As a relatively casual DFS player, I’m much more partial to playing cash games than I am GPP’s for several reasons: 1.) I only play a small number of lineups, 2.) I find it much easier to construct a winning lineup in cash games as opposed to GPP’s, and 3.) I find the chances of taking home substantial money (substantial meaning 2X your original investment) in tournaments to be the opposite of The Hunger Games. The odds are not in my favor. Not that winning in cash games is a walk in the park either, but I’ve had better luck playing one or two lineups in large field 50/50’s or head to heads. That’s personal preference mostly. There is no right or wrong formula to approaching DFS, just make sure you find a strategy that works for you and yields results.
That being said, I’m ready to ditch the cash games this week and play strictly GPP’s. Cash games are near impossible on a two game slate so I’ll stick to the tournaments.
Take Advantage of the Banged Up WR’s
Thursday's NFC Championship Game injury report: pic.twitter.com/VHAKQc6SV0
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 19, 2017
Theoretically, this could be the last game of the year for all four teams so don’t expect anyone to hold anything back. However, do expect injuries to limit some of the top receivers on the board this weekend.
Julio Jones ($8.2k) had to leave last week’s contest against the Seahawks after aggravating the same toe injury that has plagued him all season long. While Jones is adamant he is going to play, he hasn’t practiced all week long. Likely a maintenance issue no doubt, but keep in mind that the toe injury has led to some streaky performances from Jones and he may see a somewhat limited snap count if the injury is still acting up.
To make matters worse for Atlanta, Taylor Gabriel ($4.9k) is banged up as well, meaning Mohammed Sanu ($4.5k) may be the only Falcons WR who sees regular snaps on Sunday. This isn’t a bad thing though, as Sanu is riding a two game TD streak and has seen more red zone targets than any other receiver on the roster.
Things aren’t exactly Georgia peaches on the other side of the ball either. Davante Adams ($6.6k) and Geronimo Allison ($3.8k) also haven’t practiced this week and while Jordy Nelson ($7.6k) has done some limited work, he still has a few cracked ribs and maybe a hole in his lungs. All of the sudden, Aaron Rodgers’ ($8.1k) bag of tricks is looking a bit sparse for Sunday’s tilt in the Dome. Are we looking at a potential Jeff Janis ($3k) game?
Let’s Get Wonky
What do all these names have in common?
Each one of these guys has scored a TD in their respective conference championship games at least once in the past three seasons. Perhaps you remember the days of a productive Steven Jackson and/or Owen Daniels, but if you can tell me what Darren Fells is up to or who Gary Gilliam even is I’ll Venmo you $100. The point here being that sometimes it is the most unexpected guy on the field who winds up becoming the difference maker. A guy like Michael Floyd ($3.3k) perhaps?
The NFC Championship Game isn’t the only place we find a thin receiving corps, as Chris Hogan ($3.9k), Malcolm Mitchell ($3.7k), and Danny Amendola ($3.1k) are all nursing injuries of their own, meaning this could be the week Floyd finally sees some regular snaps at WR and puts a positive spin on that .2 BAC by making a big impact en route to a Lombardi Trophy.
Richard Rodgers ($2.5k), Justin Hardy ($3k), my guy Jeff Janis, and even a guy like Matt Lengel ($2.5) all have realistic opportunities to be that nobody signing autographs at Cardboard Heroes for the next decade because of the heroic score that sent their team to Super Bowl LI.
Don’t be scared to take a flier on one of the lesser known guys in play given the fact that we’re playing in tournaments and the historical wonkiness of NFL Championship games. It could mean the difference between life and death. Not really but you know what I mean.
Since Sunday is unfortunately the last chance we get to play any sort of Fantasy Football until mid-summer (CFL season baby!), I suppose I ought to end the year with a few predictions.
In addition to turning relatively unknown jocks into household names, the NFL’s semi-finals and finals often feature story-lines that come full circle. On March 10, 2016, the Atlanta Falcons signed WR Mohamed Sanu away from the Cincinnati Bengals to replace the departed, yet beloved, Roddy White. Sanu left my Bengals because he wanted to win and win now while in the prime years of his career. Also $32.5 million over 5 years but that’s another story for another day. Now, as one of the few healthy receivers on ATL’s roster and a red zone machine, Sanu is going to finally show why he’s earned every single one of those 32 M’s by sending the Falcons to their first Super Bowl in nearly 20 years.
Mohamed Sanu is my value play of the week. 28-24 Falcons.
Also be sure to keep an eye on Sunday’s O/U set at a lukewarm 60, which, if holds true, would be the highest implied point total in NFL playoff history. No way these teams crack 60 with damn near every skill player in the infirmary ward. Hammer the under.
Super Bowl LI: Patriots vs. Falcons.
Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t much parity in the NFL and kings stay king more often than not. Brady and Belichick get their fifth ring together 32-27.
That’s it, guys. 2016-17 NFL fantasy season, fin. I’ve had a blast writing these articles for you and if you’ve found even one bit of information helpful, insightful, or entertaining, then I can die a happy man. I’ll probably check in with a few off-season posts and maybe some occasional baseball DFS stuff here and there, but until then, I bid you adieu.
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Thank you all for a wonderful season.