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Monday 29th Aug 2016

161x314_fantasyscore_basketball

Alright folks, I hope that everyone is happy and content after a lovely Christmas day full of great food and basketball. Boxing Day offers a bigger slate of games with some good matchups to watch as well as some very good fantasy options.

Can’t Miss

Tyreke Evans ($7600): Evans took a back seat to the masterful Anthony Davis ($9700) on Friday. However, with a cushy matchup on Saturday facing off against the lowly Rockets’ defense, Evans should flourish.

Nicolas Batum ($7100): The Frenchman has really stepped up his game this season and is a big reason why Charlotte has been so improved. With a matchup against the suddenly not so stingy Grizzlies defense, Batum will have plenty of opportunities to score.

Pau Gasol ($8100): There is nobody I trust more in DFS right now than the Spaniard, who has reached 30 fantasy points or more in each of his last ten games. With Dallas weak on the boards and not so strong in the front court, Pau will dominate yet again.

High Risk

Jerami Grant ($3000): Grant doesn’t score a ton, but the Philly forward can fill a stat sheet. With an easier matchup against Phoenix, if Grant can get to double digits scoring, the return on $3000 would be excellent.

Matthew Dellavedova ($3500): Everybody’s favorite pesky Aussie should see extended playing time with Kyrie Irving ($6100) working a back-to-back for the first time since returning from a broken kneecap. Dellavedova has done admirably in filling the stat sheet and the man from Down Under will provide plenty of energy that the Cavs can feed off of.

Fillers

Andrew Wiggins ($6000): The second year guard is producing at a high level yet again. As expected, there are some ups and downs, but for the most part, Wiggins has been reliable. With a matchup against the Pacers, the Kansas product should provide a very good return on investment.

Kristaps Porzingis ($6100): Kristaps has taken a hit in value since coming out like gang busters. However, the Hawks rebounding has been terrible this season.  Look for Porzingis to wipe the glass clean on any occasion possible and hit a few threes with a chance at a big game.

Don't forget you can play against the Mastersballers at FantasyScore and follow me @dfinch21

After having written for a few weeks about NBA and NFL, I would like to take some time and focus my attention on a sport that I have come to love, Soccer.  The English Premier League has been a wild ride so far this year, and with Leicester City at the top of the league at Christmas for the first time ever, the twists and turns are sure to continue. Will Chelsea turn their form around? Will Jurgen Klopp save Liverpool? Can Arsenal overcome their injuries and win the league again? The second half of the season will prove to be interesting, but let me take a look at the Boxing day matchups and who to start for DFS this week.

I will structure this article a bit differently than what you are used to seeing. I will break it down by goal scorers (mainly strikers or advance midfielders) and secondary options (fullbacks and midfielders who provide assists and crosses), and finally shutdown defenders (I will always include one goalkeeper in this section as well).

Goal Scorers

Romelu Lukaku ($8100) F: Lukaku is on a Jamie Vardy ($8000) like scoring streak, and going up against a horrible Newcastle defense, we should see that continue. If you pair Lukaku up with Ross Barkley ($6800), you could see some serious double action with goals and assists.

Olivier Giroud ($7000) F: Giroud has been on fire this season despite constant criticism from Arsenal supporters. After scoring a big goal against Manchester City this past week, the big Frenchman will be pumped up and ready to go against Southampton.

Yannick Bolasie ($6000) M: Bolasie has looked like his magical self so far this season, despite his production falling off a bit from a very fast start. Going up against Bournemouth in what promises to be a nice open game, Bolasie will look to fly down the wings and cut inside like he does so often. I fully expect to see Yannick get on the scoresheet at least once.

Secondary Options

David Silva ($5800) M: At a price like this, the diminutive Spaniard is nearly impossible to pass up. Silva has been one of the Citizens' key players over the past four seasons, and with Sergio Aguero ($8000) back and an easy matchup against Sunderland, I can see Silva racking up a couple assists.

