Cracking FanDuel: Week 9

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 9 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.

  • Pricing is really TIGHT this week. The Wide Receiver and Tight End positions are extremely bleak which makes for a "weird" week of building lineups. The field is going to be paying up at running back and quarterback in cash games and landing on a LOT of the same players. This then has these lineups all slotting around the same "punts as well". I will be playing this week very conservatively. I expect a lot of similar lineups at the cash lines and see very few differentiation plays where the field will be wrong. Some examples: Kareem Hunt, Todd Gurley, and Ezekiel Elliott are all priced between $8,900 to $9,100 at running back. All could have great games. Choose wrong and you likely lose your cash game. Wide Receivers Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn Jr, DeVante Parker, and Sterling Shepard are all priced between $5,700 and $6,100 and I have them similarly grouped close in fantasy production. Wide Receivers Michael Thomas and Dez Bryant are atop my board and are also priced with a $100 of each other). This kind of pricing lends itself to playing more GPP-style situations which is exactly what I will be doing this week.

  • Only four teams have an expected team total at 26+ points and no team is expected to clear 30 points. New Orleans (29.5), Dallas (28.0), Houston (26.25), and Seattle (26.0) are the only teams to hit this threshold. Meanwhile, eight teams are expected to score 20 or fewer points this weekend. This makes finding players scoring touchdowns (a big key to winning on FanDuel) a bit tougher than normal.

  • In cash games, I do like both Drew Brees and Russell Wilson to provide great value for their price. Unfortunately, I expect both to be massively owned. Wilson has the much higher ceiling (because of his running ability) and is my preferred choice in cash games provided the projected snow flurries are manageable on Sunday.

  • At running back, I am going to dodge what I consider to be a huge TRAP this week. That's choosing between Ezekiel Eliott, Kareem Hunt, and Todd Gurley (all similarly priced and all in good to great situations). I expect all to do well, but I think Mark Ingram II and Lamar Miller could keep pace with some of these backs for the fraction of the cost (and ownership).

  • The Indianapolis Colts are yielding 28.3 FanDuel points since week four to the running back position per game. Lamar Miller ($7,500) was a great play when QB Deshaun Watson was going to play. He is now an exceptional play with a great floor. I have him at a conservative projection level (because of the switch at quarterback), but I expect the Texans to lean on him a lot in this contest. The Colts may know it's coming, but their unit does not look like it has the players that can do much about it.

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers limited Carolina's running backs in week 8, but this unit was shredded in the two games prior (McCoy - 24.7 FPs in week 7 and Adrian Peterson - 25.4 FPs in week 6). At $7,900, Mark Ingram II has a very safe floor and I expect him to score at least a touchdown.

  • The Wide Receiver values are dismal. Not a single one of my projections have a player topping a ratio of even 1.80 this week. Only three players (Michael Thomas, Dez Bryant, and Devante Parker have ratios greater than 1.70+. Perhaps a surprise inactive will change this on Sunday, but the pricing is bleak. It's why playing GPPs and 100-man contests and going for some lower-owned guys seems to make sense this week.

  • At wide receiver and tight end (where the pricing is so tight), I am looking to always stack my quarterback with my wide receiver. It's a week where touchdowns could be sparse so I want to double-dip them when they occur. I think the criteria factors serve us well here and I will be concentrating my cash+ stacks around the four offenses expected to score 26+ points.

  • At defense, I expect both the Jaguars and the Eagles to dominate their lines of scrimmage. Both are positioned to record 4+ sacks, interceptions and turnovers this week. In cash games, I would make sure to roster both this week as both have high ceilings.

  • At kicker, I like Will Lutz best (dome play on the highest expected total of the week). Fairbairn ($100) cheaper and lower owned is also in a great situation this week. In rosters you are not playing Mark Ingram II, I would play Will Lutz. In rosters you are not playing Lamar Miller, I would play Ka'imi Fairbairn

  • Outside of possible snow flurries in Seattle, the weather looks remarkably calm this week.

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting:

Underowned GPP players I am targeting for differentiation:

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Projected Points = 119.9

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) ALL-IN on New Orleans - Projected Points = 122.0