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)|
WEEK 3 FANDUEL MINI - REVIEW
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|
WEEK 4 - PROJECTIONS (DAVID DODDS)
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).
|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|
TOP QB/WR STACKS FOR FANDUEL MINI - WEEK 4
- Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
- Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Marcus Mariota and Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans
- Trevor Siemian and Demaryius Thomas (Emmanuel Sanders), Denver Broncos
- Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
- Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
- Matthew Stafford and Golden Tate, Detroit Lions
- Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
- Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery (Zach Ertz), Philadelphia Eagles
- Tom Brady and Brandin Cooks (Chris Hogan, Rob Gronkowski), New England Patriots
- Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
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).
RUNNING BACK VOLUME
|Week 1-3||Rushing Attempts||Receptions||Total Touches|
|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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