Jordan Henderson ($4000) M: Liverpool are winless in their last three matches and face off against league leaders Leicester City. Henderson is back from injury and has looked good so far with good touch and accuracy on his passes. Jurgen Klopp will certainly pump up the players for this match and I look for Henderson to really pull the strings and set the tone all match long.

Alan Hutton ($3500) D:  Hutton has shown some good work rate and crossing so far this season with Villa. With West Ham struggling a little bit with form, and Villa desperately needing a win, look for Hutton to fly down the wings and deliver crosses throughout the match.

Lockdown Defenders

Everton Defense, John Stones ($2600), Leighton Baines ($4300) and Seamus Coleman ($4400): Newcastle have been abysmal for the most part this year. I expect that to continue against Everton. Play any of their defenders and you won’t lose points for goals allowed.

David De Gea ($4100): Manchester United have generally been poor so far this season, but their Spanish stopper hasn’t. Stoke have found a nice vein of form recently, and they are sure to get a few chances in this match. So look for De Gea to have a few saves and flirt with a clean sheet as well.

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Ok folks, so we are in the final weeks of the NFL season, and everyone's final chance to really take advantage of the DFS season. You may have already won your money and are just playing for a bit of fun, or maybe you're looking for a big holiday bump. Whatever your needs are, I am here to help with a slightly longer rundown of this week's games and who to start. I will go through position by position and point out my starts and my sits.

My criteria for picking a player are:

Matchup

Recent performance

Owned Percentage (last week I would rather have started Blake Bortles than Cam Newton not just for the 7 extra points but also since Bortles wasn't owned by as many people, therefore giving me a leg up)

Price

Reliability (When picking a lower priced player, it is best to stick to somebody that you know will at least get you something as opposed to hit and miss options)

Quarterbacks

Starts of the Week:

Matthew Stafford ($6400): Once again I am riding the play any QB against the Saints train. Stafford has had a collection of massive weeks mixed in with some pretty poor performances. However, the price is certainly right as is the matchup for Stafford to headline your team this week.

Blake Bortles ($8100): Bortles has gone over 20 fantasy points eight times this season with over 30 points three times. The Falcons have slipped off the face of the earth since their unbeaten start and the Jaguars need a win to stay in playoff contention. Jacksonville will lean heavily on their second-year QB to lead them to victory and so should you.

Sleeper of the Week:

Philip Rivers ($6000): Rivers has really fallen off since a great start to the season. Much of that is due to an ineffective ground game and all his targets getting injured. However, for a low cost and low play percentage this week, Rivers faces off against the Dolphins, who just allowed Eli Manning ($7200) to throw for 337 yards and 4 TDs. If you need a cheap option, Rivers is your man.

Dud of the Week:

Aaron Rodgers ($8400): With only one game over 30 fantasy points this season, Rodgers has been a big fantasy disappointment. This week, the Pack faces off against Raider nation, and more specifically Khalil Mack coming off a five-sack performance. I expect Rodgers to still rack up some points, but look for the gunslinger to be on the move a lot without ever really getting into a rhythm.

Running Backs

Starts of the Week:

Adrian Peterson ($8100): It has been a tough couple of weeks for the Vikings, who really need to get back on track at this point. In order to get back on track, Minnesota must put the rock in the hands of their best player. AP should get a ton of touches against a poor Bears run defense. Look for a game more along the lines of his Atlanta performance, when All Day rushed for 158 yards and 2 TDs.

Denard Robinson ($3300): Robinson faces off against the terrible Atlanta run defense in fill-in duty for T.J. Yeldon and is a great double up if you have Bortles already. This game shouldn't really be close and Robinson will have ample opportunity to both run the ball and catch it out of the backfield for a big fantasy day.

Sleeper of the Week:

Brandon Bolden ($2900): With the injury to LeGarrette Blount, the Patriots need to rely on somebody else to tote the rock against the Titans. Bolden is in line for a big step up in terms of carries, and against the soft Titans front 7, he should be able to produce enough to make him worth a look.

