Cracking FanDuel: Week 1

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.

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 1 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 1 Price
  • The Ratio column reflects the expected points multiplier (per thousand of salary). The higher value the better.
  • H-Value represents our own proprietary formula that matches price and expected fantasy points (the higher the value the better).
  • ExpPts = A team's expected points via the Las Vegas spread and under/over totals. The higher the better.
  • In the 2016 Cracking FanDuel book, I demonstrated that selecting players who were in the upper half of Ratio, H-Value, and Expect Team Points at their positions led to the best fantasy success. I call these three factors the Criteria.
  • I have highlighted player's names (in green) that should be strong considerations for your lineups. All meet the Criteria and have the best average criteria score. They generally reflect the most bang for the buck at their respective positions. Players in yellow also all meet the criteria but are not among the leaders in average criteria score.

General Thoughts

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • This Indianapolis defense is riddled with injuries and are fielding a sub-par until against the Detroit Lions. The Colts will not be able to create much pressure on Stafford, and the CBs are likely to get burned often through the air. This looks like it will be the shootout of the week.
  • Because FanDuel set the prices for players in early August, some guys are WAY undervalued to their situation today. QB Dak Prescott ($5,000), RB Christine Michael ($4800), and RB Spencer Ware ($5,400) could have HUGE performances in expanded roles despite their minimum or near-minimum prices. Key injury situations have elevated each of these players into projected large roles in week 1. They are so under-priced that I fully expect some will be 70% owned in cash games.
  • Philadelphia Eagles defense gets to play RG3 this week. If the preseason is any indication, then this unit could get multiple fumbles and sacks of RG3. Until I see something different on the field, my general strategy will be to play the defense opposite of RG3 each week.
  • With Markus Wheaton scratching and LeVeon Bell suspended, the PIT offense is likely to target Antonio Brown even more than his usual high volume this week. With this game having shootout potential, I don't think Brown is a fade even at his high salary and likely massive ownership.
  • The sneaky GPP play of the week could be TE Dennis Pitta, BAL who was just announced he will be the starting TE for the Ravens this week. Another TE who will see could see an increased role is Martellus Bennett (now that Rob Gronkowski has scratched)
  • The Vegas line for the SEA/MIA game (-10.5) suggests a running oriented game script for the Seattle Seahawks. Christine Michael at $4,800 comes in as the no-brainer play of the week for me. Home/Favorite running backs are a great bet to deliver value and at a minimum price, don't overthink this one.

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Projected Points = 130.1