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Cracking FanDuel: Week 5

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 5 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 5 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.

  • Shortage of High Expected Team Totals - Typically there will be five to seven teams with team totals of 25+ points. This week only four teams make that cut and two of them are playing each other (Green Bay at Dallas). And only one team (Dallas) has an implied team total above 26 points. Finding the players that have two touchdown potential is a lot tougher this week.

  • Green Bay at Dallas - This is the game on the slate that everybody will be targeting. Vegas predicts a shoot-out and we think that's the likely scenario as well. Green Bay's injury situations are worth monitoring as I expect both RB Ty Montgomery and WR Davante Adams to scratch. This sets up a clear funnel for the Packers who should use a lot of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Both are in play this week. At just $7,700, Dak Prescott is way underpriced and is the best bet to bring value at the quarterback position. Dez Bryant finally avoids dominating shadow coverage and has his best matchup of the season. He is a strong play in all formats as well. Lesser players Martellus Bennett, Jason Witten all should be in play in GPPs. Ezekiel Elliott is a strong play as well, but at this price, I actually prefer some other choices.

  • PKs against San Francisco - The kicker facing the 49ers has put up an average of eleven fantasy points per week. Adam Vinatieri is min-priced at $4,500 and is my preferred kicker this weekend.

  • Todd Gurley - He leads all Rams players this season with 25 targets. Involved in all phases of the game and rarely leaving the field, Todd Gurley is my must-play of the week. He meets all the CRITERIA factors and draws a Seattle defense that has already allowed three rushing TDs and two 100+ yard rushing performances. He is way-underpriced at $7,800. Fade him at your own peril.

  • Le'Veon Bell Volume Situation - The other running back I love this week is Le'Veon Bell. Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire shredded this unit last week to the tune of 221 combined yards and two touchdowns. With Pittsburgh, a big favorite at home, lock in Bell even at his elevated price. Last week, he crushed the Ravens with 186 combined yards and two touchdowns.

  • Philadelphia Defense - Carson Palmer has managed 300+ passing yards in every game this year, but it's coming at a price. The last three weeks, Palmer has been sacked 16 times. Without reliable David Johnson to check down to, the Cardinals are holding onto the ball a bit longer to allow plays to open up downfield. It's led to some big plays, but also is susceptible to teams with a solid pass rush which Philadelphia has.

  • Who to play at tight end? - The key to winning your GPP likely starts and ends with this question. Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce are safe cash options, but who should you play at $6K and below? The position has been erratic this season and this week looks like more of the same. The New York Giants have yielded five TDs already to the tight end position. At just $5,200, Hunter Henry's upside should more than makeup for his lowish floor.

My GPP Punt of the Week is WR Jaron Brown

Carson Palmer has topped 300 yards each of his four games this season. The Eagles are susceptible on the edges, but generally lockdown the slot wide receiver. I expect Larry Fitzgerald struggles a bit in this matchup and that could be Jaron Brown's gain as the other outside wide receivers for the Cardinals are playing at less than 100%.

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting

  • QB Dak Prescott / WR Dez Bryant
  • QB Aaron Rodgers / WR Jordy Nelson
  • QB Aaron Rodgers / WR Randall Cobb
  • QB Aaron Rodgers / TE Martellus Bennett
  • QB Russell Wilson / WR Doug Baldwin
  • QB Russell Wilson / TE Jimmy Graham
  • QB Deshaun Watson / DeAndre Hopkins
  • QB Ben Roethlisberger / Antonio Brown
  • RB Le'Veon Bell / Pittsburgh Defense
  • RB LeGarrette Blount / Philadelphia Defense

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Cash - Projected Points = 130.8

  • QB Dak Prescott, DAL - $7,700
  • RB LeVeon Bell, PIT - $9,500
  • RB Todd Gurley - $7,800
  • TE Zach Ertz, PHI - $6,600
  • WR Jordy Nelson, GB - $8,600
  • WR Jaron Brown, ARI - $4,500
  • WR DeVante Parker, MIA - $6,100
  • PK Adam Vinatieri, IND - $4,500
  • TD Philadelphia Defense - $4,600

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Cash Plus - Projected Points = 130.2

  • QB Dak Prescott, DAL - $7,700
  • RB LeVeon Bell, PIT - $9,500
  • RB Todd Gurley - $7,800
  • TE Hunter Henry, SD - $5,200 or Martellus Bennett, GB - $5,300
  • WR Dez Bryant, DAL - $7,800
  • WR Randall Cobb, GB - $6,000
  • WR DeVante Parker, MIA - $6,100
  • PK Adam Vinatieri, IND - $4,500
  • TD Philadelphia Defense - $4,600