Many thanks to Seth Trachtman for the 2017 Street & Smith’s Magazine mock draft held on Thursday night. The league set-up is no PPR, which is a unique format for me as all of the leagues I am in for real have some form of PPR.
The early first round went just as expected (for a PPR league), so I was very happy sitting at number nine to grab running back Devonta Freeman. After taking DeMarco Murray on the turn in the second round, Tom Brady in the third round was a no-brainer with six points awarded for a touchdown pass and Aaron Rodgers already gone.
Since touchdowns dominate non-PPR scoring, I am not concerned to come out of the draft with Terrelle Pryor, Golden Tate, Jamison Crowder, Eric Decker, Kenny Stills and Zay Jones as my receiving group.
One player that I will be targeting in all drafts regardless of format is former South Florida Bull Marlon Mack. Frankly, I was going to target whatever running back the Colts selected, after continuing to ride Frank Gore into old age. I expect Mack to get a real chance for carries, and even though Gore has been a model of durability over his career, he is old enough to almost qualify for AARP.
There is good and bad with Week 17 upon us. Among the bad, it is the last regular season week of the NFL season and many teams with playoff spots locked up will rest or limit their players. The good – we have a full Sunday 16-game slate for the only time this entire season. We also have a silly 56-point Vegas total in the Saints-Falcons game.
Aaron Rodgers has been silly since Week 7 with two or more touchdown passes in every game except for the ice bowl, and three or more TDs in six of those games. As much as I believe that Brees-Ryan could go back and forth, both of those teams have enough of a running game to put me all-in on Rodgers.
|QB||Aaron Rodgers||GB||7700||Best QB right now with the most to play for|
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7600||Scary high 56-point total|
|QB||Matt Ryan||Atl||7400||See Brees above|
|QB||Kirk Cousins||Was||6500||One game for a playoff berth and a big payday|
|QB||Matthew Stafford||Det||6000||Should be playing comeback most of the game|
|QB||Blake Bortles||Jax||5600||Trying to prove he is relevant for 2017|
There is a ton of potential value in the running back slot with some of the big boys sitting it out or injured. Follow the news as we get closer to roster lock time to see if any other low-price backs will have an extended opportunity.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||9800||Expected to get a near full load|
|RB||Devonta Freeman||Atl||7000||Only one dud in the past five games|
|RB||Jordan Howard||Chi||6800||Earning number one status for next season|
|RB||Jay Ajayi||Mia||5900||This is not Buffalo, but he's the Dolphins' best weapon|
|RB||Mark Ingram||NO||5600||Playing for top spot next season|
|RB||Alex Collins||Sea||4600||Last man standing against worst run D - not cheap|
|RB||Kenneth Dixon||Bal||4200||Another back trying to earn 2017 starting job|
|RB||Darren Sproles||Phi||4000||Someone will be in the backfield for Eagles|
|RB||Rex Burkhead||Cin||3500||Catches enough passes at cheap price to be in play|
|RB||Shaun Draughn||SF||3200||Same play as Burkhead|
I know it feels a week late, but Jordy Nelson has to go with Aaron Rodgers. There are enough cheap running backs to avoid skimping at the receiver position.
|WR||Jordy Nelson||GB||8100||Playing at another level|
|WR||Mike Evans||TB||8000||Last Bucs playmaker still standing|
|WR||Doug Baldwin||Sea||7200||Even more significant with Lockett done|
|WR||Brandin Cooks||NO||6900||Not at home, but still in a dome|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||6700||Expected to put exclamation on star rookie season|
|WR||Golden Tate||Det||6600||Needs to make plays for Lions to compete|
|WR||Sammy Watkins||Buf||5800||Late season tease|
|WR||Davante Adams||GB||5700||Caught the TD he dropped the week before|
|WR||DeSean Jackson||Was||5600||Playing for another free agent contract|
|WR||Tyreek Hill||KC||5600||Dynamic playmaker|
|WR||Allen Robinson||Jax||5500||Still cheaply priced|
|WR||Cameron Meredith||Chi||5200||Earning time with Howard for 2017|
|WR||Steve Smith Sr.||Bal||4900||Announced retirement - narrative for TD targets|
|WR||DeVante Parker||Mia||4300||Big play ability even with Moore|
Here we are at the black hole known as tight end. Throw a dart, roster a tight end.
|TE||Travis Kelce||KC||5000||Over 100 yards in five of past six|
|TE||Zach Ertz||Phi||4800||Only two targets last week after 36 in previous three|
|TE||Eric Ebron||Det||3600||At least four catches in four straight|
|TE||Jared Cook||GB||3100||Seeing more targets with Cobb out|
Tough to gauge which defenses will show up. Certainly the Steelers are in an ideal spot against Cleveland, but how long will their defensive starters play?
|DST||Broncos||Den||3900||Were embarrassed by KC last week|
|DST||Seahawks||Sea||3700||Should dominate SF|
|DST||Steelers||Pit||3600||Nothing to play for, but this is Cleveland|
|DST||Texans||Hou||3500||Matt Cassel is not good|
|DST||Bills||Buf||3400||Jets are a mess|
|DST||Cardinals||Ari||3000||Rams getting ready for 2017|
Here is my planned GPP lineup led by the three Packers with Cook still a possibility at tight end.
