week 7 DFS don'ts

Week 7 DFS don’ts: Running back

This is by far my favorite position when it comes to DFS lineup construction. I love digging for under the radar players in a perceived tough matchup, or, who could receive an increased workload. There are so many viable options this week at the running back position; however, we need to establish the landmines in this week’s slate. Let’s examine which players we need to avoid in the running back edition of week 7 DFS don’ts.

Leonard Fournette: FanDuel Price $9,000

No, this isn’t a mistake. Yes, Leonard Fournette is one of the few workhorse running backs in the NFL. So, why is he on the week 7 DFS don’ts list? Among the multiple reasons, chief among them is his injury status. The Jaguars have said all week that he’s going to play. Contrary to their statements, Fournette hasn’t practiced at all this week and his status for today’s practice is in question. What makes Fournette special is the sheer volume he receives in his offense. If Fournette isn’t completely removed from the injury report, his touches will be limited.

If his touches are limited as a result of the injury, he’s no longer worth the $9,000 price tag. The top price tier is reserved for players like Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt. These players, like Fournette, are on the field for 90 percent of the offensive snaps. Should Fournette get a decreased workload, he becomes incredibly overpriced.

Fournette will also be playing on the road against an underrated Colts run defense. Teams are able to take advantage of the Colts by attacking their secondary. The Jaguars have shown us by their play calling that they do not want Blake Bortles to throw the ball more than he has to. Overall, I won’t be touching Fournette this weekend given his injury, price, and matchup.

Jerick McKinnon: FanDuel Price $7,000

week 7 DFS don'ts

Will the Jerick McKinnon hype train be able to roll through the visiting Baltimore Ravens? (Courtesy of; Pro 32)

The Jerick McKinnon party stops this week. I’m not rooting for him to fail; however, it’s time for his production to regress back to the mean. His involvement in the pass game gives him an added dimension as a starting running back. But, the number one way we need a running back to produce is by effectively carrying the ball. I know players like McKinnon and Chris Thompson have produced despite not being effective runners, but that isn’t sustainable.

Apart from his role, McKinnon is not in a favorable matchup. The Ravens have been bad against the run the past four weeks. The allowed double digit fantasy points to every running back they’ve faced. However, they were playing without Brandon Williams, their starting nose tackle. Williams returns to the lineup this weekend and the Ravens will no doubt be more effective at stopping the run as a result.

Take advantage of the competition and fade McKinnon. Everyone will be looking to play him after two weeks of quality production. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to this perceived favorable matchup. Brandon Williams’ return, among other factors, will keep me from playing McKinnon this weekend.

Doug Martin: FanDuel Price $6,600

Doug Martin’s placement on the week 7 DFS don’ts is the result of his quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Right now it doesn’t look good for Jameis Winston and his injured throwing shoulder. Their opponent, the Buffalo Bills, have been effective against the run thus far. If Fitzpatrick gets the start, they will no doubt dare him and the Buccaneers to throw the ball.

I don’t see Martin getting a heavy workload or being effective on a per rush basis. This Buccaneer defense has been one of the league’s worst, so I don’t see them keeping the game close enough to allow Martin a large enough workload as a runner. Martin, along with Fournette and McKinnon, round out my week 7 DFS don’ts at the running back position.

 

Featured Image Courtesy of ESPN.com

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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NFL Week 7 picks

Week 7 NFL picks against the spread

When taking point spreads into account, last week featured two of the biggest upsets in recent NFL history. Two double-digit underdogs won outright. My 6-8 record was okay, but not great. My season record now sits at 38-50-3.

The good news is the season is still fairly young. My picks are bolded, outright upsets have an asterisk and all lines are from rtsports.com at the time of my writing.

Thursday Night

Chiefs (-3) at Raiders – Do not read too much into Kansas City’s first loss last week. Pittsburgh is just a bad matchup for them. The Chiefs won both meetings with Oakland pretty convincingly last year. The Chiefs are better than last year and the Raiders are worse. Why would this meeting be any different? KC 24 Oak 13

Sunday

Cardinals at Rams (-3.5) (London) – Adrian Peterson’s Cardinals debut wildly exceeded expectations. It appears he will make this team much more dangerous going forward. However, the NFC is now wide open, and it can be argued that the Rams are the most complete team in the conference. They can hurt you on the ground and through the air. Additionally, their defensive front seven is as good as you will find anywhere. LAR 28 Ari 21

Ravens at Vikings (-5.5) – Both these defenses are really good. Both offenses make my head hurt at times. Despite quarterback chaos, Minnesota has been finding ways to win lately.

For Baltimore, Joe Flacco has four touchdowns and eight interceptions. Everything is dink and dunk. They have no vertical passing game to speak of. It is hard to win that way. Min 20 Bal 13   

Panthers (-3) at *Bears – With Mitch Trubisky now at quarterback, Chicago seems to have simplified the offense. They ran Jordan Howard until his legs just about fell off last week, but did so effectively. If that continues, Trubisky is capable of making a few big throws to win some games. The Bears may become the most underrated team in the league before long.

