Week 4 DFS Cheat Sheet: FanDuel and DraftKings (UPDATED)
October 1, 2016 | Ian Goldsmith
Welcome to Week 4 of the 2016 The Fake Football FanDuel and DraftKings DFS Cheat Sheet!
With the help of our resident DFS Gurus Ian Goldsmith, Chet Gresham and Jason Bales, 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.
Get in on the Week 1 DraftKings Freeroll! $100K in Prizes!
Join Yahoo’s Yearly DFS League for FREE in the Yahoo Cup Freeroll!
Willie Snead will play. This is great news for Drew Brees’ upside this week, but does knock Michael Thomas down a bit. Get Snead in your lineups where needed, but I would lean toward GPPs in DFS.
Julius Thomas will not play today. Marcedes Lewis gets the start. He’s a GPP play at best.
Terrance West will get the start over Justin Forsett today. He makes for a decent DFS play in a good matchup against the Raiders.
Marvin Jones was limited in practice on Thursday, but was able to put a full practice in on Friday and should be good to go. Get him in your lineup against the Bears weak defense.
Eric Decker will miss this week’s game against the Seahawks and the number of games he misses after that is still up in the air. Seattle will be a tough opponent for Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa, but I expect Marshall to see Richard Sherman, while Enunwa moves around enough to get matched up on linebackers and safeties. He has some GPP appeal.
Jamaal Charles will play Sunday night against the Steelers, but all signs point to him being eased back slowly with a bye week on the horizon. I’d avoid him as much as you can and continue to play Spencer Ware this week. He’s not quite as safe as we’d like, but with Charcandrick West out , I expect Charles to play Wests role at most this week.
Rob Gronkowski is listed as questionable, but all signs point to him playing. The only concern would once again be his snap count, but he should be trending upward in that area and as long as the game is somewhat close and Jimmy Garoppolo is playing, Gronk should Gronk.
Russell Wilson isn’t on the Week 4 injury report. He practiced in full despite spraining his MCL last week and already playing on a sprained ankle. He gets a tough matchup with the Jets strong defensive line going against the Seahawks weak offensive line. He should be startable in redraft, but Doug Baldwin and maybe Christine Michael are the only two players I have much faith in this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo is the favorite to start this week for the Patriots, but they still need to wait to make sure he feels good in warm-ups Sunday. His presence would help Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, while Jacoby Brissett limits their upside.
Willie Snead is listed as questionable after getting limited practices in this week. His status is still uncertain, but he was able to practice more than he did last week. Hopefully we will know his status sooner than later, but he does play in a late game, so keep your options open.
Dez Bryant won’t play this week, but the team wants the 49ers to think that maybe he will. He’s not. Brice Butler will take his spot, but Jason Witten and Cole Beasley should see the biggest bump in production.
Rashad Jennings is a game-day decision for Monday night’s bout with the Vikings. He’s closer to doubtful than not, but it still makes it tough to roster Orleans Darkwa this week. Either way, the matchup is not good.
Delanie Walker says he has a “opportunity to play” this week. The matchup against the Texans is one to stay away from in DFS, but if Walker does play, he can still be used in redraft.
Terrance West is in line to see more work this week after coach Harbaugh made it clear there needed to be a change West has been better than Forsett this season, but not by a lot. The Raiders have allowed five-yards per carry this season and West does have some upside if he gets the bulk of the work. Of course we don’t know that for sure, which makes him a risky play.
Jeremy Langford will be out around a month, which gives Jordan Howard the lead back job, especially with Ka’Deem Carey also out. The Lions are giving up 5.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs and Howard makes for a good play this week.
Sammy Watkins has been put on I.R. and will be out at least eight weeks. Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin will take over as the one and two wide receivers while Charles Clay will see a bump in work as well.
Michael Floyd isn’t on the Week 4 injury report. He will start, but does get a tough matchup with the Rams. I’d stay away in DFS, but he is worth starting in a pinch in redraft.
Tavon Austin is questionable, but he did get a full practice in on Friday and should be a go. The Cardinals are tough on slot receivers though, so I would lower expectations.
Kenny Britt is questionable after being added to the injury report on Friday. There aren’t many details on his injury, but if you need him, be sure to check for updates.
