Cracking FanDuel: Week 20

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 20 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 20 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.

  • This slate is awful. It consists of teams that have played inspired defense the second half of the season. I won't tell you to not play, but I would strongly urge that you bet significantly less than your normal allotment this week. The fantasy scores are likely going to be low and 100 points might be enough to win 50/50 contests.
  • Minnesota has played lights out defense against QBs from week ten on. They have allowed just 12.1 fantasy points. You can safely cross off Nick Foles from any consideration. None of the quarterback situations are all that inspiring. Jacksonville has yielded the most of these defenses at 16.2 points per contest, but Brady comes at a lofty $9,000 price tag. I prefer the cheaper Bortles in a game script that likely forces Bortles to throw the ball.
  • Only the Jacksonville Jaguars have what I would deem a full-time running back situation with Leonard Fournette. He should be played in all formats even though it runs counter to playing favorites at home. His edge in DFS will be due to volume, but with limited options, that's likely the correct play. I favor Rex Burkhead (as long as he is active)based mostly on price because he should be the goal line back for the Patriots. I say should be, because the Patriots potentially have all of their RBs available which could muddy the waters considerably trying to guess which one the team leans on. Brady's hand injury is likely over-blown, but I still see this as a grind out style game and the Jaguars have yielded 20.8 fantasy points to backs since week 10. RB Dion Lewis is likely a safer strategy than Burkhead if you can afford him in your builds. If Mike Gillislee is active, I would forego all New England backs for this weekend as they all might have smallish roles.
  • The tight end options are BLEAK. These teams rank as the four toughest defenses against the tight end position from week 10 on. Jacksonville gives up the most, but are only yielding 6.5 fantasy points per game during this span. In GPPs, I think fading Gronkowski is completely the right play. In cash games, I generally want the best player as a home favorite and that is Gronkowski. You can see why I hate this slate so much. Lots of bad options on how to even approach spending your "extra" cap dollars
  • Wide receiver pricing is fairly soft, but the Vegas lines suggest minimal scoring too. I favor taking the Minnesota Wide Receivers (Diggs and Thielen and adding Dede Westbrook, JAC has a cheap option that has the speed to burn the Patriots after the catch).
  • I will likely play Gostkowski at kicker and Minnesota at defense in all of my builds. The pricing differences aren't great enough to warrant lesser options

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting:

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Hodge Podge - Projected Points = 106.5