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    On Thursday, fantasy fanatics will gather round with family and friends to consume a meal of gut-busting proportions. Over the course of an afternoon, spoonfuls of stuffing, slabs of butter and slices of pumpkin pie will be devoured in portion sizes svelte dietitians and TV fitness gurus would deem “nightmarish.”

    For those that partake in the caloric marathon, be sure to save room on your plate for a delicious slice of Pierre Thomas(notes).

    The embattled New Orleans back is this year’s unanimous choice for fantasy’s Most Valueless Turkey.

    Sidelined by a mysterious ankle injury - revealed Sunday to be a torn tendon - for eight frustrating weeks, the PT Cruiser has arguably been the virtual game’s “Biggest Loser.” Hogging space on owner rosters that could’ve been designated for midseason waiver finds LeGarrette Blount(notes), Mike Goodson(notes) or Keiland Williams(notes), the popular

    Read More »from First Down: Turkey Thomas almost ready for stretch run
  • The rich get richer this week as four of the top-eight in offensive pace draw the easiest schedules this week. Those heavily invested in LaMarcus Aldridge(notes), Nicolas Batum(notes), Marcus Camby(notes), Wesley Matthews(notes), and Andre Miller(notes) will have to bite the bullet. Not only do the Blazers have the hardest schedule this week (by a wide margin), but they are also the only team with only two games. This is what happens when you draw a five-game week like they did in Week 2.

    Based on 9-category z-scores to date, these values equate the average ease values for each team’s group of opponents this week…

    Easiest Schedules: Golden State (+0.61), Phoenix (+0.57), Denver (+0.48), Sacramento (+0.38), Houston (+0.35)

    Hardest Schedules: Portland (-0.50), Dallas (-0.37), Philadelphia (-0.36), Washington (-0.33), Miami (-0.33)

    *** = check status


    1. Chris Paul(notes) – @LAC, @UTA, @POR, SAS (4)
    2. Monta Ellis(notes) – DEN, @HOU, @MEM, @MIN (4)
    3. Stephen Curry(notes)

    Read More »from Fantasy Basketball: Week 5 Player Rankings
  • Each Sunday, the Dashboard centralizes all the crucial information fantasy managers need to dominate their weekly head-to-head matchups or climb the standings in their rotisserie leagues. The Dashboard covers schedule analysis, status updates, adds, drops, watch list candidates, and deep league targets for managers of all skill levels. Quite simply, it is a comprehensive weekly cheat sheet that is packed with so much information that we’ve devoted two writers to producing it.

    Add List - players currently owned in less than 40% of Yahoo! leagues

    Marco Belinelli(notes), SG, NOR (28% owned)
    Belinelli continues to contribute efficient offense for the Hornets and fantasy owners and has slowly been making his way onto more rosters. Over the past six games, he's averaged 14.7 points on 53-percent shooting, 85-percent foul shooting, and 2.5 threes in 28 minutes. Belinelli is thrilled to be a key player for a winning team and should continue to be one of the best three-point specialists for

    Read More »from Court Report: Week 5 Dashboard, Part II
  • Court Report: Week 5 Dashboard, Part I

    Each Sunday, the Dashboard centralizes all the crucial information fantasy managers need to dominate their weekly head-to-head matchups or climb the standings in their rotisserie leagues. The Dashboard covers schedule analysis, status updates, adds, drops, watch list candidates, and deep league targets for managers of all skill levels. Quite simply, it is a comprehensive weekly cheat sheet that is packed with so much information that we’ve devoted two writers to producing it.

    Schedule Breakdown – essential schedule information for the upcoming week and beyond

    Week three, total games.
    5 games: ATL
    3 games: BOS, DEN, LAL, MEM, MIL, MIN, SAC, TOR, WAS
    2 games: POR

    Week three, quality games.
    1 game: ATL, LAC, SAC, WAS

    Week three, best schedules.
    GSW: DEN, @HOU, @MEM, @MIN
    SAC: @UTH, @LAC, CHI

    Read More »from Court Report: Week 5 Dashboard, Part I

    You might assume that the starting QB on the team that leads the NFL in pass attempts would be owned in every fantasy league, but no. This year, that guy isn't even owned in a quarter of Yahoo! leagues.

    Entering Week 11, the Detroit Lions were averaging 43.4 attempts and 266.7 passing yards per game, yet quarterback Shaun Hill(notes) was only 23 percent owned. That seems a little light, considering his circumstances.

    Hill threw the ball 47 times against the Cowboys, playing catch-up, and he finished with 289 yards and two scores. He always seems to deliver that line, or something close. In every game that Hill has started and finished this season, he's thrown at least one TD pass and topped 220 yards. That's really not such a bad fantasy floor.

    For our purposes, Hill's setup is almost ideal: His receivers are excellent, Detroit's running game is nonexistent, and the Lions occasionally trail by a touchdown after player introductions. He's about to face the Patriots in a short week, and

    Read More »from Sunday Scene, Week 11: Shaun Hill loses again, produces for your fake team
  • The Friday news cycle is the most important one for the fantasy football player. The Chargers will be our first point of focus, and then we'll check the other clubs, going position-by-position.

