2015 Fantasy Football Sleepers

One of the keys to winning your fantasy football league is the ability to draft Sleepers. “Sleepers” are NFL players who are drafted in much lower rounds in your fantasy football drafts than their ending statistics warrant. In shopping terms, this is like getting a 22oz bottle of Not Your Father's Root Beer (the 19.9%…

One of the keys to winning your fantasy football league is the ability to draft Sleepers. “Sleepers” are NFL players who are drafted in much lower rounds in your fantasy football drafts than their ending statistics warrant. In shopping terms, this is like getting a 22oz bottle of Not Your Father's Root Beer (the 19.9% ​​version … mmmmm, mmmm) for A & W prices. In the full-season fantasy football world, this is the avenue to the league championship. We have seen championships won on the heels of Sleepers every year. They have come out of now to register monster years after being double-digit or waiver wire picks. When you can grab a player at the end of your draft that becomes your number 1 producer at a certain position, you, my friends, have a true Sleeper. Below are a few projected fantasy football sleepers by position for the 2015 season.

Fantasy Football Sleepers

QB: Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota) – Teddy took over the reins from Matt Cassel in Minny in Week 4 in 2014 and never looked back. He was poised, confident and productive and he is back in 2015 as the opening game starter with experience and new toys. He had a trio of running backs to hand the ball off to last year but none of them were named Adrian Peterson. One might think that the Vikings will run Peterson into the ground since he has fresh legs, which they may, but having him in the backfield will open up the passing game more than last year's timeshare did. The Vikings also upgraded at WR by swapping out aging Greg Jennings and adding field-stretcher Mike Wallace. On top of that, the Vikings will have a healthy TE Kyle Rudolph to add to the mix. Teddy is being drafted in double digit rounds as a QB2 but there is no reason not to believe that you will not find more games than not that you will want to start him.

Also consider: Derek Carr (Oakland), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buffalo)

RB: Joseph Randle (Dallas) – Although owner Jerry Jones is an idiot, there is no way that he lets DeMarco Murray go and is satisfied with bringing in RB Darren McFadden to replace him without he was confident on his backup RBs from 2014. I believe the McFadden move was a sympathy move from a fellow Razorback alumnus as McFadden has been a true bust since he was drafted by Oakland in 2008, though injuries are the main reason why. He was very talented in college but one has to wonder how much of a total his slew of injuries has taken on his speed. With McFadden already battling hamstring injuries, Randle is strengthening his position as the opening game starter as Dallas realizes that McFadden is as far from a reliable workhorse back as I am. Randle is only 23 years old and has a great combination of size and speed. Even if Randle starts the season off with a mere 15 carries a game, I expect good things as I could probably get 100 yards per game behind that massive Cowboys off line.

Also consider: David Cobb (Tennessee), David Johnson (Arizona)

WR: Nick Toon (New Orleans) – We featured Brandin Cooks from the Saints in the spot last season and he made us look smart … until he was lost to injury. He is back this season and healthy but the Saints have rebuilt their own offense and, in the process, lost TE Jimmy Graham and WR Kenny Stills. With WR Marques Colston getting older, Cooks is going to need a running mate and we expect Toon to be that mate. He is entering his third year in the league and seemed to get in tune with QB Drew Brees towards the end of 2014 when he piled in 17 of his career 23 catches in the final 6 games of the season. Even though the Saints began to relly more on the running game last season, there is no way that they do not keep Brees' throwing weapon active and we see Toon MUCH more involved than he ever has been in the past. You should be able to grab him with your last WR selection and not risk much for huge upside making him a massive fantasy football Sleeper .

Also consider: Allen Robinson (Jacksonville), Davante Adams (Green Bay)

TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Tampa Bay) – Jenkins was thought highly of going into his 2014 rookie season, but he limped through the season with foot, ankle and back issues and made little impact. He comes into 2015 healthy and with a rookie QB, which is often good for a pass-catching tight end as a rookie QB often checks down quickly and finds his TE when the pass rush gets close. At 6'6 “262lbs, Jenkins will be easy for QB Jameis Winston to find on the field. The Bucs did add new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter this season from Atlanta. so there should be plenty of opportunities to get that ball in Austin's big hands in Tampa.

Also consider: Rob Housler (Cleveland), Josh Hill (New Orleans)

K: Connor Barth (Denver) – Barth came aboard in 2014 after the Broncos kicked Brandon McManus to the curve and promptly hit 15 of 16 field goal attempts and all of his extra points. Barth did not line up for any real long field goal attempts but had demonstrated the strength of his leg over his four seasons in Tampa so I would expect to see those opportunities present themselves in Denver's thin air this season. Denver's offense may not be the powerhouse this season that it has been since QB Peyton Manning joined the team, but they will provide Barth with more than ample opportunities for him to compete for the league scoring title.

Also consider: Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis), Blair Walsh (Minnesota)

D: Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins were slightly above average last season with DEs Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon wreaking a bit of havoc. In the off-season, the Fins added Ndamukong Suh and now this defensive line is one of the top 2 or 3 units in the league. With the added pressure, you can also expect a rise in fumbles and interceptions. Expect the defense to really rack up the points in the first half of the season as no opponent has an indemnity that is scary expect for one game in Foxboro and, truthfully, I am expecting the Patriots to step down a notch this year.

