Articles by Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Signing Frank Gore Was Bad?

My thoughts on the #Bills signing Frank Gore:

It’s $2 million for one season, that’s not a big price tag. There’s a lot of cap space here in Buffalo. I can name at least 10 signings that per dollar were much worse over the last week.

He brings a veteran presence to the locker room that will help the younger players.

Gore can pass protect for a quarterback who was sacked 28 times in 12 games.

Gore’s been durable to say the least though I realize he can break down at any point. He’s not going to be asked for more than 200 touches especially with his buddy LeSean McCoy in the backfield, who he’s good friends with.

Shockingly, when given less than 200 carries for the first time in his career, he averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year. That was the same stat as Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook and Lamar Miller. That was better than James Conner and Sony Michel.

My point is this – why was this such a laughable signing on Twitter? Because it came out early in the day? Everyone keeps discounting Gore and the drop-off for running backs is pretty steep. But the Bills improved their offensive line signing Mitch Morse (who is 26). That makes some sense too considering Matt Paradis (who is 29) is coming off a significant injury. The Bills likely aren’t done bolstering the offensive line (ahem, draft) either which will only help Gore.

Fantasy Pet Peeves

I visited Disney World last week and on the flight from Buffalo to Orlando there were several people who clapped when the plane landed. It was an uneventful flight; we landed 30 minutes early and the bumps and turbulence during the flight were minimal at most. This led me to tweet how annoying the clappers were and that it was a top-10 pet peeve of mine. I mean, would you really board a flight if there was even a remote chance of something bad happening? Does everyone realize a vehicular accident on the way to the airport is much more likely to happen than anything bad on the plane?

Someone asked me via Twitter what the rest of my top-10 pet peeves were and instantly the one that came to mind is the lack of people who understand what the passing lane is and how to use it. This came to make me think how I could apply this to the fantasy world. While on vacation I decided to come up with five of my top fantasy pet peeves. In no particular order, here they are.

1. The bad trader

In every league trading should be one of the most fun parts of being in that league. Too often owners get lost in “winning” a trade that would be good in a vacuum when they just need to “win” the trade by making their team better. However, we’ve likely been in a league where there’s been a bad trader or two. This person can be a bad trader in a variety of ways. They offer something ridiculous for your star player in a way that almost seems that they hope you’ll mistakenly hit the “accept” button instead of the “decline” button. Then when you question their offer they often use the crutch excuse of “well, it’s a starting point and I was expecting you to counter-offer.” There are also people who will offer players that were injured that day hoping someone hasn’t seen the news. Then there’s the guy who sends a million different offers but won’t compromise and ultimately a deal is never reached unless he’s robbing you blind.

2. Some experts/pundits

It amazes me that people don’t do their own research and blindly buy into so-called “experts” for their DFS picks and now gambling picks. I understand reading DFS articles but personally only do so once I’ve made my picks in case I’ve missed something. As a DFS “expert” some sites allow you to cast a wide net by recommending multiple players to use for DFS regardless if it’s baseball, basketball or football. Funny how they recommend players and don’t use them in their own lineups. Funny how they show their big wins but on the days they lose, you don’t see those screenshots? Let’s look at the gambling “experts”. It amazes me that people will pay for not only pay for gambling picks but accept the excuses of the “experts” when they lose. It’s comical when experts who have gone cold find an excuse as to why they’re losing (team couldn’t hit the three, etc.) and the sheep following except said excuses and continue to follow them into bankruptcy.

3. The idiot in the draft

There are several ways to screw up a draft for the entire league and it seems to happen a lot. There’s the guy who has a bad internet connection and asks for the commissioner to dial back the draft so he can bid on a player he missed out on. There’s the person…who… uses… every… second… of… the… clock… to… make… a… pick…even… if… they… have… the… first… pick. Granted, there are extenuating circumstances but asking for more than one or two breaks over the course of a draft is excessive, be prepared to sit there for the next 2-4 hours and use the bathroom when it makes sense. Also, bringing up a player who’s already been nominated is excusable but it ends there with *one* player. Bringing up multiple players who have already been selected to a team is just bad form.

