Divisional Round DFS Cheat Sheet: FanDuel and DraftKings (UPDATED)
January 11, 2017 | Ian Goldsmith
Welcome to The Fake Football Divisional Round FanDuel and DraftKings DFS Cheat Sheet!
With the help of our resident DFS Gurus Ian Goldsmith and Chet Gresham, we have put together a comprehensive NFL DFS Cheat Sheet with matchup stats, analysis, picks, sample lineups and lineup configuration advice. We have picks for FanDuel and Draftkings, and with their differing settings, the picks, stats and analysis will help you on even more sites than just those two. And with a week between games we will update our picks and analysis as the week progresses. You will receive your Cheat Sheet on Wednesday, in time for the Thursday night games and then we will update the sheet on Sunday Mornings to make sure you don’t miss any breaking news.
And even though we will have more info, more stats, more picks and just more everything in our NFL sheets, we will not be raising the price. Each sheet will remain $1.99 each just like our baseball and basketball sheets. And as a subscriber you will receive an email as soon as the new Cheat Sheet is posted on Wednesday of each week and then an update on Sunday mornings.
PLUS! Ian Goldsmith’s DFS Optimizer will be added to the sheets this season! It will go LIVE every Friday!
Check out our a sheet from last season to see what you get.
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LeGarrette Blount had a bit of a scare with an illness, but he was taken off of the injury report and is good to go for this weekend’s likely slaughter of the Houston Texans.
Blount’s teammate Malcolm Mitchell may not be so lucky. He is listed as questionable. With a likely easy win ahead of them, he could very well be rested as Brady has plenty of receiving options available. I’m leaning towards doubtful, but keep an eye on the inactives list. UPDATE: Mitchell is out according to Adam Schefter.
Danny Amendola, who has been out for the past several weeks, looks likely to suit up. If you want to take a flier on him in a GPP, be my guest, but I won’t be anywhere close to using him. The Vegas line looks likely to lead to a game script where we see NE jump out to a big lead and a second half where they are running down the clock with Blount, White, and Lewis. If I’m playing a NE receiver in a tournament, it’s Michael Floyd, hands down.
Dallas Pro Bowl tackle Tyron Smith should play this week after sitting out Week 17 with an MCL sprain. This bodes well for Zeke Elliott, and solidifies an already incredible offensive line.
James Starks is out. Expect Christine Michael and Ty Montgomery to split the load pretty evenly.
Fellow Packer Jordy Nelson is out against Dallas. Rodgers didn’t seem to miss his top WR, finding Adams and Cobb for a combined 4 scores last week. Jeff Janis is likely to play after being listed as questionable. He will pick up some of the targets with Nelson out.
Ladarius Green is likely out against the Chiefs on Sunday. He has still not recovered from a concussion he got a couple of weeks ago. In his stead, Jesse James should take over most TE duties and is a candidate for DFS tournaments with TD potential. He scored against the Chiefs in their matchup earlier this season. UPDATE: Green is indeed inactive.
Spencer Ware will play, but look for Charcandrick West to get a decent load with his solid performances of late. I’m not targeting either.
Justin Houston will play as well after missing a couple games to end the season. In 5 games this year, he picked up 4 sacks and a forced fumble. With bad weather in the forecast, Houston and the KC defense should feast.
C.J. Prosise is OUT.
questionable against the Falcons. With Rawls fully healthy and expecting at least 20-25 touches, Prosise is a non-factor.
The only game weather will truly be a factor in is Pittsburgh at Kansas City. The Kansas City area is expecting an ice storm. Forecasts were so bad that the NFL pushed the game back from a 12pm CST to 7:20 CST. That’s right, folks: Sunday Night Football! The freezing rain is supposed to have stopped in the morning, but the warning is until midnight, so it could still be nasty at kickoff. Regardless, it will rain, and it will be cold. Winds should be tolerable, however, which is good. This has all the signs of a defensive battle (so, of course, there will be 60 points scored!). UPDATE: The field is in terrible condition outside the tackles. It should be raining on and off throughout the game.
Sample FanDuel Lineups
FanDuel Lineup Configurations
No QB has been hotter than Aaron Rodgers. His ownership is going to be high, and he gets a matchup against Dallas team that has just been average against the QB spot this year. Yes, Dallas did hold him to 13.46 points in Week 6, but since then, he’s scored at least 23 FP in 8 of 11 games and scored more than 29 5 times, including the last three games. Are you going to bet against his success and high ownership in a cash game? I’m not, at least not on FanDuel (Dak’s pricing on DraftKings makes him very intriguing). I’ve paired ARod with Cobb and Jared Cook, both of whom he should look to repeatedly with Jordy Nelson likely out. Cook has been solid of late and gets a Cowboys’ defense that has allowed a ton of points to TEs the past several weeks (yes, even when excluding Ertz’ massive game).
