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Friday 21st Oct 2016

Woe is me. After a nearly triumphant Week 5, all my main players were on their bye week this past Sunday. The problem is none of them seemed to know, as they all suited up, hit the field, and went through the motions. Five of my teams lost their games and in the infamous Fout Wars, where Tout Wars means a helmet and oblong sphere, my team dropped from a season-high 166.5 points to a lifetime terrible 64.4. And, that meant I was able to finish with the best worst record of the week.

My opposite, however--since this is not about me--Brian Walton, screamed to the top of the standings with 179.54 points driven by Tom Brady (30.24), LeSean McCoy (37.2), Cameron Meredith (25.3) and Christine Michael (23.3), all of whom helped push the esteemed Mr. Walton to the top of the season long standings

The Great Lenny Melnick earned silver for the week with 166.92, fueled by Lamar Miller (35.8) and Eli Manning (29.12), along with McCoy, while the Iniminable Jeff Boggis returned to the top tier with a 152.54 cycle on the prowess of Brady, Miller, and Meredith.

Week 7 DFS Bargain Picks

Terrance West ($4800): West is carrying the load for the Ravens at this point, so just having a starting RB with 20-plus carries under $5K is a deal. But, West is actually pretty good, with 414 yards and ten catches to go with three scores and an average of 13.1 fantasy points per week. West is going up against the defensively derelict Jets. 

Vernon Davis ($2900): A conditional selection, assuming Jordan Reed, who is still on concussion protocol, remains sidelined. Davis would start in lieu of Reed, and he still has some zip as the 50 yards on a couple of catches he bagged last week attests. Plus, Kirk Cousins likes to throw to his Tight Ends, and Davis is a pretty good alternative.

Mike Wallace ($5800): It is not like I am suggesting a stack against the poor Jets, but, well, the stats speak for themselves. Wallace didn't score last week but did catch four of ten targets for 97 yards.

Ravens ($2800): Maybe a stack is what is in order, as the Jets offense, led by either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith or even Christian Hackenberg, gets the snaps. That is enough to keep a schizy offense totally off-balance, and the Ravens, who have traditionally had strong defenses, should be able to take advantage. 

Matt Ryan ($7200): Ryan is not necessarily cheap, but he is such a solid pro, who makes so few mistakes, that his going up against the #24 pass defense in the league should be a lot of fun. As in Matt and Julio down at the football yard. I think he will turn a profit for you. I am picking him, too!

Rick Wolf, the "Wolfman" end of Colton and the Wolfman, romped Week 4 of Fout Wars, where the Tout Warriors are going head-to-head playing DFS Football. Well, for Week 5, Glenn Colton, rhetorical former of the dynamic duo, mopped the floor with his 14 league mates.

Colton wrangled no fewer than 30-plus points from three of his starters--Ben Roethlisberger (33.2), Ezekiel Elliott (35.1) and Cameron Meredith (30.6), the steal of the week at $3000, all contributing to a massive point total of 182.6 points.

Finishing second was Tim Heaney with 176.98 points, fueled by T.Y. Hilton (36.1), Amari Cooper (30.8) and Cooper's passing mate Derek Carr (25.98), and amazingly I finished third with Roethlisberger, along with Sammy Coates (34.9) and Theo Riddick (26.2), building a total of 166.5.

However, a few weeks ago I wrote a column about getting lost in the miasma of teams and DFS contests, and in my haste to build my roster, I mistakenly grabbed Dwayne Washington of the Lions instead of DeAndre Washington of the Raiders. I had the bucks for the latter, whose 10.2 points would have pushed me past my buddy Tim, but not far enough to catch Glenn.

You can follow along with our progress--or lack thereof-right here: Fout Wars Google Docs Standings. And the big question of the week is "Where are you Jeff Boggis?"

Week 6 DFS Bargain Picks

John Kuhn ($3100): OK, Kuhn is a blocking back who maybe gets a couple of touches a game, but they are generally red zone touches, inside the two, and thus far Kuhn has converted seven total carries into three TDs. I'm not saying to build an offense around him, but as a second RB Kuhn makes it so there are still a lot of bucks in your budget for higher priced guys.

Brandon LaFell ($3200): Eight catches and a pair of scores off 11 targets last week bumped LaFell's season totals to 21 catches for 271 yards on a team with a good passer facing a team with a questionable pass defense.

Andre Johnson ($3400): Sure, like Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith Sr., Johnson is no longer an up-and-coming star, but these wiley vets know how to play, and despite some age, Johnson has been targeted 21 times, although he has only caught nine. But, he has a pair of scores out of that and his team faces the pathetic Browns at home this coming week.

