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:
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 19 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.
Situations that stand out to me this week.
- In the playoffs with limited players going, how you construct your lineup is nearly as important as the players you choose. I nearly always will build my playoff cash lineups with a strong running back core while being much more thrifty at the wide receiver position. You want running backs that are favored to win at home. Your darts at wide receiver should be on teams that likely are playing from behind and need to throw to catch up.
- I have won big in the division round the last five years by keeping it really simple. I spend the majority of my cap space on players on the teams that are favored to win and playing at home as they have had two weeks to prepare. All four home teams are favored this week. The Saints (-8.0), Rams (-7), Chiefs (-5) and Patriots (-4) all fit these criteria. Don't overthink it. Good teams with two weeks to prepare also have their stars the least banged up. Add in the home crowd, and these teams have a decided advantage this weekend.
- Offensive scoring has been up all season long and five of the eight teams are expected to score 25+ points this weekend. Make sure you get your shares of players involved on teams with expected high team totals. Listed by descending expected team points:
- Kansas City Chiefs (vs IND) - 31.00 points
- New Orleans Saints (vs PHI) - 29.75 points
- Los Angeles Rams (vs DAL) - 28.25 points
- Indianapolis Colts (at KC) - 26.00 points
- New England Patriots (vs LAC) - 25.75 points
- Any Dallas pass catchers left? - WR Cole Beasley and TE Blake Jarwin are both listed as questionable on Friday's injury report, but neither player has practiced all week. Both players could scratch. If both Beasley and Jarwin are inactive, Dak may be forced to overuse WR Amari Cooper who will be facing strong CB play from Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. When Cooper is covered, I expect a large number of check downs to Ezekiel Elliott who should be a value play despite a gamescript where the Cowboys may be behind. WR Noah Brown and TE Dalton Schultz are intriguing punt plays should both Beasley and Jarwin scratch.
- The Colts / Chiefs game has a shootout blueprint - From weeks 10 to 16, the Chiefs were the second worst team at defending the pass in the NFL allowing 23.6 Fanduel points to quarterbacks during this span. Both teams like to run no-huddle and both employ a pass first mentality. Vegas has the under/over set at 57 points, but if the Chiefs struggle to stop Luck, this game might exceed 70 total points. My cash-game philosophy will be to have a lot of players from this game.
- WR Ted Ginn Jr ($4,500) is my favorite punt of the day. The Saints have tried everyone at WR2 all season and nothing has stuck. Ginn is finally healthy and practiced all week. From week 10 through 16, the Eagles have given up the 3rd most FanDuel points to wide receivers at 34.5 per contest. All eyes will be on stopping WR Michael Thomas. Ted Ginn Jr just needs to catch one long pass and score to reach value. He will be in 100% of my lineups.
- RB Damien Williams ($6,100) is still way under-priced for his role on the Chiefs. The Colts have been stingy on defense lately, but this Chiefs team can create mismatches everywhere. If Kareem Hunt was playing running back, he would cost 8,000+. Same team, a similar role for Williams makes this an attractive play this weekend.
Cash+ Stacks I am targeting
- QB Patrick Mahomes II / TE Travis Kelce
- QB Patrick Mahomes II / WR Tyreek Hill
- QB Andrew Luck / WR T.Y. Hilton
- QB Andrew Luck / TE Eric Ebron
- RB Alvin Kamara / TD New Orleans
Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Cash+ KC Stack (Projected Points = 122.7)
- QB Patrick Mahomes II ($9,000)
- RB Damien Williams, KC ($6,100)
- RB Darren Sproles, PHI ($5,400)
- TE Travis Kelce, KC ($7,500)
- WR Julian Edelman, NE ($7,600)
- WR Ted Ginn Jr, NO ($4,500)
- WR Amari Cooper, DAL ($6,800)
- Flex RB Alvin Kamara ($8,400)
- TD New England Patriots ($4,700)
Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Cash+ IND Stack (Projected Points = 122.4)
- QB Andrew Luck, IND ($8,400)
- RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL ($8,800)
- RB Todd Gurley, LAR ($9,000)
- TE Eric Ebron, IND ($6,600)
- WR Amari Cooper, DAL ($6,800)
- WR Ted Ginn Jr, NO ($4,500)
- WR Josh Reynolds, LAR ($5,600)
- Flex RB Damien Williams, KC ($6,100)
- TD Los Angeles Chargers ($4,300)