Jason Fitzgerald


Recent Posts by Jason

Week 4 FanDuel Fantasy Team and a Small Contest

I didn’t get a chance to do a fantasy post last week, but wanted to jump back into it this week. I am setting up a small 10 team league on FanDuel with a $2 entry fee where the top 3 teams will win a few dollars, provided we get 10 teams to sign up. If you haven’t tried FanDuel yet, the basics are that it is a salary cap based fantasy game where you select your best lineup within a $60,000 budget. It’s a fun format and you should be able to follow the link to see how you select a team without actually having to join. If you do need to join and they ask for a promo code please enter OTC100 so they know you came from here. I’ll leave the league open until 11AM Sunday morning at which point if we don’t have enough signups I’ll see if I can make it public so we can keep the prize pool.

For this week’s post I’ll go over one of the lineups that I selected for entry this week (Ill probably use a slightly different one for the OTC league). My goal was to try to put together a lineup that maximizes my potential score while minimizing the variability in my selections. Essentially it’s a reward/risk proposition looking at the last 8 weeks of play and putting some adjustments for games played this year. So here is my $60,000 lineup.

QB: Nick Foles, $8,300- Foles is basically a 20 point QB who has been relatively steady in his performances, with a low score of around 16 and high of 32. Few have been better than Foles for fantasy value. I like his matchup with the 49ers this week who have not looked great this season. Other options this week were Jay Cutler ($8,100) and Colin Kaepernick ($8,100). If I needed to save more money at QB I would lean towards Joe Flacco ($7,100) and Tony Romo ($7,500). Phillip Rivers provides a strong opportunity based on opponent to hit his high mark if you want a more risky pick. If you must go real cheap give a try to Blake Bortles who may put up good fantasy points in a loss, similar to Chad Henne being a viable option if you want a cheap QB who will at least give you something.

RB1: Le’Veon Bell ($8,800)- Bell has been dominant this season and it dates back to the end of last season. The Steelers match up against the woeful Buccaneers which I think makes him a must play. Arian Foster ($8,400) has been very useful this year, but injuries scare me away even in a home game. DeMarco Murray ($9,000) has been the most impressive player this season and provides the safest play of anyone right now. If he was the same cost as Bell I would have gone with Murray.

RB2: Ahmad Bradshaw ($6,100)- Anyone who listens to my podcasts knows Im a big fan of Bradshaw’s when he is healthy and again I like him as a low cost option this week.  The Colts should wipe out the Titans and Bradshaw should continue to score points for my team. I don’t really care for former Colt Donald Brown ($6,300) but I don’t think you can overlook the fact that the Chargers matchup with the Jaguars this week. Remember that you don’t need to take a low cost back and in some weeks I go with two higher priced guys.

WR1: Julio Jones ($9,100)- Before Jones was injured last year he began to break away from the pack and this year he is in another universe. While this is big money to spend on the position I just don’t think you can pass him up at this point. The other receivers over $8,000 that I like are Antonio Brown ($8,400) and Jeremy Maclin ($8,000)

WR2: Marques Colston ($5,500)- Colston has had a poor year and I think that makes him a strong value pick at $5,500. He matches up against the porous Cowboys secondary which should jumpstart his season. So I like his chances of giving me closer to his max performance threshold than his low performance. In  the higher price ranges I love Julian Edelman ($7,200), Roddy White ($6,900), and Mike Wallace ($6,900).

WR3: James Jones ($5,300)- With Jones I am basically hoping that he can pull off a score to go along with what should be at least 4 receptions for 40-50 yards for Oakland. He’s had two good game this year and they should be able to get him open a bit against the Dolphins. Other low cost players I like are Mike Evans ($5,900), Allen Hurns ($5,700) and Jeremy Kerley ($4,900).

TE: Greg Olsen ($6,100)- Olsen has been a steady target in the Panthers offense over the last two seasons and provides much better value than Jimmy Graham, who is the top performer at the position. Still Olsen is not cheap so if you needed some extra money I’d be looking at Travis Kelce ($5,200) and Owen Daniels ($5,100).

K: Cody Parkey ($5,200)- Parkey has been the top play this year for the Eagles and I think that will continue in what should be an up and down game against San Francisco. Other options to grab a few more dollars to spend on positional players are Dan Carpenter ($5,100) and Nick Folk ($4,900).

Def: Carolina ($5,600)- Im going to go with the best fantasy defense this week even though they are the most expensive. The Ravens line is hurting so they should get to Flacco and I think there could be some points for points allowed as well.  San Diego ($5,300) has big upside against the Jaguars and the Bills ($5,100) have been a decent play and face a Houston team that wont score much.

