Cracking FanDuel: Week 3

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 3 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 3 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

General Thoughts

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • Cam Newton vs the New Orleans Saints secondary - The New Orleans Saints are the worst pass defense in the NFL and it's not close. They are not just bad...they are historically bad. In fact, the season-long record of 4,796 passing yards allowed looks like it could be in serious jeopardy. The Saints have allowed 793 yards and six TDs to opposing QBs through just two games. The one semi-bright spot in the defense was rookie Marcus Lattimore who held Brandin Cooks in check last week. Unfortunately for the Saints, he will miss this week's game as he was unable to clear the league's concussion protocol.

    It's a situation as good as Cam Newton should face all year. Cam has not looked particularly sharp to start the 2017 season, but this should be the game to right the ship. With TE Greg Olsen sidelined, Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, and Christian McCaffrey should all have expanded roles in a plus matchup. I am warming up to the idea of playing both Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess in cash games. I view their floor (in a non-Greg Olsen offense) against the Saints to be around 12 catches for 150 yards and a TD. Cost = $11,400. Floor = 27.0 FP.

  • Is RB Jay Ajayi healthy? - Because if he is, it's another no-brainer play as the Jets can't stop the run. Ajayi was allegedly running with a slight hitch on Friday (after missing Wednesday and Thursday practices). Last week, the Raiders coasted and rotated RBs against the Jets and I suspect Miami may do the same. I love the matchup but hate the uncertainty of volume. I am reluctantly not using Ajayi on what looked like a sure play earlier in the week.

  • Ty Montgomery's Usage - The Green Bay Packers are 7.5 point favorites at home despite being without WR Randall Cobb and playing with a banged up WR Jordy Nelson. In contests where the home team is favored by 6 or more points, give me the RB every time. RB Ty Montgomery has already logged three TDs and should be heavily involved in any game script against the Chicago Bears.

  • Squeaky Wheel Gets the Rock - The Bengals look to be under-manned in the passing game without Eifert. They have A.J. Green and little else. After last Thursday's loss, A.J. Green called out the coaches saying he needs to get the ball a lot more. At just $7,500, I suspect the outspoken A.J. Green should see massive volume in a game where the Green Bay cornerbacks are exploitable.

  • Under-Owned GPP Plays. If you are not reading Steve Buzzard's ownership info each week, you are doing it wrong. In GPPs, you should be targeting players that you believe have a better chance to get 3+ times value than their ownership percentage. At QB, I like Russell Wilson (3%) and Deshone Kizer (3%). At RB, I like C.J. Anderson (4%), Mike Gillislee (3%), Isaiah Crowell (2%), and Theo Riddick (2%). At WR, I like Doug Baldwin (5%), Devin Funchess (5%), and Brandin Cooks (3%). At TE I am intrigued by Jared Cook (7%) and Rob Gronkowski (6%).

My GPP Punt of the Week is TE Jared Cook

TE Jared Cook currently does not make my criteria plays, but that would change if I gave him another catch for 10 yards (which I am likely to do Sunday morning). Washington is allowing 7 catches and 104 yards per game to TEs this season. I like this play in GPPs as the play fades a lot of popular chalk (TEs Kelce, Ertz and Doyle and WRs Cooper and Crabtree).

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting

  • QB Cam Newton / WR Kelvin Benjamin
  • QB Cam Newton / WR Devin Funchess
  • QB Carson Wentz / TE Zach Ertz
  • QB Kirk Cousins / WR Jamison Crowder
  • QB Alex Smith / TE Travis Kelce
  • QB Derek Carr / TE Jared Cook
  • RB Isaiah Crowell / Cleveland Defense
  • RB Mike Gillislee / New England Defense
  • RB Le'Veon Bell / Pittsburgh Defense

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Projected Points = 128.2

  • QB Cam Newton, CAR - $8,100
  • RB Kareem Hunt, KC - $8,300
  • RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT - $8,700
  • TE Zach Ertz, PHI - $6,500
  • WR A.J. Green, CIN - $7,500
  • WR Devin Funchess, CAR - $4,800
  • WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR - $6,600
  • PK Jake Elliott, PHI - $4,600
  • TD New England Defense - $4,900

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Projected Points = 127.5

  • QB Cam Newton, CAR - $8,100
  • RB Ty Montgomery, GB - $7,200
  • RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT - $8,700
  • TE Travis Kelce, KC - $7,100
  • WR A.J. Green, CIN - $7,500
  • WR Devin Funchess, CAR - $4,800
  • WR Davante Adams, GB - $6,800
  • PK Giorgio Tavecchio, OAK - $4,800
  • TD New England Defense - $4,900