We enter Week 14 with the Bucs in first place. I must say that I did not see that one coming. But their defense has held strong recently and their passing offense has been really good. Now the Saints come down to Tampa (in fact, the Bucs play the Saints two of the next three weeks) in what is the highest Vegas point total on the board.
Drew Brees and Jameis Winston highlight the QB list to no surprise. I am torn on Marcus Mariota. He has been playing so well and nobody will be on him this week. Eli Manning is due for one of those big games, but I just don’t know if he has it in him.
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7400||Tampa will not keep the ball away like the Lions did|
|QB||Jameis Winston||TB||6700||Anyone vs. the Saints|
|QB||Philip Rivers||SD||6600||In a good spot|
|QB||Russell Wilson||Sea||6600||Packers pass defense not up to NFL standards|
|QB||Kirk Cousins||Was||6300||Looking to keep Redskins in race and guarantee money|
|QB||Marcus Mariota||Ten||6200||Bad spot but playing so well|
|QB||Eli Manning||NYG||5500||Makes me very nervous but in a good situation for points|
With a couple of cheap wide receivers, you can still fit David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell in your lineup. However, dropping down to LeSean McCoy to save the money does allow a ton of flexibility. As long as there are no vultured touchdowns.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||9800||Not priced high enough yet|
|RB||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||9000||Not a good spot - but matchup proof catching passes|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||8200||Touchdown vulture hurting total - $1600 discount from Johnson|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||7000||Rest helps toe recover|
|RB||Matt Forte||NYJ||6800||As long as Jets don’t fall behind - in for big game|
|RB||Jeremy Hill||Cin||5800||Torched Browns on limited carries in first meeting|
|RB||Thomas Rawls||Sea||5700||Showed he is all the way back|
|RB||Carlos Hyde||SF||4900||Only legitimate 49er weapon|
|RB||Darren Sproles||Phi||4400||As long as Mathews is still out|
Mike Evans will be in my lineup this week at all costs. I will be surprised if Evans is not the highest scoring receiver in the league this week. Taylor Gabriel is also a recent favorite of Matt Ryan and should see more targets with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu banged up.
|WR||Mike Evans||TB||8900||How does he not have ten catches this week?|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||6700||Brees' top target|
|WR||Golden Tate||Det||6600||Fits right in with recent Lions short pass style|
|WR||Emmanuel Sanders||Den||5700||Can beat Titans downfield|
|WR||Jamison Crowder||Was||5600||Still not being taken as a legitimate threat|
|WR||Allen Robinson||Jax||5000||Price pick only|
|WR||Randall Cobb||GB||5000||With Sherman likely on Nelson - maybe this is the week?|
|WR||Tyler Boyd||Cin||4900||Filling the Green targets|
|WR||Dontrelle Inman||SD||4800||Scoring with good target numbers|
|WR||Taylor Gabriel||Atl||4300||Becoming a popular Ryan target|
|WR||J.J. Nelson||Ari||3600||Someone besides Fitz has to step up|
Jimmy Graham and Cameron Brate fit into my two favorite QB-WR-TE stacks this week. There is no “safe” place to go for tight end numbers.
|TE||Jimmy Graham||Sea||5500||Seahawks stack should be popular this week|
|TE||Zach Ertz||Phi||4900||Double digit targets in two of the past three|
|TE||Delanie Walker||Ten||4400||See Mariota above|
|TE||Cameron Brate||TB||4100||In the Bucs stack|
|TE||Ladarius Green||Pit||3900||Price going up but producing with Pitt short receivers|
|TE||Vance McDonald||SF||3000||Good goal line target|
I certainly can’t argue with going for any of the top three defenses but I am having trouble fitting one of them in my lineup, so I am looking further down the list at Miami and San Diego.
|DST||Vikings||Min||3900||Anyone vs. Jax is high on the list - but you pay a price|
|DST||Lions||Det||3600||Lions playing keep-away helping their defense|
|DST||Bengals||Cin||3500||Cleveland and RGIII|
|DST||Dolphins||Mia||2600||Should be better at home vs. QB who can't move|
|DST||Chargers||SD||2600||Carolina has pretty much mailed it in|
We will see if the Bucs stack can outscore the Seahawks stack.
