Yahoo Cup – Week 11 Recap
November 22, 2016 | Ian Goldsmith
A lot of DFS sites have rolled out leagues this year, where you can play in one league with your friends all season long while still getting the enjoyment that comes with picking a new lineup each week. Somewhat unique among those is Yahoo’s season long Yahoo Cup. Every week there is a freeroll; the person who has accumulated the most points throughout the course of the first 16 weeks of the NFL season is the overall winner, and gets a nice chunk of change. You can join in at any week for the weekly prizes, even if you have no hope for the year-end title.
I thought it would be fun to recap how fellow TFF writer Doug Shain and I are doing on a week-to-week basis in the tournament. You can see our thought processes into how we built our lineups for the previous week, see how we did, and where we are in comparison to the weekly/season leaders. We’ll also take a quick look at the week ahead. So, let’s get to it!
Week 11 Winner: 187.64 FP
Points to Cash: 155.44
Our Lineups: 139.64/107.48
Total Players: 452,316
Our Week 11 Ranks (#): 4,251st/49,300th
Our Week 11 Ranks (%): 0.940%/10.899%
Overall Leader: 1,525.44
Our Total FP: 1,496.32/1,346.70
Overall Ranks (#): 8th/1,552nd
Overall Ranks (%): 0.002%/0.343%
Current Prize Status: $500/$1
Ian and Doug’s Week 11 Teams
Week 11 Lineup Strategy and Results
Well, I needed a big week to pull away from the vortex of the low 20s and was finally able to put it all together in Week 11 with a robust 139.64 FP. After being stuck between 21st-24th for the past few weeks, the score boosted me into the top 10. If it wasn’t for Martellus Bennett, who had a surprisingly poor fantasy day, it could have been even better. So, how’d it all come together? Let’s get crackin’!
I didn’t realize it until writing this, but Doug and I only shared one player in common this week: Doug Baldwin. We generally have somewhat similar opinions and end up with 3-4 common players, but that went by the wayside this week. That’s not to say I didn’t like his players, and vice versa. Early in the week I had Russ Wilson in my lineup as he’s been on fire. Along with Rodgers and Cousins, he was one of three players I was considering at QB. I don’t know how many combinations I made, but let me tell you, the lineup you see above shifted somewhat dramatically from what I had when salaries were first released. Needless to say, we both hit it with our QB picks. Rodgers got into a shootout and ended up with over 350 yards, 3 TDs, and 33 yards on the ground. Wilson, not to be outdone, put up a very solid 24.78 FP, with help from a receiving touchdown.
Our RBs also both did pretty well, though DeMarco didn’t do quite as well as Doug had probably hoped. Le’Veon Bell was a force throughout and would have hit value regardless of scoring a TD…not that I’m complaining! I was aiming for 25 FP from Bell for that huge $40 price tag, and he more than hit that level (Thank you, Cleveland!). We took different routes with our value picks, but both did well. James Starks did little on the ground, but came through with a 31 yard TD reception that, admittedly, had me quite giddy. Doug…well, he hit a home run with his call of Rob Kelley. Remember when the Packers were the #1 RB defense? Yeah, neither do I. Kelley tore them apart for 137 yards and 3 TDs!!! Yowzas.
WR is where is came apart for Doug this week. Both of us made use of Baldwin, who came through with 17 FP and looks poised for another good week against Tampa. I took a circuitous route to using him…more on that later. Golden Tate, who had been on fire, failed to capitalize on a matchup with the Jags (who aren’t that bad a pass D) and lost a fumble, resulting in a lineup-killing 1.6 FP. To open the wound a little deeper, Davante Adams was unable to replicate his heroics of the past few weeks as Rodgers forced the ball to Jared Cook repeatedly. I was fortunate that Moncrief scored, otherwise it would have been a mediocre game for him as well. I liked the matchup, and would have been enticed to use him on Thanksgiving, but I’m not so sure about Tolzien. But, who knows? Pittsburgh’s D isn’t that great, so Moncrief could still do well (Tolzien is only $20 if you want to throw caution to the wind). Tyreek Hill had one big catch, but was largely absent from the KC passing game. Considering he only cost $18, I’m not terribly upset with his output.
Now, here’s how Baldwin came to be in my lineup. Early in the week, I had been set on Cousins, Nelson, Davante Adams, and Ebron in the flex spot (Bennett, sadly, was a lock for me at TE). Adams became less desirable for me throughout the week (don’t ask me why), so I pivoted to Moncrief and paid up for Rodgers. At this point, I also moved from Ebron to Prosise as I had an extra $1 to spend. About 20 minutes to kickoff for the afternoon games, I kept getting this nagging feeling that Prosise would be losing workload to Rawls. I looked for players to switch to, and both Baldwin and Edelman were staring me in the face in the low $20s. I hadn’t even considered Edelman, but instantly changed my tune knowing he’d be targeted heavily with Hogan and Gronk out. That left just enough room to fit in Baldwin. That duo outscored the previous duo by 10.5 FP, which is a difference of 7 places in the overall standings. Thank goodness for late swap!
