Please find for your fantasy football reading pleasure these articles from guest writers I have published to my site. Happy reading!
Why These Top Tier Players do not Belong in your Week 7 Lineup
Courtesy of Guest Writer: @jericobailleu – Jerico.sportsblog.com
Jbailleu14@gmail.com (for all fantasy questions)
So this is something I’m going to begin doing every week for you guys that like to take risks in your league and go against the grain. These are 5 top tier players that will not have a good week based on their matchup, injuries, or just the scheme they’ll be going against. Not only will I tell you who to sit, I’ll give you a name of someone to pickup that’s available in a lot of leagues.
1. Sam Bradford– Looking ahead to next week Sam plays the Carolina Panthers. This is a trap matchup, like most people you probably instantly think Carolina sucks worse than your dog leaving a dump on the carpet for you when you get home. Think again! Although these guys don’t win a lot, they give up fewest points to QB’s coming into week 7. Not to mention they are in the middle of the pack as far as points given up to running back’s. You couple these two together it makes for a run heavy, low point day for Sam Bradford and the high riding Rams.
As for a replacement I’d have to say Nick Foles for sure if he wins the starting job, due to the matchup with the beat up Dallas Cowboy’s. Outside of that Chad Henne would be a steal to start as well going against a terrible Chargers pass defense.
2. Dwayne Bowe– For all the owners that have stuck with this guy week in and week out hoping he would show glimpses of who he was last year… not only are you loyal… you’re stupid. Bowe is playing against the Texans this week and in case you haven’t done your research their offense and special teams seem to be the only parts of their game that gives up points. They allow only 14 points to WR’s per game. Sit him down, better yet keep him down, you don’t want anyone on the Chiefs besides their defense and Jamal Charles, PERIOD!
As for a pickup, Terrance Williams is a definite resolution if he’s still available in your league. The guy is becoming a beast along side Dez Bryant.
3. Le’veon Bell– So against the Vikings his first week back from injury this guy blew up! But then this past week against the Jets he posted a mere 5 points? Well it doesn’t get any easier, the pass heavy Steelers’ offense will be heading to play the Baltimore Ravens. Did I mention they give up the least amount of points to RB’s this year? You may say that he’ll get some touches as a receiver and yeah that’s possible but unless you’re playing in a PPR league it won’t help you out much. Sit him down.
Looking for a solid replacement because your team isn’t deep enough? Go with Zac Stacy the 5th round pick out of Vanderbilt, he’s had solid weeks back to back. And with coach Jeff Fisher behind him and Sam Bradford going against a tough pass defense, Stacy will be money! Not only will he be solid I think he puts up 20 points this week. If he’s not in your lineup and he’s on waivers what are you waiting for? It’s like taking candy from a baby.
4. Jared Cook– Notice a theme here? Don’t start anyone involved in a passing game against the Panthers. Cook has been a great surprise thus far and is becoming a solid option for Bradford in St. Louis. But, the Panthers only give up 4 points per game to tight ends and shut down the passing game altogether. Start someone else.
And to touch on who you should pick up look at this guy Scott Chandler for Buffalo. Thad Lewis stepped in and played very well this past week and Lewis racked up 10 points in non PPR leagues. He’s slowly becoming a force and they play the Miami Dolphins who play decent defense but give up the 2nd most fantasy points to TE’s. He’s only owned in 12% of leagues, pick him up! I’m grabbing him off the wire as I’m typing this.
5. This is a double whammy and it’s based on the two offenses being superior to any defense. This week Indianapolis and Denver play each other. If you have either one of these defenses sit them down and pick up somebody else. Don’t ever underestimate having a great matchup on defense, it’s the most overlooked position in fantasy football.
Although it doesn’t seem right based on recent weeks you have to take Minnesota’s D in a matchup against Eli Manning. Granted Jacobs created a running game last week, but he will wear down soon. Eli is on a record pace for interceptions this year and they give up the most points to Fantasy Defenses. Even more than the Jaguars and that’s pretty amazing if you think about it. Play Minnesota this week against what they’ve done previously.
You can always email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you want answers on your fantasy team. Thanks for reading!
Fantasy Football as a Feminist Act
In certain circles, feminism is still a dirty word, probably because it brings to mind bra-burning man-haters, women hell-bent on ruining the lives of men, destroyers of masculinity. While this is far from the case, the prevalence of this mentality persists, particularly in areas where women are underrepresented. Think specific careers, positions of leadership, the world of sports.
As a woman, feminist, and sports fan, I believe strongly in their ability to peacefully coincide, to work together in beautiful union. I would go so far as to say that my involvement in sports pairs nicely with my feminist leanings—through fandom, athletic participation, and fantasy leagues, I’ve become a more well-rounded woman and advocate for women.
