Teaching You How to #Win – NFL Conference Championship Fantasy Breakdown

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As we look to breakdown the first matchup of the Conference championships, we start with the New England Patriots. As you can see our DiRT Canon projections have the Patriots favored in every team category with the exception being in rushing yards. Given the past of the Patriots, they might not even run the ball 10 times in this game and just let Brady do his thing in the short to intermediate passing game. This means that Edelman and Gronkowski would have huge games. In fact, let’s take a look at the player breakdown for the Patriots next.NE_PlayerStats

While Brady might only be 2 – 6 in Denver over his career, from a fantasy perspective, his numbers have been more than adequate in the previous few seasons. Having a Patriots stack this weekend is a strong play but also an expensive play with each player being towards the top in terms of salary cost relative to their position. The exception as pretty obvious is going to be James White. Don’t look for much production here unless he breaks a couple of long ones but rather expect Gronkowski and Edelman to get at least 25 combined targets in this game. Now let’s transition over to the Denver Broncos. DEN_TeamStatsThe Broncos have the opposite affect and really that shouldn’t be unexpected when only considering statistical information. Simply put, Peyton Manning had an awful statistical season and therefore the team wouldn’t have high projections of output when considering the immediate history. That’s why I wanted to give you a full breakdown and include a bit more for you this weekend. As we look at the team stats, the Broncos are expected to score the least amount of points of the 4 remaining teams according to both Vegas as well as DC*3PO. The main exception is in the run game for Denver with the Broncos projected to out perform the Patriots in that category this weekend. Aside from that, at the team level, statistically speaking the check marks go to the Pats.

DEN_PlayerStatsAs we look to breakdown the Denver players for this game, there are two strong considerations in CJ Anderson and Emmanuel Sanders. Some interesting facts about the rest of the key fantasy contributors are that Manning only averaged 7.1 fantasy points per game at home this season. Ronnie Hillman is only slightly below Anderson with a 19.1 average over the last 2 games against the Patriots. Last we have Thomas…..oh Thomas….can he even catch the ball anymore? That doesn’t mean he won’t get his opportunities but a fun fact in researching his stats for the year, the key metric that leads me away from him this weekend is the fact that New England held him to 4.6 fantasy points in their game earlier in the season and that was the only game in which Thomas didn’t reach at least double digits. Instead it has been Sanders in the passing game and for the price and value, he is the stronger play this weekend.

Overall, I have the Patriots winning fairly easily 31 – 20 and with the Broncos projected to score the least amount of points and produce the least amount of yards, the Patriots defense is in play for me this weekend.


ARI_TeamStatsIn our NFC Championship game, we have what is expected to be a higher scoring contest. It doesn’t mean closer as Vegas has both of these games at only a 3 point difference and in this case the home team has the edge. The Panthers come in only having lost 1 game all season and while they ended the game last week having given up 24 unanswered points, they still won by 7 because of the absolute demolition in scoring 31 first half points against the vaunted Seattle defense. The reality of that game is that Carolina played to not lose in the 2nd half knowing it would take a small miracle for the Seahawks to come back and so why take unnecessary risks. I agree with that strategy in the long run but we wouldn’t even consider the Cardinals in this matchup if they had continued to destroy Seattle.

ARI_PlayerStatsSo let’s breakdown the visiting team stats again with the Cardinals and how they stack up against the Panthers. All signs lead to a close one with kickers having a role. The projected Vegas outcome of this game is Carolina 25.25 to Arizona 22.25 as the over/under is set at 47.5 according to FiveDimes. DC*3PO isn’t all that much different with the same projected outcome, Panthers win but by an estimated 4.4 points instead of 3 like Vegas. From a fantasy perspective it should be noted that our DiRT Canon projections show that the Cardinals will throw for the most yards this Sunday but won’t rush the ball with much success. As we move into the player analysis for the Cardinals, this means that Palmer is a strong consideration for top QB of the week and really he should be. All season long, he has been in the top 3 in QBR, TD passes and total passing yards. He continued that last week with everyone in the ESPN community stating how terrible and awful he was but from a fantasy perspective, he put more fantasy points than Brady when the game was all said and done. All he did was go over 300 yards passing again and threw 3 TD’s with the last one in OT to bring the Cardinals home with a victory. Beyond Palmer however, there isn’t much else to look at when considering the previous matchup points. Not a single player is averaging more than 7 fantasy points against the Panthers but that is only a one game sample with these teams not playing each other very often. In looking at their away stats, you would lead with Fitzgerald then Brown and finish with Floyd. So if you are taking Brown to score more than Floyd, this is the week to make that selection as the deep ball is very much in play and that is John Brown all day as they say.