Also consider: New York Jets, Minnesota

2015 NFL Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

With our fantasy football drafts approaching, it is time to look at the rookies who have a chance to make an impact on the fantasy football landscape in 2015. These are the relevant rookies at the core skill positions and their planned draft round in standard 12- team fantasy football leagues. There was a time…

With our fantasy football drafts approaching, it is time to look at the rookies who have a chance to make an impact on the fantasy football landscape in 2015. These are the relevant rookies at the core skill positions and their planned draft round in standard 12- team fantasy football leagues. There was a time that we would avoid all rookie QBs and WRs that came into the league. However, the game has changed at the collegiate and professional level in ways that allow talented QBs to step under center and talented WRs to line up and be productive immediately. Now, it is still very hit-and-miss so do not reach and grab rookies too high or you could be looking up at the rest of the league quickly.

2014 was a BANNER year for rookie wide receivers and a mediocre year for rookie quarterbacks and running backs. This season, the crop of running backs is the deepestest it has been in years and the crop of wide receivers is bountiful once again, though I can not imagine them collectively considering last year's bumper crop. Who from this year's draft class will be the key players on your run to your fantasy league championship? Below is the consensus review from MFS for the new crop of NFL rookies.

Quarterbacks

1. Jameis Winston (TB). Famous Jameis is scheduled to take the field as the starting QB for Tampa this season and has the potential to post good numbers in his weaker matchups. Oh, he is going to make a lot of mistakes, but is startable in Bye weeks or a few matches this season making him a decent QB2 or QB3. With big goals like WR Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, feel free to spend a 12th or 13th round big on the rookie.

2. Marcus Mariota (TENN). Unlike Winston, Mariota will be competing for the starting QB position in Tennessee and has far inferior weapons at wideout. He will post better running numbers that Winston but will be a longshot to match his passing yards and TDs. If I draft Mariota, I do so as my last non-kicker selection.

3. Bryce Petty (NYJ). While current QB, Geno Smith, has made a mockery of the QB position in New York, the Jets will go with veteran, Ryan Fitzpatrick, long before giving Petty a shot. Petty had a nice career at Baylor, but will only see the playing field in mop-up time at best this season.

4. Garrett Grayson (NO). Grayson appeared to be a reach in the 3rd round for New Orleans this year, especially since he only takes the field after a Drew Brees injury, and will not get drawn in anything but the deepest of leagues or those that are hosted near the Colorado St campus. Grayson's trajectory will be to study under Brees for 2-3 years before getting a legitimate chance to get much playing time.

5. Sean Mannion (STL). Even though St. Louis will be starting fragile Nick Foles this season, Mannion has backups Austin Davis and Case Keenum in front of him so the odds of him getting any playing time this year is pretty much nil. He had a nice career at Oregon St so he could easily move up the depth chart this season in advance of 2016, but he should not have considered in any format this season.

Running Backs

1. Melvin Gordon (SD) . Todd Gurley was the first running back selected this year but Gordon will easily be the most productive. He was a beast in college and arrives to a Chargers team that needs a workhorse back. Gordon is just that back, though he will not be a factor in the receiving game as RB Danny Woodhead will dominate backfield receptions, so you can downgrade Gordon in PPR leagues. However, there is no reason to expect him to last past the 3rd round in standard leagues.

2. Tevin Coleman (ATL). Like Gordon, Coleman arrives in an ideal situation. Atlanta has a solid aerial assault, which opens up the run game, they have a desire to be a better balanced team and they need a franchise running back. Coleman has been overlooked since he played at Indiana, but he is a game-breaker. He joins the team after they released Steven Jackson and his primary competition last year's heir apparent, Devonta Freeman, who did little with his opportunity. I believe that the Falcons will break camp with a shared backfield and commit to Coleman more and more as the season wears on. So, I believe his ideal draft position should be in the 6th round.

3. TJ Yeldon (JAX) . Yeldo is another player coming into a great situation. The Jags pictured Toby Gerhart being their savior last season and he was an unmitigated Bust. They did catch a surprise with QB-turned-WR-turned RB Denard Robinson but they do not believe that he would last long in the NFL as a full-time back. So, Yeldon has a low bar to surpass to get on the field productively. He just came up short of three consecutive 1000-yard seasons at Alabama so the Jags like his production. The question is whether or not the Jags start off with a committee approach before committing a full load to Yeldon or not. I would grab him as the next running back after Coleman.

4. Todd Gurley (STL) . Todd Gurley is projected to be the best running back over the course of his career from this draft. However, unless you are in a Keeper League, that is of no immediate concern to redraft players. Gurley is coming off a torn ACL and there is no guarantee that he will avoid the PUP list. At the very least, it is expected that RB Tre Mason will begin the season as the Rams lead back. The Rams liked what they saw in Mason but expect Gurley's overall size and power to provide them with a franchise back. It is a mystery on when his NFL career will start and how involved he will be when he does get on the field. Do not reach for Gurley with so many new backs coming into the league. I will not jump before the 9th round without it is one of my last drafts and the reports out of the Rams' training camp are ravening about Gurley.

5. Ameer Abdullah (DET) . Abdullah joins a full backfield in Detroit, but one that has injury tendencies. Also, the incumbent running backs have not had a long history of success. RB Joique Bell assumed the RB1 position for the first time last year. He did deliver over 1200 total yards but Detroit was still high enough on Abdullah to bring him aboard. Notre Dame graduate, Theo Riddick, did his best Reggie Bush impression last season and figured to keep that position this season. Abdullah fits between these two styles. He is solid enough to run between the tackles and a good enough route-runner to snag his share of passes. He will get limited playing time initially, but I am certain that his load will increase as the season wears on. This is another back that I will be looking at around the 9th round.

