Friday, September 22, 2017

Cam Newton is My Top QB Play

When the smoke clears, I expect Cam Newton to be among the best plays at quarterback this week.

The Saints defense has been AWFUL at defending the pass. Their one bright spot (rookie Marshon Lattimore who neutralized Brandin Cooks last week) is OUT with a concussion.

and when I say AWFUL, I mean historically AWFUL as this unit is likely to eclipse the 4,796 yards allowed through the air by the 2011 Green Bay Packers.

Week 3 CRITERIA Players (for Sunday Main Slate)

In the 2017 Cracking FanDuel book, I demonstrated that selecting players who were in the upper half of Ratio, H-Value, and Expected Team Points at their positions led to the best fantasy success. I call these three factors the CRITERIA.

It was possible to craft a lineup that would have won a million dollars this past week in FanDuel's Sunday Million using JUST CRITERIA players that I publish.

This list is available weekly to our Insider Pro Plus subscribers. I will occasionally publish excerpts from this to the blog.


  • QB Cam Newton, CAR (vs NO) - Projected: 19.9 FP; Price = $8,100
  • QB Matthew Stafford, DET (vs ATL) - Projected: 19.4 FP; Price = $7,900
  • QB Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs OAK) - Projected: 18.7 FP; Price = $7,600
  • QB Carson Wentz, PHI (vs NYG) - Projected: 18.8 FP; Price = $7,700
  • QB Alex Smith, KC (at LAC) - Projected: 17.8 FP; Price = $7,400
  • QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (at CHI) - Projected: 18.4 FP; Price = $8,000

Running Backs

  • RB Kareem Hunt, KC (at LAC) - Projected: 18.8 FP; Price = $8,300
  • RB LeVeon Bell, PIT (at CHI) - Projected: 19.3 FP; Price = $8,700
  • RB Melvin Gordon, LAC (vs KC) - Projected: 17.2 FP; Price = $7,600
  • RB Jay Ajayi, MIA (at NYJ) - Projected: 17.8 FP; Price = $8,200
  • RB Ty Montgomery, GB (vs CIN) - Projected: 16 FP; Price = $7,200
  • RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR (vs NO) - Projected: 13.8 FP; Price = $6,800
  • RB C.J. Anderson, DEN (at BUF) - Projected: 13.9 FP; Price = $6,900
  • RB Devonta Freeman , ATL (at DET) - Projected: 15.2 FP; Price = $8,200
  • RB Tevin Coleman, ATL (at DET) - Projected: 10.6 FP; Price = $5,500
  • RB Isaiah Crowell , CLE (at IND) - Projected: 12.2 FP; Price = $6,600
  • RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR (vs NO) - Projected: 11.4 FP; Price = $6,200
  • RB Darren Sproles, PHI (vs NYG) - Projected: 9.9 FP; Price = $5,200

Wide Receivers

  • WR Antonio Brown, PIT (at CHI) - Projected: 16.5 FP; Price = $9,000
  • WR DeVante Parker, MIA (at NYJ) - Projected: 12.1 FP; Price = $6,500
  • WR Devin Funchess, CAR (vs NO) - Projected: 9.4 FP; Price = $4,800
  • WR Amari Cooper, OAK (at WAS) - Projected: 13.6 FP; Price = $7,700
  • WR Davante Adams , GB (vs CIN) - Projected: 12.3 FP; Price = $6,800
  • WR Kelvin Benjamin , CAR (vs NO) - Projected: 12 FP; Price = $6,600
  • WR Michael Crabtree, OAK (at WAS) - Projected: 12.9 FP; Price = $7,700
  • WR Martavis Bryant, PIT (at CHI) - Projected: 11.1 FP; Price = $6,500
  • WR Tyreek Hill, KC (at LAC) - Projected: 12.2 FP; Price = $7,300

Tight Ends

  • TE Travis Kelce, KC (at LAC) - Projected: 12.3 FP; Price = $7,100
  • TE Zach Ertz, PHI (vs NYG) - Projected: 11.1 FP; Price = $6,500
  • TE Rob Gronkowski, NE (vs HOU) - Projected: 12.8 FP; Price = $8,400


