Fantasy Sleepers, General

Seahawks Release WR Doug Baldwin, S Kam Chancellor

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks

Image courtesy of Troy Wayrynen, USA Today Sports.

WR Doug Baldwin was unable to pass his physical and was released today by the Seattle Seahawks due to the cumulative effects of injuries suffered, including various knee, shoulder and groin injuries as well as recovery from a sports hernia surgery.

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011, Baldwin caught 493 passes for 6,563 yards and 49 TD during his tenure with Seattle. He also was part of the Super Bowl XLVIII-winning team that trounced the Broncos 43-8; Baldwin caught all 5 of his targets for 66 yards and a TD in an effort that saw the Seahawks dominate in all three phases of the game.

We here at Far From Fantasy wish Baldwin the best of luck in his future endeavors.

In other Seahawks news, the team has also released S Kam Chancellor as he also failed his physical. Two iconic players in the team’s franchise history are gone, just like that.

Chancellor was drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was an integral part of the feared ‘Legion of Boom’; the legendary secondary consisting of Chancellor, free safety Earl Thomas III and cornerback Richard Sherman. Chancellor finishes his Seahawks’ tenure with 641 combined tackles (17 for loss), 9 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 44 passes deflected, and 12 interceptions.

Due to the nature of both players’ injury histories, it’s unlikely either play in the NFL for another team. Far From Fantasy wishes Chancellor well in his life post-NFL.

 

 

Fantasy Sleepers, General

Patriots Sign Veteran TE Benjamin Watson

Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints

Image courtesy of Chris Graythen, Getty Images.

 

After going from team to team, Watson’s career has come full-circle.

The veteran tight end has signed with the New England Patriots, the team he was drafted by in 2004 (32nd overall). The deal is for one-year, worth $3M.

Watson joins a tight end room that includes Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo, Stephen Anderson and undrafted rookie Andrew Beck. With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, there will be a multitude of passes going the way of a few of the aforementioned guys in the 2019 NFL season.

Watson’s retirement was clearly a short-lived one. Heading into the 2019 season, Watson has 5,885 receiving yards and 44 TD receptions; 20 of them were with the Patriots from 2005-2009.

We’ll find out in short order which of these TEs makes the final roster. My prediction? ASJ, Watson, and LaCosse with a possible fourth being Beck.

DFS Lineups, DFS Value Plays, Fantasy Sleepers, Start/Sit

NBA Showdown (Playoffs; 04/25/2019)

The NBA Playoffs have been in full swing for a little while now. The slate for tonight (Thursday, April 25th) consists of one game – Game 6 between the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs, which starts at 8:00 P.M. EDT.

With there not being many options for your Showdown lineup, let’s evaluate some of the top Captain options, depending on your strategy:

Value Captain Plays

SG Gary Harris, DEN ($10,500, $7,000 regular)

My most expensive value play of the night, Harris has been struggling over his last two games. He’s scored less than 25 DK points in both games, while adding little statistical contribution other than in points (23 points combined during the aforementioned span).

I’m predicting a rebound night for Harris, which will land him somewhere in the 30-35 DKP range (the 32.3 DKP on 04/16 being his highest total of the series thus far). His rebound totals over the series thus far have been modest at best, landing between averaging between 3-5 most nights. For Harris to be worth playing in your Captain spot tonight, he needs to put up 15+ points, 5+ rebound and at least 2 assists. A block, steal or both would be nice as well. Like I said, 30-35 DKP is a good night for Harris, although you may want to go cheaper with guys like…

C Jakob Poeltl, SAS ($8,400 Captain, $5,600 regular)

Poeltl has been getting steadily better over the series, scoring double-digit points in two of his last three games and consistently putting up 7+ boards as his assist numbers slowly rise. He’s up against a tough matchup in Denver’s Nikola Jokic (an obvious top play of the slate), but he’s getting 23-26+ points out of a guy this cheap is not a bad idea to help stack the rest of your lineup. Ideally, Poeltl needs at least 10+ points and get himself close to a double-double with 8+ rebounds. If he can notch a block or two, any assists are just gravy on top of the mashed potatoes. Getting ~40+ DKP out of Poeltl in your Captain slot is a good night (that mean’s he’ll need at least 26.75 DKP normally).

