Scott Pianowski

  • Booms and Busts: Devonta Freeman, a star is born?

    Scott Pianowski at Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute 18 hrs ago

    When offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan touched down in Atlanta this year, the expectation was that he’d turn Julio Jones into an unstoppable offensive weapon (and he's done that).

    Maybe the same goes for second-year running back Devonta Freeman.

    Freeman was slow off the mark in the first two weeks of the year (after a so-so rookie season), but he’s been nothing short of spectacular over the last two weeks, rolling up six touchdowns and a truckload of fantasy points. The latest effort came in Sunday’s romp over Houston, with Freeman collecting 149 total yards and three rushing touchdowns (covering 16, 23 and six yards). Fantasy royalty. DFS nirvana. 

    Freeman could have done even more against the Texans, but the Falcons put a quick hook on their starters - life when you lead 42-0 by the end of the third period. Unheralded backup RB Terron Ward picked up 19 carries for 72 yards and a score, most of it coming in garbage time.

    Now for a look around the NFL landscape through the opening eight games . . . 

  • Throwing Darts: Everyone (at Yahoo) likes the Giants

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 1 day ago

    Five picks against the number every week, that’s how we roll. All selections use the Yahoo Pick’em Spread. The Dallas-New Orleans game is ruled off the board for our purposes.

    Play along, share your five best picks in the comments. (If you need your results from Week 3, click here.) 

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: Enter our $1 Million Week 4 contest]

    Browns +7.5 at Chargers: It’s nice to have the hook, of course, and the defenses appear close to even. The Chargers have the big edge at quarterback, but some of that is mitigated by the significant injuries on the San Diego offensive line. Just hoping Josh McCown doesn’t give the game away.

    Cardinals -6.5 vs. Rams: Okay, Arizona hasn’t beaten a good team yet. Is St. Louis a good team? Can you imagine Nick Foles playing well in this stadium, or against this defense?

    Fantasy Versus Reality

  • Daliy Dime: One more Shelby Miller fade; welcome back, Justin Verlander

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 1 day ago

    Typical last Saturday of the season, a complete mess (the weather and the doubleheaders do not help). Make sure you double check the lineups and the forecasts.

    And if you want to beat my score, you're invited to jump in over here (free to play). 

    John Lackey ($52, -137) has to be one of my picks, at Atlanta. Apparently Shelby Miller was born under a bad sign or something.

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: Enter our $1 Million Week 4 contest]

    Justin Verlander’s ten-start comeback is fueled by some batted-ball luck: a 2.05 ERA isn’t supported by a .243 BABIP, or a modest 64 strikeouts against 19 walks. But he’s still a -123 favorite despite the road assignment, and the White Sox are just 25th in weighted on-base average against right-handed pitching. Welcome back, JV.

  • Injury Wrap: Andrew Luck questionable; still waiting for Arian Foster

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    Is 2015 the Year of the Quarterback Injury? Let’s take our first look around the Friday injury landscape.

    -- Are the Colts being coy or honest about Andrew Luck? He missed some of Friday’s practice and warning sirens were immediately sounded when the team added journeyman QB Josh Johnson to the roster. But head coach Chuck Pagano says he’s confident Luck will be under center Sunday against Jacksonville. At least it’s a 1 pm ET start.

    -- Arian Foster (groin) hasn’t been ruled out for Week 4, though he’s still carrying the questionable tag. Houston also has a quick turnaround for Week 5, a Thursday game, so it might make more sense to wait one or even two more games. Houston is at Atlanta this Sunday. Alfred Blue was surprisingly effective in Week 4. 

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: Enter our $1 Million Week 4 contest]

    -- Drew Brees (shoulder) is listed as probable, so it sounds like we'll see him Sunday night against Dallas. That doesn't mean you have to start him, but you can at least consider it. 

  • Fantasy Hockey Big Board: Ovechkin and Crosby 1-2, just like old times

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 3 days ago

    As we head into the teeth of Fantasy Hockey Draft Season, it's a good time to make sure we're all on the same page. What, you have some different ideas on your ranks? That's lovely. That's why we have a game. (Feel extra confident this year? We have Hockey Pro Leagues ready to go, and we'll offer NHL DFS as well.) 

    If you want to copy off my sheet, here you go, consider the Top 100 below. Welcome back to the ice. (If you need to go deeper, all of my NHL ranks are at Fantasy Pros.)  

