Cracking FanDuel: Week 8

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 8 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 8 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.

  • The Weather - Generally people overstate the weather's impacts on a game. Rain is usually not a big problem unless it is heavy rain. Wind is usually not a problem unless it consists of sustained winds greater than 20mph. As I pen this piece, two games are possibly impacted by this kind of weather. The San Francisco/Philadelphia game could experience HEAVY RAIN. The Carolina/Tampa Bay game could experience HEAVY WIND. The key phrase here is could. Both situations will remain significantly more clear as we get closer to game time. This article is going to assume these games play fairly close to normal (I have already lowered the expectations slightly), but the situations could change sharply Sunday morning. The best key is watching the Las Vegas under/overs. If the oddsmakers start adjusting lines downward, they expect the weather to have a serious impact.

  • Top Six Offenses vs Bottom Six Defenses - Using Austin Lee's normalized SOS, I like to look at the last five weeks of offense against the last five weeks of the defense (making slight adjustments for home/away considerations). Two teams get the perfect passing matchup this week: Philadephia (vs SF) and Washington (vs DAL). Only one team has the perfect rushing matchup this week: Philadephia (vs SF).

  • San Francisco at Philadelphia. All the metrics lineup in this game to pit one of the hottest offenses (Eagles) against a San Francisco team that yields yards and touchdowns everywhere. The winless 49ers also must travel across the country and play in the early slate of games. The numbers suggest it is a logical smash spot for QB Carson Wentz who should be able to dissect this team both as a passer and a runner. Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins both topped 28+ fantasy points the past two weeks against the 49ers. Virtually everyone on the Eagles is in play in this contest (RBs LeGarrette Blount/Wendall Smallwood, WRs Alshon Jeffrey/Nelson Agholor, TE Zach Ertz, PHI Defense, PK Jake Elliott) provided the weather does not drastically change the implied team totals.

  • Cincinnati Bengals in a Smash Spot - Indianapolis was burned through the air to start the year and in recent weeks have also been shredded on the ground. It's a get-well spot for the Bengals who are 10.5 point favorites at home. In most weeks, I would state RB Joe Mixon ($5,900) would be a lockdown play in 100% of my lineups. This situation is muddy though. The star rookie opted to call out the head coach for abandoning the run, and the coaching staff has been reluctant to simply bench RB Jeremy Hill. I fear this timeshare could continue through this game (if simply to make a point to the rookie) with Hill, Mixon and Giovani Bernard all getting carries. I will have some Mixon shares though as the matchup has a very high ceiling for a player only costing $5,900. Play the Bengals defense with confidence. Jacksonville recorded ten sacks last week as Jacoby Brissett holds onto the ball way too long. WR A.J. Green is also in a great spot and is among my favorite WRs to play this week.

  • Carolina at Tampa Bay - My favorite stacks include Cam Newton this week (provided the wind speeds are not projected above 20mph). Four of the six quarterbacks have topped 20 fantasy points against this injury-riddled unit. Tampa Bay has virtually no pass rush having sacked the quarterback just seven times in six games. Give Cam time, and he is as dangerous as they come. WR Kelvin Benjamin, WR Devin Funchess, and RB Christian McCaffrey all are stacks I will own in 100-man and GPP contests this week.

  • I Hate Tight Ends More Than Kickers - Tight Ends are so overpriced to all other positions, that the correct play is to usually go cheap at the position. But they are so dependent on scoring touchdowns that these cheap options rarely feel right. I am zeroing in on Hunter Henry this week. He does not make the CRITERIA list because of a low implied team total but is in a great situation facing a New England defense that has already yielded five touchdowns to tight ends this year.

  • RB Le'Veon Bell is in a league of his own - Bell already has 42 red zone touches through seven weeks. No other running back is even close to those numbers. He is averaging six targets a game and plays on all downs. With WR Martavis Bryant being forced to sit this game out (for mouthing off about opportunities), I expect we will see even more Bell in the passing game this week. Bet against him at your own peril.

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting (More than usual - Feels like a GPP WEEK)

Underowned GPP players I am targeting for differentiation:

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Weather Not a Big Deal - Projected Points = 131.3

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Avoiding PHI/CAR situations - Projected Points = 127.7

Sample Roster 3 ($60K) - Avoiding PHI/CAR situations # 2 - Projected Points = 126.4