2018 Quarterback Rankings 1.0

Matt Hicks, Staff Writer

These rankings are based on consensus rankings between myself and Eric. Below is a table of our full rankings. Although we only discuss some QBs in the article, we dig deeper in our Quarterback Rankings podcast. Search “Top2Pod” on iTunes or LISTEN HERE

Player Team Matt Eric Average
Russell Wilson SEA 2 2 2
Aaron Rodgers GB 3 3 3
Cam Newton CAR 1 5 3
Tom Brady NE 6 1 3.5
Deshaun Watson HOU 4 4 4
Kirk Cousins WAS 6 7 6.5
Andrew Luck IND 7 8 7.5
Carson Wentz PHI 9 6 7.5
Drew Brees NO 8 9 8.5
Matthew Stafford DET 10 11 10.5
Jimmy Garoppolo SF 11 10 10.5
Matt Ryan ATL 14 12 13
Philip Rivers LAC 12 15 13.5
Dak Prescott DAL 13 16 14.5
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 18 14 16
Jared Goff LAR 19 13 16
Alex Smith KC 16 17 16.5
Tyrod Taylor BUF 17 19 18
Blake Bortles JAC 15 25 20
Derek Carr OAK 20 20 20
Marcus Mariota TEN 22 18 20
Eli Manning NYG 23 21 22
Jameis Winston TB 21 24 22.5
Andy Dalton CIN 24 22 23
  1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Although Wilson wasn’t either of our number one picks, he deserves starting atop this list. He finished as the QB1 in fantasy in 2017; throwing for 3,983 yards and 34 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Wilson was a dynamic dual threat option, rushing for the second most yards for any quarterback on the season (586) and 3 touchdowns.

  1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers was the consensus top quarterback draft pick for the 2017 season, but his season was cut short due to an early season collarbone injury. He was on a great pace pre-injury, though, throwing for 1,675 yards and 16 touchdowns; which warrants the #2 ranking from us.

  1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Newton is my top quarterback for 2018. It’s a bit of a riskier pick but the dual threat quarterback is much more effective than the pocket passer. In 2017, Cam rushed for 754 yards and 6 touchdowns. That was good enough to be 23rd amongst all rushers this season, including running backs. He also threw for 3,302 yards and 22 touchdowns. He finished as QB 2 in 2017, and I expect him to only get better if the Panthers invest in weapons for him.

  1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Brady is Eric’s QB 1 for 2018, and the numbers defend that ranking. He finished with the most passing yards on the season, with 4,576 yards, and 32 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions. Brady completed 66% of his league leading 581 passing attempts. The common critique on Brady is that at some point regression is unavoidable for the 40 year-old quarterback.

  1. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

Watson is ranked high, given his small sample size. We only saw 7 games of Watson pre-injury, however, what we saw showed a lot of big play potential. Watson completed 62% of his 204 passes for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns; combined with 269 yards on 36 attempts for 2 touchdowns on the ground. If Watson returns healthy, and still willing to move outside the pocket, he has high impact potential.

  1. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

 

  1. Andrew Luck*, Indianapolis Colts

 

  1. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

 

  1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Brees is usually an easy top-5 pick, but it appears the Saints have chosen to move away from a pass heavy offense with their 39 year-old leader. In 2017, Brees threw for 4,338 yards (his lowest total since 2005) and 23 touchdowns (his lowest total since 2003). With Kamara and Ingram, you can’t blame the Saints for moving the game script away from Brees.

  1. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

 

  1. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

 

  1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

 

  1. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers

 

  1. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

 Prescott fell from QB 6 in 2016 to QB 11 in 2017. Prescott fell apart this season when he lost pieces of his offensive line and his elite level running back, Elliot. He threw for just 3,325 yards and 22 touchdowns, to 13 interceptions. Dak’s 357 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns saved his season. Prescott’s QB 2 ranking reflects his dependence on a stable surrounding for his success.

 

  1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

 

  1. Jared Goff, Los Ángeles Rams

 

  1. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

 

  1. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills

 

  1. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles was a point of disagreement in our first rankings; with Eric ranking him outside of a QB2 (at QB25); I ranked him at 15. Bortles completed 60% of his 523 passes in 2017, throwing for 3,687 yards and 21 touchdowns, to 13 interceptions. He also rushed for a surprising 323 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bortles may not be the most exciting pick, but he’s a legitimate starting quarterback in fantasy and deserves to be treated as one.

 

  1. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

 

  1. Marcus Mariota , Tennessee Titans

 

  1. Eli Manning, New York Giants

 

  1. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 Winston had a disappointing 2017 season, throwing for just 3,504 yards and 19 touchdowns, to 11 interceptions. What stood out, perhaps the most, is that Winston did not make an impact outside of the pocket; rushing for just 135 yards on 33 carries, and 1 touchdown. Winston’s inability to be successful with dynamic weapons such as Evans, Jackson, Howard, and Brate makes me seriously question his ability to ever be an impactful fantasy quarterback again.

