Start ’em, Sit ’em – Week 5

By Paul Maughan (@morny7)

Over a quarter of the (Fantasy) regular season is done and dusted, and we’re at point where most of us know whether we’re “definitely pretty class at this game”, or if it’s time to insist that “we weren’t that bothered anyway, we just gambled on high-upside picks”.

After last week was the “week of the backup” (seriously, who on earth are Trevor Davis and Chester Rogers), it’ll be interesting to see if we see a swing back to more established players getting in amongst the touchdowns this week.

Unfortunately there’s no Dolphins this week, meaning we can’t just back everything against them. Even the Dolphins 2.0 (hey Washington) are up against the famously Fantasy un-friendly Patriots. However, there are some fantastic games with high-scoring potential, so let’s get right to it.  


-Start ’em-


QuarterBack

Andy Dalton (CIN) vs Cardinals

Image Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, the Bengals were dreadful on Monday and yes, their offence was hopeless. But they’re up against the Cardinals defence, which is beyond bad. Even with John Ross missing, he should have plenty opportunity to rack up points against a defence which is comically obliging.

There’s also the added bonus that the Cardinals are a quick-fire team on offence, against a Bengals defence which is also pretty poor, meaning that Dalton should get plenty of opportunities to rack up points. Your instincts may scream at you not to pick an average quarterback, of a malfunctioning team, who sits behind a leaky o-line……but ignore that inner-voice and believe in the Red Rifle

Honourable Mentions: Deshaun Watson (HOU) vs Falcons, Phillip Rivers (LAC) vs Broncos


Running BAck

David Johnson (ARI) @ Bengals

Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a tricky week for running backs (aside from the obvious stars you aren’t sitting no matter what). Not wanting to focus in on just one game, but David Johnson looks like an unmissable play here, especially in PPR leagues. His rushing stats aren’t great – he’s only rushed a total of 173 yards this season, average less than 6 fantasy points a game rushing.

However, you ain’t taking him for his rushing. It’s his pass-catching you’re all about. So far this year he is number one in the NFL for routes-run by a running-back, and is averaging 12.8 points a game in the receiving game. This is against four decent defences (Lions, Ravens, Panthers and Seahawks). He’s playing the Bengals this week, and will basically step up even further in the absence of Christian Kirk in the Cardinals passing game. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is, in effect a WR2 for the Cardinals this week (behind Larry) and in what should be a high-scoring game, it would be astonishing if Johnson isn’t rolling in points by Sunday night.

Honourable Mentions: James White (NE) @ Redskins, Marlon Mack (IND) @ Chiefs


Wide receiver

Alshon Jeffrey (PHI) vs Jets

Image Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Basically, the Jets don’t have any outside cornerbacks. Trumaine Johnson is $70m of utter horror and Daryl Roberts is a guy you’ve likely never heard of (and never will). Nate Hairston has been alright, but they’re still giving up 45 points a game to WR groups each week. Further, they have a passable run defence, which will encourage Wentz and Pederson to attack increasingly through the air (not that they need much encouragement to begin with).

At this stage, it’s really about choosing who to go with,  and I wouldn’t put you off Nelson Aghalor or even Whiteside if you want to take a flyer. But Jeffrey is a good safe shout – he should pick up plenty of receptions, plenty of yards and at least a touchdown in what I expect to be a high-scoring Eagles win.

Honourable Mentions: Josh Gordon (NE) @Redskins, Adam Thielen (MIN) @Giants


Tight End

Greg Olsen (CAR) vs Jaguars

Image Credit: Panthers.com

Aside from a quiet week last week Greg Olsen has been back with a bang this year, averaging 13 fantasy points a week. He’s looking a lot more like the Greg Olsen from a few years ago, and hopefully his injuries problems are behind him now.

The Jags defence is generally sound, but have struggled somewhat against Tight-Ends this year, giving up 12.6 points a game in fantasy. At home, and riding the crest of the Kyle Allen wave, Olsen should be safe for at least 10 points this week and if things fall right should get a few more.

