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Daily Fantasy: Week 16 NFL picks

Daily Fantasy: Week 16 NFL picks

Daniel Dobish, Staff Writer December 20, 2014

It’s Week 16 of the National Football League regular season. While those select lucky individuals in seasonal leagues are focusing on winning championships this weekend, there is plenty of opportunity for those in the loser’s lounge to re-engage and win some lettuce before the season is over. In fact, there are some juicy matchups and great starts in Week 16. Let’s go!

(FanWars.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET)

QUARTERBACKS

Drew Brees, New Orleans ($15900 vs ATL): You’re really going to want to start Brees this weekend against the Falcons. Atlanta has allowed an NFL-worst 292.5 yards per game through the air this season, which is more than 20 yards per game worse than any other squad. They have also given up 52 pass plays of 20 or more yards, with 14 plays going for 40 or more yards. If you’re going to spend big at QB, make it Brees.

Alex Smith, Kansas City ($11800 at PIT): If you’re looking for a lower-end salary QB with potential for a big game, Smith could be your man. He has two or more touchdowns in three of the past four games, and he is averaging 295.0 yards per game through the air over the past two. And Pittsburgh has yielded 49 pass plays of 20 or more yards this season, with an NFL-worst 15 pass plays of 40 or more yards allowed.

RUNNING BACKS

Tre Mason, St. Louis ($9250 vs NYG): Mason had just 13 carries for 33 yards last week against Arizona, burying his DFS owners with a season-worst 1.3 Fantasy points. That was then, this is now. He will be facing a New York Giants rush defense which ranks last in the NFC, allowing 135.1 yards per game with 15 runs of 20 or more yards allowed. Look for a bounce-back game from Mason.

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina ($9100 vs CLE): Stewart has rolled up 230 rushing yards with a touchdown on 42 totes over the past two games, handling the load with DeAngelo Williams (hand) sidelined. D-Will is questionable for Sunday’s tilt against the Browns, and if Stewart gets the nod again, he’ll go off. The Browns are yielding 137.6 yards per game on the ground, second-worst in the NFL.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay ($10250 vs GB): OK, last week he had season-lows with two receptions and just 13 yards at Carolina. However, he still managed to find the end zone and finish with 9.3 Fantasy points. Not great, but he continues to score nearly every weekend. He has at least one foray into the end zone in six of his past seven games, totaling nine touchdowns since Nov. 1. At a mid-level salary against a middle of the road pass defense, Evans is a sharp play.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit ($13800 at TEN): Who is ready for the Megatron Show – Part Deux? Johnson fried the Bears on Thanksgiving for 11 receptions, 146 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears recently benched QB Jay Cutler for ineffectiveness, but it is the passing defense which has been the biggest problems for the Monsters of the Midway. Chicago’s pass D has given up 272.2 yards per game with 58 plays of 20 or more yards. Both of those numbers rank the Bears 31st in the NFL in each category.

Jermaine Kearse, Seattle ($5200 at ARI): You’re going to need a low, low-priced Daily Fantasy option somewhere if you’re going to spend high at some of the other spot. Kearse has some real upside heading into Sunday’s game at Arizona. He has been targeted 18 times over the past three games, and he has three or more receptions in five of his past six games. Last weekend he tied a season-high with five grabs while dropping a season-high 78 yards and 12.8 Fantasy points against San Francisco.

TIGHT ENDS

Jason Witten, Dallas ($7950 vs IND): Witten re-emerged as a solid Daily Fantasy play with seven receptions (nine targets) for 69 yards in Philadelphia last Sunday night. The good times should continue to roll against an Indianapolis Colts passing defense which has struggled to contain the opposing tight end all season long. At this price, Witten is a steal.

Daily Fantasy: Saturday’s NHL picks

Daily Fantasy: Saturday’s NHL picks

Daniel Dobish, Staff Writer December 20, 2014

There are 12 games in the National Hockey League Saturday, Dec. 20, including 11 evening contests. The Ottawa-Montreal game (7:00 p.m. ET) is nationally televised on NHL Network, and the Chicago-Columbus game (7:00 p.m. ET) is nationally televised on WGN.

