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:
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 18 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.
Situations that stand out to me this week.
- I won't be wagering much this week in contests, because there are only 8 NFL teams playing. And of those 8 teams, only 3 are forecasted to score 20+ points. The concept I am using to build my roster is to try and fit as many of my players into the two highest predicted offenses this week (Pittsburgh = 28.25 points and Seattle = 26.00).
- The lock of the week is RB Le'Veon Bell. He is priced high at $10,300, but seems unfadable to me even at that price tag this weekend. The Steelers are at home, favored by 10.5 points and Miami has been awful to RBs down the stretch. Since week 12, Miami has allowed an average on 172 yards and 0.8 TDs to RBs per game. A well-rested Le'Veon Bell should see plenty of action and won't exit the field outside of a few breather plays. I have him projected for 23 fantasy points, but he possesses 2 TD potential in this contest. Start him with confidence.
- The other situation I feel very strongly about is the Houston defense. They will be playing at home against the Raiders 3rd string QB (rookie Connor Cook). Sacks, interceptions, and fumble recoveries all seem like a given in this contest. Priced at just $4,800, I don't think it makes sense to get cute at the position. Just lock them in.
- At QB, there are three pretty good options (Wilson, Rodgers, and Roethlisberger). I am leaning to Russell Wilson here for a few reasons. He provides some salary relief at $7,700 compared to the $8,500/$8,600 pricetag of the other options. Additionally, a news item stated he will finally take off his brace and I think that is foreshadowing that the team will unleash him to run a lot more in the playoffs. Detroit has been the worst in the league against the quarterback over the last 3 weeks yielding an average of 24.1 FPs per week. Because I like to pair my QB with his best option in the passing game, I will also be playing Doug Baldwin (who fits my criteria). TE Jimmy Graham also can make a nice option, but Detroit has done pretty well defending the TE over the last 3 weeks.
- Because I went Wilson and Baldwin, I want to make sure I get the majority of Pittsburgh's offense with my other spots. Antonio Brown is arguably the best WR in the game and Boswell is a cheap enough punt at PK that even without Roethlisberger, I feel like I am very well exposed to the big game potential of this offense.
- At my WR punt position, I prefer Sterling Shepard over Kenny Stills and Eli Rogers. All are projected to score 9+ FPs, but Shepard has the highest upside (and talent).
- FanDuel's TE pricing makes for a lot of bad options, so I would rather save cap and go cheap here. C.J. Fiedorowicz ($5,300) fits the bill.
Let's build out a team
Sample Roster #1 (Wilson to Baldwin) - Projected Points = 126.6
- QB Russell Wilson, SEA - $7,700
- RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT - $10,300
- RB Zach Zenner, DET - $6,200
- TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU - $5,300
- WR Antonio Brown, PIT - $9,100
- WR Doug Baldwin, SEA - $6,900
- WR Sterling Shepard, NYG - $5,100
- PK Chris Boswell, PIT - $4,600
- TD Houston Texans - $4,800