Honourable Mentions: Tyler Eifert (CIN) vs Cardinals, Zach Ertz (PHI) vs Jets


Sit ‘em


QB – Jameis Winston (TB) @ Saints – Jameis has put up bucketloads of points the last two weeks, but the Saints defence has clicked into ‘carry Teddy’ mode, and should handle him comfortable. In fact, there’s every chance we see a classic “bad Jameis” day.

RB – Josh Jacobs (OAK) vs Bears – the kid is good, but he’s not being used often enough, is in a terrible matchup here (why take anyone against the Bears defence), and the Raiders lose any neglible advantage from being at home. Steer well clear.

WR – Sterling Shepherd (NYG) vs Vikings – he may have gone off under “Danny Dimes” (vomit incessantly) the last two weeks,but he’s up against a top-class defence and got Golden Tate fighting for his targets this week. Expect his numbers to half, at the very best.

TE – Delanie Walker (TEN) vs Bills – The Bills defence is pretty much the best in the league at this point, they give up nothing to Tight-Ends and Marcus Mariota will likely get about 0.01 seconds to throw before feeling pressure. Would personally advise fading any receiving players in this game – will be a trench battle.

£100 Challenge

By Tim Monk and Adam Walford

It’s 1-1 in the £100 challenge stakes with Tim winning the NFL 2018 season but Adam winning the 2019 draft. Here is the third installment! we have included Rob Grimwood’s challenge to as we have a forfeit for the loser of clucking like a chicken for 1 minute!

Scroll through below to find out what we fancy!

Betting: Season long stats leaders preview

By Adam Walford (@touchdowntips) – 9th July 2019

So it’s the start of July, less than a month until football returns! Well, pre-season football, which isn’t really worth it, but, the Falcons and Broncos 3rd stringers take the field in the HOF game on the 1st of August. Yay!

There’s actually a lot of variety already available in the ante-post betting for next season on most of the big sites, so I’ll have a nose at some that have caught my eye a little. I’ll stick to player related bets here, win totals don’t change a whole lot over the summer, and annoyingly you can’t parlay them without using the betting firms’ Request a Bet service which I’ll get to later in the summer. There’s actually quite a lot of player yardage props which I’ll look at later in the summer as well, and of course the Team totals which I love attacking.

Regular Season MVP

Not a fan of MVP betting at this early stage of the season, or frankly during the season, it’s not a market I particularly like. I can practically guarantee it will be a QB, there’s been a couple of RBs who set records, some fella called Jerry Rice is the only WR to have won it and Lawrence Taylor is the only defensive player to have won it.

Having said that I don’t usually bet on this market, I will probably have a nibble on Deshaun Watson at 33/1. He’s mobile, he’s got one of the best WRs in the game and if Will Fuller can stay fit, a serious TD threat. The Texans are in a tough division and have a tough schedule, if they come through to win that division then it’s safe to say that a lot will be down to Watson. Annoyingly he was around 60/1 earlier in the off-season, only 33/1 now (PP, Lads) but I think he should be shorter still.

The other I would look at would be Carson Wentz. It’s a risk, but the team obviously have no worries about his injury as they signed him to a big deal and traded away Nick Foles so I don’t have too much worry there either. He was MVP-elect before that injury in his rookie year and if anything his WR corps is better now with Desean Jackson brought in, as well as rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside who I’ve heard good things, to compliment Jeffrey and Agholar. Add the tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert to the pass catchers and you’ve got a talented offense there.

  • Deshaun Watson – 35/1 (Betfair)
  • Carson Wentz – 25/1 (Skybet)

Most passing yards

Another one that’s dominated mainly by the QBs for obvious reasons… I won’t go into too much depth on this one.

Mahomes is the favourite, I think a lot depends on whether Tyreek Hill is suspended or not, somehow it looks like he’ll have a small suspension at the moment, which is a big boost for Mahomes and his stats. He’s brilliant.

Big Ben won it last year, I doubt that will happen this year without Antonio Brown there. I don’t think it will be Rodgers, it won’t be Brady, Brees or Goff.

Matt Ryan is in with a shout assuming Calvin Ridley takes a step forward which is perfectly believable, and he’s got Julio, which obviously helps.

