Tue Feb 13 11:09 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Gianfrancesco picked Brady
Despite having just two players remaining for the Super Bowl, Antonio Gianfrancesco was able to win the Postseason Shootout contest because of a great start by his team and huge performances by his remaining players in the big game. Gianfrancesco takes home the big prize of 50,000 dollars for his great accomplishment of finishing first overall.
"Brady and Gronk were a must have for me as they're a great go to connection, which is why I was able to win the contest on the night of the Super Bowl," said Gianfrancesco.
If you aren't familiar, rules for the Postseason Shootout contest are pretty simple. For an entry of 125 dollars (or three teams for 350 dollars), you select a roster from all the teams in the NFL playoffs that you think will score the most points this postseason (you can't select more than two players from each NFL team, though). Your roster will consist of two quarterbacks, two running backs, two wide receivers/tight ends, two flex players (RB/WR/TE), a defense/special teams and a kicker. There is no draft or head-to-head games. It is a total points contest. If you finish in the top 150, you are going to win some money. First place takes home 50,000 dollars while finishing 150th gets you 250 bucks.
With those rules in place, Gianfrancesco setup a strategy for picking the correct roster, which turned out to be a contest-winning strategy.
"Constructing my roster took a few hours of planning," Gianfrancesco said. "I actually drew on a sheet of paper pros and cons of each team. I also broke it down further before finalizing my choices. I looked at factors such as yards per catch and how many receptions per game by receivers and running backs."
Gianfrancesco's detailed preparation paid off, picking a roster that was able to defeat all the fantasy players in the contest. Every player he selected won at least a game in the playoffs, which helped pad Gianfrancesco's numbers early in the contest. He had two big first weeks, scoring 100.1 points in Week 1 and 230.45 points in Week 2. His roster was led by Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, the only two players that advanced all the way to the Super Bowl.
"Super Bowl week I knew I had a chance, 17.20 points behind first place," Gianfrancesco said. "Gronk cleared to play and both teams with great offense. I got my wish of a high-scoring game and with Dion Lewis being a non-factor. This allowed me to take a lead in the final minutes of the Super Bowl with Gronk's second touchdown of the game."
Although, it came down to the last game and near the end of that game, Gianfrancesco had high hopes early in the contest, mainly because of his fast start.
"After the first week, I felt great," Gianfrancesco said. "I believed I had a top-10 chance at that point. I got key victories from Tennessee, which upset all those fans with Kansas City Chiefs' players. Rams lost to my Falcons. Saints beat the Panthers, and Jags went on to give me protection for the second round."
So what is Gianfrancesco going to do with all his winnings? Well, he isn't going to going on a shopping spree, taking a more conservative approach to his big prize.
"I do not have any plans other than some minor vehicle repairs and saving the money," Gianfrancesco said. "We may decide to take a vacation before the start of the next football season, depending on our work schedules."
If you want a chance to take down Gianfrancesco next season, sign up for the Postseason Shootout before the start of the playoffs. We'll have links up on our site and home page. You won't watch postseason football the same way going forward.
"It really took until the minutes of the game to realize it could become reality," Gianfrancesco said. "Unbelievable how everything played out. This event had me on the edge of my seat all playoffs."
Click on this link to see more details about the contest or to sign up: Postseason Shootout.
The Indianapolis Colts announced that running back Marlon Mack (foot, hamstring) will be inactive this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. While Jordan Wilkins should see the majority of touches this week, Nyheim Hines has some value in deeper PPR leagues. He doesn't have the same big-play ability that Mack does, but he gives quarterback Andrew Luck a great safety valve out of the backfield. With tight end Jack Doyle and Mack out, Luck could look Hines' way often, which could give him a ton of upside in PPR-scoring formats.
The Indianapolis Colts promoted tight end Erik Swoope from the practice squad to the active roster on Saturday and waived cornerback Lenzy Pipkins in a corresponding move. The team also signed quarterback Phillip Walker to the practice squad. Swoope caught one pass for 13 yards in the season opener against the Bengals. He's merely depth for the Colts with Jack Doyle (hip) out for Week 3 against the Eagles. In Doyle's absence, Eric Ebron becomes a great TE1 play this weekend.
