Dotdon’s Fantasy Football Preview

By Tony James
PSDC Contributor

It’s that time of year again. The weather gets a bit cooler, kids return to school and the rest of us prepare our minds and bodies for football. No, not playing football—elite athletes do that. I’m talking about fantasy football, the true test of a man’s heart and genius.

This article will give you a picture of who you may be able to steal early in your fantasy football draft this year, or, if you’ve drafted already, who you can pick up on the waiver wire now before they make a giant impact and disappear to another competitor before your eyes.

RUNNING BACKS

Depending on the size of your league and scoring rules, RB could be the thinnest of all positions and the most important to grab early and for depth. Although there are rare exceptions, generally speaking you need at least one good RB to win any league. With more and more “RB by committee” teams the pack of workhorse backs continues to dwindle. The key to becoming a consistent champion (like me) is spotting and nabbing RBs that emerge due to injury, opportunity or are poised for a breakout year. It is important to claim them now or at your draft so you’re not in a bidding war or relying on waiver-wire priority. Here are some breakouts and sleepers to target in 2015:

BREAKOUTS

1. Lamar Miller, Miami - Miller is poised to have a fantastic season. Ryan Tannehill is progressing as a QB, producing solid stats and improving year after year. Lamar Miller will be a top 8 RB this year in that Miami offense, so don’t be afraid to reach for him if needed.

Lamar-Miller-Dolphins

2. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay - Martin is quietly going in the sixth to eighth round of most mock drafts at this point, which is an absolute steal. Martin is shifty and fast. His down year last year was ended by injury, but he has great RB1 potential. Add in the WR corps and a rookie QB that is adept at moving the sticks for first downs, Martin could see top 15 production easily. [Read more…]

Fantasy Fallout: NFL Draft

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Expert

Greetings, Project Shanks Nation!

nfl_fantasy_fallout

The NFL Draft is in the books. Teams have had a first look at their new blood in rookie mini-camps. Now it is time to exhale, relax and consider what we all really care about. Which of these rookies will help us win our fantasy football league this year? That is the burning question. That is my cue. I am Project Shanks’ fantasy expert, here with the ointment of knowledge to cool that burning sensation. I’m here to tell you who will help you win and who will help the other guys lose. By all accounts this draft was better than last year, but looks can be deceiving when it comes to fantasy football. So, shall we begin? [Read more…]

Fantasy Racing Preview (Yahoo) – Daytona 500

By Travis Reinsch
PSDC NASCAR Correspondent

I will focus on the fantasy racing game on Yahoo because that is the one I play. I will try to keep my tips general enough for folks who play in different games also. You can also tweet me questions and I’ll try to answer them all. I like the Yahoo game because it’s pretty simple, free to play and fun. The downside to this game is that you MUST check your team at least once a week to even stand a chance to be competitive. So it’s definitely geared towards die-hard fans who don’t mind keeping up with things on a daily basis. There is no smart phone app yet for some reason but I’m hoping it gets added soon.

yahoo

Rules:

There are three separate groups of drivers to choose from, these groups will not change at all during the season. Each week you start a driver from Group A, two from Group B and another from Group C. You are also allowed the same amount of drivers in each group on your bench. You only accumulate race points from the drivers in your starting lineup however, with the exception of qualifying where your whole team is eligible to earn points if they qualify in one of the top four spots. The most interesting part of this game is that you can only use each driver in nine total races during the season. [Read more…]

The 2014 MLB Season is Just Right Around the Corner

By Brian Cavino

Pitchers and catchers are slowly making the way to Florida and Arizona, which means the 2014 MLB season is right around the corner. Whether you are a hardcore fan or just the occasional fantasy player on FanDuel, there are plenty of intriguing storylines heading into the season. Here’s a look at a few of the biggest.

Is Pittsburgh Legit?

The Pittsburgh Pirates surprised many last year when they finished with one of the best records in baseball. They will come into 2014 with a target on their back. Reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen will try to lead them deeper into the playoffs, but they will be stuck in one of the most competitive divisions in baseball. [Read more…]

Fantasy Fallout: End of Football Season Review

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Football Expert

Happy New Year Project Shanks Nation!

nfl_fantasy_fallout

I thought it would be a good idea to hit you folks one more time with a complete wrap up of the season. By now all the celebration and heartache should be concluded. So maybe the pain of a losing season will sting a little bit less. All things considered, I have to view this season as a personal success. I lost my mind during the registration period and committed to six fantasy football leagues. The settings for each league varied, but each league was stocked with quality competition. So it was a brutal year.