I usually plump for Phil Rivers EW and he’ll be up there again with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams likely to step up and Hunter Henry hopefully back and fully fit. But I think it could well be Andrew Luck. I was so impressed with him last year coming back off his shoulder injury and I think the Colts will be a good team this year, TY Hilton should do well and I’d imagine he’ll be fairly decent odds in rec. yards, Parris Campbell is a flexible pass catcher, Doyle and Ebron at TE and Nyheim Hines at RB are all adept pass catchers.

I feel it would be a mistake to not mention Deshaun Watson at 40/1 on Ladbrokes after mentioning him for the MVP above, Hopkins, Fuller, Keke Coutee are a good trio to throw the ball to. Jamies Winston is probably in with a shout here as well, he’s a high volume thrower generally and gets Bruce Arians as his HC who loves going with 4 WR sets, so there will be a lot of people on the field for him to target, he’s 20/1 EW on Ladbrokes, which is actually bigger than everywhere else who only got straight up (10/1 at Skybet or example).

Somehow I have completely ignored Baker Mayfield until now (16/1 Skybet) when I originally wrote this lot, I think he’ll be up there, he’s definitely got the players to throw to, Landry, Beckham, Njoku are a good trio and even the secondary guys are decent enough, the kid showed he’s got the talent in his half season last year and with a full year the only thing detracting is possibly a poor offensive line. Not a bad shout at all, and what kind of idiot does a top passer thing and doesn’t mention Aaron Rodgers. Jesus christ, what an amateur I am some times. Plusses, he’ll be in F you mode after finally getting rid of Mike McCarthy, negatives he has some very tough defenses in his division and I’m just not sure he’ll get near 5,000

  • Andrew Luck – 7/1
  • Jameis Winston 20/1 EW- Both Ladbrokes

Most rushing yards

Apologies for the length and the rambling on this one, but wanted to get my thoughts down as to why I’ve picked the guys I have.

The league as a whole has generally gone away from workhorse running backs these days, preferring to use a couple in rotation so while I’d love to be contrarian and give some value here, but it’s basically between about 4 or 5 guys, the same ones you’ll be taking at the top of your fantasy drafts.

Ezekiel Elliott, Kamara, McCaffrey, Barkley are the top 4, then you’re looking at the likes of Joe Mixon, James Connor, David Johnson, Lev Bell, Todd Gurley, maybe Dalvin Cook. – Zeke won it last year with 1,434 yards over the season and with no-one else really in the backfield there I see no reason why it won’t be him again especially as the offensive line should be stronger than last year, he is used in the passing game, in fact he was used a lot more than I realised last year, 77 receptions was only a handful behind Kamara. I will, however discard Kamara (883) as while the Saints got rid of Ingram, they replaced him seemingly like-for-like with Latavius Murray who will take more of the ground work with Kamara very adept in the passing game, for the same reason I doubt it will be CmcC (1098), while he was a beast last year and has bulked up over the summer he’s just too good through the air for them to give him enough to rack up the ground yards as well. I believe that Saquon Barkley is probably the only real rival for Zeke for the rushing title; He was pretty much the entire offense for the Giants last year and he handled it all in his stride, over 2,000 all purpose yards, 1,307 on the ground, and his breakout speed was a large part of that, one cut and you’re not gonna catch him. Eli still can’t throw the ball so I’d imagine a lot will be on him again this year.

Unsurprisingly Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley are the two leaders in the betting. 4/1 and 5/1 respectively on Ladbrokes, and 1/4 EW which could come in handy in a minute.

It might be stupid to overlook Todd Gurley who finished 3rd last year despite a small workload for the last few games of the season, and the off-season rumour-mill around him is concerning in regards to his knee. It seems he has mild arthritis there which could lead to less of a workload and they drafted an RB mildly high, or it could mean nothing and they run him into the ground anyway. Personally I’m avoiding him, 16/1 is available on PP if you wanted to go for him though. – Mixon and Connor are basically 3 down backs for their teams, and I believe that the Bengals want to run the ball more this year to set up the play action pass, however the offensive line which was looking improved got knocked back to last years when left tackle Jonah Williams was reported to be out for the season and that’s really dented my confidence in the whole Bengals offense; He did however lead the AFC in rush yards last year behind that line so 12/1 on Lads.