4. The lack of uniformity among fantasy sites

This situation is ultimately on me but I lost a season-long points bonus in football this year (cost me $150) because the site I used was slightly different than the site (Yahoo!) I usually use. When switching a player to the bench, on Yahoo! It automatically saves the player when you move them. On the site I used during this particular league for football, I needed to click “save” to make the changes. I didn’t one week and when Leonard Fournette was ruled out and I thought I benched him, I did not. I ended up losing the season-long points total bonus by less than one fantasy point. I’m pretty sure whoever I would have put in his place would have gotten me the bonus. I’m sure there are other examples of how sites should run (waiver moves, FAAB, etc) more in line with each other.

5. DFS GPP payouts

I understand that the DFS sites want to promote a huge overall top prize for their GPPs and that probably makes those contests more popular. I think it’s a bit crazy though when you have a winning lineup for a GPP and the minimal cash isn’t even double what the entry fee is. There’s a soccer GPP right now with 2,374 entries at $5 a pop. If you get first, you win $1,000. If you win 16th? 50 bucks. That’s it. If you finish 331-580, $8, a whopping $3 more than your entry fee. Most DFS players would rather have a more evened out payout with less going to the top overall prize. I’d think by dispersing the winnings more evenly it would help keep more players in the game for a longer period of time and thus grow the industry.

Did I miss anything obvious? Hit me up on Twitter @KCPayne26

How To Make Guaranteed Money On The Super Bowl

If you want to make guaranteed money on the Super Bowl, there’s a way to do it.

You’ll need access to the FanDuel Sportsbook and any site/sportsbook offering the prop “Will there be a defensive/ST touchdown?” so you can bet “NO”. William-Hill in Las Vegas for example (they have 109 locations in Nevada) has “NO” listed at -180 and this can be found in other places at similar odds. On the FanDuel Sportsbook you can take both the Rams and Patriots defense/ST at +650 to score an anytime touchdown.

The odds are good enough here that you can win guaranteed money betting both. Here’s how to do it.

If you have $1,400 you’re going to bet $1,000 on “NO” on “Will there be a defensive/ST touchdown?” For argument’s sake let’s say that the odds are -200. If “NO” hits, you end up with $1,500, your $1,000 wager and another $500 for $100 profit.

To hedge this, on the FanDuel Sportsbook, take $200 and put it on “Anytime touchdown scorer” for the Rams defense/ST AND the Patriots defense/ST. If either team hits you’ll get back a total of $1,500 giving yourself a profit of $100. If BOTH teams hit, you’ll make a profit of $1,600.

Shop these odds around although the key here is the two wagers to make on the FanDuel Sportsbook. Odds for the “NO” might be able to be found better than -200 to increase your profit.

NFL Training Camp Notes: Labor Day Edition

– The Bills announced Nathan Peterman will be their starter this week in Baltimore. This decision is likely due to Josh Allen being a rookie and the Bills facing a tough first-half schedule including five of the first seven games being on the road. Baltimore is a great streaming option if they’re somehow available in your league (possibly 10-teamers) and are likely the chalkiest play for DFS this week. The Bills are also planning on having the recently released Paxton Lynch work out for them on Tuesday. If he signs with the Bills this may look like a wise move on their part getting a quarterback on the same talent level as AJ McCarron who was dealt over the weekend for a fifth round pick.

Continue reading →

NFL Training Camp Notes: Payday For OBJ

– Odell Beckham Jr. was given a five-year extension values at $95 million with $65 million guaranteed making him the highest-paid wideout in the NFL. This move makes a ton of sense for both parties as the Giants lock up their most talented player and Beckham doesn’t have to have this on his mind going into the season. Look for Beckham to be one of the elite fantasy wide receivers this season provided he stays healthy.

– Marquise Lee was officially placed on IR ending his season. The “next man up” will likely be Keelan Cole or Donte Moncrief who both make for nice late round picks. Cole had a nice four-game stretch towards the end of the season with 19 catches for 442 yard and three touchdowns. Moncrief received $9.6 million guaranteed to become a Jaguar in the offseason and is the biggest wide receiver they have at 6-2, 220 lbs.

– Andrew Luck suffered a minor injury during his preseason game over the weekend. Coach Frank Reich said he could play this week if they had a game and Luck could be back to practice as soon as today. For now, this is nothing to worry about.

– Rashaad Penny (finger) could play in Thursday’s preseason game. Chris Carson appears to have the starting role and should get the bulk of the carries against a tough Denver defense. However, this could be a situation that as Penny’s finger gets better Penny will see his role increase. Doug Baldwin also participated in practice and is on track to be ready for Week 1.

