Cracking FanDuel: Week 13

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 13 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 13 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.

  • Eight teams have implied team totals of 25+ points. These are the teams that I prefer building my lineups around this week. They are the Chargers (28.75), Patriots (28.50), Saints (26.25), Eagles (26.25), Rams (25.75), Raiders (25.25), Jaguars (25.00), and Falcons (25.00). Conversely, there are nine teams expected to score 20 or fewer points. I will be avoiding players from those teams in most situations. 

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't have a legitimate defense. They are allowing the most fantasy points to WRs (37.1 FP/game) and they have yielded 20+ fantasy points to running backs in four of their last seven games. This bodes well for the Packers stars who are priced as if they are facing the Jaguars, not the hapless Buccaneers. My preferred cash strategy this week plays QB Brett Hundley, RB Jamaal Williams, and WR Davante Adams from the Packers. All three of these players meet my criteria of ratio, H-value and expected team points and their combined cost is just $18,600. Combined, they have a very high floor while still keeping 3X+ value in play.

  • At quarterback, I will have the majority of my action with Brett Hundley. I felt he turned a corner last week and draws the Buccaneers who have yielded 260+ passing yards in ten of their eleven games. They have also yielded a passing touchdown (or more) in every single game this season. If Hundley gets the 260 passing yards and just one touchdown, he is already at value. This will be a hard situation to fade for me with a safe floor and an outstanding upside. In cash games, I will also have exposure to Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota, and Carson Wentz. Trevor Siemian and Geno Smith are the biggest wildcards for me this week.  They both are below-average at their position but have enticing matchups that could have them over-achieving.

  • Even in lineups that I do not own Brett Hundley (other QB stacks), I am planning on playing RB Jamaal Williams and Davante Adams in 100% of my lineups. In fact, outside of Jamaal Williams, I don't like the running back options this week. Miami's Kenyon Drake ($5,800) is expected to see nearly all of the workload and is priced cheaply enough that I have to have some exposure. The Broncos have given up a whopping nine touchdowns to running backs over the last four weeks, but the over/under of 40 with Denver expected to win is troublesome. RB Alex Collins ($5,900) is in a great situation against the Lions who have been giving up 25.5 fantasy points per game to running backs over their last four contests.  I may play RB Todd Gurley in a lot of lineups this week, but I am not in love with the situation. There just aren't many elite backs on this slate and it's easy to save cash at the other positions.

  • The obvious play at the tight end position is Jared Cook, OAK ($5,500). He should be in for significant volume with both Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper sidelined and goes against the Giants who have yielded the most points to the position (15.3 fantasy points per game). Zach Ertz ($7,500), Travis Kelce ($7,000) and Rob Gronkowski ($8,100) are the only other tight ends I plan on using in my cash games.

  • Just lock in WR Brandin Cooks ($7,600) who has caught six passes in each of the last three games. He is a deep threat who can break a long play at any time. He has also scored twice in the past three weeks and is benefiting from Chris Hogan's injury. He is among the safest floors this week and rates as my #1 wide receiver. At $7,600 he is a no-brainer for me. With Davante Adams and Cooks locking down two of my three spots at wide receiver, I am leaning on shares of Keenan Allen ($8,100), DeAndre Hopkins ($8,000), Devin Funchess ($7,500), and Ted Ginn Jr ($5,500) this week. They all have exploitable matchups.

  • I am locking down PK Josh Lambo ($4,600) against the Colts in nearly all my contests. Stephen Gostkowski ($5,200) is the only other kicker I will be rostering this week. He faces the Bills who have allowed 47 fantasy points over their last four games.

  • The Cleveland Browns continue to pile up mistakes having yielded 86 fantasy points to defenses over their last six contests. I will happily pay up to secure the Chargers ($5,300) in this plus situation.

  • 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) - Hundley/Adams stack - Projected Points = 130.0

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Very Safe Floor Roster - Projected Points = 128.5

Sample Roster 3 ($60K) - Rivers/Allen and Gurley/LAR Stacks - Projected Points = 126.8