Friday, November 21, 2014

Playoff Hunger Games

Here's your final Week 12 start/sit advice from guest writer Steve - enjoy!

Week 12. Not much more to say. The last week of having to plug and play for bye week absences. Your postseason picture is either murky or crystal clear. Some teams have clinched a playoff berth by now; others may have already been mathematically eliminated. Week 12 is usually when trade deadlines fall as well. Playoff byes are on the line. If you’re still doing research on who to play, that probably means you’re still heavily involved. So please, take these links and use them to the best of your ability. Your fantasy life may depend on it.

BYES: Panthers, Steelers

Roto Arcade’s Flames and Lames

Bruno Boys Start & Sit (goes to QB Start)

FF Toolbox Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em

The Onion Start/Sit (Sorry I have to include this now. Too funny not to.)

Consensus guys:

QB Start: Josh McCown, Jay Cutler, Mark Sanchez, Colin Kaepernick

QB Sit: RG3, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick

RB Start: Isaiah Crowell, Denard Robinson, LeSean McCoy, Trent Richardson

RB Sit: Jonas Gray, Alfred Morris, Lamar Miller, Fred Jackson

WR Start: Josh Gordon, Keenan Allen, Roddy White, Jordan Matthews

WR Sit: Michael Floyd, Brandon Lafell, DeSean Jackson, Golden Tate

TE Start: Colby Fleener, Larry Donnell, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins

TE Sit: Kyle Rudolph, Owen Daniels, Julius Thomas

I leave out Kickers and D/ST from my posts to encourage you to visit Bob’s, so hopefully you’ve been checking them out.

Now… some general editorial content. Here on the east coast, the weather is taking a turn for the worst. Long gone are the days of comfortable, sunny Autumn Sundays for our teams’ players to bask in. As the fantasy playoffs approach, you’re going to start needing every point possible; whether you’re struggling to get in, or in the “win or go home” weeks once they start in a fortnight. The smart and successful fantasy player will take into account some nasty weather in the coming weeks and keep tabs on forecasts for notoriously bad climate teams; especially for quarterback plays. If there’s tons of snow on the ground you may think twice about your running back play (with the exception of LeSean McCoy in week 14 of last season). If it’s snowy/windy, maybe switch your kicker for one playing in a dome. For those doing this a long time this may seem like common sense but sometimes people just need a friendly reminder. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but odds are more often than not these will pan out.

May the odds ever be in your favor.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Week 12 starts/sits and rankings

Hello all, I've got your Thursday Night Football entertainment if the Chiefs and Raiders fail to keep things interesting tonight. Read on for guest writer Jen's take on injuries, some sleepers for the week, folks to follow on Twitter, and start/sit and rankings links. Lots of good stuff. Enjoy!

Week 11 came and went, and it was another brutal week for injuries. Some minor, some major. Here are the major:
Ahmad Bradshaw (RB, IND): Bradshaw’s season is officially over, landing on IR with a broken leg. Devastating for a veteran who has come back from serious injuries in the past. Shattering for fantasy owners who were savvy enough to draft him late (or grab him off waivers).  Bradshaw is the 9th overall running back in PPR leagues, arguably one of the biggest fantasy surprises of the season. He will miss the rest of the season, and I do wonder, could this be the end of Bradshaw’s career? Dwayne Allen also suffered an ankle injury, though not thought to be serious.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR, DEN): Manny Sandy took a brutal (but legal - the flag stirred up some controversy) hit Sunday, and it was obvious to anyone watching that he was concussed. He didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday, and still has to complete the NFL’s concussion protocol, but I doubt we see him hit the field this week. Julius Thomas also left the game early with an ankle injury, but early reports suggest he should suit up on Sunday. Montee Ball reaggravated his groin, but no one really noticed because C.J. Anderson killed it!
Joique Bell (RB, DET): This one sort of popped up yesterday. It’s unclear if Bell injured himself in the game Sunday, or if something happened during the week, but he’s been slapped with the questionable tag. This could spell bad news for the Lions, with Reggie Bush not being 100%. This could also spell bad news for fantasy owners, as Bell has a juicy schedule for the rest of the fantasy season. After the Patriots this week, the Lions face the a trio of run friendly teams, playing the Bears twice, the Bucs, and the Vikings.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI): Fitz himself downplayed this injury big time after the game this weekend. But today, he didn’t practice, and Bruce Arians stated today that his status for Sunday is “iffy”. The Cardinals already do not have it easy. They lost Carson Palmer and Karlos Dansby. They have Drew Stanton under center. And they play the Seahawks in Seattle. If Larry Fitzgerald is not available, they could find themselves with 2 losses on the season. Fire up John Brown and Michael Floyd, if you dare.

