The definition of the word narrative; “a spoken or written account of connected events; a story.” Week 17 of Daily Fantasy Football in the NFL season is where narratives are born, ultimately exaggerated and finally laid to rest as each year. Playoff implications are at stake, statistical records are within reach and players showcase their talents for that fat, new contract. Lastly there’s the ever popular guessing game of which team might bench their starters.
Success in Daily Fantasy Football this season has been, in large part, tied to predicting the best value QB, WR stack and Week 17 presented us with a multitude of options but once again, for the 567th time this season, a Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown stack was monstrous.
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Daily Fantasy Football on Fanpicks.com is Antonio Brown’s world, the rest of us are just living in it. Brown capped off yet another historic season by hauling in 187 yards and a touchdown Sunday, making this the fourth time Brown has eclipsed 175 receiving yards this season, an NFL first. Brown now has back-to-back years of 1,700 yards from scrimmage, the first wide receiver to accomplish that feat in NFL history. He finished the year with the highest grade ever given to a wide receiver by Pro Football Focus and set an NFL record with 265 receptions over the last two seasons. And if that’s not enough, Brown is also the first player in history with back-to-back seasons of 125 or more catches. Mr. Brown, you are to the Daily Fantasy Football community what Alice Cooper is to Wayne and Garth.
Cam Newton all but solidified his NFL MVP award Sunday and while the Newton/Greg Olsen stack didn’t quite pay off, Newton alone was worth the investment. For those looking for a cheap WR, a Newton/Devin Funchess stack in tournaments paid off handsomely.
Daily Fantasy Football MVP candidate, Blake Bortles, closed the NFL regular season with a difficult matchup against the Houston Texans, making him an attractive contrarian option for tournaments due to the explosive nature of Jacksonville’s offense. Instead of throwing bombs, Bortles flat out bombed, failing to throw a touchdown for the first time all season. The lone bright spot was Allen Robinson who topped 100 receiving yards and per ESPN Stats & Info became just the fourth wide receiver in NFL history to have 1,400 yards in their age 22 or younger season, joining Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald and Josh Gordon.
The Redskins were rumored to potentially rest a number of starters causing the Daily Fantasy Football community to first consider the ramifications for Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson. However, it should have triggered our ability to sniff out value (like a Grandmother shopping for the holidays) and consider what the Dallas Cowboys offense could muster against second and third string defenses. Darren McFadden, Kellen Moore, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten all had themselves a day. We salute you, Mr. savvy Daily Fantasy Football player who took advantage of the pricing in this matchup guy.
I’d like to thank the search party that found Matt Ryan and DeMarco Murray.
Week 17 Daily Fantasy Football Review
Week 17 Surprise Performances
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
The AFCs top seed was on the line Sunday for Brady and the Patriots and while there aren’t many sure things in the NFL, Brady and the Pats taking care of business has historically been a virtual lock.
Instead, Brady, who had thrown for 11 touchdowns over his previous five games, had his worst game of the season. Brady was pressured most of the day and threw for a season low 134 yards and finished without a touchdown pass for the first time all season. Narrative fail. It was a Miley Cyrus 2013 MTV Music Awards level disgusting display.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
As so often is the case, the Fantasy Football gods will not allow this game we love to be easy. Johnson has quickly turned into a Daily Fantasy Football community must play at the running back position, leading to the “fade David Johnson in tournaments” discussion. While the Seahawks defense has been formidable against RBs, Johnson has been producing at an elite level for weeks.
Seattle seemingly had little to play for, while Arizona had a chance at the top seed in the NFC. Our old friend, narrative, suggested this could be a rout. It certainly was, as the Seahawks tore the Cardinals apart as they, and Johnson, struggled all afternoon. Johnson finished with less than 60 yards of offense to go along with just three receptions.
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills
The Jets were destined for the playoffs, just ask anyone at a gas station in New Jersey. They controlled their own destiny with a “win and you’re in” matchup vs. the mighty Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills. The Jets paid top dollar for more than just a timeshare on Revis Island this offseason and it was specifically for matchups like this.
Watkins rejected the narrative and had himself a game, personally torching Revis for five receptions and 80 yards when the two were lined up against each other. Watkins finished the game with his third highest yardage total of the season (136), to go along with his season high 11 receptions. Narrative fail!
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