As it stands, the single largest source of scholarship money for women is beauty pageants, which involve prancing about in swim ware, sashaying down a runway in evening gowns, and proving one’s talent before a host of judges. While I’m not going to judge women who feel comfortable doing these things, they aren’t for me.
Fantasy football leagues also involve the acquisition of funds, though their distribution is based on one’s ability to win, which is based on one’s ability to strategize a complex game and come out ahead. Leagues generally happen weekly (a good description about how that works here) and cash is distributed daily, weekly, monthly, depending upon the league, and often amounts to far more than I might win for hula hooping on one leg while wearing a thong bikini that’s also on fire.
Women are still underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers—but fantasy football encourages a pattern of thinking that is similar to that of people practicing in these fields. It requires brains—should you be silly enough to draft only players from your favorite teams, you’ll fail. Instead, fantasy football (or fantasy sports of any kind) require a complex understanding of the game, knowledge of statistical data, and the ability to strategize and speculate about the future.
When I set my lineup each week, I take an active role in understanding a sport well enough to manage my own team. I’m active in a hobby in which I was once only a spectator.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly in my discussion of feminism, fantasy sports leagues allow women to be seen and heard in a venue in which they’ve formerly been underrepresented. Until recently, the media portrayed female involvement in fantasy sports in a way that reflected reality—whiny girlfriends who pouted when their hunky dudes took an extra minute to check their lineups, depressed women mourning the approach of football season for fear they’d lose their men.
Shows like The League are attempting to challenge expectations by including female characters who actually enjoy fantasy football enough to actively participate. Katie Aselton, who plays Jenny on The League, is portrayed as the brains behind the team and frequently outsmarts her male counterparts.
I love being a woman who knows about sports not because it is quirky or different, but simply because I love sports. The female or male reaction to this doesn’t impact the pleasure I get when I win $20 in my league or see my favorite team hit four homeruns, but I’d like to, if anything, eliminate a gender-specific reaction all together.
As it stands, women account for roughly 20% of those playing fantasy football, which (at roughly six million) is nothing to sneeze at, but I’d like to see it increase. Maybe you like sports. Maybe you like strategy. Maybe you like both and are willing, just this once, to give it a try and engage in a subtle sort of activism that will change your perspective forever.
Top 5 Fantasy Football Playoff Myths
As I prepare for my leagues’ playoffs, I always feel these bits and pieces of old habits start to try to jump to the front of my melon. Literally, I have to fight some of them back because they are so bred into my psyche; it can be overwhelming.
What makes it equally as difficult is that everyone appears to have these same habits at various times in their fantasy football lives. They are these fantasy football myths that I get asked a ton during the season; and often even after! So, today, I’d like to examine some of them, and really help to identify them as simply myth, and offer some advice to correct them!
Myth: You should take chances with potential players
This is actually a partial fantasy myth…let me explain. Potential in fantasy players is really awesome! The idea that this particular player will outscore what his considered ‘norm’ is usually gives us ease and comfort in the knowledge that we are closer to winning.
However, as we enter the fantasy football playoffs, ‘potential’ holds a much different definition than it did at the beginning or middle of the season. The truth is that potential is good, as long as it is consistent and grounded potential. If I can find a player who scores 7-9 points, almost guaranteed and they are seeing a great match-up upcoming then they have a higher value than a fantasy player who is on a roller coaster of scoring and is likely to get 15+ points. Consistency becomes more important than potential during the playoff weeks in your fantasy league – so find the potential in consistent players today!
Myth: Your defense doesn’t count; so use any of them
This myth is crazy. During the regular season you have what, 13 or so games, so you can flub a week or two in picking up and playing the incorrect defense. In fact, you can literally score goose eggs back to back weeks with your defense, and yet, you can still grab the win…or even be handed a loss, but you might be ok with that.
The truth is that in fantasy football, during the playoffs, every game now counts; by extension, every point counts. For defensive rankings, check out ESPN’s Defensive Rankings and Statistics ( http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/total/position/defense/ ) as well as Football Outsiders ( http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef/ ) and Fantasy Pro’s Strength of Schedule (http://www.fantasypros.com/nfl/strength-of-schedule.php) to see where your defense is finding good, quality match-ups, or possibly dud weeks in the future. The result of what you do today for that extra 5 or 6 points per week, will mean getting deeper and deeper into your league’s playoffs.
Myth: Don’t use the waiver wire
Just this week, I had someone ask me for advice on who to start and sit. The wide receivers they asked about, which was Tavon Austin versus Kenbrell Thompkins, caused me to simply ask ‘well, who can you get off of the waiver wire?’ His face looked like someone just erased his favorite television show. ‘But, Jim, I thought you shouldn’t use free agency during the playoffs!’