Early Week 12 Lineup Thoughts
29 points. That’s all that separates me from 1st place. That number, however, is deceivingly large. The distance between me (in 7th) and 1st, is about the same as the distance between me and 40th place. That is to say, I’m just as close to falling out of contention as I am to winning the whole shebang. As I climb the leaderboard, I’m trying to keep a realistic mindset; there is still a lot of work to do and a lot that can go wrong. With that in the back of my mind, I’m going to continue building lineups as I have all season. Namely, I’m going to pretend this is a cash game. To steal a bit of Doug’s language, I’m not trying to win first any given week, but I am trying to do well enough to put myself in position to climb the rankings.
I was chatting with Chet about who I liked at QB this week and mentioned Carson Wentz ($25). His response: “Playing Northwestern?” Well, the Wildcats are probably a tougher matchup than the Green Bay secondary. I will stream any QB against that defense, especially one with upside that is priced at such an absurdly low level. There is no reason Wentz can’t hit 15-20 FP or more this week, which easily pays off his salary. I’m even considering stacking him with both Jordan Matthews ($23) and Zach Ertz ($15). They have both been seeing a ton of targets as of late. Want even cheaper? In this week’s Hail Mary, Doug mentioned both Dorial Green-Beckham ($10) and Wendell Smallwood ($12). Smallwood will be the lead back this week for the Eagles, who will be without Ryan Mathews and, potentially, Darren Sproles. If both are out, then Smallwood could be a “must-play” on Yahoo! this week. He probably is even if Sproles plays.With all of the value on Philly this week, I could legitimately…no, this isn’t hyperbole…be happy with a lineup utilizing four Eagles.
There is so much value at WR and RB this week, that you could easily pay up for a big name QB. If you want Brady ($40), Brees ($38), or Rodgers ($38), there are plenty of ways to fit them in. I know that Doug is always a fan of Brees at home, regardless of the opponent. A guy who can put up 20 FP on Seattle and 23 FP on Denver should never be ignored. The Rams will scare people off of him, so he’s a solid contrarian play this week in the dome. The other player I will be considering (again) is Russell Wilson ($34), whose price tag has not matched up to his recent play. While everything is possible, I can’t see him scoring under 20 FP this week against Tampa. Until I saw he was out, I was also considering Jay Cutler ($23). The Titans have been very beatable through the air and, though using him is more of a tournament-style play, I thought he’d be able to hit value at his rock-bottom price. There is zero chance I use his replacement, Matt Barkley ($20). In fact, I’m now much more tempted to use the Titans DST ($14).
Speaking of DST, if you want a good one, you’ll have to pay up this week as Yahoo has jacked the prices. Only 10 teams are below $15, and eight teams cost at least $19! You want to be sneaky and play the Saints against the Rams? Well, you’ll have to pay $15. No thanks. At $10-$13 I would have been all over them. Instead, besides the Titans, I’ll be looking at more expensive teams like the Bills ($19) and Ravens ($19).
At RB and WR there is a ton of value. The best plays, if you can afford them, are David Johnson ($40) and Jay Ajayi ($39), but that’s alotta dough. If I can fit one of them in, it will be DJ as he is the much safer pick, and I building these teams like cash lineups. However, with guys like Smallwood, Rashad Jennings ($20), and Thomas Rawls ($19) available, do I really need to pay up for a big name RB? I’m not sure that I do. That being said, the high-end WR landscape is even worse. Both Doug and I agree than there is little chance we’ll be using guys like Odell Beckham ($39) or Mike Evans ($35). While I like OBJ against Cleveland, I don’t like him nearly as much as either of the two expensive RBs. If I’m doing to pick a position to pay up, it will be QB or RB. Guys like Steve Smith, Mike Wallace, and Tyrell Williams are all $18 this week and offer great value if you want to pay up for a top-shelf RB.
Remember, if you are playing the Thanksgiving slate, it’s time for all the Tolzien. What’s not to like?!
If you haven’t joined the Cup, click here to join for the upcoming week. If any of you are playing in the tournament, let me know how you’re doing in the comments below or on Twitter at @ianrgold. Doug is also very happy to talk anything DFS, so hit him up on Twitter as well. We can discuss strategy, or you can gloat about how much better your lineup was than ours. Up to you!