6. David Cobb (TENN) . The Titans 2014 running back savior, Bishop Sankey, underwhelmed enough that Shonn Greene was extremely active in the Titans gameplan, which is not a vote of confidence for Sankey. I expect him to get another shot at showing his collegiate skills before involving Cobb more. It will be difficult for either back to be overly productive this season as the Titans' off line is not stellar and they are guaranteed to have youth under center and an accessibility to stretch the field with the passing game so many teams will stack the box. I would have no problem taking a shot on Cobb in the 12th round and sticking him on the bench.

7. David Johnson (AZ) . Much like Cobb, David Johnson fell into a nice situation. The Cardinals have not been able to keep a solid running back healthy for quite some time, much like their QB. RB1 Andre Ellington was having a nice campaign in 2014 before succumbing to injury. After him, the depth chart is unimpressive so the 6'1 “224lb Northern Iowa graduate will see some work for this season. The question for him will be” when “and” why “. not, he will not see more than 10 Touches per game. Personally, I skip over Taylor and grab Johnson as my Ellington handcuff in the 12th round.

8. Jay Ajayi (MIA) . Ajayi's draft stock was taken a major hit due to his surgically repaired knee and fell all the way to the 5th round. It was unexpected for Ajayi since he was coming off a season where he rushed for over 1800 yards and added 500 receiving yards as whipped cream. Needless to say, the 6'0 “221lb Boise St grad arrives to the NFL was a considerable chip on his shoulder. , Miller is the undisputed workhorse for the Dolphins, but Ajayi is a Must-draft handcuff in the 12th round.

Wide Receivers

1. Amari Cooper (OAK) . Cooper was a flat-out stud for Alabama and had a Heisman-worthy year in 2014 with 124 catches for 1727 yards. His selection put a smile on second-year QB Derek Carr's face as the Raiders has very little talent at wide receiver last season. The Raiders did add WR Michael Crabtree via free agency but Cooper is the horse that Carr will ride since he knows that he is his meal ticket. This could be a formidable combination for years to come, folks. There are many talented, established receivers in the league, but Cooper will fly off the board before many of them. I would be shocked if he was still available in the 6th round.

2. Kevin White (CHI) . I fully expected Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to roam the hallowed sidelines of Soldier Field for many years. However, Marshall found it impossible to keep quiet about the ineptitude of the Chicago front office and the extremely poor play of QB Jay Cutler and found himself shipped off to the Jets. The Bears front office is still inept and Cutler will still be slinging the ball carelessly all over the field this season, but someone has to replace Marshall and Kevin White was selected to do just that. No doubt that Jeffery is the Go-To receiver for the Bears, but he will see an awful lot of double coverage. White displayed great speed while playing for West Virginia and will find himself in Cutler's good graces as long as he does not suffer from the rookie yips and drop too many passes. If so, all he will see is the Smirk. White has the talent to exceed in Chicago, but they will also be implementing a new offense so I would not grab White before the 8th round.

3. Breshad Perriman (BAL) . Perriman was drafted to replace Torrey Smith. After Smith stole a huge contract after a mediocre 49 catches for 767 yards last season, I would expect Perriman to equal that total for far less cash and be positioned as a much better long-term investment. He does have a bad case of the Drops, so any owner hopes that he corrects that at the pro level, which is a big reach. However, Flacco's other options are limited; aging WR Steve Smith, underwhelming WR Malcolm Brown (double-check ***) and fellow rookie TE Maxx Williams so they opportunity is there for Perriman to top Smith's numbers in his inaugural season. I can see snagging Perriman in the 9th round.

4. Nelson Agholor (PHL) . Agholor may not be in a position like Perriman (positioned to be the new WR1), but he may end up scoring more points due to the Chip Kelly insult. Agholor will step in as Jeremy Maclin's replacement, but Jordan Matthews in the new WR1. However, the Eagles will have a new QB under center so it is unknown who Sam Bradford will bond with best. Agholor is a skilled kick returner as well so the possibility of adding return TD points is there if your scoring system rewards the player as well as the ST position. I can certainly see Agholor going just after Periman in the 9th round.

5. DeVante Parker (MIA) . Parker provides an interesting conundrum for the drafting community, which has been demonstrated by the wild swings in his ADP. Parker is coming off foot surgery. The word is that he will be ready for week 1 but will miss training camp and pre-season, which is far from good for a rookie. The Miami receiving corps strike no fear into opposing defensive coordinators and Parker is too talented to sit for too long, but expect him to start behind WRs Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry, not to mention TE Jordan Cameron. Stills was the deep threat at Louisville, but Stills is an established deep threat so Parker's best shot at real playing time will come at the expense of Jennings. Personally, I would not draft Jennings in the deepest of leagues as his best days are behind him and Parker will be supplanting in by week 4. That being said, I would not reach for him before the 10th round.

6. Dorial Green-Beckham (TENN) . The Titans have mediocre receivers and a rookie QB. DGB has million dollar talent and a 5-cent head. He was an absolute beast at Missouri before getting bounced out. He certainly could make your season, but he will not kill you in the 11th round, so you can take him as a WR5.

7. Devin Funchess (CAR). Carolina has had a hard time with the WR2 since their Super Bowl. They scored nicely with 2014 number 1 pick, WR Kelvin Benjamin. He through double-teams, he would bring in passes. So, the Panthers thought, why not try to find lightning-in-a-bottle twice and drafted QB-convert, Devin Funchess. Funchess has a similar speed to Benjamin, but not as much speed. However, with his size, he could find himself getting a fair share of Goals, including in the end zone. He is worth looking at in the 12th round.

