Cracking FanDuel: Week 8

A look into the finer points of Week 8 NFL games on FanDuel

Footballguys has partnered with FanDuel and as part of that deal, I will be penning a weekly piece that tries to cover some of the finer points on beating their contests. This article will usually appear on Saturdays and not include the early Thursday games.

My approach to FanDuel's Daily Games

In salary cap games where other companies are determining prices, I like to see where their thoughts differ substantially from my projections. My value chart below matches up my projections against FanDuel's prices:

Link to Week 8 Value Chart

Some explanation of my Excel manipulation is in order:

  • Everything is sorted by position
  • I have converted my projections to FanDuel Fantasy Points. These figures appear in the FP column.
  • The Price column reflects FanDuel's Week 8 Price
  • The Points per $K column reflects the expected points per $1,000 of salary allocated (the higher the value the better).
  • H-Value represents our own proprietary formula that matches price and expected fantasy points (the higher the value the better).
  • I have highlighted player's names (in green) that should be strong considerations for your lineups. They generally reflect the most bang for the buck at their respective positions. Players in yellow also are worth consideration when building your roster.

Enough Data Now

Seven Weeks into this NFL season and I feel I have a very good grasp of the players, the defenses, and how the game scripts should go if the coaches analyze the same things I do. Recency bias also starts to really kick in where people follow the trends of the "hot" players.

General Thoughts

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • Just put St. Louis in as your defense this week. The 49ers offense is a wreck. Their offensive line is a mess. They will be without RB Carlos Hyde. WR Anquan Boldin is a game-time decision and could scratch. St. Louis is averaging 3.83 sacks a game, while San Francisco is yielding 3.57 per contest. For comparison, the league average is 2.3 sacks per game. At home, St. Louis should have no problem creating havoc at every turn for Colin Kaepernick and his backups. Although the Rams Defense may be owned at greater than 50%, I am looking elsewhere to find uniqueness. I am rostering the St. Louis defense in 100% of my games this weekend where they are on the slate.
     
  • Based on our Thursday sampling, the world is going to be on RB Todd Gurley (probably to the tune of greater than 40%). And I get it. For the reasons stated above, St. Louis should be playing ball control and Gurley will be the recipient of that. But I am not in love with Todd Gurley this week as much as the field. He is my big fade in GPPs for instance. It feels like a game where the Rams might use multiple backs (ie the game is never in question). Additionally, the San Francisco run defense is allowing just 0.5 rushing TDs per game over the last 4 weeks. The 49ers are vulnerable through the air, yielding 311 yards and 1.8 passing TDs per contest over the same span. I am expecting a game plan that blends passing and rushing well and plays great defense.
     
  • In seven weeks, the Chargers have allowed NINE RBs to reach twice their cost. In cash games, you are likely the guy paying the rake this week if you don't just pencil in RB Justin Forsett in all your contests. At a price of $6,900, it is hard to imagine a scenario where Forsett does not achieve value. Assuming he gets 4 catches, he would just need to combine for 118 rushing and receiving yards (IF he fails to score a TD). And he should be a favorite to actually score a TD too as Vegas has this game as the highest under/over for the weekend. Don't overthink and get cute. Start Forsett.
     
  • Recency bias (Gurley and Devonta Freeman love) set Le'Veon Bell up nicely for an under-owned situation where he could thrive. He has looked the part in 2015, but his stats have suffered badly by sub-par QB play. Over the last 4 weeks, the Bengals have yielded 140 yards per game on the ground (on just 25 carries). With Ben Roethlisberger not at 100%, don't be amazed when Pittsburgh's blueprint includes a lot of Le'Veon Bell handoffs and dump offs out of the backfield. He is priced $200 less than Devonta Freeman yet was owned less than 6% on Thursday. DFS is a game of little edges. Let the field play Gurley and Freeman. I will be on Forsett and Bell.
     
  • Sometimes, you just have a gut feeling about the headline before the game even plays. And I think the headline on Monday is going to be that HC Chuck Pagona of the Colts will be fired. His team is under-performing badly. We all loved rooting for him as battled against cancer, but in the NFL it's all about what have you done lately. It doesn't help that Bruce Arians (the coach that filled in for Chuck when he was battling cancer) is among the best head coaches in the league now. Andrew Luck and some of the better skilled players have scrapped for some wins, but the consistent theme of Indianapolis' HORRIBLE defense plays on. Over the last 4 weeks the Colts have yielded 313 passing yards, 1.8 passing TDs, 131 rushing yards, and 1.0 rushing TDs per game. And through 7 contests, they have yet to recover a fumble while averaging just 1.43 sacks a contest. When your opponents have included the Jaguars, Titans, Texans, Jets, and Bills already, you are suppose to have recovered ten fumbles and be near the league lead in sacks. All of this sets up nicely for Cam Newton to have a lot of time to throw the ball. His WRs aren't great, but he should be able to play pitch and catch to whoever get's open. I have Cam as the best QB on this weekend slate by a wide margin.
     
  • Some injury situations are worth noting. If TE Antonio Gates (SD) scratches as expected, Ladarius Green is a good TE option. If WR John Brown (Ari) scratches (as expected), I think Michael Floyd at $4,900 is a very attractive punt with a solid floor. WR Eric Decker's situation also bears watching. If he plays, he should be very productive against Oakland.

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Projected Points = 139.7

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Projected Points = 135.4