Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football Leagues

We would normally be gearing up for the NFL Draft right now. However, due to Radio City Music Hall scheduling a musical called Heart & Lights, the draft has been pushed back to May. The NFL could have easily found another hosting location, but it is pretty easy to discern that they have been looking for a convenient excuse to push the draft back. It is widely believed that this move is permanent. Maybe it gives the teams more time to evaluate players, make trades or shorten the time before camp opens to put pressure on the players to sign and get to work. For us, it just means another month of draft projections and far too much air time for Mel Kiper and Todd Mcshay.

As far as fantasy football goes, we still have plenty of time to evaluate how drafted players will project on their new teams and training camp and pre-season games are still on the same schedule. Now that NCAA hoops is over, we are in that lull period before summer where MLB is just starting and the NHL and NBA begin their second season called the Playoffs. We will be well into planning our draft strategies when those second seasons mercifully come to an end.

At MFS, we are finishing up our off-season changes for the 2014 football season. Aside from some cosmetic changes, we have some big changes afoot at MFS. The highlighted changes are:

  • Drag & Drop functionality on Fantasy league rosters and Confidence Pool rankings
  • More push notifications on league activity
  • The ability to hide leagues and pools that have ended for an individual or as a whole
  • A new Open Leagues page to list all MFS leagues with openings as well as any Private leagues and pools that desire to opt in to advertise their openings
  • And our biggest change: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Playoff Leagues!
Check in on or after June 1st to register your 2014 leagues and pools and just into one or more of our many Public fantasy leagues.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Super Bowl Game and Prop Picks

Well, we absolutely sucked on Championship week. San Fran's 4th quarter meltdown and WAY too many field goals in Denver were to blame. Bummer, but we move on to the Super Bowl. Enjoy what should be a very competitive game and feel free to eat and drink as much as you want, no matter what anyone else sez. See you next season!
GAME
Seattle (ML) vs. Denver - Seattle is the better team in all facets of the game except the passing game. However, their biggest strength is in their "Legion Of Boom" secondary. No one has been able to establish dominance against this unit all year. Denver will have some success but not enough. Manning does not pose the running threat of Colin Kaepernick so he is actually easier to defense for Seattle. This will be a fun chess game to watch. Denver's defense has played much better in the last 6 games, but they are not as good as the final scores have indicated. Seattle will be able to methodically move the ball up and down the field on Sunday and win this game in the neighborhood of 24-20. Play Seattle for 7 units on the moneyline at +115.
 
PROP BETS:
Doug Baldwin (SEA) O3.5 receptions for 1 unit at -105
Doug Baldwin (SEA) O39.5 yards for 1 unit at -120
Zach Miller (SEA) O2 receptions for 1 unit at -130
Percy Harvin (SEA) O4 receptions for 1 unit at -130
Eric Decker (DEN) O57.5 yards for 1 unit at -135
Seattle last score of game - FG - for 1 unit at +150
Seattle O1.5 sacks for 1 unit at -120
Both teams will make a FG O33.5 yards for 3 units at +125
 
6-point Teaser (6-5 Odds) for 4 units
SEA +8
SEA/DEN  U54.5
 
Season Record:
Sides: 41-39   (-33.6 units)
Totals: 15-12   (+3.9 units)
Teasers: 8-11  (+15 units)
Moneyline: 3-3 (+1.6 units)
Parlays: 2-8  (-5.6 units)

2014 Youth Served

Well, our fantasy seasons are over and we face a long off-season. A lot can happen between now and training camp with player movement, retirements and the draft, but it is never too early to start a list of players to watch next summer. It is always wise to target young starting players that appear to have significant upside in the following year.
QB: Ryan Tannehill (MIA)
 - Tannehill and Miami had their season end in unspectacular fashion. All they needed to do was to beat either Buffalo or the Jets and they failed miserably in each contest and Tannehill was largely to blame in each. Prior to those 2 games, Tannehill was having a quietly nice and consistent year; having double digit scoring in 13 of his 14 starts, including three straight 20+ point outings leading into his debacle in Buffalo. If Miami adds a speedster on the other side of the field from Mike Wallace, Tannehill could step into QB1 territory next season as a late draft pick.
RB: La'Veon Bell (PITT) - Bell started the season with an injured knee and missed the first 3 games of the season. With the Steelers struggling until the second half of the season and the public focus on rookie RBs Eddie Lacy and Giovani Bernard, Bell was an afterthought. The Steelers didn't overload Bell; giving him an average of 19 carries a game, but he delivered nicely for them. He put up 860 yards and 8 TDs on the ground and added 400 yards receiving. Those numbers will surely go up next year and will prove Bell to be a bargain at his expected ADP.
WR: Cordarrelle Patterson (MINN) - Patterson proved that he was a playmaker early in the season when he broke off a 105-yard opening kick return in game 2 at Chicago. However, the dysfunctional Vikings took most of the season before working Patterson into the offensive rotation more. He scored a TD in the last 5 games of the season and is the Vikings only wideout with speed. The new coaching staff would be remiss in not making him a full-time player to start 2014.
TE: Tim Wright (TB) - Every year, a new top tight end appears (see Julius Thomas in 2013). These players distract from the lower-level bargain-basement talent that provides good production for a low cost. Wright, much like the rest of the Bucs' offensive players, had an up-and-down year. However, when Tampa was playing well, it coincided with him being involved in the gameplan. Wright tallied 54 catches for 571 yards and 5 TDs and was virtually ignored in half of this season's games. He will be a nice TE2 pickup at the end of your 2014 draft.