Christmas and Hanukkah week is upon us and the NFL has a full weekend slate to keep NFL fans healthy. The Week 16 schedule begins with the Giants-Eagles game on Thursday, followed by a full 1:00, 4:00 and night game on Saturday, two more on Sunday and finally Lions-Cowboys on Monday. I know many of you will be sweating out season-long league championship games over that five-day stretch. But for the main slate DraftKings DFS players, we have 12 games on Christmas Eve day.
Six of the seven QB’s on the list are in the three Vegas over 52 total games. Not going much out on a limb here. All are in very good spots to post numbers. Game flow will determine which QB’s outperform the others.
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7400||The game vs. TB two weeks ago was a fluke|
|QB||Matt Ryan||Atl||7200||Should be another up and down the field game|
|QB||Andrew Luck||Ind||7000||Playing for their playoff lives|
|QB||Kirk Cousins||Was||6800||The only QB on this list not in an over 52 game|
|QB||Derek Carr||Oak||6800||Uncomfortable with finger injury but getting by|
|QB||Cam Newton||Car||6600||Cam not running but Atl defense has holes|
|QB||Jameis Winston||TB||6500||Could have beaten Dal with better fourth quarter|
With LeVeon Bell off the main slate and David Johnson in a tough match-up, we have the chance to slide down a little at RB and save some money for WRs. LeSean McCoy was under $7k six of the first seven weeks of the season and has now hit $9k.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||9200||Is he totally match-up proof?|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||9000||Hitting the elite price range|
|RB||Devonta Freeman||Atl||7100||Worried about Coleman|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||7000||Two TDs vultured by Henry last week|
|RB||Latavius Murray||Oak||6200||Needs to hold onto the ball|
|RB||Bilal Powell||NYJ||6000||Very high volume PPR option with Forte injured|
|RB||Ty Montgomery||GB||5900||Will be the hot choice this week. DK moves him to RB|
|RB||Carlos Hyde||SF||5800||Faltered last week but always in a good spot|
|RB||Thomas Rawls||Sea||5100||O-line could not block for him last week|
|RB||Kenneth Farrow||SD||5000||Elite match-up for average RB|
|RB||Mark Ingram||NO||4400||Pouting worked for Cooks|
Mike Evans tops my WR list again, but he's coming off three straight poor games. I do not see a fourth. Wide receiver ownership should be spread out with plenty of very good options on the board across all price ranges.
|WR||Mike Evans||TB||8500||Big price is a risk with three straight games under 10|
|WR||T.Y. Hilton||Ind||7800||Disappointed vs. Min but 23 targets in two games prior|
|WR||Michael Crabtree||Oak||6100||Double-digit targets in four of past eight|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||6000||Ten targets after missing a week|
|WR||Dontrelle Inman||SD||6000||Favorable match-up but Rivers spreads the wealth|
|WR||Davante Adams||GB||5400||Looking to rebound from two dropped TDs|
|WR||DeAndre Hopkins||Hou||5200||Thank you Tom Savage|
|WR||Tyler Lockett||Sea||4800||Finally healthy and a great weapon for Wilson|
|WR||Cameron Meredith||Chi||4700||Took awhile to develop the rapport with Barkley|
|WR||J.J. Nelson||Ari||4400||Taking advantage of drunken Floyd's departure|
|WR||Kenny Stills||Mia||3900||Big play guy at low price|
Tight end has been an enigma all season. Too many times the expensive guys just did not perform. There always seems to be a min-price player coming through each week.
|TE||Greg Olsen||Car||5200||Elbow a concern with a weak TE group|
|TE||Jimmy Graham||Sea||4500||Big price drop after back-to-back one-catch games|
|TE||Delanie Walker||Ten||4300||Attractive price in this spot|
|TE||Cameron Brate||TB||3900||Catching everything near him|
|TE||Ryan Griffin||Hou||3300||Missed him last week at min price with C.J. out|
|TE||Dion Sims||Mia||2600||Near min price with four TDs in past four games|
The Patriots are clearly the stand-out defense and if they get ahead early, it could be real trouble. There are several other high potential defenses at a discount if you do not trust the Patriots.
|DST||Patriots||NE||3600||Score depends only on how interested NE is|
|DST||Titans||Ten||3400||Sacks and turnovers|
|DST||Chargers||SD||3400||Continuing with defenses against Cle theme|
|DST||Bengals||Cin||3200||Not completely buying the Savage hype|
|DST||Dolphins||Mia||3000||Playing at a very high level|
|DST||49ers||SF||2800||Ultimate punt against the Rams|
Here is my planned GPP lineup, led by the two Bucs main men.