Carolina is weird. Just when it looks like they are back to the 2015 version, they lay an egg like they did last week against Philadelphia. I have no clue what to expect from them here. However, I suddenly really like what Chicago is doing. Chi 24 Car 20

NFL Week 7 picks

(Photo by NBC Sports)

Jaguars (-3) at *Colts – Leonard Fournette is unbelievable, and the Jacksonville defense is playing its guts out. Even so, until the Jags show they can win a game because of Blake Bortles rather than in spite of him, putting any faith in them makes me nervous. Ind 24 Jac 21

*Jets at Dolphins (-3) – The Dolphins offense is still sputtering. To their credit, they have managed to win in spite of that the last two weeks.  The problems persist though. Jay Cutler has not even thrown for 300 combined yards in those games. Miami is also facing the same defense that dismantled them just a few weeks ago. Also, the Jets are a pretty good football team. Playing New England to the wire last week should erase any lingering doubts about that. NYJ 20 Mia 17

Buccaneers at Bills (Pick em) – Jameis Winston is a question mark with a shoulder injury. So a pick ‘em line is all you are going to find until that gets clearer. As a whole though, the Bucs just do not seem ready for the big time. The roster may just be too young or lack leadership.

Either way, something is missing. In two road games this year, they have been dominated by Minnesota and Arizona. The Bills are on par with those teams and a decent home team in September and October. Buf 28 TB 21

Titans (-5.5) at Browns – Marcus Mariota may still not be fully healthy, but the Browns are just awful. It felt like the organization had made strides this offseason. Sadly for Cleveland fans, it is more of the same. Ten 21 Cle 10

Saints (-5.5) at Packers – This line has moved ten points since the Aaron Rodgers injury. If it turns out that Brett Hundley can play, the NFC North is still there for the taking. Despite that, having to score enough to keep up with Drew Brees and deal with a Saints defense that is suddenly getting sacks and turnovers is a tall order for your first full game as the starter. NO 34 GB 20.

Cowboys (-6) at *49ers – The Cowboys defense has been torched for over 30 points in each of its last two games. The 49ers string of close losses continued last week. Dallas just isn’t playing that well right now. The spark of rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard gets the 49ers over the hump and in the win column. SF 27 Dal 21

Bengals at Steelers (-5.5) – After winning in Kansas City last week, it appears reports of the Steelers demise were greatly exaggerated.  Force-feeding Le’Veon Bell is the formula for this team. They finally got back to that.

The Bengals have played much better since changing offensive coordinators. However, the Steelers are 27-9 against Cincinnati since 2000. It is foolish to ignore that. Pit 27 Cin 20  

NFL Week 7 picks

(Photo by behindthesteelcurtain.com)

*Broncos at Chargers (-1.5) – This line is shocking to me. Denver was humbled last week, and the Chargers are on a two-game winning streak.

Even so, outside of quarterback, the Broncos can at least match Los Angeles at every position. Denver is an easy team to figure out. If they run the ball effectively they win. If they do not, they lose. The Chargers rank dead last in rush defense.

Also, it was not a coincidence that the Chargers got their first wins on the road. Bronco fans always travel well. Thus, playing in a 27,000 seat soccer stadium in a market where the fans have yet to embrace the home team is once again a disadvantage for the Chargers. The Broncos have issues, but Vegas was too quick to bail on them here. Den 24 LAR 17

Seahawks (-5.5) at Giants – The Giants scored a big upset last week, but they are still a banged up mess. Coming off a big divisional win and a bye, Seattle appears to be finding its groove. The Giants defense is good enough to keep this relatively close. Big Blue managed to move the ball on a great defense last week, but lightning will not strike twice. Sea 20 NYG 13

Falcons at Patriots (-3.5) – The Patriots are still not clicking on all cylinders. They were fortunate to escape the Jets last week. Meanwhile, the Falcons are coming off consecutive home losses to Miami and Buffalo. Given that, it is hard to imagine them keeping it close on the road in New England. This is just not the same team as last year, particularly on offense. The Pats continue to win while being a work in progress. NE 31 Atl 20

Monday Night:

*Redskins at Eagles (-4.5) – The Eagles are very good and will remain a factor all year long. However, they are still a relatively young football team. Once the public starts singing a team’s praises, they become vulnerable to getting tripped up.

Also, the Redskins offense will trouble any defense it faces. They have taken much better care of the football after Philadelphia held them to 17 points in the season opener. Washington’s ground game has been better this year, but the passing game is their strength. That is Philadelphia’s defensive weakness. Was 23 Phi 17

 

Featured image by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

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week 7 DFS don'ts

Week 7 DFS don’ts: Tight end

Week 6 might have been my worst week at the tight end position. No one’s perfect, but none of my low priced tight ends were even close to hitting. Thankfully, I get another shot to be right, or wrong, in week 7. Let’s dive right into the tight end edition of week 7 DFS don’ts.

