Week 17 FantasyDraft Advice

Updated: May 28th 2017

Week 17 of the NFL season is upon us and what better way to complement yearly leagues than by playing daily leagues as well? Assuming your opponent’s team is stacked and you’re fighting a losing battle, DFS is a way to still monetize your football knowledge on a lost week in yearly leagues. However, there is a bit of a strategy difference due to the weekly salary cap. In this article, fantasy expert Ricky Sanders will walk you through the thought process of putting together the best possible FantasyDraft DFS lineup for the upcoming weekend slate:

Matthew Stafford, Lions, $11,300 – The tilt between the Packers and Lions this week is one of the few games where both teams have something to play for. In this case, the two teams will be competing for the NFC North title. Luckily for both teams, this game will be played inside the dome of Ford Field so this also negates any threat of potential weather issues. Matthew Stafford’s previous meeting against the Packers (in Green Bay) proved to be his best fantasy outing of the entire season. In that game, Stafford threw for 385 yards and three passing TDs which makes sense from a game plan perspective. The Packers rank 11th in terms of rushing defense according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric compared to 20th in passing defense. Instead of running into a brick wall, most teams choose to throw more instead against this stout front seven and it worked for the Lions the last time. With Theo Riddick likely out once again, and the team having to rely on the Dwayne Washington/Zach Zenner duo again, it would not be shocking for Stafford to exceed 40 passing attempts once again (as he did in the previous meeting). As icing on the cake, Stafford has produced a superior QB rating at home in back-to-back seasons. With so many factors in his favor, it would be foolish to fade him at this price tag.

David Johnson, Cardinals, $18,600 – Coach Mike Tomlin hinted Le’Veon Bell will likely sit out this weekend which leaves David Johnson as the only elite back worthy of consideration. As per usual, Johnson is in an excellent spot to succeed against a Rams team that has allowed a whopping 25 receptions to backs over their last four games. No back has caught more passes (77) than Johnson this year neither have any racked up more receiving yards (841). Amazingly, Johnson’s floor this season has proven to be 15.40 fantasy points and that lowly output came in his last meeting versus the Rams. With Johnson looking for vengeance, I would not want to be one of the few caught without rostering him in cash games.

Bilal Powell, Jets, $12,300 – With Matt Forte continuing to sit out practice, the Jets have absolutely zero reason to rush him back considering they have been eliminated from the playoffs. Therefore, it will be the Bilal Powell show once again and he has been surprisingly effective this season. Amongst all backs who have carried the ball at least 100 times, Powell ranks second in yards per carry (YPC) behind only LeSean McCoy. Furthermore, only three backs have caught more passes this season: the aforementioned Johnson, Bell and James White. That is it. Now, he will square off against a Bills defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing backs over the last month and the third most fantasy points overall. During the course of their last four games, the Bills have surrendered seven rushing TDs and 698 rushing yards to opposing backs to go along with 229 receiving yards. With Powell drawing a full workload once again, he is one of the best values on the entire slate at this mid-tier cost.

Michael Thomas, Saints, $12,600 – The 7-8 Saints have nothing to play for other than pride and the fact they will likely find themselves in a shootout against another high-powered offense. Vegas lists this game as above and beyond the highest over/under of the weekend (56) with the Packers/Lions game sitting in a distant second (48.5). After flopping at home last week, Drew Brees now finds himself in a dome (although it is not home) against a defense that has allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing QBs. In the first meeting, Brees threw for 376 yards and three TDs and Michael Thomas caught 7-11 targets for 71 yards and a TD. In fact, this performance proved to be his first big game as a professional and he took off from there, posting double-digit fantasy points in nine of his next 11 games. He has morphed into the number one WR in an offense where Brees mostly looks for the open man and this matchup was clearly conducive to him the first time. While the defense can certainly make adjustments, the Saints simply possess too many weapons for the defense to focus on any one receiver. At the cost of a low-end WR2, Thomas has the upside of a true WR1 in this perfect game atmosphere.