CAR_TeamStatsNow let’s get to expected winning team, the Carolina Panthers. From a team projection standpoint it is pretty much a 50/50 split, the Panthers will be able to run the ball and the Cardinals will throw it. What that really means is that if the Panthers can control clock, like they have done all season, run the ball with the effectiveness that they have had all season, they might run out to a big lead again and then have the Cardinals make a late run at them. It is very unlikely that you would get to see them put up 31 points in 22 minutes like last weekend but could it get to 20 – 3 or around there by half time, that is definitely in play here.

CAR_PlayerStatsFrom a fantasy player perspective, there really hasn’t been very many Panthers all season to hang your hat on outside of Cam. While he is the top projected QB at DiRT Canon, he should be considered for all of his play making ability. Just don’t be surprised if he throws for a couple hundred yards, runs for 40 yards and gets a TD. That won’t have him as the top QB this weekend but that might be enough to win the game itself. I have him as the #3 QB behind Palmer and Brady but the numbers are certainly in his favor. Some other key considerations for the Panthers would be Stewart, who looked amazing against a Seattle defense that absolutely stuffed Adrian Peterson the week before, and then Greg Olsen. Olsen has not had very much success against Arizona in the past but he is the most consistent guy in the Panther passing game. Something of note in researching the past is also that Ted Ginn has only 1 game against Arizona and had a -1 point performance in that contest but at home this year has averaged 12.5 fantasy points per game.

All in all, I am actually going to go with the Cardinals in this one to upset the Panthers and we will have both #2 seeds making it to the Super Bowl. There isn’t anything that definitively points in either direction but I like the overall team of Arizona, they have a lot more play makers on offense and if they can keep the rushing attack somewhat under control, I think Palmer hits a late TD and they win 30 – 27. Don’t forget to check back on Sunday as we will reveal our final NFL experts fantasy picks for the season as we look to have our first version of NBA ready for you next week!

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

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Divisional_SundayOn Sunday this weekend, we get the defending NFC champs to take on the 15 – 1 Panthers this weekend. Carolina comes in playing some of the best ball of the season, the lone exception was an unexpected loss to Atlanta in week 16. Aside from that game, Cam Newton has been by far the best QB for daily fantasy over the past 5 games and Wilson is right behind him. If you take out the Minnesota game, he was over 23 points in 6 straight games. The last game of the weekend is the Broncos against the Steelers. Ordinarily this would be a great matchup and their first go around was very competitive with a story of two halves but with Antonio Brown officially out this weekend and Big Ben unlikely to play, this could be a beat down for the Broncos as they look to move onto the AFC Championship.

Seattle @ Carolina

Carolina StadiumThis game opened with Carolina being a 2.5 point favorite and now has been bet down all the way to a pickem’ game. That usually would indicate that you should take Carolina in the game. They are at home where they didn’t lose all season and they did beat Seattle back in week 6. The Seahawks have really turned it around since that game and that is why these two will put it down this weekend. From a fantasy perspective, these teams have probably filled your daily fantasy lineups down the stretch but against each other this is a difficult matchup. Both teams are known for their defense while their offensive games have played a huge role in getting each of these teams to the divisional round this season. Cam Newton will be the MVP of the league this year and Wilson would be in that category if he had played as well as he has the last 11 weeks during the first few games of the season going for 25 TD’s and 2 Int’s over that stretch. It should be noted that DC*3PO has this game as a blowout with Seattle accomplishing nothing on offense and only putting up 9 points while Carolina goes for their home average of 27 points. Personally, I like Seattle outright in this game but low scoring with Seattle scoring late to win 16 – 13. Now checkout the player analysis we have completed for you.

