Cracking FanDuel: Week 16

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 16 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 16 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. Players in blue represent potential boosts due to others scratching.

General Thoughts

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • Offensive scoring has been up all season-long and week 16 has twelve teams expected to score 23+ 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:

    • Los Angeles Rams (at ARI) - 31.00 points
    • New Orleans Saints (vs PIT) - 29.75 points
    • New England Patriots (vs BUF) - 29.00 points
    • Indianapolis Colts (vs NYG) - 28.75 points
    • Dallas Cowboys (vs TB) - 27.50 points
    • Cleveland Browns (vs CIN) - 27.00 points
    • Green Bay Packers (at NYJ) - 24.75 points
    • Minnesota Vikings (at DET) - 24.25 points
    • Philadelphia Eagles (vs HOU) - 23.75 points
    • Atlanta Falcons (at CAR) - 23.75 points
    • Chicago Bears (at SF) - 23.50 points
    • Pittsburgh Steelers (at NO) - 23.25 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 just completing the season. These "losing" teams also don't manage the clock/timeouts as effective as playoff-contending teams which limits the upside of players in these situations.

  • Does RB Todd Gurley scratch? - He has not practiced all week and this seems like a great spot for him to rest as the Rams are 14 point favorites against the Cardinals on the road. If the Rams do use Gurley, will they pull him with a lead? I am having a hard time envisioning a scenario (even with an active Todd Gurley) where he doesn't yield a lot of carries to other backs on his team. Although newly acquired C.J. Anderson might not know much of the playbook, he is the far more accomplished backup that remains healthy. The Cardinals are yielding 29.4 fantasy points to running backs since week 12 (worst in the league) so Anderson is likely to be successful even with limited running plays. My projections currently reflect Gurley playing about a half and then ceding to C.J. Anderson. If Gurley were to scratch, I would roster C.J. Anderson in 100% of my lineups.

  • Will JuJu be active? - JuJu Smith-Schuster injured his groin in Thursday's practice and was unable to practice on Friday. If he scratches, WR Antonio Brown ($8,700) and RB Jaylen Samuels ($6,700) should see more targets in a game that is expected to have 53 points scored by the two teams. Both Brown and Samuels would get projection bumps to warrant lineup consideration.

  • QB Nick Foles ($6,000) - His price is right in what looks to be a shootout against Houston at home. Since week 10, the Texans are giving up 20.5 fantasy points to quarterbacks per game (4th worst). Foles failed to score a touchdown in last week's game against the Rams but did manage to complete 24 of 31 passes for 270 yards against an elite defense. The rust is off and he should have an easier time at home against a lot softer defense.

  • RB Nick Chubb ($7.900) at home vs Cincinnati - The Bengals continue to be shredded via the run. Since Week 10, this depleted Bengals unit has yielded a whopping 31.0 fantasy points per game to running backs. Enter the hot Nick Chubb who has 682 combined yards and 7 touchdowns in his last 6 games.

  • RB Ezekiel Elliott ($8,800) - The Buccaneers have yielded four 100-yard rushing performances in their last five games. Ezekiel Elliott has hit mid-season form has accrued 987 combined yards and 5 touchdowns over his last 6 contests. At home and favored, look for the Cowboys to continue to use a healthy dose Elliott in a must-win game for the Cowboys. Pairing Elliott with under-priced Dak Prescott is a solid play to guarantee a healthy portion of the Dallas offense.

  • WR Davante Adams ($8,500) vs the Jets. Since week 10, the Jets are giving up a league-worst 38.2 fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position. The Packers come in banged up at the position (Randall Cobb is out) which bodes well for Davante Adams who has delivered as of late despite being shadowed by Patrick Peterson and Xavier Rhodes in recent weeks. Since week 9, Adams leads all players at 10.4 targets per contest and has scored at least one touchdown in 10 of his 14 games.

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

Players for GPP differentiation

Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Cash+ DAL OVERLOAD (Projected Points = 139.8)

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Cash+ PHI Stack (Projected Points = 137.2)

Sample Roster 3 ($60K) - Cash+ PHI stack + Gurley scratches (Projected Points = 138+)