Cracking FanDuel: Week 5 - Footballguys

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 5 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 5 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.

  • Offensive scoring is way up this season and week 5 predicts a lot more of the same. Eleven teams are expected to score 24+ points on the 24-team main slate. Make sure you get your shares of players involved on teams with expected high team totals. Listed by descending expected team points:

    • Pittsburgh Steelers - 30.50 points (home vs ATL)
    • Los Angeles Rams - 29.00 points (away at SEA)
    • Los Angeles Chargers - 28.75 points (home vs OAK)
    • Atlanta Falcons - 27.50 points (away vs PIT)
    • Cincinnati Bengals - 27.25 points (home vs MIA)
    • Kansas City Chiefs - 26.00 points (home vs JAC)
    • Detroit Lions - 25.50 points (home vs GB)
    • Green Bay Packers - 25.50 points (away vs DET)
    • Carolina Panthers - 25.00 points (home vs NYG)
    • Philadelphia Eagles - 24.75 points (home vs MIN)
    • Baltimore Ravens - 24.25 points (away at CLE)

  • Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers - Vegas has set the over/under at a whopping 58.0 points. Neither team has much of a defense. The Steelers haven't been the same since losing LB Ryan Shazier last year and the Falcons have been decimated by in-season injuries. QB Ben Roethlisberger ($8,400) heads my list for cash game quarterbacks with a safe floor and 4+ touchdown upside if this game goes as Vegas predicts. RB James Conner ($7,800) remains a solid play as a home favorite as does TE Vance McDonald ($4,600). On the Atlanta side, I expect their production to come via the pass making Matt Ryan ($8,300), Julio Jones ($8,800), Calvin Ridley ($6,800), and Austin Hooper ($5,000) all playable. Get some of these guys in your lineups. It's rare a 58.0 point Vegas prediction misses completely. There are going to be fireworks in this game.

  • Can the Packers field enough WRs? - WR Randall Cobb is out and Geronimo Allison looks like he is trending towards a scratch as well. WR Davante Adams is less than 100% and might play more of a decoy role if he takes the field. I won't be surprised if the Packers come out with a run-heavy game plan against the Lions. Detroit is yielding 30.8 fantasy points to running backs (3rd worst in the NFL) so it seems like this could be a wise strategy for the Packers to employ this week. Your opponents may be reluctant to take a big chance this week with RB Aaron Jones ($6,100) because he is in a time-share, but he looks like the dominant back going forward. If he has a break-through game here, he will not be this cheap again. TE Jimmy Graham ($6,100) should also see extended looks. No tight ends are great values, but Graham represents a solid cash game option this week at the position.

  • Watch for Marvin Jones news - The Lions use a trio of wide receivers each week, but one of them might miss this contest. I like Kenny Golladay ($6,300) already at his modest price, but I will love his situation if Marvin Jones scratches.

  • Cincinnati running game - and just like that, Bernard is now out for a few weeks and Joe Mixon ($7,100) is in. He is priced right in a home game that the Bengals are favored by 6 points. Miami is yielding the 4th most FanDuel points to running backs. This one feels like a no-brainer as Mixon should get nearly all the touches at the running back position with Gio Bernard out.

  • Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers - I create a pressure indicator each week that compares sacks and fumble recoveries of an offense versus their corresponding defense. Of note, the Raiders rank 26th and the Chargers 29th (of 30 teams playing this week) at pressuring their opponent's quarterback. The last time this indicator had two teams in the bottom five playing each other produced the 80 point overtime shootout from Atlanta/New Orleans in week 3. I love Melvin Gordon III ($8,700) in this game as he is both a running back and a wide receiver. The Raiders make a lot of boneheaded decisions (penalties, coaching, etc) that should translate to extra opportunities for a player with Gordon's skillset. In GPPs, Derek Carr to a deep threat Amari Cooper would not shock me at all.

  • Plus / Plus Game Predictor Matchups - Only one team has a top 8 passing matchup going against a bottom 8 passing defense. That team is the already mentioned Atlanta Falcons. How bad is Pittsburgh at defending the pass? They are giving the third most FanDuel fantasy points to WRs (40.4) and the second most fantasy points to Tight Ends (16.7). Three teams (Carolina, San Francisco, and Tennessee) have plus rushing matchups featuring a top 8 rushing offense against a bottom 8 rushing defense. Cam Newton ($8,400) and Christian McCaffrey ($8,100) are solid plays to take advantage of the Giants funnel defeense. The Giants' Matt Breida ($6,200) is a sneaky play that could reward the risk takers although he enters the game at less than 100%. The Titans Derek Henry ($5,800) has all but disappeared to start the year, but this could be a spot where the matchup is so sweet that he gets on track.

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

players for GPP differentiation

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Cash (non-stack - Projected Points = 138.8

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Cash (non stack) - Projected Points = 138.3

This gets a boost if multiple Green Bay WRs scratch

Sample Roster 3 ($60K) - Cash+ (Bortles stack - Projected Points = 140.2

Note: Fading ATL/PIT and betting on Jacksonville getting into a shootout with Kansas City