The Steelers always shove the load on one back and it will be Connor again this year, he did well in his first season as the main RB last year and with no Antonio Brown or Lev Bell there they’ll be relying more on Juju and Connor to get the yards, but I just don’t think he’ll get enough yards, it could be my anti-Pitt bias, but I just don’t see it for some reason. David Johnson in Arizona? I love the guy, he’s a brilliant player but I think that team will be too pass heavy (an area he excels in) to give him enough carries to top the table. Leveon Bell, at the Jets now, I don’t believe he’ll be as good without one of the best offensive lines in the league and with a HC who doesn’t like using one guy (Drake/Gore in Miami) and who has come out and said he didn’t want Bell at the cost.

Dalvin Cook was a major talent when he was healthy and I think actually, that he would be my EW bet, available at 22/1 on Ladbrokes and there’s not a lot left in terms of competition in the backfield for him, only really Alex Mattison who they drafted this year, add to that the fact they changed their offensive coordinator to go more run heavy… I think that’s the bet for me at the price.

  • Ezekiel Elliott – 4/1
  • Dalvin Cook EW – 22/1 – Both Ladbrokes.

Most receiving Yards

I’m struggling a bit on this one tbh, there’s a lot of players who I think will be there or there about’s and they’re all generally 20-25s at most. Julio will be up there as he always is, and I mentioned above that I think Ryan will be up there, so of course Julio should be in my thought process here.

Michael Thomas will be around there, but I don’t think he gets enough big plays to win it.

DeAndre Hopkins is another, if I think Watson is going to do as well as I think then theoretically I have to think Nuk will do well this year and the same goes for TY Hilton if I think Andrew Luck will do well, then he should be up near the top of this list as well, at 20/1 on Ladbrokes. 25/1 on Davante Adams isn’t a bad look, he’s the clear WR1 there and Rodgers has essentially said he’ll be looking for him on every single play, but that price is straight up only, a measly 11/1 on Ladbrokes for EW betting. I mean, in fairness at 125/1… Robert Woods isn’t the worst bet in the world but again that’s straight win, only 50/1 on Lads for EW bettors.

Davante Adams – 25/1 – Skybet

Not… That… Long…. Now!

The Running Man

By Lawrence Vos, 26 May 2019

No I’m not taking about underrated Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, but for a bonus point can you give me the connection between this movie and NFL rushing folklore?

For those of you who didn’t have to Google that one of Arnie’s victims (Fireball) was former Cleveland Browns legendary running back Jim Brown I congratulate you, and for those of you who did I hope you enjoyed adding this to your NFL trivia arsenal.

That was 1987, when a survival-based reality gameshow was a forerunner for the likes of The Hunger Games. Fast forward to 2019 and arguably the best survival-based reality show on our screens now is the NFL.

The Running Man focussed on a very fit human-being, wearing a bright costume, relying on team-mates to help him navigate pitfalls and escape from tough adversaries on-foot (with the exception of Dynamo who was arguably the worst villain in cinematic history. He was 340lb, sang opera, drove a dune buggy and wore an armour plate covered in LEDs.)

Avoiding trouble and helping to lead a team to victory is a very similar set of pursuits to that of a running quarterback in the NFL.

In 2019 we have a top tier of five starting quarterbacks who can be categorised as rushing quarterbacks and then a second tier of five who can be described as mobile but not rushing quarterbacks. Note I am only putting starters in these tiers. The likes of L.A. Rams backup Blake Bortles (a respectable and surprising 365 rushing yards, 6.3 yards a carry and a first down on almost half his runs in 2018) do not count.

Tier-1
Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton, Deshaun Watson.

Tier-2

Patrick Mahomes, Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott, Mitch Trubisky, Jameis Winston.

Tier-1 Rankings

So let’s look at Tier-1 and see how they rank for 2019 fantasy draft purposes.