8. Jaelen Strong (HOU) . If only Houston could put a solid QB under center, they would be Super Bowl contenders. They could have the best defense in the league this year and have one of the game's best running backs. But, they are very weak at QB and are just OK at WR. I love DeAndre Hopkins, and he is the uncontested WR1, but of-injured Cecil Shorts is WR2. Strong can help make a bad QB look mediocre with his abilities, but I would not expect much consistency from Houston's receiving corps this year. Maybe take a flier on him in round 13 if you need another WR.

9. Phillip Dorsett (IND). Dorsett can flat out giddy-up. He may not be a polished receiver, but he can get down the field. Unfortunately, the Colts are well too stocked at the position to count on Dorsett for much outside of the return game. However, it would not be a surprise to see the Colts understand how to better utilize his speed on offense as the season wears on and some of their receivers wear down. Unless you are in a deep league (16+ players per team), I would not recommend drafting it but to be ready to bounce on the waiver wire if he starts taking more offensive snaps.

Tight Ends

1. Maxx Williams (BAL) . There is nothing to be excited about at the TE position in this rookie class outside of Maxx. Baltimore has always used their tight ends extensively in their offensive gameplan and are building plays around Maxx's big hands and athleticism. The only other TE on the roster to worry about is Dennis Pitta and he has been waylaid with injuries the past few seasons so expect Williams to start right away. Tight end is a deep position in the NFL so I would not look his way until the 10th or 11th round.

2. Clive Walford (OAK) . Incumbent TE Mychal Rivera has a stronghold on the position going into the position, but keep your eye on Walford. He can block and catch the ball, which gets a TE2 onto the field more often than being one-dimensional. He is not worth drafting, but make note of the number of snaps he is on the field for as each week passes.

3. MyCole Pruitt (MINN). Another TE in the “watch only” category is yourCole, MyCole Pruitt. TE1 Kyle Rudolph has had a helluva time staying healthy so Pruitt is one injury away from the playing field.

Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy

Daily Fantasy Basketball is one of the most action packed daily fantasy sports out there since players have possessions every minute leading up and down scoring. Additionally, players touch the ball more often, and get points for a wide variety of stats. Here are several top points that will help you succeed in daily fantasy…

Daily Fantasy Basketball is one of the most action packed daily fantasy sports out there since players have possessions every minute leading up and down scoring. Additionally, players touch the ball more often, and get points for a wide variety of stats.

Here are several top points that will help you succeed in daily fantasy basketball:

Matchup – Like any other fantasy sport, you are going to look at a player's matchup on a given night. There are stats the measure a players defensive ability in the NBA such as their immunity defense, their pick and roll defense, and even their post-up defense (basically DVP). Obviously, you are going to want to pick offensive players going against a poor defender. For example, you may be hesitant to pick a PG going against Chris Paul because he is a good defender, but if you have a center going against Nikola Vucevic, then you can give him a bump in production. Honestly this is probably the most important thing because that is going to be guarding that player for a major of the game and directly affects how well that person will do.

Blowout Factor – This is a huge part of daily fantasy basketball that a lot of people do not realize. In basketball there are a lot of blowouts. This causes a lot of starters to sit in the 4th quarter, limiting the amount of minutes that they will play through the game. You want guys who are going to play the most minutes because it maximizes their value. If you have to say Russell Westbrook against the 76ers you really have to think twice. Sure, he is going to put up good stats in his minutes, but if he only plays 28 minutes instead of 38 you are basically cutting his production by 25%. Looking at Vegas lines for the game is very helpful for this because you get an idea of ​​how the experts think the game will go. Other than injuries, there is nothing worse than losing players to games that are blowouts.

Points / Pace Expected – Another huge part of basketball is the pace of play and the expected points within a game. Naturally some teams are more defensive and like to play in the half court, while some are very offensive and love to play in the fast break. You want to be targeting guys in games that are moving as fast as possible. There will be more shots leading to more points, more misses leading to more rebounds, more made baskets leading to more assists, and less structure leading to more steels and blocks. One thing to look at is the Vegas lines again for their over under points on the game. For example say the Rockets vs. Warriors is at 212 points on the over under where the Pacers and Hornets have a 180 point line. You are going to want to target guys in that first game due to the reasons listed above. They also keep track of stats such as how long teams usually take to shoot, and how many possessions they have per game.

Injuries – Again, just like any sport, you need to look at injuries and see how they will affect a game. A lot of times, you can get bench guys at a cheap price, who will play starters minutes. Guys who are cheap and play a lot of minutes are hard to find, so if you can find injury replacements, they are usually a good bet. The problem with the NBA, is that the injury notices usually come out like within 10-15 of game time whereas in the NFL it's 1.5 hours before kickoff, and in baseball it's several hours before the game. It is critical to always check the last 10-15 minutes to double check for injuries and making sure everyone is playing. Also this can be pivotal for guys who are second and third options on their teams. If a really good player gets hurt, then their production will get a good bump and in turn will become more valuable.

Cash game vs. GPP (tournament) players – This is a major difference in making teams for basketball. Usually in tournaments you are looking for guys to get roughly 5x their value for any site. For cash games, you usually need somewhere between 4-4.5xa players value. This basically means if a guy costs $ 10,000 then they need to hit 50 points for a tournament, and 40-45 for a cash game. A big part of reaching said value is going to be minutes and use rates during those minutes. Guys who have a high usage rate do not need as much time because they have the ball in their hand more often. Players with a lower usage rate are likely going to need more minutes to reach their value unless they can assist or rebound a very high rate. The guys with the higher usage rate I like for tournaments because they have a much higher chance of scoring a ton of points, where guys with lower usage rates and play more safer picks and more likely to hit their value night in and night out. Also for tournaments, you are going to want guys who are not very highly owned most of the time. Sure there might be a stud that you have to have and is owned by 30% of the people, but it's about getting those under 5% owned players to do well. If they can, then you are much more likely to succeed in the tournament.