Evan Engram: FanDuel Price $5,500

I love Evan Engram. I have shares of him in multiple seasonal fantasy leagues, but it’s not happening this weekend. I’ve talked multiple times about this Seahawks defense and how it is not good for opposing tight ends.

Kam Chancellor is great. His size as a safety allows him to play physically with tight ends and not worry about being bullied. Earl Thomas also has incredible playmaking skills, which keep quarterbacks from testing the deep middle.

Personnel aside, the Seahawks cover 3 scheme does not allow tight ends to accumulate a lot of yards. To successfully attack a Cover 3 defense, the ball has to get to the hash marks. This is the area by which neither player in their zone can account for. The Giants haven’t yet shown the ability to attack this part of the field.

The Seahawks statistically have been great against the tight end position. They have allowed zero touchdowns thus far, and only one time has a tight end scored double digit points. This occurred in week 5 against the Rams.

Overall, the Seahawks won’t allow Engram to get going because he is the focal point of the passing game. They won’t have a disappointing outing like the Denver Broncos because they have a superior coach in Pete Carroll. Stay away from Evan Engram this weekend.

Zach Miller: FanDuel Price $5,200

week 7 DFS don'ts

Don’t be fooled by Zach Miller’s recent production, as it has come in the most unconventional ways. (Photo by CBS Sports Chicago)

Please don’t fall for this trick. I’ve heard people talking about how Mitch Trubisky has made Zach Miller relevant. This could not be further from the truth. Miller’s production the last two weeks is nothing but complete luck. Miller’s touchdown against the Vikings should have been an interception.

Instead, the ball was tipped and fell right into his hands. Against the Ravens, Miller caught a touchdown from Tarik, freaking, Cohen. He caught a touchdown pass from a running back and people are trying to correlate that production to Trubisky.

Miller’s matchup is one of the worst this weekend for any tight end. He and the Bears will host the Carolina Panthers, who have been one of the NFL’s best defenses. Outside of Zach Ertz, they have done a great job against tight ends.

There are other players in much better situations at Miller’s price with more reliable production. Miller joins Engram on my week 7 DFS don’ts.

 

Featured Image Courtesy of Scout.com

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 7 DFS don'ts

Week 7 DFS don’ts: Wide receiver

In my opinion, this is the most important position group to predict correctly because of all the available players, and the volatility that comes with this position. To cash in almost any format, two of your three wide receivers need to hit. Let’s keep this week rolling with the wide receiver edition of week 7 DFS don’ts.

Julio Jones: FanDuel Price $8,500

Julio Jones is strictly a DFS don’ts for cash games. His production ceiling is among highest of any player; however, his floor is not worth his $8,500 price tag. On paper, Jones has a great matchup against one of the NFL’s worst defenses. The Patriots have given up 300 yards passing to every quarterback they’ve faced. But, the opposition’s number one receiver does not produce.

On the Suck My DFS Podcast, my co-host talks at length about New England’s track record this season against number one wide receivers. I won’t steal his thunder, but the results are not promising for Jones. I think New England will deploy Stephon Gilmore against Jones, and Malcolm Butler on the secondary receiving option.

Of course, Jones could overcome this individual matchup and score big. If he does, it won’t be on any of my cash lineups. Jones is great, but there’s too much risk for me this weekend.

Demaryius Thomas: FanDuel Price $7,100

week 7 DFS don'ts

Will Demaryius Thomas be able to produce at a consistent level with his matchup against Casey Hayward? (Courtesy of; SB Nation)

Yes, I was totally wrong on Demaryius Thomas last weekend. But, I’m not afraid of placing him back on my week 7 DFS don’ts. Why? Because Thomas will be seeing Casey Hayward for the majority of his routes. In week one Thomas was in Hayward’s coverage on 75 percent of his routes.

On those routes, Thomas turned six targets into four catches for 61 yards. It’s not a bad day by any means; however, that’s not enough to cash in a DFS contest from your second wide receiver. Also, Thomas will be playing without his running mate Emmanuel Sanders. This will allow the Chargers secondary to turn all of their attention to Thomas.

Given how bad the Chargers are against the run and the now shallow depth at wide receiver, I don’t think Thomas will have enough opportunities to double is value.

Rishard Matthews: FanDuel Price $5,500

Take advantage of what I’m about to tell you. After Monday night’s game and this weekend’s matchup against Cleveland, Rishard Matthews is going to be popular “pay down” play. However, you need to avoid him at all costs. Why? Because he has the toughest individual matchup in the NFL.

Matthews will face Jason McCourty. For those who don’t know, McCourty is playing the best football of his career. He is currently rated as the number one corner back by Pro Football Focus thus far. Last week, the Browns deployed McCourty in shadow coverage versus DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins was only targeted three times as a result.