Seattle Notable Player Breakdown

  • Russell Wilson – Has only averaged 19.9 fantasy points on the road this season and put up 18.94 in their last game against the Panthers. His hot streak however, quite different, he has put up at least 21 fantasy points in 5 of 6 and the one he didn’t was last week in the freezing cold up in Minnesota.
  • Marshawn Lynch – He is expected to go this weekend but do you really know what you are going to get. We all expect a big performance but he is an older back, coming off abdominal surgery and the Carolina rush defense was 6th overall this season. He did average 14.5 fantasy points on the road prior to his injury, I’m saying to stay away this weekend.
  • Doug Baldwin – He averaged 15.2 fantasy points per game on the road but only scored 5.3 against the Panthers earlier this season. His hot streak, over his last 5 games he has averaged 21.26 fantasy points, including a huge dud against the Rams in week 16. He has had at least 20 fantasy points in 6 of his last 8 games.
  • Tyler Lockett – His road average was 11.8 points and DNP against Carolina early in the season. He has been at 13 over his last 5 but that includes a 31 point performance 5 weeks ago and since then he has been under 6 fantasy points in 3 straight games.
  • Seattle Defense – On the road they averaged 11.2 fantasy points and put up 7.0 points against Carolina last time around. They have been under that road average over their last 5 games, coming in at 9.2 during that span but never scored more than 15 all season.

Carolina Notable Player Breakdown

  • Cam Newton – Has averaged 27.5 fantasy points per game at home, this is the highest in the league this season. He did manage 21.76 against the Seahawks last time around and has been at 31.9 points over his last 5 games. In fact, Newton has only gone under 20 fantasy points 2 times since week 7.
  • Jonathon Stewart – He averaged 12.4 fantasy points at home and did put up 21.6 against Seattle back in week 6. He has also increased his workload prior to his injury, over his last 5 games he averaged 16.48 fantasy points. His hot streak status is that he has had at least 10 fantasy points in every game since week 9.
  • Ted Ginn Jr. – Prior to his injury he averaged 14.1 fantasy points per game at home but only managed 2.8 points against the Seattle secondary in their last meeting. Ginn was one of the hottest, still cheap value plays prior to his injury, going for over 25 fantasy points in 3 straight games.
  • Greg Olsen – The most consistent player for the Panthers until week 16 this season, he averaged 15.2 points per game at home and had his 2nd best performance 29.1 fantasy points but only 12.72 in his last 5. His in on a cold streak and this is believed to be directly related to his injury against the Falcons and has only gone over 10 one time over the last 4 games.
  • Carolina Defense – Averaged 10.8 fantasy points at home but only 4.0 against Seattle last time around. Their last 5 game average has been 8.6 points but they only went over 10 fantasy points 6 times all season.

fanduelOverall, what this really means is taking Cam Newton should be a solid chalk play but due to price, having Palmer is better play on DraftKings but on FanDuel, taking Newton make a ton of sense. Beyond that it really comes down to Doug Baldwin and Greg Olsen. Both should have solid days but neither will go for more than 22 fantasy points this weekend. That said, those numbers were good enough to win and this might be able to get it done with that level of points as well.

Pittsburgh @ Denver

Denver StadiumThis game is going to turn out to be the worst game of the weekend and that is simply because of all of the injuries to the Steelers. 5 weeks ago, they might have been the favorite to take down the AFC with the Broncos QB situation, Bengals QB situation and all of the other injuries to the Patriots but now when it is time to play, Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams are out with Big Ben listed as questionable. This will be the first time that a playoff team will play a game without their leading runner and wide receiver in the history of the NFL. Big Ben will most likely be a GTD as it will come down to the medication he is able to inject in his shoulder and how much pain he will have to tolerate. The good news for Broncos fans is that if Big Ben does play, you know he won’t be able to throw it more than 20 yards down field so the Denver defense is in play. Now for the player stats:

Pittsburgh Notable Players Breakdown

  • Ben Roethlisberger – If he plays here are some stats to consider, he only averaged 16.4 points per game on the road, this is 9.3 points less than his home average. He did produce 27.9 against Denver in their last meeting but has only averaged 17.44 over his last 5 games.
  • Fitzgerald Toussaint – He did produce 15.88 points last week and did get 4 catches. If Big Ben can’t go then Toussaint is a very strong play simply because of what he represents in the check down game.
  • Martavis Bryant – With Brown out you would think that he would be the guy but what that really means is that he will be covered by one of the top 5 corners in the game today. He has only averaged 11.2 fantasy points on the road this season and only 10.4 over his last 5 games. Look for him to be a boom or more likely bust play this weekend.
  • Markus Wheaton – Now here is the guy that will reap the benefits of not having Brown in the lineup. He has produced 11.7 fantasy points per game on the road and did manage 18.2 against Denver last time around. Look for most of the targets to come his way in the short passing game as that is what Big Ben will have to manage, assuming he plays.
  • Pittsburgh Defense – They managed 8.4 fantasy points on the road but only 6.0 points against Denver last time around when Brock torched them in the first half. That said, they have managed to average 15.5 fantasy points over their last two games and with Manning playing in colder weather, the chance of turnovers is a very high likelihood.