WOW! Someone, or some people I later found out, told him enough times that it became his belief that he should stop using the waiver wire as his fantasy playoffs begin. The truth is your playoffs are the perfect time to use the waiver wire – whether you are in first place or not! You will always need to increase your team’s strength, and you will always find injuries, positional shifts and possible match-up problems during your league’s playoffs.
Myth: Kickers didn’t matter during the draft, and don’t matter now
During the draft, what I will forever recommend is wait until the last two rounds to grab a kicker and defense. The reason is that those points can increase or decrease week to week with a drop of the hat. However, during the year, you will start to notice one kicker over another getting better, higher quality and more consistent points per week.
The truth is that your kicker can win or lose your team. One of my favorite stories was my buddy contemplating his kicker and defense during a championship game. He didn’t follow trending advice and just figured “my running backs should get enough, so I’m not going to worry about it”; and that mentality equates to a loss. His did! Every positional analysis shouldn’t make you crazy, but if you can find a good trend, really consistent points from another kicker on the waiver wire, I will always recommend picking up the more solid, consistent points!
Myth: You’ve got zero shot at winning your league unless you are first in your league
This one is a deep, deep limiting belief that most owners experience, because it’s not just a fantasy football myth. The idea that someone that is ‘unworthy’ or ‘out of the top peoples league’ simply because of something as simple as income, living arrangement or, yes, fantasy football record, is crippling.
The truth? Every single game counts as a step towards the championship, and every loss means that you have to try again next year. This means that even the strongest, most dominate, undefeated team can be beaten by the last place team in the playoffs during the first week, just because that other player played their match-ups better and prepared more. The real empowering belief you need to embrace is this:
When we are all equal, we all have the same chance to win or lose versus anyone else. The only difference that creates success is preparation.
Wrapping it up
I hope you really enjoyed reading about some of the myths of the fantasy football playoffs. These are really limiting beliefs that force us to work a bit harder to make decisions and cause losses a lot more often than those wins we really need. Remember, you can win your league’s championship this year if you break out of the limiting beliefs and these myths.
I’d wish you good luck, but your skill and knowledge will make ‘luck’ a myth for you starting today!
About the Author
James Blews has been playing fantasy football for over 10 years. He has been a commish, a newb as well as a hated league champion. He owns and writes for the Fantasy Football Toolkit ( http://fantasyfootballtoolkit.com/ ).
Sleepers That Can Help Your Team Win The Championship in Week 16
By Guest Writer, Justin Becker of www.FantasyFootballOverdose.com
It is playoff time in fantasy football as most leagues enter the postseason for the last two weeks of the regular season. Some leagues choose to exclude week 17 because so many teams rest their regulars, but either way the next few weeks can make or break your season. To get a championship, you need players who are ready to go for the next few weeks. Here are a few Quarterbacks who aren’t necessarily locked in as starting QB’s in fantasy leagues, but who got what it takes for a great run down the stretch, and come up huge in the next few weeks.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Kaep has had his share of struggles this season including some downright terrible performances due to the lack of synergy and his own inaccuracies. He ranks in the mid-QB2 range in most scoring systems, based on his performance so far this season, but he could surprise and reward his owners in the upcoming weeks. His form is definitely on the upswing since a tough game against the Panthers in which he didn’t reach 100 yards passing or throw a touchdown. In the three games to follow, he had six touchdown passes, 66 rushing yards, and 637 passing yards while throwing just one interception. When you add to that the return of Michael Crabtree, Kaepernick could be ready to peak at just the right time. With all that said, this week he and the ‘Niners are headed to Seattle where they face a Seahawks team coming off a short week-but also an extremely impressive win. Seattle’s secondary has been thinned due to suspension but still managed to shut down Drew Brees last week. This week, though, Kapernick had juicy matchup as he faced the Bucs. And has an upcoming match against the Falcons in week 16, where they are going to play on Candlestick Park. If you can play him in that matchup, you could be holding a trophy, check, or at least bragging rights at the end of your fantasy season.
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
While the Chiefs offense definitely tends to be conservative, Smith has stepped it up the last month with almost identical lines. For example, against the Chargers and Broncos. He threw for 294 yards against San Diego Chargers on 26 completions, and one week he almost matched it throwing for 293 yards on 26 completions. He threw a total of five touchdowns on his last game against the Oakland Raiders, resulting in a victory of 56-31 for the Chiefs. This week Mr. Alex Smith goes to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. Overall, it’s a favorable-enough schedule that with his new-found freedom Smith is a QB option to consider if you need a stop-gap for the playoffs.
Matt McGloin, QB, Oakland Raiders
In case you need to dig even deeper for your multi-QB options, check out McGloin who is still extremely available. Since taking over for Terrelle Pryor, McGloin has stabalized the Raiders aerial assault and has limited turnovers while throwing for four touchdowns. He’s thrown for over 700 yards in three games and is proving to be a decent weapon for Oakland.