How to spot value in shifting fantasy football landscape – New York Post

The fantasy football draft season is an ocean of information ? and that data ebbs and flows like the tide.

One week, everyone is on the C.J. Prosise bandwagon. The next, they?ve jumped ship to ride the Christine Michael wave. Fantasy insiders might have been raving about Kevin White last month, but now they?re lunging for a life vest.

When you head into your fantasy draft, you don?t want to rely solely on the latest rankings. It pays to know who those rankings ended up that way, what trends have developed on draft boards, and why certain players are rising.

Donte Moncrief has been a value-pick darling all season, but in the past month his average draft position (ADP), according to, has risen from 5.09 (the ninth pick in the fifth round) to 4.07 in 12-team, standard-scoring leagues. The Madman likes Moncrief and expects him to do well, but he has risen beyond the point of being a value pick. We?re not taking him ahead of Jeremy Maclin (4.09), Julian Edelman (5.02) or Michael Floyd (5.07).

One other player to consider over Moncrief is another riser ? Eric Decker, up from 5.11 to 4.11. Decker is as consistent as they come. We know he can produce on a weekly basis, and even moreso in PPR formats. Don?t gamble on Moncrief?s upside this early if a more stable option like Decker is available.

Others are climbing for phantom reasons ? by and large, though you factor in preseason performance and workloads, we generally consider them unreliable harbingers of regular-season production. Jeremy Hill has risen a full round (5.01 to 4.01), Melvin Gordon even more (6.04 to 4.11), and Rashad Jennings even more (8.03 to 6.07).

Giants running back Rashad JenningsPhoto: N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

We never were high on the touchdown-reliant Hill this season, and a spending a fourth-round pick on an erratic producer, who shares the backfield with someone as talented as Giovani Bernard, doesn?t seem like a worthwhile investment.

We expect Gordon to have a much better fantasy season, to the point we were starting to get comfortable with him if he slipped past his earlier ADP in the sixth round. Now that he often requires a fourth- or fifth-round pick? No thanks.

Jennings was a Madman favorite when you could get him in the middle rounds. Now that he is nearly two rounds earlier? Pass.

Arian Foster has risen in the past month (6.12 to 5.04) despite it being revealed just how bad the Dolphins? offensive line might be. He was overvalued in the seventh round, and should be moving down, not up.

We also are soft on Josh Gordon (7.05 to 5.05) and Devin Funchess (12.03 to 9.06). Gordon is a high-volatility pick ? he could be great or disastrous. You need a stable of other usable assets before you should look at Gordon, and a pick in the fifth round does not allow that.

Funchess has a lower ceiling than Gordon, but a higher floor. We prefer him to some others in his draft region ? notably Stefon Diggs, Kevin White or Travis Benjamin ? but less than other draft neighbors like Kamar Aiken and Michael Thomas.

And Christine Michael (14.01 to 9.01)? Hasn?t the fantasy community learned its lesson? He is a reach in the late rounds, but a set-your-pick-on-fire pick in the middle of the draft.

On the other hand, some climbers are justified. Marvin Jones (9.02 to 6.01) finally has reached value, in the sixth round. He is stealing attention from teammate Golden Tate, whose decline (4.09 to 6.01) now makes him a decent value selection.

And Bilal Powell (12.07 to 10.02) was undervalued dramatically, and still is a pretty good bargain. Though we are not convinced he would be the heir apparent should Matt Forte go down, Powell should be featured heavily enough to warrant a roster spot.

Busy Schedule? Some College Football Games Give Fans More Than a Decade to Plan – New York Times

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Busy Schedule? Some College Football Games Give Fans More Than a Decade to Plan – New York Times

A New Diet for College Football Powers: Skip the Cupcakes – Wall Street Journal

A sport steeped in tradition, college football historically celebrates the dawn of each new season the same way: by trotting out creampuffs to get ritualistically mutilated by the game?s top programs.

This year marks a radical?and almost anyone would say welcome?departure, with many of the sport?s big boys picking on opponents their own size for a change in the first week.

The slate features a handful of showdowns between…

A New Diet for College Football Powers: Skip the Cupcakes – Wall Street Journal

Kiszla: It’s bowl bid or byebye for Buffaloes football coach Mike MacIntyre – The Denver Post

BOULDER ? After nearly a decade of agony, is it finally safe for the Buffaloes to get their hopes up without getting their dreams crushed on the football field?

Dare we say it: For the first time in nearly a decade, the Buffs have a legitimate shot at winning as many games as they lose and earning their first bowl bid since 2007, way back when Dan Hawkins was going to be the coach that restored Colorado?s lost football glory.

?Our expectations are always the Pac-12 championship,? CU senior linebacker Jimmie Gilbert said. ??It?s what we?ve been preached. It?s what we preach. That?s what we wholeheartedly believe. We have to believe we can get there. We go game by game. Each week is a one-game season.?

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

As the parent of two ambitious children in their 20s, nobody admires the relentless optimism of youth more than I do. But CU expects to win the conference championship? What are the Buffs smoking? Since Mike MacIntyre took over as coach in 2013, Colorado has exactly two victories in the Pac-12.

Maybe the Buffaloes should focus on beating the Colorado State Rams in the season opener on Friday night, and see how it goes from there.

?This is my third time playing against them,? said CU senior quarterback Sefo Liufau. ?I know a lot of people make a whole bunch about the rivalry and everything. But they?re a good team, as much as people want to look down upon them.?

News flash: There are not 20 FBS programs in the country that Colorado can disregard as inferior. The Rams and Buffs don?t have a true rivalry game for only one reason. There?s very little passion for either the Buffs or Rams in the state. But it is a competitive game. CSU has won four of the past 10 meetings, during which time the Buffaloes hold a 250-203 advantage in aggregate score.

In a quarterback-driven Pac-12, the Buffs have Liufau. Is he good enough? Well, Colorado did try to lure quarterback Davis Webb after he left Texas Tech, only to be rebuffed. After Liufau made an amazingly quick recovery from a painful Lisfranc injury in his left foot in November, however, the urgency he?brings to this season is so strong the sense that nothing?s impossible might actually rub off on his teammates.

?If you know your friend?s hopes and dreams, and you can help him reach his hopes and dreams, you?re going to do a little bit more to reach his hopes and dreams. That?s what I see Sefo has done with this team,? MacIntyre said.

This is the fourth year of the MacIntyre project. The Buffaloes have invested millions in their football plant. You walk into Folsom Field now and it does look like the big time. Maybe four years is not long enough to turn around a program that had sunk as low as CU, the dregs of the Pac-12 since it?joined the league.

In years past, MacIntyre insisted the Buffaloes could compete in the conference. Their 2-25 record over the past three seasons suggests perhaps MacIntyre was fibbing. So should we believe the coach is telling the truth now?

?I get excited when I talk about this football team. This is by far the most talent we?ve had in the four years I?ve been here. It?s the best football team we?ve had,? MacIntyre said. ?Now we?ve got to transfer that to doing it on more Saturdays than we have in the past ? or Friday night or Thursday night or whenever college football is played now.?

This state is known far more for primo marijuana than outstanding college football. But it does not require smoking a joint to envision six teams from this group of seven foes that the Buffs could possibly beat: Colorado State, Idaho State, Oregon State, Arizona State, Arizona, Washington State and Utah. Land a bowl bid, and MacIntyre is a candidate for conference coach of the year. Lose to the Rams, however, and the math begins to compute more like a not-a-chance-in prayer than a feasible plan very quickly.

If there aren?t six victories on Colorado?s schedule in 2016, is there any legitimate reason to believe in the Buffaloes? loftiest dreams for next year and beyond? The rise begins now. Or a different path needs to be taken.

Kiszla: It’s bowl bid or byebye for Buffaloes football coach Mike MacIntyre – The Denver Post

Fantasy football 2016: Win early by drafting these six players – Chicago Tribune

Getting off to a fast start is critical in fantasy football. The quicker you compile the wins, the better you can position yourself for success later in the year.

In 2014, Adrian Atkinson and Ben Bruning found that a Week 1 win put your playoff chances at 61.9 percent in a 12-team league where half of the squads make the postseason. Their research also found that teams starting 3-0 made the playoffs 84.8 percent of the time while winless teams after Week 3 had just a 15.5 percent chance. Go 4-0 and your playoff chances skyrocket to 91.6 percent.

Here are six skill-position players who are expected to get off to a strong start and can help push your team to an insurmountable early lead.

Kirk Cousins, QB, and Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

Fantasy football 2016: Win early by drafting these six players – Chicago Tribune

Employers Pay the Real Cost of Fantasy Football – Fortune

Now that the NFL pre-season is in full swing, fantasy football aficionados have to hustle to get their teams in order. And all that research takes time and broadband internet access, which is why the office makes for a great pre-draft war room?whether you?re on the clock, or not.

According to Chicago-based employment research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the sheer number of fully-employed fantasy football freaks could cost U.S. employers close to a whopping $17 billion (with a ?b?) in lost productivity. That total eclipses the amount of total revenue the NFL took in last year?which was a mere $13 billion or so.

These numbers are hard to crunch, acknowledges Challenger, which came to this sum using the estimated 57.4 million people in the U.S. and Canada (ground zero for the NFL fandom) who play fantasy football, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. The FTSA also estimates that 67% of those players (38.5 million people), work full time. And using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the company estimated those players earn roughly $25.69 per hour, on average.

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If you assume that to be the case, each hour spent poring over matchups and obsessing over results costs employers in aggregate $898.1 million in lost or unproductive wages. And assuming each player spends an hour of work time each week fiddling with lineups every week of the regular season, the total would come to $16.8 billion.

That total lost-time figure is up from the $16 billion that Challenger predicted last year. Two years ago, the estimate was $13.4 billion. Regardless, that?s a lot of dough.

Still John Challenger, Challenger, Gray & Christmas?s chief executive officer, says this ?lost time? is not necessarily all that lost. Unlike other time-sapping past times like say, Google @goog


Search?s new Solitaire or Tic-tac-toe options or Facebook


perusing, fantasy football sparks interaction, conversation, competition, maybe even collaboration. These are not the worst things to happen to a workplace.

For more on fantasy sports watch:

?Fantasy football can be a boost to a company?s bottom line in terms of higher morale and lower turnover,? Challenger said in a statement, adding that distractions can be a good thing because they can boost creativity. Employers might even want to encourage it at the office.

Mr. Challenger himself, according to the company, belongs to several fantasy football leagues ?including one managed by an employee.

Employers Pay the Real Cost of Fantasy Football – Fortune