Week 5 DFS Cheat Sheet: FanDuel and DraftKings (UPDATED)
October 8, 2016 | Ian Goldsmith
Welcome to Week 5 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!
Note: The above cheat sheet was written mostly by Doug Shain (@bankster17 on Twitter). Please give him a follow if you haven’t already done so.
20-25 MPH winds with gusts of 35-40 MPH are expected in Sunday’s Redskins-Ravens game. This could hurt both passing games to an extent.
The Giants will try to get more targets to OBJ early in the game to get him going. This looks like a get well game for him.
Rob Gronkowski will play. With Brady back, he should at least be in Top-10 consideration.
Kenneth Dixon remains T West’s backup.
Julian Edelman will play and makes for a good start.
LeSean McCoy will play.
Ka’Deem Carey will play. He could sneak a few receptions from Howard, but Howard is the lead back and will get plenty of work.
Eddie Royal is still a game-time decision. Hope he plays for Hoyer, but I’d stay away from him and lean Meredith for a cheap play.
Antonio Gates will play, but could be limited. I’d stay away from this situation.
Cam Newton has been ruled out for Monday night. Derek Anderson will get the start and has DFS and streamer appeal in a good matchup. Anderson shouldn’t hurt Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen and could possibly help them, as Anderson targets the top two guys more than Newton usually.
Kenneth Dixon will play this week, but will likely be eased back in and could wear a leg brace for this game. That should once again give Terrance West the bulk of the work against a Washington defense that has been the worst in the league against running backs.
The New York Post Jets beat writer hears that Quincy Enunwa’s questionable tag is nothing to worry about and that he should be fine for Sunday’s game. This is good news because without Eric Decker and against a team that should be able to score on them, Enunwa will get plenty of work if healthy and be worth a DFS play.
Larry Donnell is out with a concussion, so Will Tye will get the full amount of snaps for the Giants and gets a good matchup with the Packers. He makes for a good FDS and redraft play.
Rashad Jennings is unlikely to play this week, giving Orleans Darkwa the start, but Bobby Rainey could see more work, especially if the Packers can get a lead, which is very much in the realm of possibility in Green Bay. Rainey had nine targets last week with Jennings out and should probably see something similar in Green Bay.
Antonio Gates looks like he will play this week against Oakland. This hurts Hunter Henry even though we aren’t sure how much Gates will play. This is a wait to see week for these two.
Paxton Lynch will most likely get the start over Trevor Siemian, who is close to being able to go, but the Broncos will probably err on the side of caution. Lynch has a stronger arm than Siemian and looked decent last week. I wouldn’t downgrade any of the Broncos fantasy players this week if Lynch starts.
Charles Sims hasn’t practiced this week and is listed as doubtful. Jacquizz Rodgers will get the start and has some appeal as a cheap starter. Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said he is “extremely” confident in Rodgers’ ability to handle the load.
Dwayne Washington is listed as doubtful to play this week against the Eagles. That will give Theo Riddick the start and bulk of the work. He should be used extensively in the passing game with Eric Ebron also out this week.
Marvin Jones got a full practice in on Friday and will play despite the questionable tag. The Eagles defense is stronger against the run than the pass, so there is room for Jones to have a nice game as the main target with Eric Ebron out.
Rob Gronkowski is listed as questionable after another week of limited practices. Tom Brady should help, but it’s tough to know where Gronk is right now. I won’t be using him in DFS, but if you need him in redraft, I’d probably risk it.
Julian Edelman “didn’t seem to be restricted in his movements” in Friday’s practice according to Patriots’ beat reporter Mike Reiss. He will see plenty of work on Sunday, especially in PPR formats.
Dez Bryant won’t play this week, so Brice Butler gets another start. He had a 5/41/1 line on nine targets against San Francisco with Bryant out last week and has some appeal this week.
Sample FanDuel Lineups
Like many, I am enamored with Carson Wentz this week. His matchup could not be better, heading into a dome after a bye week to face a woeful Lions defense that has given up the 2nd most FPs to quarterbacks through four weeks. What else do the Lions do terribly? Guard TEs. As such, I have stacked Wentz with Zach Ertz to form the powerful Triple Z combo. Both should be safe plays. Ertz might have been a bit riskier, but he’s 100% and his price is only $5,600…a steal for what he can produce.
At RB, more safety as I’m going with the Bears’ new starter in Jordan Howard and the comeback kid DeMarco Murray. It is so exciting to see Murray involved heavily in an offense again, and he has propped up his floor with a bettered receiving game. We love targets in fantasy, even on 0.5 PPR sites like FanDuel.