– Rishard Matthews, just activated from PUP list, practice Monday for the first time this season. Matthews is expected to be active for the Titans opener against the Dolphins and should line up opposite Corey Davis for Tennessee.

– Robby Anderson is still waiting to hear about a possible suspension from the NFL. Two arrests in nine months could see the speedy wideout suspended to open the season but the NFL appears to be dragging their feet on the case. If you’re an owner keep your fingers crossed he avoids any missed time.

– According to Hue Jackson, Josh Gordon won’t start Week 1 even if he’s 100 percent healthy. Note that this doesn’t in any way rule Gordon out Week 1 it merely means he won’t be on the field for the first snap. Chances are he may see a reduced workload but could see a higher percentage of targets to snaps when he is on the field. He’s likely a boom-or-bust play against the Steelers for the Browns’ home opener.

– DeVante Parker still cannot catch a football. At this point he’s been limited to conditioning drills and his Week 1 status is up in the air. The good news for Parker is Ryan Tannehill has looked good during his preseason games going 11-for-16 for 115 and a touchdown over the weekend against the Ravens.

First Starts By Traded Pitchers

When considering pitchers for DFS it’s tough to determine if a newly acquired pitcher through trade is going to come through the first start for their new team when they take the mound. Here’s a list of pitchers this season and how they’ve fared.

Kevin Gausman – 5 IPs, 6 hits, 3 ERs and 2Ks (L)

Nathan Eovaldi – 7 IPs, 4 hits, 0 ERs and 5 Ks (W)

Chris Archer – 4.1 IPs, 7 hits, 3 ERs and 6Ks (ND)

Cole Hamels – 5 IPs, 3 hits, 0 ERs and 9Ks (W)

J.A. Happ – 6 IPs, 3 hits, 1 ER and 2Ks (W)

Mike Fiers – 5.1 IPs, 4 hits, 1 ER and 8Ks (ND)

Lance Lynn – 7.1 IPs, 2 hits, 0 ERs and 9Ks (W) *His first start, not his first appearance

The totals from these seven starts are 40 innings, eight earned runs and 41 strikeouts. Or put in another way, a 1.80 ERA with a 9.2Ks/9IP. That’s pretty good.

While this isn’t a big sample to say definitively that pitchers do good in their first start for a new team after being traded, it is an interesting dynamic to look into. It’s worth noting too that Lynn, Eovaldi, Hamels, Archer (especially for Coors) and Gausman all had excellent second starts as well.

NFL Training Camp Notes: More Injuries

Here’s a quick look from a quiet Monday around the league:

– Saquon Barkley was the latest to suffer a leg injury although the Giants are calling it a mild hamstring strain. He was injured on a play trying to catch a downfield pass and was later seen with a wrap on the leg. For now owners shouldn’t worry  but Barkley could be sidelined a few days this week and possibly Friday’s preseason game as a result.

– Rashaad Penny left practice early with an injury thought to be minor.  Brian Schottenheimer said he doesn’t think it’s anything serious meaning this shouldn’t linger or cause any panic for his owners. However, Penny’s presence on the field is critical for him to make a push for the starting running back job which appears to be heading towards some kind of a timeshare between him and Chris Carson.

– The 49ers signed Alfred Morris (pending a physical) to add running back depth with both Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon banged up. Morris averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season as a Cowboy but would need an injury to either one of his two new teammates to get any touches in the San Francisco offense. Morris once again in on a team coached by Kyle Shanahan, the two of whom are very familiar with each other from their days in Washington.

– Roquan Smith ended his holdout and signed a four-year deal Monday with the Bears. The deal is worth $18 million guaranteed with $11 million in bonuses. In case you haven’t seen him play, this guy is an absolute beast who will make an immediate impact in IDP leagues. This will help bolster a Bears defense that needs help if they plan on contending in the NFC North.

– In quarterback news it appears Chad Kelly has moved ahead of Paxton Lynch to the backup quarterback spot. Fans in Denver love Lynch so much someone started a GoFundMe page to buyout Lynch’s contract and drive him out of town. Sam Bradford is expected to play more than one series in New Orleans although Josh Rosen is expected to get a series with the first string as well. Right now Bradford appears to be the favorite to be under center Week 1 but there are several paths to Rosen finding playing time this season.