week three DFS Dont's

Week One DFS Dont’s: Report Card

With the first Sunday in the books, it’s time to review week one and my predictions. I’ll be reviewing my picks from last week’s DFS Dont’s article series, as well as the picks I made on the Suck My DFS Podcast. Picks aside, I started off the year right by finishing in the money in all 36 of my FanDuel contests. Without further adieu, here is the report card edition of my week one DFS Dont’s.

Quarterback: 1/5

Last week, I stated that Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Stafford should stay off your DFS lineups. I was feeling great about my Stafford prediction after the first quarter, but that feeling quickly subsided. Stafford finished with 28.08 points. Roethlisberger didn’t set the world on fire, but I’ll chalk his 16.72 points up as a loss for me.

On the Suck My DFS Podcast, I chose three quarterbacks I liked in cash games and GPP’s: Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Brian Hoyer. Both Wilson and Hoyer scored single digit points. On the bright side, Wilson didn’t cost me in my cash games. Thankfully, Carson Wentz paid dividends on his $7,100 price tag, as he scored 19.88 points.

I ended up playing three quarterbacks in my cash lineups: Russell Wilson, Derek Carr and Carson Wentz. I couldn’t find a good combination for my GPP contests, so I decided to pull my money out this week and just play cash games. I’m not regretting that decision.

Running Back: 3/6

In my running back DFS Dont’s piece, I advised that you stay away from Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette and Marshawn Lynch. I had know idea the Jacksonville Jaguars would dominate the Houston Texans in such dramatic fashion. I look forward to cashing in on Fournette in the future as he scored 19.9 points in his debut. Elliott’s $8,700 price tag isn’t usually worth 16.5 points; however, I’ll mark it as a loss since that’s much better than how David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell produced. I told you to stay away from Lynch until we know exactly how his workload will look, hopefully you did, as he scored a whopping 9.7 points.

On the podcast, I gushed over LeSean McCoy and Todd Gurley. They scored 18.4 and 18.1 points each. Sadly, I also loved Bilal Powell, who produced a disappointing single digit performance. Once again, I lucked out with my Powell prediction since I didn’t partake in any GPP contests in week one.

Wide Receiver: 1/5

My week one DFS Dont’s at this position included Dez Bryant, Golden Tate and Jarvis Landry. I was dead on about Bryant and his personal match up against Janoris Jenkins, as he scored a disappointing 5.3 points. However, I was totally wrong about Golden Tate. He, unlike Dez, found a way to overcome a tough match up and produced 16.4 points. Jarvis Landry had an unexpected bye, so I won’t be counting that prediction at all.

In my podcast picks, I pounded the table on AJ Green, Doug Baldwin and Martavis Bryant. I was wrong on all three as they severely under produced.

Tight End: 3/5

Eric Ebron was awful, so that gives me a mark in the win column. Yet again, my other prediction was set to play in the rescheduled Miami vs Tampa Bay game, so throw out O.J. Howard this week.

The tight ends I liked were Delanie Walker, Zach Ertz, Jack Dolye and Zach Miller. Walker and Ertz finished in the top six among tight ends in week one. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough volume for Doyle or Miller to get a chance to be productive or else they would have hit as well. I’ll take the two losses on Doyle and Miller.

Kicker: 2/2

It’s pretty straight forward, stop paying up for kickers. The position is way too dependent on coaching decisions, weather and offensive competency. Nine kickers scored double digit points in week one, and Justin Tucker was not one of them.

On the other hand, my podcast pick clicked, Ryan Succop. It wasn’t rocket science. Here’s the criteria for which I pick my kicker. Is he less than $4,800? Is he at home? Is he favored? Is the weather good? Succop met all of these requirements.

Defense: 2/4

In my first ever DFS Dont’s piece, I made the case not to play the Pittsburgh or Buffalo defense. Neither one of them paid off like most had hoped, but, neither imploded like I had hoped. Given your defense starts with 10 points, I’ll say I was wrong about the Steelers, since they scored 12, and was right about the Bills, since they only scored nine.

We crushed our defensive picks to click. Both Will and I were all in on Los Angeles in week one and they did not disappoint. On the other hand, I offered the Arizona defense as a potential GPP pivot from the Rams, and they only scored eight points.

Week One DFS Dont’s Report Card: 12/27

On a percentage basis, I was not good. I only connected on 44% of my picks in week one. By my standards, and at almost any academic institution, 44% is a failure. Now, no one gets 100% of their predictions right, but, I need to operate in the 60-70 percentile to feel like it was a good week. You can check out all of my week one DFS Dont’s articles here. We’ll start with week two tomorrow as we break down what kicker and defenses you should avoid.


Like what you read? Tune into the Suck My DFS Podcast this Friday and find out who TGH fantasy experts will be playing in their DFS lineups this week. You can find the link to our podcast on the Podcast page.


