DFS Lineups, DFS Value Plays, Fantasy Sleepers

NBA DFS Main Slate – 02/07/19

I’ve decided to try something different in terms of fantasy writing and switch gears to the NBA following the Super Bowl and the end of the NFL season.

With that in mind, I also enter the fold at an inopportune time; the NBA Trade Deadline was today, and prior to that a plethora of trades swept the league. A good lineup is likely going to involve taking advantage of one or more of the players that benefit most from the trades that occurred.

So on DraftKings, you draft the following positions:

  • Point Guard (PG)
  • Shooting Guard (SG)
  • Small Forward (SF)
  • Power Forward (PF)
  • Center (C)
  • Guard (PG/SG)
  • Forward (SF/PF)
  • Utility (PG/SG/SF/PF/C)

You have a $50,000 salary cap, or an average of $6,250 per position. You can certainly go high on players like Russell Westbrook ($11,300) or LeBron James ($10,400), but then you have to budget accordingly across the remainder of your lineup. What sets DraftKings apart from FanDuel is that you can customize a lineup in many different ways because so many players fall under multiple positions (ex. LeBron James can go in your SF, PF, F or Utility slot). Because of this, you could build a big man-centric lineup, a smaller team filled with extra guards, or try and even it out.

With this in mind, the games to be played tonight:

  • Clippers @ Pacers (7:00 P.M.)
  • Timberwolves @ Magic (7:00 P.M.)
  • Raptors @ Hawks (7:30 P.M.)
  • Lakers @ Celtics (8:00 P.M.)
  • Grizzlies @ Thunder (8:00 P.M.)
  • Spurs @ Trail Blazers (10:30 P.M.)

Top plays tonight, like I mentioned earlier, are likely players that will gain extra playing time as a result of the trades that occurred in the last few days. A lot of these players are incredibly cheap so they should match value and provide room to pad your lineup with extra studs.

Here are a few of my top plays tonight:

Ivan Rabb NBA

PF/C Ivan Rabb – Memphis Grizzlies – $5,100

C Marc Gasol was traded to the Toronto Raptors today in exchange for C Jonas Valanciunas, G Delon Wright, F C.J. Miles and a 2024 second-round pick, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This opens up plenty of minutes for Rabb in the Memphis frontcout. Rabb started on February 5th against the Timberwolves with Gasol sitting out due to trade talks picking up, notching a double-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals, an assist and a block in 33 minutes.

The Thunder have given up the 5th-fewest points-per-game to opposing defenses (105), but Rabb should have a high floor as he’ll see plenty of run tonight. At $5,100, it’s hard not to consider him a lock.

SG/SF Terrence Ross – Orlando Magic – $5,100

The Magic didn’t see any movement outside of sending G/F Jonathan Simmons to the Philadelphia 76ers (along with a first-rounder and second-rounder) for 2017 #1 overall pick, G Markelle Fultz. However, Ross has been a scoring machine of late, scoring 25+ points in two of his last three games despite averaging 26 minutes/game during that stretch.

Expect Ross to have a decent floor tonight as he faces a Minnesota defense that’s depleted in the backcourt; PGs Derrick Rose and Tyus Jones are both out while PG Jeff Teague (foot) has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable – even if Teague plays, Ross should have plenty of opportunities to score. Ross also boosts his floor with his defensive ability – he’s had 6 steals in the aforementioned span of games. Ross isn’t a surefire lock, but he’s another reliable value play tonight that might not be as highly owned as some of the top SG/SF options like the Pacers’ Bojan Bogdanovic or the Grizzlies’ Justin Holiday.

SF/PF Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder – $10,000

I don’t think much needs to be said here… George has 35+ points in his last 5 games. As a member of an offense that includes PG Russell Westbrook, it’s insane that he’s scoring that much consistently.

George is up against a Grizzlies’ team that has played extremely defensive basketball this year, but is incredibly short-handed due to trades. Absolute lock.