In the end, I walked away with one championship after making the playoffs in five of six leagues. My lone title came in my Dynasty League. I finished the regular season in second placed and faced off with the first place team in the finals, just as it should be. I was without my franchise QB, Aaron Rodgers, in the second half of the season, but when the dust settled, I was the last man standing. [Read more…]

Fantasy Fallout: Playoffs – Round 1

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Football Expert

nfl_fantasy_fallout

I lack the words to describe how happy I am that this weekend of football is over. Don’t get me wrong. I loved watching all the snow games. It was great for real football. My fantasy teams took a beating though. It was really ugly. If it hadn’t been for earing byes in two leagues through stellar regular season performances, I would be completely down and out right now. As it is, I went 1-2 on the weekend and hope is still alive in three leagues. This is how it played out.

My keeper league team dropped like Kardashians at a hoedown. After finishing the regular season on a two-game losing streak and falling from first to third, my boys didn’t bother showing up for the opening round. The matchup was completely over by the time Romo took the field last night. So his 20.53 did little to help and I lost by over 34 points. AJ Green did his job with 12.30 points but there wasn’t another player on my offense that topped nine points, and only one of my IDPs hit the eight-point mark. It was a pitiful end. [Read more…]

Fantasy Fallout: Regular Season Recap

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Football Expert

nfl_fantasy_fallout

We have successfully navigated the regular season for fantasy football. Sure some odd ball leagues may still play regular season matchups this week, but they don’t really count. Any league playing this week is doing one of two things. They are adding an extra week to the regular season and only having a two-week, four-team playoff or they are running the playoffs through Week 17. Either case is pretty stupid. So we’ll ignore those situations and move on as if the regular season has ended and the playoffs are starting.

It pains me to report that my teams crawled to the finish line instead of finishing strong. Week 12 was acceptable. Working through the final week of byes, my teams went 3-3 and all was well. Then Thanksgiving hit and the tryptophan whipped my ass. For the first time all year, my six-pack fell flat and only had one team manage a win in the final week of action. Despite my teams going 1-5 in Week 13, I was pretty much already set for the playoffs. Plus, my lone win of Week 13 earned the top seed in my money league along with a first round bye. So there really isn’t much to complain about.

This is how my teams wrapped up the season:

Money League: 10-3, First place in the regular season and a first round bye.
Dynasty League: 9-4, Second place overall and a first round bye.
16-Team Keeper: 9-4, Third place and face the six seed in the opening round of an 8-team playoff.
Biggy League: 7-6, Sixth place and face the three seed in the opening round of a 6-team playoff.
Lounge League: 6-7, Seventh place and face the second seed in the opening round of an 8-team playoff.
UCIL Keeper: 6-7, 11th place and missed the playoffs.

Yes, all in all, it has been a fine season for my fantasy football teams. There is no way I’ll play in six leagues next year. It was a lot to track and manage. I only have three teams to focus on this week. Hopefully they will still be active next week when the semi-finals start in the Money and Dynasty leagues.

For now, I’m going to take a little time to reflect on the regular season and look at who helped us all make these playoff runs and who left us wondering where we went wrong.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS

Best QB:

Peyton Manning was hands down the best fantasy QB in the regular season, leading the world with 325.13 total points scored and a 27.09 point per game average. Since the fantasy playoffs take place during the NFL regular season, teams shouldn’t be worried about a playoff letdown from Manning.

Drew Brees finished the regular season ranked second in total points and points per game. I have no idea what the hell happened to him Sunday night against Seattle. I don’t own Brees in any of my leagues, but anyone who does should just be thankful he didn’t run into the Seahawks during the fantasy playoffs.

Matthew Stafford was just behind Brees ranking third in total points and points per game. Stafford is young, healthy and gifted. It doesn’t hurt that he has the best WR in the game as well. The improvement in the Lions running game with Bush and Bell continues to keep the field wide open for Stafford. [Read more…]

Fantasy Fallout: Week 11 Review

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Football Expert

nfl_fantasy_fallout

Let me begin with a quick, painful stat correction from Week 10. When I wrote my bit last week I had a win in our Dynasty league by 0.09. The next day Yahoo entered a stat correction which cost me that narrow margin of victory. So my final count for Week 10 ended up being 4-2 instead of 5-1. I stayed in second place with an 8-2 record in the Dynasty league, but losing a close one always sucks. Screw you, Yahoo!