    [Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Sign up for a league today]

    1. Alex Ovechkin  LW/RW, (WSH) No signs of slowing down, covers both wings as well.

    50. Shea Weber  D, (NSH) All systems go after knee surgery.

  • Shuffle Up: Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and the skinny Denver passing tree

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 3 days ago

    Okay, here are the Shuffle Up rules.

    We are talking rest-of-season value. Everything to this point is an audition. If you want leaders to this point, you’ll find them elsewhere. If you want Week 4 rankings, click over here

    Today, we do receivers, and only receivers. Next week, new position. Eventually I will start batching them in groups of two (probably backs with the tight ends, and quarterbacks with the wideouts.) 

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: Enter our $1 Million Week 4 contest]

    You’ll disagree with stuff because that’s why we have a game. Try to stay grounded and rational with your players, it’s one of the most important skills in your fantasy toolbox.

    Assume a half-point PPR scoring format. I will comment on many (perhaps most) players, but I do not promise a comment on everyone.

    And now we shuffle, shufflers. 

    Tier 1 

  • Daily Dime: Colon, Ross, more Astros in Seattle

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    We check the weather, we run the lineups, we build a team. If you want to match your score against mine, for free, click right here.

    The first thing I’m doing is taking all the rain off the Tuesday card. No Jays and Orioles, no Bucs and Cards, no Twins and Indians. If they prove me wrong, so be it. I don’t want to lose that way. (And maybe I'm underestimating the threat for the Reds and Cubs.) 

    I would never fault anyone for dialing up Clayton Kershaw, though I’ll be more budget-conscious with my moundsmen. Bartolo Colon ($45, -190 at Philly) and Tyson Ross ($51, -173 vs. Milwaukee) are both heavy favorites and going up against skeleton-crew offenses. (Seriously, look at that Philly lineup again. The Phanatic cries himself to sleep.)

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: Enter our $1 Million Week 4 contest]

  • Daily Dime: Greinke, Santiago, some Astros, some cheap outfielders

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 6 days ago

    Check the lineups, watch the weather, and come beat me in a free Yahoo DFS contest.

    Hector Santiago ($40) has been erratic in the second half, and I actually dropped him in one of my weekly formats, despite the two-start week. But the Angels should score against Felix Doubront (5.53 ERA), which is why the Halos are -194 favorites here. Anytime I can get a cheap pitcher at that favored a price, I’m likely to do it.

    The savings on Santiago make Zack Greinke ($61, -155) a more reasonable pay-up, at home against a Giants team that hasn’t scored much over the last month (19th in the majors). I’m skipping past the second favorite on the card, Corey Kluber, not sure what to make of him these days.

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: Enter our $1 Million Week 4 contest]

    And it looks like I need an outfield on $24. Heaven help me. 

  • Week 3 Booms and Busts: Welcome to the Oakland carnival

    Scott Pianowski at Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute 7 days ago

    Most fan bases start the fresh season with dreams of contention, playoffs, maybe a Super Bowl trip.

    Oakland Raiders fans? They’d just like their team to be relevant again. And it looks like they might be getting their wish.

    It’s been a while since Oakland was taken seriously in the NFL landscape. The last winning Raiders season dates back to 2002, when they won the AFC Championship. Rich Gannon was the league’s MVP, Jerry Rice was still running around and past defenses, Charlie Garner was a revelation out of the backfield. Oakland was second in scoring, first in offensive yards, and just about unstoppable until their old coach, Jon Gruden, took them down in Super Bowl.

    Fast forward to 2015, and it looks like the Raiders have hope again. The defense might not stop many opponents, but there’s a fun offense worth watching – for real fans and fantasy fans alike.

    Oakland’s turned into our favorite type of fantasy team – a full-blown carnival. This is a team that can score on most teams, and can’t stop most teams. The Raiders somehow are 2-1 despite allowing 86 points in three weeks.

  • Daily Dime: Stephen Strasburg, Jaime Garcia, Xs and Ys

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 9 days ago

    Rise and grind, there’s a full slate of DFS that asks for your attention. As always, please double check the weather and lineups as first pitch approaches. And if you feel like a free game, take your best shot at me, right here

    I’ve said plenty of skeptical things about Stephen Strasburg over the years, but I can’t deny how dominant he’s been since returning in August: 2.24 ERA, 6 BB, 72 K, .176 average against. He’s a -250 favorite Saturday against the Phils, and a reasonable $58 in the Yahoo game. That works.

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: Enter our $1 Million Week 3 contest]

    Xander Bogaerts ($17) is one reason Boston fans are excited about the 2016 season. He’s hitting .351 in the second half, and .377 against left-handers. Dial him up against Wei-Yin Chen.