This season, FanDuel kicked off its NFL contests with a new format called "FanDuel Mini". In a Mini NFL contest, you pick five players - one quarterback, two running backs, and two wide receivers (tight end included). FanDuel Mini comes in two styles, Mini and Mini Unlimited. In the standard FanDuel Mini contest, you just have to pick five players and stay within the salary cap ($60,000). It is similar to the regular FanDuel contest but just a smaller version with five players instead of nine players. In a Mini Unlimited contest, every player is priced so that there are no salary cap restrictions, so you can roster any combination of players you want.
The lobby is loaded with Mini games at all different price points and there is also a free Mini game called "FanDuel Golden 5" which you can enter each week to try to chase the week's perfect starting 5 lineup. Each week, the grand prize will increase by $20,000 until it's claimed, then it starts over at $20,000. FanDuel will award whatever cash is remaining on Week 17 to that week's top finisher - which will make for a guaranteed season-long payout of $340,000.
|Week 2||FanDuel Golden 5 - Prizes|
|1st||$100 and $40,000 for Perfect Lineup|
|2nd - 5th||Ticket to NFL Mini Unlimited Spider 2-Y Banana ($33 Value)|
|6th - 197th||Ticket to NFL Mini Unlimited Statue of Liberty ($4 Value)|
Week 1 Fanduel Mini - Review
Anyone can pick the top projected players each week at each position, but that would have landed you with a Week 1 team of Aaron Rodgers (17.54), Le'Veon Bell (6.20), David Johnson (10.10), Julio Jones (8.60), and Antonio Brown (23.70). These contest are run on the Sunday only main slate and do not include Thursday or Monday Night games. The key is to be able to think outside of the box and find the players that are in good matchups and mix them in with one or two star players on the week. Antonio Brown was clearly one of the top choices at wide receiver and he came through with 23.70 points and found his way onto the perfect lineup. Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay were not the most likely of QB/WR stacks as most would have paired Stafford with Golden Tate or Marvin Jones Jr. Leonard Fournette saw a lot of volume in his first game in the NFL with 26 rushing attempts and 3 receptions which resulted in him being one of the two top running backs on the week. The last player to crack the perfect 5 combo was the third rookie in the group, Tarik Cohen who nobody would have seen coming before the week started as he was a back up to Jordan Howard. Even as a backup he still saw 5 carries and caught 8-of-12 targets for 47 yards and a touchdown.
|Top Projected Players - Week 1||Actual Top Players - Week 1|
|QB||Aaron Rodgers||17.54||Matthew Stafford||28.08|
|RB||Le'Veon Bell||6.20||Tarik Cohen||21.30|
|RB||David Johnson||10.10||Leonard Fournette||19.90|
|WR||Julio Jones||8.60||Kenny Golladay||20.90|
|WR||Antonio Brown||23.70||Antonio Brown||23.70|
Week 2 - Projections (david Dodds)
Looking ahead to Week 2, we will use Dodds projections to see what players will likely be the highest owned in this type of format. In order to win one of these FanDuel Mini games, you are going to have to identify 1-3 of the top projected players from all the positions and likely pair them with a few lesser obvious plays. After Week 1 we already see that there is a trend that you want to have a quarterback and stack him with one of his wide receivers and build around that.
|Tom Brady||22.7||Le'Veon Bell||17.4||Julio Jones||16.8|
|Aaron Rodgers||22.5||Ezekiel Elliott||16.6||Antonio Brown||16.2|
|Russell Wilson||20.3||Melvin Gordon III||16.4||Mike Evans||14.6|
|Matt Ryan||19.8||LeSean McCoy||16.2||Jordy Nelson||14.2|
|Derek Carr||19.7||Kareem Hunt||16.2||Brandin Cooks||14.2|
|Drew Brees||19.0||Devonta Freeman||14.9||Tyreek Hill||13.3|
|Ben Roethlisberger||18.9||Jay Ajayi||14.9||Doug Baldwin||13.1|
|Marcus Mariota||18.6||Leonard Fournette||14.8||Amari Cooper||12.9|
|Cam Newton||18.4||Todd Gurley||14.7||Larry Fitzgerald||12.8|
|Alex Smith||17.8||Marshawn Lynch||14.1||Michael Thomas||12.4|
Top QB/WR stacks for Fanduel Mini - Week 2
- Tom Brady and Brandin Cooks (Chris Hogan, Rob Gronkowski), New England Patriots
- Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
- Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
- Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson (Davante Adams), Green Bay Packers
- Derek Carr and Amari Cooper (Michael Crabtree), Oakland Raiders
- Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
- Drew Brees and Michael Thomas (Coby Fleener, Tedd Ginn), New Orleans Saints
- Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown (Martavis Bryant), Pittsburgh Steelers
- Alex Smith and Tyreek Hill (Travis Kelce), Kansas City Chiefs
- Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs (Adam Thielen), Minnesota Vikings
- Jameis Winston and Mike Evans (DeSean Jackson), Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It will be hard to throw in a single entry into these Mini contest as there will be so many options that you will want to use to help you cover all your bases. I like trying to narrow it down to your favorite stacks on the week and playing those. You are going to want a QB/WR combo in your lineup and another option would be to stack the teams opposing WR with your QB/WR combo. For example this week you could look at an Aaron Rodgers/Jordy Nelson/Julio Jones stack or switch in Matt Ryan for Aaron Rodgers and hope for a high scoring game with both passing offenses going back and forth. You could also do the same with the New England vs New Orleans game or any game on the slate. That would cover three out of five positions for your team and you would have to look at plugging in a pair of running backs to complete your team. For choosing my running backs I want a combination of someone who has a high projection for the week but also someone that has already shown that they will get a high volume of touches (rushing attempts + receptions).
Running back Volume
|Week 1||Rushing Attempts||Receptions||Total Touches|
|Melvin Gordon III||18||5||23|
Leonard Fournette is top of the list tied with Ezekiel Elliott with 29 total touches each. I want to pick my pair of running backs from this list for this week and will narrow it down to Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon III, Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook, and Ty Montgomery. I will mix and match those running back in with my QB/WR/opposing WR stacks as I create my FanDuel Mini lineups this week.
Don't for get to take your Free shot at "FanDuel Golden 5" contest for Week 2 and chase the $40,000 perfect lineup. The other main contest that should get your attention is the $100,000 Statue of Liberty that is a $4 entry fee and has a first place prize of $20,000.
Best of Luck in your Week 2 DFS contest!