 

  1. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

2018 Rookie Draft: 2nd Round Picks

Josh Padgett, Contributor (@jpadgett94)

If you saw my article on the first round, (here) I’ve updated it to reflect. Bryce Love returning to school.  This brings Equanimeous St. Brown into my first round for this rendition on the mock.  ESB is a long, lanky receiver who really showed out two years ago.  He struggled this year in a rather putrid Notre Dame offense.  However, the stench left by ND has not soured me on him.  He has all the tools and a lot of untapped potential.  Development is needed, so patience will be key with this pick, but I am willing to wait on him in the hopes that he can be a stud.

2.01 Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn

Johnson had a good year, scratch that, GREAT year at Auburn.  He racked up 1500 yards from scrimmage and scored 20 flippin’ times in 12 games.  Goodness.  That kind of scoring clip is not  sustainable production for anyone, but he has the skills and well-rounded game to stay on an NFL field.  We have watched him develop and maintain efficiency year over year with increased touches.  He is certainly fun to watch and he is rising up draft boards currently with a chance to break into the first round, especially once we have a landing spot for him.

2.02 Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Kirk is a slot receiver.  He has put up consistent numbers throughout his college career and shown that he can create separation at a high level.  He is quick and shifty and shows the athleticism to make plays after the catch, though he isn’t much of a big play threat, especially over the top.  The key with Kirk is his floor.  Think a Cooper Kupp type of pick with him.  You are expecting solid production hopefully from day 1, but you don’t ever expect WR1 production out of him.

2.03 Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State

Remember a paragraph back when I was raving about Kerryon Johnson’s production? Because Rashaad Penny makes that look weak.  Almost 2400 yards from scrimmage as a senior with 25 trips to the end zone is unbelievable.  We saw him produce even last year when Donnell Pumphery was still around with 1200 scrimmage yards and 14 TD’s, as the RB2 on his team.  The production simply cannot be ignored and Penny should not be put in the same small school box as Pumphery last year.  Penny shows much more typical NFL size.  The key for Penny is going to the combine.  We have seen him produce against ‘meh’ competition, but his numbers there will give us an idea if he can continue that success at the highest level.

2.04 DJ Moore, WR, Maryland

DJ Moore is a hot name and getting hotter.  He is getting a lot of Diggs comparisons (Maryland), but he reminds me more of a Randall Cobb.  Fast, deadly across the middle of the field with all the quickness to make guys miss in space.  He has shown that he can produce in the punt return game and even in the run game in a pinch.  He is a bit of a swiss army knife and has shown the explosiveness to produce at a high level in the Big 10.  I think he can make the leap, but he may need strong quarterback play to really reach his full potential.

2.05 Mark Walton, RB, Miami

Walton went down in early October with an ankle injury, but not before showing me more than enough to rank him highly in this year’s rookie draft.  He runs low and is packed into a small frame at 5’-9”.  He is listed at 195 lbs, but what jumps out to me on tape is his strength.  Walton does not go down on first contact.  The defense better send multiple players to the ball, no arm tackles.  He runs with passion, effort and a little bit of anger.  He is patience and elusiveness are both plus attributes.  Top speed isn’t his forte, but he accelerates out of nowhere, great burst.  Walton reminds me a little bit of Maurice Jones-Drew.  He needs to put on a little weight to really live up to that comparison, but his bowling ball style of running is similar.

2.06 Deon Cain, WR, Clemson

Deon Cain has a lot to live up to as a Clemson receiver.  The list of big names that have come through Clemson goes on and on.  It was thought at one point that Cain would join the pantheon, but he has not been able to put together the college career that many were expecting.  However, Cain is a player who has been and likely will continue to move up my draft board.  He is listed as 6’-1” 210 lbs but he plays much bigger than that.  Clemson has trusted him to go up and make big plays again and again this year.  He runs good routes on the edge of the field and has a knack for shielding defenders off with his body.  He has strong hands especially in traffic when his concentration seems higher than when he is more open.  Watching Cain more for this article moved him up 3 spots instantaneously.  He may very well continue to rise on my board.  

2.07 Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon

The talent is there with Freeman.  He had a lot of hype in the Devy community and has not quite lived up to expectations at Oregon.  He can leverage that talent into success at the next level.  I think the landing spot will matter for Freeman.  He has been successful in a wide open offense at Oregon, but I think a better blocking scheme might really open up his running style.  I don’t know that he is truly a three down back, but he can succeed in space and using him more in the passing game is certainly an option.  Talented though not terribly explosive, I expect Freeman to get a crack at a role somewhere.  It’s going to be up to him whether he grabs hold of it or not.  