    Antonio Gates(notes) (feet) is considered doubtful for Monday's game against Denver. He's got an extra day to get right, of course, and the Chargers still have an important practice to come (their Saturday workout stands as everyone else's Friday session), but you better have another option ready to go.

    It's also looking unlikely for Ryan Mathews(notes) (ankle); Norv Turner confirmed as much Friday. Mike Tolbert(notes) should be in line for double-digit touches, and goal-line work, Monday night. At least nothing has happened to Mathews' arm and shoulder, should the Padres need him for anything in 2011.

    Things aren't easier to figure with San Diego's wideouts. Malcom Floyd(notes) took a step back Friday when his sore hamstring popped up. He did practice in full on Wednesday and Thursday, however.

    Read More »from Injury Wrap: Everything hurts in San Diego
  • Half of Friday's active teams scored under 90 points, but that doesn't mean there wasn't plenty of bullet-point material.

    Kevin Love(notes) had a truly awful night for Minnesota, so naturally the team turned to… Darko Milicic(notes)? Darko had his best game as a pro on Friday, scoring 23 points and adding 16 boards, five assists, two turnovers, two steals, and six blocks in 40 minutes. With Nikola Pekovic(notes) sidelined, Darko has now seen at least 32 minutes in three straight games, and he's averaged 15.7 points on 57-percent shooting, 10.3 boards, 4 assists, 2.3 turnovers, 1 steal, and 4.3 blocks in 37 minutes. At this point, he's certainly worth a look in most formats in the event that he can even partially maintain his recent pace.

    Michael Beasley(notes) scored at least 25 points for the sixth consecutive game (25 points, 1 three, 10 boards, 2 steals, 2 blocks), and over those six games he's averaged 31.3 points on 53-percent shooting, 1.7 threes, 6.8 boards, 1.2 steals, and

    Read More »from Court Report: Darko's Best
  • The common adage "One is an accident, two is a trend, three is a problem" can be aptly applied in football on a game-by-game, week-to-week basis with a 16-game schedule in place, but its application in basketball is a bit muddled. We're a little over 10 games into a 82-game schedule and still have a ways to go, but it's never too soon to take a look at some early-season statistical trends that are having a significant effect on player values.

    What tends to happen once the season begins is that we get away from thinking at a more focused, categorical level and tend to generalize things. “Player A is having a breakout season and is putting up top-20 numbers; player B appears to be a bust and is ranked outside the top-150.” There’s a lot of general reporting of facts with some educated guesses thrown in as justification to buy low or sell high, but we don’t often see a close examination of why things are the way they are.

    This will be a multi-part series, and I’ll kick things off by

    Read More »from Fantasy Basketball: Trend Spotting
  • Five pick'em selections against the spread, one survivor opinion, those are the rules. Please include your own selections, and rationale, in the comments.

    Lions +6.5 at Cowboys: Six of Detroit's losses have come by one score or less (that's why they're 7-2 against the number in 2010), and the Lions have outscored their opponents for the season. I have a lot of confidence in Detroit's passing game, and its ability to produce in garbage time, if needed. The Cowboys showed up in Jersey last week and thrashed the Giants, and as a result we get an overinflated number here.

    Chiefs -8 vs. Cardinals: Sure, Kansas City laid a big, fat egg in Denver, but Derek Anderson's(notes) career has given us a lot of messes too. I don't like Arizona's offensive line, and I can't see how the Cardinals front seven (4.3 YPC) will stop Thomas Jones(notes) and Jamaal Charles(notes). Look for the Chiefs to rebound, emphatically, at Arrowhead.

    Steelers -7 vs. Raiders: Pittsburgh's stock took a hit recently while

    Read More »from Throwing Darts: Keeping it close with the Detroit Lions
  • Dissenting Opinions: Benson, Floyd and a Felix fracas

    Every Friday during the NFL season we review the Yahoo! weekly position ranks. When an expert breaks from the herd, they're asked to show their work. We try to focus on names near the start/sit line in public leagues, or on acts of complete lunacy. Let's play the feud…

    Felix Jones(notes) – Evans RB rank 13, Yahoo! composite 20

    The resurrection of the Cowboys offense last week in New York was reminiscent of the scene in Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman was revived with an adrenaline shot to the heart. Once considered long for dead, the jumpstarted ‘Boys played like a division contender, consuming large gains by land and air. On the sidelines, Jason Garrett was seen holding a syringe.

    Jones’ spectacular performance last week was one of many terrific efforts tallied by Dallas. His 136 total yards and a touchdown on 17 touches was the seventh-best line among RBs for the week. Look for him to duplicate those numbers in the encore versus a bendable Detroit defense.

    As Fred Jackson(notes)

    Read More »from Dissenting Opinions: Benson, Floyd and a Felix fracas


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