Denver Notable Players Breakdown

  • Peyton Manning – Talk about terrible stats, only 6.4 fantasy points per game at home this season and 2.56 in the 2nd half against the Chargers in his last game. Prior to that he put up a negative 3 spot against the Chiefs so stat wise, you have no reason to take Manning based on his performance this season. However, the Steelers secondardy finished 31st against the WR position in terms of fantasy points per game and Sanders with Thomas are a dynamic duo that could produce well for Manning this Sunday.
  • CJ Anderson – He finished the season with a 14.5 fantasy points per game at home this year, this is 8.5 points better than on the road but only produced 3.0 points last time around.
  • Ronnie Hillman – Just like Anderson, Hillman also outperformed his road performance this season by over 8.5 points per game, finishing with a home average of 14.7 fantasy points per game. He too only put up 3.8 fantasy points against the Steelers last time around but has gone for 34.9 in his last 2 games.
  • Emmanuel Sanders – He averaged only 10.3 fantasy points at home which was -12.0 fantasy points per game compared to his road average but that is because he put up a season high 39.5 fantasy points against the Steelers last time around. He has also averaged 13.9 over his last 3 since coming back from injury.
  • Demaryius Thomas – Plain and simple, he is the most consistent player for Denver from a fantasy perspective, averaging 16.9 points at home and only went under 11 points 1 time all season. He did put up a nice effort with 23.1 points against the Steelers last time around.
  • Denver Defense – This was the play each and every week for the first 5 weeks of the season but their ability to score on defense has since declined dramatically. In fact they have gone over 10 points only once since week 6 and only averaged 7.4 fantasy points at home this season. That all being said, considering the injuries of the Steelers, this is probably the most likely play at defense this week.

DC*3PO has this game as a blowout with Denver winning 29.95 – 16.8. That is a pretty likely outcome considering the information that we have just gone through and yardage wise, a huge difference in favor of Denver as well. The chalk plays in this one would really only be Thomas and so value plays are going to be Wheaton and Sanders with CJ Anderson and the Denver Defense being strong Sleeper considerations.

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow before you set your lineups for this weekend as we will reveal our expert’s lineups for this weekend!

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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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Teaching You How to #Win – NFL Wildcard Sunday Fantasy Breakdown

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NFC_WildcardSunday football traditions are coming to a close as this weekend, for the first time that I can recall, we will only have NFC teams playing on Sunday. Usually the NFL will split the weekend up but in this case, they have both NFC teams playing on Sunday and the only reason I can think of is because both Green Bay and Minnesota are in the playoffs and they both played Sunday night. Other than that, I have no idea but that said, we will break these matchups down for you in preparation for finalizing your lineups tomorrow morning for the “All Games” contests. Starting next week we will be kicking back off our NBA Daily DiRTy Plays with full analysis each day so look for that as well. So let’s get it on!


Seattle vs Minnesota

Our third contest of the Wildcard weekend brings yet another rematch from earlier in the season. In week 13 these teams met in Minnesota and the Seahawks came to town and flat out whipped the Vikings that day. Wilson threw for 5TD’s in that game and Adrian Peterson was only 6.4 fantasy points that day, his second lowest of the season. It was after this game that the public realized that the Seahawks were coming on at the end of the season and this was the third consecutive game of at least 3 TD’s for Wilson. That trend finished the season with 24 TD’s and 1 Int for Wilson. That all said, the key to this game will be the wind. While it is expected to only be 2º and feels like -9º, there isn’t expected to be any wind gusts to deal with. In fact, the sun is supposed to shine in this one so the advantage in that case will also be in favor of Seattle. All that really means is Doug Baldwin should be a lineup consideration. Now let’s get to the stats:

  • Vegas Over/Under – 39.5 (Seattle 22 – Minnesota 17)
  • DC*3PO – Projects Seattle to win this game 25 – 23 from an expected points scored perspective
  • Minnesota – Only projected to have a total of 332 yards of offense, this is the least amount among all of the Wildcard teams
  • Projected Rushing Yards – When you have Lynch and Peterson expected to play and play big roles, neither is projected to get 100 yards in this game as both defenses are tough in terms of fantasy points points given up to the RB1.

