FanDuel Mini: Week 3

Breaking down FanDuel's new Mini game where you pick 5 players each week.

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 3 FanDuel Golden 5 - Prizes
1st $100 and $60,000 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)


Anyone can pick the top projected players each week at each position, but that would have landed you with a Week 2 team of Tom Brady (30.78), Le'Veon Bell (11.10), Ezekiel Elliott (4.20), Julio Jones (13.30), and Antonio Brown (8.70). 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. Tom Brady was clearly one of the top choices at quarterback and he came through with 30.78 points and found his way onto the perfect lineup. There was no QB/WR stack that hit this week but a RB/WR stack hit with C.J. Anderson and Emmanuel Sanders. Both Michael Crabtree and Emmanuel Sanders were interesting choices at wide receiver as they both have bigger names that play with them in Amari Cooper and Demaryius Thomas, so predicting both of them to be the highest scorers at the position is extremely hard to do. Ty Montgomery made up the fifth player on the perfect lineup and he had a strong matchup against the Falcons in a game where he saw 10 carries for 35 yards and a touchdown and did most of his damage in the receiving game with 6 catches for 75 yards and another touchdown. 

  Top Projected Players - Week 1   Actual Top Players - Week 2  
QB Tom Brady 30.78 Tom Brady 30.78
RB Le'Veon Bell 11.10 C.J. Anderson 28.90
RB Ezekiel Elliott 4.20 Ty Montgomery 26.00
WR Julio Jones 13.30 Michael Crabtree 29.00
WR Antonio Brown 8.70 Emmanuel Sanders 21.20
    68.08   135.88


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. In Week 2 that trend didn't come to light but if you pair Crabtree with Derek Carr you got the 6th best quarterback with 23.50 points and with Sanders you got the 3rd best quarterback with Trevor Siemian with 27.95 points.

QB   RB   WR  
Aaron Rodgers 21.8 Le'Veon Bell 17.8 Antonio Brown 17.1
Cam Newton 20.1 Kareem Hunt 17.2 Julio Jones 14.6
Kirk Cousins 19.9 Melvin Gordon III 17.2 A.J. Green 14.1
Carson Wentz 19.3 Jay Ajayi 15.6 Amari Cooper 13.7
Ben Roethlisberger 19.2 LeSean McCoy 14.8 DeAndre Hopkins 13.5
Matt Ryan 19.1 Devonta Freeman 13.8 Mike Evans 13.3
Russell Wilson 18.9 Dalvin Cook 13.8 Michael Crabtree 13.2
Derek Carr 18.8 Leonard Fournette 13.7 Jarvis Landry 13.1
Alex Smith 18.8 Christian McCaffrey 13.7 Odell Beckham Jr Jr 13.0
Matthew Stafford 18.2 Ty Montgomery 13.1 Demaryius Thomas 13.0


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/Davante Adams/A.J. Green stack or switch in Andy Dalton 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 Oakland versus Washington 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).


Week 1-2  Rushing Attempts Receptions Total Touches
C.J. Anderson 45 4 49
Leonard Fournette 40 5 45
LeSean McCoy 34 11 45
Le'Veon Bell 37 7 44
Todd Gurley 35 8 43
Ezekiel Elliott 33 9 42
Javorius Allen 35 5 40
Lamar Miller 35 5 40
Dalvin Cook 34 5 39
Ty Montgomery 29 10 39

C.J. Anderson is a name that you wouldn't expect to be at the top of this list to start the season. The Denver back field was full of question marks heading into the season and it looked like one of the situations where you thought it would have a timeshare at the position. Anderson's 49 touches look strong and he should be in consideration this weekend. The two names that saw the most touches in Week 2 were Le'Veon Bell with 31 (27 carries, 4 receptions) and Jay Ajayi with 30 (28 carries and 2 receptions), both backs are in excellent spots this week and will likely be the chalk plays at the position and especially in a format such as the FanDuel Mini contest. Kareem Hunt and Melvin Gordon III just missed the top 10 list of total touches and they both need to be in strong consideration for your lineup this week as well. Other names would be Devonta Freeman, Ty Montgomery, Mike Gillislee, LeSean McCoy, Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook that you would want some shares of. 

Don't for get to take your Free shot at "FanDuel Golden 5" contest for Week 3 and chase the $60,000 perfect lineup. The other main contest that should get your attention is the $50,000 Fumblerooski that is a $2 entry fee and has a first place prize of $5,000.

Best of Luck in your Week 3 DFS contest!

More articles from James Brimacombe

See all

More articles on: Daily FF

See all

More articles on: FanDuel

See all