5 – Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Murray, the number one overall pick in this year’s draft is a phenom before he even steps onto an NFL field. The Cards pushed all their chips into the middle of the table for the former Oklahoma signal-caller, they even traded away Josh Rosen, their first round pick from 2018, to the Dolphins, to avoid any talk of competition. Murray won the 2019 Heisman Trophy for a remarkable 2018 season which included breaking the 1,000-yard barrier on the ground. The problem with projecting Murray’s impact in the NFL in 2019 is not due to the height issue (standing at 5f 10 inches) it’s more his track record. Murray originally began his college career in 2015 at Texas A&M. In his freshman year Murray served at the backup to Kyle Allen (now backup to Cam Newton in Carolina) before getting playing time when Allen performed poorly. Murray ran for 335 yards and a single score, but was again relegated to the bench by the time the Aggies reached the Music City Bowl. Keeping it all very incestuous Texas A&M lost that Bowl game to Louisville 27-21, going down to game MVP Cardinal quarterback Lamar Jackson (more later) who had 226 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns, including a 61-yard effort in the second quarter. Another quirk from that game was that two scorers for Texas A&M are now Murray’s target team-mates – WR Christian Kirk and converted TE Ricky Seals-Jones. Murray didn’t see action in 2016 as it was criteria of his transfer to Oklahoma, and in 2017 he had one start as back-up to none other than 2018 first overall draft pick Baker ‘wake up dangerous’ Mayfield.

Prediction

Already anointed as the Cardinals starting quarterback Murray will be looking to use his feet to keep drives alive and find his former college colleagues, as well as feeding future Canton enshrine Larry Fitzgerald. There will be a significantly increased workload for running back David Johnson in terms of dump-offs and screens, who will look to get 2,000 all-purpose scrimmage yards himself.

2019 projection – 431 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns.

4 – Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Cam is not mortal, he is built like a Greek god, and is close to indestructible. 4,808 rushing yards and 58 touchdowns in his first eight seasons is nothing short of Hall of Fame numbers for a quarterback. Newton has missed just five games in his career, and his ground total is 150th in NFL history, for ALL players, and 14th amongst ALL active players. After arthroscopic surgery earlier in the year, to fix a lingering throwing arm injury, Newton is being eased back into action at OTA’s (organised team activities) in May, but will be fighting fit for September.  

He missed two games in 2018, but using his average rushing yards per-game this would have equated to 558 ground yards, which would have put him above 2018’s #3 rushing quarterback Deshaun Watson. Newton is now joined by one of the top three overall running backs in the NFL in the form of Christian McCaffrey, who will take away carries and scoring opportunities from the former number one draft pick. Newton has averaged 110 rushing attempts over the past three seasons and whilst his attempts in 2018, under new offensive co-ordinator Norv Turner, was the second lowest in his career, it’s no cause for concern as he nearly reached his statutory half-century.

Prediction

Cam has rushing the football in his DNA and no coach will be able to remove that. Defences, especially those in his division, are used to this form of torture, but any average linebacker is going to lose the war of attrition. Newton is consistent and although his rushing touchdowns hit an all-time low in 2018 (4) he can still provide that fantasy scoring boost that Brady, Brees and even Mahomes are unable to.

2019 projection – 525 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns

3 – Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

Entering his third season, Deshaun Watson has learnt a lot, but unfortunately for him he has been sacked a lot. In 2018, his first season playing all 16 regular season games Watson was sacked a rib-crushing 62 times (the Texans were the only team to allow over 60 sacks). This can be attributed to two main factors – Watson holds onto the ball too long, but he is doing so in-part as he is contemplating scrambling out of the pocket and finding a crease or a rushing lane. Watson managed a very respectable 551 yards on the ground and 5 scores in 2018, but part of this output was generated as he was trying to make the most of a collapsed pocket or a blown block by a running back. Despite taking snaps in front of five colanders with legs Watson made the 2018 Pro-Bowl and proved that he can command a team and stay injury free. In fact, he was the first player in NFL history to have 4,000+ passing yards, 25+ passing touchdowns, 500+ rushing yards, and 5 rushing touchdowns in a single season. The former College National Championship winner (2016) had one 1,000-yard rushing season at Clemson (2015) losing to powerhouse Alabama in the Championship game (where he ran for 43 yards and a score).

