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Monday, February 18, 2019

Fantasy Football

Is this the worst fantasy football bad beat ever?

Drew Brees

We’ve seen plenty of bad fantasy football beats over the years, but this one may top them all.

Barstool Sports’ “Laces Out” Twitter account a screenshot of a fantasy football owner’s result from the semifinals in Week 15. That owner lost their semifinal matchup by .01 points — 128.77 to 128.76. According to the tweet, the person lost because of Drew Brees’ kneel-down on the final play of the game.

Brees took a knee with 35 seconds left to run off the remaining time in a 12-9 win by the New Orleans Saints over the Carolina Panthers on Monday night. He lost one yard on the play, finishing with 2 rushing attempts for -2 yards. He also took a 1-yard loss for his kneeldown before halftime.

Do we need to begin a campaign to make sure kneeling down on the final play of a half does not affect a player’s rushing stats? Seems like that would only be fair. Oh, and if you want to compare bad beat stories, we’ve got plenty more here.

Odell Beckham Jr blasts his fantasy football owners

Odell Beckham crying

Sorry, fantasy football owners, but Odell Beckham Jr is sick of hearing from you.

Beckham has been rehabbing from an ankle sprain suffered in the preseason, and there have been plenty of questions about his recovery ever since. He was a game-time decision but did not play in Week 1. Fans of course are wondering whether he will play in Week 2.

Clearly Beckham is sick of the questions. He tweeted this note on Saturday:

Reports suggest the New York Giants wide receiver will play on Monday night, so there’s that. But you can understand his frustration if he feels like many fans just want to know whether he will play for purposes of their fantasy football team, rather than out of concern for the playmaker’s well-being.

Tarik Cohen shakes up Bears’ fantasy situation with big game

Tarik Cohen

If you didn’t know who Tarik Cohen was before, you need to know who he is now.

Cohen was a breakout star for the Chicago Bears in the team’s 23-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home on Sunday. The rookie running back from North Carolina A&T rushed for 66 yards on five carries. He also had 8 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown and was targeted 12 times.

Jordan Howard was the team’s lead back last season and will probably remain in the role, but it’s clear that Cohen will be a big part of the team’s offense this season. Howard rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He also had 3 catches for 14 yards.

At 5-foot-6, there were questions about whether Cohen would be too small for the NFL. This impressive run should answer the questions.

For now, you should pick Cohen up for your fantasy team, and you might also want to call him “Big Daddy.”

Best fantasy football player on every NFL team

With the preseason officially over and cut-down day having come and gone, the NFL’s regular season is arriving. That also means fantasy football season is upon us.

Various outlets have published their top 25, 50, 75 and 100 fantasy players lists, but what about players from each individual team? Who is the best fantasy option from each organization? Well, look no further.

Here are the best fantasy players from all 32 NFL teams.

Arizona Cardinals – David Johnson, running back

A versatile do-it-all running back, David Johnson may be not only the best fantasy player on the Arizona Cardinals, but arguably all of football. He had over 2,100 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns a season ago, and there’s little reason to believe his workload will decrease in 2017. His 80 catches as a running back make him an utter monster in PPR leagues.

Atlanta Falcons – Julio Jones, wide receiver

Was there a more obvious choice than Julio Jones for the Falcons? Arguably the best wide receiver in football, it’s a near lock that Jones will put up over 100 yards a game and have a few chances to score. Of course, he’s also entirely capable of putting together a season like 2015, when he had nearly 1,900 yards and eight touchdowns.

Baltimore Ravens – Terrance West, running back

(more…)

ESPN apologizes for offending some with fantasy football auction

ESPn auction

ESPN apologized in a statement sent Tuesday for airing a fantasy football auction that some found to be offensive because of their feeling that it was too similar to a slave auction.

Teams in fantasy football leagues are often formed in one of two ways: via a draft system, where participants select players one at a time, or via an auction, where participants are given a “salary cap” and bid on players using their theoretical money. ESPN decided to air their version of an auction Monday, and that’s led to some backlash.

Shaun King, who is a leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, sent this tweet that included a video clip from the auction. He demanded an apology from ESPN.

King demanded an apology and received one.

“Auction drafts are a common part of fantasy football, and ESPN’s segments replicated an auction draft with a diverse slate of top professional football players,” ESPN said in a statement to The Big Lead. “Without that context, we understand the optics could be portrayed as offensive, and we apologize.”

Though ESPN was being thoughtful and respectful in apologizing, many wonder whether that was even necessary. What ESPN was doing was portraying a live fantasy football auction, which is something football fans of all races participate in every single year. All NFL players — white and black alike — are eligible to be selected by fantasy football participants. Yes, even Tom Brady and Matt Ryan get auctioned off in similar fashion. King and other critics probably did not understand that context, leading to their criticism. Though with a white auctioneer and all white people doing the bidding on mostly black athletes, it’s understandable why many would feel offended.

Still, ESPN does not want to offend anyone, which is why they ultimately apologized. If they televise a similar segment in the future, they may want to consider changing the optics and execution of the bit.

DraftKings, FanDuel terminate plans for fantasy sports merger

Hopes of a daily fantasy sports giant went out the window on Thursday when DraftKings and FanDuel collectively announced that plans of a potential merger had been terminated.

The decision to terminate the merger came roughly a month after the Federal Trade Commission said they would block any potential union in court to prevent a digital monopoly. Although other DFS companies exist, DraftKings and FanDuel make up the vast majority of the market.

“We have determined that it is in the best interest of our shareholders, customers, employees and partners to terminate the merger agreement and move forward as an independent company,” FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles said in a statement published by the New York Daily News.

The merger would have made sense for each company as part of a continued battle for legalization around the country, but there was fierce opposition over the fear of a monopoly. Accordingly, each company will now remain independent.

“We believe it is in the best interests of our customers, employees, and investors to terminate our agreement to merge with FanDuel and move forward as a separate company,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said in a similar statement. “This will allow us to singularly focus on our mission of providing the most innovative and engaging interactive sports experience imaginable, forever changing the way fans connect with teams and athletes worldwide.”

The two companies announced last year the plans for a potential merger, but will now focus solely on customer satisfaction and the competition will ideally yield better products for the customer base.

Kenneth Farrow, Ronnie Hillman to see extra carries with Gordon out

Ronnie Hillman

Kenneth Farrow and and Ronnie Hillman are set to get extra carries for the San Diego Chargers in Week 16 with starter Melvin Gordon ruled out.

Gordon has a hip and knee injury that kept him out of Week 15 and will also force him to miss this Saturday’s game at Cleveland.

Farrow saw the bulk of the carries against the Raiders last weekend, rushing 15 times for 39 yards and catching two passes. Hillman carried seven times for 34 yards. But Farrow fumbled twice — losing one — so you figure he might receive a slight demotion given the way the two performed.

Neither player is a great bet to see huge action this weekend, but Hillman might be the better play if you’re in your fantasy football finals.

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