  • PK Stephen Gostkowski, NE (vs HOU) - Projected: 10.4 FP; Price = $5,200
  • PK Graham Gano, CAR (vs NO) - Projected: 9.7 FP; Price = $4,800
  • PK Matt Bryant, ATL (at DET) - Projected: 9.6 FP; Price = $4,900
  • PK Giorgio Tavecchio, OAK (at WAS) - Projected: 9.4 FP; Price = $4,800
  • PK Chris Boswell, PIT (at CHI) - Projected: 9.3 FP; Price = $4,800
  • PK Mason Crosby, GB (vs CIN) - Projected: 9.6 FP; Price = $5,000
  • PK Cairo Santos, KC (at LAC) - Projected: 9.1 FP; Price = $4,700


  • TD New England Patriots, NE (vs HOU) - Projected: 12.7 FP; Price = $4,900
  • TD Philadelphia Eagles, PHI (vs NYG) - Projected: 11.2 FP; Price = $4,500
  • TD Los Angeles Chargers, LAC (vs KC) - Projected: 10 FP; Price = $4,200
  • TD Green Bay Packers, GB (vs CIN) - Projected: 10.9 FP; Price = $4,800
  • TD Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT (at CHI) - Projected: 10.8 FP; Price = $5,000

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I like Carlos Hyde to hit for value in the THU contests

This is a projected low-scoring game with SF expected to lose so Carlos Hyde wouldn't make my CRITERIA list even if the game was played on Sunday.

But at just $6,600, there is a lot to love.

  • He has amassed 169 rushing yards on just 24 carries this year.
  • He has averaged 6 targets a game and turned those into 9 catches for 51 yards.
  • He has faced CAR and SEA which are two stout run defenses. The Rams are yielding the 4th most points to RBs this season.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Just realized that someone could have won a million dollars...

just by using my CRITERIA players.

Everyone on this list made the CRITERIA list except Baltimore (low implied team total).  Tampa Bay outscored Baltimore though so it was possible to use my CRITERIA plays and win a million dollars.

Woohoo...winning in week 2

I had intended on playing a lot of different cash+ lineups having won 12 tickets to the Sunday Million the week before.  Life changed those plans though as I had a poker game I just couldn't strip myself away from Saturday night.  I came in tired and decided to put the majority in play against just one lineup that I felt could do well in the 2X, 3X, 5X, and 100-man contests I had entered.

All told I wagered $1,880 and cashed $4,211.  And I crushed that poker game too...LOL

What went right:

  • QB Tom Brady to Chris Hogan was money. In fact, I will likely have a lot of shares of Cam Newton against the Saints this week as well. Until New Orleans shows they can even limit a QB to less than 3 scores, I suggest everyone do the same.
  • Travis Kelce is ELITE. Priced at just $6,700 was borderline criminal. He comes into week 3 way underpriced again.
  • Baltimore Defense. Not only is this unit very good, teeing off against the hapless Browns is a good way to score points.
What went wrong:
  • Larry Fitzgerald should have been a great play two weeks in a row, but Carson Palmer is off. And an older Fitzgerald just doesn't get enough separation to make up for Palmer's inaccurate throws. I won't be making this mistake again anytime soon. This offense looks lost without David Johnson, but JJ Nelson showed me enough that he could be in play in GPPs any week that John Brown scratches.
  • Tyreek Hill - I love this guy's game, but it hinges on breaking into the open field and turning on the jets. He is going to have a lot of big games this year, but it might be tough figuring out when they will happen. The offense looks to run through Kelce and Hunt right now.
  • Marshawn Lynch - I was semi-right. The Raiders made sure he got his TD. But you can see them also looking to manage his reps so they have him when the games count the most. As long as Richard and Washington are active on game days, none of the Oakland backs look like solid DFS plays going forward.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Narrative Street Says BEAST MODE

  • Fan-favorite Marshawn Lynch unretires so he can play for his hometown team, the Oakland Raiders.
  • Lynch was a 4-sport star at Oakland Technical High School.  He also played football for the California Bears.

    My view: To say he is LOVED in Oakland/Bay Area would be a massive understatement. This week the Raiders tee off against the hapless Jets at home in front of a crowd that will be cheering for their guy louder than normal. Look for the Raiders coaches to give Marshawn all the workload he can handle with a concentrated effort to get him into the endzone.

This Week's Approach (In the Clouds View)

I think the winning play in CASH games this week on FanDuel looks like this:

- Play Larry Fitzgerald
- Play your NO/NE and PHI/KC plays from the early slate only

and punt everything else to the late slate.

This affords you maximum ability to tweak your rosters accordingly based on if you project yourself to win or not.

- If behind by a lot, play a QB/WR and RB/Def stack
- If behind by a bit, play a stack
- If ahead, lockdown value and safe choices.