Here are a few links to help you second guess your roster decisions even more.

Football Guru's Week 12 Rankings: Armando Marsal puts together rankings, along with each players opponent.
Blindside Football's Week 12 Rankings: Blindside breaks it down by position, with links.'s Week 12 Rankings: Standard and PPR settings, a personal must-have for me!

Start/Sit:'s Start or Sit Week 12: they use advanced metrics, guys, and I’ve been a huge fan of theirs for a while now, trust them!
Michael Fabiano's Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: I put Fabs’ column in here every week because it’s one I heavily rely on. It also doesn’t hurt that he is a Cowboys fan :).
USA Today's Start/Sit Week 12: Marc Caviglia’s got you covered, and is telling you to sit week 11 wonder Jonas Gray.
XNSports Week 12: Their trust and busts are your starts and sits. There is a ton more information in this link, every relevant stat you will need.
Bleacher Report's Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: There are not a lot of players listed in Bleacher Report’s link, but if one of your players is in here, there is a good amount of analysis.

A look back at my shameful sleepers from last week:
Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN): Whiff, whiff, whiff! I bought into the hype, and it cost me in one of my leagues. Rudolph wasn’t even targeted, and it was Chase Ford & Rhett Ellison who saw the action. I’m still rostering Rudolph, but he is on my bench for the time being.
Theo Riddick (RB, DET): Another flop. Granted it was a tough match up, but I still expected Riddick to be more involved. I think he is worth hanging onto (check out the Lions' schedule for the rest of the fantasy season).
Pierre Garcon (WR, WAS): 2 targets? Seriously?? I’d like to blame RGIII, but this really felt like a Garcon game to me. It’s bad enough they were blown out by the lowly Bucs. I won’t recommend Garcon again, I promise :).

CAUTION: This week's sleepers:
Latavius Murray (RB, OAK): Murray ran for 43 yards on just 4 touches last week, and also caught 3 passes. MJD and DMC both have proved are nothing short of slow, unathletic plodders. It appears Oakland may be ready to see what they have in the 2nd year man, as he saw more reps than normal in practice this week. The Chiefs defense is no joke, but if Murray gets the start, he could be the spark the Raiders are desperately looking for. (note from Sara - sorry all that I didn't get this up before the game started but hey, look at what a great start Jen is off to!)
Daniel “Boom” Herron (RB, IND): With Ahmad Bradshaw done for the year, the Colts will have to rely on Trent Richardson and Daniel Herron. Pagano is hell bent on getting Richardson touches, which is why I like Herron this week. Richardson averages a less than ideal 3.4 yards per carry, and I expect Indy to give Herron at least a few touches. I think his fantasy value could show in garbage time, if/when the Colts go up early on the Jaguars.
Cody Latimer (WR, DEN): Emmanuel Sanders is a long shot to see the field this Sunday, and while Demaryius Thomas and Andre Caldwell are ahead of him on the depth chart, I do like the rookie’s upside. He’s a big fella at 6’2, and could be a nice red zone target for Peyton Manning, especially with Julius Thomas ailing as well.
Kenny Stills (WR, NO): The Brandin Cooks injury has swung the door wide open for Stills. Drew Brees loves to spread the ball around, but he also loves the deep throw, which Stills is ideally suited for. The Ravens are quite susceptible to the long ball, and I think Kenny has a really good shot at catching a deep touchdown pass at home this weekend.

