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Cracking FanDuel: Week 20

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 20 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 20 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.

  • If you are to follow one piece of my advice this week, it is to NOT PLAY (or play with a small fraction of your bankroll). On two-game slates, the edge is very slight with a lot of the entries having the same players. To win at DFS, one needs to not just be average, but win at a high enough percentage to cover the rake. With that out of the way, let's dig into the plays that I do like.
  • Vegas tells a very compelling story with the largest under/over for the entire season in the Green Bay at Atlanta game. Playing in a dome (neutralizing any possibilities of bad playing conditions), Vegas has the under/over currently at 60.5 points. This implies team totals of 27.5 points for Green Bay and a whopping 33.0 points for Atlanta. You are going to want to have the vast majority of your selections in this game. Neither defense is very good and both quarterbacks are playing their best football right now. I suspect this has ping pong type scoring with virtually all of the skill players in play. Green Bay's WRs are very banged up so watch the news closely. I am expecting Jordy Nelson to scratch. If that happens, both WR Randall Cobb ($6,500) and TE Jared Cook ($6,400) are must plays. They are the healthiest players in their passing attack and should see massive targets. On the other side of the ball, I expect the Falcons to spread the ball around a lot with a more balanced attack. RB Devonta Freeman has been a beast in home games. I think that continues in this game as well.
  • The Pittsburgh / New England game also has a large under / over at 50.5 with implied team totals of 22.25 for the Steelers and 28.25 for the Patriots.
  • At kicker, I think the safe play is Matt Bryant ($5,000) at home and kicking in a dome. If you need to save money, Stephen Gostkowski ($4,700) also makes a fine play.
  • I don't like any of the defenses this week. By default, I am taking the Patriots at home.
  • At quarterback, I want either Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan. Both have 4 TD potential. Rodgers scrambles a bit more and I expect the Packers to be a bit more one-dimensional in favor of the pass so that's my pick if you can afford him into your lineups

Let's build out some teams

Sample Roster #1 (cash) - Projected Points = 123.3

  • QB Aaron Rodgers, GB - $9,600
  • RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT - $9,500
  • RB Devonta Freeman, ATL - $8,000
  • TE Jared Cook, GB - $6,400
  • WR Taylor Gabriel, ATL - $6,000
  • WR Randall Cobb, GB - $6,500
  • WR Eli Rodgers, PIT - $4,900
  • PK Stephen Gostkowski, NE $4,700
  • TD New England - $4,400

Sample Roster #2 (cash) - Projected Points = 122.9

  • QB Aaron Rodgers, GB - $9,600
  • RB Dion Lewis, NE - $7,000 (or Ty Montgomery, GB - $6,900)
  • RB Devonta Freeman, ATL - $8,000
  • TE Jared Cook, GB - $6,400
  • WR Antonio Brown, PIT - $8,400
  • WR Randall Cobb, GB - $6,500
  • WR Eli Rodgers, PIT - $4,900
  • PK Stephen Gostkowski, NE $4,700
  • TD New England - $4,400