The Washington Redskins released wide receiver Breshad Perriman on Saturday, according to a source. However, the team could bring him back in the future. Perriman was a first-round bust with the Ravens and has failed to catch on elsewhere so far. He is well off the fantasy radar and is highly unlikely to produce at all this year with a team.
Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson will miss his second straight week due to a lingering hamstring injury. Just as last week, Lawson did not practice at all this week, so it is not surprising that he is unavailable against the Vikings in Week 3. The 2016 first-round pick, who showed tremendous improvement in his sophomore campaign, registered one tackle and was credited with one pass defensed before suffering the injury in the season opener. Veteran Trent Murphy will likely start in place of Lawson once again. Reserves Eddie Yarbrough and Nate Orchard could also see significant action at both end positions.
Buffalo Bills cornerbacks Phillip Gaines (elbow) and Taron Johnson (shoulder) are expected to play against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3. Both players were limited practice participants all week and are officially listed as questionable on the team's injury report. Gaines, who started Week 1 opposite Tre'Davious White, was forced to leave Week 2's game against the Chargers early. If healthy enough, Gaines would likely start against the Vikings. In the meantime, Johnson has reportedly gotten healthier this week. Johnson missed Week 2's contest as he was hampered by the injury that forced him to leave the season opener early. Rookie wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud (knee), who is also listed as questionable, could make his NFL debut in Week 3.
Los Angeles Rams wideout Brandin Cooks has always been a deep-ball threat with the ability to score from anywhere. He is looking to establish more of a deep-ball connection with quarterback Jared Goff. Cooks has the speed to run by most defenders, but he and Goff need to work on their chemistry on those long throws. This offense is already one of the best in the NFL, and this would just push Cooks further up the wide receiver rankings each week.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown made plenty of headlines this week after he didn't report to work on Monday. Despite the drama, Brown will be in uniform and ready to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night. Brown will be an elite WR1 for that matchup as the Buccaneers have struggled to contain opposing wide receivers this season. Tampa Bay has allowed big performances to the opponent's No. 1 receiver this season, coughing up 16 catches, 180 yards, and two touchdowns to Michael Thomas in Week 1 and 8/88/1 to Nelson Agholor in Week 2. Start Brown with confidence as a top-two fantasy wide receiver in Week 3.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron has scored a touchdown in each week to start this season. This weekend his tight end partner Jack Doyle (hip) will be inactive, which puts Ebron in for an increase in targets. The Philadelphia Eagles have a strong front that could cause quarterback Andrew Luck to get rid of the ball quickly, which gives Ebron an increase in target opportunities in PPR formats. He is currently hovering between the 10-13 range in most ranking formats, but he could easily be a top-five play this week if he reaches his ceiling.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said it's "hard to determine" when the right time to play rookie quarterback Josh Rosen is, but ESPN's Josh Weinfuss would not be surprised if Rosen sees the field this Sunday against the Bears if the offense under Sam Bradford continues to struggle. The Cardinals have just one touchdown through two weeks, and the coaching staff had to scale down the playbook heading into this week. Rosen offers way more upside than Bradford, so don't be surprised to see him play this weekend if Bradford gets off to another bad start. Rosen will have plenty of ups and downs if he takes over as the starter eventually, making him a better stash in dynasty leagues.
Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (abdomen), wide receiver Devante Parker (finger) and quarterback Ryan Tannehill (ankle, knee) all practiced in full on Friday and have been removed from the Week 3 injury report against the Raiders. Drake will be the starting running back and is a strong RB2 against a weak Raiders front. Tannehill doesn't have much upside as a starting quarterback and should only be used in leagues that start two QBs. Parker could be making his season debut, but owners should take a wait-and-see approach with him even if he's active.