SG Torrey Craig, DEN ($5,700 Captain, $3,800 regular)

Okay, so Craig had a relatively bad night in an 18-point win Tuesday night, scoring just one point.. but he salvaged what would have been a terrible night with 10 boards. Keep in mind Craig only attempted one field goal (1-2 FT). He attempted 16 FGs over the previous two games, so look at Tuesday’s performance as an outlier. With Craig being implemented as a starter over teammate Will Barton, he’s seen heavy minutes over his past two games, and I don’t see that changing tonight. As long as Craig is starting, expect him to be a candidate for 25+ DKP (although admittedly, it’s a little more of a gamble than guys like Harris or Poeltl). I can see Craig scoring 13 points tonight, hitting 4 of 8 FG attempts (2-5 3PM/A, 2-2 FT). Along with 13 points, a rebound total of 7+ along with a steal or two would solidify Craig’s justification in the Captain slot, ending his night at 26.75 (40.125 in Captain slot) assuming he gets two steals.

Stud Captain Plays

C Nikola Jokic, DEN ($17,400 Captain, $11,600 regular)

Not really much to say, he’s clearly going to be a top Captain play due to his consistent numbers across the stat sheet. Jokic has failed to get above 45 DKP just once thus far in the series, which means he’s almost a lock for 67.5+ DKP in the Captain slot tonight.

The one downside to putting Jokic at Captain of course is the limitations it places across the rest of your lineup. Of course, Craig and Poeltl normally only take up $9,400 your $50,000 salary.. but Jokic alone takes almost 2/5th of that at $17,400. So the three combined at $26,800 leaves $23,200 for three positions.. not a lot of room to add another top stud like LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan or Jamal Murray.

PF LaMarcus Aldridge, SAS ($14,700 Captain, $9,800 regular)

Aldridge is not as strong of a lock in the Captain slot as Jokic, however he’s put up 35+ DKP over his last four games. Aldridge is a constant candidate for an explosive night as the Nuggets continue to place defensive attention on teammate DeMar DeRozan (as evidenced by the latter’s FG% over his last two games, not so coincidentally due to the change-up by Denver to bring Torrey Craig into the starting lineup).

Of course, in your Captain slot, Aldridge would ideally score 60+ DKP (40+ regular).. this isn’t out of the realm of possibility, since it’s happened twice thus far this series, but it’s not a guarantee. A great part of choosing Aldridge is the $2,700 you save over having Jokic at Captain. That extra flexibility could be a good thing and help set your lineup apart.

PG Jamal Murray, DEN ($13,500 Captain, $9,000 regular)

Murray’s had a strong series overall, albeit a miserable Game 3 on April 18th, only scoring 11.3 DKP in the 118-108 loss. In all of Murray’s strong games this series, he’s topped 20+ points scored – his last two games have also seen him notch 13 assists.

I don’t think Murray will score 40+ DKP again tonight, however 35-39 is a strong possibility. His last two strong games AGAIN correlate with the implementation of Craig in the starting lineup. Murray is, in my opinion, one of the safer plays of the slate.

 

DFS Lineups, DFS Value Plays, Fantasy Sleepers, Start/Sit

Jaguars Need To Trade For/Sign Nick Foles

Blake Bortles has never been and will never be the answer at the quarterback position in Jacksonville.

A solid defense led by a star cornerback in Jalen Ramsey needs to be complemented by a capable-enough offense. Bortles just can’t get the job done. Foles is a proven winner and would stand a much stronger chance of leading the Jaguars to a playoff berth of some kind. Assuming wide receiver Marqise Lee comes back healthy after missing all of last season, and the Jaguars possibly draft another receiver (or a tight end), this team could be one of the biggest sleepers of the 2019 NFL season.

If I were Shadid Khan, the owner of the Jaguars, I would be doing whatever I could (within reason) to acquire Nick Foles. Search for your next franchise quarterback in a future draft and pick up a proven winner now.

DFS Lineups, DFS Value Plays, Fantasy Sleepers

Pat’s Picks; NBA DFS (Main – 02/13/2019)

Right before the All-Star Break, we have a whopping 11 games on today’s Main slate.

Here are the list of games and their start times. Lock begins at 7:00 P.M.:

BKN Nets @ CLE Cavaliers (7:00 P.M.)
MIL Bucks @ IND Pacers (7:00 P.M.)
DET Pistons @ BOS Celtics (7:30 P.M.)
WAS Wizards @ TOR Raptors (7:30 P.M.)
PHI 76ers @ NY Knicks (7:30 P.M.)
MEM Grizzlies @ CHI Bulls (8:00 P.M.)
HOU Rockets @ MIN Timberwolves (8:00 P.M.)
MIA Heat @ DAL Mavericks (8:30 P.M.)
SAC Kings @ DEN Nuggets (9:00 P.M.)
PHO Suns @ LAC Clippers (10:30 P.M.)
GS Warriors @ POR Trail Blazers (10:30 P.M.)