2.08 Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana

Cobbs is a big body wide receiver with a fantastic ability at the catch point.  He is physical and uses his hands well to win over the top.  His strengths are matched by his weaknesses including rudimentary route running and a thin route tree.  Between his size and athleticism, Cobbs could make a Golladay type impression year one by becoming a red zone threat capable of scoring multiple times in any given game.  If he goes to a team with needs at receiver, his value could skyrocket in preseason action. Also, while we are here. Boiler up. #IUsucks

2.09 Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa

Wadley is an interesting player for many reasons.  He is tiny.  His weight is listed anywhere from 170 lbs to 195 lbs depending on where you look.  The combine will give us a better idea on where he is now.  Needless to say, 170 lbs ain’t gonna cut it.  Wadley will need to put on some weight to survive in the big leagues.  He also hasn’t gotten a chance to really show all of his talents at Iowa.  He hasn’t been asked to catch the ball much from what I have seen.  Pass protection needs a little work, but he isn’t a liability in that area.  Wadley has 2 big selling points for me, vision and burst.  He has the patience to let a hole develop, and he can see even the smallest of holes (and fit through them).  His burst allows him to make the most of any and all opportunities his offensive line gives him.  Landing spot (read: offensive line play) will be especially important for him.

2.10 John Kelly, RB, Tennessee

Kelly comes in on the small side at 5’-9”, 205 lbs.  He reminds me a lot of Maurice Jones-Drew.  This could be a good thing as MJD had a very successful and fantasy relevant run of 6 years.  MJD had a nose for the end zone.  Kelly has shown some similar abilities in tackle breaking, low running style and using his strength to make small linebackers and DB’s look silly.  Kelly does however lack breakaway speed and struggles against some of the stronger linebackers and especially linemen when they get a look at him.  I think Kelly has a shot at being MJD, but that would be the best case scenario.  Landing spot could raise him up my board, but for now there are plenty of guys I like ahead of him.

2.11 Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Rosen is the QB1 in this class.  He has the best chance to be a franchise level quarterback.  He has shown the arm talent, and more importantly the mind of an NFL quarterback.  He has a knack for throwing his receivers open and he can create opportunities for his playmakers.  I won’t claim to be a QB scout.  They are easily my weakest position in terms of understanding and watching.  However, this is where I like to start looking for quarterback in the draft and if Rosen is here, snatch him up.  He is going to be in this league for a long time.

2.12 Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

Andrews has a well rounded game.  He has had a great college career.  Perhaps some of that can be attributed to his quarterback, Baker Mayfield.  The positives surrounding Andrews include his ability to get open.  He can read coverages, especially zone and find an open space for his quarterback to get him the ball.  He is also a solid run and pass blocker when he is asked to do these things.  This will allow him to get on the field.  However, there is a reason there are no tight ends even near the first round for fantasy this year.  Andrews is not a hands catcher.  He catches the ball with his body consistently and he is not the most athletic player you will find either.  He is nowhere near the talent of Howard, Engram and Njoku from last year.  Hence the back end of the second round.    

DFS Basketball: January 22nd Slate

Welcome back! It’s time for another DFS Basketball preview, brought to you by Turning Two Sports, where we DO care about your fantasy team!

In order to set a perfect lineup on DraftKings, we want to look for players who will provide 5x their salary in returning point output. So if Steph Curry comes in at $9,000 and James Harden comes in at $9,600, Curry needs 45 points to return value while Harden needs 48. To think about it on the fly, just do this:

(Salary * .001 * 5) <= DFS Points

Now with that said, here is the overall record for the season. I’m considering a miss as anything less than 4x value (Blue snowflake on DraftKings). A hit is anything at or above 5x value (Red flame on DraftKings). Displayed below is the format “Hits – Misses”

Season Record: 158-105 (60.1% hit rate)

Top Game Stack: Phoenix Suns @ Milwaukee Bucks (-5): Over/Under 214

 

Point Guard

Damian Lillard $8,800 – Dame might not be all that chalky tonight, making him a fascinating GPP play against an inefficient Nuggets backcourt. He’s always a guy with incredibly high usage and a very high ceiling, which has be intrigued at a sub-9k price point. There are other point guards on this slate worthy of considering, but Lillard may come in as the safest non-Buck on the slate. I’m chasing the cost savings here for sure. Target: 44

Eric Bledsoe $8,200 – With Giannis ruled out, expect the majority to be on Bledsoe and Middleton tonight with good reason. Bledsoe didn’t exactly set the world on fire without Giannis last time out against Philly, but tonight he has a revenge matchup against the porous Suns backcourt which continues to be in the basement of the NBA in terms of defensive efficiency. With the game at home, and with a pretty enticing over/under and a close spread, look for Bledsoe to see 35 minutes minimum. There’s a lot of usage to go around without the Greek Freak. Target: 41

Rajon Rondo $5,200 – The Bulls are actually the worst team in the league against point guards, and Kris Dunn will miss the game tonight with a concussion. To me, that puts Rondo firmly in play here. The Over/Under on this game is humongous, and with that comes explosive point outburst from Davis and Cousins, and with that comes rising assist numbers for Rondo. Add all that up, and 25 DK points seems right in the realm of play tonight. His shot hasn’t been falling lately, and his outputs haven’t exactly won us much money, but all that means is that he won’t be chalky for your GPP contests. Target: 26

