The Charch Chase Championship is back again for 2018. Each week of the NFL season, Fanball will be offering a FREE entry to the Charch Chase, in which you can win weekly prizes and earn tickets to the season-ending Charch Chase Championship (ChaChaCha), which features a $15,000 prize pool and $5,000 to the overall winner.
Join the Week 1 Charch Chase challenge now for your shot at $3,000 in total prizes – including $500 to the winner, all for FREE.
Below are some details about this weekly contest, and then an educated guess that attempts to reveal Charch’s lineup for this week. With that knowledge in tow, it will not be difficult for you to beat Charch this week and start earning tickets to the lucrative end-of-season ChaChaCha.
How do I win a ticket?
Simple, by beating Charch! Just build a lineup of players that fit under the $55,000 salary cap. If your lineup scores more points than Paul Charchian’s lineup that week, you win a ticket to the Week 17 Charch Chase Championship. You can earn as many as 16 tickets by playing each week (and beating Charch each week). You’ll also be eligible for weekly prizes.
Keep an eye on Fanball.com and follow Fanball on Twitter for your opportunity to enter each week’s contest.
How do I beat Charch?
It won’t be easy, but we’ll reveal part of Charch’s lineup each week to give you an advantage, and you can tune in to Fanball.com for loads of valuable lineup-setting advice every week as well.
Charch’s Week 1 lineup
We’ve already revealed four players from Charch’s Week 1 lineup (note that Charch reserves the right to swap out players before lineup lock in case of injury): QB Blake Bortles ($5,900), RB Dion Lewis ($6,000), RB Rex Burkhead ($6,300) and TE Rob Gronkowski ($7,800).
Charch clearly likes the Patriots’ Week 1 matchup at home against the Texans, which isn’t much of a surprise considering it has the second-highest total on the board in Vegas in Week 1 (a clear indication the experts think there will be a lot of points scored). With rookie Sony Michel likely to miss Week 1 with an injury, Burkhead figures to have most of the handoffs to himself and is the probable goal line option as well. And Gronk is Gronk.
The Lewis pick is interesting – he’s in a timeshare with Derrick Henry, but will be actively involved as a receiver out of the backfield against a Dolphins defense that allowed the 4th-most receptions to running backs a year ago.
Charch then went bargain shopping at quarterback, choosing Bortles at just $5,900 in a matchup against last year’s worst passing defense. The Giants yielded an NFL-high 32 passing touchdowns a year ago and allowed five 300+ yard passing games and surrendered at least 3 passing touchdowns six separate times.
Decoding the rest of Charch’s lineup
You won’t see the rest of Charch’s lineup until Sunday’s Week 1 games kick off, but here’s some pure speculation on my part (seriously, I have no idea what his actual lineup is, these are just educated guesses. But I do know Charch like the back of my hand so this is probably what he’s thinking. Or not. I honestly have no idea.):
- He’s already spent $26,000 of his $55,000 cap. That leaves $29,000 for 5 players – an average of $5,800 per player.
- If you assume he spends no more than $4,000 on a defense (actually, let’s give him his beloved Vikings for $4,200), that bumps his average up for the final four roster spots to $6,200.
- We know he likes Bortles, so it would be a reasonable strategy to grab at least one of his WRs in the same game (this is DFS 101-level strategy). Problem is, the Jacksonville receiving situation is murky, at best. Nevertheless, Keelan Cole ($4,700) and Donte Moncrief ($4,300) would save even more salary for Charch’s final three players (up to an average of $6,700 per spot, assuming he starts Cole at $4,700).
- We know from his cheat sheet that Charch LOVES Bucs RB Peyton Barber. Barber is just $5,000 in a potentially high-scoring matchup with the Saints (and will likely be a very popular play across the board). He’s in.
- Based on my best guess, Charch now has an average of $7,650 to spend on his final two players – with a Flex spot and his WR/TE spot left to fill.
- I’m giving him Alex Collins ($7,000) at RB… Collins is Charch’s RB14 for the season, and the Ravens have one of the tastiest Week 1 matchups on the board against the Bills, who allowed the most rushing yards and touchdowns to running backs in 2018.
- That leaves Charch with $8,100 to play with for his final spot. Odell Beckham, Charch’s WR3 in season-long leagues, happens to be exactly $8,100 in Week 1. His price is depressed because of a very difficult matchup with the Jaguars, who allowed the fewest yards and the second-fewest touchdowns to opposing wide receivers a year ago. Can Beckham find any room to run against elite CB Jalen Ramsey? Doubtful, and I think Charch would agree. That brings us to a trio of similarly-priced WRs like Stefon Diggs ($8,000), T.Y. Hilton ($7,800) and Adam Thielen ($7,800). The two Vikings seem like obvious plays, but Charch knows that you know that he’s a huge Vikings rube too… or is he trying to make you think that he won’t play a Viking because that’s too obvious? Does HE know that YOU know that HE knows that YOU know he’s a Vikings fan? What devious plan does Charch have up his sleeve? Personally, I think he’s already deeply invested in the Vikings on a personal level, and he’s got Hilton ranked above both Diggs and Thielen in his season-long rankings… so Hilton it is!
