Thu Aug 22 7:02pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports is proud to announce George Pouria as our winner of the ’18 King of the Mountain contest. Barczak was the last owner standing in our fantasy contest, winning a prize of $25,000 for his efforts.
If you aren't familiar, here is how the King of the Mountain contest works. You pick one simple lineup each week, consisting of one quarterback, one running back and one receiver/tight end. If the team you pick scores better than just the worst one-third of teams in the contest, you advance to the next week. But here is the catch, you can only pick a player for your team once during season, including the playoffs. If you are the last owner standing, you take home a $25,000 prize for winning the King of the Mountain contest.
Pouria was the winner in last year's contest. He had a strategy for the contest but it almost burnt him, running low on players as he continued to survive in the contest. But ultimately, his strategy was the winning one in the end.
“I had played in a similar contest a few years ago and found that stacking my quarterback with their most likely receiver made a lot of sense,” said George Pouria. “Unfortunately, I didn't read the rules very carefully, and didn't realize until Week 17 that the contest ran thru the first two playoff weeks, so I was very low on usable quarterbacks for the last two weeks.”
But even with that said, Pouria was able to win it all. It did not come without some close calls, though. It was not all smooth sailing for Pouria.
“My one serious close call was in Week 10,” Pouria said. “I got caught trying to look too far ahead instead of at that particular week and was only one point above the cutline.”
That close call in Week 10 helped Pouria the rest of the way. He changed up his strategy a bit, which proved to be a good move en route to his big win.
“That week was a turning point,” Pouria said. “After that, I went with whomever I determined had the top potential for that week and stopped worrying about saving them for a future week.”
The unlikely combination of Nick Foles, Damien Williams and Travis Kelce ended up being the final lineup for Pouria. This combination scored 52.25 points in Week 19. Water Boys 2 was the other team remaining and had a lineup of Drew Brees, Marlon Mack and Julian Edelman. Unfortunately for Water Boys, that lineup managed just 43.45 points as Mack struggled to do much of anything that week.
“Actually, because of my careless reading of the rules, I really didn't think I would win,” Pouria said. “I had to choose Lamar Jackson for Week 18 because I only had Foles and Trubisky left besides him. By taking Jackson, barring an injury, I would have either Foles or Trubisky left for the final week. And I knew that Water Boys 2 still hadn't used Brees.”
Pouria wasn't super nervous the last week of the contest because he didn't like his chances all that much, but that quickly changed after the games started.
“I think because I didn't think my chances were too good, I wasn't nervous watching the early game,” Pouria said. “But when Damien Williams outscored his running back (Mack) by a wide margin, I did start to get antsy.”
So now that Pouria is $25,000 richer, does he have big plans for the winnings? Well, you won't be surprised to see some of his winnings will go towards the sport that won him the money.
“My son and I take a fall golf/Giants football weekend every year somewhere warm,” Pouria said. “We will probably get better seats for this year's game in Tampa.”
If you want to try to dethrone the king, sign up here: King of the Mountain. The clock is ticking to get in this year’s contest. Do it now for a chance to win $25,000.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Five Hot Starts: Week 3
Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has started off the season strong. Koo has made all six field-goal attempts and 4 of 5 extra-points, including four kicks from at least 40 yards out. The 26-year-old is currently tied for second in the NFL with 22 points and plays for a high-powered offense that has exceeded 25 points in both contests this season. Chicago may be a more stout defense than Atlanta has faced so far, but they still rank 23th in fantasy points allowed to kickers. Koo has a good chance of finishing as a top-12 option at the kicking position.