(FanWars.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET)

GOALTENDER

Corey Crawford, Chicago ($21450 at CBJ): Crawford is confirmed as the starting netminder in C-Bus, and there is a great chance he has a strong stat line. The Blackhawks have won 21 of the past 26 meetings in this series, and Chicago is 16-5 in the past 21 trips to Columbus. Crawford has a great at a victory for DFS owners.

CENTER

Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal ($9250 vs OTT): Galchenyuk looks to continue his hot play Saturday against the division rival Senators. He had a hat trick Dec. 16 against the Hurricanes, and he has four goals with eight points over the past nine games. He isn’t an expensive option, but lately he has been in the positive for Fantasy points more often than not. Including him will allow plenty of salary flexibility to buy a stud or two.

Mike Ribeiro, Nashville ($9000 at MIN): Ribeiro has turned up the intensity lately, going for four goals with nine points over the past eight games. At this mid-level salary, you won’t find many players performing at better than a point-per-game clip over an extended period.

WINGS

Jiri Hudler, Calgary ($10850 at VAN): Hudler was scoreless with a minus-1 rating Friday against Dallas. The last time he was scoreless in two or more consecutive games was way back in four-game stretch from Oct. 15-21. He has seven goals with 15 points over the past 13 games dating back to Nov. 22. At this price level, he is a tremendous investment. In his first meeting with Vancouver back on Oct. 8, he scored a goal and had three SOG in 18:04 of ice time.

Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis ($15350 at SJ): Tarasenko carries a seven-game points streak into play, and he has at least one point in nine of the past 10. During his seven-game run he has lit the lamp six times with 11 points and a plus-4 rating while posting 22 shots on goal (SOG).

DEFENSEMEN

Kevin Shatternkirk, St. Louis ($15650 at SJ): Shattenkirk has rolled up some serious point totals, posting three goals with 10 points and a plus-5 rating over the past seven games. He has a heavy price tag, but he has four or more Fantasy points in eight of the past 11 games. You’ll get your money’s worth.

Fedor Tyutin, Columbus ($6700 vs CHI): Tyutin has gone scoreless in two games since returning from a month-long absence due to a lower body injury. Still, he has a plus-1 rating, two penalty minutes and 10 hits with five blocked shots in the two-game stretch. Rarely, if ever, does he post negative points, and his willingness to step in front of shots helps Fantasy owners whether he etches his name onto the scoresheet or not.

 

Daily Fantasy: Tuesday’s NHL picks

Daily Fantasy: Tuesday’s NHL picks

Daniel Dobish, Staff Writer December 16, 2014

There are 11 games in the National Hockey League Tuesday, Dec. 16, and the Los Angeles-St. Louis (8:00pm ET) game is nationally televised on NHL Network.

(FanWars.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET)

GOALTENDER

Jonathan Bernier, Toronto ($21000 vs ANA): Bernier has been red hot lately, especially over his past three outings. He is 3-0-0 with a 1.34 goals-against average (GAA) during the impressive stretch, and he has won five of his past six outings and seven of the past nine. Even against a solid offense like Anaheim, Bernier is worth a look since he has been playing so well.

CENTER

Boone Jenner, Columbus ($9800 at DET): Jenner continues to produce solid results, going for five goals and six points with 17 shots on goal (SOG) over the past six games. He has lit the lamp in five of the past six outings, and is a great play at this price level.

Jori Lehtera, St. Louis ($7150 vs LAK): Lehtera has picked up an assist in each of his past four games, posting a plus-2 rating with four penalty minutes and six SOG. While he hasn’t scored a goal in 13 games dating back to Nov. 15, he has still been very productive, especially at this low DFS price.

WINGS

Mikkel Boedker, Arizona ($9700 vs EDM): Boedker carries a three-game points streak into play, posting a goal and three assists during the span. He is also averaging a point-per-game over the past six, posting two markers and four helpers. In DFS leagues which reward hits, he is even more valuable, posting 16 hits over the past seven outings.