Dud of the Week:

DeAngelo Williams ($7700): Williams has been a revelation for both the Steelers and for fantasy owners this season. However, this week's matchup against the vaunted Broncos defense and lack of practice due to illness isn't a good sign for the former Panther.

Wide Receivers

Starts of the Week:

DeAndre Hopkins ($8800): This is a guy who has really come into his own this year. Hopkins has won me plenty of games in both DFS and standard fantasy formats so far this year, and a matchup against the Colts in a game with playoff implications should only serve to pad DeAndre's stats. Look at what Antonio Brown ($8800) did two weeks ago against Indy as a possible stat line for Hopkins this weekend.

Jeremy Maclin ($6800): The thing I like most about Maclin is that even if the receiver doesn't put up the TD numbers, he is always going to rack up receptions. Against the Ravens, that shouldn't change. Look for Maclin to get on the board early and often before the Chiefs turn to the run game.

Sleeper of the Week:

John Brown ($5100) and Michael Floyd ($6300): This is cheating as that is two sleepers, not one. But I can see this game being a shootout type of contest. With that being said, Philly's defense has been less than stellar and while the secondary will focus its attention on Larry Fitzgerald ($7900), these two wideouts can get free for big games.

Dud of the Week:

Odell Beckham Jr. ($8700): My friends have been killing me all week for saying this. However, the Panthers defense legitimately scares me. Josh Norman has been amazing, and I just don't have enough faith in Eli to consistently deliver the ball to OBJ. This could bite me in the rear in a big way, but I haven't picked OBJ in a single DFS league this week.

Tight Ends

Starts of the Week:

Ben Watson ($3500): Watson has been very consistent all season with a couple of absolutely monster games (Weeks 6 and 8). This week going up against the Lions in what should be yet another New Orleans style shootout, look for Watson to benefit from Drew Brees throwing a lot and possibly replicate similar stat lines to both his big weeks.

Antonio Gates ($7300): The price is a little steep for what I like to pay for my TEs. However, with a soft matchup against the Dolphins, Gates has the opportunity to go off. I love the matchup, and in the past whenever Philip Rivers has needed to right the ship, he looks Gates' way often. Look for that to be the case on Sunday.

Sleeper of the Week:

Eric Ebron ($4000): Ebron started the year hot but since then has really fallen off in a big way. It has been seven weeks since the Tight End went off for 19.9 points, but I see him as one of the bigger benficiaries of the matchup against the Saints this week.

Bust of the Week:

Delanie Walker ($7500): Walker has been very good so far this season and has helped Marcus Mariota ($6300) immensely. However, this New England defense is crafty and I don't see the Titans scoring much.

D/ST

Start of the Week:

Texans ($2400): Indy has been struggling mightily on the offensive side of the ball and even if Andrew Luck ($7600) comes back this week, that shouldn't stop J.J. Watt and this Texans defense from feasting.

Dud of the Week:

Broncos ($3300): The Broncos defense has been playing at an incredibly high level all season, but they are running into Big Ben and the Steelers at exactly the wrong time. I don't see the Steelers slowing down in any massive way, and with little offensive support, the Broncos defense will be asked to do a lot, probably too much.

I hope this helps going into the third to last week of the NFL season. Take advantage of the opportunities before it's too late and Happy Holidays to all!

And, don't forget you can play against me at FantasyScore and follow me @dfinch21.

161x314_fantasyscore_basketball

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the league, matchups abound with players on both sides looking quite sound. With chances of winning money throughout, let's look at each baller to start and leave out.

Can’t Miss

Stephen Curry ($9900): This is the first time this year I will pick Steph in any of my leagues. This is of no fault to the reigning MVP, but it just so happens that Steph makes the cut for everyone’s team. So with a matchup against the Jazz which is trickier than it seems, look for the Warriors’ star man to lead them.