The Atlanta Falcons Defense should not be started in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears. There's good news and bad news for the Falcons defense. The good news is, they've registered four sacks and three fumble recoveries in two games. The bad news is they've allowed the most points-scored and the second-most yards allowed to opposing offenses. That is not a recipe for success when choosing a fantasy defense. Leave Atlanta's defense on the waiver wire.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst gets a favorable matchup in Week 3 against the Bears. Though the defense has been good against the pass overall, they have struggled against tight ends so far, ranking 21st in the league in fantasy points allowed to the position. Hurst is coming off his best effort so far, an eight-target game that yielded five catches, 72 yards and a score. The former Raven should continue to improve within the offense with each game and his already-decent chemistry with Matt Ryan is a good sign. Fire up Hurst as a low-end TE1, with upside for more.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage has been a pleasant surprise through two weeks of the 2020 season. Gage has taken the Mohamed Sanu role to new heights, as he ranks in the top-10 so far in targets and receptions. However, Week 3 brings a tougher matchup against the Bears, who have yet to allow 100 yards to any receiver this year. If Julio Jones (hamstring) doesn't play, Gage would see a slight boost in value, though he would also be going up against a more skilled defensive back, potentially lowering his efficiency. He is best looked at as a WR4, who could have the upside to finish as a WR3.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been the number-one wideout in fantasy football through two weeks. Ridley is tied for the league-lead in receiving yards with 239, ranks sixth with 23 targets and has scored two touchdowns in consecutive games. Week 3 brings a matchup against the Bears, who have yet to allow a 100-yard receiver, though it should be noted they haven't played a passing offense with Atlanta's firepower. Ridley is on fire right now and very well could be the first 100-yard receiver against this unit. If teammate Julio Jones (hamstring) sits out, Ridley would see even more targets in Week 3. Either way, he should be in lineups as a WR1.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) faces a Bears Defense that has surrendered the seventh-fewest fantasy points to enemy wideouts so far in 2020. After reportedly making his injury worse in Week 2, Jones missed his second straight day of practice on Thursday- needless to say, his Week 3 status is in jeopardy right now. There is some considerable risk if the veteran wideout plays, both of re-injury and Atlanta using him as the dreaded decoy. However, this is still an All-Pro wideout we're talking about, who put up a 9-157-0 line in Week 1 while having the same injury designation he has now. If he's playing, start him as your WR1.
Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II gets a seemingly-tough matchup against the Bears. Chicago has allowed the 11th-fewest rushing yards to opposing backs, though they did it against an uninspiring Lions' backfield and a Giants' offense that lost Saquon Barkley (knee) early in the game. Gurley II- who quietly ranks eighth in rushing attempts- should be able to find running room against the Bears. He may not look like the 2018 version of himself, but Gurley II can certainly put up RB2 numbers with the kind of volume he's getting. If he gets more involved as a receiver, it will be gravy to his fantasy managers. Plug him into lineups as an RB2/flex for Week 3.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will face off with the Chicago Bears in Week 3. Chicago presents a tough matchup, as they've allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks through two weeks and have surrendered the league's lowest passer rating against. However, they've faced Matthew Stafford and Daniel Jones, neither of whom are playing at the level that Ryan is so far. The veteran signal-caller ranks in the top-10 in passing yards, yards per attempt and touchdown passes through two weeks. Ryan has also thrown the second-most passes in the NFL, thanks to a poor Falcons' defense. This is Ryan's toughest matchup yet, but he should throw enough to put up solid QB1 numbers.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry is off to a slow start in the 2020 season. The usual target-hog has turned nine targets into eight catches for 107 scoreless yards in two games. The new Cleveland offense has been run-heavy, as expected under Kevin Stefanski, which has limited Landry thus far. The veteran wideout will go up against the Washington Football Team in Week 3. Washington has an exploitable secondary but they also have a dangerous pass rush that could throw off the rhythm of the Cleveland passing attack. Fantasy gamers need to treat Landry as a low-upside WR3 until he starts to be a larger part of the game plan.
Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper is off to a slow start with his new team. The veteran tight end has caught just four of six targets for 37 yards through two games. Last year's overall TE6 was certainly expected to perform better by those who drafted him this summer. Hooper will go up against the Washington Football Team in Week 3. Washington was shredded by Dallas Goedert in Week 1 and is not a particularly formidable opponent for fantasy tight ends. That being said, it is hard to trust Hooper in fantasy until he shows that he is going to be targeted more heavily in the Cleveland offense. Treat him as a low-end TE2 in Week 3.
