Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has officially taken
the crown from Bill Belichick as the most hated coach in fantasy
football with his handling of the four-headed monster of running
Despite this fact, Pederson continued to tell reporters that
Mathews, and not Sproles, is his lead ball carrier in the backfield.
With Mathews as his supposed lead back, Pederson gave Sproles
28 carries combined in Weeks 7 and 8 against Dallas and New York,
while Mathews received a whopping nine total carries.
Pederson would then confirm with reporters after the Giants game
that Sproles had passed Mathews on the depth chart, certifying
what was already apparent to all Eagles fans and beat writers.
But of course, the tricky Pederson was not done with his shanahnigans
(Mike Shanahan was once the most hated head coach in fantasy),
as Mathews would receive seven carries alone on the first drive
of the game, in route to 19 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns
(2 catches for 30 yards and a two-point conversion added in for
Pedersonís deception proved to be a smart move, as the Falcons
appeared to be caught off guard by the Eagles newfound power run
game, eventually falling 24-15 in what turned out to be a low-scoring
As a Mathews owner in a season-long league and a DFS owner heavily
invested in Sproles this week, I was dreadfully wrong on two assumptions
that proved to be way off.
1) The Falcons entered the game 32nd against the pass, leading
me to believe Sproles and Barner would be active in the passing
game as the Eagles would look to throw early and often.
2) Matt Ryan and the Falcons would continue their strong play
on the road and create a positive game script for Sproles with
the Eagles chasing points.
Of course the Eagles chose to shorten the game by running the
ball and the positive game script never materialized as Matt Ryan
and the Atlanta Falcons struggled to score points.
What can be learned from this mess that I can use on future DFS
tickets? The first thing is donít expect game scripts to
go a certain way. And second, Doug Peterson is the fantasy devil
and start Eagles at your own risk.
On a positive note, I overcame my disappointment in Sproles to
place 3201 of out of 38535 teams in DraftKings $300k slant, turning
$5 into $25.
The following is a review of where I succeeded where I fell short
on the ticket.
My two favorite quarterback plays of the week were Big Ben against
the Cowboys and Aaron Rodgers on the road against the Titans.
Ben was attractive due to his amazing home/road splits, while
Rodgers looked like an excellent cash game play due to his high
floor and likely high-scoring matchup against the Titans.
For this GPP ticket, I went with Ben due to the fact that he
was cheaper and appeared to have a very high ceiling. In his four
home games this season (counting Week 10 against Dallas), Ben
has 15 of his 20 passing touchdowns, with a completion percentage
nearly 20 points higher than on the road.
Add in the fact that the Steelers were embarrassed Week 9 against
the Ravens, and you had the makings of a get-well game for the
Pittsburgh offense and a huge game for Ben.
For those who have read my column for a while, you know that
I am not a big fan of large tournaments and I typically play in
head-to-head cash games.
I started building this ticket with a cash game in mind, but
felt like it would bode well in a tournament based on what I thought
was a high-ceiling collection of players.
At $3,900 and $4,300, Prosise and Sproles looked like inexpensive
high volume plays that would be perfect accompaniments to my mid-level
wide receivers and expensive flex plays.
I projected that both players would have at least six catches
in the game, with a receiving touchdown a strong possibility for
both. Neither scored, but my floor proved to be correct and Prosiseís
22.3 points on 147 total yards and seven receptions was a bonus.
Itís interesting when the player you feel will be your
top wide receiver proves to be a bust, while a guy you thought
might have a decent game proved to be amazing.
This was the case of Jeffery and Williams, as I thought Jeffery
on the road against the Bucs with Jay Cutler slinging the ball
would be a no-brainer, 100/1 game. Unfortunately, the bad Jay
Cutler returned and Jeffery managed to catch only four of his
targets for 47 yards and no score.
Williams on the other hand was great, catching five balls for
125 yards and a score against the Dolphins. That is back-to-back
touchdowns for Williams, a value play this year that will likely
have his salary increased to over $6,000 when he returns from
Thomas posted his fifth-consecutive doubt-digit target game,
but managed to find the end zone against a poor Saints secondary.
At $6,700, he seemed like a nice value play with a big upside
for tournament play.
Tight End: Zach
Ertz vs. Atlanta DraftKings Points: 11.5
The negative game script I discussed in my opening affected Ertz
as well, limiting the tight end to 55 yards on six catches. On
a positive note, that is two weeks in a row where he was a featured
part of the passing game (8 and 7 targets respectively), making
him a viable option in the next few weeks.
Of course for no apparent reason old man Brent Celek will score
two touchdowns and will be Carson Wentzís favorite target next
week. Darn Doug Peterson.
Johnson vs. San Francisco DraftKings Points: 27.1
27.1 points from a running back would typically garner an A+
grade on any ticket. But David Johnson managing less than 100
total yards against a 49ers defense that has been awful against
the run was not exactly what his owners expected Week 10.
Luckily he managed to get two touchdowns, otherwise there would
be a bunch (Johnson was owned in nearly 50% of lineups) of angry
DK players out there on Monday.
Defense: Arizona DraftKings Points:6
As a lifelong 49er fan, I still cannot fathom how the Cardinals
nearly lost this game against San Francisco, and the fact that
the Cardinals managed only three sacks and zero turnovers was
My goal was to target the team that I felt had the best opportunity
to post a defensive score, yet Colin Kaepernick managed to protect
the ball well and the Arizona secondary without the honey badger