Teaching You How to #Win – NFL Divisional Saturday Fantasy Breakdown

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Divisional_SaturdayThis weekend, we kickoff the divisional round of the NFL playoffs which means you only have this weekend and next weekend left in daily fantasy for the NFL season. The good news is that this week, there are actual offenses playing and so we should actually get some scoring this upcoming weekend. We kickoff the weekend in New England, where the Patriots are expected to be close to full strength and then the Saturday night game features the top projected scoring contest of the weekend, according Vegas. I suspect that there won’t be as many penalties in that game compared to last Saturday but this should be just as exciting so let’s breakdown these matchups for your daily fantasy lineups!


Kansas City @ New England

New England StadiumThe Patriots come into this contest having lost 2 of their past three, including their last game against Miami which cost them home field throughout the playoffs. This was very surprising as Miami’s defense put a strangle hold on the Patriots offense, holding down everyone including the worst performance of the season from Brady. In fact Brady limped away from this game with an injured ankle but that is all in the past and now we are onto the playoffs. This is where the Patriots have thrived and Brady is 9 – 2 in the divisional round in his career. In come the Chiefs, riding an 11 game winning streak and utterly destroying the Texans last weekend on the road 30 – 0. The projected outcome this week from Vegas is New England 23.5 Chiefs 18.5 as the Chiefs are a -5 dog on the road. The over/under in this matchup is 42 points so let’s breakdown this game for both sides.

New England Notable Players Breakdown

  • Tom Brady – Avg. 26.1 fantasy points at home but only 18.38 over his last 5, including 5.3 in week 17, his lowest performance of the season. In fact Brady has gone for 18.6 or less in each of his last 4 contests.
  • Rob Gronkowski – Avg. 19.6 fantasy points at home and only 14.46 in his last 5 games which also included a lacking 3.8 in week 17. With all of the weapons hurt at the end of the season except Gronk, the opposing defenses have covered him with 2 or 3 guys and dared the nobodies of New England to beat them and they couldn’t. One thing to note is that Gronk did go over 20 points 6 times this season which is 35.3% of the time.
  • Julian Edelman – Averaged 18.2 fantasy points at home prior to his injury. The trend here to consider is that while KC was ranked 26th against the WR position in week 9, they finished at 20th by the end of the season and really shut down Hopkins last week. With the foot injury he is coming back from, he will most likely be low owned but is a risk considering we haven’t seem him play since week 10.
  • James White – Avg. 12.0 fantasy points at home this season but 17.72 over his last 5 contests. He lead the backfield in the passing game, catching 28 balls over the last 5 games but his salary this Sunday is the highest it has been of the season, making him no longer a huge value play.
  • New England Defense – They only averaged 8.3 points at home this season but 9.2 over their last 5 contests. That said, they only eclipsed 10 fantasy points or more 5 times in the entire season. They won’t give up much yardage in this game nor should they allow very many points so they should be considered, the issue here will be creating turnovers.

Kansas City Notable Players Breakdown

  • Alex Smith – Averaged 17.8 fantasy points per game on the road this season and only 15.24 over his last 5 games. In fact, he only went over 20 fantasy points 5x all season and hasn’t hit that mark since week 13.
  • Jeremy Maclin – He is hurt and will most likely not play in this game but if he does, he did average 15.8 fantasy points on the road this season and the last time he was under 10 fantasy points it was week 11 and the next week he had his best game producing 34 fantasy points. That said, don’t take him, too risky this week.
  • Travis Kelce – He might be the only Chief that has any offensive production, just like last week as he is the only Chief to have a significant uptick in fantasy points per game on the road this season at 14.8 fantasy points per game. The thing to consider here is the fact that the Patriots are known for taking away the #1 options and that is clearly Kelce for the Chiefs.
  • Kansas City Defense – This has been the reason the Chiefs are still around this season and that is due to their performance on the defensive side of the ball. They are averaging 12.9 fantasy points on the road this season and 17.6 over their last 5 games. Fact, they only went under 10 points 2 time all season. If they take a look at the Dolphin tape, they could shut down the Patriots and this could be a closer game than expected.

fanduelOverall, what does all this mean for this matchup. DC*3PO has this game as a blowout with the Patriots winning 27 – 12 and that is pretty likely considering the offense of the Chiefs and most of the weapons returning for New England. On FanDuel this means Santos as your Kicker, unless you can afford Gostkowski in which case he should always be your option. Aside from that look for the Chiefs to punt often and the Patriots to hit a couple of big plays. One sneaky play here would be Albert Wilson for the Chiefs. If Maclin is a no go, look for a lot of targets to come his way and so he might be a cheap option for value this week. Chalk play here is Gronkowski and really you should stay away from everyone else. The Chiefs backfield is completely up in the air with Ware having an ankle injury and West’s production on the decline, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Knile Davis have a role in this game but no Chief back will go over 10 fantasy points.


