Cracking FanDuel: Week 14

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 14 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 14 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 has been up all season-long,but week 14 only has nine teams expected to score 24+ points on the 26-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:

    • New Orleans Saints (at TB) - 32.00 points
    • Los Angeles Chargers (vs CIN) - 31.50 points
    • Pittsburgh Steelers (at OAK) - 30.75 points
    • Kansas City Chiefs (vs BAL) - 28.75 points
    • Green Bay Packers (vs ATL) - 27.75 points
    • New England Patriots (at MIA) - 27.75 points
    • Houston Texans (vs IND) - 27.25 points
    • Denver Broncos (at SF) - 24.25 points
    • Carolina Panthers (at CLE) - 24.25 points

  • RB Jaylen Samuels ($4,600) is a free square - Mike Tomlin is telling anyone who will listen that they will use both RB Jaylen Samuels and RB Stevan Ridley against the Raiders and go with the hot hand as the game unfolds. It could play out that way, but the Steelers usually do not play like that at all. They generally will roll with one running back for 90+% of the team's snaps. Samuels is 22 years old and raw but has scored two receiving touchdowns on just 19 touches. Ridley is on his 4th team since 2014 and is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry this season on his 18 totes. He has logged just 11 receptions from 2014 to present. So call me a skeptic that this will be a time-share. Unless Jaylen Samuels fumbles early, he is going to be given the opportunity to shine in this contest.

  • New Orleans at Tampa Bay (Shootout in the Making?) - The last two times these teams have met they have combined for 88 points (week 1 of 2018) and 61 points (week 17 of 2017). Las Vegas has set the game the line at 54.5, but I think there is a strong chance we hit the over here. The Buccaneers yield the 5th most fantasy points to both quarterbacks (22.2 FP/g) and running backs (26.1 FP/g). The Saints are yielding the fewest sacks to their quarterback, ensuring the accurate Drew Brees is going to have success moving the ball and scoring against this depleted defense. The Saints have improved on defense but still have yielded the 4th most points per game to quarterbacks. Virtually everyone is in play in this game, and if the combined points near 70 points, winning rosters will be stacked with Saints and Buccaneers players.

  • The late scratch of WR Odell Beckham Jr - Out of nowhere, Odell Beckham Jr is now a scratch. He literally wasn't even mentioned on Friday's injury report, but he did not board the plane to fly to Washington. Because of the scratch, WR Sterling Shepard ($5,200), TE Evan Engram ($5,000), and RB Saquon Barkley ($8,900) should have larger roles this week. A case could be made to play all three of these players (as a hedge) and my lineup #3 below shows how you can field a competitive team doing just that.

  • Courtland Sutton ($5,600) - The Emmanuel Sanders end of season injury in practice has left the Broncos woefully thin at wide receiver. The 49ers are yielding 164 yards and 1.6 touchdowns a game to wide receivers. This is a good spot for Sutton as CB Ahkello Witherspoon (his likely coverage on most routes) has been below average this season.

  • Fading RB Christian McCaffrey - This one is hard for me to write up, but I suspect it will define my week (good or bad). I will not have any shares of RB Christian McCaffrey against the Browns. The stat scaring me away from the red-hot McCaffrey: The Browns have not yielded a rushing or receiving touchdown to a running back in their last three games. Las Vegas has Carolina winning this game, but I am not feeling it. The Panthers have lost 4 games in a row and the Browns have 3 of their 4 wins at home.

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

Players for GPP differentiation

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Cash (Projected Points = 141.0)

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Cash+ HOU Stack + opponent (Projected Points = 138.9)

Sample Roster 3 ($60K) - Cash+ TB Stack/NYG and NO overload (Projected Points = 139.3)