At RB, it’s hard to not use Zeke. If you can fit in Le’Veon, then please do as the guy is a freak of nature, but should you need that $1,400 for another position, then Zeke makes a ton of sense. He’s been a near lock to hit at least 2X value and, more often than not, exceed it. Against the then Packers’ #1 rushing D, Zeke ran for an astounding 157 yards. The most Green Bay had given up to one rusher at that point was 39 yards to TJ Yeldon in Week 1. Zeke is a beast and deserves a spot in your cash lineup. Now, I expect Thomas Rawls to be the next highest owned player this week. The matchup is excellent, and I fully expect him to be used heavily again. He actually fits into this lineup from a salary perspective, so should you prefer to utilize him, you can slot him right in. I, however, am planning on using Blount. I expect Brady and Co. to open up a three score (or more) lead in the first half and for Belichick to turn to the former Oregon product to run out the clock. He’s scored a TD in 13/16 games this season, which is mindblowing. He’s not a sexy pick, but he’s as solid a cash play as there is.
Blount’s teammate Edelman fits in here as well because of his consistency. He ended the season on a 9-game streak of double digit fantasy games. That’s frankly all I need for convincing. He’s one of the safer cash plays on the slate. Joining him and Cobb is Tyreek Hill. Andy Reid always finds a way for the rookie to get involved, and I expect no less this week. He’s probably the riskiest pick in this cash lineup, but I’ll take my chances with limited options. At D, it’s the Patriots and then everyone else. New England. At home. In the playoffs. Against Brock Osweiler. Favored by 16. Yes, please.
Antonio Brown is a very risky play this week, but not because of the matchup; Marcus Peters and Co. have routinely been beaten this season by solid WRs. No, what makes him risky is the weather that should befall Kansas City this weekend. As of right now, the forecast calls for freezing rain. The field could be a mess. However, that sometimes works out in favor of the offensive player as they know which way they are going to cut, and the DBs don’t. One quick little shift by AB could send Peters onto his butt. As we saw in the Miami game, AB can take any pass to the house and can repeat said success multiple times in one game. There is zero chance he will be in a cash lineup of mine, but a tournament? You bet he’s making an appearance.
I actually found a way to roster Antonio, Zeke, and Le’Veon Bell. I actually expect KC’s defense to show up, but Bell and Brown are too good to not use in at least one of your lineups. They will be underowned compared to last week, so it’s the perfect GPP opportunity. That being said, I think they are very risky relative to guys like Rawls, Baldwin, or Julio Jones. My favorite game to target this week in tournaments is Seattle/Atlanta. With an O/U of 51.5 as of this writing, Vegas is expecting a close, high-scoring affair, which often translates into fantasy goodness. With more people (I expect) focusing on the Packers/Cowboys, I think there will be some differential to be had here. I’m stacking Russ Wilson with Paul Richardson (who will be very high owned), and have tacked on Mohamed Sanu, who scored a solid 13.2 FP in their first matchup this season. On DraftKings, there is room to stack even more players from this game (see below).
To fit those big names (Bell, Brown, Zeke, Russ), I had to save some dough elsewhere. To do this I downgraded from Cook to Witten and from Santos to Boswell. I considered using the Chiefs at D, but stuck with the Pats.
Sample DraftKings Lineups
DraftKings Lineup Configurations
As with earlier iterations of these sheets, if I don’t talk about a player here it’s because I touched on them in the FanDuel blurbs above. Aaron Rodgers was a must in FanDuel cash lineups for me, but the pricing on DraftKings this week offers me the chance to consider other players. When I look at salaries, I’m not looking at the price per se, but the percentage in terms of overall salary. Let’s look on FanDuel. Aaron Rodgers is $8,800 and Dak is $7,700, which translates to 14.67% and 12.8% of salary, respectively. Given that they are so close, and anticipating a high ownership on Rodgers, it’s an easy choice for me to choose ARod, who is averaging roughly 5 PPG more than Dak on the season if you remove Dak’s game against Philly where he played limited minutes. Now, let’s look at DraftKings. Rodgers is $8,200 and Dak is $6,000 for percentages of 16.4% and 12%, respectively. Wow, now we have something to consider here. Instead of following the crowd, I have an option to look elsewhere. Let’s look at it in a different way by calculating how much an average fantasy point costs them with their salaries. Note: Dak’s averages below are without his game against Philly.
As you can see, on FanDuel, Rodgers costs much less per fantasy point than does Dak. It’s not even close, so for cash games, it makes little sense to consider Dak (he’s still usable, of course, but doesn’t deserve the same ownership there). On DraftKings, however, Dak is cheaper per fantasy point, which instantly makes me change my tune on which one I will use. In this case, I went with Dak as I want to be able to afford some of the higher priced position players for cash lineups. Rodgers is still a very valid play, especially when taking into account his performance over the past few games. Still, it is clear that there are more options on DraftKings this week. The only other player here that I didn’t touch on above is Rawls, who despite his relatively higher price on FD compared to DK, is more attractive than Blount because of the scoring system. Blount relies on TDs, which on DK take a bit less importance than on FD because it is full PPR.
