Cracking FanDuel: Week 19

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 my projections against FanDuel's prices:

Link to Week 19 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 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 the price and expected fantasy points (the higher the value the better).
  • ETP = A team's expected points via the Las Vegas spread and under/over totals. The higher the better.
  • Indicator = Ratio squared x H-Value. It attempts to prioritize the value plays.
  • In the 2017 Cracking FanDuel book, I demonstrated that selecting players who were in the upper half of Ratio, H-Value, and Expected Team Points at their positions led to the best fantasy success. I call these three factors the Criteria. The players that meet all three factors will have a yes in the Crit? column.
  • I have highlighted player's names (in green) that should be strong considerations for your lineups. Most of these players meet the criteria factors. These selections generally reflect the most bang for the buck at their respective positions. Players in yellow represent other selections that I rate slightly worse than the top plays at their position but should be considered for diversification purposes while building your lineups.

General Thoughts

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • In the playoffs with limited players going, how you construct your lineup is nearly as important as the players you choose. I nearly always will build my playoff cash lineups with a strong running back core while being much more thrifty at the wide receiver position. You want running backs that are favored to win at home. Your darts at wide receiver should be on teams that likely are playing from behind and need to throw to catch up.

  • I have won big in the division round the last four years by keeping it really simple. I spend the majority of my cap space on players on the teams that are favored to win and playing at home as they have had two weeks to prepare. Three teams are at home and are favored. The Patriots (-13.5), Steelers (-7), and Vikings (-5) fit these criteria. Don't overthink it. Good teams with two weeks to prepare also have their stars the least banged up. Add in the home crowd, and these teams can crush their opponents in most cases.

  • Vegas has New England smashing the Titans and I concur that the game looks incredibly lopsided. Key running backs for the Patriots look as if they will scratch (Burkhead / Gillislee) making RB Dion Lewis the absolute lock play of the week. Additionally, with such a high implied team total, I think your best rosters will include loading up on four Patriot players. Tom Brady / Dion Lewis / Gostkowski ensures you are getting the lions share of their team points. I also think TE Rob Gronkowski is the one matchup the Patriots will look to exploit. The Titans are giving up 12.6 FanDuel fantasy points to tight ends (5th worst) from weeks 12 to 16 (core late-season schedule). Lock those guys down and build out the rest of your team using the IVCs.

  • WR Antonio Brown is not 100%, but the Steelers are big favorites in their home game. I suspect RB Le'Veon Bell gets even more workload than he typically gets in this one as they look to put the game in his hands. I would rather spend up here and take my chances with lower tiered WRs. 

  • If the Patriots crush as I expect, look for the Titans to have to pass just to try and keep pace. Playing both WR Corey Davis ($5,400) and WR Eric Decker ($4,800) hedges against either player and it's hard to imagine a scenario where combined they don't get enough volume to reach combined value. The Patriots are especially stingy with tight ends and I can see them game planning TE Delanie Walker out of this contest.

  • On defense, I think the Falcons will get enough sacks/mistakes from Nick Foles to justify the cheap $4,400 price.

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting:

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Patriot Overload - Projected Points = 113.5