So now that you know four of Charch’s players for certain, and a reasonable guess as to the rest of the roster, you can easily go out and beat him. Use the articles and rankings on Fanball.com, listen to our podcasts (especially our Friday DFS lineup-setting extravaganza), and use your own brain to outwit and outscore the magnificent Paul Charchian. Then, tell him about it on Twitter next week after you beat his ass.
Welcome to the Fanball FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget). Each week, we’ll provide advice on which free agent players you should be looking to add to your roster. Following each write-up, we’ve recommendation how much of your overall free agent acquisition budget you should spend on each player.
Don’t forget to join the FREE Week 1 Charch Chase Challenge on Fanball. There’s $3,000 in prizes in Week 1, and if you beat Paul Charchian’s lineup you’ll earn a ticket to the end-of-season Charch Chase Championship with a $5,000 grand prize.
QB Nick Foles, Eagles
Foles will start 2018 like he ended 2017 – as the Eagles’ starting quarterback. With Carson Wentz continuing to rehab his torn ACL, the Eagles will play it safe and start their Super Bowl-winning QB in Week 1 (and possibly longer). It’s unlikely that Foles will recapture his magical playoff run from a year ago, especially with top WR Alshon Jeffery expected to miss at least the first two games, but the Eagles early-season schedule (vs. Falcons, at Bucs, vs. Colts) is favorable enough that Foles could be useful in 2-QB or QB-Flex leagues, and as a fill-in for Wentz if Wentz was set to be your primary starter.
Blind bidding recommendation: 2%
QB Sam Darnold, Jets
Darnold will open the season as the Jets starting quarterback, winning a competition that wasn’t really a competition over backup Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater, who was traded to the Saints near the end of the preseason. Darnold wasn’t overmatched in his preseason tune-ups, completing 64% of his passes with two touchdowns and one interception. He’s sure to make plenty of rookie mistakes in the early going and will likely only be fantasy relevant as a streamer in extremely advantageous matchups. You won’t want to use him in Week 1 on the road in Detroit, but Week 2’s home debut against the Dolphins is somewhat intriguing if you are in a 2-QB league.
Blind bidding recommendation: 1%
RB Alfred Morris, 49ers
Jerick McKinnon’s season-ending ACL injury leaves a gaping hole in the 49ers backfield. Morris was signed in mid-August when the Niners’ top three backs were all battling injury, and suddenly now finds himself in the driver’s seat to open Week 1 as San Francisco’s starter. There is nothing dynamic or particularly exciting about Morris, but he did run for 4.8 yards per carry with the Cowboys last year, including several games as the Dallas workhorse after Ezekiel Elliott started serving his suspension. He offers nothing in the passing game and will have to fend off the younger, more explosive Matt Breida, but Morris is the easy bet to get the carries on first and second downs, as well as at the goal line. Those who lost McKinnon need to aggressively pursue both Morris and Breida, with Morris being the preferred option in standard, non-PPR, and touchdown-heavy leagues.
Blind bidding recommendation: 20%
RB Matt Breida, 49ers
Were it not for a shoulder injury early in training camp, Breida may have made it unnecessary for the 49ers to have even added Morris in the first place. After a surprisingly effective season last year as Carlos Hyde’s backup, Breida stood out during the first week of training camp before going down with the shoulder injury. He’s now been cleared for Week 1, but is likely behind Morris in the pecking order – at least in the early going. He’ll have an immediate role as a change-of-pace runner and in the passing game, which makes him a more appealing add in PPR scoring systems. Fantasy owners who don’t necessarily need a Week 1 impact should consider adding Breida instead of Morris, as he has far more compelling upside than the plodding, one-trick veteran. Note: You won’t want to start either Morris or Breida in Week 1 against the Vikings – last year’s stingiest run defense.
Blind bidding recommendation: 20%
RB James White, Patriots
The Patriots released Brandon Bolden and Mike Gillislee, leaving a stable of running backs behind – including Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, White and Jeremy Hill. The rookie Michel missed nearly a month of training camp after a knee procedure and has all but been ruled out for Week 1. That leaves Burkhead in the driver’s seat for workhorse and goal line duties, but White should be heavily involved in the passing game. The absence of slot WR Julian Edelman means White was going to be active in the short passing game anyways, but with Michel also out of action White could be a PPR gold mine in the first few weeks of the season. White is a free agent in only about 20% of leagues, but it’s worth checking your waiver wire in case yours is one of the 20%.