Jerian Grant $4,900 – On the other side of the court we have Grant, who was actually a more-than-serviceable DFS asset when Kris Dunn was on the shelf. With him out on Saturday, Grant drew the start at the point and netted 27 DK points in 26 minutes. That’s not bad at all, and he could be flirting with 6x the price point tonight. Dunn has been a usage hog for weeks now, and Grant needs to showcase his abilities to maintain his role in the rotation. Target: 24.5
Shooting Guard

Andrew Wiggins $6,100 – Wiggins should be in almost 100% of lineups tonight, so again prepare for him to be chalky. Without Jimmy Butler, there’s a ton of shots and minutes to go around in Minnesota. We’ll be touching on a few of them, but Wiggins will see the biggest spike. He had 38 DK points in 36 minutes last time out, and expect him to see close to 40 minutes yet again without Butler active. Thibodeau loves to run players into the ground, and without his prized possession on the court I expect Wiggins to see the run. Target: 30.5

Milos Teodosic $5,400 – Austin Rivers won’t play tonight, which immediately opens up playing time for Teodosic against the Timberwolves tonight. Having him active and involved is huge for the Clippers right now, since they are playing Lou Williams significantly more minutes than they want to, and running him a the point more than they want to. Teodosic still has a modest price, but he’s seeing 30 minutes a game and has hit value in three of his last five. He missed value against the Jazz with Gobert active, which tends to happen to a lot of guys. It’s a really good spot for Milos. Target: 22

Alec Burks $3,300 – You definitely need some punt plays tonight, so why not go with Burks, who has a great matchup against a dreadful Hawks squad, and the added bonus of Rodney Hood being out. Burks went for 7x value in 18 minutes on Saturday, so he’s been very good for the minutes he’s being allotted in the absence of Hood. Hood provides a scoring spark that the Jazz usually need, and Burks is a very similar player. Look for a 20 point floor tonight, minimum. Target: 16.5

 

Small Forward

Khris Middleton $8,700 – Middleton, along with Bledsoe, will be a very popular stack. Middleton was the main benefactor of Giannis sitting out last game, as he went off for 60 DK points in his usual 40 minutes. He has an even faster, poorer defending matchup with Phoenix tonight, and one that I refuse to shy away from. There’s not much else to say, Middleton will be chalky and he’ll be worth it. Target: 43.5

Josh Richardson $6,300 – No Dragic, no Johnson, no Waiters. These next two picks are shoe-ins given that previous sentence. J-Rich has been a model of consistency for the Heat so far this season. He’s been over 30 DK points in four straight, but has been hit value in five straight. With all the injuries in the backcourt, it’s going to be on J-Rich to lead the charge against a Rockets squad who could run away with things if Miami isn’t careful. We all know how poor Houston’s exterior defense is this year, which should help Richardson get to that 30 DK point plateau yet again. 31.5

Wayne Ellington $5,300 – Pivoting down 1k you have Wayne Ellington, who has been a tremendous shooting presence in the absence of Waiters. He’s coming off 5x value in nine of his last eleven games, and is a constant 30-35+ minute player for the Heat. He provides the offensive spark that’s been missing without Waiters, and against a Rockets squad who ranks 27th in the league in terms of DK points allowed to off-guards, expect a lot of run and lot of usage for Wayne tonight. Target: 26.5

 

Power Forward

Blake Griffin $8,600 – Without Jordan soaking up the frontcourt, we’ve seen Griffin go for over 40 DK points in his last three, including a 51 point effort. He’s definitely crashing the glass more with Jordan out than he had been all season. He’s averaging a modest 7.8 RPG, and in his last three has brought down totals of 8, 12, and 10. Jordan is set to miss the slate again tonight, so look for another solid rebounding night from Blake on his way to another 40 point night, if we’re lucky. Power forward is weak tonight, as you either have to pick a lottery ticket, pick Blake, or spend up on the Pelicans duo. Target: 43

Trey Lyles $5,300 – Lyles re-entered the starting lineup on Friday and delivered with 26 DK points in 28 minutes. Tonight, his matchup remains above average against the Blazers. Coach Mike Malone indicated the frontcourt would undergo some changes, and with Lyles getting the first crack and delivering I expect him to yet again be the dominant four next to Jokic. They are getting more from Lyles this season than they are from Faried, Plumlee, and the rest. Even with all the mouths to feed in Denver, I’ll lock in Lyles tonight due to the weakness of the position. Target: 26.5

Nemanja Bjelica $3,000 – Butler is missing tonight, so lock in Bjelica as the clear punt play of the night. In Butler’s missed game on Saturday, Bjelica saw 26 minutes and his 6x value. While he isn’t going to set the world on fire, if you can get 6x value (or 20 DK points) from a minimum salary player, go ahead and lock that in. With Butler already confirmed out, take the sure minutes and enjoy the cost savings elsewhere. Target: 15

 