Sample FanDuel Lineups
Sunday Cash (No London Game)
I actually think this lineup would work fairly well in a cash game, but given this is Le’Veon Bell’s first game back, and given the fact t1) hat I’m not completely sold yet on Coby Fleener, this lineup leans more toward a tournament setup to me. Still, Kansas City is really not that great against running backs on the early season. Giving up 4.3 yards per carry and 5 catches per week to the position, they should not pose much of a threat to a player of Bell’s caliber. He will be raring to go, and Tomlin has already said that he will be getting a full load. Similarly, Fleener’s targets have increased in each of the first three weeks, and he gets to face a San Diego team who 1) is ranked 4th worst against TEs in this early season (in PPR) and 2) who just lost one of their best defenders in Manti Te’o. Melvin Gordon gets to face a New Orleans team who is, after this past Monday night’s debacle, giving up more than 40 FP to opposing RBs per game in PPR leagues. Gordon, who has scored in each of the first three games of the season, has an excellent chance at being this week’s top RB on the board. I like a few players in Thursday’s game, but the only one I’m using here is AJ Green against a Miami defense that just gave up an 8/144 line to Terrelle Pryor, and who has also given up a big game to Doug Baldwin.They do not have the personnel to match up with a WR of Green’s caliber, and Green’s pricing is quite attractive. I’m plugging in Steve Smith (who is seeing increased targets and looks near the player he was last year) and Marvin Jones at the other two WR spots. Cousins is in my top 5 QB plays for the week, and is tied for the 11th most expensive player at the position. The matchup against a beaten up Cleveland team is a dream. Minnesota DST and Dan Bailey round out the lineup.
This lineup has, oddly, my favorite stack of the week: Brian Hoyer and Zach Miller. Fresh off of a 300+ yard, 2TD effort (both to Miller), Hoyer and the Bears get to face a Lions defense that has given up over 270 yards and 3+ TDs per game to opposing quarterbacks. In addition to this, he is cheap…dirt cheap. At only $6,000, rostering Hoyer affords you room to plug in a myriad of higher priced options at other positions. By rostering these two, I was able to fit in Melvin Gordon and his dream matchup against the Saints, Zeke Elliott, and a solid trio of WRs in Marvin Jones, Antonio Brown, and Michael Crabtree. Jones should continue to produce this week against the Bears. The Bears’ mediocre pass defense looks a little better than it should because their running defense is so poor. Stafford should come out throwing early and often, so don’t be afraid to jump on the Jones train. I expect a big week from the Steelers all-around, as they will not be held down two weeks in a row…not with Bell coming back. They will be fired up for a national audience on Sunday night. Still, Brown is more of a tournament play for me this week as people will no doubt be off of him given the matchup against Peters and KC. Dustin Hopkins has been gold in each of the first three weeks of the season, and should have ample opportunity to continue his scoring binge this week against Cleveland. ‘Zona is, perhaps, the safest defense of the week, but I am more than happy to use them in tournaments as well. If you want to save $ at DST, you could easily run out Washington or Houston.
There are a number of players that overlap here, so I won’t bother to rehash what I already wrote. Besides those guys, this lineup is started with a stack of Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed. Cousins is a top-5 QB play for me this week against Cleveland. Unless Matt Jones busts out for a 3 TD game, then Cousins should easily hit the 20-25 FP range on DraftKings with upside for more. Much of that load should go to Reed, who has seen a similar number of targets per game as he saw in 2015, but he hasn’t yet found the end zone after finding it 11 times last year. Part of this is Cousins’ fault, as he has been abysmal in the red zone. I’d love to know the reason he’s looked for Jamison Crowder 7 times in the red zone, but to Reed only 3 times. Ugh. Hopefully Cousins gets a fire lit under his ass this week and begins to find his best player. Until he does so consistently, Reed is a tournament only play for me. I love the Texans DST this week, even without JJ Watt. Marcus Mariota has been underwhelming, to say the least, and the Texans should be able to pressure him into some poor throws and force a couple of turnovers. Mariota has only been sacked 6 times in three games, so don’t expect a ton in that department. DeMarco Murray has been a blessing for Mariota in the passing game, as he offers a quick out when Marcus gets in trouble. Dwayne Washington is one of my favorite plays this week in tournaments. I don’t think he’ll have high ownership, but he should be seeing an increase in workload after Theo Riddick proved last week that he’s not a between-the-tackles type of runner. Plus, DW gets a matchup with the porous Chicago running defense. He offers a lot of upside, and little risk given his expected workload and his price.
Sunday GPP UPDATE
This updated lineup will not be highly owned, given the stack of Alex Smith and Jeremy Maclin. This game should be high scoring, despite what the KC defense did last week. Expect Big Ben, Lev Bell and Antonio Brown to all have big days. If KC wants to keep up with their firepower, then they will have to pass often. I expect Smith to be finding Maclin and his RBs very often this week, though I’m staying away from Ware and Charles as I really don’t know what to expect of the split yet. Pryor is a near must for me given the way he’s going to be used, even at this elevated price. He is less appealing here than DraftKings or most other sites as he is priced lower elsewhere, but still…hard not to use him. Again, I still like the Houston DST even without Watt. Tennessee has done nothing to prove that they can do anything on offense, failing to score more than 16 points in a game so far this season. Hunter Henry should see at least 5-7 targets this week and provides much needed cap relief to fit in some of these other players.
