Cracking FanDuel: Week 15

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 15 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 15 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 15 only has eight teams expected to score 24+ points on the 22-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 England Patriots (at PIT) - 28.00 points
    • Baltimore Ravens (vs TB) - 27.00 points
    • Atlanta Falcons (vs ARI) - 26.75 points
    • Minnesota Vikings (vs MIA) - 26.00 points
    • Pittsburgh Steelers (vs NE) - 25.50 points
    • Indianapolis Colts (vs DAL) - 25.25 points
    • Chicago Bears (vs GB) - 25.00 points
    • Cincinnati Bengals (vs OAK) - 24.50 points

  • Teams Playing for Something - This late in the year, I can't stress enough to be rostering players on teams that are playing for something. And that mostly means teams that are looking to secure a playoff berth. Losing teams start looking to get their younger players more in-game looks as they go through the motions of completing the season. These "losing" teams also don't manage the clock/timeouts as effective as playoff-contending teams and are more willing to go for the win instead of trying to force overtime.

  • TE Eric Ebron ($6,500) is the free square this week - Eric Ebron has led all tight ends in targets the last 3 weeks and he is expected to get another heavy workload against the Cowboys. The Colts utilize the tight end more than any other NFL franchise and Ebron remains the last man standing with Jack Doyle out and Erik Swoope released. WR T.Y. Hilton is less than 100% which also suggests a giant workload is in store for Ebron who has seen 24 targets the last two weeks with Jack Doyle injured. The Cowboys have yielded the 2nd most points to tight ends (17.5) since week 10. Don't overthink this one here.

  • What to do with Amari Cooper ($6,600)? - He is massively underpriced for his new role with the Cowboys ensuring he will be on nearly all rosters in cash and a lot of GPP rosters as well. But I have some reservations here even though my projections also state he is a clear play at this price. The Colts have been tough on wide receivers and have only yielded two 100-yard receiving games on the season (DeAndre Hopkins and Keke Coutee in week 4). In GPPs, I will be fading Cooper at his high ownership levels. In cash games, I will likely take a balanced approach, but might be underweight to the masses. The price is right, but the matchup isn't great.

  • Minnesota Defense - The numbers suggest playing the Jaguars this week against Josh Johnson who was out of football for 5 years before resurfacing in Washington due to their spate of injuries at the position. I am not going to argue against that selection. The Redskins are in a free-fall having lost the last four of five games and have yielded 51 fantasy points to opposing defenses over the last four games. The Jaguars have the talent to deliver a big defensive performance, but will they? They seemed to all but quit as Derrick Henry amassed what seemed like a million rushing yards last week. A potentially safer (and cheaper option) this week is to use the Vikings who are in a must-win at home. The Dolphins have yielded 3.75 sacks a contest since week 10 and are likely to see plenty of heat in this contest as well.

  • Jeff Wilson / Matt Breida - My projections reflect both players active with Wilson getting the majority of the carries. With the 49ers playing for pride only, Breida could definitely scratch. This is a tough situation because the SEA/SF game plays late and we might not have good information until the inactives are posted. If Breida scratches, Wilson will definitely be a solid play, but without better information, my builds will mostly fade him this week.

  • Jaylen Samuels / James Conner - My projections reflect Conner will scratch. If that were to change, Samuels could lose important snaps if that does not play out like that. With Pittsburgh's season on the line, Conner might be forced back into the lineup sooner than he is ready.

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

Players for GPP differentiation

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Cash (Projected Points = 137.2)

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Cash+ IND Stack (Projected Points = 136.2)

Sample Roster 3 ($60K) - Cash+ CHI stack (Projected Points = 136.8)