Cracking FanDuel: Week 7

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 7 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 7 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. PLayers asterisked (in blue) could vault when Sunday inactive players get announced.

General Thoughts

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • The Vegas lines this week are tight with no team favored by over six points. Seven of the thirteen games on this slate have road favorites and six of the thirteen contests have team totals less than 41 points. All of this adds up to a potentially low-scoring week making the New Orleans/Green Bay and Atlanta/New England matchups the cornerstone games for possible shootouts.

  • QB Brett Hundley's Debut - My game predictor algorithms predicted that Aaron Rodgers would throw for 326 passing yards and 2.6 touchdowns against the Saints. Unfortunately, Rodgers won't be playing this contest as he broke his collarbone last week. Enter the athletic Brett Hundley, who will have a full week of practicing with the starters to execute against this porous Saints defense. There isn't a lot of NFL game film on Hundley, but he has performed well in multiple preseason contests. Sam Bradford, Tom Brady, and Matthew Stafford have all thrown for 300+ yards and three touchdowns against the Saints. It looks like a risky play, but I think Hundley's price and upside put him into strong consideration for me in my cash lineups. I am leaning against stacking him though as the wide receivers prices still reflect production under Rodgers and are too costly at present.

  • QB Tyrod Taylor is a BEAST at Home - In Tyrod's last ten home games, he has amassed 2,112 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, 417 rushing yards, and 3 rushing touchdowns. Three quarterbacks (Palmer, Manning, and Keenum) have all returned 3X value against the Buccaneers. Tyrod Taylor is in a great spot to exceed his low $7,000 price this week. In cash games, I will have him and LeSean McCoy in some builds. In GPPs, I like to pair him with tight end Nick O'Leary (who has taken over for the injured Charles Clay).

  • RB Derrick Henry - Will DeMarco Murray be inactive? My projections already reflect a discounted role for Murray as the Titans are expected to give Derrick Henry the bigger workload this weekend. But if DeMarco scratches, Henry will get an additional projection boost due to the volume. Cleveland has been above average against the run, but the Browns are yielding three touchdowns per contest. It would be a great spot for Henry at his $5,600 price tag.

  • RB Chris Ivory about to jump in value? - Does Leonard Fournette scratch on Sunday? Fournette is a game-time decision and drew a favorable situation against the Colts, but he has not practiced all week. With the Jacksonville bye looming next week, the team could opt to sit their star rookie. Derrick Henry and a hobbled DeMarco Murray shredded this Colt's team for 232 combined yards and two touchdowns last week. If Fournette scratches, Chris Ivory ($5,900) is a strong consideration in all formats as it will be difficult for the industry to completely juggle their builds. This is an early game so we should know very early morning.

  • Does TE Delanie Walker scratch? - I loved this matchup early in the week as Cleveland has given up 2X+ value to the tight end position the last three weeks. But Walker appears to be on the wrong side of questionable having missed both Thursday and Friday practices. If Walker scratches, both WRs Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker will get a projection bounce. Matthews is already my top wide receiver play, but he will be in nearly all of my lineups should Walker become inactive.

  • WR Michael Thomas is Going to Eat - If I was pressed to name the wide receiver most likely to top 150 yards and score two touchdowns this week, I would say Michael Thomas might in the best situation to do that. The Packers are going to struggle to get pressure on Brees (Packers getting 1.83 sacks per game while Saints are allowing just 0.8 sacks per contest) and have soft corners. Thomas has led the team in targets every week. This is a prime matchup for Thomas to have his best week of the season.

  • WR Bennie Fowler ($4,500) - My value chart cuts players off that are projected to score under eight fantasy points, but that could be a mistake as Bennie Fowler is in a great spot against a Chargers defense yielding 133 yards and 1.5 touchdowns a game to receivers. WR Demaryius Thomas is expected to get shadow coverage from Casey Hayward which should make the sledding nice for Fowler. I probably will pass on Fowler in cash, because I can get salary relief elsewhere, but it is a strong play that could easily surpass 3X production should he score a touchdown.

  • Minnesota Defense ($4,700) - The Baltimore Ravens are going to struggle to field a pass catching crew for this week's game with injuries decimating their wide receiver and tight end depth charts. Add in the fact that Minnesota has allowed just four passing touchdowns to wide receivers and no 100+ yard receiving performances and they are the safe choice for me at defense.

  • Dan Bailey and Stephen Gostkowski at PK - Kickers playing against San Francisco have great games. The 49ers have allowed 71 fantasy points (in 6 games) to kickers. Queue up Dan Bailey ($5,000) this week. Stephen Gostkowski ($5,100) is also a great selection to give yourself maximum exposure to the likely Atlanta / New England shootout.

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting

Underowned GPP players I am targeting for differentiation:

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Fournette / Murray both scratch - Projected Points = 125.0

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Everyone Plays - Projected Points = 122.5