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay ($8250 at PHI): Kucherov has managed at least one point in 11 of the past 14 games, posting five goals and 12 points during the impressive stretch. He also has an even or positive rating in 16 of the past 17 games dating back to Nov. 8.

DEFENSEMEN

Dustin Byfuglien, D-RW, Winnipeg ($14100 vs BUF): Fantasy owners love Byfuglien because of his positional versatility. They also love his production, as he has four goals with eight points over the past seven games. He has also squeezed off at least four shots on goal in six of the past seven, totaling 32 SOG during the span.

P.K. Subban, Montreal ($14150 vs CAR): Subban is good for three goals and nine points over the past seven games, while also rolling up 10 penalty minutes and 15 shots on goal. While he hasn’t had many plus days in the plus/minus department over the past month, that shouldn’t be a problem against the lowly Carolina Hurricanes.

Daily Fantasy: Weekend NFL, NHL picks

Daily Fantasy: Weekend NFL, NHL picks

Daniel Dobish, Staff Writer December 13, 2014

There are 11 evening games in the National Hockey League Saturday, Dec. 13. We’ll also take a look at the NFL Week 15 Daily Fantasy picks to get you ready for Sunday and beyond.

(FanWars.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET)

QUARTERBACKS

Johnny Manziel, Cleveland ($7500 vs CIN): Manziel will be making his first career NFL start Sunday. The good news for Johnny Football is that he will face a Cincinnati Bengals defense which ranks in the bottom third not only in pass defense, but rush defense, too. He is a dual threat, and he should not only put up a decent amount of yards through the air, but also with his feet.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh ($14550 at ATL): The Falcons are terrible against the pass, ranking dead-last in the league by giving up 287.8 yards per game with 18 passing scores. They have also allowed 13 pass plays of 40 or more yards, and their secondary is very dinged up. SS William Moore left last week’s game with an injury, and he is a question mark. Even with him, they have been bad, but without him the Falcons might even be worse.

RUNNING BACKS

Mark Ingram, New Orleans ($9650 at CHI): Ingram has a favorable matchup Monday night in Chicago, facing a Bears rushing defense which has allowed 112.3 yards per game with nine rushing touchdowns. He comes with a mid-level price, but a 100-yard game and a score is a good possibility.

Chris Johnson, N.Y. Jets ($6100 at TEN): Johnson will likely be showered with plenty of boos Sunday, as he returns to LP Field in Nashville where he starred for six years. He will likely play with a little extra incentive, and at this price level a player with a chip on his shoulder is very attractive to DFS owners.

Latavius Murray, Oakland ($4650 at KC): A few weeks ago Murray burst onto the Fantasy scene with 112 rushing yards, including a 90-yard touchdown. He had two scores in that game. Last weekend, Murray saw 25 total touches, rushing for 76 yards on 23 carries while also adding a pair of receptions. He is primed and ready to see starter-type touches at a cut-rate price. His inclusion will save you plenty of salary to spend elsewhere.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay ($11700 at CAR): For whatever reason, Evans continues to have a low Daily Fantasy salary, despite the fact he is putting up big-time stats, especially in the touchdown department. Sure, his yardage has dropped off, but he has three touchdowns in the past three weeks, and eight scores over the past six outings. All he does is score, and he has been targeted at least nine times in six straight.

Kenny Stills, New Orleans ($9250 at CHI): The Bears are terrible against the pass, allowing 265.5 yards per game while yielding an NFL-high 30 passing touchdowns this season. The Bears have also been dinged for 51 pass plays of 20 or more yards, and 12 plays of 40 or more yards. Both marks are second-most in the league.

TIGHT ENDS

Greg Olsen, Carolina ($11200 vs TB): While some Panthers might be hurt by the unfortunate injury to QB Cam Newton after his car accident early this week, Olsen might actually benefit. New QB Derek Anderson will need a reliable safety valve option, and that means Olsen should continue to see a ton of targets. He has been targeted 31 times over the past three weeks, reeling in 20 balls for 192 yards and a score.