Because it’s right before the break, some teams may opt to sit star players at the last minute to give them an extended rest before the final stretch of the regular season. With this in mind, my top choices of the slate will take advantage of this as well as some favorable matchups. They are:

Collin Sexton CLE

(Image courtesy of Fear The Sword; picture taken by Maddie Meyer of Getty Images)

PG Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers ($4,900 on DK; $5,500 on FD)

Sexton provides consistent value despite his price tag remaining in the low-to-mid five-thousands on both platforms. The rookie has averaged 19.25 field goal attempts per game over his last 4 contests and has scored over 25 DK points in each game during that span as well (scoring 41 in the 103-96 loss to Boston last Tuesday).

Up against a Brooklyn defense that allows close to 112 points per game, Sexton should have no trouble being inserted as a value play for DFS players tonight. I expect between 20-25 points as well as 3-5 rebounds, maybe 2 or 3 assists and a steal tonight. Without any turnovers, he’d tally 38.25 DK points with that line. Not bad for someone who costs $4,900.

SF/PF Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics ($4,800 on DK; $5,300 on FD)

With the C’s down star PG Kyrie Irving (knee), Hayward sank 8 of his 11 field goal attempts (including 6 of 7 from 3-point range), as well his 4 free throws for 26 points in the 112-109 win over the high-powered 76ers last night. He added 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in his 28 minutes for 39.5 DK points.

On the second half of a back-to-back prior to the All-Star break, Hayward and the Celtics host the Detroit Pistons.. this time without both Irving and, likely, backup PG Terry Rozier (illness; listed as doubtful as of this post). Hayward will see plenty of opportunities to score if Rozier is out as well, although I think Hayward would meet value regardless of whether Rozier plays or not.

If Rozier is out, SGs Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown as well as F Jayson Tatum would see boosts to their usage tonight.

The Pistons allow just under 110 points per game, but the combination of Detroit bigs in Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond have me holding off from either Marcus Morris or Al Horford tonight.

Somewhere around ~20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal would be a good night for Hayward (34.5 DK points without any turnovers) at his price tag, but he may be forced to carry more of the offensive workload with the team down Irving/Rozier. Hayward is one of many Celtics’ options tonight, but perhaps the safest ‘value play’.

C Karl Anthony-Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves ($10,300 on DK; $10,900 on FD)

The big man has averaged 28 points per game over his last 5. Houston’s Clint Capela (thumb) has rejoined the team but will not be available for tonight’s game against Minnesota. Kenneth Faried has played well in Capela’s stead, but KAT is virtually matchup-proof.

Despite the hefty price tag, I have complete confidence in KAT scoring over 55 DK points tonight against the Rockets. I’m predicting a monster double-double of at least 25 points, 15 rebounds.. but add in the 3-5 assists he may tally as well as his blocks/steals (possibly around 3-4 total), and that will pad his final stat line.

This final game before the All-Star break is a perfect chance for KAT to go all-in against the Rockets, a team considered to be one of the best in the West.

SG Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards ($8,700 on DK; $9,700 on FD)

Beal is likely going to go under the radar tonight on both platforms. With James Harden commanding a large percentage of ownership already, there are also a few value options at SG in Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown tonight (assuming Terry Rozier is out, like I mentioned above; see Gordon Hayward’s little tidbit). Allen Crabbe could also take ownership away from Beal because of Treveon Graham (personal) and Rodion Kurucs (elbow) being ruled out (Crabbe played 31 minutes the other day with those two playing a combined 36 minutes).

Don’t expect Beal to put up the monster stat line he put up last time the Wizards and Raptors played (43 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in 54 minutes), but I think Beal puts on a show tonight against the Raptors. Beal has scored 30+ in his last 2 games, with multiple steals in each of his last 4.

Beal could help set a lineup apart tonight. With options like Harden, Devin Booker, DeAngelo Russell and a few key value plays out there, it’s likely Beal is the X-factor in a winning lineup.

SG/SF Landry Shamet, Los Angeles Clippers ($4,000 on DK; $4,600 on FD)

Given Shamet’s production with the Clippers since his trade from the Philadephia 76ers, I’m surprised he’s not priced in the $4,500-$5,000 range on DK. Shamet may not contribute immensely in other categories, but scoring 15+ points a game gives him a safe floor at his price range for a non-big.

Shamet could allow a DFS player to fit in some other quality options; as another option in the long list of players today, he could be another key factor to set a lineup apart.

I’m thinking 15-20 points, 2-3 rebounds and assists and perhaps a steal or two would be as good of a stat line as you could ask from Shamet tonight. If he gets 30+, that’s just the gravy on top. Against the Suns, expect the latter.