Antonio Gates, Chargers, $7,400 – Narratives typically are not worth overanalyzing because most of them are made up by the media. However, like Kobe Bryant’s 60 points in his final game, getting Antonio Brown to the all-time TE TD record is a narrative worth recognizing and factoring in. With the team eliminated from the playoffs, the TD record is literally the only thing they have to play for and this could be Gates’ final game as a professional. For that reason, the team should target him heavily once they get into the red zone. Hell, he ranks second in red zone targets (17) amongst TEs anyways so it is not like he does not get the looks on an average week anyways. After catching 8-13 targets for 94 yards and a TD last week, his price actually decreased nearly $1,000. Although the reasoning for using him does not fly in most scenarios, there is little doubt it will contribute to the Chargers game plan this week.


Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on to FantasyDraft as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: FanVice, RotoCurve and Daily Fantasy Cafe. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

Week 16 FantasyDraft Advice

Updated: May 28th 2017

Week 16 of the NFL season is upon us and what better way to complement yearly leagues than by playing daily leagues as well? Assuming your opponent’s team is stacked and you’re fighting a losing battle, DFS is a way to still monetize your football knowledge on a lost week in yearly leagues. However, there is a bit of a strategy difference due to the weekly salary cap. In this article, fantasy expert Ricky Sanders will walk you through the thought process of putting together the best possible FantasyDraft DFS lineup for the upcoming weekend slate:

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, $12,600 – The recent struggles of Ben Roethlisberger should only play to the advantage of those interested in rostering him this week…and why would one not be interested? Four of Roethlisberger’s last five games have come on the road where he continuously struggles. After producing an 86.0 QB rating on the road last year and 102.4 rating at home, he has produced similar results this year: 78.4 rating on the road versus 119.0 at home. All three of Roethlisberger’s 30-plus fantasy point outbursts have come at Heinz Field this year so there is definitely some weight to this narrative. Even beyond the narrative, the Ravens present a solid matchup for him especially because Le’Veon Bell should have a much more difficult time than usual leading the ground game. Not only do the Ravens rank first in rushing defense according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric but they held Bell to just 13.00 fantasy points (his worst outing of their year) in the previous meeting on Nov. 6. With Bell potentially being held in check and Roethlisberger excelling at home, the passing offense will be relied upon to lead the Steelers to victory. This means a whole lot of Roethlisberger early and often much to the delight of those who decide to use him.

Todd Gurley, Rams, $12,300 – Here should be a checklist for rostering a RB in cash games. Question number one: “is he facing the 49ers?” If so, he belongs in your lineup…period, end of story. Over the course of the last two weeks alone, Bilal Powell torched this defense for 145 yards and two TDs and last week Devonta Freeman ran wild for 139 yards and three TDs. As a whole, the 49ers have allowed exactly 293 yards rushing more than the next worst defense (Browns) and six more total TDs to the RB position (25) than any other defense (also the Browns who rank second worst). The entire Rams offense is amidst a disappointing season but Todd Gurley has been especially discouraging. In 14 games, Gurley has only managed to top 20 fantasy points once after setting the fantasy landscape on fire in his rookie season. If there ever were a game for him to bounceback to his true RB1 form, this would be the one.

Jordan Howard, Bears, $12,000 – Alshon Jeffery returned to action last week and sparked the passing game in a big way. Although Matt Barkley had failed to top 215 yards in each of his past two games, the Jeffery-led receiving core prompted a 362 yard, two TD outburst. In fact, three receivers finished in the top seven at the position in terms of fantasy points on the Sunday slate (Jeffery, Cameron Meredith and Deonte Thompson). All of this is a long-winded way of saying the Bears now have a respectable passing game to complement the run and Jordan Howard continues to flirt with RB1 status. Since Oct. 20, Howard has touched the ball at least 15 times in seven consecutive games and has not sunk below double-digit fantasy points even once. During that span, only three backs (min. 100 attempts) have averaged a superior yard per carry (YPC) average than Howard: LeSean McCoy, Mark Ingram and Ezekiel Elliott (in that order). In Week 16, the Bears will face a Redskins rushing defense that ranks 27th in DVOA and has surrendered 15 rushing TDs to opposing RBs. After only paying for two mid-tier backs, there is plenty left over to spend up at receiver…