Prediction

Watson needs to remain upright for longer, but he also needs to be smarter with his feet. The Texans wisely drafted two offensive linemen in the first two rounds of the 2019 Draft (Tytus Howard #23 overall and Max Scharping #55) to relive some pressure but like Cam Newton Watson is a smooth natural runner with excellent instincts to find space. Houston’s new offensive coordinator Tim Kelly is a quiet in-house appointment. This is Kelly’s sixth year in the Texans offense, having served as tight-ends coach the last two years (fun fact Kelly’s brother Dennis is an offensive lineman for the Tennessee Titans). Coach Kelly will be asked to further develop Watson, so expect much of the same and a small increase in Watson’s ground scores.

2019 Projection – 580 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns

2 – Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Perhaps the biggest fantasy surprise from the 2018 Rookie quarterback crop was Josh Allen. Despite the Bills deluded decision to start Week 1 with Nathan Peterman as their starter, in a 3-47, yes 3-47 loss to the Ravens, that experiment was shorty canned and Allen became the #1 in Week 2. Where Allen excelled was his fast feet. In his three years at Wyoming Allen ran for a solid but unspectacular 767 yards and 12 scores, averaging a pedestrian 3.2yards a carry. As a result, not many people were prepared for Allen’s 631 yards rushing, 8 touchdowns and two NFL records between Weeks 12-14 (first quarterback to rush for at least 95 yards in three consecutive games and most rushing yards by a quarterback in a 3 game span –  335). Allen only started 11 games (and played in 12) as a rookie, so by the magic of averages he would have gained 841 yards, the sixth greatest rushing output by a quarterback in NFL history. Allen was let down by a very average skill group in 2018, which has since been boosted by wide-receiver free-agent signings Cole Beasley and John Brown and rookie running back Devin Singletary. As the unquestioned starter Allen can become a fantasy monster, not only by rushing but by having better targets across the field. Watch out for fellow second-year player wide-receiver Robert Foster who can surpass 1,000 yards and eight scores himself.

Prediction

Allen is one of those rare breed of players that has transitioned from a smaller college team to become a starting NFL signal-caller. He joins current starting quarterbacks like Joe Flacco (Delaware) Derek Carr (Fresno State) and perhaps the best example – ‘Big Ben’ Roethlisberger who hailed from Miami of Ohio. Allen is in a position to get the Bills into a Wild Card position in the next two seasons, something mobile passer Tyrod Taylor managed with Buffalo in 2017. With a 16 game slate Allen can shine, and that includes over 700 yards on the ground.

2019 projection – 757 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns

1 – Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

We have been here before back in 2012 when slight-framed but much-hyped first round draft pick Robert Griffin III rushed for 815 yards in 15 games. The 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year sustained a second injury of the season against the Seahawks in the playoffs that season, and since then he has rushed for 855 yards and three touchdowns over the next five seasons. Now Jackson’s backup in Baltimore RG3 is a cautionary tale of taking a young but slim-built quarterback and letting him run a lot early. L-Jax who did not run a 40 yard-dash at the 2018 Scouting Combine is arguably faster than RG3 and up there with the fastest NFL starting quarterback ever, Michael Vick. Vick, despite his jail time, managed an incredible rushing total in 13 playing seasons, gaining 6,109 yards including a mind-bending NFL quarterback rushing record of 1,039 yards in 2005. L-Jax has the skills to actually break this record, and with 16 games and no Joe Flacco on the sidelines watching his every move, it is possible this happens in 2019. L-Jax gained 695 rushing yards in 7 starts as a rookie, and extrapolating that to a full season would equate to 1,270 yards, which would obliterate Vick’s record.

Prediction

It’s not sustainable to expect Jackson to run for almost 1,300 rushing yards, but if we look at his 7 starts (546 rushing yards) and extend that out to 16 games, at 78 yards a game, that 1,248 in a season. The Ravens will be hell-bent on developing L-Jax as a passer, but they will no doubt allow him to display his ghost-like rushing ability. His His 4,132 rushing yards in college (including Bowl games) ranks 109 all-time for ALL players, including running-backs, so we are talking about a special talent. Providing he can stay injury free, which he has managed for the past three-years, L-Jax can deliver the greatest rushing season by a quarterback ever.

