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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Fantasy Football

Judge rules to shut down Draftkings, Fanduel in New York

Daily-fantasy-protest

New York Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez on Friday granted a preliminary injunction to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to stop daily fantasy sports sites Draftkings and Fanduel from doing business in the state.

Mendez sided with Schneiderman in ruling that Draftkings and Fanduel are operating illegal gambling websites based on how the laws on illegal gambling are written in New York. The DFS sites had argued that they were collecting entry fees and not taking wagers, which they said does not constitute gambling.

“New York State penal law does not refer to ‘wagering’ or ‘betting,’ rather it states that a person, ‘risks something of value,'” Mendez wrote in his ruling, per Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. “The payment of an ‘entry fee’ as high as $10,600 on one or more contests daily could certainly be deemed risking ‘something of value.'”

As Rovell notes, the popular argument that DFS is a “game of skill” as opposed to gambling was not relevant to Mendez’s decision, as that is not the measuring stick for illegal gambling in the state of New York.

At least 600,000 New Yorkers were playing daily fantasy sports on Fanduel and Draftkings, and they accounted for roughly $200 million in entry fees this year. New York residents have not been permitted to enter paid contests since Schneiderman sent cease-and-desist letters to Draftkings and Fanduel on Nov. 10.

Earlier this week, the New York Assembly held a hearing to discuss the potential regulation of daily fantasy sports. Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, the head of the Committee on Racing and Wagering, believes that future legislation will legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports.

The bottom line here is that states want to regulate and tax DFS, which has quickly become a billion-dollar industry. As the rally in New York last month showed us, people love Draftkings and Fanduel. Government wants a piece of the pie.

Fans rally in New York to support daily fantasy sports

Daily-fantasy-protest

A group of fans and employees rallied outside the office of New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman to protest his ruling that daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings constituted illegal gambling.

Estimates on the crowd varied depending on the source, but roughly 250 to 300 people showed up, though according to reporters on the scene, a majority of protesters are employed or affiliated with one of the sites. They carried signs, and one even had a bullhorn.

The group contends that daily fantasy is a skill game and not gambling in opposition to Schneiderman’s ruling.

Many carried signs mocking Schneiderman and defending daily fantasy sports.

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Bruce Arians, John Brown have messages for fantasy football owners

Bruce-Arians

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown was active against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, but the speedy playmaker did not end up playing a snap. As you can imagine, that frustrated fantasy football players who had Brown in their lineup.

Do you think Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians cares? Go ahead and ask him about it.

Bruce-Arians-fantasy

Brown, who has been battling hamstring injuries, wasn’t about to apologize, either. The former Pittsburg State star took things a step further when someone who is unfamiliar with Arizona’s schedule asked him if he plans on playing in Week 9.

Arians and Brown join a long list of current and former NFL coaches and players who have ripped fantasy football owners (here’s another popular example), though their comments were far more entertaining than some before them. The Cardinals want to get Brown healthy because they are 6-2 and he is another weapon in a great offense. As Arians put it, they don’t give a s— about anything else.

Jeremy Langford, DeAngelo Williams, Kendall Gaskins are fantasy options

Jeremy Langford

Jeremy Langford, DeAngelo Williams and Kendall Gaskins are among the players who received opportunities to produce on Sunday because of a rash of injuries to hit the league, and they are players worth looking at for fantasy football owners.

Jeremy Langford received his opportunities as Matt Forte’s backup for the Chicago Bears. Forte left Sunday’s game against Minnesota in the third quarter with a knee injury. Langford, a rookie from Michigan State, came in and rushed for 46 yards on 12 carries. Entering the game he hadn’t done much for his career, as he had recorded just 34 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. But if Forte is to miss any time, Langford is a player you will want to pick up.

Sadly, Le’Veon Bell got hurt for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Cincinnati Bengals. DeAngelo Williams is the backup there and broke out a big run of 55 yards. As anyone who watched the first two games of the season could tell you, Williams is a more than capable backup for Bell. If Williams is available in your league, pick him up immediately.