To maximize this approach, I would keep a minimum 1 RB, 1 WR, and the TE, DEF, and PK positions open (ie filled with late game players)

Against some opponents, they will have tipped the majority of their hand and you can effectively BLOCK them from winning (especially if they play some duds)

Target Monster Alert: WR Larry Fitzgerald ($6,600)

  • Starting RB David Johnson is OUT for at least 12 weeks
  • Starting WR John Brown is OUT with a quad injury
  • Starting TE Jermaine Gresham is expected to scratch after missing practice all week.
  • Rookie WR Cooper Kupp logged 4-76-1 against Nate Hairston on just 39 snaps. 
  • QB Jared Goff managed 306 yards against this Vontae Davis-less defense. 
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald saw 74 snaps and 13 targets last week.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tom Brady / Chris Hogan is my STACK of the WEEK

Summarized in these bullet points.

  • Sam Bradford managed 346 passing yards and 3 TDs on just 32 attempts last week. Tom Brady is better, has better weapons, and will have way more than 32 pass attempts.
  • Las Vegas has the Patriots projected to score 31.25 points with an over/under at a whopping 56 points.
  • The Saints are a train-wreck on defense and only managed 1 sack against the immobile Sam Bradford.  The Saints are particularly bad at defending the slot (which is where Chris Hogan will play out of when Danny Amendola scratches).
  •  In the last two regular season games following a New England loss, Angry Tom Brady responded with 406 yards/3 TDs and 280 yards/4 TDs in his next contest.

Angry Tom Brady to Chris Hogan...for all the cash

For the entire year, I projected Tom Brady to have 1.5X the number of Fantasy Points of Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford logged 25.54 FanDuel FPs last week

Therefore:  Tom Brady is expected to have 38.31 Fanduel points this week against the same bad opponent (the Saints).

Never argue with a math proof.

You would think I would learn...

I never seem to beat Week 1 on FanDuel and this year was no different. Tons of underperformances everywhere. Luckily, I did not go crazy entering lineups. The only saving grace was I did hit on my Gurley/Rams defense stack and that saved the week from being a complete nightmare.

Onto week 2.

1st order of business. I am 100% fading the THURSDAY game. One could make an argument for the Bengals defense (Jacksonville recorded 10 sacks against the crumbled line of the Texans), but I think it's a better move to just fade the game.

and because FanDuel is now a "Late-Swap" site as well, I actually have entered some dummy lineups without any CIN/HOU players in hopes that players may roster some more of these players than usual.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cash+ Situations I like this week

I talked in great detail last year about how I have found much more success building lineups that fit a cash+ strategy.

That strategy is this.

1.  Pair my QB with a pass catcher (WR or TE).
2. In games that I expect to be shootouts, I also like to pair an opposing WR against the stack from 1 above.
3.  Pair my RB with a defense.
4.  Enter lineups in 2X, 3X, 5X, 10X, 100-man contests.

The logic behind building rosters in this fashion is you are starting with the end in mind. If your QB does not score two or more TDs, you are losing these types of contests anyway. So pencil in your QB stud and attempt to predict who he throws those TDs to. And when he has this big game, what opposing WR had a big game to make this game a shootout? As for pairing RBs with defenses, it's been shown that some of the biggest performances in GPPs have happened with that scenario. Typically the defense gets a key pick or fumble recovery for a TD and the RB closes out the game with a high volume day. Sometimes it works the opposite way. The RB carves up an opponent and that offense is then forced to pass too often in catch up which leads to sacks and interceptions.

For this week, I like these combinations as cash+ lineups (Listed in no particular order):

  • QB Marcus Mariota ($7,800) / TE Delanie Walker ($6,100) + WR Amari Cooper ($7,600)
  • QB Marcus Mariota ($7,800) / TE Delanie Walker ($6,100) + WR Michael Crabtee ($6,900)
  • QB Derek Carr ($7,700) / WR Amari Cooper ($7,600) + TE Delanie Walker ($6,100)
  • QB Derek Carr ($7,700) / Michael Crabtree ($6,900) + TE Delanie Walker ($6,100)
  • QB Russell Wilson ($8,000) / TE Jimmy Graham ($6,200) + Jordy Nelson ($7,700)
  • QB Russell Wilson ($8,000) / WR Doug Baldwin ($7,500) + Jordy Nelson ($7,700)
  • QB Aaron Rodgers ($8,300) / Jordy Nelson ($7,700) + TE Jimmy Graham ($6,200)
  • QB Aaron Rodgers ($8,300) / Jordy Nelson ($7,700) + Doug Baldwin ($7,500)
  • RB Todd Gurley ($7,300) /  Rams Defense ($4,600)
  • RB Le'Veon Bell ($9,300) / Pittsburgh Defense ($4,800)
  • RB Lamar Miller ($7,300) / Houston Defense ($5,100)

John Lee's DFS article is full of goodness

an example...