Center

Karl-Anthony Towns $9,500 – I like KAT a lot more than the Pelicans duo tonight for a few reasons. One, and most importantly, KAT comes in at over 1k the discount of AD and Boogie. Secondly, with Butler out, KAT is going to be the leader of the T’Wolves against the Clippers. I expect his usage to creep up towards what we saw last season, when KAT was literally an unstoppable force. The Clippers are going to have a difficult time with Towns tonight, as Jordan is also sitting in this one. All signs are pointing up for KAT tonight, especially after having played just 28 minutes on Saturday when he’s usually around 40. The sky is the limit this evening. Target: 47.5

Montrezl Harrell $5,100 – By no means is this a lock for value, but Harrell has been largely dependable in the absence of Jordan. He missed value last time out against the Jazz, which I attribute more to Gobert than anything. KAT is not the defender Gobert is, and I expect Harrell to nestle back into his 30 minute role. Prior the Jazz game, he had netted point totals of 35, 23, 31, 33, and 22. His usage is there for the time being, so use him while it lasts. Target: 25.5

 

Lineup 1:

PG – Eric Bledsoe $8,200

SG – Khris Middleton $8,700

SF – Josh Richardson $6,300

PF – Blake Griffin $8,600

C – Montrezl Harrell $5,100

G – Jerian Grant $4,900

F – Nemanja Bjelica $3,000

U – Rajon Rondo $5,200

 

Lineup 2:

PG – Milos Teodosic $5,400

SG – Andrew Wiggins $6,100

SF – Wayne Ellington $5,300

PF – Trey Lyles $5,300

C – Karl-Anthony Towns $9,500

G – Alec Burks $3,300

F – Josh Richardson $6,300

U – Damian Lillard $8,800

 

Best of luck everyone. Thanks for reading and appreciate the support. Go make some money!

2018 Rookie Mock Draft 1.0

Josh Padgett, Contributor (@jpadgett94)

This article breaks down first-round rookie draft selections, stay tuned for later-round analysis and updates throughout the offseason!

1.01 Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

If you don’t know Saquon Barkley, I don’t know how you found this article or why you are reading it.  He will be the undisputed 1.01 in your fantasy draft and everybody else’s come draft time.  He is as advertised, showing out this year, willing his program to powerhouse status from a position that isn’t quarterback.  Unbelievable.  Think Ezekiel Elliott, but better, not a hyperbole (for me anyways).

1.02 Derrius Guice, RB, Louisiana State

There was a time when Guice was in the conversation for 1.01.  That time is no longer, but don’t let that deter you from grinning ear to ear here in the 2 spot.  This kid is a football player.  Even with Leonard Fournette still at school with him last year, he stole the show game after game.  (Fournette was dealing with some foot issues, but Guice still showed everything you want to see.)  He has over 1000 yards through ten games this season following up a truly special almost 1400 yard, 15 touchdown sophomore season.

1.03 Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton is a true number 1 receiver in this league.  He has all the physical tools to be a great player.  He has a knack for high pointing the ball and is a monster in the red zone.  For more on Sutton, check out Ryan Cearfoss’ article from a couple months ago here: https://www.dynastydorks.com/single-post/2017/08/14/Devy-Watch-Courtland-Sutton.  Landing spot will play larger role in the ranking of the receivers in this class than the running backs, but Sutton is pretty clearly the number one and has very little shot at falling below the 5 spot in this year’s rookie draft.

1.04 Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

Here is where things get interesting.  Chubb is my favorite of this next tier, but after 4 there is going to be a lot of different opinions and a lot of shifting around before the NFL draft and then more before your fantasy drafts.  For now though, Chubb is my 1.04.  He could have declared last year but having lost most of his sophomore year to injury and not showing that he had fully returned in his junior year, he went back to Georgia for his senior season.  This has turned out to be a good choice, even with Sony Michel breathing down his neck for playing time.  He has already put up over 1000 yards and 12 TD’s through 11 games with only about a 60% work share (the remainder going to Michel).  He has shown that he is back to his pre-injury self and shown a level of consistency that really projects well at the next level.  

1.05 Ronald Jones, RB, USC

Jones is another lighter running back.  He is a stud behind that USC offensive line though.  Averaging over 20 touches a game and scoring 17 times this season.  Jones is explosive and has shown good durability this year even with the high number of carries.  I think he can be a workhorse type of back at the next level.  He will need the opportunity and the offensive line to truly succeed, but I expect him to make some noise early on in his career regardless of landing spot.

1.06 Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley’s stats are eerily similar to those of Julio Jones through both of their first 40 games at Alabama, 2600 yards and 15ish TD’s.  I like Ridley a lot coming into the NFL.  Big body receiver with the ability to create space.  The poor guy is wasting away in a run-first Alabama offense.  I can’t wait to watch him flourish in the NFL.  He can be a true WR1 for an NFL team which is a great sign for any fantasy owner.