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Week One DFS Dont's

Week One DFS Dont’s: Kickers and D/ST

After what seems like an eternity, week one is finally upon us. With a new season comes the opportunity to cash in on NFL daily fantasy. This week’s Sunday slate is full of great upside and terrible floors, depending on where you look. For now, let’s start by identifying the kickers and defenses on our week one DFS dont’s. So, welcome to the first installment of the season-long series, DFS dont’s.

Justin Tucker: FanDuel Price $5,000

week one DFS Dont's: kickers d/st

Justin Tucker’s production is likely to suffer with as the Ravens’ offense is injury stricken (Photo Courtesy of; Press Box Online).

What? How is one of the most consistent kickers in NFL history part of my week one DFS dont’s? I’m glad you asked. The following factors will keep Justin Tucker off all my DFS lineups this week: price, ownership percentage and the Ravens’ offense.

$5,000 is a lot to spend on a kicker. A difference of $500 or $300 may not seem like much. However, that means getting the chance to upgrade your second running back or third wide receiver. For example, a $300 difference means playing Terrelle Pryor instead of Randall Cobb. And, a $500 difference means playing Carlos Hyde over Eddie Lacy or Bilal Powell. I’d rather allocate resources at those positions as opposed to my kicker, even if his name is Justin Tucker.

Price aside, Tucker will no doubt be one of the more popular plays at the kicker position, and it makes sense. Tucker can score in the high teens and low 20’s any given week. I just don’t think it’s happening in week one.

If you’re trying to win a GPP, it would be smart to fade Tucker. That way, if he slightly underperforms, you won’t be suffering with the rest of the field who decided to pay up for a kicker. And, if he does over produce, those players will be counting on big games from marginal players at other positions.

The final reason Tucker is included in my week one DFS dont’s is the offense he’s tied to. The offensive outlook of the Ravens is bleak. They are riddled with injuries, including Joe Flaccco. And if Ryan Mallet has to play, he will plummet the value of every fantasy asset on this team, including Justin Tucker.

Not to mention, they start the year against the Bengals, who are intimately familiar with the Ravens’ offensive scheme. Overall, opportunities will not be there for Tucker. Sure, he could connect from 60 yards and two extra points, but I won’t take that risk with all of the offensive uncertainty in Baltimore.

Pittsburgh Steelers: FanDuel Price $4,800

Yes, I know the Steelers are playing the Cleveland Browns in week one. And yes, I know the Steelers’ defense scored 22 points last year when playing at Cleveland, however, this will not happen again. For one, this was the only game last year that Pittsburgh’s defense scored a defensive touchdown. Meaning, it was a total fluke. Also, they recorded eight sacks in that same game.

Cleveland has quietly assembled one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Joe Thomas anchors an offensive line that will look to protect their rookie quarterback by running the football. Thomas, combined with the acquisitions of JC Tretter and Kevin Zeitler, will be an elite offensive line. Thus, Cleveland will limit interceptions and sack opportunities for the Pittsburgh defense.

There is also another factor to consider. Even a marginal fantasy football player knows how mediocre Ben Roethlisberger has been on the road in the past three seasons. This prolonged slump will allow Cleveland to stay committed to the run game. A steady dose of Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. will keep the defense on the field and their pass rushers from causing problems.

Aside from perception not equating to reality, their price tag is too high. The Steelers are the third-most expensive defense on the Sunday slate behind Houston, a truly elite unit, and Carolina, who play the 49ers. There is no way I’m paying $4,800 for a mediocre defense, on the road, against a much improved Cleveland Browns team.

There are multiple defenses at the $4,600 price with better situations that I’ll be considering week one. For these reasons, the Steelers defense will absolutely underperform, thus claiming a spot on my week one DFS dont’s.

Buffalo Bills: FanDuel Price $4,700

Streaming average defenses against poor offenses is a popular season-long fantasy strategy. However, why should I choose a defense that isn’t good even though they are playing a bad offense? That’s why I love DFS. I don’t have to do anything I don’t feel 100 percent confident about. The Bills, like the Steelers, wind up on my week one DFS dont’s.

I understand that Bills are playing the Jets, however, the Bills are not a good defense. They are more attractive to me than Pittsburgh this week because of the slightly reduced price point and the fact that they are playing at home.

Last season, the Bills’ defense scored double digit points only four times. They also scored four points or less a staggering six times, including a negative four and a zero.

Their defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier, and his 4-3 cover 2 scheme is archaic. This scheme is notorious for giving up big plays. Since 2013, as a defensive coordinator or head coach, his defenses never finished top ten in the following categories: points against, takeaways, rushing yards allowed, rushing touchdowns allowed, passing yards allowed and passing touchdowns allowed.

