NFL Divisional Round DFS Things to Remember 1/12/17

I will never admit to be an expert on anything. I’ve never won thousands on DFS or have been published or have won awards. All I try to do is read as much as I can and watch as much as I can relating to football. Looking at more than stats has gotten me above the cash line in most of my DFS contests this year. There are just some things you can set your watch to that have either simple or no numbers backing them up. My favorite stat to trash is the QB fourth quarter comeback stat. Yes it is true good QBs usually can lead their team to victories when down late in the game when lesser QBs wouldn’t BUT, that same QB probably had something to do with the team being in the hole in the first place. It’s much like a baseball pitcher walking the bases loaded and then getting a strikeout and a double play ball to end the inning. Anyway, here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your million dollar roster for daily fantasy this week.

  1. Andy Reid off a bye week- It’s no secret but for those that don’t know, Andy Reid is 16-2 coming off a bye week in his coaching career. He normally has his team ready to go in these situations. His players did get the entire week off last week which may become a factor. Questionable decision by Reid to interrupt the team’s routine with so much at stake. This isn’t atypical for coaches to do during the regular season so Reid might be staying consistent in that respect.
  2. Rookie Starters in DAL- Dallas enters the playoffs as the NFC’s number one seed and has to face a red hot Green Bay Packers team. Many people will be looking at GBs bad defensive numbers and target the Dallas passing game and of course Elliot. It is worth considering that rookie QBs and even RBs can be hard to trust, even at home, in their first playoff games. Dallas as a whole is very inexperienced in these big situations and needed a gift from the officials to win in the playoffs 2 years ago with an arguably more talented team vs a much lesser opponent. Moral of the story is you can roster your Elliot and your DAL passing game but you are putting your faith in extremely unproven commodities against the hottest team in football.
  3. Blount week in Foxboro- The outcome of the game between HOU and NE isn’t in question this week. Who to target for the Pats is always the hardest thing to determine and this week is no different. After carefully thinking about how this game is going to play out, you can feel good about some Blount exposure this week. Houston comes in with the top ranked defense in the NFL. Houston is a good defense for sure but they are far from a dominant defense. They will give up plenty of points to NE this week. The Pats have limited big play ability and will have plenty of opportunities from in close as they did during the regular season. Expect plenty of goal line touches and clock killing touches from the Patriots heavy hitting back Legarrette Blount. I’m going to be all over him this week.
  4. The Dan Quinn Factor- I was going to regurgitate the whole rookie factor in playoffs thing with Dan Quinn being the only first time playoff coach left in the playoffs but let’s look at it differently.  Dan Quinn is the former defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. His defense spent it’s time defending Russell Wilson in practice every day for the entire  two years he and Russell were there together. In his one previous matchup, the Falcons lost in Seattle by 2 points and scored 21 points in the third quarter. He knows how Pete Carroll would want to attack him. This will make for an interesting scheme game within the football game. Seattle might have more pure talent than the Falcons and Carroll is a professional football coach (he has a clue) so Quinn has his work cut out for him. You can target Falcons passing game with confidence because of the falcons strong knowledge of how Seattle wants to operate. Don’t expect big leads either way so there will be incentive for Ryan to throw.  (Insert obligatory Matt Ryan at home or Matt Ryan in playoffs take here). 
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2017 Divisional Round DFS preview: QBs

This column will focus less on the sabermetrics of the football games and more about tangible “football” things you can see with your own two eyes. Coaching for nearly a decade at the high school level has given me perspective other DFS writers may overlook in the interest of statistics. Stats are useful but should not be relied upon. Games are played and coached by humans and not computers. This and following article will give you a look at the game that can sometimes be unquantifiable. 