Antonio Brown, Steelers, $15,600 – To coincide with the Roethlisberger play, you may as well double down on Antonio Brown who is my favorite play of the week at any position. Had he not been so quiet lately, calling him the “top play of the week” would not exactly be considered bold but here we are. Brown has been very un-Brownlike recently as he has failed to top 20 fantasy points in back-to-back-to-back contests. His struggles correlate to Roethlisberger’s struggles and two of those three games have come on the road. At home, the Steelers offense is completely different and Roethlisberger needs to rely on Brown to produce a monster performance. In six home games this season, Brown has only failed to reach 17 fantasy points once and failed to top 20 fantasy points just twice. Clearly, he is more comfortable when Roethlisberger is more comfortable so the two of them should help each other out this week. As icing on the cake, Brown roasted the Ravens for 7-85-1 on the road earlier this year. A performance like that could prove to be his floor this week. Do not be the one caught without him in your lineup.

Antonio Gates, Chargers, $8,300 – The TE position is an absolute wasteland this week with both expensive and value options alike in unfavorable/risky spots. Furthermore, both Jordan Reed and Greg Olsen are currently dealing with injuries which makes them unsettling to roster despite their fantastic matchups. If fishing for someone to start, why not use a player who leads the NFL in red zone targets (17) at the position and yet is priced about $2,000 below the elites? Yes, veteran Antonio Gates is still worthy of consideration despite his frustrating platoon with Hunter Henry. In Week 15, Gates played 35 offensive snaps to Henry’s 29 and yet Henry caught a TD for the fourth time in five games. Call it a hunch but it feels like Gates’ week as he has been targeted 15 times in the last three games and yet has not found the end zone. Now, the team will play an awful Browns defense that ranks dead last in TE DVOA and has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing TEs. Both of the Chargers options are worthy of consideration but my pick is the guy playing a majority of the snaps: Gates.


Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on to FantasyDraft as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: FanVice, RotoCurve and Daily Fantasy Cafe. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

Week 14 FantasyDraft Advice

Updated: December 8th 2016

Week 14 of the NFL season is upon us and what better way to complement yearly leagues than by playing daily leagues as well? Assuming your opponent’s team is stacked and you’re fighting a losing battle, DFS is a way to still monetize your football knowledge on a lost week in yearly leagues. However, there is a bit of a strategy difference due to the weekly salary cap. In this article, fantasy expert Ricky Sanders will walk you through the thought process of putting together the best possible FantasyDraft DFS lineup for the upcoming weekend slate:

Tyrod Taylor, Bills, $10,600 – Something has got to give in this matchup between a defense that has only allowed 82 yards rushing to opposing QBs all season versus the NFL’s leader in rushing yardage (469) and rushing TDs (six) by a QB. The Steelers’ effectiveness against rushing QBs is a little misleading as they have not faced any of the top seven QBs in terms of rushing yardage this season. Dak Prescott, who ranks eighth in rushing yards per game at the position, squared off against this defense and did not need to run much because he threw for 319 yards and two TDs. At home this year, Taylor has not failed to score 17 fantasy points in any single game and he has eclipsed 20 fantasy points thrice. With top target Sammy Watkins back and looking healthy, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where Taylor does not provide adequate value for fantasy owners at an affordable $10,600 price tag.

