzpatrick, before injury, Walker was averaging 6-66-0.7 per game, and he had two double digit games. He’s locked in for 1 touchdown and has a good chance for more, assuming he’s healthy. He’ll be a good bargain tight end to target in drafts this weekend.

Turkey Day Challenge III

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

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Time for Turkey Day Challenge III!
TDC II (2012) | TDC I (2011)

It is time! Welcome to kickoff of one of our most popular Fantasy Throwdown events of the year, the now third annual Turkey Day Challenge!

The Turkey Day Challenge simulates accumulating trophies in video games. Play qualifying Turkey Day Challenge games of Fantasy Throwdown, hit certain pre-determined achievements, earn points, and the player who earns the most points is crowned our Turkey Day Champ!

To play a qualifying Turkey Day Challenge game it must include at least two of the three games played on Thanksgiving: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens.

After all of these Throwdown games are final – as late as next Monday Night Football – points will be tabulated for all players who participated in the Turkey Day Challenge.

Go it so far? Great. Check out the list of achievements, then prizes and more rule details below. Once you’re through that, get going and Throwdown! All TDC drafts must be complete prior to the earliest game in your challenges (on Thursday). That is a small window to get in the TDC, so get to it, and good luck!

 


Individual Achievements

1. Number of challenges issued to and accepted by a newly registered Throwdown member or existing registered Throwdown member with no games played (so far) this season – 2 points per completed draft (both players)

2. Number of challenges issued and accepted by player who posts commentary or screen shot of their draft on Facebook and tags our Facebook page in the post – 1 point per completed draft

3. Number of challenges issued and accepted by player who tweets commentary or screen shot of their draft and includes our Twitter account in the tweet – 1 point per completed draft

4. Number of challenges issued and accepted by player who posts commentary or screen shot of their draft on Google+ and tags my Google+ page in the post – 1 point per completed draft

5. Number of challenges issued and accepted by player who posts commentary or screen shot of their draft on fantasy football message board (no spamming; must be genuine discussion contributing to value of a board where you regularly post) – 1 point per completed draft

6. Number of challenges issued and accepted by a registered Throwdown player – 0.5 points per completed draft

7. Number of games played (challenger or challengee) – 0.5 points per completed draft

8. Number of games won – 2 points per win

9. Number of games won by >= 14 points – 1 point per win by 14 or more points

10. Number of games won by >= 28 points – 1 point per win by 28 or more points (also scores 1 for achievement #9)

11. Number of games won using 3 or more bench players, excluding the Block – 1 point per win

12. Drafted player who records the longest passing TD on Thanksgiving – 1 point per completed draft

13. Drafted player who records the longest rushing TD on Thanksgiving – 1 point per completed draft

14. Drafted player who records the longest receiving TD on Thanksgiving – 1 point per completed draft

15. Drafted player who draws the longest defensive pass interference penalty on Thanksgiving – 1 point per completed draft

16. Drafted any player who records ten solo tackles, or two or more sacks, or a turnover plus touchdown on Thanksgiving – 1 point per completed draft

17. Drafted player who is the subject of this excerpt from Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio (Post-Draft RSP):

Considering [incumbent starter's] durability issues, he could see the field early. He has the size, speed, and hands, to become a solid, fantasy starter.

– 1 point per completed draft

18. Drafted player from achievement #17 and he scores a TD – 1 point per completed draft

19. Drafted player who Eric Dickens of Dynasty League Football aptly described as a “volume catcher” in his dynasty rankings.

20. Drafted player from achievement #19 and he scores a TD – 1 point per completed draft

21. Drafted player who Sigmund Bloom of Footballguys put at the top of his preseason master plan draft shopping list of bench running backs.

22. Drafted player from achievement #21 and he scores a TD – 1 point per completed draft

23. Drafted player who played and started the first NFL game of his career just 14 kilometres from the home of Ross Miles of Pro Football Focus.