2013 Fantasy Football Saviors

The key to winning fantasy football leagues often is through adding very productive late draft picks, stealing someone else's handcuffs or raiding the waiver wire. These Sleepers help round out a successful team with your top draft picks. While Peyton Manning and Jamaal Charles were fantasy MVPs, they alone did not win championships. The fantasy football saviors come from the list below and are found on many of the teams that finished in the money this year.

QB: Nick Foles (PHIL)
 - Foles showed flashes of promise in 2012 and should have been handcuffed to the injury-prone Michael Vick. If you did that, you were wise. If not, and you owned him, it was most likely a waiver wire addition. Foles produced Top 10 fantasy points and did so in only 12 games. He only yielded one dud game that he started, which was against Dallas in a game he left early due to a concussion. He was also solid during the fantasy playoffs; scoring 18, 33 and 19 points.
RB: Knowshon Moreno (DEN) - Before the season started, no one knew if anyone from Denver's backfield would be a primary ball-carrier. It was assumed that the rock would be shared between Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball and Moreno, with goal line opportunities being given to Ball. Oh how wrong we were. Moreno had the 5th most points for running backs and had double digit points in 12 of his 16 games. With him being a late round draft pick, he was a true Sleeper.
WR: Josh Gordon (CLE) - Gordon was ignored is most league drafts due to three factors working against him; he plays for Cleveland, he was suspended for the first 2 games and Brandon Weeden was slated as his starting QB. However, Gordon made a statement in his first game back with 24 points. He narrowly missed being the highest scoring WR and did it in 14 games. He had double-digit points in 11 of his 14 games and scored 25, 13 and 13 in the fantasy playoffs.
TE: Julius Thomas (DEN) - It was hard to envision Manning being able to entertain his tight ends with enough opportunities to make them relevant with the wide receiving corp that he had at his disposal, but he did with great ease. Even with missing a few games during the season, Thomas was a late round draft pick that paid huge dividends. He was the 3rd highest scoring tight end this season.

Monday, January 13, 2014

NFL Conference Championship Picks

Well, the Colts were in position to cover for us, or possibly even win...and then the 4th quarter started. Within a few minutes, they were way down and had no fight left in them. In Denver, San Diego seemed to forget what time the game started as they were non-existent in the first half. So, we end up with a losing week. We slide into Championship week with the league's best 4 teams matching up, as it should be. 

Sunday

New England (+4.5) at Denver and O55 - The line opened at Denver -6 but has already been bought down a point and a half. I am not sure what it will be by gametime, but I am not waiting to find out. This game is a rematch of the week 12 game in Foxboro that saw the Broncos jump out to a 24-0 halftime lead, only to lose 34-31. The venue switches, but Tom Brady now has a running game to help balance out his offense. I expect the Patriots to rely more on the passing game though as that is Denver's defensive weakness. New England's defense is pretty bad as well so this game should easily get into the 60s. I expect Denver to win, but wouldn't be shocked if it was on the final play of the game and off the foot of Matt Prater. Play New England in the game at +4.5 for 7 units, the Over 28 in the first half for 6 units and the Over 55 in the game for 12 units. Also play the Patriots and the Over for a 2-unit parlay.

San Francisco (+3.5) at Seattle - As the NFL season came to an end, this was the game that many of us expected to see. Seattle has been the best team over the course of the season and San Francisco has been the best team over the past 6 weeks. Colin Kaepernick is playing with more confidence than at any other time since he has been in the league and his offense is getting better each week. Seattle may have the best corners in the league, but they will have to worry about Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree AND Vernon Davis...oh yeah...if they do manage to cover all 3, Kaepernick can beat them with his legs. Seattle's receivers are FAR behind the Niners' in talent so San Fran's rock-solid D can force Russell Wilson to stay in the pocket. I would not be shocked to see the Niners win this straight up. If they do lose, it will be at the end of the game by a field goal. Play San Fran in the game at +3.5 for 10 units and for 3 units on the moneyline at +165.