Play in this weeks OTC FanDuel League

NFL Predictions 2014: Week 4

I had a good week last week going 13-3 SU and 12-4 ATS, so that probably means a tougher than usual week for me this week. I split on the Giants game so now the yearly record through 3 weeks and a game stands at 33-16 and 30-18-1.  Onto week 4…

RAIDERS (+3.5) over Dolphins- Neither team has looked good this season and the Dolphins QB may be on his final audition before they change to Moore. I don’t think the Raiders can do enough on offense to win, but I’m not sure Miami can do enough on offense to cover. So I’ll take the Raiders with a points in a close game. Dolphins 16 Raiders 14

BEARS (+2) over Packers- Chicago hasn’t really looked good in their wins, but Green Bay has simply not looked good. They were overwhelmed in Seattle and couldn’t do anything in Detroit. Even against the Jets it was a good half rather than a good game. I don’t think this is the week they turn it around. Bears 27 Packers 20

TEXANS (-3) over Bills- Im not big on either of these teams and its hard to imagine that one of them will be 3-1 after this week.  I believe in a close game the Texans weaknesses wont be as glaring as the Bills. Texans 19 Bills 14

COLTS (-7.5) over Titans- The Colts 0-2 start was never a real concern simply because of how bad the AFC South is and this game should be a cakewalk for Andrew Luck and company. If the Titans are sticking with their coach for the long term this is nothing more than a year to tear things down to start rebuilding in a decent manner. Colts 31 Titans 14

RAVENS (-3.5) over Panthers- Carolina comes off a bad game and I’d expect this game to be similar. They do get DeAngelo Williams back but right now their offense is out of sync and Cam Newton doesn’t look 100%. Panthers defense wont let this go out of control, but I think it will just be a slow but steady pull away by Baltimore. Ravens 24 Panthers 10

JETS (+2) over Lions- Jets found a number of ways to lose the last two games, but this is a very important game for the team and Id expect them to come out firing. I would not be surprised in the least if that the Lions come out sluggish on the road this week. Jets 24 Lions 16

Buccaneers (+7.5) over STEELERS- The line scares me a little bit because I’m never confident in the Steelers as a big favorite anymore and I cant believe that Tampa will look as bad this week. Maybe they get a spark from Glennon, maybe the Steelers injuries help, maybe the Bucs just show some pride. I’ll call them for the cover. Steelers 24 Buccaneers 20

CHARGERS (-13.5) over Jaguars- San Diego is playing as if they will be of the best five teams in the NFL while the Jaguars are one of the three worst. Offensively they may get a little more with Blake Bortles in there but the defense is so bad that it should not be close. Chargers 37 Jaguars 13

Eagles (+5) over 49ERS- Something is certainly wrong with San Francisco and with a 1-2 record this is a game they really need to have to keep pace in the West. Philadelphia hasn’t been impressive and could easily be 1-2. Wide open game this week with big plays and not a lot of defense. 49ers 34 Eagles 31

Falcons (-3) over VIKINGS- The line scares me because even on the road this begs you to take Atlanta, but I just have a hard time seeing the Vikings keep up in this game. Falcons 24 Vikings 13

COWBOYS (+3) over Saints- I really don’t like the way the Saints are playing and even though the Cowboys defense will likely not have any answers I like the way the Cowboys are approaching the games with the run/pass balance. I think if Dallas minimizes the turnovers they will win outright. Cowboys 31 Saints 27

CHIEFS (+3) over Patriots- I have no idea where to go with this game as neither team excites me and the Patriots were just so disappointing last week. Kansas City needs the game more so for the moment I’ll go with them but this is a game Ill waffle back and forth on until kick off. Chiefs 16 Patriots 14

Podcast: NFL Predictions for Week 4; Thoughts on Redskins/Giants

In the OTC podcast for September 26 I give my predictions and thoughts on the games in week 4, plus I do a quick review of the Giants win in Washington and my thoughts on the terrible job Bruce Allen has done with the Redskins.

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NFL Predictions Week 4: Thursday Night Football

I had a good week last week going 13-3 SU and 12-4 ATS, so that probably means a tougher than usual week for me this week. The yearly record through 3 weeks stands at 33-15 and 29-18-1.  I’ll be back on Saturday with the rest of the picks for the week.

Giants (+3.5) over REDSKINS- I don’t have a really good feel for this game. A big reason for this is the short week game and the Giants, an already mistake prone team, being the road team. I dont expect Washington to have a letdown game after a tough loss on Sunday since this is a division rival, but Im not that confident in them either. If Kirk Cousins has a decent game then I dont think the Giants can score to keep up, but at this point there is little to be said one way or the other on him. The weather could be a factor and the Giants are probably more capable of doing a ground based gameplan for 60 minutes. At the end of the day I’d like to take the extra half point and go with the road team with the points, but hedge the bet with the Redskins pick outright. Redskins 20 Giants 17.