The San Francisco 49ers were hit hard by injuries. The week they released Jarryd Hayne, they saw a bunch of running backs get hurt. Carlos Hyde was already out for them with an injury, then Mike Davis left with a hand injury against the Rams, and Reggie Bush suffered an injury after getting hurt on the concrete sidelines. Enter Kendall Gaskins. He stepped in and took lead back duties for the 49ers. The problem is Gaskins has never done anything in his NFL career. Worse yet, he plays on a crappy team that has no offense. We don’t like him too much as an option and we expect the 49ers to add some depth during the week.

Khiry Robinson is another running back who suffered an injury in Week 8 of the NFL season. The New Orleans Saints already have a crowded backfield, so there isn’t exactly a chance to pick up a running back there. Mark Ingram is probably already owned in your league and he’ll be the one seeing more action. C.J. Spiller may also see more action depending on how bad the injury is to Robinson, so he is an option if he’s available in your league.

To recap: I’d rank running back fantasy pickups in the following order – Williams, Langford, Spiller and Gaskins. If it looks like Bell’s injury is not as serious while Forte’s is, I’d reverse the order on Williams and Langford.

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Christine Michael a fantasy must-add, expected to start

Christine-Michael

There are a handful of instances throughout the NFL season where a player who has done absolutely nothing needs to be added in all fantasy football leagues, and Christine Michael is one of those players.

The Dallas Cowboys traded a late-round draft pick to Seattle for Michael back in September. The third-year running back has carried the ball just two times for five yards this season, but the Cowboys have reportedly used the bye week to prepare him to be the starter.

Dallas running backs coach Gary Brown said last week that the team is ready to “take the reins” off Michael and “let him rock.”

Joseph Randle has been starting at tailback for the Cowboys, but he has not generated big plays behind a dominant offensive line. He’s averaging just 3.9 yards per carry after averaging a whopping 6.7 in a change-of-pace role behind DeMarco Murray last season. The Cowboys likely want him to return to that role, with Darren McFadden working in on third downs.

The Seahawks used a second-round pick on Michael back in 2013, so you know there is some talent there. If he gets the majority of the reps in what can be a phenomenal rushing offense, he could wind up being a fantasy football league-winner.

Photo: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Charcandrick West fantasy – Pick him up with Charles out

Charcandrick West Chiefs

Charcandrick West is a good player to add to your fantasy football team with Jamaal Charles potentially out for the season.

Charles got hurt against the Chicago Bears on Sunday on a non-contact play, and the Chiefs reportedly fear that he has a torn ACL. An injury like that would take Charles out for the season and leave a big hole at running back for KC.

Enter Charcandrick West.

West carried the load for the Chiefs after Charles exited the game. He rushed for 31 yards on seven carries.

West is a second-year back from Abilene Christian who entered Week 5 with just 17 yards on five career carries.

There are two things going against West as a top fantasy player to add.

1) He plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, whose offense does not look good. KC’s passing game is weak as heck, which doesn’t give them a ton of options that will open things up for West. The counterpoint to that is that Andy Reid tends to like featuring a running back when he has a good one.

2) How good of an actual player is West? If he’s not too talented — and we don’t think he is — then even if he gets 15 carries a game for a few weeks, it won’t do much good if he’s only putting together 50 yards and not too many touchdowns.

We also would expect the Chiefs to bring in a few more running backs as competition.

For now, if you are pretty desperate at running back and just want someone who will be getting significant carries for a few weeks, West is a good pickup. Otherwise his upside is limited, so don’t rush out to get him.

Photo: Charcandrick West/Twitter

Boobie Dixon, Boom Herron fantasy options with Karlos Williams injury

Anthony-Dixon

The Buffalo Bills may find themselves reaching way down the depth chart for a running back this weekend, and Boobie Dixon is expected to be the beneficiary.

LeSean McCoy is still sidelined with a hamstring injury and rookie Karlos Williams has not practiced this week because of a concussion. If Williams is unable to clear the concussion protocol, he will not be able to play against the Tennessee Titans.

That leaves Dixon, who is dealing with a calf injury of his own but is expected to be active, as the next man up. The Bills also brought in former Indianapolis Colts running back Dan “Boom” Herron, and at least one reporter would not be surprised if Herron ends up receiving more touches than Dixon.

The Titans rank 20th in the NFL with 113.7 rushing yards allowed per game, so the Bills are going to try to establish the run no matter who lines up in their backfield. Both Boom and Boobie — easily the best nicknamed backfield in the NFL this week — are going to get their chances if Williams is inactive.