2019 projection – 1,115 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns.

Which Stats Lead the Way?

Written by Scott Mackay (@scottfmackay) – Friday 16th Nov 2018

As we all know, American Football is a game where anything can happen and in the fantasy world it’s no different (prime example, Titans turning over the Patriots this past week). As a team manager you must sift through all sorts of stats on a weekly basis to build the best team possible. Your journey starts in the draft and then you navigate your way through the entire season by trading and dipping into the waiver wire.

I’ve run through some stats categories below in order of importance to give you an idea of what to look out for when building your team which can ultimately give you the upper hand over your opponents.

First and foremost you have got to look at opportunity. You could have the greatest ever player on your team, but it means nothing if he is watching from the side-lines or not being given the touches. I 100% would keep an eye on this statline. Look at how many times is he being targeted and what he doing with the football when he gets it. If these are positive numbers, then you have to seriously consider a player. This statline also opens the possibility of the lesser known players being more consistent scorers for your team, enabling you to sneak on players before they turn in the big returns.

If you are looking at a player, a good indicator on the impact he can have for your team is the stats and tendencies of his franchise. Do they have a winning record? Is their system tailored to a passing game? What is the ratio of Run to Throw? These are all important factors to take into consideration. Andrew Luck and whoever Tampa have in at QB have been throwing demons this year and none of their RBs are currently in the top 25, Marlon Mack (#29) and Peyton Barber (#41), this should be a red flag and you should look to the receiving corps and indeed the QB. If the numbers and opportunity aren’t there, don’t go there.

Fantasy Points. Well, we are playing Fantasy, right?! These can be a great indicator of the way in which a player is trending and what you can kind of expect in the next game. A consistent baseline is favourable over a player that booms one week and busts for the next two. You need to strike a balance and get into that position where you can feel comfortable starting that player in a regular spot. Is a player a regular Flex or RB1? You should be able to label all your players and feel confident in them returning points.

It is important to consider the format of your league, is it PPR, is it Dynasty, SuperFlex or something we’ve never heard of? This will of course dictate how you go about building that championship winning team.

Team building in Fantasy is very much like building a real life team and a well thought out ‘way of doing things’ can do wonders. Is your fantasy team going to be relying on strong runners or dynamic wide receivers? If you go into the season with your team with and a specific strategy and you stick to it when recruiting new members and trading, the consistent approach will help you make more informed decisions and make the whole navigation of Fantasy Football that whole lot easier.

What do you look for when picking and building your team? What are the most important factors to consider? Let us know on Twitter @full10yards!

Podcast 20 – Electing to Punt

Adam Walford from Touchdown Tips (@Touchdowntips,TDtips.com) joins us as we speculate to accumulate!

We give you a great nugget of advice for betting on the antepost markets and we tell you which song you should listen to when watching any Bills games this year!
Great episode!

We have £100 of mythical money to spread over markets such as:

  • Super Bowl/ Conference Outrights,
  • Division winners,
  • Most Pass/Rush/Rec yards,
  • End of season awards &
  • Request a bet specials.

The full list will be on the punting page and we encourage you to send us yours! We will keep a track of them all on a spreadsheet and announce the winner at the end of the season! You have to have at least 1 bet in each of the categories to qualify.

 

Podcast 19 – 1st Round Busts and Late Round Sleepers

Lee Wakefield (@Wakefield90) returns to the podcast to chat possible 1st round busts (or players to avoid) as well as some late round targets that have caught our eye.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us! Download the VoiceByte app and tell us who your 1st round busts or Late Round Sleepers are!

Podcast 16 – Week 1 & 2018 Playoff Teams

Adam Walford (@touchdowntips) joins us to run the rule over some more betting markets for the 2018 season.

We look at week one and there are a few standout bets already available and we segway in to team total wins lines and merge that with teams to make the playoffs.

We finish off looking at Stats and players who we like for the honours lists in terms of Top Rusher, Passer and Receiver as well as some Saquon Barkley specials.