There are plenty of other ways to get exposure to this game. I’m begging you to please stay away from Rishard Matthews for your own good. Matthews joins Jones and Thomas on my week 7 DFS don’ts.

 

Featured Image Courtesy of Sporting News

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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Hagan's Haus 2017 NFL picks week 7

Hagan’s Haus 2017 NFL picks week 7

Welcome to Hagan’s Haus, where football is the only thing that matters. You won’t find me in a church on Sunday because football is my religion and the number one priority in my life. I am so excited that the NFL season is finally back in action! I pride myself on studying the game of football. We can’t get all our picks or predictions right, but I am going to leave it here in the open every week for everyone to see. In Hagan’s Haus, it’s all about bragging rights. 

Who is the best? Because winning is the only thing that matters. We don’t get points for second place. I challenge you to post comments on your weekly picks and compare them to mine. This isn’t about point spreads. I will give a score prediction, but winning is winning. Doesn’t matter if it’s by an inch or a mile. So try and beat me in picking NFL games. I promise you it won’t be easy, but it will be fun. Here are Hagan’s Haus 2017 week 7 NFL picks.

Last week: 8-6

Overall: 45-45

Teams on byes: Detroit, Houston

Thursday Night

Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) @ Oakland Raiders (2-4):

Sunday Morning

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) 20 @ Buffalo Bills (3-2) 23: This is one of the harder games to pick this week. Tampa Bay is underachieving while the Bills are overachieving. Buffalo is doing it with great defensive play giving up just 14.8 points per game, the best mark in the NFL. Tampa Bay is going to struggle offensively in this game. The Bills will defend home field to push themselves to four wins.

Hagan's Haus 2017 NFL picks week 7

(Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cam_Newton)

Carolina Panthers (4-2) 34 @ Chicago Bears (2-4) 17: The Bears got a big road win but it happened against the Ravens making it seem less impressive. The Chicago defense is playing extremely well despite all their injuries. Stats do not tell the entire story of their defense. On the other side, Mitchell Trubisky still has a long way to go in his development. The Bears will continue to struggle through his development. Cam Newton will go into Chicago and keep the Panther train rolling toward the playoffs.

Baltimore Ravens (3-3) 10 @ Minnesota Vikings (4-2) 20: There is a chance this game sees less than 30 points total. Both teams are led by terrific defenses that don’t give up a lot of points. Minnesota is giving up 17.2 points while the Ravens are giving up 20.7. THe winner of this game will be determined by who has the better offense. Baltimore runs the ball well but Minnesota ranks third in stuffing the run allowing just 78.7 yards per game. The Vikings offense ranks 11th in total yards with 356 per game. Minnesota will make more plays on offense to win the game at home.

Tennessee Titans (3-3) 31 @ Cleveland Browns (0-5) 21: The Browns continue their quarterback carousel as the franchise remains a laughing stock. This week they get to face the Tennessee Titans who are battling to become the AFC South division leaders. The Titans are the fifth best rushing team in the league while the Browns actually excel in their rush defense. Marcus Mariota will be the difference as the Titans send the Browns to 0-6

New Orleans Saints (3-2) 38 @ Green Bay Packers (4-2) 28: The Packers are in trouble and everyone knows it. The offense will be left to Brett Hundley and the run game. Green Bay doesn’t have much of a run game at all and Hundley has very little experience to lean on. The defense can’t stop teams from throwing all over them allowing with all their injuries in the secondary. New Orleans has found their groove since starting 0-2. Drew Brees will throw for over 350 yards as he picks apart the Packers.

Hagan's Haus 2017 NFL picks week 7

(Photo Credit: http://nordic.businessinsider.com)

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) 23 @ Indianapolis Colts (2-4) 13: Leonard Fournette may not be fully healthy but it won’t matter. The Jaguars won’t need much offense to win this game. Jacksonville’s defense is the third best pass defense in the NFL allowing just 166 yards per game. Jacoby Brissett will struggle to complete passes on Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The Jags will get a ton of sacks and force at least three turnovers to keep pace in the race for the AFC South crown.

Arizona Cardinals (3-3) 27 @ Los Angeles Rams (4-2) 31: This will be one of the best games of the week as the Cardinals travel to Los Angeles. Adrian Peterson will be looking to continue last weeks hot start with his new team. It will be possible too as the Rams rank 29th in stopping the run giving up 139.5 yards per game. Los Angeles, on the other hand, has the highest scoring offense in the NFL. THe Rams are going to make the playoffs this year which is why they must win this game. Todd Gurley will outperform Adrian Peterson to lead his team to a big divisional win.

New York Jets (3-3) 20 @ Miami Dolphins (3-2) 13: Both the Dolphins and Jets are hard teams to figure out. They win games they shouldn’t and lose games everyone thinks they should win. They are two of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL. This will be the second matchup up and the Jets won the first meeting 20-6. This game will be more of the same. New York’s defense will stifle Jay Cutler and Jay Ajaya to sweep the Dolphins.