C Jusuf Nurkic – Portland Trail Blazers – $7,900

The Spurs will have LaMarcus Aldridge (rest) back tonight, but I still love Nurkic here. He only played 23 minutes in his last game due to foul trouble, and even with lingering knee soreness, I think Nurkic has a solid floor. His value at $7,900 makes him one of my favorite C plays tonight.

 

Best of luck on your fantasy lineups tonight, everyone. I’m definitely still a football-first kind of guy, but maybe this NBA thing will work out. I don’t know.. let me know what you think!

DFS Lineups, DFS Value Plays, Fantasy Sleepers

Super Bowl LIII Single-Game Contests (FanDuel)

We’re talking FanDuel here, so five players instead of six on DraftKings, and you have a $60,000 salary cap.

Luckily the MVP isn’t worth 1.5x the money on FanDuel, otherwise you’d be paying far too much for a quality player in this slot.

Sony Michel

(Image courtesy of Pro Football Reference)

I have to go with Sony Michel for my MVP for the same reasons I talked about in my previous article; Michel is clearly the hot hand in the Patriots’ offense right now. Five rushing TDs in two playoff games? He’s going to see at least 20 carries in the Super Bowl, so no doubt Michel should get the nod. Despite being $14,500, he’s worth it.

The prices on FanDuel are jacked up a bit considering the extra $10,000 in salary cap.. like I said on my previous article, Tom Brady is worth $10,600 on DK but a whopping $15,500 on FD. I honestly think it’s a good idea to fade from Brady on FD – save your money, as I think Super Bowl LIII is going to be a running-heavy game. With Michel at MVP, stack him with Rex Burkhead for $10,000. Burkhead and Michel both rushed for paydirt twice against the Chiefs. Burkhead should see plenty of usage in order to give Michel and James White a breather.

Julian Edelman is Brady’s top option in the passing game and should be a core play at $14,000. He’s a quality option who should be moved around the field to make the most of his route-running prowess.

I’d round out the remaining $20,500 with Brandin Cooks ($11,500) and Greg Zuerlein ($10,000). Cooks will see plenty of targets against his former team. I like Zuerlein because the Patriots play great defense in the red zone. I see Zuerlein getting at least 2 opportunities to kick a field goal.. potentially more if some big plays occur.

Best of luck on Super Bowl Sunday!

 

DFS Lineups, Fantasy Sleepers

Super Bowl LIII Single-Game Showdown Thoughts (DraftKings)

The 2018 NFL season boils down to one final showdown between two juggernauts – the AFC’s New England Patriots against the NFC’s Los Angeles Rams. A rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI will play out this Sunday night, with the CBS duo of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo set to call play-by-play and color, respectively.

Now, for the upcoming single-game showdown…

In case you’re unaware of how a DraftKings (DK) single-game contest works, you pick 6 players from the game that you think will score the most fantasy points within a $50,000 budget and the more points your lineup scores, the more money you win. The thing is, you need at least one player from each team in order to make a valid lineup.

You pick one player to be your ‘Captain’, who earns 1.5x the points a player would normally earn – this means a receiving or rushing TD is worth 9 points instead of 6 for this player only, so you basically slot in the guy you think will kill it.

That being said, DK operates differently from FanDuel (FD) with single-game contests, with the key differences being:

  • FD’s single-game contests have 5 players while DK’ has 6.
  • FD’s salary cap is $60,000 while DK’ is $50,000.
  • DK offers kickers AND defense/special teams in their single-game contests, while FD only offers kickers out of the two.
  • DK calls the top player in your lineup the ‘Captain’, while FD refers to them as the ‘MVP’.
  • FD prices players at a set price, with the MVP costing the same as if he were a flex player… conversely, DK prices players regularly, however the Captain costs 1.5x his original price. (So Tom Brady on FD is worth $15,500 but he’d cost the same if he were your MVP.. if you pick Brady on DK, he’s worth $10,600 normally. In your Captain slot, he’d go for $15,900!)
  • Lastly, FD operates on a .5 PPR scoring system, so each reception is worth half a point. On DK, each reception is a full point. Also, DK offers bonuses for players, namely for 300+ passing yards and 100+ receiving/rushing yards.

