Cracking FanDuel: Week 15

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 15 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 14 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.

  • Five teams have implied team totals of 25+ points. They are the New Orleans (31.75), New England (28.50), Minnesota (26.50), Pittsburgh (25.50), and Carolina (25.00). All, but New England is at home. These are the teams that I prefer building my lineups around this week. Conversely, there are seven teams expected to score 20 or fewer points. I will be avoiding players from those teams in most situations.

  • Weather looks to be a non-factor, but this is always something to check on Sunday morning.

  • Joe Mixon, CIN is a late Saturday scratch making Giovani Bernard ($5,900) a player to consider despite the Bengals low team total. Additionally, cheap RBs Kenyon Drake ($6,500) and Alex Collins (6,600) make strong punt plays at the position.

  • With an over/under at 54 points, I expect to see rosters loaded with Steelers and Patriots this weekend. Pittsburgh's offense runs through Bell/Brown and the Patriots offense is considerably more efficient with Rob Gronkowski in the lineup. Both defenses are a shell of what they were projected to be this season. Ryan Shazier's injury almost guarantees a game with a lot of scoring as the Pittsburgh defense looks very slow all of a sudden. I think the field is right about Bell, Brown, and Gronkowski, but GPPs will likely be won, by choosing at most ONE of these players (as they will all be massively owned).

  • QB Nick Foles ($6,000) is about as safe an option at quarterback as possible to get 2.5X+ value. He is not Carson Wentz but is one of the better backups. He is grossly mispriced at just $6,000. I think because of his price, one can build some great cash rosters without pairing him with a wide receiver.

  • Mike Wallace ($5,700) feels like a free square this week. I am likely to have a lot of exposure to him in all formats. He is flying way below the ownership radar as well. If he scores against Cleveland, he should approach 3X value. WR Adam Thielen, WR Devin Funchess are situations I love this week in games where their team have to win. Teams tend to over target their stars in these types of situations. WR Antonio Brown is also a strong play in all formats, but his price makes reaching 3X value a bit more difficult unless he scores 2 touchdowns.

  • At tight end, I am likely going to fade Rob Gronkowski (at possibly my own peril). I like Delanie Walker ($6,500) and Charles Clay ($5,300) to free up savings elsewhere. In rosters that I do use Gronkowski, I will most likely always be playing WR Mike Wallace ($5,700) as a great cheap dart against a bad defense.

  • On defense, the world loves the Saints. It's probably the play as Bryce Petty is beyond awful. My data crunching also loves Minnesota and Philadelphia defenses, but when the rubber meets the road, I will likely play the Saints too. You know Petty is going to make some big mistakes.

  • At kicker, I will have exposure to Lutz ($5,200), Gostkowski ($5,000), and Forbath ($4,700). All meet my criteria factors and should have a lot of opportunity with implied team totals.

  • 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) - Naked Russell Wilson - Projected Points = 127.7

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Naked Nick Foles - Projected Points = 127.2

Sample Roster 3 ($60K) - Naked Nick Foles + Bell/Brown hedge - Projected Points = 126.4