6.5-point Teaser (2.5-1 Odds) for 4 units

NE +11
DEN/NE  O48.5
SF  +10
SEA/SF  O32
Season Record:Sides: 41-37   (-14.9 units)
Totals: 15-10   (+23.7 units)
Teasers: 8-10  (+19 units)
Moneyline: 3-2 (+4.6 units)
Parlays: 2-7  (-3.6 units)

Friday, January 10, 2014

2013 Fantasy Football Busts

Busts come in all shapes and sizes and may vary ever-so-slightly based on your scoring system, but the players mentioned below would be considered a bust no matter how you slice it. Now, I am not citing players whose years were cut short by injury, such as Doug Martin, since you cannot predict injuries to normally healthy players. Drafting one of these players cannot be the sole reason for you not making the playoffs, but it surely didn't help your efforts.

QB: Matt Ryan (ATL)
- sure, Matty Ice's season was indirectly impacted by an unexpected injury to Julio Jones and a slow recovery by Roddy White, but, with no running game and with plenty of passing opportunities, he should have turned out better numbers. He broke 15 points in just half of his games this season. With an ADP in the 3rd/4th round, you could have had a nice WR at that pick and picked up a much more productive Philip Rivers, or even Big Ben or Big Red, many rounds later.

RB: Ray Rice (BAL) - After 4 straight injury-free years of high volume production, I guess it was inevitable that Rice would slow down, but he came to an abrupt stop this season. He had only  4 games of double-digit points, one 100-yard game (against the league's worst rush defense) and a meager 3 games with TDs. It is hard to predict how far his ranking will fall next year, but another year like this will seen him fade out with Tony Richardson.

WR: Victor Cruz (NYG) - If you traded Cruz after his sizzling first quarter of the season (over 400 yards and 4 TDs), you were giddy after watching Cruz put up one 100-yard game, zero TDs and less than 600 yards over the remainder of the season on someone else's team. If he was on your team, how long did you wait before benching him? My guess is that it was too long. Everyone knows that Eli Manning has been the most over-rated player to ever step on the field, but Cruz has been able to turn his wobbly 5-yard passes into long TDs since he first stepped onto the field. Not this season though.

TE: Tyler Eifert (CIN) - Blame this one on the hype and for buying into a rookie tight end. Eifert was a stud at Notre Dame and we all assumed that it would translate straight into the professional ranks. Unfortunately, OC Jay Gruden could not find a way to effectively utilize Eifert's talents. I believe that the success of Giovani Bernard also had an impact on Eifert's season as Bernard has 56 catches out of the backfield.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

NFL Divisional Playoff Picks

Our moneyline bet on KC sure looked safe when we were ahead by 4 scores. However, much like Lincoln, Luck was not on our side as the injuries and blown coverages caught up with the Chiefs in the second half as Indy kept firing away. We did nail the Niners and ended up with a winning day. This week features some very exciting matchups and should be fun to watch, especially if our wagers come through.


Saturday

Indianapolis (+7.5) at New England - The weather in Foxboro is going to be wet. I would expect each offense to run the ball more than pass regardless of the weather to help run clock anyway. Indy has been able to beat the top teams all season long so if you are giving me more than a TD in a ball-control game between pretty evenly-matched teams, I am taking the points all day. Play Indy for 7 units in the game with the 7.5 points.


Sunday

San Diego (+10) at Denver - The size of this line shocks me. John Pagano has a long track-record of flustering Peyton Manning while he has been the Defensive Coordinator for the Chargers. San Diego has already gone into Denver as 10-point dogs and walked away with a 7-point SU victory. While I don’t expect a repeat, I see no reason why San Diego isn’t within a TD when the final gun sounds. Play San Diego for 8 units in the first half at +6.5 and for 8 units in the game at +10.

6.5-point Teaser (2.5-1 Odds) for 2 units

Indy +14.5
SEA/NO  U42.5
SF/CAR  U48.5
DEN/SD O47.5


Season Record:Sides: 40-35   (-6.4 units)
Totals: 15-10   (+23.7 units)
Teasers: 8-9    (+21 units)
Moneyline: 3-2 (+4.6 units)
Parlays: 2-7  (-3.6 units)