Looking at the 0-3 Teams in the NFL via SN

In this weeks entry at the Sporting News I look at the winless teams of the Raiders, Jaguars, and Buccaneers, examine how they were built and where they go from here. Click on through to go to the article at the SN website.

The NFL’s Best and Worst Values on Offense: Week 3

Every Tuesday or Wednesday during the season I’ll take a look back at the prior weeks games and pick out the best and worst values each week. To gauge values we’ll be looking at a players salary cap charge for the week and comparing that to Pro Football Focus’ grade for a player. I’ll alternate each week between offense and defense. Feel free to leave any feedback in the comments or by email.

Quarterback

Best Value: Kirk Cousins ($688.2K cap charge; +4.5 PFF grade)- The legend of Cousins continues to grow with an outstanding effort against the Philadelphia Eagles on the road. Cousins had over 400 yards and was the most impressive QB in a competitive game on Sunday.

Worst Value: Jake Locker ($4M cap charge; -7.2 PFF grade)- If Locker has another game like this one he’ll probably find himself permanently glued to the bench for the rest of the year. After one nice game to start the year Locker looks completely lost and like he does not belong in the NFL.

Running Back

Best Value: Zac Stacy ($530.1K cap charge; +2.9 PFF grade)- Not really a big week for running backs but Stacy proved to be the best value of the week. Stacy provided the dual threat on the ground and in the air, giving the Rams a different offensive look in a competitive loss against the Cowboys.

Worst Value: LeSean McCoy ($9.7M cap charge; -4.9 PFF grade)- McCoy is beginning to look like another in a long line of players to have monster seasons and mediocre follow up years. 19 attempts for 22 yards is about as bad as it can be at this level.

Wide Receiver

Best Value: DeAndre Hopkins ($1.7M cap charge; +2.7 PFF grade)- The Cardinals John Brown was arguably a better value, but I think Hopkins needs to get more credit for playing significantly more snaps for his team.  Hopkins finished the day with 116 yards and would have had more if he had a competent QB throwing him the football.

Worst Value: Larry Fitzgerald ($8.6M cap charge; -2.4 PFF grade)- Fitzgerald has become an afterthought in the Cardinals offense, whose coaching staff has realized that Fitzgerald is not the player he once was. Just 34 yards as his value keeps falling and falling.

Tight End

Best Value: Lance Kendricks ($1.4M cap charge; +3.1 PFF grade)- Kendricks did a little of everything on Sunday. He was terrific blocking, caught more than a few short passes, and even scored a touchdown for the Rams. Games like this can often go unnoticed but this is one of the better all around “traditional” tight end performances you will see.

Worst Value: Rob Gronkowski ($5.4M cap charge; -3.2 PFF grade)- The Patriots offense looks like a shell of itself and Gronkowski, despite his TD score, is still struggling in his return from injury. The season is still young, but I do think people may be starting to wonder if the Gronkwoski/Brady connection from a few years back will ever exist again.

Tackle

Best Value: Joe Barksdale ($645K cap charge; +4.4 PFF grade)- Barksdale received the second highest score among tackles this week and the highest among right tackles. Effective in both the pass and the run game, Barksdale helped give Austin Davis and Zac Stacy the time and space needed to have surprising Sunday performances.

Worst Value: D’Brickashaw Ferguson ($11.7M cap charge; -3.0 PFF grade)- Ferguson had a rough outing Monday night, especially late in the game when Jared Allen seemed to be getting through him like he did not exist. At one point Jon Gruden mentioned that the team needed to help Ferguson in protection which are words that should never be said about a $10 million a year tackle. Ferguson gave up 5 pressures on the night and was rated the 3rd worst left tackle this week.

Guard

Best Value: Kelechi Osemele ($912.5K cap charge; +3.1 PFF grade)- Osemele allowed no hits on the day, provided good play in the run game and was also positive in pass protection. While he was not truly dominant in any one category he gave the best all around performance of the week.

Worst Value: Andy Levitre ($8.6M cap charge; -4.3 PFF grade)- An awful game for the very high priced Guard in week 3. Levitre graded -3.7 in the run game, had 3 penalties, and was credited with allowing 2 pressures on Sunday.

Center

Best Value: AQ Shipley ($570K cap charge; +3.1 PFF grade)- Playing against the hapless Jaguars likely helps, but Shipley earned the best grade of the week from PFF and at a minimum salary to boot. His dollars per contribution just edged out Russell Bodine of the Bengals this week.

Worst Value: Chris Myers ($7.0M cap charge; -3.2 PFF grade)- It was another poor day for the costly veteran. Myers was ineffective in the run game and allowed two pressures in pass protection.  In the two looks on offense we have done Myers has been the worst center value both times. The Texans need more from their high priced players if they want to maintain a winning record.