In Week 13, we have one of the most productive QB/RB pairs in Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray on a bye and then we have the lowly Browns on a bye. Week 12 was a major DFS disaster for Seahawks backers – Wilson, Rawls, Baldwin, Graham – all turkeys. They can’t possibly have been that bad. How can anyone fade the Lions-Saints this week? Their Vegas total of 53.5 is four points higher than any other game.
You can try to be cute and ride the Kaepernick train, and maybe it will work. Or you can just pay up for a QB that always seems to post numbers that support the price. Brees at home – check. Roethlisberger at home – check.
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7600||Has to be under consideration every week|
|QB||Ben Roethlisberger||Pit||7400||Every week at home|
|QB||Matthew Stafford||Det||7000||Game with Saints has highest Vegas total by a lot|
|QB||Russell Wilson||Sea||6300||Big bounce back. Under-owned after last debacle|
|QB||Colin Kaepernick||SF||6100||Becoming a trendy pick|
|QB||Eli Manning||NYG||5900||Cheap price for productive QB|
|QB||Tyrod Taylor||Buf||5700||Getting primary deep threat back in form|
Try hard to fit either Johnson or Bell into your lineup. The price is steep, but they deliver every week. There are other attractive cheaper options to pair with them.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||9500||He has been gold, but now must get 30 to earn value|
|RB||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||9200||Same as Johnson, but is always in the play|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||7800||Nice discount off Johnson and Bell|
|RB||Jordan Howard||Chi||6900||Start the RB against SF - always|
|RB||Mark Ingram||NO||6000||Played like his mind was altered after the concussion|
|RB||Theo Riddick||Det||5800||Figures to be heavily involved|
|RB||Carlos Hyde||SF||5300||Primary offense for SF when healthy|
|RB||Jeremy Hill||Cin||4300||Caught plenty of passes with Gio out|
Cheaper receivers continue to post useful numbers and there are plenty of receivers in the $4k range to choose from. Sure they all come with risks, like the QB can forget that the receiver plays on the team (see Shepard and Cooks). But that scenario is unlikely.
|WR||Antonio Brown||Pit||9100||Has to be a consideration every week|
|WR||Odell Beckham Jr.||NYG||8500||Will be focused on outperforming Brown|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||6900||Brees' solid primary target|
|WR||Julian Edelman||NE||6800||More looks if Gronk is out|
|WR||Davante Adams||GB||6300||From the dog house to the Pro Bowl in one season|
|WR||Golden Tate||Det||6200||Figures to be right in the middle of highest scoring game|
|WR||Sammy Watkins||Buf||5500||He's back and in GPP play|
|WR||Sterling Shepard||NYG||4900||Nice when QB apologizes for forgetting about you|
|WR||Tyler Boyd||Cin||4800||8-9 targets for under $5k - I am in|
|WR||Marvin Jones Jr.||Det||4400||Falling way out of favor but is so darn cheap|
|WR||Anquan Boldin||Det||4100||Boldin, Lee, Wilson, Rogers all in play in this price range|
My off-season project is to search for a dependable way to project TE usage. There seems to be little rhyme or reason that leads to a tight end posting a zero or being a hero.
|TE||Jordan Reed||Was||6400||Dislike the pick due to injury - was this close to being a dud on turkey day|
|TE||Greg Olsen||Car||5100||A nice discount off Reed|
|TE||Eric Ebron||Det||3900||These guys do not need much to earn value - but they do tend to disappear|
|TE||Cameron Brate||TB||3600||Fitting in nicely as second look for Jameis|
|TE||Vance McDonald||SF||2900||Knack for the end zone|
|TE||Ladarius Green||Pit||2800||Continues to round into form|
There are three defenses that appear to be worth paying for, but on the flip side there are two cheaper options.
|DST||Broncos||Den||3900||Premier matchup against turnover-prone Jax|
|DST||Patriots||NE||3700||Pats against a rookie QB|
|DST||Seahawks||Sea||3500||Neither team is at Super Bowl level|
|DST||Chargers||SD||2900||Been sneaky good all season|
|DST||Dolphins||Mia||2600||Getting better every week|
Count me among the victims of the Seahawks walking the plank last week. This week I want a piece of the Lions-Saints game, but I am going to lean towards the Lions, who should be lower owned.