Years ago I gave up making New Year’s resolutions for the
simple fact that I was unable to keep up with them - even the simplest
ones like keeping my office clean or walking the dog more often.
Understanding one’s abilities and limitations is one small
step toward inner peace and happiness, and luckily for me, I realized
years ago that I am a weak man of habit and making a silly resolution
because the calendar changed to a new year is not going to change
However, for the sake of this article, I am going to break my
tradition and share three fantasy football resolutions for the
new year. One pertains to season long leagues, while the other
two I will plan on using in my DFS lineups in 2017.
With regards to drafting in season-long leagues, I resolve to
not draft players in the first five rounds who sustained knee
or foot injuries in the previous season, regardless of how well
that player looks in the off season and preseason games.
Players like Sammy Watkins who have loads of talent and possible
top 12 upside will not be on my 2017 roster, unless for some reason
they are an obscene value after the fifth round. Julio Jones and
his foot burned me before and Watkins nearly cost me a repeat
championship in my league of record.
For DFS purposes, I want to spend less time considering unproven
and incalculable arguments like “he is due for a big game,
or “it is his final game so the team will pepper him with
targets.” Yes, that second one is a direct quote from me
in regards to my Week 17 prediction on Steve Smith, one that burned
me dearly in the fantasy recap to follow.
Identifying trends, watching tape, and reviewing roster changes
are tools that fantasy writers use to discern between studs and
duds on a given week. But at times I let my gut get in the way
and I buy into false narratives that turn out to be quite untrue.
And finally, I will make a conscious effort to not fall victim
to the temptress that is the millionaire maker GPP games, where
the allure of winning a million bucks clouds the logical side
of my brain. I have written about this in previous articles, yet
I must admit that I have played a few this year despite my calls
for my readers to avoid them.
What can I say, I am human too.
Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope 2017 is a fun and prosperous
time for all of my readers, and I look forward to sharing a bit
of DFS knowledge and insight with you next season.
I decided to review a winning lineup from this past week that
netted only $6 in a small tournament. I share this with you not
because it was a winning ticket, but because of the fact that
I left money on the table by missing on what appeared to be solid
Ryan Fantasy Points: 32.44
With the Falcons in need of a win to lock up the second seed
in the NFC playoffs and a bye week, I targeted Matt Ryan, Devonta
Freeman and Mohamed Sanu as a triple stack for this tournament.
A MVP candidate in the midst of his best year as a pro, Ryan
entered the game averaging over 23 points per game, while not
throwing an interception since Week 13 against the Chiefs.
Ryan came up big with his third 4-touchdown game of the season,
while completing 75 percent of his passes for 331 yards against
a poor New Orleans pass defense.
My logic on spending the premium on Ryan centered on the assumption
that the Saints would like to play spoiler for the division rival,
thus forcing the Falcons to actively score in what could be a
high scoring game. This proved to be correct, as both teams combined
for 70 points in the highest scoring game of the week.
In my preview piece for the week I wrote about how teams sitting
starters presents an opportunity for DFS owners to start discounted
replacement players like DeAngelo Williams and Darren McFadden.
For this ticket I decided to go with one Week 17 replacement
running back and one top tier RB with plus matchup. I went back
and forth on Williams and McFadden, and luckily for me, I made
the right choice as Williams went for 100 total yards and two
scores, while McFadden managed just 6.7 points on 50 combined
The double dip on Freeman with Ryan might have been a risk with
Tevin Coleman eating into Freeman’s value in the passing game,
but Freeman came through with a 70-yard TD scamper and 80 receiving
My running back and quarterback selections were the primary reason
why I was able to finish 283rd out of 963 teams, while the WR
and tight end selections to follow nearly sunk this lineup.
The assumption that Steve Smith would be peppered with targets
in his final game in the NFL proved to be drastically wrong, as
Smith would finish the game against the Bengals with a pedestrian
three catches for 34 yards.
In a game where neither team had anything to gain, it seemed
logical to me that the Ravens would give the veteran every chance
to go out with a final big performance. Not only did the Ravens
lose, but they didn’t given Smith the going away party that
I expected. Perhaps I should have given more consideration to
the fact that it was an away game against a division foe.
Mohamed Sanu made sense for this ticket based on the fact that
I already allocated most of my budget on other positions like
quarterback, tight end, and running back. I searched for low cost
wide receivers in games that had the makings of high scoring affairs,
and the possibility of double dipping with Ryan was appealing
in a tournament format.
Baldwin posted a ridiculous 19 targets in Week 16’s loss against
the Cardinals, leading me to believe that he would once again
receive a large percentage of targets with Tyler Lockett on IR
with a broken foot. When you add in that fact mixed with an easy
matchup against a division foe in a game they need to win, Baldwin
had gold written all over him. Two catches for 42 yards later,
and I am feeling as if that prediction was really fool’s gold.
The Chiefs have yet to explain why Kelce, the top tight end over
the second half of the season and the team’s leading receiver,
was absent over the first drive of the game. For the 32 percent
of owners on draft kings like myself who invested $5k in the tight
end, his absence from that drive and the entirety of the remainder
of the game is still a mystery.
An average performance based on his yearly totals would have
given me 15 more fantasy points on this ticket, moving me up two
payment tiers to $25. It is beyond frustrating to have one of
your sure bet players drop a turd and cost you money.
I went back a forth a few times on my grade for Nelson between
B- and C based on the fact that at $4,600 wide receiver giving
over ten points is a decent outcome. But when you consider my
prediction that Nelson would receive over ten targets (12 in the
game), and he was unable to reach 100 yards or a score with those
targets, it is hard not to be a bit underwhelmed.
Defense: Minnesota Fantasy Points: 22
I had arguably my best defensive week of the year with both of
my defenses for the week, Minnesota and Tennessee, getting defensive
The Vikings and home in a meaningless game against the Bears
and Matt Barkley looked like a possible game where a defensive
score might occur. Luckily for me the Vikings were able to see
past the silliness of the protestors hanging from the rafters
to post three sacks, two interceptions and that coveted defensive