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers, $17,000 – By default, Le’Veon Bell is the player to pay up for this week as David Johnson, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. all draw mediocre matchups. Meanwhile, Bell has caught exactly one less pass than Brown since being reinstated off of suspension and both caught exactly six passes once again in Week 13. This week, the team draws a matchup against a Bills rushing defense that ranks 25th in terms of Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric. Now that Bell has enjoyed a positive regression in terms of TDs over the past four weeks, he and Johnson are neck-and-neck for the highest floor players at the position on a weekly basis. Bell is essentially the combination of a WR1 and RB2 and yet he is only priced like a WR1. On the road, where Roethlisberger has produced a QB rating nearly 30 percentage points less than at home, the team will need to rely on the running game to stay competitive. Therefore, Bell should relied upon heavily once again and is a stone cold lock for cash games. Oh by the way, Bell has topped 26 fantasy points in four consecutive games heading into Week 14.

Jeremy Hill, Bengals, $10,900 – The price keeps rising on Hill and yet the matchups keep dictating he is worthy of starting. After his price rose nearly $1,000 last week, it increased by more than $2,000 this go-around and yet paying up for him still makes sense due to the matchup. Instead of facing one of the top rushing defenses this week, Jeremy Hill will finally face a cupcake opponent: the Browns. Not only have the Browns allowed the second most fantasy points to the RB position but they have surrendered the third most total TDs to the position (15) and rank 29th in rushing DVOA. The last time Hill squared off against this exact opponent, he busted out to the tune of 168 yards rushing and a TD on just nine carries. Surely that cannot be expected once again as it came mostly on a 74 yard TD run but it just shows how susceptible this defense is to power runners. With Giovani Bernard out of the picture, Hill has also caught eight passes over the course of the last two weeks so he is being deployed as a true bell cow. For a solid back receiving all the touches in a great matchup, the price is actually affordable. Consequently, spending nearly $2,000 for the same player this week should feel like no big deal because he is in a great spot to produce.

Mike Evans, Buccaneers, $16,700 – Looking at the Saints defense, who has allowed a whopping 374.8 total yards and 27.9 points per game, it would appear number one receivers are a great matchup against them? Not so fast because they rank 12th in DVOA against opposing number one WRs and have only allowed 67.3 yards per game to them. However, when examining the talent pool in their secondary, none of the individual corners stand out. Delvin Breaux used to be considered an imposing corner and yet he has graded outside the top 100 in terms of coverage this season, per Pro Football Focus. In fact, the team’s best corner has graded as the 48th best cover corner so far this season (B.W. Webb) so the individual matchups are quite beatable. Okay, so the specialty of the Saints defense is their safeties but Mike Evans has performed well against virtually every tough opponent he has faced mostly due to his insane target totals. Since Week 1, Evans has been targeted fewer than 11 times in a game just twice. As icing on the cake, Evans has not dropped below double-digit fantasy points in any game at home this year. All-in-all, he feels like an incredibly stable investment so do not fear spending up a tiny bit for the additional safety of him over Brown, Julio Jones or Beckham Jr.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans, $7,700 – Here is the list of TEs who have gained more yards than C.J. Fiedorowicz over the course of the last four weeks: Travis Kelce, Cameron Brate, Tyler Eifert, Jimmy Graham, Jordan Reed, Delanie Walker, Ladarius Green and Zach Ertz. Essentially, this is just a list of all the best TEs in the game so clearly Fiedorowicz is emerging as a TE1. He can certainly be relied upon as a TE1 in this matchup against a Colts defense that ranks dead last in DVOA against opposing TEs. The last time Fiedorowicz faced this very defense, he caught 6-7 passes for 85 yards and a TD. Since that game, he has been targeted at least seven times in 4-6 games so he is an absolute staple in the offense. Since spending up for at least one RB and one WR makes sense, spending down at TE is necessary to make it happen. With Fiedorowicz’s considerable upside in this matchup, he completes the puzzle perfectly.


Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on to FantasyDraft as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: FanVice, RotoCurve and Daily Fantasy Cafe. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

Week 8 FantasyDraft Advice

Updated: October 27th 2016

Week 8 of the NFL season is upon us and what better way to complement yearly leagues than by playing daily leagues as well? Assuming your opponent’s team is stacked and you’re fighting a losing battle, DFS is a way to still monetize your football knowledge on a lost week in yearly leagues. However, there is a bit of a strategy difference due to the weekly salary cap. In this article, fantasy expert Ricky Sanders will walk you through the thought process of putting together the best possible FantasyDraft DFS lineup for the upcoming week:

Andrew Luck, Colts, $12,700 – The Achilles Heel of the Colts offense is their ability (or inability) to protect the QB. Andrew Luck struggles under pressure but can be lights out when he has time to throw the football. Last week, he tied a season-low in numbers of sacks he took with two. On each occasion this season in which he has been sacked exactly two times (three occasions), he has thrown for at least 331 yards. No team in the NFL has sacked the QB fewer times than Luck’s upcoming opponent this week: the Chiefs. The Chiefs dominated Ryan Fitzpatrick in an all-time terrible QB performance but have played as a rather average secondary otherwise. Expect Luck to eat them up at an unusually affordable price for a stud such as him.

Christine Michael, Seahawks, $13,700 – In poker terms, the matchup against the Saints rushing defense this year has been the “nuts” (or absolute best). The 10 rushing TDs allowed by the Saints are tied for the most in the NFL and they sit all alone in first (or last depending on how you look at it) in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing backs. Last week, Spencer Ware only rushed for 77 yards on 17 carries (4.5 yards per carry) but he still found a way to finish in the top 10 at the position due to a 46 yard TD reception (REC). While Michael contributes sporadically to the passing game (at least two RECs in every game this season, he is involved heavily in the rushing attack every week (at least 16 carries in every game since Week 3). While his efficiency has been down the last three games (has not eclipsed 3.6 yards per carry), he still produced 20-plus fantasy points in two of those games due to scores. Against a team that has allowed the most scores (12 total) to opposing backs, he should be able to find the end zone once again. Hell, he has scored five TDs in the last four games so it is not exactly a rare occurrence.

Spencer Ware, Chiefs, $12,700 – Could the schedule be any friendlier for Spencer Ware these days? Sheesh. Ware will go from facing the aforementioned Saints to facing a Colts defense that has been lit up by every back that has faced them. Theo Riddick, C.J. Anderson, Melvin Gordon, T.J. Yeldon (season-high yards per carry), Jordan Howard, Lamar Miller and DeMarco Murray all went nuts against this defense so it is not surprising that the Colts rank dead last in rushing defense in terms of Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic. If playing the Saints is option 1A then the Colts are 1B and Ware is flirting with finishing as a top five back in this offense. Jamaal Charles should no longer be a concern as he is nothing more than a change of pace back. Ware contributes both on the ground and in the air which is notable because the Colts have allowed the fourth most receiving yards and most receiving TDs to opposing backs. As noted in the Michael tidbit, Ware scored a 40-plus yard receiving TD last week so he is a threat to score in multiple ways this weekend. Fading him would simply be a mistake.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers, $10,900 – Speaking of workhorses, Jacquizz Rodgers has carried the ball a ridiculous 56 times over the course of the past two weeks alone. The gigantic workload has led to 255 yards rushing in the past two contests which is amazing because he had accumulated just 252 in his previous 19 games.  The team is relying on him as the bell cow in the absence of both Doug Martin and Charles Sims and he has come through to the tune of 4.55 YPC over the past two games. For the season, the Raiders have allowed the ninth most fantasy points to opposing RBs but the third most rushing yards. Clearly, gaining yardage has not been a struggle for Rodgers lately especially considering he gained 100 yards rushing in the first half alone last week. The offensive line, specifically the right half, is playing great right now and Rodgers is flourishing in an expanded role. Usually backs seeing this sort of volume are priced around $14,000 so take Rodgers at the sizeable discount.