Blind bidding recommendation: 15%
RBs Jordan Wilkins and Christine Michael, Colts
Oh man, here we go again. Michael just won’t go away. He’s now surfaced as the potential Week 1 starter for the Colts as starter Marlon Mack continues to nurse a hamstring injury. There are a ton of “ifs” here as it’s not even confirmed yet that Mack will actually miss Week 1, nor is it clear whether it would be Wilkins or Michael who fills in as the starter. Either way, both will probably play, and Nyheim Hines can’t be completely ruled out despite a horrific preseason showing. There’s a lot to wade through here, but if you’re desperate for a Week 1 starter it’s worth the effort of following the news to determine who ultimately gets the start. The smart bet is on Wilkins to get the start, but for Michael to also be involved. The Colts’ Week 1 opponent, the Bengals, allowed more total yards to running backs than any other team a year ago, so there’s potential for some sneaky fantasy production here. I’d prioritize Wilkins over Michael, just barely, and wouldn’t pursue either unless I was completely desperate or just happen to have an empty roster spot (or two).
Blind bidding recommendation: 5% on Wilkins, 2% on Michael
RB Boston Scott, Saints
When Jonathan Williams was unexpectedly let go on cut-down day, it left Scott as the top backup to starter Alvin Kamara – notable because of Mark Ingram’s four-game suspension to start the season. Scott was a sixth-round draft pick out of Louisiana Tech and had a solid preseason (25 carries, 121 yards), but it’s tough to envision him having anything close to an Ingram-like impact in the early going. The Saints are already flirting with castoff veteran Mike Gillislee, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Scott slides back down the depth chart again this week. However, if the Saints don’t bring in a veteran back this week, Scott is likely in line for 8-10 touches in Week 1 against a vulnerable Buccaneers defense.
Blind bidding recommendation: 2%
WR Mike Wallace, Eagles
Expected to be an occasional deep threat as the Eagles No. 3 wideout this season, Wallace will be thrust into a more prominent role due to Alshon Jeffery’s shoulder injury, which will keep him out of at least the first two games. Wallace had one catch for three yards in the preseason with his new team, and he’ll be catching passes from Nick Foles, not Carson Wentz. Still, with a decent opening two weeks (Vegas has pegged the Thursday night opener against the Falcons with a relatively healthy 47 over/under, and Week 2 brings the Buccaneers, last year’s friendliest WR defense. Wallace could help fantasy owners in need of a replacement for Jeffery.
Blind bidding recommendation: 3%
WR Geronimo Allison, Packers
Allison won the Packers’ No. 3 WR spot with a solid training camp, holding off a trio of rookies drafted to presumably take his spot behind Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. Cobb plays primarily out of the slot, so Allison will get plenty of looks on the outside opposite the explosive Adams. Allison is more of a long-term stash than a short-term fix, but the upside is undeniable in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense.
Blind bidding recommendation: 3%
WRs Albert Wilson & Danny Amendola, Dolphins
Devante Parker still hasn’t been cleared to catch passes several weeks after suffering a broken finger, which thrusts both Wilson and Amendola into greater focus in Miami. Amendola already had a role as the slot receiver even if Parker was healthy, but he has a chance to be a focal point for Ryan Tannehill if Parker can’t go in Week 1. Amendola is the safer play, but Wilson has more upside. An effective slot receiver a year ago, Wilson was handed a $24 million free agent contract by the Dolphins, moved to the outside to make room for Amendola, and then buried at No. 4 on the depth chart. Still, if he shines as the presumptive injury fill-in for Week 1 (or beyond), he could unseat the wildly disappointing Parker altogether. Amendola is your Week 1 quick fix, and Wilson is your long play if you have an empty spot at the end of your roster.
Blind bidding recommendation: 2% each
WRs Dede Westbrook & D.J. Chark, Jaguars
Already a mess from a fantasy perspective, the Jaguars WR situation isn’t much clearer after Marqise Lee’s season-ending injury. Keelan Cole and Donte Moncrief are set to start the season atop the depth chart (and are both worth adding if for some reason they are available in your league), but neither have done enough to be considered locks to stay there. Westbrook had a couple of solid games behind Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns after missing the first 10 weeks of his rookie season last year, but clearly isn’t seen as the answer since the Jaguars gave Moncrief a huge contract and drafted Chark in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft. Chark is a physical specimen (6-4, 4.34 40-yd dash) who had an impressive camp that he failed to translate to preseason success (3 catches, 25 yards), and is the higher upside choice over Westbrook for dynasty league players. Considering Moncrief has repeatedly disappointed and the general lack of experience ahead of him in the pecking order, it woudn’t be a shock if Chark emerges as a starter later in the season.
Blind bidding recommendation: 1% each
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jaguars
Already on his third NFL team, Seferian-Jenkins played a career-high 13 games with the Jets a year ago and enters 2018 as the starting tight end in a nearly completely overhauled Jacksonville pass-catching corps. The oft-injured and perennially disappointing ASJ is unlikely to have a lasting impact on your fantasy lineup all year, but a Week 1 matchup with the annually TE-impaired Giants should have him on your radar as a streaming option. The Giants allowed a league-high 13 tight end touchdowns in 2017 and have spent the better part of the last decade proving completely incapable of defending the position.
Blind bidding recommendation: 1%