Saturday - Jan 19, 2019

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The Underdog – Against Odds Week 2

Week 2 is here and I have plenty of Week 1 stories of glory to tell, outside of spot on underdog selections.  Since I don’t want to waste any of your time though, forcing you to skim through words you really don’t care about, let’s just get to what you came here for. 

You’ll find the ground rules provided below, followed by a quick recap of some underdog performers who raised a few eyebrows last week, “Who Those Dogs?”  The report then comes to life when I attempt to land a five pack of underdogs for Week 2.


GROUND RULES

In order to be considered for this report, an underdog must achieve an average projection odds of at least 14-1 (quarterback), 24-1 (running back), 36-1 (wide receiver), and 14-1 (tight end). Projection odds are calculated on Friday morning, and are based on a combination of different expert rankings for the week using Fantasysharks.com and Fantasypros.comFanduel.com salaries will also be provided along with an added feature, the plus factor.  Note: The plus factor is the differential number between consensus and what I believe to be potential reality value.  This is not to be confused with an actual projection.

The scoring format that will be utilized will be points per reception (PPR). Please take a look at the link to the format provided if you want to compare this scoring format to your league format.

WHO THOSE DOGS?

Since every article I have seen this week has the name Julius Thomas ($6,300) in it alongside the words “sexy pick-up” blinking green and a three paragraph rah-rah session, I won’t bother wearing down my keyboard or your eyes with the obvious.  Instead, I will highlight the following five players, who are the reason why I chose to do this report in the first place.  They are the proof that underdogs do exist and belong in fantasy football weekly projection discussions.

–  With a 97-1 combined projection odds Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson surprised many Greg Jennings owners with seven receptions and 140 yards.  

–  With a 50-1 combined projection odds Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell scored 25 Shark points, and even stole a touchdown from starter Reggie Bush.

–  With a 95-1 Fantasy Sharks projection odds Washington Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson scored two garbage time touchdowns.  He was neck in neck with Brown on waiver wire reports.

–  With a 22-1 Fantasy Sharks projection odds San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw for four touchdowns and proved to fantasy owners that he’s not done yet.

–  With a 32-1 Fantasy Sharks projection odds Baltimore Ravens tight end Dallas Clark baffled plenty of fantasy owners with seven receptions for 87 yards.

MARLON BROWN VS. CLEVELAND
Projection Odds: 36-1
Fanduel.com Salary: $4,800
+15

The injury to Jacoby Jones slightly opened the door for the rookie Brown to become relevant and he knows that he has to grow up. With the Cleveland Browns on the schedule this week, the busted door is hinging on falling off the frame. Remember Mike Wallace? Yeah, so did Browns cornerback Joe Haden.  That’s because he shut him down and left him with an emotional concussion. Haden’s next victim could end up being Torrey Smith, who will go in to this week’s match-up as Joe Flacco’s perceived target numero uno.   

“I’m not a rookie anymore at the end of the day.  When you’re on the field, people don’t see you as a rookie. They see you as on the field with the ones, so you have to play like one of the starters.”

Marlon Brown (BaltimoreRavens.com, September 6 2013)

Simply put, Marlon Brown has the mentality of a veteran.  He is perhaps on the verge of becoming this week’s version of Brian Hartline, who for all intents and purposes surprisingly scorched many opposing fantasy owners with nine receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown last week against Cleveland.

DANIEL THOMAS VS. INDIANAPOLIS
Projection Odds: 40-1
Fanduel.com Salary: $5,200
+22

Is it quite possible that Lamar Miller just isn’t as good as most want to believe?  I mean, I know that’s hard to swallow, especially for those who have already crowned him. However, if I had to be honest, against the Browns Miller looked like a poor man’s version of the 2011 disappointment known as Chris Johnson. Furthermore, maybe Jeff Ireland’s perceived attempt to fool you in to believing Daniel Thomas was going to cause a logjam at the position wasn’t meant to fool after all.  

“I don’t think it’s just going to be Lamar’s position. We’ve got a good running back in Daniel Thomas that’s certainly making some noise.…Daniel also has got some one-cut quickness and downhill attitude about him. He can catch and block.” 
– Jeff Ireland (Miami Herald, August 14 2013)

Now enter the Indianapolis Colts’ soft pretzel run defense in to the equation.  Fantasy owners should get a pretty good glimpse of what is to come as the season progresses. My belief is that Thomas, who is quickly shedding his competitive underdog status, will put on a small clinic against the Colts and emerge as the runner to stash on fantasy benches.  From there, who knows, maybe he will become the bell cow runner and put Miller on the fantasy dump list.  

About Fantasy Sharks

FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.