Seattle vs Atlanta is my main focus for this lineup. They scored a combined 50 points in their first matchup this season, and Vegas is expecting another shootout. I’ve stacked Matt Ryan with bot Sanu, Julio, and Coleman. While I do not trust Coleman, he is one juke away from a 70 yard score on any play. For $4,500, I love his potential upside. On the other side of the ball, I’ve lined up both Richardson and Baldwin. Yes, this is a lot of focus on one game, but if this one game is extremely high scoring, then that kind of strategy can propel you to a win. It’s certainly riskier than spreading your players across games, but it can pay off.
OK, I went pretty different here, fading Zeke, going relatively cheap at RB and paying up for 3 big time receivers in Dez, Cobb, and Adams. If you like following Vegas, then this lineup has a lot of action in the two highest projected games in DAL/GB and SEA/ATL. Both could easily be shootouts, and stacking is one way to get some differential on a small slate. If you do move off of the Patriots, then I really like KC at home in terrible weather against Ben Roethlisberger, who is simply a much poorer QB on the road. They’ve consistently scored in double figures this season, even against good opponents.
Hey folks, Ian here. There are a ton of websites out there that offer their own version of DFS optimizers. Most of them are really well done. Of course, most of them cost an arm and a leg too. The thing is, for all the good an optimizer does, at the end of the day it still only gives you a starting point on which to base your lineup. You need to still come up with projections. I’m not a programmer, but I use Excel extensively in my day job as an economist. So, I thought I’d try and figure out a way to create a basic optimizer and share it with you all. It’s not fancy. This doesn’t have some kind of eye-candy GUI. However, it works. And, at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
As for projections, I’m a big believer in the wisdom of crowds. This basic optimizer uses a mixture of projections from a number of different sites. If you want to do this yourself in the future and don’t want to do any kind of tedious regression analysis, I’d recommend using the FantasyPros Consensus Projections as a starting point. After getting averages of what many different experts think will happen on Sunday, you can then make tweaks of your own. To make this, I watched a lot of Youtube videos and used much of my previous Excel knowledge, much I learned through my local library (Libraries are awesome!). That is to say, this is relatively easy to make on your own given a little patience.
To use this optimizer, you’ll need Excel 2010 or later. If you have that, then click on one of the two links below (or both!), depending on which site you are playing. There are instructions on the first sheet. Thanks, and have fun!!
Notes: Links are live!
NOTE: Remember, these lineups are just a first run through the optimizer with adjusted consensus stats from several places online. You can always remove players you don’t want to include.
A very simple, but good start to DFS research is to look at the over/unders and odds. Obviously you want your players in games where Vegas believes the game will be high scoring and on winning teams, while your defenses should come from games they believe will be low scoring.
Sortable Matchup Machine Quarterbacks (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Quarterback for the week.
Sortable Matchup Machine Running Backs (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each running back for the week.
Sortable Matchup Machine Wide Receivers (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Wide Receiver for the week.
|DEP||Wide Receivers||Tm||Opp||DK||FD||Rec/G||ReYd/G||ReYd/Tar||TD/G||T/G||Com. %||FPPG||FO|
Sortable Matchup Machine Tight Ends (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Tight End for the week.
Sortable Matchup Machine Defenses (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Defense for the week.
Defense Opp DK FD Off Points Sack Int Fum Rec DefTD RetTD FPPG
New England Patriots HOU $4,000 $5,100 17 2 1 0.5 0.1 0.1 8.4
Atlanta Falcons SEA $2,600 $4,300 22 2.6 0.8 0.4 0 0 6.2
Pittsburgh Steelers @KC $2,900 $4,500 22 2 0.5 0.6 0.1 0 4.8
Dallas Cowboys GB $2,700 $4,500 27 2.2 0.5 0.6 0.1 0.1 4.4
Kansas City Chiefs PIT $3,400 $4,800 24 1.3 0.9 0.2 0.1 0 3.9
Green Bay Packers @DAL $2,800 $4,300 26 1.8 0.4 0.6 0 0 3.2
Seattle Seahawks @ATL $3,000 $4,700 32 2.3 0.4 0.3 0.1 0 2.6
Houston Texans @NE $2,300 $4,200 27 1.5 0.1 0.6 0 0 2.5
Sortable Matchup Machine Kickers (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Kicker for the week.
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS WR/TE/RB MATCHUP CHART
You can find this chart HERE, but we wanted to make it sortable for you. It breaks down the rankings for defenses against WR1, WR2, “Other” WR, TE and RB against the pass.
|Rk||TM||Rk vs. #1 WR||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. #2 WR||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. Other WR||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. TE||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. RB||Pa/G||Yd/G|