Larry Fitzgerald (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $5,900).  In the first half of last season, Larry Fitzgerald averaged 11 targets, 6.8 receptions, 68.7 receiving yards, and 0.5 touchdowns (16.7 DraftKings points) per game. However, the latter half of the season was marred by mediocrity (11.2 DraftKings points per game), as Fitzgerald began to show his age, finding the endzone only once over his final 11 games. With nine months to rest, one has to assume that Fitzgerald, a consummate professional, will have his 34-year old body ready to go this weekend against the Lions in what may be his final NFL season. The matchup could not be better for Fitzgerald, as he will line up across from a combination of Quandre Diggs and/or D.J. Hayden in the slot, both of whom are diminutive slot cornerbacks who struggled mightily in coverage last season (81st and 104th out of 119, respectively). Meanwhile, Darius Slay, a shutdown cornerback will play the perimeter and minimize contributions from John Brown and J.J. Nelson, forcing Carson Palmer to look underneath to the future Hall-of-Fame receiver to move the sticks on passing plays. At $5.9K, Fitzgerald needs to score approximately 18 DraftKings points to justify his salary, which should easily be met if he finds the endzone or manages to collect double-digit targets, both of which are entirely possible in this plus matchup.

FREE DFS coverage Week 1 at Footballguys

You know what's better than beer?  FREE BEER

This week, we are giving away our week 1 DFS coverage. We are doing this because we want you to know how hard we cover the games every week for our Insider Pro Plus subscribers.

So before you lock in all your lineups this morning, take a walk over to Footballguys and see our great coverage.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thursday thoughts (Odell Beckham)

If Odell Beckham scratches Sunday, Brandon Marshall might be the most owned WR at just $6,800 in cash games.

I have Brandon Marshall projected at 11.3 FPs today, but that is with Beckham slotted to catch 6 for 75 with 0.5 TDs.  If Marshall gets even 30% of this redistribution (on a Beckham scratch), he would be projected at a whopping 15.38 FPs for a ratio of 2.26.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Ownership Data on Footballguys

You asked and we listened...

We are happy to unveil Estimated Ownership Data for FanDuel and DraftKings Mid-sized GPPs

Data is available to FBG Insider Pro Plus Subscribers.

Monday, September 4, 2017

If you are not playing this contest weekly...

then you are doing it wrong.

It's a Double Up with a chance to earn a ticket for the Week 11 final (where another $15K + subscriptions are added to the prize pool).

Just $10 to enter.

Finish in the top 500 against 1,150 competitors and you double your money to $20.

Have a better lineup than five FBG staffers and earn a ticket to the Week 11 Championship.


Under the Radar Play...RB Lamar Miller, HOU

The field is going to be on all in on RBs Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson this week. I get it. They both have excellent matchups and low enough prices to make doing that a smart cash-game play.

But there is an alternative you should have in at least some of your lineups.

I currently project RB Lamar Miller ($7,300) for 17.2 FPs for these reasons:

  • Backup RBs D'Onta Foreman and Alfred Blue are both trending to miss the contest.
  • The Texans are also without WR Will Fuller this week.
  • My gut tells me the veterans on this roster give an emotionally charged effort while honoring the Houston fans (in the face of Hurricane Harvey).
  • Vegas has the Texans as 5.5 point favorites at home.  Game script is screaming lots of Lamar Miller.
  • The Jaguars QBs have been a train-wreck in the pre-season (this should allow Houston's defense to create some short field opportunities).
  • Tom Savage will be in game managing mode.  Lamar Miller should be active as a runner and as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. 

Florida - Stay Safe

Hurricane Irma is setting up to be the NASTY. Although the NFL has not canceled the Tampa Bay / Miami game YET, I think it's setting up for exactly that. Both the Bucs and Dolphins have a week 7 bye and I am expecting the NFL to reschedule this contest for that week.

Football is BACK

We are now days away from REAL NFL Football. I am not going to lie. It's as exciting today as it was when I was a kid. The networks tease us with the preseason FAKE FOOTBALL and after awhile it becomes hard to even watch these games. But that ends now.

and with the games, I welcome you to the 2017 version of my blog where I will try and dump what's floating in my head so that you can have success in your FanDuel contests this year.