Saturday Afternoon

Dallas Cowboys (2-3) 34 @ San Francisco 49ers (0-6) 21: This is the perfect game for the Cowboys to spark a win streak. The 49ers are 0-6 and already looking forward to the next John Lynch draft class.  San Francisco only averages 18.8 points per game and it won’t be enough to keep up with the Cowboys offense. Ezekiel Elliot will have a huge day to open up the play action game for Dak Prescott.

Hagan's Haus 2017 NFL picks week 7

(Photo Credit: http://sports.gunaxin.com)

Seattle Seahawks (3-2) 16 @ New York Giants (1-5) 17: This is a huge trap game for the Seahawks. After their win against the Rams, many believe that Seattle is still a top team in the NFC and the favorites to win the west. The problems along the offensive line are not going away. Seattle also has to find a consistent running back that will be the workhorse. The Giants fought an insane amount of adversity to get an upset win against Denver. The defense finally dominated in a way that helped the offense. This is going to be a defensive battle that Eli finds a way to win.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) 16 @ Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) 19: Pittsburgh is coming off their biggest win of the season. Nobody saw this coming, but the Steelers have an elite defense that is holding up the offense. Pittsburgh has the best pass defense in the NFL allowing just 153.3 yards per game. The also only give up 17 points per game which is in the top five of all NFL teams. Cincinnati is also a defensive juggernaut ranking second in scoring defense allowing 16.6 points per game. This will be a low scoring game and a dogfight. The “Killer B’s” will make one more play to win the game.

Denver Broncos (3-2) 20 @ Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) 27: The first meeting between these two teams came down to the final play of the game. Denver blocked a Younghoe Koo field goal attempt that would have sent the game to overtime had it been converted. The Chargers will be looking to win this time at home. Denver is coming off an embarrassing loss to the Giants. If this game comes down to special teams then the Chargers will lose. This time though, Melvin Gordon has over 150 total yards and leads the Chargers to a seven-point win.

Sunday Night

Atlanta Falcons (3-2) 31 @ New England Patriots (4-2) 34: It is the rematch everyone has been waiting for. Everyone knows the story, the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead to lose the Super Bowl. The blown leads aren’t going away either because last week the Falcons blew a 17-0 lead against Miami. The stigma is still there and the hangover is starting to show its teeth. New England is struggling defensively giving up 26.5 points per game. It will be a shootout but Tom Brady will lead the Patriots to a win.

Monday Night

Washington Redskins (3-2) 21 @ Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) 31: The Eagles may be the best team in the NFL. They play great two-way football and are a well-balanced team. Philly’s defense must defend the run well this week as the Redskins average 122.8 yards per game. These two teams met in week one and the Eagles won on the road 30-17. Expect something very similar in this game. Carson Wentz will be the player of the game.

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week 7 DFS don'ts

Week 7 DFS don’ts: Kicker and defense

The best DFS players know that you can’t overlook the kicker and defense positions. If you played the Saints defense this weekend in a large tournament, it made up for almost any other lineup deficiency. If you had Harrison Butker last weekend, then his 21 points covered up for some disappointing performances or an injury.

Moral of the story is take these positions as seriously as you take any other. Let’s move right into the kicker and defense edition of week 7 DFS don’ts.

Matt Bryant: FanDuel Price $5,300

Matt Bryant is not the problem. There are a few factors that have placed him on the week 7 DFS don’ts list.

I almost never roster the most expensive kicker. I would much rather allocate the few extra hundred dollars to other positions. Even if I really love a kicker, I will almost never pay more than $5,000 for one.

Price aside, I don’t like the Falcons. They have an identity issue and failed to score a single point in the second half against the Miami Dolphins. It’s an absolute travesty that Devonta Freeman was averaging over seven yards per carry and only received nine carries in a game that they were leading by 17.

I don’t trust this offense to put Bryant in good situations on the road against the team that derailed their Super Bowl hopes last season. Matt Bryant’s price and offense has landed him on the week 7 DFS don’ts list.

Dallas Cowboys: FanDuel Price $5,000

week 7 DFS don'ts

Will the Cowboys defense make value in their week 7 matchup against the 49ers? (Photo by Pro Football Spot)

On what planet are the Dallas Cowboys a $5,000 defense? To this point, Dallas is 16th in passing yards allowed per game and 22nd in rushing yards allowed per game. The Cowboys are tied for 27th in takeaways and are allowing teams to convert 44.6 percent of their third downs. So you tell me why they look like a good play against the 49ers.

San Francisco traveled across the country to play Washington as a double-digit underdog and came within an offensive pass interference penalty of winning the game. The Redskins are better than the Cowboys three of the four aforementioned defensive categories.