Best of luck everybody in your DFS lineups tonight!

DFS Lineups, DFS Value Plays, Fantasy Sleepers

Pat’s Picks; NBA DFS (Main – 02/12/19)

Today I’ll start a series called ‘Pat’s Picks’, where I’ll highlight my top choices that you should put into some or all of your lineups. My picks will cover both FanDuel and DraftKings.

Here are today’s games, with the lock time set at 7:30 P.M.:

Lakers @ Hawks (7:30 P.M.)
Magic @ Pelicans (8:00 P.M.)
Spurs @ Grizzlies (8:00 P.M.) (I only like one player from this game…)
Celtics @ 76ers (8:00 P.M.)
Jazz @ Warriors (10:30 P.M.)

Without further ado…

Kenrich Williams NOP

(Image courtesy of The Advocate staff. Photo taken by Scott Threlkeld.)

SG/SF Kenrich Williams, New Orleans Pelicans ($4,900 on DK, $6,400 on FD)

Williams has been highly impressive of late, scoring double-digit points as well as upping his rebounding over the last 3 games. He consistently sees 35+ minutes and has heavily increased his production since seeing starter minutes.

He faces the Orlando Magic tonight – not a bad defense, but with Williams’ new role in the offense, he contributes across the board too much to not insert into your lineup. He put up his first career double-double in his last game (99-90 loss to Memphis, a top defense), and he’s a threat to put up double-doubles on a nightly basis with his current usage.

On DraftKings, Williams is one of my top locks. He’s cheap and should get at least 30+ DK points tonight. On FanDuel, his $6,400 price tag has me second-guessing him.. but he’s still an amazing play (he’s a SF on FD). Orlando’s Jonathan Isaac could cause a few turnovers as he’s a pretty consistent defender, but Williams to me is almost a guaranteed 30+ fantasy point play tonight.

SG/SF Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic ($5,100 on DK; $6,400 on FD)

Another player who is priced way lower than they ought to be. I’m surprised Isaac hasn’t reached the $6,000+ range on DK yet; at $5,100, Isaac is a fantastic play against a mediocre Pelicans’ defense allowing a whopping 115 points per game to opposing teams.

Isaac has been scoring 25+ DK points in his last 8 games, and has had multiple blocks in his last 6! Isaac is able to stuff the stat sheet, notching steals and blocks while adding to his floor with his rebounding totals. He’ll be a fine play tonight against the Pelicans – preferably on DK, but his defensive abilities justify his $6,400 price tag on FanDuel as well.

Expect a solid 25-30+ from Isaac.

SF/PF Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers ($6,000 on DK; $6,700 on FD)

Over 38 DK points in his last two games, Kuzma is geared for another solid night as he takes on a weak Hawks’ frontcourt.

The presence of LeBron James as one of the game’s top facilitators has been a major factor in Kuzma’s scoring emergence of late. Don’t expect huge contributions in other areas outside of maybe rebounding, but if Kuzma can score 20+ points he’s bound to provide value. I’d be surprised if Kuzma was kept under 35 fantasy points on either DK or FD tonight.

SF/PF Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers ($6,600 on DK; $7,200 on FD)

I think Harris is going to be low-owned with the trio of Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid commanding a higher percentage of ownership by players tonight. With the Celtics down Kyrie Irving tonight, Boston’s defensive attention will likely be spread too thin and allow Harris to slip through the cracks.

Of course Harris isn’t the top option on this high-powered offense, but his modest rebounding and assist totals make him very likely to hit value tonight. Boston is a good defensive team, but when they’re down Irving they’re playing from behind. I’m liking almost every 76er tonight including J.J. Redick, but I think Harris will help some people get some serious cash tonight.

C JaVale McGee, Los Angeles Lakers ($4,800 on DK; $6,300 on FD)

I like his price on DK a lot. Atlanta’s weak in the frontcourt, and I think McGee provides amazing value on both DK and FD despite his $1,500 increase on the latter.

McGee put up a 20-point double double against the 76ers, who had both Harris and Embiid on defense; the Hawks have John Collins and a combination of Dwayne Dedmon and Alex Len. I’m not too worried about McGee meeting his floor, but of course it’s dependent on him maintaining the 27.5 minutes/game average he’s seen over his last two games.

I’d be surprised if McGee gave less than 25 fantasy points on either platform.