1.07 Auden Tate, WR, Florida State

Pending the combine, Tate could jump a few guys above him in this ranking.  He is hard to miss on the football field at 6’-5”, 225 pounds.  He has shown ability in the red zone and over 20% of his catches in college have been touchdowns.  If he shows us top end speed and explosiveness at the combine, he will have teams salivating over the raw numbers.  If he doesn’t show that, we can still expect the red zone efficiency and the winning at the top to translate.  

1.08 James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

Washington is finishing up his senior year at Oklahoma State.  He has shown improvement year after year since arriving to school.  He is a speedster averaging 21.6 yards per catch this year.  That is borderline unbelievable.  He is Mason Rudolph’s favorite target and he could quickly become someone else’s favorite target in the NFL.  His speed allows him to line up almost anywhere and do damage on the edge or across the middle.  Situation will affect Washington’s value early in his career and he is a player you might have to be patient with if he is stuck behind a talented veteran or two, but he has the talent to be a first rounder in your fantasy draft.

1.09 Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

Love is the definition of explosive, averaging 8.8 yards per carry this year.  Big plays are his bread and butter.  He is on the light side for a true three down back at the next level, but if you liked McCaffrey at his size last year, then the size shouldn’t scare you.  He hasn’t been asked to do much in the passing game, but I believe he will be a capable pass catcher.  He has a nose for the endzone with 16 touchdowns in 10 contests this year.  He has really come alive after McCaffrey left town and will be on the radar for those at the top of the first round.

1.10 Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State

Ballage is a highlight reel.  If you want to watch someone make defenders look bad, look him up.  At 6’-3”, 230 lbs, he still has all the speed, power, and elusiveness you look for.  He is the definition of a Madden player.  He is the level of athlete to make NFL players look like average Joe’s.  His junior season made us all go crazy watching him catch almost 50 balls out of the backfield and score 15 times.  He hasn’t been nearly as efficient this year averaging only 4.5 yards per touch, but for now I am going to blame that on the Arizona State offense and point to the big plays that he makes to show his talent.

1.11 Jaylen Smith, WR, Louisville

Smith has missed a couple games this year and hasn’t been the world beater we all wanted to see this year.  He has shown ability as a deep threat and has the size you look for in a boundary receiver.  Playing with Lamar Jackson will likely mean a transition period is in order after he is drafted.  He will need to learn an NFL offense.  However, with the number of designed QB runs and broken plays he has witnessed and been a part of, Smith should be able to get on the field and earn some playing time with blocking ability and knowledge of how to help his quarterback.

1.12 Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

Michel has shown consistency in his four years at Georgia.  His ability to stay relevant with the talent surrounding him the Georgia RB room has been impressive.  From taking over for Todd Gurley post injury as a freshman, to sharing a backfield with Nick Chubb his senior year, he has shown his ability to be a competitor with some of the biggest names in college football.  This year, he is averaging 7.4 yards a carry and has scored 12 times on 114 touches.  He is extremely efficient and has shown the ability to catch the ball averaging almost 3.5 catches a game during his sophomore and junior years.  Look for Michel to make an impact immediately for a team whether or not they have an established running game.

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DFS NFL: Divisional Round Slate

Matt Hicks, Staff Writer

When writing DFS fantasy football articles, I use DraftKings’ values. For the divisional round of the playoffs, I set 7 line-ups.  

Quarterbacks

Best Value: Marcus Mariota ($5,900)

Mariota is right in the middle of cost this week, as the 4th most expensive quarterback. He’s coming off a 2-touchdown game where he proved he could throw the ball (19-31 for 205 yards) and run (8 carries for 46 yards). He provides good value this week, against a New England team that’s allowed the 7th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. I have two Mariota shares this week.

High Upside: Blake Bortles ($5,000)

Bortles struggled against a tough Buffalo team that ranks 5th best on the season against opposing quarterbacks. Even with that tough match-up, Bortles managed to throw for a touchdown and rush for 88 yards. Bortles rushed for more yards than Mariota (46 yards) and Newton (37 yards) combined. I don’t expect Bortles to blow us away this week, but he’s the cheapest play at quarterback; and I think he performs above value. I have one tournament share of Bortles this week.

Safe Play: Drew Brees ($6,300)

Brees had the second best QB Rating last week, throwing for 2 touchdowns, 376 yards, and a 70% completion rate. Brees may be playing against a tough Vikings defense this week, but he’s the definition of safe play. If you’re going to pay up at quarterback I’d suggest stopping at Brees. I don’t love paying up this week, but I have Brees in one line-up.

Worst Value: Tom Brady ($7,000)

In Week 17, Brady completed just 48% of his passes, and threw for 190 yards. He hasn’t surpassed 300 yards passing since Week 11, and hasn’t thrown for more than 2 touchdown passes since Week 12. Since Week 13, he’s thrown for just as many touchdowns (6) as interceptions. Yet, you’re shelling out $700 more for Brady than any other quarterback this week; that makes no sense to me.