Sample DraftKings Lineups
*There were no unexpected injuries this week, so the lineups will remain the same*
DraftKings Lineup Configurations
On Thursday, take advantage of the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals game. Ryan Tannehill, despite understandably criticized for his decision making in important parts of the game, has been a fantastic fantasy option. In his last two starts, he has over 24 fantasy points, and he should continue to excel in a game that will quickly turn into a shootout, if the Dolphins’ defense does not show up to play. Pairing him with someone like Jarvis Landry is a great move in 50/50 contests, as Landry is a target machine, but also consider DeVante Parker’s lower price tag in tournaments. He will open up more salary cap, and while not quite as important to the Dolphins’ offense as Landry, Parker receives targets in bulk, as well. Carlos Hyde is simply too cheap this week, and he will be a staple of all 50/50 contest lineups. He has been playing well of recent and should continue to do so. Melvin Gordon is another fantastic running back option that can be used in both 50/50 contests and tournaments. With Danny Woodhead absent from the Chargers’ offense, he is seeing both more rushing attempts and targets. Marvin Jones Jr. showed off his huge upside last week. There is no denying his upside, but his consistency is also there. The Detroit Lions are going to continue to target him early and often. Before filling out the remainder of the lineup, free up some salary cap with Zach Miller, who is going to see a lot of targets with Brian Hoyer starting again this week, and the Houston Texans’ defense. With the remaining money, roster Travis Benjamin at wide receiver, due to his combination of high upside and consistency, and Le’Veon Bell, who will be starting for the Pittsburgh Steelers this week. He is the best running back in the league, and he is going to prove that this weekend.
This is going to come off as a bit of a shock, but Kirk Cousins is one of the best 50/50 contest quarterbacks on the board this week. Yes, the Washington Redskins’ offense seems to be a high-risk, high-reward system, but that is not the case. Cousins has over 19 fantasy points in two straight games now, and he is throwing the ball around 40 times per game for Jay Gruden. He is missing throws and still hitting value. Imagine once he finds his range. Pairing him with Desean Jackson is a great tournament move, but in 50/50 contests, use Jordan Reed instead. Reed has yet to find the end zone this season, but with at least seven targets in his first three games, the scoring production will happen sooner or later. As previously mentioned, both Carlos Hyde and Melvin Gordon are fantastic 50/50 contest running backs. The production level is simply higher than the price tag with them. As far as wide receivers go, use Marvin Jones Jr. and Travis Benjamin, both of who were mentioned above. To fill out the wide receiver spot, Julian Edelman is worth consideration. With Jimmy Garoppolo likely back at the helm for the New England Patriots, Edelman should see an increase in both targets and fantasy production. At defense, use the Houston Texans. That defense is solid, and the Tennessee Titans’ offense, aside from DeMarco Murray, has been hesitant to step on the gas. Finally, use the veteran Steve Smith Sr. to fill in the flex position. He is being targeted around five to 10 times per game. That is definitely enough to hit value at his price tag.
In tournaments, it is important to get the most upside possible. This generally comes with a little bit of risk, and that is okay. Philip Rivers is not the most productive quarterback in the NFL week in and week out. However, as displayed in the second week of the season, he has massive upside. In only 24 attempts, he threw for four touchdowns and posted almost 25 fantasy points. That was without Keenan Allen, who exited week one for the season. Travis Benjamin is now the number one wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers. His price tag is still a little bit too low, so take advantage of that. A study shows that if a QB1 and WR1 both score 25 plus fantasy points, it is likely that the RB1 also will. Using Melvin Gordon only makes sense in tournaments. He has pass-catching abilities, and if the Chargers take the lead, he should see a bulk of the carries to finish out the game. Now, moving onto the other roster spots: Le’Veon Bell, as previously mentioned, is starting for the Pittsburgh Steelers this week. Use him in both 50/50 contests and tournaments. Terrelle Pryor Sr. makes for a great, high-upside option at the wide receiver position, as he has the ability to catch passes, rush for touchdowns, and even throw for touchdowns. He is a very versatile player for a low price tag at the wide receiver position. Pairing him with Doug Baldwin and Brandin Cooks is a great move. Baldwin is a touchdown machine, and Cooks is a reception machine. Finally, at tight end, use Zach Miller. He is going to see quite a few targets, and his price tag is too low. The Buffalo Bills defense has been outstanding this season, and the New England Patriots have one week until Tom Brady returns. Their offense has been solid so far, but the Bills are a tough opponent. In tournaments, the Bills’ defense makes sense.
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. If you have any questions whatsoever about how to use the optimizer, or if it’s not working for you, e-mail me at email@example.com. I’ll do my best to get back to you right away. If you don’t have Excel 2010 or later, then shoot me an e-mail with constraints you want, and I’ll run it for you. Also, if you have any ideas for things you’d want to see included in future iterations of this, then I’d also love to hear about them! Thanks, and have fun!!
These two lineups were spit out of the optimizer without using any filters. One for DraftKings and one for FanDuel. Using FantasyPros consensus projections.
QUICK 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. For instance, I’m not keen on using the San Diego defense, so I would remove them using the filters on the optimizer and then run it again. If you have any questions at all, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck this week!
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|