 

QBs to Target:

This slate only offers us 8 QBs to choose from. Though a small slate, there is tons of value for guys that you may otherwise overlook based on the matchup. Here’s who to go with:

MATT RYAN: Ryan faces a Seattle defense that is traveling across the country on a short week. Matt Ryan at home has been a huge target for DFS players throughout his career even if the matchup dictates otherwise. The Seahawks have the name value going for them but have been extremely mediocre down the stretch since losing Earl Thomas. They have gone .500 without Thomas. They have benefitted from an easy schedule since the injury having only played one team with a winning record since the injury. Expect a lot of short passes to either backs or whomever is at the slot WR this week. This is where the Seahawks can be hurt the most. The only reason to be off him would be his past playoff performance. Different coaches this time around should help. Ryan at home, vs a banged up Seattle team traveling on a short week makes him my top QB.

 

AARON RODGERS:  Shouldn’t need to convince anyone of this. Anyone with eyes knows he is playing lights out right now. The Packers frustrate me more than any other team because of their lack of offensive diversity but Rodgers is McCarthy proof it looks like. Dallas strikes me as similar to the Giants team Rodgers just beat. “Young” defense still looking to prove itself that may keep hold down GB for a quarter before Rodgers starts shredding them. Not having Jordy will hurt and you always have to worry about McCarthy doing something but Rodgers should be good to go vs a relatively inexperienced defense.

Pivots: ALEX SMITH, DAK (TOURNEYS)

 

AVOID AT ALL COSTS: BEN ROETHLISBERGER: Ben stats got super inflated last week with AB taking two short, easily defendable passes, for long  scores. Anyone who watched knows Miami did not show up/had a terrible plan for attacking the Pittsburgh offense. Ben benefitted from very poor secondary play and poor schemes last week. KC will be stingier and better coached at home coming off a bye week in freezing conditions.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  • GB offensive line play: contrary to what the stats might say for the Giants D last week, Rodgers was very comfortable vs that highly touted DL save for less than a handful of plays. NYG was credited for 5 sacks. 2 came from the secondary on well designed plays where they came free. NYG also only hit Rodgers 5 times, all coming on those sacks.  Expect even better play from the GB OL vs a much less talented Dallas front 7.
  • Patriots D coordinator Matt Patricia has shown a tendency to be aggressive against non mobile QBs this year. Osweiler should be under fire the entire game. Houston has struggled mightily on the OL this year and the New England athletic front should give them tons of issues in a game where they will be pass protecting for the majority of the game.

Forgotten Cult Heroes: Mike Cloud

Mike Cloud, Patriot legend…for three games in 2003. I was watching the 2003 Pats Superbowl DVD recently in order to forget about the end to this patriots season. While watching the goal line stand in Indy and the 3 Law INTs of Manning in the AFCCG was awesome, one thing stuck out, Mike Cloud. Mike Cloud was a Cult hero for 3 weeks during this season. He only rushed for 118 yards over 5 appearances for the Pats but scored 5 TDs during that time. Scored 2 vs the Titans while rushing for 73 yards on 7 carries. That was his coming out party. The former BC all american RB also rushed for 2 Tds vs Indy that year too. This fill in back for Injured Antwan Smith and Kevin Faulk was a shooting star that captivated New England for a month and then poof was gone in a flash. Here’s to you Cult Hero Mike Cloud

Comment any Boston Cult Heroes of the last decade or hit me on Twitter: @fozberry64

Foz

Microsoft CEO buys Clippers for $2 BILLION…Yes BILLION

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer absolutely has the money to blow on sports franchises. This much money is unheard of though. $2 Billion bought him the Los Angeles Clippers. The CLIPPERS! 

The Clippers have been relevant and competitive for about 2 years out of their entire existence. The 76ers, a team in a relatively decent size market and a team with a great NBA pedigree, got sold not to long ago for less than $300 million. The rationale behind this amount of money going for arguably the worst sports franchise of all time is cloudy at best. If we are setting the market value of the Clippers at $2 billion dollars than what do historically great and well known franchises go for? By the laws of market economics, the Yankees and Cowboys are priceless now right? The Yankees have had more dynasties than the Clippers have had above .500 seasons and that’s not even an exaggeration. This deal just set up every single owner in sports to be able to make the grossest amount of money possible upon selling the team. It’s a sell high market right now. The Mccourt’s are probably kicking themselves for having to sell the Dodgers so soon before this. Only got $1 Billion from Magic Johnson instead of 2.