Running Backs

Best Value: Dion Lewis ($6,600)

Lewis’ price is ridiculously low. Lewis has taken hold of the New England backfield, getting 50 carries and 12 targets in his last two games. His dual-threat ability should allow you to look past the Titans strong running defense. It’s likely that the game script will drive Lewis to 20+ carries again this week, making him very valuable. I have him in 4 line-ups this week.

High Upside: Latavius Murray ($5,400)

I love Murray’s value this week. He’s gotten at least 20 carries for each of his last three games; averaging 85 rushing yards per game and totaling 3 touchdowns. He’s a very cheap play, for someone with high volume, playing at home after a full week of rest. I have Murray in 3 line-ups this week.

Safe Play: Devonta Freeman ($5,900)

Freeman has scored a touchdown in each of his last 4 games. What makes him a safe play for me is that when he fails to find success on the ground, he comes through in the passing game. Freeman is the 6th most expensive running back this week, and he has a huge opportunity against an Eagles defense that will have to sell out to stop the passing game. I have 3 shares of Freeman this week.

Worst Value: Derrick Henry ($7,300)

Listen, I get it; I love Henry just as much as any other truther out here. Draft Kings, however, has raised his price way past the point of value this week. Henry is the 3rd most expensive running back; with an incredibly tough game script. The Titans are likely to trail the Patriots early and often this week, meaning Henry likely won’t get the value he’s so dependent on. I’d avoid paying up for him this week.

Wide Receivers

Best Value: Michael Thomas ($7,200)

The is a high-cost value pick, but he’s cheaper than 3 other wide receivers this week. Thomas has 17 targets over the last two weeks. I flipped my opinion on Thomas after watching him last week; pulling in 89% of his 9 targets for 131 yards. That was strong performance, without scoring a touchdown. If Thomas can find the end zone, he very well could finish as WR 1 in the divisional round. I have Thomas in 2 line-ups this week.

High Upside: Nelson Agholor ($4,800)

Since Foles has taken over for Philadelphia, Agholor has 19 targets; catching 14 of those for 105 yards and a touchdown. His low yards/target suggest that he could be a popular choice for Foles, who will likely be facilitating a check-down passing attack. Agholor makes for a good play for anyone trying to offset paying up for another player. I have 3 shares of Agholor this week.

Safe Play: Julio Jones ($7,900)

It’s always risky when you list the 2nd most expensive player as a safe play, however Jones justifies it this week. Jones has at least 10 targets in 4 of his last 5 games; and has at least 80 yards in each game. Jones’ value has taken a hit because he’s failed to consistently find the end zone. Jones, however, matches up well against the small eagles secondary and he’s on a hot offense facing an ailing and rusty eagles defense. I expect Jones to build off his first-round momentum and lead the Falcons into the championship round. I paid up for Jones 3 times this week.

Worst Value: Adam Thielen ($7,600)

Thielen has pulled in more than 100 receiving yards just once since Week 12. He’s caught just 61% of his targets since Week 14, and has just 1 touchdown since Week 12. Yet, Thielen is the third most expensive wideout this week. There’s a steep drop off between him, and his teammate; Diggs at $6,200. If you’re going to pay-up, go all out and upgrade to Thomas, Jones, or Brown.

Tight Ends

Best Value: Zach Ertz ($5,800)

The tight end position is tough this week, however, Ertz’s targets make him an appealing option. In Weeks 15 and 16, his only two full games with Foles, he caught 15 of his 23 targets. He’s racked up 137 yards and a touchdown in those two games as well. Ertz is $1,300 cheaper than Gronk, so he offers a good compromise between paying-up and avoiding the mess than is cheaper options this week. I have 2 shares of Ertz this week.

High Upside: Josh Hill ($2,600)

Hill caught 3 of his 4 targets last week, and found the end zone once. He’s a risky pick, seeing no more than 4 targets in any game this season, however, he offers you a cheap and hot alternative to paying up at the tight end position this week. I have 2 shares of Hill this week.

Safe Play: Delanie Walker ($5,000)

Walker has at least 5 targets in every game since Week 2; and has pulled in at least 3 of those in every game this season. Last week, Walker caught 6 of his 8 targets. The game-script should force the Titans to throw a lot in the second half, which gives Walker a safe floor. I have 2 shares of Walker this week.

Worst Value: Kyle Rudolph ($4,700)

Rudolph is a trap at $4,700. He caught just 4 passes since Week 15, and has seen just 6 targets in that same time span. Rudolph has just 26 yards in his last three games; and is very touchdown dependent. The Saints, however, have allowed just 6 touchdowns to opposing tight ends all season; I’d avoid Rudolph entirely this week.

Follow us on Twitter @Top2Sports for daily fantasy advice and everything you need to know to win your fantasy championship throughout the off-season!

DFS Basketball: January 12th Slate

Ken Mahoney, Contributor from Turning 2 Sports (@Turning2Sports)

https://www.turningtwosports.com/ 

Welcome back! It’s time for another DFS Basketball preview, brought to you by Turning Two Sports, where we DO care about your fantasy team!