And finally….5 people on twitter you should be following if you aren’t already:

Armando Marsal - If you’ve ever been on Football Gurus, which you have been if you clicked the above rankings link, then you are familiar with Armando’s work. Follow him for constant fantasy information, and check out him out on various podcasts, too.
Allie Fontana - I mentioned her in my first post on here, and I’ll mention her again. If you aren’t already following her, you need to. Her timeline is full of good stuff, and her work is all over the place!
Mike Clay - Another person with too many credentials to list. He’s full of stats that could help your team, and you shouldn’t make any fantasy decisions with out the stats, they don’t lie!
Renee Miller - If you’re a DFS addict like myself, she’s all over it. Fantasy Expert, author, and by my count, she writes for 7 different fantasy sites. Renee know’s what she is doing, go follow her asap!
Michael Pichan - Michael is an expert and definitely knows his stuff. He follows the best in the industry, and his timeline is flooded with all kinds of fantasy information for all fantasy sports, including football.

Playoff Posturing for the End Game

Guest writer Bob is back with more thoughts to help you pave the way to playoffs success. Take a look at the data he's compiled and some trade suggestions that you might mull over.

It’s that time of the Fantasy Football season where you have a pretty good idea of whether you will make the playoffs in your league or not. If you are still in the hunt, you may be doing all you can just to make the playoffs. That means choosing waivers that can help you this and next week. Some of them may be short term and subs for injured players. You don’t really have the luxury of looking at what your playoff lineup may be. And if you’re already out, well, meh…there’s always next year.But if you’re one of the fortunate ones that have already locked into the playoffs, GREAT! Now you have the benefit of planning for the playoffs a couple weeks out, and that can make a big difference. It gives you another week of waivers and a few days to make some trades before your trade deadline. This may be too late for some of you but most have until this Sunday.

So this is when I accumulate as much data as I can on the matchups for the playoff weeks of 14-16. There are Strength of Schedule charts out there that I use to accumulate the best and worst matchups for all teams and players. For the chart below I derived the percentage of relative strength from FFToday. I usually don’t wait this long to use it going forward but the stats kept changing so I waited as long as possible leaving some time to make any strategic trades.

And here are the results as of last week’s stats…

Some things to understand about the chart…

Remember that these are combined strengths of opposing defenses for the weeks of 14, 15, and 16 only. A high percentage means a good matchup for the player listed. A negative percentage is a real bad set of matchups. Also, the percentage shown is a relative percentage with regard to all teams. So you will see the top matchups for QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs, and Defs. I also color coded some teams to highlight that they have multiple favorable matchups, which basically shows that those teams simply play the best schedule overall. So, for instance, Dallas looks like the team with the best matchups during the playoffs. Add to that, they will probably be in the hunt for the division, and that spells some big points coming for those players. New Orleans looks good too, except for running the ball. 

Then at the bottom you can see the six worst matchups per player. So if one were smart, they would consider trading a stud from the lower list for one of the top players in the top list. For instance, Peyton Manning has the 2nd worst matchups, and I would consider trading him for Drew Brees, who has the 2nd best. There may be some takers there.  Here are a few more to consider, given the data…

Cam Newton for Ryan Tannehill or Matt Ryan?
Mark Sanchez for Matt Stafford or Brian Hoyer (remember the Gordon factor)?
Jeremy Maclin for Julio Jones or Josh Gordon?
DeMaryius Thomas for Dez Bryant?
Colin Kaepernick for Tony Romo?
Julius Thomas for Jason Witten?
Greg Olsen for Delanie Walker?
Dolphins for the Lions?
Colts for the Cowboys?

All of these trades are trading a player from the bottom 6 matchups for a player in the top five matchups. In this way you are getting equal talent with better matchups during the playoffs. And this will give you an advantage during the playoffs. So use this info wisely, it may be the best moves you make all year, and bring you that coveted prize of FF King or Queen!!!