Noting these differences, an ideal way to save money and stack multiple studs in your DK lineup is to pick a Captain that is normally pretty cheap to play. In this Patriots-Rams matchup, a guy like Rex Burkhead ($7,200 Captain cost) or Chris Hogan ($5,700 Captain cost) could be a solid Captain play. Both players are seeing a lot of snaps despite their low cost. Burkhead of late has been seeing a lot of goal-line work, which earned him 2 TDs against Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, including the game-winner.

With this all in mind, don’t only play cheap plays at Captain. Chances are one of the top-priced guys will be the one to explode. My top guy in this game is Sony Michel. While I respect what Tom Brady has done in his past two Super Bowls with his arm, I’m thinking the Patriots lean more on the running game in this one. Michel has seen a whopping 53 carries out of the backfield in two playoff games, rushing for 242 yards and 5(!!) TDs. Clearly the Patriots love the young Georgia product, and up against his former teammate in Todd Gurley, Michel will want to put up major numbers. With the workload he’s been getting, a Captain salary of $10,200 is honestly a steal. On the year, the Rams were fairly run-of-the-mill against the run, allowing 114 yards per game to opposing rushers. However, in their last three games, the Rams have stifled opposing backs to 75 yards a game. Against the Rams’ defensive line featuring Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, running won’t be easy.. however, the Patriots have made their way to the Big Game through the run. The “three-headed monster” of Michel, James White and Burkhead make the Patriots very effective at time management and ball control, which I think will be huge factors in this game.

sony michel (espn)

(Image courtesy of ESPN.com)

Putting Michel at Captain leaves $39,800 for the rest of my lineup. That’s room to fit in guys that are sure to score some points, like Tom Brady ($10,600) and Julian Edelman ($10,800). These three leave $18,400 left for three flex spots. At this point, choosing someone cheap will help to spread out the remaining money effectively. Tyler Higbee ($2,200) has seen 4 targets in each of the Rams’ playoff games thus far, including scoring a TD against the Saints. He could see a few more targets if Super Bowl LIII ends up being a back-and-forth shootout, so he may be a sleeper play. Stephen Gostkowski ($3,200) is one of the best kickers in the league (and in NFL history, let’s be real), and he’s made all three of his field goal attempts thus far in this playoff run. Expect him to see at least one or two FG opportunities while also having a safe floor with extra points; if Gostkowski gets you 8-10, that’s a pretty decent score from a low salary like his.

Choosing Gostkowski leaves you with $15,200 for two flex spots.. you could go high and choose Jared Goff ($10,000) for the chance of him throwing 300+ yards, Todd Gurley ($9,000) or C.J. Anderson ($5,200) in the hopes that they bowl over the Patriots, or choose one of his receivers in Brandin Cooks ($8,200) or Robert Woods ($7,800) and hope they go off. I like Cooks personally for this matchup – it’s a second-straight rivalry game for him as he faces the team that traded him away. Cooks caught 7 of his 8 targets for 107 yards, and while he didn’t score, the 100+ yard bonus added to his day for DK players that played him during the Championship weekend. Consider him a borderline must-start against New England.

Slotting in Cooks leaves me with $7,000. I typically don’t like leaving more than $300-$600 of cap space, but in this case, I’m going for it. Rob Gronkowski ($6,000) has been utilized more for his blocking ability than his pass-catching of late. This doesn’t translate well on the fantasy side of things, but I have a hunch the Patriots will try and get Gronk the ball early and often in this one. Now don’t get me wrong – Gronk will still block, as having him as an “extra offensive lineman” on running plays is a big part of the Patriots’ recent success on the ground – but Gronk is a big part of the passing attack that should see plenty of use as he’s been on this stage more often than most guys. With Rams’ cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib shadowing guys like Edelman and Hogan, I think Gronk is that X-factor that’s going to see attention, particularly in the red zone. Leaving $1,000 worth of salary hurts a bit, but I’m hoping my hunch of Gronk pays off this weekend.