Streaks – This is also a huge part of basketball because it often times determines how many people will pick a player. If a player goes on a 2-3 game hot streak, his% owned is going to skyrocket whereas if he a player struggles for 2-3 games then his% owned is going to plummet. Going to my previous point about tournament players, those cold streak guys are the ones to target sometimes, where fading the popular player is sometimes the best option. For cash games, you usually want to role with a guy on a hot streak because you're only competitive to beat half of the field so taking a chance at fading a popular play is far too risky.

Miscellaneous – This is more if you want to put in a lot of time and effort into your research. One thing I know people look into is the referees. Like in any sport, they have a huge impact on the game and can put people in foul trouble or put people at the line. If you are picking star players, it might be better to look for referees who call more fouls per game, compared to if you have a player guarding a star player in that game. This goes into the match, but some guys have favorable matchups, but just struggle against certain teams. James Harden comes to mind against the Clippers during the regular reason. He had Reddick / Barnes guarding him which is not that great yet he rarely reached value against them. Back to backs are also important to look at because a guy may play, but will not play nearly as much. Looking at little things like that is really important, and a key to being successful

Advanced Daily Fantasy Football Lineup Building

General Strategy Matchups – As is the case in any fantasy sport, matchups are going to be very important if not the most important factor. Football is such a team oriented game, that you need to look at how teams matchup with each other, as well as individuals. For example, last year, you would not…

General Strategy

Matchups – As is the case in any fantasy sport, matchups are going to be very important if not the most important factor. Football is such a team oriented game, that you need to look at how teams matchup with each other, as well as individuals. For example, last year, you would not want to pick a QB or a WR against the Seahawks at all as they only allowed 186 yards per game and only allowed 17 TD's all year. Even if it is Aaron Rodgers or Odell Beckham, odds are they are not going to hit their value. Then, for individual matchups say you have a WR going against the Arizona Cardinals. They were 29th in football with 4,152 yards allowed so they are a prime matchup to pick guys against. However they have Patrick Peterson who will be on the # 1 guy most likely, so if you have the Packers against them, Randall Cobb may be a better play than Jordy Nelson even as a # 2. The same goes for any position, you want to make sure that you are getting the most value for your players, and there are a ton of statistics that you can look at to make sure that you are picking the right guys.

Blowout Factor – It does not happen as often as as in basketball, but it is still very important to look at when building a team. The first thing you need to do is look at the Vegas line and see how they are viewing the game because they often have a good idea of ​​how a game will play out. Anything over 10+ points in my opinion is a game that you need to be very weary of. Sure if the Broncos are beating the Jaguars 35-0 after the 3rd quarter somebody had to score all of those points. The thing is though, you are only going maximizing 75% of the game with them and are in the long run, losing out on valuable points. In football, the plays are limited to begin with, with teams only running 64 or so plays per game. In that scenario you are losing out on 16 plays and even if it is midway through the 4th you are losing out on 8-10 plays per game. The top offs other the Packers are towards the top of the list, and that is where you find the most valuable players. Common sense says the more plays you run, the more chance to get points, and will get more points with all of those chances.

Weather – Just like baseball, and unlike basketball, weather is a huge factor for football. Since they play from the end of summer, through the winter, you have to deal with the hot and cold weather, snow and rain, and all types of wind that may pop up. Now the usual beneficies of weather happened to be team defenses and running backs as teams will not pass the ball much at all. This is something that some people do not take 5 seconds to look at, and ends up costing them. I mean again it might seem like common sense, but if there are 25 MPH winds in a game, why would you risk taking a QB when you know the throws are going to be much more difficult. Always take the time to check the weather before forming a team because you could easily have players losing value because they are not getting touches with the bad weather.

Injuries – Football is again like baseball where the injury report comes out well before game time. The active / inactive list is usually due 1.5 hours before game time so you know if a guy will be playing or not. Now how much he plays could doubt which is why it's important to keep tabs on guys through the week to see if they have been practicing and how they are holding up. Even if a guy is active, but did not practice on Thursday (last day of practice for the week), he is at risk for not playing much to begin with or having his injury pop up during the game and sideline him to. It's also a good idea if guys are hurt as usual to target their replacements, or guys who are below them on the pecking order. I like examples so a great example was when Roddy White was hurt last year, Harry Douglas got a big bump in production because he became the # 2 receiver, and saw a lot more targets than he normally would. On the other side, say Joe Haden is out for the Cleveland Browns. They may have had the 8th best passing defense at 225 yards per game, but if Haden goes down that is likely to change. The # 2 corner will be guarding the # 1 receiver and # 3 will be keeping the # 2 receiver which is obviously ideal for the offense. Also the weather plays a big factor for kickers as picking guys in any rainy or snowy conditions or places with a lot of wind is not advised. This is often what Sunday mornings is about, and with so many people on Twitter now, it's not too hard to figure out injury news.

