By Erez Ladetzky, Smack Zone Contributor Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ve seen all the commercials for FanDuel and Draft Kings. How could you not, they are only played about 23 hours and 59 minutes a day! Yesterday came word that an employee of Draft Kings won more than $300,000 on FanDuel. Nothing wrong with that. However, that employee used inside information not available to the public to pick his team. Everything wrong with that. Now, both sites have made it a rule that no employee is allowed to partake in the fun of daily fantasy sports. That makes perfect sense. It’s a bit surprising that this is the first we have heard of this going on. While gambling is “illegal” in almost every state, somehow the NFL partners with these sites that allow … wait for it … gambling. Daily fantasy during the NFL season is fun. I play using FanDuel and it allows for much more creativity than your regular fantasy team. Every week, you pick a lineup using a $60,000 salary cap. You guess who will have the best games that week. The key is finding cheap players who will have career games that week. There are tons of $1, $2 and $5 leagues with 100 other people that can win you a few hundred dollars. There are also bigger promotion leagues in the same price range with over 200,000 entries that you can win over $100,000 thousand. This is why these sites are so popular right now: Any given week you can win a lot of money. But don’t bet on winning in the large promotional leagues; that is (or was) a privilege reserved for the employees of FanDuel and Draft Kings. All that said, one great way to win some sweet Smack Apparel merchandise is to enter and win the weekly football picks contest. It is LIVE NOW, and the weekly winner gets three (3) Smack Apparel shirts, while the runner-up gets one. Go register at CONTEST.SMACKAPPAREL.COM and make your picks. DO IT. We promise no Smack Apparel employee will snake the victory away from you.
[caption id="attachment_1204" align="aligncenter" width="800"] We can't decide. You?[/caption] Meh. It's probably six of one, half-a-dozen of the other. While you contemplate the implications, why not give our weekly football picks contest a try? Enter for a chance to win Smack Apparel merch. Click here to register and record your picks.
[caption id="attachment_1109" align="aligncenter" width="474"] Enter the weekly Smack Apparel picks contest to win t-shirts! Share it with your friends and prove your superiority as a pigskin prognosticator![/caption] By Erez Ladetzky, Smack Zone Contributor So your fantasy team is off to a rough start. Or one of your star players is hurt and you need a replacement. Maybe you have succumbed to all of the daily fantasy commercials and have joined FanDuel or Draft Kings (I started FanDuel last season). Here is a list of 5 players either potentially on your waiver wire or who have good value every week in daily/weekly fantasy:
- Karlos Williams, RB Buffalo Bills -- word out of Buffalo is Shady McCoy could very well miss this week’s game against the Giants. McCoy’s hamstring will probably linger on most of the year. Williams is coming off a 110 yard performance against Miami, including a highlight reel TD. Look for Williams and McCoy to split carries the rest of the way.
- Devonta Freeman, RB Atlanta Falcons -- coming into the season, many people thought Atlanta would use their 3rd round draft pick Tevin Coleman more than Freeman. Last week Coleman injured his hip, and Freeman took advantage of the opportunity, scoring the most fantasy points this week with a 3 TD game against the Cowboys. Freeman is a very solid RB2/value pick in daily fantasy sports (DFS).
- Tyrod Taylor, QB Buffalo Bills -- Taylor is available in a lot of leagues and definitely worth the pickup in case your starter has a tough matchup or is injured. Taylor has a great supporting cast around him with Mccoy, Williams, Watkins, Harvin and Clay. Not to mention he can run for yards and TD if necessary.
- Darren Sproles, RB Philadelphia Eagles -- Sproles is Mr. Do it all for the Eagles. He runs, catches and returns punts/kicks. He is an excellent value play in DFS and allows you to take two high-priced WR or a high priced RB and WR. He might not play a lot of snaps, but the snaps he does play turn into fantasy gold.
- Marvin Jones, WR Cincinnati Bengals -- teams have to start doubling A.J. Green. No team wants him to be the reason they get beat. Enter Marvin Jones. He had 94 yards and a TD against Baltimore this past weekend, and I expect him to be consistent the rest of the year. Dalton is playing his best football yet, and Jones should be the beneficiary of Green having a monster start to the season.
By Erez Ladetzky, Smack Zone Contributor Football season is in full swing. With it, naturally, comes a lot of gambling. Most of the time, that’s good news for Las Vegas. Except, as happened in the opening week, all of the heavy favorites cover the spread. Whoops: Worst ever loss for Vegas on an opening weekend. On the other hand, when the house loses, the people win. Easy, right? Break out the bankroll and go get rich! Not so fast, my friends. Remember the old gambler’s saying: Live by the spread, die by the survival pool. (What? It’s a saying. All right, I made it up. But it's a saying now. Shut up.) One way to have an entertaining football season is to, as I mentioned in that old saying I totally just made up, join a survivor pool. Here’s how it works: Each week you pick a team to win. If that team wins, you survive to the pick again the following week. If they lose, you are eliminated, and you must walk the Fan Duel Walk of Shame. This whole survivor pool thing sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I have been participating in one for the past six years. The rules of my survivor pool of choice say that every week there are restricted teams that you are not allowed to select. For the first three weeks, the two most favored teams that week are banned. In weeks four-six, the top three most favored teams are restricted. And so on. There were more 14,000 entries this season, and after week two, that number dwindled to just more than 3,000. You read that right: After two weeks, ELEVEN THOUSAND entries had gone up in smoke. Picking any team to win sounds easy enough, until we get to game time. Then? Anything can happen. Just ask the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, and Baltimore Ravens. These three teams were the heavy picks this week, and all of them lost. BOOM. One so-so week for Nick Foles, one fluke game for the Jaguars, and one frankly strange day for the Oakland Raiders, and your survivor pool is shot. And it could have been worse: In our pool, the Saints were heavily favored against the Bucs and were therefore restricted. Imagine if they had been available to select – NO ONE WOULD HAVE SURVIVED. Here’s the point: No matter how much of a lock you think you have, you just never know. That is why the game is played on the field and not on paper. I’ll leave you all with this fun fact, especially for all you stat nerds out there. Sunday was the first time that Cleveland, Jacksonville, Tampa and Oakland all won on the same day since November of 2007! Let that sink in, and proceed with caution in what’s left of your survivor pools. Speaking of winning stuff ... The Smack Apparel weekly PICKS CONTEST IS LIVE!!!!!! Go to the PICKS CONTEST website at this link: Smack Apparel Contest. Log in or register on the site, then make your picks. Share it on Twitter and Facebook, and dare your friends to try to beat you. First place winner each week receives three Smack Apparel t-shirts. Runner-up receives one Smack Apparel t-shirt. Check back each week for your chance to win! Good luck!