Foz

Sidenote: Do you think Sterling even cares about his image at this point? He and his family just made 2$ Billion when if he was selling under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much. He’s going to live in the Maldives for the rest of his miserable life and shove it all in our faces. This whole thing was probably contrived by him in the first place.

 

Buchholz Pitched Bad Because he was Hot and Tired From Running to 1st Base

First, I have always been a fan of Buchholz. The guy came up with a mean heater and a devastating 12-6 curve. Yeah yeah the no hitter was cool but let’s look at just last season when he was DOMINANT to start the year, went on the DL then came back and was dominant again, helping the sox win the World Series. Tough to hate a guy like that who always gets hurt but when healthy is as good at his position as anyone else.

This year he has been not even a shadow of that. He has pitched extremely poor when he is not supposed to be battling any injury. Yesterday he walked 8 batters in 3 innings and gave up all 6 ATL runs. What was his excuse? He was hot and tired from running 90ft to first base after a pretty sweet hit. This comment coming from a guy who looks like a gentile gust of wind could make him fall off the mound. You hear Bartolo Colon blame poor pitching on being tired from running to first? Of course not and you know Colon is taking a few years off his life every time he trots down the line.

The worst part about this is that his speed is billed as being amazing. He regularly beat Ellsbury in races when Ellsbury was here. I always wished the sox would use Buchholz as a runner but I guess we have the reason. Guy can’t jog 90ft without it ruining his command.

Get off my team Buchholz. This type of mental/physical weakness has no room in Boston.

Foz

Your Weekly Friday Night Pregame Music

Everyone needs some sweet music to pregame to on Friday nights so I’m going to post something hot to listen to while you lube up for a night out or in. Doesn’t matter what you do, the music is good for anything

Here’s Steve Angello’s two hour BBC Radio 1 Mix from this month. Third Party guests on it. Fire flame if your asking me and I know you all are. Happy memorial day!

https://soundcloud.com/steveangello/steve-angello-bbc-radio-1-residency-50214

Donovan Left of 23 Man Roster for USMNT

I don’t have a strong opinion either way about Landon Donovan. He acts in some ways that make him hard to like but there is no doubt he is a US Soccer Legend, not that there are many to begin with. 

Klinsmann made it really clear he thought of Donovan as a forward and not a midfielder when choosing his team. Altidore and Dempsey were locks to make the team. Altidore doesn’t score for Sunderland but he does for the US. Aron Johannsson and Chris Wondolowski rounded out the rest of the forwards. Both are coming off terrific club campaigns and are most likely hungry to show the world what they can do. Not at all upset with the players up front for the US. 

Donovan took a sabbatical from soccer a year ago much to the chagrin of the new coach Klinsmann and the rest of the US Soccer Federation. I went to a brunch with the New England Revolution last March and the topic of Donovan was brought up to the head of US Soccer Sunil Galati. He seemed very disappointed that Donovan was on the sabbatical. Both camps were at odds with one another and that’s not the best way to win over a new coach let alone a legend of the game in Klinsmann.

I don’t have a problem with the selection but the US Soccer Fed has opened themselves up for drastic criticism if and when the US go out in the group stage. The media now has their story to run. They will claim Donovan would have saved the day and put us into the round of 16 when in reality, the US were going to be filthy lucky to get out of the group stage with Donovan in the lineup. Two World Soccer powers like Germany and Portugal would be a tall enough task but throw in Ghana who have eliminated the US from the previous two world cups and that’s a recipe for disaster.

Donovan may have brought some veteran calm to the squad which may have helped them a little, but vs Ronaldo and a very very talented German squad, that influence would have been minuscule.

Foz