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.

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 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 19 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.

  • Despite fielding either Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell (or both) in cash games nearly every week this year, I won't be rostering either in my cash contests this week. The PIT/KC game is setting up to be awful playing conditions. At a minimum, there are going to be rain showers. With a temperature predicted close to 32, the rain could turn to snow or hail. Vegas has low implied totals for both teams (Pittsburgh: 21.5 points; Kansas City: 23.0 points). Besides the weather, the other stat worth mentioning is how good Andy Reid is when he gets two weeks to prepare (16 wins against 2 losses). Kansas City at home (with a loud crowd) is just not a spot a great situation for the explosive Pittsburgh offense. Let others pay up for these studs.
  • While we are at it, I can't think of a single reason to play anyone on the Houston Texans. They are 16 point underdogs and have an implied team total of just 14.25 points.
  • The absolute chalk play of the week is RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL. Although the Green Bay defense has begun to improve during their winning streak, they are still rostering a lot of sub-par talent. By the end of the season, Ezekiel was waiting patiently for the holes to emerge and gashing teams for large chunks of yardage. He has 2+ TD potential and could see 30+ carries. On a short-slate with just 4 games, don't overthink this one.
  • The other chalk player that will be in 100% of my lineups is WR Davante Adams, GB. The Packers will be without star WR Jordy Nelson who cracked multiple ribs last week. Davante Adams and Randall Cobb will see surges in targets without Nelson, but I think Adams is the most likely to find the endzone. Dallas is stingy against RBs and Green Bay is equally bad at running the ball. This creates a funnel situation where I expect to see the Packers throwing the ball a LOT in order to stay with the Cowboys. This game definitely has shootout potential making the Rodgers / Adams and even Rodgers / Adams / Cobb stacks in play in GPPs.
  • I hate the TE choices a LOT this week. Kelce is the best player by a wide margin, but at his price he will likely need to score a TD to reach 2X value. He could be featured in a bad weather game, but I am not in love with his upside at all. In GPPs, I likely will be taking a shot with Martellus Bennett. He has been hobbled nearly all season (and underperformed expectations weekly), but could finally be close to 100% healthy. Of all the TEs, he is the only one that I think has two TD potential. In cash games, Jason Witten ($4,900) is cheap enough to be a safe play, but lacks excitement.
  • In cash games, I am locking down the Patriots defense. The Texans are going to be playing from behind and I think Osweiler will be making some ill-advised decisions in known passing situations. As 16 point favorites, PK Gostkowski seems like the safest kicking option in a game they should easily dominate.
  • The other RB that meets my CRITERIA is Devonta Freeman who has been a BEAST at home (11 TDs in 8 home games). I have him projected conservatively at 14.8 fantasy points, but I think he has 2 TD potential.
  • When in doubt, choose players that had a bye week. Their teams had two weeks to prepare and are at home this week.  Players on DAL, ATL, NE, and KC all fit this criteria.  

Let's build out a team

Sample Roster #1 (cash) - Projected Points = 133.1

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