The Denver Broncos Defense must disrupt Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in Week 3 to have a chance at avoiding an 0-3 start on the season. Linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu has stepped up in Von Miller's (ankle) absence, starting across from former fifth overall pick Bradley Chubb. The young secondary of Essang Bassey and Michael Ojemudia will surely be tested by Brady, with Tampa wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who is returning from a concussion, having the clear advantage. Denver's D has just two sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception through two games, good for three fantasy points per game. Until the Broncos get a better matchup, you should look elsewhere for your starting defensive unit.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to check on Smith-Schuster's status after practice Friday, Sept. 25, but he was able to play last week despite the injury. He should be at least a No. 2 receiver in leagues if he is able to play.
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (non-injury) fully participated in practice Thursday, Sept. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Roethlisberger is off to a terrific start to the season and seems to have a good connection with his receivers. He can be considered a low-end No. 1 quarterback in deeper fantasy leagues.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant has caught nine of his 11 targets for 138 yards and two touchdowns through two games this season and has even more fantasy upside now that receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) is out for the rest of the year. Even with quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) out and backup Jeff Driskel in this Sunday against Tampa Bay, Fant should see a healthy array of targets, putting him at least on the TE1/2 borderline for fantasy managers. Saints tight end Jared Cook had five catches for 80 yards in the season-opener against rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr., so Fant could easily match or exceed that kind of production.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is coming off a productive game in a Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Beckham caught four passes for 74 yards and a touchdown in the win. He will go up against a leaky secondary employed by the Washington Football Team in Week 3. While Washington doesn't have a great secondary, they do have one of the pass rushes in the league, led by rookie Chase Young. That could spell trouble for the Cleveland passing attack in Week 3. The Browns are also seven-point home favorites, so expect the team to skew run-heavy on Sunday. Fantasy gamers can still start Beckham as a low-end WR2 but a WR1 week out of OBJ is looking unlikely.
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus has a big leg and kicks half of his games in altitude, but he just hasn't been worth putting in starting lineups just yet in 2020. McManus didn't attempt a field goal in the season-opening loss to the Titans, but he connected on two of his three tries in the Week 2 loss to the Steelers. With quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) and running back Phillip Lindsay (toe) out this week and receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) out the rest of the season, Denver's offense isn't expected to move the ball consistently enough to give McManus enough chances for points. In a matchup against the Buccaneers in Week 3 where Denver is the clear underdog, it's wise to avoid McManus.
Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (non-injury) fully participated in practice Thursday, Sept. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Jackson has been targeted 16 times over the first two games of the season and should see plenty of targets this week with Jalen Reagor sidelined. He will have a favorable matchup and can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option in leagues.
Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams (hamstring), TE Josiah Deguara (ankle) and P JK Scott (non-injury) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 24. DL Kenny Clark (groin) and LB Randy Ramsey (groin) were limited. DL Montravius Adams (toe), CB Jaire Alexander (hand), C Corey Linsley (thumb) and OL Billy Turner (knee) practiced in full.
New Orleans Saints DT Malcom Brown (foot), LB Chase Hansen (hip) and WR Michael Thomas (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 24. OT Terron Armstead (groin), DE Marcus Davenport (hip) and DE Trey Hendrickson (groin) were limited.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick will be in three-receiver sets moving forward now that Courtland Sutton (knee) is done for the rest of the 2020 season. Patrick will be behind rookie wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler and tight end Noah Fant in the passing-game pecking order, though, which will leave him very few targets on a weekly basis in this offense. On top of that, quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) will miss multiple weeks with his injury. The 26-year-old has six catches (10 targets) for 54 scoreless yards through two weeks and should remain on waiver wires in the majority of fantasy leagues.