Tournament (GPP) vs. Cash Game (50/50's & H2H) Players – This might seem a little vague, but it is something that needs to be looked at when forming a team. For cash games you are going to want to pick players who have high floors and are consistent week to week for the most part. It does not matter if it's a popular player because you are just aiming to beat half the field and it's not a big deal if he's highly owned. In a tournament, you are trying to target guys who are not going to be highly owned without it's a must play guy. The reasoning is because tournaments are more risky to begin with and you have to beat 80% of the people. Also in tournaments you are looking to win and not min cash. The way to win is to pick guys that are not highly owned and do really well. This usually means going against the most popular matchups on the day. Sometimes there is that must play guy, and that's fine, but fill around him with less popular guys. The goal is to have a guy owned at under 5% do really well because then fewer cuts down the number of people you are competing against. That is only for tournament plays because the low owned guys are not picked for a reason as they are super streaky. This generally leads to spending more even for Cash Games and spending big and lower for tournaments.

Stacking vs. Not stacking – Stacking in football I think is a little risky and should be used only in GPP fashion. Stacking in football is where you pick the WR's and or TE with the QB you are taking. Baseball and basketball are much more individual sports not to say there is not teamwork but A WR totally depends on the QB to get him the ball and the QB needs the WR open to get him the ball. Now this can pay huge dividends if say Peyton Manning has 4 TD's and you have Demaryious and Emmanuel Sanders and they caught 3 of the touchdowns then you're golden. For cash games though, you're putting too many eggs into one basket and if the QB stinks then you're basically done for the week. This is a risky strategy, but under the right circumstances could pay off for someone in a big tournament.

How many teams to play? – Now this is going to be dependent on your bankroll (check out the bankroll management article if you ever want to learn more about that), and how much time you are willing to put in. Normally you want to have 1 cash game team as your favorite, and then have multiple entries / teams into tournaments. Now for starters than could be say 5 1 dollar teams instead of 1 team in a tournament.

Sure, you might get lucky with the one team and get a huge cash, but you're odds are obviously better if you have more teams with more players covered. A lot of people target a certain number of players at each position like 3 QB's like like and 5-6 RB's and they will intertwine them in their teams so that they have a lot of the combinations covered that they like. As you get more money you can start to enter more teams into tournaments or move up in stakes, but this seems to be a strategy of many of the pros. Cash games though, a lot of people have 1 or maybe 2 teams because you're hiring that your team will either make it in all of them, or it probably will not make it in all of them where in a tournament you could have 4 teams do not make it but have one team make up for the other 4.
Positions and where to spend on

Quarterback – For cash games spending big on QB's is fine, but for GPP's without the matchup is too much to pass up, it is not usually the best move. The top guys are usually pretty consistent which is they are better for cash games, but they do not provide as much upside as a WR or RB. With their only being 4 points for a TD and 1 point per 25 yards (.04 yards per yard) as the general rule it's hard for a QB to catch up to WR or RB that scored 2 TD's and gets 100 + yards. Also with DFS often incorporating PPR into their scoring that simply gives them an edge. The big guys like Brady, Rodgers, Payton, Luck are never bad plays because they will always get you consistent points, but it's their supporting cast that usually reaps more of the rewards. For QB's make sure to look at the defense's secondary that you're going against as well as the weather because no QB likes throwing with a lot of wind.

Running Backs – RB's and WR's are generally the area to spend a lot of money on because they have the most potential to score a ton of points. It may seem obvious but are going to want to avoid teams who either have a # 2 guy who gets a lot of touches, or B loses goal line Touches to a FB type guy. Also while picking an Adrian Peterson type guy is never a bad thing, I like my RB's to be able to catch out of the backfield. Normally it is.5 PPR and you get all of those passing yards as well which makes a guy like Le'veon Bell so valuable as he gets so many touches. Usually you do not want to pick a RB on a team you think may be down by quite a bit in the 4th quarter. Teams that are down are going to be throwing to conserve time and you will be losing out on valuable points in those scenarios. The shelf life for RB's is so small that there are usually injuries, so most weeks there are backups that can be had for cheap that can provide good value.

Wide Receivers – This is the position where I love to spend my money on because it is so dependent on them getting open and the QB getting them the ball. At least with a lower price QB, or lower price RB, they are guaranteed to get Touches / opportunities, while WR's really are not guaranteed much. Targeting low end guys with good QB's is never a bad idea because they can get them the ball at will like Cole Beasley for example. I also love getting guys who get a lot of goals for cash games, (fantasydata.com has this available), because you get the 1.5 or 1 PPR for every time they catch it, plus all the yards and touchdowns to go with it. So a guy like Andrew Hawkins is a good play as he was targeted 17.1% of the time last year. Part of that is lack of weapons, but he is getting ample opportunity to do well. Then you can really target home run hitters like Odell Beckham or Julio Jones as they can score points in big bunches and by saving at the other positions, it allows you to get the guys who can really make or break a team. This is also a position that has a lot of GPP and Cash game type players. For example Desean Jackson is a great tournament play because he can score a ton of points because he is a fly route receiver who can reach value on one catch. The problem is if he does not get that catch then he likely will not hit his value. All in all the skill positions is where I like to spend the money and try to look for guys who are cheaper with good matchups at the other positions.

Tight Ends – This is a position where I feel it's usually you spend big on an elite type like Graham, Gronk or Julius Thomas, or you go with a matchup based play. Sure there will be middle of the pack guys that do well, but say you can pick Jared Cook for a cheap price against the Chicago Bears who allowed 10.52 fantasy points per game to TE's. Now this is something to look at for every position but TE's simply are not as consistent as other positions in my opinion. Also look to target guys on teams that get into the redzone a lot. Most TE's are not going break off super long plays as they do not have the speed, so you are looking for those 5-20 yard TD's from them. Now most of these guys are on the better offsets, so they are more expensive, but look for defenses that give up a lot of yards and ones who have LB's that struggle to cover.