From a team perspective, a lot of people will be on the Seattle Defense and while that could pan out, the Seahawks, outside of the last game against the Cardinals, didn’t generate turnovers this year. Even in the blowout in their last game against the Vikings, they only generated 10 fantasy points. The player that is most likely to score the most points in this contest is Doug Baldwin and then it drops all the way down to the kickers. So for FanDuel, take your pick here and this will be your key to success. Let’s breakdown some individual players now:

  • Russell Wilson – Averaged 21.0 points per game on the road this season and scored 34.1 in their previous matchup, his second highest output of the season.
  • Doug Baldwin – Averaged 15.2 fantasy points per game on the road and scored 26.4 points against the Vikings last time around
  • Adrian Peterson – Only averaged 16.3 fantasy points per game at home, which is 3 points less than he did on the road, along with only 6.4 points last time around.
  • Kyle Rudolph – Averaged 9.8 points per game at home but only produced 4.3 against the Seahawks last time.

fanduelAll in all, on paper Seattle should win this game pretty easily, they will shut down the run and force Bridgewater to beat them and without any weapons to do so, stay away from every Viking player in daily fantasy this week. On the Seahawks, if you can afford Russell Wilson, that is a strong consideration as we have him ranked #1 overall from a projection standpoint this weekend. Take Doug Baldwin, nuff said! Lynch is an interesting play but risky considering you don’t know what you might get from him coming off of injury.


Green Bay vs Washington

Of all the games that are being played this weekend, the only one that somewhat shapes up to be an offensive game is Washington taking on the Packers. Ordinarily that would mean that Aaron Rodgers is the guy you should be looking at but not this season. This season Kirk Cousins has outscored Aaron Rodgers in terms of fantasy points in each of the last 4 weeks and 6 of the last 8 weeks of the season. The Packers haven’t been able to really do anything since the Broncos put a beat down on them back in week 8, let me show you the numbers on this one:

  • Aaron Rodgers – Averages only 18.8 fantasy points per game on the road, this is -3.5 points per game compared to his home average. Rodgers also hasn’t cracked the 20 point mark since his Hail Mary came true against the Lions 5 games ago and he didn’t crack 15 fantasy points since week 14.
  • Randall Cobb – He as the second leading fantasy point getter for the Packers this season but he only averaged 11.6 fantasy points per game on the road which is -3.9 points from his home average.
  • Eddie Lacy – He averaged 9.2 fantasy points per game on the road this season which is also in the negative from his home average at -1.9.
  • James Starks – While he is probably the only Packer worth taking this Sunday, he only averaged 7.0 fantasy points on the road which is -7.5 fantasy points from his home average. His salary on DraftKings of $3,600 is the value that you need to get the other guys out there this week. Face it, Lacy needs to drop the weight and gain some agility back.
  • Green Bay Defense – Only averages 7.0 fantasy points per game on the road (the least of the playoff teams) and they too are -1.0 from their home average.

If you haven’t caught the trend yet, let me make it as clear as I can….every single player for Green Bay plays worse on the road and not by tenths of a point here or there at least 1 point and up to 7 points, that means between 10 and 70 yards to put that into perspective….again every player, including their QB. Want some more, Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 14 times in the past 2 weeks and the Washington defense has averaged 5 sacks per game over the past 3 weeks. This means Rodgers goes down and goes down often, no one will get open and while the Pack might score, Starks is going to provide that scoring this week. Now you combine that with these Washington stats:

  • Kirk Cousins – Home average is 23.4 fantasy points per game which is 5.7 points better than being on the road. His last 4 games were 19.04, 35.2, 38.86 & 25.3. Keep in mind the 19.04 was only a half last week, with nothing to play for, look for Cousins to light up the Packers. This should be your top consideration at QB this weekend.
  • Alfred Morris – He is expected to get the start and take the bulk of the carries but who really knows at this point. It appears to be more of a feel during each game but since we are proving you the info, Morris, has averaged a mere 8.5 fantasy points per game at home but that is 4.1 points better than on the road.
  • Jordan Reed – He is the only player for Washington that doesn’t have a better average at home versus away but that said it is close and he averaged 17.6 fantasy points per game at home this season with at least 27 points in the last 3 meaningful games he played in this season. Another player that will be highly owned but is really a #MustHave
  • DeSean Jackson – He finished the season averaging 14.1 fantasy points per game at home which was 6.4 points better than on the road. Since coming back from injury his only dud was against the Bears and the Packers do get burned deep. Look for a nice value play at only $4,500 and huge big play potential.

So all of the players for Washington play above their average by far at home and all the Packers play well below their average on the road, Washington will win this game. For fantasy, taking all four of these Washington players should be a strong consideration along with their defense and you will watch your team climb the leader board on Sunday afternoon and finish the weekend taking down the majority of money to be made!