Green Bay @ Arizona

Arizona StadiumThis Saturday night, we get to see the grudge match between the Packers and the Cardinals. In the last contest, it was all about the Arizona defense as they lead the daily fantasy world in week 16, producing 33 fantasy points. The sacked Rodgers 9 times in that game and had 2 return TD’s. Rodgers played well last week and came out with a “W” in Washington but this Cardinals team is no joke. They are a high powered offense with a play makers all over the field. They can also score on defense. Does this mean they will slaughter the Pack again this Saturday night….NO….but will they win this game, YES! Just don’t expect this to be a blowout with this game coming down to the 4th quarter and the Cardinals holding a late lead to move onto the Championship game. Now let’s breakdown all of the notable players for each team from a daily fantasy perspective.

Green Bay Notable Players Breakdown

  • Aaron Rodgers – He averaged 18.7 fantasy points per game on the road this season but only 10.94 against the Cards in their last matchup. He did put up an 18.3 in his last game but has only gone over 20 points 3 times since week 3. Don’t take him!
  • Eddie Lacy – He produced 9.4 fantasy points on the road this season but was one of the only bright spots against the Cardinals in week 16, producing 15.8 fantasy points in that game. Something of note here is that Lacy has cracked the 10 point barrier in every other contest, dating back to week 11 and he did get over 10 last week against Washington. He is also dealing with an injury that limited him in practice yesterday.
  • James Starks – He was one of our value plays last week and he produced well for us as one of the leading backs of the weekend. Against the Cardinals he only put up .1 points which brought his road average down to 7.9 this season. If Lacy doesn’t go, you should play Starks.
  • Randall Cobb – While getting 10 plays at RB last week, Cobb has been a consistent player this season. He averaged 12.0 fantasy points on the road this season but was only a 4.7 against the Cards last time around. In fact that was the only game over his last 10 where he didn’t get at least 10 fantasy points.
  • James Jones – He is the only Green Bay player to play better on the road this season. He played well against Washington last week, cracking 100 yards and averaged 13.6 fantasy points on the road this season. He did get 11.6 against the Cardinals last time around and that was his lowest output over his last 4 games.
  • Richard Rodgers – The only thing you need to know here is that he has only been over 6 points 1 time in his last 6 games which is when the head coach took over play calling duties. Stay away from him….you know who I’m talking to!
  • Green Bay Defense – Another glaring stat for them is the fact that they only produced more than 10 fantasy points 2 times since week 5. The Cardinals are going to score and score often.

Arizona Notable Players Breakdown

  • Carson Palmer – While playing well at home, averaging 21.1 fantasy points per game, he hasn’t scored over 20 since week 14 and only put up 17.6 against the Pack in their last game. That was largely due to the fact that it was a blowout early in that game and the Pack have given up at least 20 fantasy points to the opposing QB in 5 straight games.
  • David Johnson – This guy is electric and has been on a tear since taking over the starting RB job in Arizona. Since that time he has averaged 23.16 fantasy points and had 12 TD’s this season.
  • John Brown – He was 2nd on the team in home average at 13.5 fantasy points per game and went over 10 fantasy points in all but 3 contests this season.
  • Larry Fitzgerald – While leading the Cardinals in home average at the WR position at 16.4 fantasy points per game, he only averaged 12.1 over his last 5 games and only 12.9 against the Packers in their last matchup.
  • Michael Floyd – He was huge against the Packers last time around producing 20.1 fantasy points and 2 TD’s in that game compared to his 11.1 average at home this season. Something to note is that he has the highest average at 15.86 over the last 5 games for the Cardinals.
  • Arizona Defense – We already noted that they put up an amazing 33 fantasy points against the Packers last time around but having a -3.0 against the Seahawks in week 17 brought their season average down. If you take that game out the Cardinals averaged 12.8 fantasy points at home this season and have gone over double digits in 3 of the last 4.

With Vegas expected this one to be higher scoring as the over/under is at 50 points as of today, the Cardinals are a 7.5 home favorite. DC*3PO has this game projected to be an upset with Green Bay winning this game outright 25 to 24. Still taking the under in this one and I agree that Green Bay will cover but I think the Cardinals pull it out late. Some team stats to consider would be that the Cardinals are expected to out gain the Packers by approximately 120 yards in this game and if Palmer gets the passing game going, this could be a blowout again. Chalk plays in this one are Palmer & Johnson. I think that Brown is the play at WR for the Cardinals but you can probably take all three and be just fine with Antonio Brown’s availability in question and Edelman coming back from his broken foot, you can save on WR this week and ensure you take Gronkowski! You should expect that most of the public will take the Cardinals defense this weekend simply because of their last matchup so be cautious there as defense might be the one that determines the winners again this weekend.