24. Drafted player from achievement #23 and he scores a TD – 1 point per completed draft

25. Drafted and/or Blocked top two scoring quarterbacks on Thanksgiving – 2 points per completed draft

 


Individual Awards

1. Highest margin of victory – 5 points for each of the following lineup options:

  • 1 QB, QB not included in Flex, Team defense
  • 2 QB or QB included in Flex, Team defense
  • 1 QB, QB not included in Flex, IDP
  • 2 QB or QB included in Flex, IDP

2. Smallest margin of victory – 5 points for each of above lineup options

3. Highest individual team score – 5 points for each of above lineup options

4. Lowest individual team score, and still won – 5 points for each of above lineup options

 


Group Awards

1. Largest round robin group, meaning largest group of Throwdown players who play at least one game against every other person in the group (i.e. a round robin) – 3 points per Throwdown player in the group; one group representative must submit the Throwdown user names of all group members for consideration

2. Quartet of Throwdown players who each play at least one game against every other person in the quartet (i.e. a round robin), and have the highest cumulative followers on their Twitter accounts – 3 points per Throwdown player in the quartet; one quartet representative must submit the Throwdown user names of all quartet members for consideration

3. Highest combined score (both players) in a Throwdown game – 3 points per Throwdown player in the game for each of above lineup options from the Individual Awards section

4. Lowest combined score (both players) in a Throwdown game, all players drafted must be starters per the Throwdown depth chart excluding the Block – 3 points per Throwdown player in the game for each of above lineup options from the Individual Awards section

 


Bonus Award

Player who achieves points in the most different achievement and award categories listed above – 5 points

 


Rules

All Turkey Day Challenge qualifying games must include at least two of three NFL games played on Thanksgiving Day.

There is no maximum or minimum number of games a player can play for the Turkey Day Challenge.

Player will be ranked based on all points earned based on the above listed achievements. In the event of a tie, then the first tie-breaker is total points earned from the individual achievements section.

 


Prizes

Fantasy Throwdown offers the following to the winners of Turkey Day Challenge:

1st Place: $50 credit to your Throwdown account, 10 Leaderboard ranking bonus points plus official Throwdown t-shirt

2nd Place: $25 account credit, 7.5 Leaderboard ranking bonus points plus official Throwdown t-shirt

3rd Place: $10 account credit, 5 Leaderboard ranking bonus points plus official Throwdown t-shirt

4th Place: $5 account credit, 2.5 Leaderboard ranking bonus points

5th Place: $5 account credit, 2.5 Leaderboard ranking bonus points

Random draw winner (must have played 3 or more TDC games): $5 account credit

 
Spread the word! The more the merrier for the Turkey Day Challenge. If there are any questions, leave a comment below. For achievements such as largest group, or posting to social networks or message boards to make sure I see it, leave a comment with link. Thanks!

Three Keys to Victory – Week 3

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

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Unless your name is Butkiss, you are not sitting atop the Fantasy Throwdown Leaderboard heading into Week 3. When you are choosing players for a complete fantasy football starting lineup from only three NFL games, you have to make some tough choices. Here are three keys to victory this week to help you climb the ladder towards the coveted number one ranking at Fantasy Throwdown.

 
FREE YOUR INNER DIKEMBE

One of the best aspects of drafting at Fantasy Throwdown is the ability to channel the 1990′s Denver Nuggets star and Block your opponent. Using your Block appropriately could be the fundamental piece to winning your match up that week.