Kickers – There is not much to say about kickers other than it is a lot of luck most of the times. Sure there are guys who are more accurate and can boot it from longer, but they are totally dependent on the offense. I usually try to pick guys that are playing in domes because there is no weather, or pick ones on good charges because they are constantly getting in FG range. The good thing is that most of the kickers are very similar in price so even the better ones are not too much more than the “crappy” ones.

Defenses – Team defenses I believe is more of a matchup based area and not a position that I recommend spending a lot of money on especially for GPP's. The Seahawks or any other top defense / special teams is never a bad play, but I always target defenses that are playing poor offsets. This is usually headed by a QB who turns the ball over a lot, gets sacked a lot, or have WR's that can not get open. Turnover prone players are going to turn it over no matter who they are playing, even if they have a little more success overall. So targeting a team against say the Jets who have Geno Smith who throws a lot of interceptions, or picking a team against the Vikings because they give up a ton of sacks. You have to look and see where you can exploit matchups because they are good value plays here every week, even if the price difference between the top end and low end teams is not as big as other positions.

Season-Long Cash Fantasy Football Leagues

Daily / Weekly fantasy football leagues get the most press nowdays but they are still FAR in the minority of desired games that fantasy football players like playing. Long before then, the majority of people playing fantasy football will be registering their season-long private fantasy football leagues and joining their season-long public fantasy football leagues.…

Daily / Weekly fantasy football leagues get the most press nowdays but they are still FAR in the minority of desired games that fantasy football players like playing. Long before then, the majority of people playing fantasy football will be registering their season-long private fantasy football leagues and joining their season-long public fantasy football leagues.

For those wanting to take advantage of unique fantasy football features but do not have enough people for a private commissioner league or prefer to play for higher stakes, there are numerous public fantasy football leagues that utilize these options. 2015 public fantasy football leagues are listed below and come in a range of entry fees / payouts.

  • Traditional leagues (available in Live Draft and Autodraft) – 10-team head-to-head league featuring the most widely accepted positions and scoring system: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WR / TE, 1 TE, 1 D, 1 K .
  • PPR leagues – 10-team Live Draft head-to-head league resemblies the traditional league but an additional starting RB / WR swing position is added and the scoring system rewards a point per receipt and RB / WR TDs drop to 4 points each with bonuses awarded (extra 1 or 2 points) for longer TDs.
  • TD Only leagues – 10-team Live Draft head-to-head is a big departure from Traditional fantasy leagues and harken back to the days of scoring on paper when the Commissioner made life easy on himself and only needed to score points for Touchdowns. TD scoring only is what you will find here so you will not have to worry about drafting any idiot kickers. TD points vary with the distance of the touchdown.
  • League Average leagues – 10-team Live Draft head-to-head league resemblies the traditional league but an additional starting RB / WR swing position is added and the scoring system matches the standard except for ranges for the kicking and defensive statistics. The twist in this league is you will receive 2 decisions per week; one versus your H2H opponent and one versus the League Average (average score of the starting lineups for that week). This league type awards higher-scoring teams more than standard H2H.
  • Bye Week Rollover leagues – 10-team Live Draft head-to-head league resemblies the traditional league but an additional starting RB / WR swing position is added and the scoring system matches the standard except for ranges for the kicking and defensive statistics. The twist in this league is you will be able to choose players the week before they are on Bye and determine if you want their points for that week to also carry-over to their Bye week, so locking in two weeks (good or bad) .
  • In-game change leagues – 10-team Live Draft head-to-head league resemblies the traditional league but an additional starting RB / WR swing position is added and the scoring system matches the standard except for ranges for the kicking and defensive statistics. The twist in this league is you will be able to change players at the half. This helps if you have a player that is hurt or underperforming. Of course, the first half is locked in already and you will only be able to replace the second half with another player's half that is currently open (either first or second half).
  • Total Point leagues – 10-team Live Draft Total Point league resemblies the traditional league but an additional starting RB / WR swing position is added and the scoring system matches the standard except for ranges for the kicking and defensive statistics. The twist in this league is that the standings are based off of the total points accumulated over the course of the season by your starting lineup. This league truly awards the highest scoring team. This league runs a full 17-week season and has no playbacks.

NFC South Off-Season Changes

New Orleans Saints: We are watching the Saints completely remake their offense. After finally finding a running game last year, they are moving towards making that their primary focus and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that unless you have QB Drew Brees in a Keeper league. They came to the realization that they can…

New Orleans Saints:

We are watching the Saints completely remake their offense. After finally finding a running game last year, they are moving towards making that their primary focus and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that unless you have QB Drew Brees in a Keeper league. They came to the realization that they can not win consistently by throwing the ball 40 times a game. They also realized that they had one of the worst defenses in the league and they realized it before the draft and executed a plan to address that. Well, they did after drafting T Andrus Peat from Stanford with the first pick.

With their second 1st round pick, acquitted from Seattle in the Jimmy Graham trade that also welcomed in C Max Unger, the Saints grabbed LB Stephone Anthony. His draft position may be a bit early but he will pair up nicely with their 2nd round pick; LB Hau'oli Kikaha from Washington, who lead the NCAA in sacks last season. Surprisingly, they grabbed QB Garrett Grayson from Colorado St in the 3rd round. With a number of quality QBs on the board for later rounds, this was definitely too high and no one seemed confident that Grayson could grow into Brees' replacement, though he has at least two years to learn. The following four picks were all made to bolster the defense and were all solid picks; CB PJ Williams from Florida St, LB Davis Tull from Chattanooga, DT Tyeler Davidson from Fresno St and CB Damain Swann from Georgia. In addition to all of these defensive draft picks, the Saints added CB Brandon Browner from New England via free agency.