In order to set a perfect lineup on DraftKings, we want to look for players who will provide 5x their salary in returning point output. So if Steph Curry comes in at $9,000 and James Harden comes in at $9,600, Curry needs 45 points to return value while Harden needs 48. To think about it on the fly, just do this:

(Salary * .001 * 5) <= DFS Points

Now with that said, here is the overall record for the season. I’m considering a miss as anything less than 4x value (Blue snowflake on DraftKings). A hit is anything at or above 5x value (Red flame on DraftKings). Displayed below is the format “Hits – Misses”

Season Record: 153-103 (59.8% hit rate)

Top Game Stack: Houston Rockets (-7) @ Phoenix Suns: Over/Under 228.5

 

Point Guard

Darren Collison $4,900 – I can’t believe we’ve seen Collison’s price dip into the sub-5k range. While he hasn’t been abundantly flashy, he does go toe to toe with the Cavs tonight. The Cavaliers are dreadful against opposing point guards, which should be well known given the lack of defense prowess of Isaiah Thomas. Cleveland was destroyed by two backup Toronto point guards last night in the absence of Kyle Lowry, and Collison is easily a step above that crew. Target: 24.5

Jarrett Jack $4,600 – This man is red hot. Fade at your own risk! Seriously though, Jack has a fantastic matchup against a Timberwolves team that has struggled with opposing point guards all season. They rank 25th in DK points allowed to opposing point guards, and Jack is coming off the hottest game of his career that saw him go for 49.5 DK points in 40 minutes. If that doesn’t slot him at the top of the Knicks Point Guard depth chart, nothing will. Lock and load. Target: 23

 

Shooting Guard

Eric Gordon $7,400 – The first thing I saw when I looked at the slate tonight was money signs. I considered Chris Paul, but he’s well over 10k and that’s a bit scary. Despite his amazing play with Harden off the floor, 10k+ for CP3 just isn’t sitting right with me. Instead, give me Eric Gordon at a 3k discount. He’s been a superstar in Harden’s absence, having gone for back to back 40+ DK point games. He hasn’t come in below 29 DK points since Harden was active, making him a fantastic high floor, higher ceiling play for tonight’s slate. The Over/Under for this game is astronomical, and Devin Booker refuses to play defense. Target: 37

 

Small Forward

T.J. Warren $6,200 – There’s reason to consider Devin Booker in this spot, but much like CP3/Gordon my preference is to roll with the guy that is much cheaper, but offers similar upside. Warren is another guy who is constantly on the DFS radar. In nine of his last ten games, he’s been over 30 DK points, which is his sweet spot tonight. In a matchup with the Rockets, is there really any doubt that Warren is must start? Target: 31

Dragan Bender $4,300 – We have ourselves another Sun, and this one is going to be chalky. Chriss is out tonight, meaning Bender is going to start and see a ton of run at the power forward position. In his last game against the Thunder, Bender played 39 minutes and went off for 43 DK points, inevitably being a breadwinner for whoever rostered him. I won’t be left out tonight. Target: 21.5
Power Forward

DeMarcus Cousins $10,800 – Tough to decide between LeBron, Giannis, Paul, and Boogie tonight, but I think Boogie is the way to spend. LeBron is coming into a back to back, Giannis is in a volatile matchup with Golden State, and Paul’s price tag is very rich. Anthony Davis is questionable to play tonight, and if he misses I expect Cousins to be very chalky. He’s must start whenever Davis is off the floor. In order to drive ownership down, having Davis active wouldn’t be the worst thing. Davis and Cousins have shown to be DFS studs on the floor at the same time, and Cousins is one of the safest plays out there on any given night. Target: 54

JaMychal Green $4,700 – Green may be slightly under the radar at this point, but he warrants some consideration. He’s absolutely the go-to for Memphis at the four and has seen his minutes uptick over the past week. Most recently, he went off for 47 DK points in 34 minutes against the Pelicans. Tonight he gets the Nuggets, who don’t play sound interior defense. He’s right between 20-25 points for value, and he’s been there in five of his last six. Target: 23.5

 

Center

Clint Capela $7,100 – Finally, our center. We’re back to my favorite game of the slate. The Suns, yet again, are terrible defending centers. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. The Suns don’t play defense against anyone and are a constant recipient of bullying in my write-ups. Capela is having a career year, and as long as he gets his minutes he’ll easily get you 30+ DK points. In fact, he’s done that in nine of his last eleven. The two he didn’t get there, he still settled with a reasonable 29 and 24 DK points. That’s nothing to sneeze at. It’s the Suns, don’t overthink this one. Target: 35.5

 

Lineup 1:

PG – Darren Collison $4,900

SG – Eric Gordon $7,400

SF – T.J. Warren $6,200

PF – Dragan Bender $4,300

C – Clint Capela $7,100

G – Jarrett Jack $4,600

F – JaMychal Green $4,700

U – DeMarcus Cousins $10,800

 

Best of luck everyone. Thanks for reading and appreciate the support. Go make some money!