Cracking FanDuel: Week 17

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 17 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 17 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.

  • I suggest everyone take a minute and read this great article from Clayton Gray. It is relevant because it provides clarity to what teams are playing for this week. Some teams are playing for nothing. For example, the Dallas Cowboys have clinched the #1 NFC seed throughout the playoffs and will play their stars a few series only. The Steelers are resting Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger this week.
  • Because week 17 is so full of landmines, I actually think it's one of the most profitable weeks to play on FanDuel. Some NFL teams are forced to play playoff football just to keep their seasons alive. These are the teams you want to be using the majority of your players from.
  • The pricing this week is VERY SOFT. It is so soft that you can actually field a team of ALL of Maurile Tremblay's top plays and still have dollars left over. That has never happened in a full slate before and it's in play this week. I will showcase that team as option #3 at the end of the article
  • At quarterback, I like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson to both return strong value. EJ Manuel is priced way too low so I will likely have shares of him as well. The one quarterback that will be highly owned (that I likely will be fading is Matt Ryan). He is not a horrible play and is involved in the highest expected team total, but his price is a tad too prohibitive for my liking.
  • The hardest decision on this slate is at RB. With Le'Veon Bell sitting, DeAngelo Williams could return monstrous value if he gets the majority of snaps at the position. But he has been used so sparingly (just 1 snap from weeks 10-16 happening in week 16) that I have no confidence he is headed for a full workload. Similarly, Fitzgerald Toussaint (Pittsburgh's #3RB) could be a great play for the Steelers at RB if Williams were to scratch or see limited snaps. All said there is probably value here (against the Browns who would love to lose and get the #1 draft pick), but it might be too risky to use Williams in 100% of your cash games.
  • David Johnson has been a beast the 2nd half of the season and FanDuel seems unwilling to price him as high as he needs to be. He is in play at RB again this week, but with Arizona playing for nothing and Vegas predicting a low team total, he may disappoint against his price. I will likely have some exposure though and hope that they play him his usual snaps.
  • The running back I am warming up to a lot in this slate is Jacquizz Rodgers ($5,200) who is way underpriced for his projected workload. I also will have shares of Devonta Freeman who seems like the most likely Atlanta player to score a TD in the predicted high-scoring affair.
  • At wide receiver, I am locking into team's top WRs on the teams that are playing to win. Jordy Nelson, Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate top my list and all are projected to return 2X+ production. Eli Rodgers is priced criminally low at $4,700, but will have Landry Jones tossing the football. Vegas still is projecting Pittsburgh with a high team total, but I could see both teams struggling to produce offensive stats.
  • If you can afford him, just lock into Travis Kelce. He is the Chief's best player in the passing game and should roam free against San Diego's porous defense. If RB Spencer Ware scratches (he is a gametime decision), I will move my exposure to 100% for Kelce. If you need to punt the position, Jack Doyle ($4,600) offers a lot of upside for a very low price. He is likely to see more action with WR Moncrief out

Let's jump to some samples for the Saturday Main Slate.

Sample Roster #1 (Rodgers to Nelson) - Projected Points = 132.7

Sample Roster #2 (Wilson to Baldwin) - Projected Points = 132.5

Sample Roster #3 (Maurile's All World Roster) - Projected Points = 130.5 (MT has it at 151.2)

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