Cracking FanDuel: Week 16

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.

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 16 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 16 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. Most 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 are additional players that I like this week.

General Thoughts

Situations that stand out to me this week.

    • The NFL is playing a lot of games on Saturday (Christmas Eve) and FanDuel has made just the Saturday contests the MAIN slate. This eliminates some high-scoring situations including our top RB and WRs this week in Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown
       
    • I suggest everyone take a minute and read this great article from Clayton Gray. It is relevant because it provides clarity to what teams are playing for this week. Some teams are playing for nothing. For example, the Dallas Cowboys just clinched the #1 NFC seed throughout the playoffs. They might not play their stars the entire game. When choosing between close situations, I prefer to default to the players that are playing to make the playoffs. Even seeding is overrated a lot. Teams play to get to the post-season. Then they generally prefer to get their stars healthy for a run at the title.
       
    • In this slate, a whopping 11 teams are expected to score 24 or more points. My strategy in cash games will be to load up on these teams: NE, OAK, NO, ATL, SEA, WAS, GB, IND, TB, TEN, and CAR.
       
    • There are some great values at RB (Rob Kelley and Dion Lewis both intrigue me) at rock-bottom prices but without WR Antonio Brown on this slate, it's actually easier to just lock and load the powerhouses at RB and go cheaper at WR. FanDuel's pricing remains very soft making it easy to get a lot of studs into a lineup.
       
    • At quarterback, I like Drew Brees and Andrew Luck. Both are in must-win games (and will still need help to make the playoffs). In my cash+ strategy, I will align these guys with their go-to targets (Brandin Cooks and TY Hilton). I expect both stacks to deliver.
       
    • With PK Stephen Gostkowski costing just $4,800 in a game where the Patriots are expected to score 30.5 points, it's the easiest way to get exposure to this likely blowout. I will have him in 100% of my cash lineups. I also like the Patriots defense at $5,000. The Jets, under QB Bryce Petty, are making tons of mistakes that should lead to fumble recoveries, interceptions, and sacks.
       
    • David Johnson is showing himself to be matchup proof this season. I don't love his situation (low team total, on the road, against a great SEA defense), but he is still going to see a ridiculous amount of opportunities both as a runner and a pass-catcher.
       
    • At wide receiver, I will have 100% exposure to Michael Crabtree in all formats. His price is way off what it should be at just $6,200. If you need to punt the position, Tyler Locket ($4,700) gives you exposure to SEAs WR2 and also a dangerous return option. He is my go-to GPP player this week.
       
    • At tight end, I am living or dying with Cameron Brate ($5,600). He has a great matchup with the Saints and is priced to succeed. Coby Fleener ($4,700) makes for a great punt play if you need salary relief.

Let's jump to some samples for the Saturday Main Slate.

Sample Roster #1 (Luck to Hilton) - Projected Points = 136.3

Sample Roster #2 (Brees to Cooks) - Projected Points = 135.2

Sample Roster #3 (no stack) - Projected Points = 134.7