So far, so good.
Week 1 of the NFL season and the Charch Chase were both a blast! @Chwtom crushed us all, taking home the $500 by outpacing second place @iplay2winok by a whopping 28.42 points! I finished in the money at 43rd place among the 6,800+ entries, and 678 of us earned spots in the Week 17 finale with $5K on the line for beating Charch. Another 323 finished in the money but didn’t get a Week 17 entry. But there’s always this week!
Join the Week 2 Charch Chase challenge now for your shot at $1,000 in total prizes – including $100 to the winner, all for FREE. Everyone who beats Charch earns a ticket to the Week 17 Chase Charch Championship, where you can win your share of a $15,000 prize pool.
I ultimately pivoted away from Rex Burkhead despite noting I liked him last week. I wanted the salary relief to fit Michael Thomas and figured the James White leverage play was a good way to do it knowing Charch had Burkhead. I wish I’d have gone with my Tyrod conviction over Blake Bortles, but that doesn’t mean I made the wrong play through the lens of trying to beat Charch to get my Week 17 entry. Heck, even in win-the-tournament mode it wasn’t egregious, as Bortles is one of the few QBs I’m actually willing to go naked with (i.e., not pair with a wide receiver, running back, or tight end) along with other top-end runners (Cam Newton, Tyrod) and passers with several fantasy-relevant receiving weapons and weekly 3+ TD upside (Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers).
My Emmanuel Sanders call worked out well, and James Conner was a no-brainer once Le’Veon Bell didn’t report. Larry Fitzgerald was meh, Christian McCaffery was less than meh. But both had the opportunities I expected, the stats just didn’t work out. Though with Fitzy, that new Cardinals offense scares me a bit.
I noted last week I would be bringing up ownership, because if you’re going into this every week trying to win regardless of what Charch does (a strategy that worked just fine for me last season) it’s helpful to know trends so you can leverage them. The Cliff’s Notes version of why ownership is important is this: If everyone is on a certain player and that player does well, you still have to outplay a larger chunk of the overall field to be successful. But if you can find a player or two you have conviction on who is low owned (think Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, who was at 1.14%) and that player blows up, you’ve got huge leverage on the rest of the field.
McCaffery was highest owned at 20.86%, and considering his price drop and matchup against an Atlanta defense that just lost two really good young players to IR, this might be the time to pounce. After all, 20.86% of players just saw McCaffery not do much for them and might stay away. I was fairly surprised to see Chris Hogan next on the list at 20.08%–I thought Burkhead and Rob Gronkowski would be the Patriots to flirt with that number or higher. In all, those ownership numbers are relatively low, so there’s not a ton of leverage to be gained on the field. That might change when we get to bye weeks and injuries start piling up.
The biggest surprise was the week’s 9th highest owned player—Will Fuller. He was 11.63% owned and didn’t even suit up. Make sure you check those inactives on Sundays, folks.
This week Charch is spending up at quarterback, taking Ben Roethlisberger for $7,800 at home against Kansas City. The Chiefs secondary is awful, and Charch might benefit from lower ownership if enough folks are scared off by Ben’s 3-pick performance in Week 1. I don’t mind this play, but I’m likely taking advantage of some cheaper options at quarterback.
Charch is also backing up the fake Brinks truck for Alvin Kamara in Week 2—the slate’s highest priced player at $9,600. Hard to argue—I’m not scared of Cleveland’s defense and Kamara’s the only show in town in that backfield. He doesn’t need another 45-point performance this week to make this play worthwhile, but he likely needs to get north of 30—and only 7 players did that in Week 1.
Keenan Allen at $8,800 is his final revealed player going to Buffalo this week. The Bills looked lost in Week 1, but the Chargers are a mistake-prone bunch flying west coast to east coast for a noon start. Allen’s never a bad pick, but I don’t know that there’s a lot of value in his selection this week as the sixth highest priced receiver. He’s fairly priced and I don’t doubt he’ll finish as a back-end WR1 this week. But I’ll probably be trying to hit home runs this week versus solid doubles.
Who might those players be? I’m glad you asked!
