FanDuel Mini: Week 8

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 8 FanDuel Golden 5 - Prizes
1st $100 and $160,000 for Perfect Lineup
2nd - 9th Voucher to NFL Mini Unlimited Spider 2-Y Banana ($25 Value)
10th - 359th Voucher to NFL Mini Unlimited Fumblerooski ($2 Value)


Anyone can pick the top projected players each week at each position, but that would have landed you with a Week 7 team of Tom Brady (18.46), Le'Veon Bell (20.70), Todd Gurley (23.40), A.J. Green (5.60), and Antonio Brown (14.50). These contests 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 18.46 points and finished as the 8th best quarterback on the week. This week there was no QB/WR stack that ended up in the winning lineup. It was the stud running backs in Ezekiel Elliott and LeSean McCoy that landed in the top two spots at their position while O.J. Howard and Kenny Stills were two complete wild cards in the top receiver spots. 

  Top Projected Players - Week 7   Actual Top Players - Week 7  
QB Tom Brady 18.46 Dak Prescott 29.96
RB Le'Veon Bell 20.70 Ezekiel Elliott 40.40
RB Todd Gurley 23.40 LeSean McCoy 24.70
WR A.J. Green 5.60 O.J. Howard (TE) 24.80
WR Antonio Brown 14.50 Kenny Stills 23.50
    82.66   143.36


Looking ahead to Week 8, 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 six 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 7 that trend actually didn't come true with Dak Prescott as the top quarterback but not one of his wide receivers at the top with him. 

QB   RB   WR/TE  
Carson Wentz 21.5 Le'Veon Bell 20.9 Antonio Brown 17.7
Tom Brady 20.5 Ezekiel Elliott 19.9 A.J. Green 16.8
Russell Wilson 20.3 LeSean McCoy 19.1 Julio Jones 15.0
Cam Newton 19.7 Mark Ingram II 17.2 Doug Baldwin 13.4
Kirk Cousins 19.6 Devonta Freeman 16.4 Mike Evans 13.3
Dak Prescott 19.2 Melvin Gordon III 16.1 Michael Thomas 13.2
Drew Brees 19.1 Jordan Howard 15.1 Rob Gronkowski (TE) 13.0
Jameis Winston 18.8 Joe Mixon 14.0 Dez Bryant 12.9
Tyrod Taylor 18.5 Doug Martin 13.0 Zach Ertz (TE) 12.8
Matt Ryan 18.4 Carlos Hyde 12.9 Brandin Cooks 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 team's opposing WR with your QB/WR combo. For example this week you could look at a Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant/Jordan Reed stack or switch it up with Kirk Cousins/Jordan Reed/Dez Bryant. You could also do the same with the LA Chargers vs New England game which has a close point spread and one of the higher over/unders with 48.5 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 roster. 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 1-7  Rushing Attempts Receptions Total Touches
Le'Veon Bell 169 33 202
Todd Gurley 145 27 172
Jordan Howard 139 11 150
Ezekiel Elliott 131 18 149
Kareem Hunt 124 25 149
Melvin Gordon III 117 29 146
LeSean McCoy 110 32 142
Carlos Hyde 100 27 127
Mark Ingram II 89 24 113
Lamar Miller 98 15 113

The clear top volume running back is Le'Veon Bell as he is averaging 28.9 touches a game and has 30 more touches than the next guy on the list in Todd Gurley. Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt are the next big names on the list but they are behind the unlikely Jordan Howard on this list. Howard now has 150 total touches on the season and could be a sneaky play this week against the Saints. He will be the focus of the offense early and often and should see 20-25 touches and if the game is close in the second half he could even approach 30+ touches. Melvin Gordon III and LeSean McCoy are both in really good matchups and they have to be considered this week as well. Carlos Hyde, Mark Ingram II, and Lamar Miller round out the top 10 volume running backs this week and outside of Ingram both Hyde and Miller should be played with caution.

Don't for get to take your Free shot at "FanDuel Golden 5" contest for Week 8 and chase the $160,000 perfect lineup. The other main contest that should get your attention is the $15,000 Fumblerooski that is a $2 entry fee and has a first place prize of $1,500.

Best of Luck in your Week 7 DFS contest!

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