Browns ($2600): OK, so I badmouthed the Browns, but they are playing the Titans with the #31 defense at home, and as bad as Cleveland has been, they have seven sacks, five picks, and turned a fumble into a score. 

Jalen Richard ($3800): With Latavius Murray still out, the heavy workload falls to Richard and Washington, and the rookie Richard, with 175 rushing yards and 11 receptions for another 105 yards, should get to grind out some points and yards facing the Chiefs at home.

Boy, the early games were rife with numbers for me, with Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, and Jarvis Landry rocking the point world, and moving me up among the top teams. Unfortunately, the Steelers defense (-1) were destroyed by the Eagles.

Apparently Michael Beller saw no such attractions in Fout Wars, where the Touts stage a weekly DFS on DraftKings. Beller's squad went big with Ryan Tannehill (24.96), Christine Michael (28.1), and David Johnson (26.1), who helped contribute to a 167.36 week that gave the S.I. writer top honors in a week where the bulk of teams performed well. Jeff Erickson (160.46), riding big days from Landry and Johnson, but also Michael Crabtree (21.2) and DeMarco Murray (29.5) while third place this week went to Brian Walton (156.2) who exploited Rodgers and Landry, but then got great days from Charles Sims (24.4) and Mike Evans (32.2)

To show how things have tightened, though, my squad, which finished tenth, with 143 points. Oh what a difference a pick six by the Steelers would have made. But, sometimes grass don't grow, and sometimes the wind don't blow.

You can check out the entire league Scoreboard here: Fout Wars Google Doc.

So, who am I looking at for Week 4? Let's look.

Christine Michael (RB, Seahawks): Considering the roundabout manner in which Michael even got a start last week, let alone took advantage of the opportunity, we just have to take a look at the RB who bagged a pair of scores, a pair of catches, and 106 yards. Michael has to move ahead of Thomas Rawls on the depth chart, at least for the coming week, and if you have an RB void.

Tevin Coleman (RB, Falcons): Coleman, paired with Devonta Freeman remind me of the old Raiders who had Napoleon Kaufmann grabbing the yards and Zach Crockett scoring the TDs. Not thinking of Coleman as a potential weekly producer like Michael can be, but he could be a fun bye play and DFS bargain, meaning track the guy and his match-ups.

Everson Griffen (DE, Vikings): Griffen was dynamite, sacking Cam Newton three times while bagging three tackles for losses, and leading what looks to be a pretty solid defense and pass rush. If your league plays individual defense, Griffen is this week's guy. 

Dorial Green-Beckham (WE, Eagles): Every week we seem to have an Eagle on the list, and Green-Beckham is in the spotlight this time. A second-round pick in 2015 Green-Beckham caught three passes last week for a modest 33 yards, but, he was in on half the team's snaps, and just looks to have an increasing role. (Do note the Eagles are on their bye week.)

Cameron Brate (TE, Bucs): The Harvard grad stepped right into the Bucs breech, and collected a pair of TD passes over the past week, giving him 11 catches for 92 yards, and making Brate another player to track and maybe stash, thinking injuries and byes. 

The team of Colton and the Wolfman scored well in Week 4 of Fout Wars, the Tout Wars 2016 foray into DFS football madness. Mind you, I have played with and against many of the Touts for many many years, and they are all savvy game players, and Rick and Glenn are indeed two of the men I have known and competed against for the longest.

So, it was indeed Rick who led the pack this time with 165.14 points spearheaded by Philip Rivers (22.84 pts.), one of five players rostered who banged out more than 20. Also on the list were DeMarco Murray (25.9), Emmanuel Sanders (22.8), Greg Olsen (21.6), and Ezekiel Elliott (25.7), adding in Fozzy Whittaker and his 18.2 points just for fun.

RotobuzzGuy Howard Bender moved into the second-place slot bagging 150.72 points, driven by Joe Flacco (23.02) and Terrance West (20.3), adding in Murray, Sanders, and Olsen to take the virtual silver while the Wolfman's fantasy and radio partner, Glenn Colton pulled in third, riding Jordan Reed (28.3), Antonio Brown (22.4), Jordan Howard (19.2) and Kirk Cousins (18.32) along with West to finish the day with 150.42.

I did move up, finishing fifth with 141.92 points mimicking Glenn with Cousins and Brown along with Whittaker, but in the end, good was not good enough.

You can follow along with our progress--or lack thereof-right here: Fout Wars Google Docs Standings. And the big question of the week is "Where are you Jeff Boggis?"

Week 5 DFS Picks:

Seth Roberts ($3400): OK, so I am thrilled with the Raiders this year, but the team has a high flying offense, and Roberts and Derek Carr have connected each of the first three weeks for a score. Going against the #28 pass defense in the league, I get the feeling that all the Raiders receivers will get a chance to get fat. 

Terrance West ($4800): Not much of a secret, but still on the low price for a running back who just bagged 113 yards and a score, and with Justin Forsett gone baby gone, West gets the ball. The Raven can also catch with four receptions out of six targets, but clearly that is not a big part of his game. 

John Brown ($4400): Actually, the big scorer on my team last week was the Cardinals WR who caught ten of 16 for 144 yards (27.4). Brown bagged 1065 yards last year on 61 catches, and is just getting into a groove. Of course, the condition of Carson Palmer (on concussion protocol) bears watching, but again, Brown is very good and will finish strong, methinks.

Eagles ($2900): The Eagles defense is really good, and though the Lions offense is not so horrible (9th ranked) the team could produce nothing against the Bears last week, a defense not as strong as Philly's. I suspect Detroit will play better, but by the same token Philadelphia is looking at what worked. But, the real bottom line is the Eagles defense does indeed seem to be good, and they are coming off their bye, meaning energy to burn. 

Sammie Coates ($3900): Markus Wheaton should be looking over his shoulder at Coates, and not an oncoming pass. Coates has 13 catches for 282 yards (21.7 average) and has five catches of 40-plus yards on a team that loves to go deep.

One week of Fout-Wars, the Tout Warriors foray into serious DFS Football at DraftKings, Jeff Boggis bagged the top team honors, scoring a massive 186.26 points largely on the arms and legs of Derek Carr (25.36), Spencer Ware (35.9), Jordan Matthews (27.4) and Amari Cooper (24.7). And, even though those were the obvious big scorers for Jeff, aside from the Cardinals defense--and defense is always iffy--Marvin Jones Jr., with 12.5 points, was at the bottom of his point scoring food chain.

As it is, Ware might seem like a subtle play, but one-third of the Touts purchased the rights to the Chiefs running back, even though second place finisher Zach Steinhorn did not roster Ware. But he did milk Brandin Cooks and his 36.4 (Zach also had Carr and Jones, Jr.) to finish second with 171.86. Third placer Jeff Erickson bagged 167.1 points via Ware and Cooper, but milked Matthew Stafford for 29.1 points to take bronze if we had medals, or gave them out for third place.

As for me, I died in the 14th slot thanks in part to Keenan Allen's short day, Russell Wilson's weak day, and the Raiders defense's two-point non-existent day.

There were some plays who might be under-valued, and who look like interesting plays in the coming week:

Dak Prescott (QB, $5800): Rookie QBs dominate my list this week, not that they are any kind of a sure thing (see Jared Goff), but Prescott was cool as a cucumber, and totally in charge even though his team fell just a bit short of the Giants. Prescott used his resources well, and like all three signal callers discussed here, did not seem prone to trying to force a play a la Jay Cutler. A young QB who is willing to either eat the ball or throw it away rather than make a risky play is a good thing. Prescott goes up against long-time rival Washington, and I think he is at worst a safe play. At $5800, he is a cheap safe play.

Carson Wentz (QB, Eagles): Because Philly is playing on Monday Night, he is not part of the DraftKings schema, but Wentz's first game was just fine, with 278 yards and a couple of scores. If you need a Bye Week QB in your season-long league, look at Wentz, who goes up against the Bears this week, making him another good play and potentially under-the-radar FAAB pick-up.

Willie Snead (WR, $5800): Snead bagged 968 yards last year but still fell in most drafts to the sixth and seventh rounds. But, his 172-yard Sunday, hooking so well with Drew Brees, suggests the WR could have a great year playing off Brandin Cooks (who is $8000).

Trevor Siemian (QB, $5200): Another youngin' who handled the ball very well his first time out, Siemian threw for a modest 178 yards and one TD against a very good Panthers team. The Colts, with the second worst defense during Week 1, are up next. Nothing fancy, and not necessarily a DFS play, but like Wentz, perhaps a player to stash on your reserve list for a bye week and see how he develops. 

Will Fuller (WR, $4200): Another cheap play, who should get some shots against the Chiefs this coming week, Fuller got 11 targets, caught five, and racked up 107 yards and a score last week, and at $4200, as a #3 WR, well, such a deal. Similarly, if Fuller is floating around your free agent pool for some reason (he was a first-rounder), stash the kid. 

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