Kick it up a notch: Week 12

Happy Thursday. Brace yourselves, there are going to be several posts going up on FFLibrarian over the next few days. Let's kick things off (ha!) with a look at kickers for Week 12 with a guest post from Bob.

Whew, Week 11 was a tough week for the projections. It was a down week overall for PKs, maybe the weather had something to do with that. If you owned some of the high % owned teams you did pretty well averaging 10.2. But if you started one of the two teams I mentioned as temper expectations, you did best, with Parkey and Crosby. The top three scorers were owned in very few teams so most didn’t benefit with the outputs. 

Week 11

Top Performers
% Owned


   Week 11 Avg

   Yearly Avg

   % Owned best

   % Owned temper

But I won’t dwell on my demise last week and look toward a comeback for week 12. (Sorry about that Forbath recommendation…)  Here’s the Week 12 analysis.

Only one highly owned kicker, Suisham, is on a Bye. 

I really like Cairo Santos this week, against a generous OAK team that is playing good pass defense. So expect some of those grinding KC drives with the RBs to stall in the redzone and provide opportunities for FGs.

Robbie Gould should see a lot of opportunities in an arena that could be pretty cold weather wise again. TB is generous to PKs and CHI has had problems finishing drives. 

Buf is going against the unpredictable Jets, and this could be a big defensive battle with both teams taking the points when they can get them. Pick Carpenter as a quality kicker at home in a game of opportunities.

Cleveland’s defense is doing a great job especially against the pass, so they should see an ample amount of possessions and drives that fall short of the end zone. Cundiff makes a sneaky start this week.

And on to the flyer. Just as Robbie Gould will benefit from a low scoring affair, so too will Patrick Murray. He is only owned in 1% of leagues?! He’s a decent kicker against the #1 team in giving up PK pts.

So that’s it for Week 12, if you  don’t own one of the 8 highly owned PKs this week consider the following as starts, in the following order: Santos, Gould, Carpenter, Cundiff, and Murray.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Waiver Wire Advice Week 12

As promised, the waiver wire links just keep on rollin' here at FFLibrarian. Guest writer Mike is back this week with some great suggestions for the week and plenty of links to keep you fantasy educated.

Where did the time go? Here we are with only two weeks left in most fantasy regular seasons. I can’t imagine most leagues have a whole lot left on the waiver wire, but every week there are injuries and emerging players, and this week is no different.

Jonas Gray will obviously be the most added player this week, a four TD game will do that. I will throw in my two cents on a couple players other than Gray that might make a difference for your team down the stretch.

My top player from last week’s article was Isaiah Crowell. Again, he is going to be owned in most 12-team leagues, but if he’s out there, grab him. He was somewhat surprisingly named the starter last week, but with the Browns falling behind, they had to go away from their preferred ground game, which capped Crowell’s upside. With Josh Gordon back this week, expect a more dynamic offense from Cleveland, and if Crowell gets another crack at the bulk of the carries, fireworks could ensue.

Oh and as I write this, news just broke that the Browns have waived Ben Tate. It’s Crowell time in Cleveland. Don’t drop Tate quite yet though, as there are several contending teams that could use his services.

This has been the year of the rookie wide receiver. One of the more talented rookies that hasn’t hit it big yet is Donte Moncrief of the Colts. Moncrief has inexplicably been stuck behind washed-up Hakeem Nicks on the depth chart all year, but if the Colts decide it’s time to give Moncrief a full-time role, you’ll want him on your roster. A big, fast receiver in an Andrew Luck-led offense could be a season changer for you if the stars align.

Here are the waiver links for the week:

JJ Zachariason of Numberfire tempers expectations a bit for Jonas Gray, and how would you feel about adding a potential starting receiver for the Broncos?

Adam Levitan of Rotoworld lists former waiver wire darling Tre Mason as his top running back add for the week.

Christopher Harris of ESPN has Isaiah Crowell and Jordan Matthews atop his list, and notes some intriguing speculative waiver adds as well.