To be a superb blocker you need to evaluate two key factors:

1. Which positions are the most shallow?
2. What round do I need to swat away my opponent’s dreams?

As the NFL games are selected for your challenge, figure out how many of the players in the draftable player pool have the potential to play in the top-tier this week. If, for instance, you were playing with these Week 3 matchups in a standard format: Patriots vs. Bucs, Saints vs. Cardinals, Broncos vs. Raiders; without accounting for defense, here is a short list of players who could perform as top-tier players:

QB RB WR TE
P. Manning
Brady
Brees
C. Palmer
Pryor
Ridley
D. Martin
Sproles
McFadden
Moreno
P. Thomas
Mendehall
Edelman
V. Jackson
Colston
Fitzgerald
D. Thomas
Welker
Decker
M. Williams
J. Graham
J. Thomas

Remember, you are only looking at the potential to be top-tier. The Block is more than likely wasted otherwise. Julius Thomas and Jimmy Graham are both top 5 TE going into Week 3, and no other TE on these teams comes close (as long as Rob Gronkowski doesn’t suit up).

Sound blocking strategy would be to grab QB, WR, RB until you believe TE will come off the board, and then in back-to-back picks snag one of these TE and Block the other from your opponent. Now gently wave your Mutombo finger, and watch as your TE scores 20 points and “inferior TE” in your opponent’s linuep scores 0 to 2 points.

 
KNOWING WHERE THE QB AND WR GOLDMINES ARE

Playing Fantasy Throwdown, you get to handpick the NFL games used for your challenge. When you’re not sure which matchup to pick, why not pick games with the highest potential for an old-fashioned, wild west shoot-out?

You’ll find yourself striking it rich by targeting teams with medium to weak defenses and medium to high offenses. Here are a list of four qualifying teams this year that have produced in both weeks: Eagles, Redskins, Packers, Chargers.

Six of the top 10 WR from Week 2 were from these four teams: DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb, Eddie Royal. If you see your opponent picking games to target the likes of Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones or Dez Bryant, try to snag a few nuggets of gold later in the draft to even the score.

Here are three juicy matchups in Week 3:

New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals
Neither of these teams have shutout defenses at the moment, and both teams have strong passing games. If Larry Fitzgerald is out, it may hinder the potential for higher scoring in this one, though, so monitor his activity.

Detroit Lions vs. Washington Redskins
Every team versus the Redskins has been gold thus far, and there is no reason that should stop now. With their sieve-like defense and RGIII led offense, their games should continue to produce high scoring fantasy contests for both sides, and the Lions can be passed on.

Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Although the Bengals D is no pushover, they did give up 24 to the Bears and Brandon Marshall was a top 12 performer in Week 1. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers O are clicking right now, and the Bengals have the ability to keep stride. Expect multiple players with high yardage and scores for both squads this week.

 
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS D/ST

When you have a top fantasy defense facing an offense that generously gives points to opposing fantasy defenses, you must seize the day. It’s that simple.

The Seattle Seahawks defense put up 13 points with 5 turnovers against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers last week. They could triple that against the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars and Chad Henne. Outside of Cecil Shorts, the Jaguars do not have a proven playmaker, and Maurice Jones-Drew is banged up. Excluding last week, Henne’s career interceptions per attempt was sitting at 3.3%, while Kaepernick was only 1.2%. Seattle picked Kaepernick three times. Put Seattle in your challenges and snag them before your opponent.

Playoffs Tourney Divisional Results

Monday, January 14th, 2013

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Many people claimed this past weekend was going to be the best weekend of football all year, and the way the games turned out, their claim could very well be on the money. We started Saturday with a double overtime thriller in which I sure expected the Denver Broncos defense to play much better, and perhaps Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco to play a little worse, than each did. Of course for fantasy the Denver D/ST was a great pick, thanks to former Houston Texan Trindon Holliday. Anyone watching last night’s game with a rumbling Danieal Manning think how a swifter Holliday would have made a difference in that game? Or another former Texan, Jacoby Jones for that matter.

On to the Saturday night game, Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers. Colin Kaepernick, your dynasty league fantasy stock just went through the roof. The Packers had no answer for Kaepernick short of that early interception returned for a touchdown. At the end of this one we had back-to-back scoring fests and were possibly setting Fantasy Throwdown records for weekly high score. That is, if anyone picked the likes of Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree and Torrey Smith for their teams.

