Cracking FanDuel: Week 11

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 11 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 11 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.
  • Indicator = Ratio squared x H-Value. It attempts to prioritize the value plays.
  • 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. The players that meet all three factors will have a yes in the Crit? column.
  • 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 but should be considered for diversification purposes while building your lineups.

General Thoughts

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • Try not to get caught up in just maximizing total points in the IVCs. One needs to understand that I project touchdowns in decimals. If a player who I projected at 0.4 TDs actually scores a touchdown, that bumps up his projection an extra 3.6 (6*.0.6) fantasy points. It's the reason we show three different sets of projections on our IVCs. This can help to smooth out particular biases.

  • Only four teams have implied team totals of 25+ points. These are the teams that I prefer building my lineups around this week. They are NE Patriots (30.75), New Orleans (29.25), Kansas City (28.0). and Philadelphia (26.25). Of these four teams, only the Saints are at home. Conversely, there are a whopping nine teams expected to score 20 or fewer points.

  • The Oakland/New England game (in Mexico City) - As any athlete will tell you, playing at altitude is hard. This stadium is at 7,100+ feet elevation which will make breathing difficult. Well conditioned athletes will find themselves gasping for air and also experiencing headaches. I think these conditions nearly always favor the offense since they know where the ball is going. Vegas has set the over/under at 54.5 points implying a shootout could be in the works. WR Chris Hogan (NE) scratching plus bumps and bruises to most of the other Patriot wide receivers sets WR Brandin Cooks up for a nice situation. He shook star corner Aqib Talib last week and could find the sledding way easier this week. The kicking game should definitely benefit in this game as well with added distance easily possible.

  • The Giants are AWFUL on defense - I can't prove it, but indicators tell me the Giants are just mailing it in at this point (especially on defense). Once reliable shutdown cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been torched badly in recent weeks. All matchups against the Giants are strong. Kelce is my top-rated tight end and he comes at a price discount. The Giants have allowed ten touchdowns to tight ends in just nine games. It's hard to imagine a scenario where he is not heavily involved. He will be in nearly all of my cash and cash+ lineups. QB Alex Smith is my top-rated value quarterback and is priced cheap enough to allow one to roster a lot of other great players. His running ability also makes this one of the best floors on the slate. RB Kareem Hunt isn't a cheap option, but he likely benefits from having week 10 off. In builds featuring other QB/WR stacks, I will be rostering Hunt. In builds featuring Smith/Kelce stacks, I will likely fade Hunt.

  • On a similar vein, the Chiefs have been scorched on defense and a lot of their games have resulted in shootouts. Kansas City has been especially vulnerable to points to wide receivers which sets up WR Sterling Shepard to be the best option for the Giants. He will be in 100% of my builds this week as a player who has 3-4X potential and is priced below market value.

  • This is the time of the year where weather can have big impacts, but the forecasts look fairly mild. The one exception is the Jacksonville / Cleveland game where snow flurries and 19 mph winds are predicted. Sporting one of the best defenses in the league this year, the Jaguars should be able to keep this game a very low-scoring affair and could exploit the weather situation for an even bigger leg up than usual. They are my top defense on the slate, despite the high price tag.

  • RB Kenyon Drake ($5,600) barely misses my Criteria list (team is only expected to score 20.75 points), but he is in an exceptional situation. Adrian Peterson (25.4 FP), LeSean McCoy (24.7), and Alvin Kamara (28.2) have had huge games against this unit since week 6. He has had back to back good games (on limited snaps) and should see even more workload this week. Rostering Drake (or Jamaal Williams, GB) allows one to spend up to get better talent for the remaining positions. It's a strategy I will deploying a lot this week in my Cash+ lineups.

  • Read Steve Buzzard's ownership data (updated on Saturday). It is the best pulse on what people will be doing. Although his chart reflects GPP ownership, it's also the best roadmap of the most popular plays in cash games.

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting:

Underowned GPP players I am targeting for differentiation:

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - KC Stack - Projected Points = 124.8

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - NE Stack - Projected Points = 124.6

Sample Roster 3 ($60K) - KC/NYG shootout - Projected Points = 122.7