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United Stats of America – #NBA Edition

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Warriors finally lose when Curry scores 30-plus

The Warriors received 38 points from Stephen Curry but lost to the Nuggets in Denver on Wednesday night. Golden State had won 24 consecutive games when Curry scored 30 or more points prior to Wednesday’s action. That was the longest streak of consecutive games won by a player when scoring 30 or more points since Jamaal Wilkes’ teams were victorious in an NBA record 28 consecutive contests when he registered at least 30 points from 1976 to 1982. Wilkes played for both the Warriors and Lakers and appeared in 516 games during his streak before it ended on January 5, 1983 when he scored 36 points in an overtime loss to the 76ers.

nullHarden reaches 10,000 points

James Harden recorded his 10,000th career point in the Rockets’ win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Harden became the 330th player in NBA history to reach the 10,000 point milestone, but he is only one of six players with more free throws made (3,111) than field goals made (2,951) through the game in which their 10,000th point was recorded. The others are Neil Johnston, Ed Macauley, Corey Maggette, Cedric Maxwell and Dolph Schayes.

nullDurant, Ibaka team up to beat Mavericks

Kevin Durant recorded 29 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka chipped in with 20 points and 11 rebounds in the Thunder’s win over the Mavericks on Wednesday night. It marked the sixth time that Durant and Ibaka each recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game as teammates (Oklahoma City is 5-1 in those games). The only other current pair of teammates to do that at least six times are the Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol (eight times) and the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris (six times).

Celtics beat Pacers with strong finish

The Celtics trailed the Pacers by a score of 94-91 with just 2:14 remaining in the fourth quarter but rallied to score the final 12 points of the game and came away with a 103-94 victory on Wednesday night. It’s the first time the Celtics scored the final 12 or more points of a game turning a deficit into a win since March 13, 2004, when they shocked the Wizards by scoring the game’s final 14 points in a 111-102 victory.

nullMiles is the latest to misfire from beyond the arc

C.J. Miles misfired on all nine of his three-point attempts in Indiana’s loss to the Celtics on Wednesday night. Although we are less than half way through the NBA season, it is already the fourth time that a player has gone 0-for-9 or worse from beyond the arc in a game this season, with Miles joining James Harden (0-for-10 on November 1), Paul George (0-for-9 on December 3) and Kyle Korver (0-for-10 on December 29) on the list. That ties the most such performances in a single season since the NBA instituted the three-point shot in 1979-80. During the 2003-04 season,Charlie Ward (New York), Baron Davis (New Orleans), Tracy McGrady (Orlando) and Jamal Crawford (Chicago) each went 0-for-9 or worse from three-point range in a game.

Brown’s first win ends Nets’ home losing streak

The Nets ended a 10-game home losing streak with a victory over the Knicks in Brooklyn and in the process handed interim head coach Tony Brown his first career victory. Brown is only the third head coach in NBA history whose first career win ended a single-season home losing streak of 10 or more games. The only other head coaches to do that are Kevin Loughery whose first career win came when the 76ers topped the Bucks ending a 10-game home losing streak on February 14, 1973; and Melvin Hunt, who led the Nuggets to a win over the Bucks snapping Denver’s 10-game home skid on March 3, 2015 for his initial NBA win.

nullMillsap the lone double-digit scorer for Hawks

Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 20 points but was the only member of Atlanta to reach double digits in scoring in the team’s loss to Charlotte on Wednesday night. It marked the second time this season that Atlanta had only one player score 10 or more points with the other instance coming on December 12 against San Antonio. No other team has had even one such game this season. Prior to this season, the Hawks had only three games in which they had one double-figure scorer in the shot-clock era (1963, 2002 and 2013).

nullBucks three 20-point scorers not enough to win

The Wizards defeated the Bucks by a score of 106-101 on Wednesday. Khris Middleton (25), Jabari Parker (22) and Greg Monroe (21) each topped the 20-point mark for Milwaukee while John Wall led the winners with just 19 points. This season, the only other team to win a game without a 20-point scorer against an opponent with at least three players with 20 or more points was the Mavericks against the Pelicans on November 7. Deron Williams led Dallas with 19 points, while Anthony Davis (25), Eric Gordon (21) and Ryan Anderson (21) each scored at least 20 for New Orleans.

nullLillard continues his strong play

Damian Lillard had 21 points, 10 assists and two steals in Portland’s victory over Utah on Wednesday night. Lillard has now recorded at least 20 points, nine assists and two steals in each of his last four games, equaling the longest such streak in the last eight seasons. Since 2008-09, Chris Paul has done it three times (twice in 2008-09 and once in 2013-14) and Devin Harris (2008-09) and Stephen Curry(2012-13) have done it once each.

Pelicans coast to road win

The Pelicans entered the fourth quarter with a 90-65 lead and held on to beat the Kings in Sacramento on Wednesday night. It’s only the fourth time in the 547 road games the team has played in its franchise history that New Orleans has led by 25 or more points entering the final quarter. The only other such occurrences were on November 21, 2008 (26-point lead at Oklahoma City), November 9, 2009 (31-point lead at LA Clippers) and January 21, 2011 (25-point lead at Atlanta).

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Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics – Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau