Paxton Lynch Profile

With the giant absence left by Peyton Mannings retirement, I take a look at Paxton Lynch’s odds of starting this season for the Denver Broncos. Check it out here:

 

Paxton Lynch: Your Fantasy Football Coach

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Have Daily Fantasy Sites Gone Too Far?

FanDuel and DraftKings. Those are the two heavy hitters in Daily Fantasy Sites. If you hadn’t heard of them before, I’m sure you’ve heard of them by now. It’s estimated that the two sites have pumped more than $150 million into the radio and airwaves in order to boost awareness and participation. The ads are everywhere. A simple word like “beer” or “pretzels” can earn you up to $600 in deposit matching from the sites. They show success stories of average people turned millionaires with the click of a button. People who have won hundreds of thousands of dollars and risked pennies on the dollar. It’s a good ad, though slightly misleading. (more on that later) But what I’m concerned with is the possibility that these sites have shot themselves in the foot. That they’ve gone too far with the ad campaigns.

This is too much.

Screenshot 2015-10-05 at 7.19.10 PM - Edited

This is what you’re greeted with when you are trying to access your ESPN fantasy team. It’s a full on ad explosion of FanDuel madness. I literally had to search before I was able to find the link for my teams. I was overwhelmed. This was far more annoying than the average 45 second commercial blitz. People coming to this particular part of the ESPN site are likely already fantasy sport fans, and as such, have probably heard of Daily Fantasy Sites and FanDuel. So is this necessary?

Ironically the crowd that seems to be complaining the loudest are fantasy fans.

I think as fantasy players, we can see how misleading the ads are. The sites are trying to turn something that many devote a large portion of their time to, into something less that what it is. Turning it into a game of luck. Being good at fantasy sports isn’t luck, it’s a skill. To be an exceptional fantasy player requires time, effort, and research. Do you think Matthew Berrys just fall off the turnip truck every day? No. It takes years of time and energy to get to a level where you can predict the production of teams and players. Often, it’s fantasy players who are the ones profiting from daily leagues. They already have a basic knowledge and skill set that puts them ahead of the curve. Are there fantasy players out there that aren’t the best daily league players? Absolutely. Are there daily league winners out there that possess only a basic knowledge of football or fantasy sports? It’s possible. But the majority of winners are coming from a select group of people. In fact,

“Sports Business Journal reported that 91 percent of the winnings at daily fantasy sports sites are claimed by just 1.3 percent of players — the so-called sharks. These winners, some of whom play full time, rely on sophisticated algorithms, trend data and knowledge of the games and matchups to invest heavily in optimal lineups for each 24-hour period.”

So these average joes flashing their hard earned checks are the exception not the rule.

Speaking of Daily League sharks deadspin.com has just released an article about possible insider betting.

Winning a contest like Millionaire Maker, which has hundreds of thousands of participants, is less about buying up the best players than about finding market inefficiencies and selecting players who will help the fewest amount of your competitors while running cheap relative to their production. (This is basic tournament strategy; it’s the same reason you’re discouraged from picking all chalk in a large March Madness pool.) Thus, when you select a lineup, you have to try, blindly, to determine both the bargain value and how under-the-radar your lineup will fly.

Of course, if you have this data ahead of time—as certain DraftKings employees evidently do, or did—you have a massive advantage over your competitors. There’s no guesswork, only algorithmic scheming. You can remove the behavioral uncertainty from the equation and play knowing all opposition strategies.

Pretty much a DraftKings employee had access to information that he used to win a high stakes league at FanDuel. New information suggests that the employee may not have had access to the information until after he had formed his lineup, but the reporting of the story has cast quite the shadow over the DFS sporting world. Currently, there isn’t much oversight with Daily League Sites. If stories like this keep popping up you can bet this will change. Read the full article here:

http://deadspin.com/draftkings-employee-with-access-to-inside-info-wins-35-1734719747?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

Overall, I feel like the media blitz, and the misrepresentation by the sites, kind of cheapen the product they are trying to sell. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product. I love fantasy football, and have participated in leagues on both sites. But in my opinion, it’s all become too much. I hope that in the future DraftKings and FanDuel can turn their image around, because right now they’re turning off a lot of fantasy players, as opposed to recruiting their business.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/zorn/ct-daily-fantasy-sports-blize-perspec-0916-20150915-column.html

 

Arian Foster Injury Update: Foster Returns to Practice

Foster owners rejoice! We have our first Arian Foster practice spotting since suffering his groin injury back in August. So does this mean Spring is just around the corner?

While Foster’s participation is certainly good news for the Texan’s and his fantasy owners, it’s likely we won’t see him take the field for at least another week, and more likely two. Even so Foster is making good progress in his recovery. Originally it was thought that Foster’s groin injury, and subsequent surgery would have him sidelined for the majority of the season. The Houston Texan’s coaching staff seems motivated as well, with Coach Bill O’Brien saying he expects Foster back, “sooner rather than later”.

So when Foster returns, what sort of fantasy production can we expect to see? In seasons where Arian Foster participated in more than eight games, he averaged over 1,350 yards and 12 touchdowns. The most encouraging stat is that every season, even those where Foster missed multiple games due to injury, he never dropped below a 4.1 YPC average. The take away from this is that as long as Foster is on the field, he’s a fantasy producer.