They are significantly better than the Cowboys in rushing yards allowed per game, and Carlos Hyde was able to score twice on the ground. Granted, he had an awful yards per carry on his 13 attempts. Hyde’s matchup will be in a much better situation this Sunday against the Cowboys. Despite the 49ers’ struggles, the Cowboys are not even close to being worth that price.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: FanDuel Price $4,500

What a disappointment the Buccaneers have been. At this point, I consider them to be in contention with the Raiders and Giants for most disappointing team. Their defensive problems stem from one major issue: they cannot apply pressure to the quarterback.

Tampa Bay is last in sacks with a grand total of six on the season. This lack of defensive pressure allows teams to move the ball methodically against the Buccaneers on a consistent basis. This defense has allowed opposing offenses to accumulate 114 first downs, that’s tied for 24th in the NFL. The worst part about their opposing teams’ success is that they convert on over 46 percent of their third down attempts.

Essentially, this team is unable to stop anyone. When teams are able to sustain drives, the opposing defense wears down and big plays start to occur as a result. There are other defenses in this $4,500 price range in better situations than Tampa Bay. Stay away this week, as the Bucs join Dallas on my week 7 DFS don’ts.

 

Featured Image by the Atlanta Falcons

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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Carson Wentz

Flying high: The overachieving Eagles and Jets

The NFL is always good for a few surprises each year. 2017 has been no different. Two present surprises so far during the young season have been the Eagles and Jets, but are they true contenders? Here is a closer look at each.

New York Jets: 3-3

What they do well: The numbers with this team are not going to blow you away. However, they were a top ten  rushing offense prior to the last two weeks, Jermaine Kearse is averaging ten yards a catch, and Josh McCown has more touchdown passes than interceptions. No, the Jets do not have their quarterback of the future, but the guys they have right now are doing just fine.

Jermaine Kearse

Photo: sbnation.com

Reasons to worry: They rank 25th in total defense. The offense will have to do more as the opponents get better. It is hard to imagine the offense being able to keep pace with teams like Kansas City, Atlanta, and New Orleans. The Jets will face all these teams in the coming weeks.

However, New York managed to hang tough in their first meeting with the Patriots Sunday. A controversial call prevented the game from going to overtime. Moral victories do not exist in NFL.

The average of 18 points a game needs to go up. Until it does, the concerns will remain Even so, the Jets proving they are at least capable of scoring enough to make a high power offensive team sweat is a good sign.

What the experts say: More than a few analysts had the Jets going winless this year. Even after their solid start, people still are not buying in. As reported by mytopsportsbooks.com, the Jets are still a 150/1 Super Bowl longshot, barely ahead of the one win team they share a stadium with.

Philadelphia Eagles: 5-1

What they do well: The Eagles did what every team with a young quarterback should do. They went out and got Carson Wentz some weapons. Adding receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith is always going to be a huge help to any quarterback.

Add in the 5th ranked rushing offense and it makes it pretty easy for Wentz to throw for 1600+ yards and 10 touchdowns so far this year. Wentz himself also deserves a ton of credit. Even last year when he had far less talent around him, he accounted for more touchdowns than turnovers. He is poised to lead this franchise for years to come.

Reasons to worry: The Eagles are 19th in total defense. That is not great. However, the offense can carry this team. Ranking in the bottom half of the league in sacks allowed is far more troubling Wentz staying upright is the only way this team plays in January.

What the experts say: Unlike the Jets, some of Philadelphia’s numbers do jump out.  Their Super Bowl odds have shot past division rival Dallas and now sit at 12/1.

Only time will tell what kind of staying power these two teams have. The Eagles appear far more equipped for playoff football, but the NFL never stops surprising us.

 

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Jay Ajayi fantasy football

Was week 6 a fresh start for Jay Ajayi?

One of last season’s biggest surprises was Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi. After the signing of Arian Foster, Ajayi was bumped down on the depth chart to RB2.

After Foster decided to retire, Ajayi became the lead back, and the “Jay Train” took off from there. Ajayi became the fouth player in NFL history to rush for at least 200 yards in three games. He finished the season with 1,272 yards, eight touchdowns and an impressive average of 4.9 yards per carry. The beginning of this season hasn’t had the same result, but was week 6 a fresh start for Jay Ajayi?

Rough start

Ajayi, along with the entire Dolphins offense, has struggled mightily to start the 2017 NFL season. In five games Ajayi has had 102 rushing attempts to go along with a mere 391 yards. That equates to 3.8 yards per carry, one yard down from last year. Jay Train has struggled against subpar rush defenses like the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets. Surprisingly, the defenses Ajayi has found success against have been Atlanta and the Los Angeles Chargers.

When given a heavy workload, we’ve seen the production we expect from Ajayi, including 26 carries for 130 yards against the Falcons and 28 rushes for 122 yards against the Chargers. However, his workload is inconsistent. In the other three games of his season, Ajayi didn’t have a game better than 3.8 yards per carry. He is the focal point of the Dolphins offense. When he is used like that, then we see great production.