New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (ankle) and wide receiver Kaelin Clay (ankle) practiced in full on Friday and were removed from the final injury report for Week 3 against the Texans. Engram has nine catches on 12 targets for 85 yards and a touchdown in two weeks and is a strong TE1 option again this weekend. Clay can be ignored by fantasy owners.
Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones (shoulder), who is questionable for Week 3 against the Raiders, is expected to play on Sunday. Jones is one of the more attractive IDP safeties in the league and has six tackles and two interceptions through two weeks. If he's on the field, it'll be a downgrade for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and the deep passing game.
Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum (knee) practiced in full on Friday and was removed from the final Week 3 injury report against the Ravens. Keenum doesn't have a very high fantasy ceiling despite the team being 2-0, and he's thrown more interceptions than touchdowns through two weeks. The matchup against Baltimore isn't very enticing either, making him more of a low-end QB2 this weekend.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington remains a stash at this point in the season. After limited playing time in Week 1, Washington's snap count was upped to 66 in Week 2. With Pittsburgh playing from behind the entire game, Washington was able to see plenty of action. However, despite quarterbackBen Roethlisberger's 60 passes, Washington saw only five total targets. He was able to turn one into a 14- yard score in the first half, which was encouraging for the rookie. But until Washington becomes more targeted in the passing game, he can't be looked at as more than a stash. Keep him on your bench in Week 3.
Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 3 but is confident that he will be able to play in Week 4.
Fantasy Spin: The Vikings play on Thursday Night Football, so Cook has about a week to recover from his injury. Latavius Murray will receive a majority of the work at running back this week and can be a flex option.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (ankle) was able to take part in a full practice session for the second consecutive day on Friday and he was removed from the injury report leading up to the Week 3 game against the Carolina Panthers. With Joe Mixon (knee) ruled out, Bernard is expected to do the heavy lifting. The team waived Tra Carson earlier this week, bringing in Thomas Rawls for veteran depth at the position. However, he won't be up to speed with the playbook, so it should be Bernard seeing a healthy amount of touches. Treat him as an RB3 in standard fantasy leagues and a legit low-end RB2 or flex option in PPR. He is also a strong DFS play even though Carolina sports a solid D.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (back) was able to participate in a full practice session for the third consecutive day Friday. As such, he has been lifted from the Week 3 injury report leading up to Sunday's road game with the Carolina Panthers. Eifert has been rather quiet in the passing game so far, absorbing just five receptions on seven targets for a paltry 67 yards with no scores. His best attribute is his work in the red zone, but it's rather disappointing to fantasy owners that the Bengals are averaging 34.0 points per game and he has been blanked so far. Treat him more as a low-end TE2 in most fantasy formats. Even the biggest contrarians in DFS should avoid him, too.
Free-agent CB David Amerson (Chiefs), CB Demetri Goodson (Packers), CB Tony Lippett (Dolphins), CB Herb Waters (Packers), OT Jeremiah Sirles (Panthers) and DT Garrison Smith (Cardinals) worked out for the Buffalo Bills Friday, Sept. 21.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder looks to snap out of his early-season funk with a big game in Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers. So far, Crowder has been lost in the offensive plan, racking up just five receptions for 40 yards on eight targets, including a dismal eight yards on two grabs last weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. QB Alex Smith is a signal caller who looks to his slot receiver early and often, but these two just haven't been on the same page to date. Normally, Crowder is a sharp WR4 in PPR formats, but fantasy owners will want to be patient and wait for him to show some consistency before plugging him back into the active lineup.
Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith heads into Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers facing a very favorable matchup. The Packers pass defense ranks 26th in the NFL through two games, yielding 283.5 yards per game with four touchdowns. They have also given up nine pass plays of 20 or more yards and one pass play yielding more than 40 yards. Smith flirted with 300 yards last week, settling for 292 yards, and he has not tossed an interception yet in 76 attempts wearing burgundy and gold. He is also completing 71.1 percent of his passes through two games. Bump Smith up to low-end QB1 status heading into Week 3.