Week 11 offered much of the same. My teams walked away from the weekend 4-2. I hold down first place in two leagues and clinched a playoff spot in both of those leagues. Despite yet another close loss in the Dynasty league, I’m holding down second place in there and anxiously awaiting the return of Aaron Rodgers. I have a three-game win streak going in another league that has me in second place. Then my other two leagues find me in sixth and 10th place. So I’m still on track to make the playoffs in 5 of 6 leagues. [Read more…]

Fantasy Fallout: Week 9 & 10 Review

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Football Expert

nfl_fantasy_fallout

Greetings folks, I have returned. I know you missed me and I apologize. It couldn’t be helped. Sometimes you just have to take a break and enjoy life. That’s why I didn’t get you a review of Week 9 or offer up any assistance for Week 10. Have no fear. I have returned to take a look back at the past couple of weeks and will try to offer some assistance for the stretch run. First, you know I have to brag on my teams.

In Week 9 my teams went 4-2. Then we ran up a 5-1 record in Week 10. That puts me in first place in two leagues, third in another (but four of us have the same record), third outright in another, sixth in another and bringing up the rear is my one injury riddled, suck ass team sitting in 10th. Overall, I have nothing to complain about. Of six teams, I have five in playoff position with two or three lined up for first round byes.

Now we all stand at the starting gate of the final three-week run to close this thing out. Four teams still have byes, but they are spread out. The trade deadline for most leagues is this coming Friday. This is it. This is your last chance to make a move. The middle of the pack will separate over the next three weeks. There is little time left for comebacks. The time to sink or swim is now. I wish you all the best of luck.

Now, let’s run through a quick review of the past two weeks and jump into finding you all some help.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS

Week 9 MVP

Nick Foles pretty much set the world on fire this week and is opening eyes around the league. He almost matched Peyton Manning’s Week 1 fantasy output, falling just 0.34 points shy. Had I actually written this following Week 9, I may have cautioned you to proceed slowly before jumping on the Foles’ bandwagon. After seeing his follow up performance in Week 10, it is clear Foles is for real and Vick should put his Philly house on the market. I fear what this means for the Cowboys in Week 17.  [Read more…]

Fantasy Fallout: Week 8 Review

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Football Expert

nfl_fantasy_fallout

Damn son, Week 8 was rough. I was lucky to escape with a 4-2 record. I have to admit, one of those wins was a surprise. I had chalked up a loss entering the weekend because I was playing a couple backups at RB due to injury and byes. Then low and behold, Matt Stafford and that beast named Megatron went off. Instead of losing, I scored the most points of the weekend and took over first place in that league.

By the time the curtains fell on Monday night, five of my teams sat in playoff contention. Unfortunately, my weak team took another loss and is damn near done at 3-5. My best players are lost to injury and it is a low activity league. So there is no salvation for that team. It makes it easier to figure out which league to withdraw from next year. My 4-4 team isn’t far behind. Another loss there and I’m on the way out.

Anyway, that’s enough about my success or lack thereof. Week one of the bye week gauntlet is in the books. I hope you found some gems to lead you through. Now we have another killer week with six teams out of action. As with last week, this will either sink some teams further into depression, or allow them to steal a win against a shorthanded team and keep hope alive. Surely the trade deadline looms in your league. This is your best chance to make a move or two if you plan to do anything this year.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS

Even though we had a pair of QBs throw for five TDs and an emerging secondary WR haul in an unprecedented four TDs, I have to tip my hat to the guy who had more receiving yards than damn near every team in the league this weekend. Calvin Johnson is a complete and total beast. I really want to thank Dez Bryant for lighting a fire under this guy. It greatly helped my fantasy team this weekend.

Sean Lee continues to make his case for Defensive Player of the Year and is now the leading IDP scorer in the league. Here is a scary thought. Lee is doing all of this without having even gotten to the QB. He is a tackling machine that may be the best cover LB in the game at this point. He has four INTs and six passes defended and his next opponent is coming with another weak passing attack. You may salivate now.

Here is your Week 8 MVP Team. [Read more…]

Fantasy Basketball: A Walk Around the League- Part 2

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Sports Expert

FantasyBasketball

Each team in the NBA has something to offer fantasy owners. Granted, some offer more than others. Most teams made a move in the offseason that affected their team one way or another. Here is a team by team look at the players you need to know about in order to be successful this year.