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

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AFC_WildcardThe New Year has begun and the NFL playoffs are just about to get started. In daily fantasy this means that you only have 3 weeks left to finish off your season and so we wanted to change things up a bit and breakdown each matchup for you from a daily fantasy perspective. Today we will breakdown the Saturday matchups and on Friday we will breakdown the Sunday matchups. On Saturday morning, we will be publishing our final lineups for this weekends contest for all games as well as Saturday only. On Sunday morning we will provide our Sunday only lineup considerations and any roster changes that you should consider. Starting next week we will be kicking back off our NBA Daily DiRTy Plays with full analysis each day so look for that as well. So let’s get it on!

Kansas City vs Houston

How many people knew that on week 1 of the NFL season you were watching the first NFL Wildcard matchup as the Chiefs took on the Texans. You might not remember but in week 1 Alex Smith was the top fantasy QB per dollar spent in week 1 and was the top overall sleeper as he lit up the secondary of the Texans along with Travis Kelce. The two players combined for just over 50 fantasy points. Maclin was yet to really get involved in the offense and everyone was wondering what happened to the Texans defense. The other player that kicked off the season on a hot streak in this matchup was DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins went for over 30 fantasy points in that contest just as he did an additional 6 times throughout the regular season. What does that mean for this weekend, let’s breakdown the numbers and see if these fantasy studs from week 1 should be considered again this week.

  • Houston Defense – Has produced at least 12 fantasy points in 5 straight contests, including 22 in week 16 and 29 in week 17.
  • Jeremy Maclin – Has scored at least 12 points in 9 straight contests and over 15 in each of the last 4 games.
  • DeAndre Hopkins – Finished the season with 115 catches and over 1,500 yards while being in top 5 for targets in 13 of the 16 weeks he played this season. The Chiefs defense is also 23rd against the WR1 position this season.
  • Chiefs RB’s – The question here is, who is going to get the ball, whomever it is from week to week, one thing is true, they will get at least 75 yards and one TD.

Obviously weather has no impact here so let’s just compare the two QB’s for this contest.

  • Brian Hoyer – He only averaged 14.3 fantasy points per game at home this season, including 11.3 in week 1.
  • Alex Smith – He averaged 18.3 in road games this season, including 23.2 against the Texans in week 1

Vegas has this game with the over/under at 40 points with the Chiefs a road favorite at -3 as of today. This means that Vegas is saying the Chiefs will win this game 21.5 to 18.5. What that really means is three TD’s by the Chiefs and 1 TD for the Texans with some field goals mixed in. How will these points get scored. In reviewing our Odds page here, we show the following projections:

  • Kansas City wins 23 – 22
  • Both QB’s will pass for around 240 yards
  • Both teams will rush for about 118 yards give or take a yard

fanduelWhat do all of these stats mean for your daily fantasy lineup this weekend. The guys to consider in this game should be Maclin and Hopkins, beyond that, either QB could be a nice play for a cheap option but the chances of either of them going for over 30 fantasy points this Sunday is pretty unlikely. The defenses on both sides are really the strengths of these teams and so taking one of those defenses are the best option for you.


Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati

This Saturday night, we get to see the grudge match between the Bengals and the Steelers. Each team won at the other’s place this season and the Bengals are 2 – 13 over their last 15 home games against Pittsburgh. Combine that with the fact that the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the early 90’s and the last time these two met in a similar situation the Steelers torn the knee up of Carson Palmer and eventually went on to win the Super Bowl. While Palmer might get his revenge this season, that is because the Cardinals have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl this season but what does that mean for the Steelers. If you were to ask any analyst three weeks ago, who you got in the AFC, most would have said the Steelers simply because of the injuries to New England, Dalton had gone down against these Steelers and no other team that was going into the playoffs had a QB to be that concerned with. So now you have Big Ben getting a back door visit to the playoffs because the Jets can’t seem to beat the Bills and they will most likely play against McCarron this time around. McCarron played decently in the second half against these Steelers, after Dalton was knocked out with a broken thumb which included a long bomb (78 yard TD) to AJ Green but the Steelers still had a pick 6 and took care of the Bengals in that matchup. The one thing that most don’t know is that the Bengals are one of very few teams that have shut down the offense of the Steelers and so for those of you who have to play the Big Ben and Brown combo, here are some numbers to consider.

