Cracking FanDuel: Week 3

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 3 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 3 Price
  • The Ratio column reflects the expected points multiplier (per thousand of salary). The higher the 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.
  • In the 2017 Cracking FanDuel book, I demonstrated that selecting players who were in the upper half of the Ratio, H-Value, and Expected Team Point indicators at their positions led to the best fantasy success. I call these three factors the Criteria.
  • I have highlighted the 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.

General Thoughts

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • A whopping eleven teams are expected to score 24+ points on the 26-team main slate. Offensive scoring is up this season and week 3 predicts a lot more of the same. Make sure you get your shares of players involved on teams with expected high team totals. Listed by descending output:

    1. Minnesota Vikings - 33.50 points (home vs BUF)
    2. Kansas City Chiefs - 30.75 points (home vs SF)
    3. Atlanta Falcons - 28.25 points (home vs NO)
    4. Los Angeles Rams - 27.50 points (home vs LAC)
    5. Philadelphia Eagles - 26.75 points (home vs IND)
    6. Baltimore Ravens - 25.50 points (home vs DEN)
    7. New Orleans Saints - 25.25 points (away at ATL)
    8. Jacksonville Jaguars - 24.75 points (home vs TEN)
    9. Houston Texans - 24.25 points (home vs NYG)
    10. San Francisco 49ers - 24.25 points (away at KC)
  • My pressure indicator loves the Dallas Cowboys defense this week. Seattle is yielding 6 sacks per game on offense while the Dallas Cowboys have produced 4.5 sacks per game. Russell Wilson's offensive line was supposed to be a tad better this season, but losing WR Doug Baldwin has allowed teams to tee off against this offensive line in obvious passing situations. Honorable mention pressure indicator goes to the Minnesota Vikings. The Bills are yielding 5.5 sacks per contest while the Vikings have recorded 3.5 sacks per game. Every week the Bills play on the main slate, the team playing defense against them should be in consideration. It's conceivable the Bills may not win a football game this year

  • RB Latavius Murray, MIN ($5,200) is a free square this week. RB Dalvin Cook has been ruled out ensuring a giant workload on Sunday in a game that the Vikings are expected to win by 16.5 points at home. The pricing is so far off the mark, just pencil him in 100% of your lineups. There is no reason to get cute here. He is a must-play in all formats.

  • QB Blake Bortles ($6,700) rededicated himself this offseason and it showed up last week against the New England Patriots. He gets an easier draw here against a Tennessee team that yielded 23.8 FPs to Deshaun Watson last week. With RBs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon less than 100%, I look for Bortles to continue his solid play and easily reach cash-game value at his modest price. The obvious cash+ stack is with WR Keelan Cole who has emerged as his most reliable target.

  • There are a lot of RBs filling in this week for injured starters. It's notable because while I like RBs Todd Gurley ($9,300) and Alvin Kamara ($8,700), I think you can also roster some of these lower-end options with increased week 3 roles to create salary relief. In cash games, I will be using a lot of Gurley/Kamara to pair with Latavius Murray. In GPPs, I like RBs Giovani Bernard ($6,400), Tevin Coleman ($7,300), Corey Clement ($5,800) and Jordan Wilkins ($5,600) for salary relief and differentiation.

  • Although I do not project RB Jordan Howard ($7,400) as a top play this week, it's hard not to notice that running backs have shredded this Cardinals unit the first two weeks of 2018. Chris Thompson managed 128 total yards and a score on just 11 touches in week 1. Adrian Peterson contributed 166 totals yards and a score in that same week. And Todd Gurley had 73 total yards and 3 TDs and didn't play in the fourth quarter. I am probably under-predicting RB Jordan Howard's stats at present and will examine this situation a bit more closely before game time. He feels like a player with tremendous upside this week.

  • Tight Ends continue to be priced at levels where they practically have to score a touchdown to reach value. For this reason, I genuinely prefer cheaper options. TE Eric Ebron should get a boost this week with teammate Jack Doyle out. O.J. Howard managed 96 yards and a score last week against this Eagles defense. On rosters where I am not using Zach Ertz, Ebron is a logical dart throw at just $5,500 at the over-priced position.

  • The upgrade at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles has me loving WR Nelson Agoholor ($6,600) and TE Zach Ertz ($7,700) this week. The Eagles are down RBs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles and also without WR Alshon Jeffery. Yet despite this, the Eagles are expected to score 26.75 points. Agholor and Ertz have been values all season, but QB Nick Foles did little to get them heavily involved. I suspect the more accurate Carson Wentz does not make that same mistake.

Cash+ Stacks I am targeting (listed highest to lowest cost)

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Cash (non-stack - Projected Points = 135.8

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Cash+ (Bortles stack - Projected Points = 135.2

Sample Roster 3 ($60K) - Cash (Bloom Projects = 144.1, Dodds = 132.0)