Miami Heat 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

L. James Mia – SF,PF

76

.565

.753

1.4

26.8

8.0

7.3

1.7

0.9

3.0

D. Wade Mia – PG,SG

69

.521

.725

0.2

21.2

5.0

5.1

1.9

0.8

2.8

C. Bosh Mia – PF,C

74

.535

.798

0.3

16.6

6.8

1.7

0.9

1.4

1.7

R. Allen Mia – SG

79

.449

.886

1.8

10.9

2.7

1.7

0.8

0.2

1.3

M. Chalmers Mia – PG

77

.429

.795

1.6

8.6

2.2

3.5

1.5

0.2

1.5


Must Own Players:

LeBron James is the best player on the planet and should be the No. 1 draft pick in all leagues. Some guys may take Kevin Durant for different reasons. It’s not a bad pick, but James is the better fantasy asset. I could type for days about his greatness but will sum it up like this. LeBron does everything. Draft him.

Dwayne Wade misses some games each year due to bad knees. They have a lot of miles on them. So that trend should continue. Still, when he is on the court he contributes at an elite level. His only flaw is a lack of 3s and mediocre FT shooting. So he only helps in seven of nine categories. Is that really a complaint?

Chris Bosh has a bunch of haters, which I don’t understand. He scores, rebounds and plays defense. He has great shooting percentages and doesn’t hurt you with turn overs. His production ranks in the top 10 at both PF and Center. Let others hate on him while you draft him and make a title run.

Other Contributors:

Ray Allen is one of my absolute, all-time favorites, but at this point in his career, he really does nothing but provide some 3-point shooting. His percentages remain great but have less impact with lower volume.

Mario Chalmers is a sneaky guy. There simply aren’t enough shots for him to score in double digits, but he shoots well and chips in 1-2 treys and steals a game with a few points and steals. That’s good depth.

Udonis Haslem is a cheap source of rebounds in deep, deep leagues.

Impact Rookie:

None

Possible Sleepers:

None of the Heat’s role players excite me very much. Chris Anderson is fun to watch but has minimal fantasy impact. People got excited about Michael Beasley replacing Mike Miller and most likely Shane Battier as well, but this guy is a nut job. The Heat will give you the big three. Find sleepers elsewhere. [Read more…]

Fantasy Basketball: A Walk Around the League- Part 1

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Sports Expert

FantasyBasketball

Each team in the NBA has something to offer fantasy owners. Granted, some offer more than others. Most teams made a move in the offseason that affected their team one way or another. Here is a team by team look at the players you need to know about in order to be successful this year.

Atlanta Hawks

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

A. Horford Atl – PF,C

74

.543

.644

0.0

17.4

10.2

3.2

1.1

1.1

2.0

P. Millsap Atl – PF

78

.490

.742

0.2

14.6

7.1

2.6

1.3

1.0

1.8

J. Teague Atl – PG

80

.451

.881

1.1

14.6

2.3

7.2

1.5

0.4

2.9

L. Williams Atl – PG,SG

39

.422

.868

1.8

14.1

2.1

3.6

1.1

0.3

1.9

K. Korver Atl – SG,SF

74

.461

.859

2.6

10.9

4.0

2.0

0.9

0.5

0.9

E. Brand Atl – PF,C

72

.473

.710

0.0

7.2

6.0

1.0

0.7

1.3

0.8


Must Own Players:

Al Horford is easily a top five fantasy center. He is an across the board stat filler that leaves little room for complaint. A slight improvement in FT shooting and shot blocking would make him even more elite.

Jeff Teague is emerging as a solid second tier PG. He isn’t a great rebounding guard but he is a quality shooter that provides all the 3s, points, assists and steals you need from a PG.

Paul Millsap lost some time and production in Utah last year as the Jazz tried to get more minutes for Derrick Favors. Millsap should see an increase in minutes. He is a good shooter, scorer, rebounder and defender. Millsap should slide up your rankings from where he ended last season with Utah.

Other Contributors:

Kyle Korver is a straight up gunner. If you need 3s, he is a great guy to add late in your draft.

Elton Brand is over the hill but can help owners in deep leagues as a cheap source of blocks.

Impact Rookies:

None

Possible Sleepers:

Lou Williams was off to a solid start before getting hurt last year. Once he makes it back to 100% look for him to contribute for the Hawks. [Read more…]