Hello DFS’ers! It’s officially football season, and all of us here at Fanball can’t wait to kick off the season. Here, we wanted to give you four players to target as you select your teams for this weekends games. Dollar for dollar at their position, these names will give you the best value available, help you make the most of your $55,000 Fanball salary cap, and give you the best chance to win.
Best Value, QB: Blake Bortles @ New York (Giants) – $5,900 – 11% of Cap
I wouldn’t call myself a Blake Bortles believer. He’s got very little talent around him, and typically isn’t the kind of quarterback who’s going to make marginal receivers look like pro-bowlers. But this is the Giants we’re talking about. Their pass defense is just about as bad as it gets. New York ranked 32nd in touchdowns, and 30th in passing yards allowed to quarterbacks, which culminated in them placing last in fantasy points surrendered at the position. The Giants decided to go with offense early and often in April’s draft, leaving them with a back end that is mostly the same. Look for Bortles to make the opener one of his best games of the season.
Best Value, RB: Alex Collins vs Buffalo – $7,000 – 13% of Cap
Alex Collins starts his season with what is perhaps the easiest draw for any running back. Teams were running all over Buffalo last season, as an amazing 15 backs reached the 50-yard marker, and 14 backs found their way into the end zone. The Bills gave up an average of 112 yards and 1.1 touchdowns to opposing backfields, which both ranked as the worst in the league. They were actually quite stout in holding down running backs in the passing game, ranking tied for fourth in touchdowns allowed, and 12th in yardage. But since Collins has never been the receiving type, this shouldn’t affect him in any significant way. Buffalo smartly added Tremaine Edmunds and Harrison Phillips in the early rounds of the 2018 draft, which should vastly improve their front seven down the road. But early in the season, you probably need not worry about these new additions.
Best Value, WR: Brandin Cooks @ Oakland – $7100 – 13% of Cap
The Oakland Raiders were by most measures, hardly horrible when it came to defending receivers a year ago. In terms of yardage, receptions, touchdowns, and fantasy points allowed to the receiver position, the Raiders were actually a top-twenty defense. But when we dig into the advanced stats, we see why this suits up to be such a promising matchup for Brandin Cooks. Against number one receivers, as Cooks is going to be for the Rams, Oakland ranked 30th in DVOA. Perhaps even more important, the Raiders were the worst team in the league covering the deep ball, where we all know Cooks loves to make his mark. He faced off against Oakland one time last year. As we’d expect, Cooks found tremendous success, to the tune of 6 receptions for 149 yards and one touchdown.
Best Value, TE: Ricky Seals-Jones vs Washington – $4300 – 8% of Cap
Washington had all sorts of problems trying to stop offenses in 2017. Unsurprisingly, they weren’t exactly elite when it came to stopping tight ends. The Redskins let eight different tight ends get to 50 yards, allowed six to catch five or more passes, and let up a touchdown to an opposing tight end in half of their games. In receptions, yards, and touchdowns allowed to the tight end position, Washington finished in the bottom ten. There’s a lot to like with Ricky Seals-Jones, but his history against the Redskins provides us with one potential area of concern we should be aware of. Seals-Jones was red hot coming into their 2017 matchup having caught three touchdowns over the previous four games. When he faced Washington though, he was held to two reception on his six targets, and put up an uninspiring 11 yards and zero touchdowns.
All game log information, and defense against specific position stats courtesy of fftoday.com
All DVOA, vs number one receiver stats, and deep ball statistics courtesy of footballoutsiders.com
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.