The one area where we may expect less production from Foster is in the passing game. Last season Foster recorded 38 receptions, for five touchdowns. The Texans need a reliable runner. Anyone that watched the Texans last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs will agree. Alfred Blue just doesn’t cut it as an every down back. However, they don’t lack for passing targets. DeAndre Hopkins, Nate Washington, and Cecil Shorts III all look to contribute to the passing game. The addition of Nate Washington in particular as a possession receiver should really help take some strain off the running game, and off of Foster. The Texans are going to want to keep Foster healthy, and while they can’t cut out too many of his rushing possessions, they can cut back on passing possessions.

So maybe Foster doesn’t see as many receptions on passing downs. He will still produce impressive numbers on the ground, and is the go to guy for the Texans in the endzone. Even if Foster sees a passing reduction, he should remain a fantasy RB1, and produce for his owners every week.

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Ryan Mallett Named Houston Texans Starting Quarterback

While the Texans coaching staff are staying mum on any concrete decisions, many media outlets are reporting that Ryan Mallett has been named the Houston Texans starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

Brian Hoyer was named the starter week one after a close preseason battle between the two. Mallett was pretty outspoken about how he felt about the decision. Mallett vented his frustration at a media conference, saying “’I’m disappointed. I don’t agree with it, but it’s for the best of the team, so I’m just going to wait till my turn gets called, and I mean at some point, it’s going to happen this year”. I guess he was right, though his opportunity has come quicker than even he imagined.

Hoyer failed to impress week one against the Kansas City Chiefs. He fumbled once, threw for 236 yards, had one touchdown, and one interception. Under his leadership the team managed only ten points in almost four quarters. Mallett was subbed in late in the fourth quarter where he managed to pass for 98 yards, including one touchdown. With him at the helm, the Texans were able to score twice, and almost rally back to beat the chiefs. It wasn’t just Mallet that looked good. With Mallett under center, primary receiver DeAndre Hopkins was finally able to shine, and the offense was finally able to get into a groove.

So what does this mean for the Texans? And what does it mean for fantasy players? I think that in both cases the answer is the same. Every player should see a boost in production with Mallett holding the reins, both on the field and in fantasy scoring. While I wouldn’t rush out just yet to claim Mallett off the waiver wire, I’m excited to see what he can bring to the Texans offense, and with the Houston Texans rushing game stalled due to the loss of running back Arian Foster, there should be plenty of passing action.  I listed wide receiver Nate Washington as one of my targets for the week two waiver wire, and I’m sticking by my guns. I think both Hopkins and Washington should see double digit points against the Carolina Panthers defense.

2015 The Year of the Fantasy Tight End?

Week one is in the books. There were some highs. There were some lows. There was a lot of information to process. One of the biggest stand outs was just how productive tight ends were. Typically when we talk about fantasy tight ends you hear about Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and maybe Greg Olsen thrown in for good measure, but this season there looks to be a lot more names added to the list. Even Gronk had a hard time staying at the top of the tight end leader boards, and it was rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins nipping at his heals.

In fact, there were 13 tight ends who finished with double digit fantasy points. To put that in perspective there were 23 running backs, and 20 wide receivers who racked up up more than 10 fantasy points. If you play in a league that allows a tight end in the flex position this is huge. As more tight ends eat into receptions, and endzone targets, they’re going to eat into RB/WR production. Here’s a more in depth breakdown how fantasy tight ends performed in week one.

Rob Gronkowski 27.4
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 23
Travis Kelce 22.6
Tyler Eifert 22.4
Jason Witten 18
Darren Fells 14.2
Ladarius Green 13.4
Jordan Reed 12.3
Martellus Bennett 11.5
Eric Ebron 11.3
Jimmy Graham 11.1
Delanie Walker 10.3
Lance Kendricks 10.2

*based on ESPN standard scoring

Almost half of these guys are owned in less than 50% of leagues. And while I’m not saying all of these guys are going to put up these types of numbers every week, they’re all worth keeping an eye on.

Tight ends seem to be leveling the playing field between themselves and other players. Tight ends are typically taller, and stronger than wide receivers. This makes them the perfect endzone threat. If you’re having roster issues, and can play a tight end in multiple roster spots, it may be worth it to take a chance on one of these guys, or another tight end that’s caught your eye. I don’t see the “Tight End Trend” going away any time soon.

A Beginners Guide to the Waiver Wire

For those just starting out, the Waiver Wire can be tricky to navigate. Not only do you have to decide who you’re going to pick up but you may not even know how to take advantage of it. I’m reblogging an article I wrote last season around this time, because it’s still just as relevant. For those just starting out, I’ve broken down the waiver wire into the 5 W’s. Who, What, When, Where, Why. Check it out here:

https://footballfemme.com/2014/09/01/the-5-ws-of-the-wavier-wire/

Terrelle Pryor’s New Team? He recently worked out with the New England Patriots

UPDATE:

Terrelle Pryor was recently released from The Cleveland Browns after making the cut for the 53 man roster. To say he was disappointed would be an understatement.

But Pryor’s NFL dreams are still alive, and he is sticking with his role as a wide receiver. His workout with The Patriots makes sense. The Pats are currently down three receivers with the loss of Brandon Gibson, and Brandon Lafell to injury, and Reggie Wayne due to personal choices. Their currently top targets, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, played very well in their season opener, but could benefit from another target on the field. Tom Brady is playing with a chip on his shoulder, due to the offseason chaos caused by deflate gate. He looked great in The Pats opening game against the Steelers, and I don’t expect his gunslinger mentality to ease up anytime soon.

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