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 up 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 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. All 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 also all meet the criteria but are not among the leaders in average criteria score.

General Thoughts

FanDuel switched out their main slate to now only include games from Sunday. The Value Chart linked above shows players from the MNF game as some players will be playing the Sun/Mon and Late slates that will feature these games. For the analysis below though, I am going to avoid that game since the majority of contests will not include the Atlanta / New Orleans shootout

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • If there is a case against playing the Miami defense this week, I have yet to hear it. The Browns will offer up rookie QB Cody Kessler as part of their blood tribute to the league. Adam Schefter stated less than a week ago that sources inside the Browns felt Cody was not ready at any level. But now that the Browns have lost both RG3 and Josh McCown, he is not only ready...He is our guy! The Browns will also be without WRs Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon. Vegas has Miami as a 9.5 point favorite and have put Cleveland's team total at a dismal 15.25 points. Miami has one of the better defensive fronts in the league with Mario Williams and Ndamukong Suh. Let's just call this game for what it is. SackFest 2016. Cleveland was already yielding 3 sacks per contest with guys that have started in the NFL. Against Cody Kessler, the Miami defense might get 6+.
  • Melvin Gordon was already expecting a slight boost in production when the Chargers lost WR Keenan Allen for the season in week 1. He started off week 2 in a time-share with RB Danny Woodhead, but that changed quickly when Woodhead also was lost for the season. The Chargers added veteran Dexter McCluster this week and he may eventually take on a sizeable part of the plays they used Danny Woodhead for. But DFS is about situations THIS week. And this week, Gordon is going to get the lion's share of carries against a hapless Indianapolis defense fielding players straight from the AARP offices. In just two games, the Colts have yield 5 TDs to running backs. This (and Miami defense) will be the chalkiest plays of the week. But don't get cute for cute's sake. Gordon will be massively owned because he should be.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers might be the only team left in the NFL that still manages their RBs like the teams of the past. They have a starter and he is going to get nearly all of the looks during the game. When Le'Veon Bell comes back next week he will be that guy. But with Bell out, DeAngelo Williams continues to be the taking all of the snaps at RB for the Steelers. After 2 weeks, DeAngelo has been on the field for 122 of the 140 snaps the Steelers have used a running back. The next Pittsburgh RB has played just 15 snaps over two games. And the Steelers use DeAngelo at every turn. He has scored 53.3 FanDuel Fantasy Points in these games. His salary takes a big jump up this week to $8,800, but if Jeremy Langford and Isaiah Crowell can score a TD against the Eagles, then so can DeAngelo.
  • When Cody Kessler fumbles / throws a pick / etc, the Miami offense is going to get a lot of chances to put up points against the Browns. The Browns are short a lot of bodies on defense and could be without CB Joe Haden who missed Friday's walk-through. With RB Arian Foster out for a bit, I don't think Miami has the RBs on their roster to play smash mouth football on the ground. Vegas expects this game to be a massive blowout so the points are going to need to come from somewhere. I suspect the guy who will see massive volume is going to be Jarvis Landry. He has already seen 23 targets (tied for 2nd amongst WRs) in just 2 games. Against this unit and without a running game to lean on, Landry could end up leading all WRs on targets and catches this weekend. Helping Landry's volume this week is the fact that DeVante Parker is nursing a sore hamstring. He is sure to sit late in any blowout.
  • There are a LOT of good to great QB options this week, but I am rolling hard with Andrew Luck. These are the kinds of games that he tends to do great in. The Colts are 0-2. Alex Smith managed to hang 363 yards, 3 TDs (2 pass - 1 run) against the Chargers in week 1. Blake Bortles managed 329 passing yards, 34 rushing yards and 2 TDs in week 2. Andrew Luck is better than both of these players and has a lot better weapons (even after losing Donte Moncrief). The Chargers CBs are very small (5'10) and can be exploited by both TEs (Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle).
  • On the GPP front, I like these CRITERIA players who I expect will be rather low-owned, but could be in for monstrous games: QB Eli Manning (people will shy away after getting burned last week), RB David Johnson (At $8,400 most won't be able to be able to squeeze him into their lineups. Matt Forte shredded this BUF unit last week. In the copy-cat NFL, look for ARI to lean on David Johnson to do the same), DeMarco Murray (Oakland has been all kinds of awful at stopping the pass having yielded 819 passing yards and 7 TDs in the first two games. Marcus Mariota could be without TE Delanie Walker. If that transpires, look for Murray to see a lot more passes in this game)

Sample Roster ($60K) - Projected Points = 128.4

  • QB Andrew Luck, IND - $8,700
  • RB DeAngelo Williams, PIT - $8,800
  • RB Melvin Gordon, SD - $7,100
  • TE Dennis Pitta, BAL - $5,000
  • WR Amari Cooper, OAK - $7,700
  • WR Jarvis Landry, MIA - $7,000
  • WR Stefon Diggs, MIN - $6,400
  • PK Adam Vinatieri, IND - $4,700
  • TD Miami Dolphins - $4,600

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