Kevin Love ($7500): Love has been very good so far this season, and despite a slightly down December, the Power Forward will be looking to assert his dominance now that Kyrie Irving ($6100) is back. Remembering back to all those issues from last year, Love will be especially motivated and with a soft matchup against the Knicks, the former Bruin can really put up some good numbers.

DeMarcus Cousins ($9500): Boogey hasn’t scored under 40 fantasy points in any of his last six games. Going up against the high-scoring Pacers, who are weak on the interior, will allow that streak to continue. Bank on the big man to deliver on Christmas Eve.

High Risk

Enes Kanter ($4800): Kanter is the leader of the Thunder’s second unit, which figures to play a lot against a bad Lakers team on the tail end of a back-to-back.  While I would generally steer clear of the Thunder’s starters due to a predicted lack of minutes, Kanter and other bench players should figure a lot in this matchup.

C.J. Miles ($3800): Miles has been pretty bad as of late, but he has a lovely matchup against the Kings. Look for the forward to find a way to produce fantasy wise for you at a cheap price.

Fillers

Kent Bazemore ($3900): Bazemore is back in the starting lineup and facing the Pistons on a back-to-back, so look for the forward to get some easy buckets.  While I doubt the Hawks’ guard replicates his 28-point night against the Heat nine days ago, Bazemore should definitely score enough fantasy points to justify the $3900 price tag.

Ryan Anderson ($5400): Anderson is a 6th man who gets as much time as a starter. Playing against the Blazers, who will be without Damian Lillard, the big man should find scoring opportunities at will.

Don't forget you can play against the Mastersballers at FantasyScore and follow me @dfinch21

161x314_fantasyscore_basketball

This NBA season has been one filler with a couple of frontrunners, incomplete teams, and a lot of mediocrity.  Playoff teams from last year, aren't performing at the same level, and some of their players are getting dragged down with their teams poor performances.  That said, there are some solid performances from players that have been pleasant surprises and these players can certainly be relied on for all your DFS needs.

Can't Miss:

Eric Bledsoe ($8600) Bledsoe has been superb all season and the Pelicans have been awful on defense all season.  Going up against a team with the 29th ranked opponents PPG and 3 pt percentage defense will allow Bledsoe to really flourish tonight.

Pau Gasol ($8100) Pau has been on a tear recently going over 30 fantasy points in nine of the past ten games with a high of 60.75.  The Spaniard's resurgence with the Bulls this season is going swimmingly and with a matchup against the Pistons looming Gasol will once again be a focal point.

Marc Gasol ($7400) I am doubling down on the brothers for tonight's games as I love the way Marc has played in December.  The Dallas frontcourt has played well above expectations, but Gasol is a different breed with the ability to really stretch them out and then brun them down low.  Without Zach Randolph ($6300) in the starting lineup the honus is on the Spaniard to produce in a big way.

High Risk:

Jae Crowder ($4200) Crowder's performances all year have been solid but not spectacular, as is the case with most Celtics' players.  Going into tonights matchup against the Hawks, Boston could use a big game from Crowder who had his first non double digit scoring output since November 25th.

Rodney Stuckey ($3700) Stuckey is a guy I target in many of my leagues on a regular basis.  The Pacers really don't have much in the way of scoring off their bench, so the second unit is reliant on Stuckey to score most of their points.  With an easy matchup against the Nets tonight look for the Pacers' guard to score in bunches.

Fillers:

Goran Dragic ($4600) Dragic has been a big dissapointment compared to the money given to him.  However the Slovenian is still producing assists and has the offensive arsenal to do some damage.  Dragic is always one of those low risk with potentially massive rewards players and tonight against the high flying Raptors Goran will have plenty of opportunity to score or dish to others.

Omri Casspi ($3700) Caspri is a hot cold player who is running hot right now.  On a night when the Kings get to face the Timberwolves I don't expect that hot streak to end.

Don't forget you can play against the Mastersballers at FantasyScore and follow me @dfinch21

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