I’ll be hard pressed to pass on Jimmy Garoppolo this week against Detroit. Sam Darnold just lit up the Lions, who now travel west on a short week to face Garoppolo coming off his first loss as a starting 49er. The change in scenery and defense will work wonders for Jimmy G, and he’s priced way down at $7,000. I also like Alex Smith at $7,100, but would probably want to stack Chris Thompson ($6,400) with him. Patrick Mahomes is priced up to $7,500 this week, but Pittsburgh should score plenty against that terrible Kansas City defense, and if Mahomes can light of the Chargers, I have no issues betting on him to do it to the Steelers. On the fade side of things, Rivers probably won’t be in any of my Fanball lineups because of the concerns noted above and the $7,700 price tag. I’d rather spend the extra $100 to get Roethlisberger at home, or grab Drew Brees for just $200 more.
Fanball bumped up the price of James Conner this week to $7,600, but he’s still a value there against the KC defense. I already mentioned McCaffery above as play I like $8,000, and on the other side of that game I like Devonta Freeman (if healthy) way down at $6,100. The matchup isn’t the greatest, but that’s a great price to take a shot at. Dion Lewis ($6,000) saw significantly more work than Derrick Henry in Week 1, so he’s a nice value despite the matchup with Houston up front. I’m eyeing up Kenyan Drake at the Jets ($6,500) as well because despite the box score, he looked much better than Frank Gore. If you want to really pay down, Phillip Lindsay was the clear No. 2 back for Denver and is just $4,100. Low risk, high reward. And finally, if Leonard Fournette’s hamstring costs him the game, plug in T.J. Yeldon at $5,700. He was the clear lead back once Fournette left Sunday’s game against the Giants. As for top-end guys I am probably fading, I like Melvin Gordon’s spot but not his $9,000 price tag. Todd Gurley’s just $300 more, and I can’t fit both guys in.
The biggest value of the week here is Chris Hogan at $3K. Fanball priced Allen Robinson there last week, which was a fine low risk option, but I didn’t see a lot of reward there. It was more of a punt play. Not this week with Hogan. Yes, Phillip Dorsett looked great in Week 1 and Hogan had just five targets. But the Patriots spread the ball around, and now that the Jaguars know Dorsett can hurt them on the outside with Gronk taking attention on the inside, Hogan offers high reward to go with his low risk despite the matchup. I also like the typical PPR types this week who I think are all underpriced—Fitzgerald, Golden Tate, Nelson Agholor, and even Quincy Enunwa. JuJu Smith-Schuster is a nice way to get exposure to that Steelers passing game as well while on a budget at just $6,800. I’m going to pass on Mike Evans again this week now up to $8,200 with the same caveat as last time—he’s big and talented enough to beat any corner and make his day on one play. But there’s a lot of downside against that Eagles defense.
For starters, don’t fall into the Eric Ebron trap. He’s at $5,600 thanks to his Week 1 touchdown. But guess what? Ebron ran 22 pass routes in Week 1. Jack Doyle ran 50. Lightning’s going to strike a few times this year with Ebron. Just don’t go chasing it. Or waterfalls, for that matter. Stick with the Kittles and lakes that you’re used to—like George Kittle. He’s $100 less and was a drop away from an absolutely monster day against the Vikings last week. His 9 targets led San Francisco in Week 1, and I love stacking him with Garoppolo this week. As much as it pains me to say it, I also don’t hate Jared Cook this week coming off his monster Week 1. He’s down at $4,700, though, so I could see taking the savings to spend up elsewhere. Though Jesse James (if Vance McDonald is still hurt) and Jonnu Smith (if Marcus Mariota ISN’T still hurt) are nice values, too.
There are so many values at defense this week I can’t really get into much detail about any of them. I’m not paying up for the Rams or Eagles, because the Chargers at Buffalo is my high-priced option if I’ve got money to spend. But Washington, Tennessee, Atlanta, Houston and Dallas all stand out as nice values. My favorite is the Texans since they’ll get either a banged up Mariota or a bad Blaine Gabbert. But if Aaron Rodgers’ knee surprisingly costs him Week 2, then sign me up for all the Vikings all the time.
OK, sorry guys and gals. I promised last week I wouldn’t be as long winded this week. In a way I was right—I was MORE long winded this week. Anyway, good luck to you all in Week 2. If I don’t’ win, I hope you do!
Anthony Maggio (@MplsMaggio) once threw a chair at a bar and is co-host of The Fantasy Football Party at ZoneCoverage.com. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher or anywhere Android podcasts are given away for free. He is a freelance contributor for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.
Charch and Fish discuss who you should go after on your waiver wire and just how much FAAB you should spend! We go over the Week 2 waiver wire article by Bradley Ylitalo and Paul Charchian.