FanDuel Mini: Week 4

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 4 FanDuel Golden 5 - Prizes
1st $100 and $80,000 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 3   Actual Top Players - Week 3  
QB Aaron Rodgers 25.82 Tom Brady 35.72
RB Le'Veon Bell 18.80 Todd Gurley 35.30
RB Kareem Hunt 24.80 Jordan Howard 28.90
WR Julio Jones 12.60 Stefon Diggs 33.30
WR Antonio Brown 22.00 Brandin Cooks 29.60
    104.02   162.82


Looking ahead to Week 4, 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 three weeks 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 3 that trend continued with the pairing of Tom Brady (top quarterback) and Brandin Cooks (2nd scoring wide receiver). 

QB   RB   WR/TE  
Tom Brady 20.5 Ezekiel Elliott 19.4 Antonio Brown 16.7
Russell Wilson 19.8 Le'Veon Bell 17.8 Julio Jones 15.6
Dak Prescott 18.9 Todd Gurley 16.9 A.J. Green 15.2
Matt Ryan 18.4 Dalvin Cook 16.3 Odell Beckham Jr Jr 14.5
Carson Palmer 18.2 Leonard Fournette 15.8 Rob Gronkowski 13.5
Trevor Siemian 17.9 Devonta Freeman 15.1 Mike Evans 13.5
Marcus Mariota 17.8 Carlos Hyde 15.4 Dez Bryant 13.2
Philip Rivers 17.8 LeSean McCoy 15.2 Keenan Allen 13.0
Deshaun Watson 17.7 Melvin Gordon III 15.0 Stefon Diggs 12.8
Carson Wentz 17.6 Christian McCaffrey 14.4 Doug Baldwin 12.7


It will be hard to throw in a single entry into these Mini contests 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 a Marcus Mariota/Rishard Matthews/DeAndre Hopkins stack or switch in Deshaun Watson for Marcus Mariota and hope for a high scoring game with both passing offenses going back and forth. You could also do the same with the Philadelphia and LA Chargers 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 1-3  Rushing Attempts Receptions Total Touches
Todd Gurley 63 13 76
Dalvin Cook 61 10 71
Ezekiel Elliott 55 12 67
LeSean McCoy 48 18 66
Le'Veon Bell 52 13 65
Leonard Fournette 57 8 65
Carlos Hyde 49 12 61
Ty Montgomery 41 18 59
C.J. Anderson 53 6 59
Melvin Gordon III 44 12 56

Todd Gurley is now at the top of the list with 76 total touches through 3 games (25.3 per game average). This list of top ten running back touches is loaded with all the big named backs now and we are starting to see some trends going forward. The most interesting one here is LeSean McCoy and Ty Montgomery who both have under 50 carries but they also both lead the running back position with 18 receptions each. Those 18 receptions equal 3 FanDuel points which doesn't seem like a lot but adding the yards in with those catches the points can add up quickly. This week the top 5 projected running backs from Dodds are, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette. Those five backs are actually all in the top 6 of the list above and all should be considered in this FanDuel Mini format this week. I would feel comfortable mixing and matching all ten of these running backs this week as the workload will be there for each one of them. 

Don't for get to take your Free shot at "FanDuel Golden 5" contest for Week 4 and chase the $60,000 perfect lineup. The other main contest that should get your attention is the $30,000 Fumblerooski that is a $2 entry fee and has a first place prize of $3,000.

Best of Luck in your Week 4 DFS contest!

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