Brad Evans of Yahoo likes Jonas Gray, but also some under-the-radar names.

May your Week 12 transactions be fruitful! Look me up on Twitter for any questions or feedback.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 12 recaps and early waiver advice

Yesssssss, I'm back with another post. I've been sick for about a week now, which has led to crazy little sleep at night when you take the coughing and couple in the early waking and oft erratic sleeping schedules of my kiddos. But last night, friends, I slept. Hard. So I woke up feeling like a rockstar and what do you know, two posts in one day.

I've got some early waiver wire suggestions and some game/fantasy stars recaps for you:

Guest writer Mike will be back with more waiver wire links and thoughts for the week tomorrow. Until then, get your claims in order!

Streaming Defenses: Week 12

Happy Monday all. I have mixed football feelings today after a tremendous win for my alma mater, Northwestern, but then a sad, sad defeat for my Broncos. I'm hoping to get two posts up today but no promises - this first post here comes from Bob, our resident DST guru. Take a look at his suggestions for streaming defenses in Week 12.

Hello fellow streamers, did you pick up the Packers this week? I hope so. I’ve been riding the Pack defense for two weeks now and it’s been a huge help in winning my leagues. But they are only owned in 32% in Yahoo leagues, so not everyone is listening. Here’s last week’s recap:

      % 0wned

      Rec % owned

      Bad % Owned


The Dolphins put up a respectable Def line, the Redskins disappointed, and the jury is still out on the Steelers. But the Pack, whew! The overall average for all teams was 9.65, a little up from the yearly average, maybe the weather played some role in that. Of the over 70% owned teams the average was a little less at 9.1. If you played the recommended 70% you did well as they averaged 11.6 points, with the Cardinals and 49ers pacing the pack, but no big blowouts. If you ignored my advice on the top 70% teams that I did not like, you got burned. They averaged only 5.25 points, Eagles, Lions, Chiefs and Patriots. So if you didn’t own the recommended top owned, and subbed in one of the streamers, you did better than most. Hail the streamers.
This week has another mixed bag with none of the highly owned on bye. So let’s take a look:
Yr Pts
Yr Avg
% Owned
Start, SEA at home, but temper expectations
Start, good defense, but temper expectations
Don't like this matchup, look elsewhere
Bad matchup, look elsewhere
Start, 3rd best start of % owned
Start, 2nd best start of % owned
Bad matchup, look elsewhere
Start, 1st best start of % owned
Start, 5st best start of % owned
Start, 4th best start of % owned
1st best stream, it's JAC
2nd best stream, KC is improving, OAK is generous
3rd best stream, GB getting stronger on DEF, keep riding them
4th best stream, STL #1 in giving up DEF pts, and they beat up generous teams to DEF

First, you don’t start Defs facing explosive offenses, so Miami and Detroit are out this week. The Broncos have MIA at home but are struggling with pass happy offenses, so look elsewhere. That means we need 3 Defs that have a potential to excel this week, I’ll give you 4.
1st best stream is the Colts. They matchup with one of our favorite targets in JAC, and the Colts defense pinned 20 points on them at their last matchup. Start with confidence.
2nd best stream are the Chiefs. OAK is another good target and gave up 12 points to the average Chargers Def this week. The Chiefs are getting better and are stuffing the run, forcing teams to fly it out. Expect a couple of interceptions in this game and a low score.
3rd best stream is my personal favorite. The Packers are on the rise and eyeing the playoffs with a surging defense and they’re still only 32% owned. They get another target for Defs this week at MIN. Cold weather game again, and the Packers could put up a bunch of points again. If you want a low risk and high upside, pick the Pack.

4th best stream is the Chargers, and I’m still in a ‘show me’ mind on the Chargers. But STL gives up the most Def points than any other team. While I didn’t like SD last week, I like them this week at home.

So here are my projections.
Colts, projected points 14
Chiefs, projected points 10
Packers, projected points 10 with upside to 16
Chargers, projected points 10
Happy streaming and win with diamonds in the rough.