Cracking FanDuel: Week 18

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 18 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 18 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.

  • In the playoffs with limited players going, how you construct your lineup is nearly as important as the players you choose. I nearly always will build my playoff cash lineups with a strong running back core while being much more thrifty at the wide receiver and tight end positions. You want running backs that are favored to win at home. Your darts at wide receiver and tight end should be on teams that likely are playing from behind and need to throw to catch up.

  • My favorite play of the week is RB Leonard Fournette. Since week 10, no team is worse at defending the running back position than the Buffalo Bills who are yielding 29.9 FanDuel fantasy points per game to running backs. Jacksonville should handle the Bills easily so I expect a lot of volume for Fournette. You can play him with confidence. He will be in all of my cash game builds.

  • In small slates, I think it's prudent to stack in cash games. If you miss on your quarterback, you are likely losing anyway. My favorite stack is QB Alex Smith and WR Tyreek Hill. Since week 10, the Titans are yielding 16.7 fantasy points to quarterbacks and 26.9 fantasy points to wide receivers. The Titans play a "funnel" defense and are actually quite good at keeping running backs out of the endzone. The Chiefs rested their stars so I expect Smith/Hill to be at or near 100% and will be playing to a home crowd against a Titans team that has struggled mightily down the stretch.

  • Salary cap space is always tough in smaller slates (especially with no real injury situations to yield extra value) so I think it's prudent to lock in PK Sam Ficken ($4,500) who will be kicking for the Rams this weekend. He is the value play at the position and could actually lead all kickers regardless of price.

  • On defense, I want the Chiefs at home where the crowd noise is always among the loudest every season. At $4,800, this has the added benefit of giving you salary relief as well.

  • RB Todd Gurley is pricey at $10,000, but he is also the best player playing this weekend. As a home favorite, I like anchoring my other RB position with a volume guy like Gurley who will be heavily featured in the game regardless of game script.

  • The rest of the players fill out nicely via the interactive value charts. TE Delanie Walker and WR Rishard Mathews should be heavily involved in a comeback situation against the Chiefs. Mohamed Sanu ($5,800) is also in a great spot if the Falcons fall behind the Rams as expected.

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting:

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Smith/Hill Stack - Projected Points = 121.0

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Smith/Wilson Stack - Projected Points = 121.5