Ty Montgomery, Packers, $10,500 – Is Ty Montgomery a RB or WR? Well, Aaron Rodgers was quoted as saying this week as saying “Ty is a RB now” after Montgomery played 46 snaps in the backfield in Week 7. This was the second consecutive week he was forced to play RB and it led to 10-plus RECs in back-to-back games. The Packers have virtually no choice but to continue using Montgomery in the backfield considering the recently acquired Knile Davis is the only other healthy back. Although the Packers have virtually replaced their running game with the short passing game, Montgomery still averaged 6.7 yards per carry (YPC) last week. He is both a RB2 and borderline PPR WR1 in his new role and yet he is priced like a WR3. For that kind of value, there is no reason to avoid using Rodgers’ new found security blanket.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans, $5,600 – Okay so the Texans offense was just brutal on Monday Night but there was a silver lining: C.J. Fiedorowicz played a season-high 74-percent of the team’s offensive snaps. Prior to Monday Night against a tough Broncos defense, Fiedorowicz had finished as TE8 between Weeks 6 and 7 combined and he had been averaging 64 yards receiving over the past three weeks (Weeks 5-7). All of this is a long-winded way of seeing he is a youngster on the rise and he draws a dream matchup against a Lions defense that has allowed 19 TDs to TEs in their last 23 games. Furthermore, they have allowed the most TDs to the position (seven) and the third most fantasy points. Vernon Davis finished as a top four TE in Week 6 without scoring and he actually dropped a TD. Coincidentally, he was priced at this exact same price. If punting the position, Fiedorowicz actually possesses more upside than his name value alone might suggest.


Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on to FantasyDraft as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: FanVice, RotoCurve and Daily Fantasy Cafe. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

Week 6 FantasyDraft Advice

Updated: October 13th 2016

Week 6 of the NFL season is upon us and what better way to complement yearly leagues than by playing daily leagues as well? Assuming your opponent’s team is stacked and you’re fighting a losing battle, DFS is a way to still monetize your football knowledge on a lost week in yearly leagues. However, there is a bit of a strategy difference due to the weekly salary cap. In this article, fantasy expert Ricky Sanders will walk you through the thought process of putting together the best possible FantasyDraft DFS lineup for the upcoming week:

Tyrod Taylor, Bills, $10,500 – With very few viable options in the passing game, Tyrod Taylor has still found a way to exceed 15 fantasy points in every game since Week 1. This likely has to do with rushing for at least 25 yards each game and scoring a rushing TD in Week 3 (when he threw for zero passing TDs). To this point, the 49ers rank 30th in time of possession and Coach Chip Kelly’s team ranked dead last in 2015 so this is not an anomaly. Kelly’s fast-paced offense leads to the defense remaining on the field for a longer than ideal timeframe and that should give Taylor and the Bills plenty of time to produce. At this basement price tag, all Taylor needs is a TD or two to exceed value and the 49ers have already allowed 10 passing TDs. Roster Taylor with confidence as his salary also allows one to spend up at the other positions.

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers, $14,900 – What really can be said about Le’Veon Bell at this point with two weeks of 24-plus fantasy point games as a sample size? Not only did he haul in a ridiculous nine passes last week but he was targeted 11 times…as a running back (RB)! When the running game is lacking in effectiveness, the team will turn to the air and Bell is a big part of the passing attack. Additionally, quarterback (QB) Ben Roethlisberger has been significantly less effective on the road over the past few seasons which has led to committing even further to the running game. Since the beginning of the 2014 season, Bell has averaged 23.6 fantasy points on the road compared to just 20.86 in Heinz Field (where Roethlisberger excels). There is nothing scary about the matchup against the Dolphins so do not hesitate to roster Bell in any and all formats.