On Sunday the first half was all Atlanta Falcons, but for us diehards whose eyes didn’t flip away in the second half, we got to witness Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson just tear up the Falcons defense while the Falcons offense did little to compensate. So it was all Seahawks except for a short trip down memory lane courtesy of Michael Turner, and the ‘Hawks took the lead finally with :31 on the clock. Only to blow it. Two pass plays and two field goal attempts later, the second of which counted, the Falcons advance. I feel bad for Wilson, but very good for Tony Gonzalez. Well earned and a long time coming, best TE of all time.

Finally for the match expected to be the most lopsided, the Texans hung around with the New England Patriots for a while, but it became apparent the teams are playing on different levels right now. Even with some key injuries to Rob Gronkowski (costing many a Throwdown win this week, I’m sure) and Danny Woodhead, the Pats depth easily picked up the slack. I’m not saying this would have made the difference last night, but the Texans losing MLB Brian Cushing midseason was significant.

As for our NFL Playoffs Tournament, Round 2 results are in with the group standings shown below. Nice job everyone getting all of the drafts done last week, and congrats to our group winners! We will shake up the groups again for Round 3, the Conference Championships. The new group assignments will be in the next Site News post, but in the meantime if you want to get started drafting with the smaller player pool (just two games on the NFL schedule), go ahead and start issuing some challenges. Good luck!

Group A W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. CP78 4 0 586.7 481.4 105.4
2. Scott Kuff 3 1 526.6 507.6 19.1
3. Bill_Riccette 2 2 537.7 523.8 13.9
4. cwill0303 1 3 486.7 511.4 -24.7
5. robshell 0 4 442.8 556.4 -113.7

CP78 wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record.

Group B W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. patwat 3 1 603.2 509.5 93.7
2. Wilforkisland 2 2 510.7 538.6 -28.0
3. Peppy_Pants 2 2 566.1 536.6 29.5
4. rich1978 2 2 533.3 541.0 -7.7
5. TheApemanCometh 1 3 493.3 580.7 -87.5

patwat wins the group with a 3-1 record. Wilforkisland finishes second using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Peppy_Pants and rich1978. Peppy_Pants finishes third using the head-to-head tie-breaker over rich1978.

Group C W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Mike 4 0 524.0 435.3 88.7
2. Fantasytaz 3 1 538.3 475.6 62.7
3. stauqmuk 2 2 494.1 505.2 -11.2
4. djreese5 1 3 490.1 510.6 -20.6
5. TheKommish 0 4 426.3 546.0 -119.7

Mike wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record.

Group D W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. j0eo1s 4 0 580.0 448.2 131.9
2. Harwood 2 2 527.0 525.7 1.3
3. Airbus79 2 2 524.3 532.1 -7.9
4. Grindstone 2 2 512.5 560.5 -48.0
5. robmcangus 0 4 471.6 548.9 -77.3

j0eo1s wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record. Harwood finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker over Airbus79 and Grindstone. Airbus79 finishes third using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Grindstone.

Group E W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Terminalkennedy 4 0 559.9 464.7 95.3
2. unstable 2 2 545.7 502.8 42.9
3. Losperros 2 2 496.4 535.6 -39.2
4. Jessect6 1 3 534.6 575.3 -40.7
5. DLFootball 1 3 478.8 537.1 -58.3

Terminalkennedy wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record. unstable finishes second using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Losperros. Jessect6 finishes fourth using the head-to-head tie-breaker over DLFootball.

Group F W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. FBGWILL 3 1 512.7 481.8 30.9
2. WHUDEY 3 1 605.3 485.1 120.2
3. laoch 2 2 513.7 531.7 -18.0
4. atcdav 1 3 483.0 550.4 -67.4
5. Fantasy Acumen 1 3 490.8 556.5 -65.8

FBGWILL wins the group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over WHUDEY. atcdav finishes fourth using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Fantasy Acumen.