Some of his inconsistency has come from the poor play of quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler has struggled like he did in his last years in Chicago, but this time it’s affecting not only his receivers, but Ajayi as well. This rough start has affected fantasy owners through the first quarter of the season, but things are looking up.

Bounce Back

Was week six a fresh start for Jay Ajayi?

Featured Image by athlonsports.com

Fantasy owners were probably annoyed that Ajayi didn’t get a touchdown to cap off his solid day, but things are on the up and up. In the second half of the season, we get to have Ajayi against the Patriots lackluster rush defense twice and the Jets defense another time. Ajayi struggled against the Jets the first time they played this season, but Miami will be looking for revenge especially as a playoff contender.

Again, when Ajayi gets the work he deserves, he succeeds. In two games with over 25 carries, Jay Ajayi has averaged 4.4 yards per carry and 5.0 yards per carry, numbers similar to last season. Now the Dolphins do have the sixth hardest schedule in the NFL, but after they saw the success they had running the ball and with Cutler continuing to struggle, the Dolphins should look to run the ball more and more. The one who can benefit from that is Jay Ajayi.

For fantasy owners who considered shopping Ajayi to try and bulk up the rest of their team, hold off on that. Pro Football Focus gave Ajayi a grade of 91.0 from a game with 130 rushing yards. It is good to note that 96 of his yards came after contact, so when the holes weren’t there, Ajayi made the most of his opportunity and took the Falcons for a ride. Look for Ajayi to continue his success and reap the rewards.

 

Feature Image from http://phinphanatic.com

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week six DFS don'ts

Week six DFS don’ts: Report Card

An interesting trend is starting to develop. It seems as though every three weeks I’m due for a dip in DFS profitability. Thus far, I’ve only failed to profit in weeks three and six. Does that mean I should just not play in weeks nine, twelve and fifteen? Of course not, if there’s a Sunday slate, I’ll play it. Let’s wrap up week six DFS don’ts with the dreaded report card.

Quarterback: 1/3

As some of you might have noticed, no week six DFS don’ts piece about quarterbacks. Sorry about that, won’t happen again. Anyways, Tom Brady came up just short of doubling his value against the Jets and Kevin Hogan was a huge disappointment. Thankfully, Kirk Cousins redeemed me by finishing as the top fantasy quarterback this weekend.

Running Back: 4/6

Not a bad week at the running back position. Leonard Fournette and Mark Ingram were great for my cash game lineups. Unfortunately, the Denver Broncos didn’t show up and that cost me huge with C.J. Andersen. As far as my week six DFS don’ts at this position, Carlos Hyde proved me wrong. I’m glad to see he’s reestablished himself as the lead back even if it was at my expense. Both Ameer Abdullah and Elijah McGuire failed miserably to double their value.

Wide Receiver: 2/5

I don’t count players who end up being out, so, I’m not counting DeVante Parker as part of my report card. DeAndre Hopkins and Chris Hogan shockingly didn’t produce double their value. I know DeSean Jackson didn’t technically double his value; however, I’m counting this as a win since he still managed to produce with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Brandin Cooks came so close to proving me wrong, whereas Demaryius Thomas blew me away with 10 catches for over 130 yards.

Tight End: 1/4

Martellus Bennett was an easy pick. If you couldn’t tell a week ago, you can now. He doesn’t produce in this offense. Darren Fells, despite a lack of targets, still managed to produce. He’s officially supplanted Eric Ebron and is a viable DFS option moving forward. Ryan Griffin and AJ Derby were also bad calls despite great matchups.

Kicker: 2/2

At least I’m continuing to pick this position correctly. Aaron Rodgers injury aside, I didn’t like Mason Crosby going into this week. However, I loved Wil Lutz this week and he more than doubled his value.

Defense: 1/2

I will apologize for everyone who listened to the Suck My DFS Podcast and picked Denver as their defense. They were incredibly disappointing. Thankfully, Jacksonville laid an egg at home as I predicted.

Overall Score: 11/22

50% isn’t great, but, there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between who I pick and how much money I win. The weeks I’ve won the most money, I haven’t been great on individual player picks, and vice versa. The best thing about this game is that we can quickly move on to the next week. Come back tomorrow for which kicker and defense you should avoid in week seven.

 

Featured Image Courtesy of Grizzly Bear Blues

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2017 Fantasy football season

Halfway point in fantasy season

We are about the halfway point of the fantasy season. We have seen it all this season, from rookie success to injured superstars and everything in between. Here are the big headlines at the halfway point of the fantasy season.

Ezekiel Elliott may not be available down the stretch

Ouch! The first big headline we have to get out of the way here. On Thursday, a federal appeals court overturned a district court’s decision in the Ezekiel Elliott case. This means the Dallas Cowboys running back’s six-game suspension has been reinstated.

