As we pull into the halfway stretch of the 2016 NFL season, it is my duty to remind you that time is running out to qualify for the RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship. The final tournament takes place during Week 11, with over $5,000 in prizes and RotoWire subscriptions up for grabs. For those interested in playing a qualifier tournament in Week 8, here is all the information you need to know:
– 10-week competition hosted on FanDuel
– $10 entry (max five entries each week)
– Compete against other users and three FanDuel experts (Jeff Erickson, Derek VanRiper, Kevin Payne)
– Finish above the experts and win an entry in the Week 11 Freeroll with over $5,000 in prizes and RotoWire subscriptions up for grabs
– Each qualifying week acts as a double-up with the top 250 doubling up their cash
– This is not a continuous competition, so you can enter every week, and you don’t have to have participated in Week 1 to enter this week’s competition
– There is no limit on the amount of entries you can win for the championship round, so each time you make the cut means another team to go after the big prize.
– You can sign up for this week’s competition here.
The RotoWire expert competition is a separate tournament that runs alongside the the public event. Mario Puig (rotowireyasiel) was able to squeak by Harry Thompson (hlthompson3) with a lineup that saw five players reach at least 20 points. While Harry couldn’t secure the victory, his second-place showing was enough to power him into second place in the overall standings. The full leaderboard can be found here, but a list of the top 10 runners looks like this:
1. James Seltzer (schweppy23) 961.30
2. Harry Thompson (hlthompson3) 913.56
3. Scott Jenstad (oaktownsj) 890.24
4. Joel Bartilotta (joelbartilotta) 884.98
5. Adam Wolf (rotosomething) 884.18
6. Chris Benzine (crispy272001) 875.44
7. Ed Kensik (chicagoed) 873.92
8. Kevin Payne (kevinccp) 871.48
9. Eric Caturia (etcat30) 870.54
10. Ronny Mor (ronnymor2) 867.80
It’s party week in the NFL, as a whopping six teams will have their bye. That means no players from the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers or San Francisco 49ers. In this section, we will cover two running backs that have the potential to do some damage thanks to injuries, but let’s begin by discussing a talented (yet flawed) quarterback with a chance to build on a three-touchdown performance in Week 7.
QB Jameis Winston ($7,400) vs. OAK
Winston has shown flashes of brilliance in 2016, having thrown for three or more touchdowns in three of six contests to start the year. The former Heisman Trophy winner remains a work-in-progress, however, as he has also thrown nine interceptions over that span. While there are certainly some risks associated with Winston, he could be in line for another explosive performance against the Raiders, who have allowed over 317 yards per game against opposing quarterbacks.
RB Devontae Booker ($5,600) vs. SD
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C.J. Anderson could be on the sidelines for some time after undergoing a procedure to repair a torn meniscus, likely leaving Booker as the top back in Denver for the foreseeable future. Booker has made the most of his opportunities in 2016, as he was able to rush for 83 yards and a touchdown against the Texans last week, and has averaged nearly five yards per carry in his rookie campaign.
RB Mike Gillislee ($5,900) vs. NE
DFS players who locked in Gillislee watched in horror as LeSean McCoy wound up playing (for some reason) in the contest against the Dolphins, but Shady has yet to practice this week while rehabbing his hamstring. It is worth noting that Gillislee is dealing with his own injury (foot), but he has logged back-to-back limited practices, which should make potential owners pretty comfortable in his Sunday status. Gillislee is averaging a stout 6.0 yards per carry in limited work this season, and is the clear favorite to lead the backfield if McCoy is unavailable.
WR Golden Tate ($6,300) at HOU
Tate will enter enemy territory against a Houston squad that has been stingy against wideouts, but the 22 targets he has seen over the last two weeks has raised his floor considerably, making him a nice play in any PPR format. It took Tate awhile to find his footing in 2016, but it seems clear that he is becoming a favorite of Matthew Stafford, as Marvin Jones has seen just 11 targets over the past two weeks.
WR Larry Fitzgerald ($7,000) at CAR
Fitzgerald should benefit from injuries in both locker rooms, as the Panthers’ banged up secondary continues to bleed points, and John Brown is having his reps monitored in practice while managing sickle cell anemia. Fitzgerald may not get the 14 targets he saw in the overtime weirdness that was the matchup against the Seahawks, but he has seen double-digit targets in four games this season, and has caught at least five passes in every contest.
WR Davante Adams ($6,600) at ATL
Those selecting Adams shouldn’t expect a repeat of his 132-yard performance against the Bears, but with Jordy Nelson struggling and Randall Cobb dealing with a hamstring injury, the 23-year-old could see a steady diet of passes thrown his way. It is important to note that Adams came into the Week 7 contest having seen at least seven targets in three of five games, so it seems like Aaron Rodgers feels comfortable making the connection.
TE Jack Doyle ($4,900) vs. KC
Doyle’s price seems almost comically low at this point, as he tallied nine catches and a score against the Titans last week. Doyle has had a few duds in between his solid outings, but he always makes the most of his opportunities, averaging just under 10 yards per catch. At $4,900, Doyle doesn’t have to do much to justify his selection, and he should once again see the lion’s share of work at tight end, as Dwayne Allen has not practiced while recovering from his ankle injury.
High Risk/High Reward
QB Aaron Rodgers ($8,800) at ATL
Rodgers took out some frustration on the Bears last week, throwing the ball a whopping 56 times and finishing with three touchdowns and 326 yards. Those who would consider him a lock selection may want to pump the breaks, however, as that contest marked the only time this season Rodgers has thrown for more than 300 yards. As I noted above, mr. double check is without all of his weapons, making his output a bit uncertain. Still, he will face an Atlanta team that has allowed 319 yards to quarterbacks per game.
QB Russell Wilson ($8,200) at NO
While a matchup against the New Orleans defense may seem tempting, a host of injuries has made Wilson look a step slow of late, as he has tallied a grand total of zero rushing yards on 12 attempts over his last three games. Mobility is a big part of Wilson’s game, and if he can’t use it effectively, then it’s hard for me to justify forking over that kind of salary when I can actually save $200 by just closing my eyes and selecting Drew Brees.