Around the midway point of the year in season-long fantasy football
leagues I like to take a break and look back at the draft and early
season free agent picks to see where I missed and where I hit on
certain players. Without fail, there are numerous mistakes and misses
in which I either under or overvalued a player, and I try to use
this intelligence when assessing value to players for future drafts.
My assumption that C.J. Anderson would not pan out as a clear
starter in Denver helped me avoid a first round bust on a running
back, while my gut feeling that Peyton Manning had one more year
of top-5 production proved to be wrong. Perhaps the notion of
aging quarterbacks showing clear signs of breaking down physically
toward the end of the season is something I should pay attention
to in the future.
Although Gronk was clearly the top tight end and well worthy
of a first round pick, my decision to use a few late-round fliers
Eifert and Zach
Ertz proved to be the better move, as Eifert delivered near-gronkonian
value from the ninth round.
While the week to week nature of daily fantasy gives owners the
chance to build a new roster from scratch and past moves won’t
affect future drafts, I do think it is a smart move to look back
on your previous games to see where you made wise picks and were
you came up short.
Did a play based on an injury to an opponent work out? Maybe
you tried to ride the tail of a hot player one week too long.
Learning from past failures and successes will make you a better
DFS player and will hopefully lead to a big payday.
The following is a review of a $50 winning roster I submitted
in Sunday’s $5 NFL Big 10x booster on Draftkings.
Cutler 22.6 points on DraftKings
I opted to spend a large chunk of my budget this week on Antonio
Brown at home against the Raiders and Devonta Freeman on the road
against the hapless 49ers. Using 32% of my salary cap on two players
forced me to look for an inexpensive quarterback playing in an
Although the Chargers pass defense ranked in the middle of the
pack in points allowed to opposing QBs, the eye test of that defense
made me think that Cutler and the Bears could move the ball against
San Diego, and Cutler and Alshon Jeffery looked to be gelling
after Jeffery’s early season injuries.
With 22.6 fantasy points on a 345/2/1 line, Cutler was serviceable
but not near a top play for the week. He gave me enough points
from the position to compete in the 500 player tournament, but
I would need my other skill position players to deliver if I had
any hope to cash with a top 50 finish.
Luckily, Antonio Brown went off and my stacking play of Jeffery
and Cutler would prove to be a solid move as well. If Cutler continues
to hover close to his $5,200 salary, I think he can be a decent
option going forward in tournament and head-to-head games.
Both players gave me a respectable 21.9 points, but the fact
that I spent $8000 on Freeman only to receive the same amount
of production from Blount at $4,800 left me a frustrated owner.
My assumption that the NFL’s top running back would have
a great game playing on the road against Blaine Gabbert and the
49ers proved to be incorrect.
Although Freeman managed to score a receiving touchdown to salvage
his day, his 12 yards on 12 carries were shocking. It was the
third game in a row in which he delivered less than 30 points
after four games near or at the top scoring spot for running backs.
It appears as though I made the mistake of paying for past performance
instead of looking at recent trends. The Falcons as a team have
been struggling on offense and Matt Ryan has not been playing
efficient football. Freeman’s yard per carry average is
down nearly three yards from his crazy start to the season.
In hindsight, I should have faded Freeman and used his salary
on Jeremy Langford and a better tight end.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, I try to find a few
consistent players in small tourneys and head-to-head games to
build the foundation of my team. With Big Ben back after shaking
off the rust in his first game last week, Brown seemed to be the
most consistent and safe pick for points. In my mind I was paying
a premium for a high floor of 100 yards and a touchdown. Brown
exceeded my expectations with a ridiculous 284 yards on 17 catches,
leading me to a $50 payday.
With my foundation player in place, Crabtree was my upside pick
in what I projected to be a high scoring game between the Steelers
and Raiders. The former 49er first round pick’s salary of
$4,900 seemed like a value based on the number of targets and
catches he has posted in his last two games. Crabtree proved to
be the right pick with seven catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
I am a firm believer in stacking, especially with wide receiving
target monsters in PPR formats. After settling on Cutler as my
starting quarterback, I was pleased to see that Jeffery’s
salary is a bit depressed on DraftKings off of his $8300 to start
the year. Jeffery did not reach the endzone, but his 10 catches
for 151 yards were more than enough to round out my wide receiver
Watson appeared to be a smart play based on the fact that he
has emerged as Drew Brees’ favorite target in the middle
of the field and he delivered monster games in his last two home
games. With 11 points on five catches for 60 yards, Watson wasn’t
great, but he didn’t hurt me either.
This was an excellent example of how in smaller formats you don’t
always need to get top tier production from all of your players
like in huge GPP. You won’t hit a home run on all of your
picks, but you want to make sure you do not drop a big goose egg.
In PPR formats Woodhead is a great option due to his dual-threat
capabilities and the fact that Rivers loves him in the red zone.
Even if he doesn’t score a touchdown, Woodhead provides
a high floor compared to other $4800 running backs and flex options.
The Monday Night Game between the Bears and the Chargers was
a game I targeted because of the 50 point over/under betting line
and the assumption that it would be a high scoring game. While
it wasn’t a shootout like I expected, Woodhead did deliver
with six catches for 78 yards and a score, making him a solid