So to recap:

CAPTAIN – RB Sony Michel, $10,200
FLEX – WR Julian Edeman, $10,800
FLEX – QB Tom Brady, $10,600
FLEX – WR Brandin Cooks, $8,200
FLEX – TE Rob Gronkowski, $6,000
FLEX – K Stephen Gostkowski, $3,200
TOTAL – $59,000 — $1,000 remaining

Best of luck to you all this Super Bowl weekend!

Fantasy Sleepers, Waiver Wire

Week 10 Waiver Wire Pickups

The newest episode of the Triple F Podcast covers waiver wire options for Week 10, courtesy of yours truly (you can thank me later).

Week 10 Waiver Wire Pickups

Below are the mentioned players, for your convenience:

McCown

(I do not own this image, nor do I intend to use this photo maliciously. Courtesy of 247Sports.com)

QB Josh McCown, NYJ vs Buf

RB Duke Johnson Jr., Cle vs. Atl

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB vs. Mia

WR Dez Bryant, NO @ Cin

TE Benjamin Watson, NO @ Cin

49ers D/ST vs. NYG

Fantasy Sleepers

Fantasy Sleepers for Week 9

Just uploaded a bonus episode for you all: the Triple F Podcast this time covers some Week 9 sleeper options at each position!

Thank you all for tuning in. Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

Fantasy Sleepers

Week 8 Sleepers

QB Mitch Trubisky – Chicago Bears

Averaging 34.1 fantasy points per game (NFL.com) every week since Week 4, Mitch Trubisky is a solid option at the QB position going forward. If you drafted someone like Russell Wilson and are looking for another option at QB, look no further than Trubisky, who is already on pace to set all sorts of passing records for the Bears.

RB Jalen Richard – Oakland Raiders

With “Beast-Mode” placed on IR and out for the foreseeable future, Richard is set to split the rushing duties with Doug Martin. However, Richard’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield gives him a slight advantage from a fantasy standpoint. The Raiders square off with the Colts on Sunday, who are notorious for allowing running backs to catch the football. Richard has heightened fantasy value while Lynch is recovering, especially in PPR formats.

RB Kenjon Barner – New England Patriots

After an injury to Sony Michel last week against the Bears, the Pats are left with James White, and Kenjon Barner. New England has already lost both Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill to season-ending injuries, and with the absence of Michel, Barner should see an increased role in the Patriots offense. James White will still assume the role of lead back, but with all the moving around White does within the Patriots offense (in addition to his receiving production), it would make sense for Barner to control a good share of the rushing attempts. He’ll possibly even take the lead as a redzone back. I like Barner this week in a big win for the Pats over a struggling Buffalo Bills defense.

WR Tre’Quan Smith – New Orleans Saints

The Vikings secondary is banged up, and Ted Ginn is out with an injury, leaving the door open for Tre’Quan Smith to step up for New Orleans. The number one priority for the Vikings will be to stop Michael Thomas in the passing game, which in turn, should leave the door wide open for Smith to put up big numbers. I expect production this week from Smith in an offensive shootout in Minnesota.

WR Jordy Nelson – Oakland Raiders

With Amari Cooper out the door, Nelson all of a sudden finds himself as the number one receiver on the Raiders roster. Without Cooper, and after the offseason departures of Michael Crabtree and Cordarrelle Patterson, Derek Carr has limited options to throw the football to, and Nelson ranks at the top of list. Expect Jordy to have a break out week against a weak Indianapolis secondary.

TE Ben Watson – New Orleans Saints

This might be a little bit of point chasing. Watson is coming off his best game of the season where he had 6 catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. But similar to Tre’Quan Smith, Watson is likely to have an increase in targets in the absence of Ted Ginn. This is a high-powered offense with Drew Brees at the helm, who will never be afraid to throw the football regardless of who he is throwing to. Watson is a definite sleeper this week, and is primed for a solid Week 8 performance.

D/ST Arizona Cardinals vs. 49ers

Taking the bait on this one. Just a few weeks ago, the Cards forced five turnovers against this same 49ers team. And just one week ago, the Rams dominated the Niners with seven sacks and four takeaways. This play is just as much about how bad the Niners have been offensively as it is about Arizona’s success defensively. Give me the Cardinals defense on their home field.