GOALTENDERS (for Saturday)

Antti Niemi, San Jose ($19750 at NSH): Niemi is a great play heading into Saturday’s game, as he has won each of his past four outings. Over the past nine games he has allowed three or fewer goals in seven outings. He has also made 28 or more saves in three of the past four, helping Daily Fantasy owners.

CENTERS (for Saturday)

Filip Forsberg, RW, Nashville ($11750 at SJ): Forsberg checks in with a mid-level salary, but he has elite-level production lately. Forsberg is good for two goals with six points and a plus-4 rating over the past four outings, turning in multi-point performances in three of those games.

Brandon Sutter, Pittsburgh ($8200 at CLB): Sutter is expected to slide up to a top-six forward job Saturday night with C Sidney Crosby (illness) on the shelf. At a low-end salary, Sutter is worth a roll of the dice, especially since he is expected to see time on the man advantage. C-LW Nick Spaling ($6550) is also worth a look, as he too will scoot up.

WINGS (for Saturday)

Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg ($14400 vs ANA): Some DFS providers might even still allow Byfuglien as a rearguard, making him extra valuable. He has four goals and seven points with a plus-4 rating over the past six games. Lately he has reverted back to his rearguard ways, too, blocking five shots over the past two games. He is particularly useful in leagues which reward hits, too, posting 17 over the past five games.

Joffrey Lupul, Toronto ($8400 vs DET): Lupul is good for four goals with eight points and a plus-6 rating over the past six games, going scoreless just once. He also has three minor penalties during the span, and like Byfuglien he is useful in leagues rewarding hits. He has 21 hits over the past seven outings.

DEFENSEMEN (for Saturday)

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay ($9400 at WAS): Hedman can contribute in so many different categories. In 12 games he has three goals with 10 assists and 18 penalty minutes while turning in a plus-6 rating. He also has at least one blocked shot in nine of his 12 outings, making him a cheap option with a ton of upside.

Daily Fantasy: Tuesday’s NHL picks

Daily Fantasy: Tuesday’s NHL picks

Daniel Dobish, Staff Writer December 9, 2014

There are 10 games in the National Hockey League Tuesday, Dec. 9, and the Los Angeles-Buffalo (7:30pm ET) game is nationally televised on NBC Sports Network.

(FanWars.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET)

GOALTENDER

Cory Schneider, New Jersey ($17600 vs CHI): Schneider has allowed three or fewer goals in 10 of the past 11 games. While he has managed just one victory in his past six appearances, Schneider will be matched up against Chicago Blackhawks backup G Scott Darling. The Devils have been struggling lately, but they are 8-2 in their past 10 home games against the Blackhawks, and the home team is 11-5-1 in the past 17 meetings in this series. That bodes well for Schneider’s Fantasy outlook.

CENTER

Boone Jenner, Columbus ($8400 vs PHI): Jenner heads into this game with a goal in three consecutive games, and he has a plus-3 rating with two penalty minutes and seven shots on goal (SOG) during the span. He has a mid-level price, but he has been red hot offensively, and he’ll block an occasional shot and is no stranger to the penalty box.

Sean Monahan, Calgary ($11000 at TOR): Monahan has posted two goals with six points and a plus-5 rating over the past six games. He also has managed 18 shots on goal with four blocked shots during the span, so even if he isn’t etching his name onto the scoresheet he is helping Fantasy owners.

WINGS

Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal ($9150 vs VAN): Galchenyuk has posted a goal with three assists over the past five games, and he has managed to squeeze off 14 shots during the span. While he isn’t putting up mind-boggling numbers, he has done well enough and comes with a low-level salary. Including him will help to save money for other positions.

Joffrey Lupul, Toronto ($9500 vs CGY): Lupul has managed four goals with seven points and a plus-6 rating during his current four-game points streak. He has also managed to roll up14 hits over the past five games if your Daily Fantasy provider rewards the category.

DEFENSEMEN

Trevor Daley, Dallas ($9150 vs WPG): Daley has managed three assists over his past five games, but he hasn’t scored a goal in 14 games dating back to Nov. 6. That sounds bad, but he has kept his Fantasy head above water with at least two blocked shots in eight straight games, and nine of the past 10 outings.