C Joakim Noah, Memphis Grizzlies ($4,000 on DK; $3,700 on FD)

Okay, so a little caveat; C Jonas Valanciunas is available to debut for the Grizzlies tonight after his immigration paperwork cleared (Valancuinas previously playing for the Toronto Raptors before being traded). HOWEVER….. I still like Noah tonight. He should see a solid ~25 minutes even with Valanciunas in the fold tonight, as the latter is recovering from a thumb injury he sustained in December. Valanciunas is expected to play as a backup to PF/C Ivan Rabb for the time being.

Noah saw 30 minutes against the Pelicans this past Sunday, with the veteran turning back the clock and putting up a strong double-double (19 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists). Even if Noah only sees a max of 25 minutes, he’ll easily meet his minimal price tag (which, weirdly, is cheaper on FD). Expect around 25-30 fantasy points out of Noah tonight.

NOTE: This is probably the only player I’d play from either team in the Spurs-Grizzlies matchup. This will be mostly a defensive contest. Studs like DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Mike Conley are going to be hard-pressed to match their usual point totals; I’d hold off on relying on players from this contest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DFS Lineups, DFS Value Plays, Fantasy Sleepers

NBA DFS General Tips

Does it seem like no matter how good your lineup is, you’re just barely out of the money? Do you need help getting ahead?

Here are some of my general thoughts when it comes to playing NBA lineups. I’ll give specific tips regarding FanDuel and DraftKings-specific lineups:

FanDuel

  • The player with the lowest score will be dropped, but don’t let yourself get too cute with lineup choices. You should be just as careful on FanDuel with risky plays as you are on DraftKings. You don’t want to play pure boom or bust players under the assumption that they could just be your drop score because if one of the other 8 players in your lineups has an off-night or gets injured during the game/sits last minute due to sickness or something, you’re boned.
  • With the above in mind, FanDuel is definitely the place to get a little creative. Taking a chance on a guy who might not be 100% certain to play can pay off; other players in large tournament games will steer clear so that they don’t fall victim to an automatic 0.. but if the player does take the court, you now have a player that’s lower-owned than normal. If the player is a stud, it could very well be a key difference-maker.
  • Your drop-score candidate should cost as little as possible so you can use the rest of your $60,000 to build as strong a lineup as you can. Let’s say a starter is out due to rest or an injury; their backup is now going to see extra run, and if the backup is anywhere from $3,500 – $4,500, that’s an IDEAL candidate for your drop score. He can hopefully set the bar somewhere in the fantasy point range of 20-25, so the rest of your lineup should combine for around 290+ to get in the money a majority of the time.
  • Try and get players that not only score a lot, but stuff the stat sheet. A huge part of getting high scores from your plays involve choosing players that can steal and block as well as get consistent assists and/or rebounds. All of these stats are worth more than points – this doesn’t mean points aren’t valuable, but try and get players that are able to contribute in multiple areas as their floors are a LOT higher than those that simply score.. unless the scorers can consistently hit 25+ a game.

DraftKings

  • Take advantage of the ability to customize your lineup. Because of the variation of slots (starting 5, guard, forward, utility), you can do plenty of different things. Play multiple big men, multiple guards, multiple small forwards.. whatever you feel will get you the most points that specific day.
  • Regarding the point above, centers tend to have incredibly safe and high floors as their ability to rebound gives most of them a solid chance of a double-double most nights.
  • Speaking of double-doubles, stacking centers is a good idea because double-doubles/triple-doubles give players who attain them bonuses. 1.5 points for a DDbl, 3 for a TDbl. So big men that rebound a lot are prime candidates for DDbls, which means a virtual lock for 30+ fantasy points.
  • Because you only have a $50,000 salary cap instead of $60,000 on FanDuel, your value plays should be no higher than $4,100-$4,300. This lets you stack players that eat up more cap but are virtual locks.
  • When building a lineup, try to play value plays FIRST. This is so you don’t get too cash-happy right off the bat and you can get the hard part out of the way. Why play a guy who’s worth $6,700 when his ceiling is around 35? He may be consistent, but you’re spending way too much to get a sure 30-40 point range from a player. I’d rather play a cheaper player who’s on a hot streak to try and get that same score. It saves money and lets you play others who have higher ceilings.
  • Try not to play too many top players – a lot of them will be high-owned as they’re well-known and bound to be one of the top scorers of the night. This doesn’t mean that you never play them, but don’t over-saturate your exposure of that player. Building lineups that include players who will be overlooked due to bigger names or maybe a bad matchup is essential in making your lineup different than the norm, which may get you in the money.

There’s so much more I could type here, but I’m going to stop now before I fall asleep at the keyboard. Best of luck in your DFS lineups! Feel free to reach out if you have questions!