After losing Jimmy Graham, WR Kenny Stills and RB Pierre Thomas via trade and free agency in the off-season, they stayed pat in those positions except for RB. The picked up CJ Spiller from Buffalo. Spiller has proven to be one of the highest hyped players year in and year out and one of the most disappointing ones. With Mark Ingram slated to be the workhorse, Spiller will be counted on to fill the old Reggie Bush role and, if he stays healthy, will be a game-changer for this insult. Josh Hill will never be Jimmy Graham, but he will drastically see an uptick in Targets this season.

Fantasy starters: QB Drew Brees, RB Mark Ingram, WR Brandin Cooks

Fantasy bench: RB CJ Spiller, WR Marques Colston

Fantasy Sleeper: TE Josh Hill

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

The Bucs earned the first pick in this year's draft after very underperforming last season. Much of their issues could have been attributed to incompetency at the QB position and on the entire defense. The decided that they would roll the dice on QB Jameis Winston and hope it solves them QB riddle. Winston has many questions about maturity and whether or not he is mentally able to handle being the first pick in the draft and the face of the franchise. He certainly has the physical tools to succeed and has great weapons at the wide receiver position in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. That did not stop them from using their 5th and 6th round picks on additional WRs though; Kenny Bell from Nebraska and Kaelin Clay from Utah. Clay will be remembered for his brain fart against Oregon where he knocked the ball before crossing the goal line and it was returned for a TD by Oregon, resulting in a 14-point swing in the first half, which cost yours really a nice 1st- half Utah wager.

While the offense is rolling into shape, the defense still has a long way to go. The Bucs added DE Henry Melton via free agency from Dallas and DB Chris Conte from Chicago, both who played under coach Lovie Smith when he was with the Bears. Neither figure to add that much to that unit though. One area to watch is what Tampa will do with their running game. Will they fully commit to Charles Sims or will Doug Martin have a chance to win his starting job back?

Fantasy starters: WR Vincent Jackson, WR Mike Evans

Fantasy bench: QB Jameis Winston, RB Charles Sims, RB Bobby Rainey

Fantasy Sleeper: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Atlanta Falcons:

Atlanta had two clear Needs going into the draft; upgrade their defense and upgrade their running game and they did both. They wisely focused on defense first and grabbed LB Vic Beasley from Clemson. Much like WR Kevin White falling to the Bears with their first pick, the Falcons hand was laid out in front of them due to the troubles associated with Randy Gregory and Shane Ray. Beasley will start immediately for them as should 2nd round pick CB Jalen Collins from LSU. The draft played out perfectly for the Falcons as RB Tevin Coleman fell to them in the 3rd round. As a Big Ten guy, I will tell you that Coleman's 2014 stats (2026 yards and 15 TDs) were even more impressive than they look as QB Nate Sudfeld was lost for the season and the Hoosiers were a one-trick offensive and Coleman still churned out big numbers even though he was the focal point of every defense. He will solve their current RB quandary.

The Falcons really only lost WR Harry Douglas to free agency but they quickly replaced him in the draft with their 4th pick; WR Justin Hardy from East Carolina. With Coleman, their offense will jump right back in as one of the tops in the league; provided their WRs actually stay healthy for a season. Their defense will not be good, but it will be better. As shown last year, this division is prime for the taking by any team that can win half of their games. That should be Atlanta this season.

Fantasy starters: QB Matt Ryan, RB Tevin Coleman, WR Julio Jones WR Roddy White

Fantasy bench: RB Devonta Freeman

Fantasy Sleeper: WR Justin Hardy

Carolina Panthers:

The Panthers had little opportunity to improve themselves through the draft since they only had five picks available to them after trading two away to St. Paul. Louis to move up in the 2nd round. Unfortunately, they did not draft any real difference makers. Their defense denied last season and they will be fortunate to play up to that level. They drafted LB Shaq Thompson from Washington with their 1st round pick which seemed like a since since he is a bit undersized. Aside from the Cam-to-Kelvin connection, there is nothing scary about their offer. They have been unable to sustain a consistent running game for the past few years due to injury. With their 2nd round pick, they grabbed WR Devin Funchess from Michigan. Funchess is almost a Benjamin close as he goes 6'4 “232lbs. They have big WRs but they need some speed out of the slot since Cam sees to be under constant pressure. that he can work himself into the starting lineup soon and help out.

The Panthers dipped a toe into free agency and appeared to have the philosophy that experience and wisdom shall prevail. They added Blind Side T Michael Oher for the offensive line and Charles “Peanut” Tillman for the secondary. Needless to say, both have been stars in their prime, but they are a bit past that. Do not get me wrong, I admire both players, but I do not see them providing much benefit to either unit at this time in their careers. The Panthers did lose RB DeAngelo Williams in free agency so they added RB Cameron Artis-Payne from Auburn with their last pick (round 5). He becomes the immediate handcuff to china doll RB Johnathan Stewart.

Fantasy starters: QB Cam Newton, RB Jonathan Stewart, WR Kelvin Benjamin, TE Greg Olsen

Fantasy bench: WR Devin Funchess

Fantasy Sleeper: RB Cameron Artis-Payne