Even if the Bills force the Jets into passing the entire second half, they won’t be able to shut them down because of their scheme. Of course, they can score points from sacks, but Josh McCown is capable of making them pay in garbage time. Now, the Bills could dominate with their defensive line and score close to 20 points, but they are just as likely to score less than ten.


Like what you read? Tune into the Suck My DFS Podcast this Friday and find out who TGH fantasy experts will be playing in their DFS lineups this week. You can find the link to our podcast on the Podcast page.


You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for more sports and Esports articles written by other great TGH writers along with Braxton!

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Top 5 Kickers in Fantasy

Top five kickers in fantasy football

When it comes to fantasy football, the one position that gets no recognition is the kicker. They just kick extra points and field goals to the common player. But just because they’re the pink label at your draft party doesn’t mean they can’t be a big component of your team.

There will be a time you need that one point to win a championship and it comes down to a kicker either you have or are playing against. Kickers can at times make or break your fantasy team, so don’t overlook them.

Here are the top five kickers for fantasy football in 2017.

No.5 Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints

Lutz had a successful rookie year in 2016. He had the fifth-most points thanks in part to his 98.0 percent accuracy on 50 PAT attempts. He was one of only two kickers with that many behind Matt Bryant.

He went on to post seven top-10 fantasy weeks and finished seventh at the position in fantasy points. Lutz made 28 of his 34 field goals (82.4 percent) that ranked 12th in field goals made and attempted. His situation in New Orleans is a good fit due to a good offense for him to get plenty of opportunities.

The Saints rank 31st in attempts in the past decade (278) but Lutz will be effective when his name is called. It’s possible the 23-year-old’s effectiveness improves in his second season.

No.4 Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots

top 5 NFL kickers

Stephen Gostkowski (Photo by: patriots.com)

Even though he had a disappointing 2016 season, I still like Stephen Gostkowski and rank him fourth on my list. Gostkowski had five straight seasons as a top-three fantasy kicker, including number one in each of the previous three years.

In 2016, Gostkowski fell to eighth in fantasy scoring. He converted 84.4 percent of his field goal attempts, which was his worst mark since 2012, and missed three extra point attempts. His 32 attempts were his lowest mark since 2010.

But Gostkowski still had at least over 50 percent when he attempted a field goal from each distance. The real reason why Gostkowski is still a reliable kicker is because of the team is playing for which has one of the best offenses in the NFL.

Gostkowski is still a quality kicker and expected to see more opportunities in 2017 as the Patriots rank third in the NFL with 336 field goal attempts during the past decade. Expect Gostkowski to bounce back.

No.3 Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys

Bailey converted only 27 (or 84.4 percent) of 32 field goal attempts last season, but his career mark of 89.5 percent is second-best all time behind only Justin Tucker.

Two of his five misses were in outside stadiums and not in dome stadiums where he is most comfortable. Three of his misses also came from 50-plus yards. He did have a career-low from 40-49 yards at 77.8 percent where he has done better than 83.3 percent in his first five seasons.

Bailey finished 10th at the position last year and has finished no lower than 11th since entering the league in 2011. Bailey is one of two kickers who haven’t missed an extra point attempt during the past two seasons. The high efficiency has led to a lot of fantasy success. The Cowboys offense should allow him plenty of opportunities.

No.2 Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons

top 5 NFL kickers

Matt Bryant (Photo by: http://atlantafalcons.blog.ajc.com)

It doesn’t matter how old you are if you’re Matt Bryant. The 42-year-old led all fantasy kickers in points with 176 points last season. Bryant has finished as a top-five fantasy kicker in four of the past seven years and posted a top-10 fantasy week 13 times last season, which was four more than the next-closest kicker. With Atlanta’s terrific offense, he converted an NFL-high 56 of his 57 extra point attempts.

Bryant is getting older but he still can hit his marks. He made 34 of 37 field goal attempts (91.9 percent) last season. One concerning stat from last year is besides attempts from 20-29 yards, he didn’t attempt over 10 field goals in each yard category. However, he made over 75 percent when attempting his field goals. He will still get his chances and be a top-5 kicker at the end of the season.

No.1 Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

Justin Tucker ranks number one on my list and has every right to be. He was ridiculous last year. He missed one field goal all season and the one he missed was blocked. Bryant was a perfect 14 for 14 from 40-49 yards and 10 of 10 from 50-plus yards. No other kicker last year was perfect from 50-plus yards.

Tucker’s career 89.8 percent field goal conversion rate is the best of all time, and he has connected on all 56 extra point attempts since the league moved the ball to the 15-yard line in 2015.

The Baltimore Ravens have been reliable with their kicker as they have attempted an NFL-high 352 field goals during the past decade. He’s your best bet at the position as he was second in total points last year in standard scoring with 174 fantasy points and has finished no lower than 11th since he entered the league in 2012.


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