Cracking FanDuel: Week 8

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 8 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 8 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.

  • RB Devontae Booker, DEN is grossly mispriced at $5,600. He has a plus matchup and will see an increase in workload with the injury to C.J. Anderson. He should be in all lineups this weekend.
  • There are a plethora of value RBs to pair with Devonte Parker. In fact, a whopping 15 RBs for the Sunday/Monday slates all are projected to hit 2X. This is a bit of an anomaly and creates an odd situation. If you choose wrong at the other RB spot, you could end up losing your cash games. That was the same situation last week (where Jacquizz Rodgers was cheap chalk too), but the options available ALL performed well (so it did not end up mattering). With so many RBs with a high projected ratios, this is a bit tougher situation to deal with. The RB I like most to pair with Booker is Devonte Freeman. He is expected to get an uptick in volume because of Devin Coleman's injury and plays at a home in a game where Atlanta is expected to score 27.75 points. At $6,900 he also is priced cheaply enough to allow you to grab the elite WRs. The downside of this play is the Packers have not allowed a single RB to record a TD in 2016. Ezekiel Elliott (the closest comp to Freeman) managed 174 combined yards, but a host of lesser backs have been stifled. So although I stand by my prediction, I urge some caution. Spencer Ware ($7,400), Christine Michael ($7,800), David Johnson ($8,700) and Matt Asiata ($5,600) all should have some exposure in your lineups.
  • The Tight End position is one I feel very strongly about this week. The Bills have yet to yield a TD to any Tight End so I am looking away from the pair of TEs in New England. I project two to reach twice 2X value and they both cost about the same price. TE Kyle Rudolph ($5,100) is my preferred choice in slates that offer the Monday night games. With RB Jerrick McKinnon out, I expect the Vikings to use Rudolph a lot in space. He is the most likely pass-catching option on the Vikings to score a TD in this contest. At $100 less, TE Gary Barnidge gets to play with QB Josh McCown this week. Last year, Barnidge was routinely McCown's favorite target. The Jets are yielding 296 yards and 1.9 TDs through the air in 2016. I like Barnidge's chance to get a significant piece of that pie. For GPPs, I like using Russell Wilson/Jimmy Graham and Cam/Greg Olsen stacks that should be lesser owned situations.
  • Outside of WR Julio Jones, the prices of elite WRs seem the lowest all season. Mike Evans has been a target hog all year and those numbers are increasing with the loss of Vincent Jackson. His price of $7,900 in a plus-matchup is $1,500 too cheap. No need to break from the crowd on that selection. Julio Jones at $9,200 is among the toughest decisions to make this week. On one hand, the Packers usually shut down the run game so Jones should get massive work. But since Marvin Jones Jr torched this unit for 205 yards and 2 scores, it has not yielded a 100- yard receiver since. They held the Bears to just 81 passing yards and no TDs last week. I will have some exposure to Julio this week, but I think caution is advised to have him everywhere. One of Julio / Devonte Freeman is likely going to under-perform in this game. Vegas has it has the highest game script, but I am not sure it's going to play out to that expectation.
  • Outside of Mike Evans, the WR that exudes great value is Larry Fitzgerald. The WRs on the Cardinals are a tad banged up (except for Fitzgerald). His price has softened considerably and he is just $7,000 this week against the Panthers. In the last 3 games, the Panthers have allowed Julio Jones (300 yards and a TD), Mike Evans (89 yards and a TD) and Brandin Cooks (173 yards and a TD) to beat them. I expect Larry Fitzgerald to continue this pattern.
  • I run a lot of different indicators to help predict defenses and the Minnesota Vikings keep coming near the top of every list. They are not cheap at $5,200, but this fels like a week that paying up a bit just feels right. Going against Cutler ensures some sacks and likely interceptions at a minimum.
  • At kicker I like Matt Bryant ($4,800 at home) and Cairo Santos ($4,600 away at Indianapolis in a dome)
  • So what to do at quarterback? None are really jumping off the board at me this week. Jameis Winston ($7,400 at home against OAK) seems the safest but does no have the upside of others. Below the radar is Houston's Brock Osweiler who at $6,600 gets a very plus matchup against a soft DET defense. Depending on how you see the GB/ATL game going, Matt Ryan should definitely be in play. If the Packers are successful at stopping the running game, ATL will be scoring through the air. For most of my cash games, I will be stacking QB with WR/TE without locking into playing the same QB everywhere. It's a slight departure from previous weeks, but an adjustment that I think is necessary for this week.

Sample Roster #1 (Heavy on ATL) - Projected Points = 135.0

Sample Roster #2 - (Less Heavy on ATL)) - Projected Points = 132.9

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