The worse part is it happened on the bye week, which means his suspension will start next week and he will miss weeks 7-12. This a big blow to fantasy owners of Elliott because he may not be available down the stretch to the playoffs especially with how many running backs are out there. This opens the door for Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden.

The top two quarterbacks are Alex Smith and Deshaun Watson

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson are the top two quarterbacks in fantasy. What’s even more surprising is both of them are the top players in fantasy. Both were on fire against each other last week, combining for eight passing touchdowns and 62.4 fantasy points.

2017 Fantasy football season

Alex Smith (Photo by: profootballweekly.com)

Not to say Smith is a bad quarterback because he isn’t, but he’s not been known to be a reliable fantasy quarterback. Last year he finished as the 22nd best quarterback in fantasy.

This year he and the Chiefs have turned it around. He’s averaging 23.3 fantasy points per game, which is best in 2017. He is also playing at a MVP caliber and is leading the NFL in both passer rating and completion percentage. Smith has proven to be a legitimate QB1 at this point of the season.

Watson on the other hand has surprised a lot of people. It wasn’t surprising he would be taking over the Texans at quarterback, but not at this level.

After his week 5 performance against the Chiefs, he has proven he can play in this league. He threw for five touchdowns and had a 35 point performance. Through four weeks plus a half of a game in week 1, he’s taken over. He’s has 1,072 passing yards, 7.39 yards per attempt, 12 touchdowns, 179 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. He still may be a QB2, but like Smith, he has proven he can be relied on in good matchups.

The top defense is the JAcksonville JagUars

Jacksonville Jaguars fans finally have something they can cheer for. Their defense is leading all defenses in fantasy points with 82. They have finally had some luck with good draft picks, good free agents signings and a good coaching staff.

2017 Fantasy football season

(Photo by: sports.yahoo.com)

Last week against the Steelers they picked off Ben Roethlisberger five times and returned two of them for touchdowns. That doesn’t happen very often.

The Jags are built around their defense. They have one of the best cornerback tandems in the league with A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey combining for four interceptions. With that in their defensive backfield, along with safeties Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson, they rank fourth in passing yards allowed. They also lead the league in interceptions and total turnovers and are third in fumbles.

The Jags may have some flaws in the run game, but their defensive line sure does get to the quarterbacks. They lead the league in sacks with 20, led by newcomer Calais Campbell along with Malik Jackson, Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue. They really don’t have a weak spot in that defense. Expect them to continue to play well.

Two rookie running backs are top three in points at the position

Through five weeks, we have seen a couple of rookie running backs playing at a high level. Jacksonville Jaguar Leonard Fournette’s success may not surprise you especially with his role. But the big name leading all running backs is third-round pick Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs’ back has dominated since the opening week.

Let’s start with Hunt, who has dominated at the point of attack. He is in the top three in fantasy points overall and No. 1 among running backs. Hunt has rushed over 100 yards in four of the five games and is averaging 121.8 yards per game. He also leads running backs in yards and runs over 20 yards.

He’s averaging 22.3 fantasy points per game. The Chiefs overall are playing as the best team in the league and expect Hunt to still be the emphasis of their offense both running and passing.

Fournette is a big back and the staple of the Jaguars’ offense. He ranks third among running backs in fantasy and 10th in overall players. Fournette leads the league in touchdowns and rushing attempts. He also has the longest run this year by a running back. Fournette is in the top two in rushing yards and yards per game as well.

It may not be surprising that he’s doing this well, but in the Jag uniform, it surprises a lot of people that a player on that team is finding this much success. Fournette continues to be a top RB option in fantasy. That won’t change going forward.

Key Player Injuries

Some other big headlines this year are big names that have been injured. David Johnson, Odell Beckham Jr., J.J. Watt, Andrew Luck, Derek Carr and Allen Robinson are all hurt. Luck hasn’t played yet and Johnson has been hurt since week 1. Carr could come back this week, but could miss more time. Beckham, Watt and Robinson are all out for the year.

2017 Fantasy football season

David Johnson (Photo by: azcentral.com)

Beckham and Johnson were the top players in fantasy at the start of the season. They were the key part of every team. Now fantasy owners are scrambling each week to find replacements.

Owners of Luck are also trying to find patience for his return after he was rumored to possibly start week 1. The Watt injury is a reflection of last year when the Texans were the No. 1 defense. It’s definitely a big injury, but the Texans have proved they can play without him.

Carr is risky to the end of the season with the possibility of coming back or possibly missing a few more weeks. Robinson has been a big injury as the Jags’ passing game has struggled since his injury.

Conclusion

It’s been an interesting first five weeks of the season. Key players haven’t been relied on and the lower tier players have made an impact. We’ve seen surprising players reach top fantasy status and rookies continuing to pound the running game. We still have six to seven weeks left in the regular season, and it shouldn’t disappoint.

 

Featured image from sportingnews.com

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