This is it guys, the final qualifying week of the RotoWire and FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship! If you haven't earned a qualifying bid into the $20,000 week 11 Championship freeroll, then make sure to sign up this week, as you will have exactly zero more opportunities to qualify after this week's contest!
Week 9 Results
You knew it was going to happen eventually, and in week 9 it finally did... one of the five RotoWire experts finished in first place. It was none other than RotoWire president Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) who ran the table and finished in 1st place with an impressive 187.80 point output. He rostered the monster Pittsburgh duo of DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown, who netter him a combined 74.6 points Sunday. In addition to his Steeler studs, Peter got double-digit outputs from every position outside of his defense (which miss the double-digit cut by one point).
If Schoenke beat hundreds of other entrants in the public tournament, then he must have finished first in the RotoWire expert competition, right? Wrong. Shawn Cwalinski (cwalinski) cracked the 200-point mark and blew out every other 'pert with his 200.88 point performance. With that kind of production, you know his whole team went off, but Lamar Miller (29.6) and Michael Crabtree (26.3) were the real MVPs after netting nearly 60 points with a combined salary of $12,700.
Both Schoenke (6th) and Cwalinski (10th) moved into the top-10 this week with their dominating performances. *HUMBLEBRAG ALERT* You will notice that yours truly is not listed in the top-10. That is because in week 3, while traveling in foreign lands (Downtown Chicago), a combination of shoddy internet, Wrigley Field, and about eight-too-many drinks caused my entry to not be submitted in time. Excluding that faux pas, I currently have the highest per-week average of all the experts, with 137.66/week.
You can check out the entire expert standings here.
- Tate McInyre (tamc10)
- Peter Merrill (black26)
- Josh Collacchi (JCollacchi)
- Adam Wolf (rotosomething)
- Brian Pelowski (brianp)
- Peter Schoenke (rotopeter)
- Shannon McKeown (rotoshannon)
- Jesse Siegel (damon3nba)
- Andrew Fiorentino (akf1986)
- Shawn Cwalinski (cwalinski)
Alright, let's get down to business, time to unveil this week's value picks! Remember that value picks are assets that I feel will outperform their listed value, and are generally good players to supplement your higher-priced players. With no London game (Finally! It's hard enough trying to wake up before the regular early games over here on the west coast), the only exclusions will be the NYJ/BUF game on TNF, along with ATL, SF, IND, and SD who are all on byes this week.
QB Blake Bortles: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens
FanDuel Price: $7,800
Bortles has steadily improved in his sophomore year, and his FanDuel price is starting to reflect it coming off of a career-high 381 yard effort against the Jets. Even with the season-high $7,800 price tag, I still see a lot of value in the Jags QB this week. He gets a soft matchup against the Ravens defense, which currently ranks 31st in fantasy points allowed to opposing signal callers. With the Jags defense not being much better against the pass (25th), this game has the makings of a shootout, and I like Bortles' weapons - Allen bros. & Julius Thomas - much better than Flacco's. He has been susceptible to the pick this season, but luckily FanDuel is very forgiving to interceptions (-1 point), so I am not worried if he throws a couple.
RB Lamar Miller: Miami Dolphins @ Philadelphia Eagles
FanDuel Price: $7,200
Outside of the week 8 blowout loss to the Patriots, Miller has turned it up since the Dolphins made a change at head coach. A large part of his success has simply been a result of feeding him the rock. He was averaging 11.75 touches per game under Philbin, compared to a much healthier 17.75 touches per game under coach Campbell. So why is Miller a guy I am targeting in DFS this week? Simple, because he should set a season-high in touches Sunday. Chip Kelly's Eagles are 5th in the league in plays called per game. While that shouldn't affect Miami's playcalling, it will inevitably result in more plays from scrimmage. And what did we learn in class today? More touches for Lamar = fantasy gold. Even if the Dolphins fall behind early, Miller is involved enough in the passing game that he should be blowout proof.
RB Jeremy Hill: Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals
FanDuel Price: $6,600
I know, he has been hot garbage all season long. Luckily for us, DFS ignores everything up until this week. Let's take a look at why I consider him a strong value play this week. The Bengals take on the woeful Texans at home, a game in which they should go up early and spend most of the second half grinding out the clock. They need to build their bruising back's confidence before the playoffs begin, and this matchup presents to perfect opportunity to accomplish that. While Hill and Gio Bernard have been splitting carries, the former will get the goal line touches, and I see him getting in at least once in this matchup. Remember about 150 characters ago when I said the Eagles ran the 5th most plays per game this season? Sitting atop that list of teams is the Houston Texans. That statistic is more likely a result of the fact that they have been playing from behind all season, and are constantly throwing the ball, which eats up less clock. Regardless of the reason, it should result in more plays run for the Bengals as well. All the stars are aligned for Hill to finally break out of his season-long slump, now he just needs to get the job done. It would take some crazy circumstances for him to not end the day with at least 20 touches and at least one trip to the endzone.
WR Allen Robinson: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens
FanDuel Price: $7,500
In week 5 I told you guys that Robinson is one of the most underrated receivers in the NFL, and that "I honestly do not see his FanDuel price staying under $7,500 by the end of year." Well, after four consecutive weeks of elite fantasy receiver output, Robinson's price finally reached that $7,500 mark. I see him continuing to trend upwards with a matchup against a Ravens secondary that is surrendering just under 30 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts. There should be plenty of scoring to go around for both Robinson and his fellow Allen, Hurns, who is a value play himself if he is able to suit up (as of Thursday evening, Hurns is questionable with a foot injury).
WR Stefon Diggs: Minnesota Vikings @ Oakland Raiders
FanDuel Price: $6,600
Diggs has been a weekly value play based on his suppressed price, but last week was the first time since he burst onto the fantasy scene that he did not pan out. You can write that off to a tough Rams defense and his quarterback getting (literally) knocked out of the game. Teddy Bridgewater has already been labeled as probable for Sunday's game, and a matchup against a middle-of-the-pack Raiders secondary awaits. Some may have thought Diggs came back down to earth last week, I say it was more of an outlier. At this price, it won't be a big risk to find out either way.
TE Jordan Reed: New Orleans Saints @ Washington Redskins
FanDuel Price: $5,800
Reed is an interesting commodity. When healthy, he is easily a top-5 fantasy tight end, but staying healthy has always been his issue. He did have a down game against the Patriots last week, but he still found the endzone to salvage what would have been a lackluster day. I am going to throw that game out, because Belichick and company are notorious for eliminating the opposition's best weapon (more on that in a bit), and that was Reed last week. He will face off against a porous Saints defense that is giving up the second-most points to opposing tight ends this season. Reed is currently priced as the 7th most expensive tight end, I see him surpassing that value easily barring injury.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.: New England Patriots @ New York Giants
FanDuel Price: $8,800
ODB is far and away the best offensive player in New York's offense, and that is exactly why I am steering clear of him in week 10. As mentioned in Jordan Reed's blurb, Bill Belichick is famous for double and sometimes tripling the opposition's best offensive weapon, forcing opponents to beat him with their lesser options. The disparity between Beckham and his fellow receiving options is so huge, that it would be ludicrous not to give him extra defensive attention. Sure, there is always a chance that ODB's talent perseveres, but that is a risk I am not willing to take with that premium price tag.
Alright folks, thanks for reading and participating in the RotoWire and FanDuel Championship this season. I wish you all good luck this week and heading into the championship. The private expert competition will continue through week 17, so make sure to keep on reading for some more value plays (or to mock whichever expert finishes last). Get at me during the games @JashFath and let me know how right/wrong I was. But please, do not send me links to "claim my free iPad!!1!1!"