  • Ben Roethlisberger – Scored just 10.8 points against these Bengals in Cincy last time and 11.48 in their first contest this season.  That is an average of only 11.14 and the weather isn’t going to be any better this time around.
  • Antonio Brown – He had his 3rd worst performance of the season, scoring only 15.7 points against the Bengals in their last contest.
  • DeAngelo Williams – He was the lone bright spot aside from the defense against the Bengals this season scoring 15.0 points in their first contest and 23.1 in Cincinnati in December. The problem there is, will he play?
  • AJ Green – While having his worst statistical season of his career this year, that certainly wasn’t the case against the Steelers, putting up 31.8 points in their first contest and 28.2 in the game at home a few weeks back. He is an #AbsoluteNotable this weekend.

The weather as of today is expected to be a high of 48° with some light rain and another thing to note here is the fact that neither Bernard nor Jeremy Hill cracked 10 fantasy points in either game against the Steelers this season. In fact, not even Eifert was able to have much impact against Pittsburgh this year. All these stats are pointing to one thing and that is a Pittsburgh victory. DC*3PO shows a slight advantage to Pittsburgh as well with less than a yard of separation in terms of overall projected yardage.

The main guys to target in this matchup are going to be AJ Green and then DeAngelo Williams if he plays, if he doesn’t you almost have to ride with Todman simply for value and take your chances that Big Ben won’t be able to chuck it 60 times for 500 yards in this game.

Get your full FanDuel reports for this week here.

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Teaching You How to #Win – Week 17 Top Projections/Toughest Matchups

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Top Projections &Toughest Matchups

Based on feedback from you, we are giving you a bit more by expanding to all positions. In order to do so we wanted to provide you with some definition behind the data we are providing.TopProjections_wk17

  • DraftKings Tops FPPG – Top 5 players for each position based on fantasy points per game on DraftKings.
  • FanDuel Tops FPPG – Top 5 players for each position based on fantasy points per game on FanDuel.
  • DraftKings Tops Proj  – Top 5 players for each position based on TheDiRTCanon current week projection for DraftKings.
  • FanDuel Tops Proj – Top 5 players for each position based on TheDiRTCanon current week projection for FanDuel.
  • DraftKings Toughest Matchups – Top 5 players with the toughest matchup, based on TheDiRTCanon opponent value with a minimum projection for the needed score to #Win for DraftKings.
  • FanDuel Toughest Matchups – Top 5 players with the toughest matchup, based on TheDiRTCanon opponent value with a minimum projection for the needed score to #Win for FanDuel.

At The DiRT Canon, our matchups not only consider what the player’s opponent has given up to a position, we go all the way down to the depth chart position for that player and what that defense has given up to that position.  We also consider, this information for the current season and ever in the past along with incorporating home or away. We have then added our own personal flavor where we don’t bother providing you with players that aren’t going to play or are basically irrelevant so we have established a custom figure of projection for each position that we also filter by. What does this mean? It means that we aren’t going to tell you some third string guys whom have the lowest opponent value for the week but instead we are looking to display players that are expected to at least get you the minimum amount of points needed from that position in order to #Win.  Just click Weekly_Top5_wk17 for the full report. Like information like this, come and sign up today, we will be offering a 7 day trial, just click here.  Enter promo code WIN and start your FREE TRIAL today!

Intelligence & Analysis

Not unlike last week, we don’t have a ton of top tiered players, playing bottom tiered defenses this week but DC*3PO does project a lower average score this week. This week, DC*3PO has a projected minimum winning score on DraftKings to be 163.9 as of Friday morning and FanDuel to be 138.8. That said, there are some key players that I want to provide some insight and information for you as I look to kick start your lineups for this weekend. After that, use the detailed custom metric creation reports, such as Big Play Potential and Projection2Spend in order to build your lineup. Last, why not check our Lineup Analyzer™ and see if there are any players you should be considering. Just click here, and then you can pick from FanDuel or DraftKings thereafter. Please note, we have a FREE TRIAL, which is a 7 day trial, that cost you nothing. Enter promo code WIN for additional savings on your full membership.BigPlayPotential_wk17

Kick start your lineup for this weekend and use our nfl_dk_big_play_potential_2015-12-31-01-03-20 custom metric in order to determine who is most likely to have a play over 50 yards. In reviewing our top 5 and our Big Play Potential, you should consider looking at CJ Anderson at RB, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson and Brandon Cooks at WR and while our system shows Trey Burton (TE for PHI), we think Ertz will be the guy that catches that big one against the Giants defense. Don’t be surprised if on Sunday you sit and watch Trey Burton, get in the game and catch one ball for a 60 yard TD because this metric has hit each and every week this season in all categories of players.


