Yahoo Cup – Week 15 Recap
December 23, 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 15 Winner: 181.16 FP
Points to Cash: 145.48
Our Lineups: 133.04/139.58
Total Players: 487,301
Our Week 15 Ranks (#): 3,032nd/1,289th
Overall Leader: 2026.12
Our Total FP: 1,899.04/1785.46
Overall Ranks (#): 102nd/934th
Current Prize Status: $10/$10
Ian and Doug’s Week 15 Teams
Week 15 Lineup Strategy and Results
Well, the 2nd to last week of the contest came and was not short of surprises and big performances. Doug and I didn’t overlap many players this week (only three), but boy, the ones we agreed on absolutely went off. The three players were LeSean McCoy, David Johnson, and Ty Montgomery. The three scored 30.4, 24,8, and 29.3, respectively. Montgomery was a must start. At only $14 and still listed as a WR, he provided much needed cap relief for fitting both Shady and DJ, who cost a combined $82. Needless to say, with that floor to bolster our lineups, both of us did fairly well for the week, especially Doug, whose 139.58 was only 5.9 FP away from cashing in the weekly freeroll.
The rest of our lineups beyond those three studs varied wildly. At QB, I went with Philip Rivers while Doug went with Trevor Siemian, neither of whom did as well as expected. Rivers passed for a couple scores, but was held to only 206 yards and threw a late pick. Siemian was the opposite, a victim of the vaunted “bend don’t break” scheme Belichick always runs. He threw for a respectable 282 yards, but was unable to find the endzone.
I had some back luck at WR. Adam Thielen had a good matchup, but was targeted only once in the first half and then exited with a neck injury in the 3rd quarter (fortunately is wasn’t serious…he expects to play this week against the Packers). That 0 was hard to swallow. There is always some reason to ask “what if?” in fantasy; this week my what if is wondering why I used Thielen instead of Maclin, whom I’d been considering leading up to Sunday. Oh well…not much one can do!
Garcon had a nice game at the other WR slot for me, while Demaryius Thomas and Dontrelle Inman were decent, if not flashy, for Doug. Doug did nail it on the TE call, however. Charles Clay, whom I had in my lineup earlier in the week, went off for 16.7 FP, well exceeding value for his $12 salary. I moved away from Clay to Jermaine Gresham, whose 5.7 FP was more than a .5 X multiple, but clearly not as good as Clay. I had considered using Clay in the FLEX spot, but ended up using Farrow, who underwhelmed for San Diego. His game would have looked slightly better if not for a late fumble, but as it was, 4.3 points didn’t cut the mustard. Doug went bold with Adrian Peterson in his first game back from injury. If Minnesota had been at all competitive, the pick might have worked out. However, Indy dominated from the start, which made the Vikings’ running game somewhat moot. At DST, the Giants came through in a big way with 12 FP on a $15 salary. They were able to hold Stafford and company in check all day, holding them to a mere 6 points, easily their lowest output of the season. Tampa’s 5 FP left Doug wanting more.
Early Week 16 Lineup Thoughts
Like last week, I’ll keep this section a bit shorter than usual. The time for having a chance to win the whole shebang is past, but there is still a chance to move up in the money, so I’m still going to be doing my best for this last week. Plus, there are always weekly prizes to strive for! That being said, here are some of the players Doug and I are looking at for this week.
QB: Tom Brady ($41), Matt Ryan ($39), Drew Brees ($37), Cam Newton ($35), Russell Wilson ($31), Matt Barkley ($24)
I’m a big fan of paying up at the QB position this week, with excellent matchups for Brady, Ryan, and Newton. Brees, at home, is of course always in play (except against Detroit…dang it). Wilson will likely be overlooked somewhat against a Cardinals team whose defense is better by reputation than actual play. At only $31, he’s a steal. Barkley has been slinging it and should continue to do so this week against Washington.
RB: LeSean McCoy ($33), DeMarco Murray ($33), Jordan Howard ($31), Jonathan Stewart ($22), Todd Gurley ($22), Ty Montgomery ($20), Bilal Powell ($18)
We were both very high on Zeke Elliott, but have moved off of him somewhat given that Dallas has clinched the #1 seed. While he’ll likely have a good game, it is very possible he cedes a decent amount of his workload to Darren McFadden and/or Alfred Morris. At $38, that uncertainty is tough to swallow. He’s a tournament play only if you do use him on Yahoo. Both of us are planning on paying up at the position somewhat as guys like McCoy, Murray and Howard all have excellent matchups. I’m particular to Gurley and J-Stew this week with their respective matchups against the 49ers and Falcons. There is a great chance I’ll be using those two and then one of the top three priced guys listed here in the flex spot.
WR: Antonio Brown ($38), T.Y. Hilton ($36), Julio Jones ($35), Robby Anderson ($17), Cameron Meredith ($14), Tyler Lockett ($13)
While I love a couple of the high-priced guys this week, it will take a lot of convincing for me to use them when guys like Cam Meredith, Robby Anderson, and Tyler Lockett are all available for $17 or less ($13 for Lockett is simply insane given his recent production). If I do pay up at WR, it will be for Julio. While he won’t torch the Panthers for 300 yards again, 150 and a score is certainly possible.
TE: Travis Kelce ($24), Greg Olsen ($21), Antonio Gates/Hunter Henry ($20/$14), C.J. Fiedorowicz ($16), Vernon Davis ($11)
Kelce and Olsen both cost a pretty penny for the position, but have excellent matchups against teams in Denver and Atlanta that they, respectively, torched earlier this season. I’m happy using either one on Saturday. Gates and Henry have the matchup, but which will hit paydirt? There is a good chance they both will, but I think I’d rather have Henry for the price. CJ is back and gets a matchup against a Bengals team that cannot defend the TE position. We haven’t seen him play with Tom Savage, but given that Ryan Griffin went off last week with Savage at the helm, I’m comfortable using CJ this week. If Jordan Reed is out, I’m going to be considering using Davis, who has been a favorite of Cousins all season. At only $11, a 5/45 line is all it takes to hit value on Yahoo.
DST: Kansas City ($21), New England ($18), Denver ($18), San Diego ($18), Tennessee ($15), Dallas ($11)
I love KC at home in a win that could propel them back into the driver’s seat for a bye week. Given that I’m probably paying up at QB and RB, however, it may be tough to fit them in. The safest play is probably New England at home against the Bryce Petty-led Jets. Petty has 7 turnovers and has been sacked 11 times in his past four games. Yeesh. Cleveland makes opposing D’s look like the ’85 Bears, so San Diego needs to be looked at as well. I love Dallas at home against Stafford and Co. Though they have already won the division, I can’t see how they fail to get you at least 5-6 points against the Lions. If you want to save money at the position, they are by far my top pick.
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!