Lamar Miller, Texans, $12,300 – Is this the week Lamar Miller busts out of his season-long funk? It better be against a very beatable Colts defense that has allowed the third most fantasy points to the position. Most notably, they have allowed the fourth most receiving yards and absolute most receiving TDs (three) to opposing backs which is conducive to Miller’s skill set. Through five games, Miller has caught 14-17 targets and he is coming off a year where he caught a career-best 47 passes. Last week, Jordan Howard torched the Colts for 7.3 yards per carry (YPC) on 16 attempts, three receptions (RECs) for 45 yards and a receiving TD. Miller has not scored a TD this year nor has he eclipsed the 100 yard rushing mark since Week 1. If there were ever a time for him to snap out of this slump and show his fantasy RB1 upside, it is now or never.

Jarvis Landry, Dolphins, $12,700 – Heading into Week 5, Jarvis Landry had been targeted at least 10 times and caught seven-plus passes in each game thus far. Unfortunately, Ryan Tannehill only targeted him three times last week and it resulted in a total dud. Instead of overreacting, the smart play would be simply to reinsert him into lineups this week in a tilt against the Steelers at home. With the Steelers listed as 7.5 point favorites, the projected game flow would seem to suggest the Dolphins will be playing from behind and will therefore need to pass. Their running game is horrendous anyways so the Dolphins pretty much always need to pass. Considering he caught 120-plus passes in 2015, the team is not going to just forget about him. Expect the offense to revert back to functioning like normal this week and for Landry to be consistently looked upon to move the chains.

Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs, $12,000 – No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers (WRs) than the Raiders so even Coach Andy Reid cannot invent a way to abandon using Jeremy Maclin in this game. In two games against the Raiders last year, Maclin caught 12 passes for 154 yards and scored three total TDs, so Reid found a way to get him a ball in those meetings. Although Maclin has only caught 20 passes in four games this year, he has been targeted a hefty 37 times including at least seven in each game. A 54-percent catch rate is just horrendous and is due for some positive regression in the long run and what better way to start the process than in the best matchup possible according to the numbers? Maclin is viable in any and all formats in Week 6.

Jimmy Graham, Seahawks, $9,300 – Tearing the patellar tendon is generally considered a worse injury than even tearing one’s ACL and many never return to anywhere near the same afterwards. Those concerns had been staples in the back of my mind early in the season but Jimmy Graham has officially shown me enough to alleviate these concerns. In back-to-back games, Graham has exceeded 100 yards receiving and has been targeted at least eight times in each contest during that stretch. Clearly, he has earned the trust of Russell Wilson and the team will square off against a Falcons team that has already allowed five TDs (second most) to the tight end (TE) position. The team is implied to score 25.8 points but I have a feeling that number may be low and this could/should be a huge game for the Seahawks offense as a whole.


Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on to FantasyDraft as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: FanVice, RotoCurve and Daily Fantasy Cafe. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

Week 5 FantasyDraft Advice

Updated: October 6th 2016

Week 4 of the NFL season is upon us and what better way to complement yearly leagues than by playing daily leagues as well? Assuming your opponent’s team is stacked and you’re fighting a losing battle, DFS is a way to still monetize your football knowledge on a lost week in yearly leagues. However, there is a bit of a strategy difference due to the weekly salary cap. In this article, fantasy expert Ricky Sanders will walk you through the thought process of putting together the best possible FantasyDraft DFS lineup for the upcoming week:

Carson Wentz, Eagles, $12,100 – According to Pro Football Focus, Carson Wentz has graded as literally the top quarterback (QB) in all of football to this point in this season. That is quite the accomplishment for any signal caller but especially for a rookie. With Zach Ertz and Ryan Mathews both expected to return in Week 5, the Eagles weaponry will be in full force for the first time since Week 1…and just in time for a meeting against a team allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Heck, Brian Hoyer just torched them for 300-plus yards and two touchdowns (TDs). At nearly $3,000 cheaper than the elites on FantasyDraft, Wentz offers similar upside in one of the best possible matchups for him.