For full projections for DraftKings go here.

For full projections for FanDuel go here.


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Teaching You How to #Win – Heavy Favorites/Top Over-Under/Matchups to Exploit Week 17

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Heaviest Favorites

As of today, the heaviest favorites for the week are as follows:

  • Carolina at home against Tampa Bay – 11.5
  • Pittsburgh -11.5 at Cleveland
  • New England -11.5 at Miami

The three top favorite games all have impact into playoff positioning with two of these teams vying for home field throughout the playoffs with Carolina and New England. Both teams are playing below average teams that have nothing to play for other than they are divisional opponents so they certainly would like to throw a wrench in mix. As for Cleveland, Manziel pulled yet another idiotic move over the holiday weekend and now you just have to wonder, how did this kid even get into college? How much did his daddy have to pay Texas A&M for him to be able to play. I admit, even I thought he had a shot at being an electrifying playing in the NFL just like he was in college but look at his transgressions. So Austin Davis will most likely get the start and that bodes well for a Pittsburgh blowout. Unlike the Ravens who came to play last week and Big Ben did not, this one is for their season. Look for the Pittsburgh offense to roll the Browns and even the Steelers defense should be a consideration this week. For Carolina, it’s their defense and Cam Newton, you cannot rely on anyone else this weekend with Olsen and Stewart having some injury issues the past couple of weeks. In New England, Tom Brady could be owned by less than 10% of the field this weekend and he has owned Miami in his career. Not to mention the Dolphins haven’t stopped anyone in the past 4 weeks and with New England looking to secure the top seed in the AFC, Gronkowski and White are also players you should be looking at on Sunday morning.

Top Overall Game Over/Under

The highest projected contest this week is….rolling the dice……oh wait we already know it’s the Saints and whoever they face. This week it is the Atlanta Falcons, who are coming off a strong performance, taking down the undefeated Panthers last weekend. The problem in this game is the only thing that matters is the rivalry. These teams hate each other more than any other rivalry, they just don’t get the press that some of these other teams get. This matchup has an over of 53 and that is 6 points higher than any other game this weekend and that means that stacks on this matchup should be something you consider more so than any other game. Players that are on the board are Julio Jones, Matt Ryan and Freeman from the Falcons, Hightower, Brees, Watson and Cooks for the Saints. Personally, I like the Falcons players more so than the Saints, the exception being Hightower as most wouldn’t know this but the Falcons are #1 against the WR position this season in terms of fantasy performance. What the Falcons cannot stop is the RB and TE position. In their last contest, earlier in the season Ben Watson and Mark Ingram had over 26 fantasy points each in that contest while Brees and Cooks, not so much. Matt Ryan and any other top 20 QB that has played the Saints this season has scored at least 25 fantasy points. Julio Jones is shooting for a 16 catch 208 yard performance in order to be the single season all-time record holder for yards and receptions in the NFL. Take these guys and watch your score go above the 150 mark and use our Lineup Analyzer™ to get some recommendations for the rest.

Matchups to Exploit

Here we breakdown the pass defense, rush defense and overall defense to exploit for the week. If a team shows up in this area, it’s because our system shows them as giving up the most yardage totals for the upcoming week.

Let’s make this simple: the stats come directly from our Odds page, so come and take a peak here.

  • Passing Defense to Exploit:  New York Giants projected (296.69)
  • Rushing Defense to Exploit:  San Francisco projected (121.16) 
  • Overall Defense to Exploit:  New York Giants projected (421.32)

These KPI’s are pointing to a huge scoring game between the Eagles and the Giants. In fact, DC*3PO’s top projected yardage output is the Giants and the Eagles at 839.07 total yards. This means taking OBJ and Jordan Matthews, along with Ertz should pan out well for you. The question for the Eagles is what offense are they going to run. Look for Murray to get the bulk of the carries in the backfield this weekend as the Eagles look to determine if they should keep Murray for next season. If Gurley plays, you must play him, if he doesn’t going with the backup in St. Louis while risky, what isn’t on week 17, Tre Mason, will tear apart that terrible run defense of the 49ers. In fact, we should all hope that Gurley sits this one out so we can all have the cheapest RB play that will get 20+ fantasy points on Sunday.

Check back on Sunday morning as I will reveal our expert picks for this weekends games! Don’t forget to start your FREE TRIAL today just click here and use promo code WIN for a special discount.


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