FanDuel Mini: Week 5

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 5 FanDuel Golden 5 - Prizes
1st $100 and $100,000 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 4 team of Tom Brady (20.48), Le'Veon Bell (32.60), Ezekiel Elliott (27.90), Julio Jones (4.50), and Antonio Brown (5.40). 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 20.48 points and found his way onto the perfect lineup. There was no stack that hit this week as we had all five players from different teams. We also only had one of the top projections actually hit as a top play in Le'Veon Bell, and Ezekiel Elliott just missed out as he finished as the number three running back on the week just behind Todd Gurley. It was a hard week to predict guys like Devin Funchess and Tyler Croft exploding for career games, but maybe more so for Deshaun Watson and Todd Gurley has they have been impressive early in the season.

  Top Projected Players - Week 4   Actual Top Players - Week 4  
QB Tom Brady 20.48 Deshaun Watson 34.72
RB Le'Veon Bell 32.60 Le'Veon Bell 32.60
RB Ezekiel Elliott 27.90 Todd Gurley 31.00
WR Julio Jones 4.50 Devin Funchess 22.50
WR Antonio Brown 5.40 Tyler Croft 21.80
    90.88   142.62


Looking ahead to Week 5, 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 4 that trend continued with the pairing of Deshaun Watson (top scoring quarterback), and DeAndre Hopkins (third-ranked WR/TE).

QB   RB   WR/TE  
Aaron Rodgers 21.4 Le'Veon Bell 22.2 Antonio Brown 15.3
Dak Prescott 19.7 Ezekiel Elliott 19.8 Jordy Nelson 15.2
Russell Wilson 18.5 Kareem Hunt 19.4 Odell Beckham Jr Jr 14.6
Deshaun Watson 18.2 Todd Gurley 18.7 A.J. Green 14.4
Matthew Stafford 18.0 LeSean McCoy 16.1 DeAndre Hopkins 13.9
Carson Wentz 17.3 Leonard Fournette 15.2 Dez Bryant 13.0
Cam Newton 17.1 Carlos Hyde 15.2 Tyreek Hill 12.6
Carson Palmer 17.0 Melvin Gordon III 13.5 Keenan Allen 12.3
Ben Roethlisberger 16.9 Bilal Powell 12.9 Larry Fitzgerald 12.2
Eli Manning 16.7 Jay Ajayi 12.8 DeVante Parker 12.1


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 an Aaron Rodgers/Jordy Nelson/Dez Bryant stack or switch it up with Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant/Jordy Nelson. You could also do the same with the Kansas City versus Houston game which has a close point spread and one of the higher over/unders with 46.5 points. 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 1-4  Rushing Attempts Receptions Total Touches
Todd Gurley 86 20 106
Le'Veon Bell 87 17 104
Leonard Fournette 81 12 93
Ezekiel Elliott 76 16 92
LeSean McCoy 68 21 89
C.J. Anderson (BYE) 73 10 83
Carlos Hyde 65 17 82
Kareem Hunt 68 13 81
Devonta Freeman (BYE) 70 9 79
Lamar Miller 68 10 78

Todd Gurley is now at the top of the list with 76 total touches through 4 games (26.5 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. Both Todd Gurley and Le'Veon Bell are at the top of the list and have at least 11 more touches than the third volume back in Leonard Fournette. Other names you want to consider this week based on volume would be Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy, Carlos Hyde, Kareem Hunt and the surprising Lamar Miller. Dalvin Cook was excluded from the list with 85 total touches now that he is injured and will miss the remainder of the season.

Don't for get to take your Free shot at "FanDuel Golden 5" contest for Week 5 and chase the $100,000 perfect lineup. The other main contest that should get your attention is the $25,000 Fumblerooski that is a $2 entry fee and has a first place prize of $2,000.

Best of Luck in your Week 5 DFS contest!

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