Charles Sims, Buccaneers, $10,300 – This is likely the last week for Charles Sims in the workhorse role for the Buccaneers because Doug Martin’s return is on the horizon. Heading into the year, most expected the Panthers to fare as an elite defense but that has not been the case through four games. Julio Jones displayed just how susceptible their pass defense is without Josh Norman and they rank smack dab in the middle in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing backs. Last season, Sims finished as RB19 in PPR format despite his limited role as a third down back. With all the touches, including 11 targets in his last two games, Sims should be able to hit value at this price tag even in a mediocre game. If he happens to find the end zone, he should prove to be one of the best values on the slate.

Jordan Howard, Bears, $10,200 – In Week 4, Jordan Howard played on 91.3-percent of the team’s snaps and received 79.3-percent of their carries, per scoutPRO. For fantasy purposes, the most important statistics were the 23 carries, four targets and three receptions (RECs). Also, for the third consecutive game Howard managed 4.8 yards per carry (YPC) or better. The team is utilizing him as a true bell cow and he is getting the job done for a team that looked inept at running the football when Jeremy Langford was receiving the bulk of the work. Clearly, Howard is the best back on this team by far and he isn’t relinquishing this job any time soon. His role alone justifies the $10,200 price tag but the matchup puts him over the top as one of the best plays on the slate. The Colts have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing running backs (RBs) including the sixth most receptions. Howard not only possesses one of the highest floors but his ceiling could be that of a true RB1 as well.

Julian Edelman, Patriots, $12,600 – Finally, Julian Edelman will return to fantasy stardom (especially in cash games) due to the return of Tom Brady from the “Deflate Gate” suspension. Although Edelman caught exactly seven passes in each of his first two games this year, he caught a combined five passes for 54 yards over the course of his last two. Reuniting with Brady cannot be overstated for how impactful it is to his fantasy value considering he has averaged 6.62 receptions per game over the past three seasons with Brady and caught 92-plus passes twice. The game script is similar to the last two weeks for opponents facing the Browns: throw, throw, and throw. Sure LeGarrette Blount has been successful in an extended role without Brady but the only reason the Patriots consistently resorted to riding his coat tails was due to the absence of their offense’s staple. Now Coach Bill Belichick is going to open up the playbook and the Patriots should go back to looking like the offense we all know and love…which features Edelman as a move-the-chains, possession receiver. Expect six-plus catches for a healthy amount of yards as per usual. Lock and load him in cash games.

Brandon Marshall, Jets, $13,300 – The absence of Eric Decker turns Brandon Marshall’s situation into nearly a carbon copy of the offense last year. Instead of battling for targets with two viable alternatives, the competition is down to just one: Quincy Enunwa. Both of the Steelers’ corners are respectable, but if Julio Jones proved a theory right last week, it was elite receivers can get it done against any non-elite cornerbacks. Additionally, the Jets will almost assuredly be playing from behind in Heinz Field because Ben Roethlisberger is an absolute beast at home (an ongoing trend for some time now) and Vegas lists the Steelers as 7.0 point favorites.  For a guy who caught over 100 passes and produced 1500-plus yards in a similar two receiver setup last year, he is awfully affordable at just $13,300 on FantasyDraft.

Clive Walford, Raiders, $5,200 – Strangely, the Chargers possess a formidable trio of corners and yet have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Part of the reason is due to the success of TEs against them: ninth most fantasy points allowed, fifth most yards and they rank 22nd against the position in terms of Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic. With the Chargers focusing on the Raiders’ receivers in terms of scheme, this is an excellent opportunity for Clive Walford to bust out. Through three games, Walford ranks as TE19 but is priced as TE24. At nearly minimum price, there really isn’t much to lose here and his ceiling is actually quite high according to my model. He has been targeted at least three times in each week this season, including two games of five-plus, so he is worth a shot in this upper-echelon matchup.


Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on to FantasyDraft as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: FanVice, RotoCurve and Daily Fantasy Cafe. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.