Did someone say targets? Well, look no further than this receiver corps of Steve Smith (22 targets in his past two games), Michael Crabtree (23 targets…and 3 TDs…in his past two games), and Jordy Nelson, who is averaging 9 targets a game and has found the end zone in each of his first three weeks. At kicker, I’m plugging in another Eagle in Caleb Sturgis. The lineup is finished with the safest DST of them all…Minnesota.
I’m going a little unorthodox here with a QB/RB stack of Tom Brady and LeGarrette Blount. Expect explosiveness from Brady from the get-go, and Blount to dominate the touched in the 2nd half. Everybody loves pissed-off Brady (except Goodell…and, perhaps, the Browns…what did they do to deserve this?!). I’m not stacking a WR with Brady, as he is too damn good at distributing the ball. Take a chance with Edelman, Hogan, or even Bennett if you want. I’m probably staying away.
WR, er…RB….Le’Veon Bell slots into this lineup. He was set up as a WR on about 1/4 of his plays…even if he has a bad rushing game (he won’t), he’ll tack on yardage through the air. Steve Smith and Ertz make appearances again. Filling out the other two WR slots are Quincy Enunwa and Mike Evans. Enunwa is starting with Decker out, and the Jets will likely have to pass all game long. I’m expecting something along the lines of a 6-70 line, hoping that he finds the end zone. Mike Evans is no Julio, but he is still Mike Evans and this is not the 2015 Panthers DST that he is facing. Until they prove otherwise, I’ll roll against them in GPPS. The Bills DST rounds out the lineup as they have played well so far and have a solid chance for TOs against Case Keenum and the Rams…though I do expect the Rams to win.
Hoyer? Hoyer? Has anybody seen the pricing on Hoyer? Still $6,000? What? After two solid games and a matchup against the pitiful Colts, who are jet-lagged? Just roster him already. I put Ertz in again here, but you could easily slot in Zach Miller for the stack.
At RB, my favorite play of the week is C.J. Anderson, who gets to face Atlanta at home. I’m so excited to see what he can do against them. If the Falcons even try a little bit to stop Thomas and Sanders, CJ will have a big day. I also love fellow Bronco Brandon McManus to score plenty of fake points in the thin mountain air. Terrence West could lost some work to rookie Kenneth Dixon, but I’m betting Harbaugh stays with the hot hand here.
Antonio Brown is always in play; the Jets have nobody that can realistically slow him down. Next to him and Jordy at WR is Travis Benjamin, who gets a matchup against a Raiders team allowing 215 yards and 1.5 TDs to WRs on average through four weeks. He’s definitely in play for 100+ yards and a score here.
This updated lineup can be used in both cash games and tournaments. Many of the same faces from the earlier lineups dot this lineup. Most notably, you’ll see Brady, Jordy Nelson, Zach Ertz, Steve Smith, and Le’Veon Bell. This is the first lineup in which I’ve included DeAndre Washington, who has a chance for a massive game against San Diego. Of course, be wary of his workload given that it could easily be a near 50/50 split with Jalen Richard. Still, even 15 touches should be enough for Washington to hit value at this ridiculously low price. I’m a little weary running with Oakland’s defense, but I had to make a concession somewhere given I paid up for Brady, Bell, AJ Green and Jordy Nelson.
Sample DraftKings Lineups
DraftKings Lineup Configurations
On Thursday, it becomes a question of whether or not to use anyone from the Thursday Night Football game. This week, David Johnson is the player to use. Despite his lackluster play in a few of his games this season, he is averaging at least three targets per game on the season and playing on 95 percent of the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive snaps. His potential to find the end zone is fantastic, especially against the uptempo San Francisco 49ers’ squad. Ryan Fitzpatrick makes for an interesting play at the quarterback position, and pairing him with Brandon Marshall only makes sense. Fitzpatrick has been up and down this season, but his upside is through the roof and his floor is really not all that low. Marshall is one of the best wide receivers in the league, and he will continue to dominate opposing cornerbacks. Devonta Freeman should see extended play this week against the Denver Broncos in Denver. Tevin Coleman is supposed to play, but his health is top priority. If anything were to happen, the Atlanta Falcons would remove him from the game immediately. Playing two tight ends is a great way to sneak Antonio Brown into an already expensive lineup. Zach Ertz is returning from injury, and he is a huge part of the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense, while Eric Ebron, as long as he sees the field, should see around five to seven targets, making him as good, if not better, than most wide receivers around the $3,000-$4,000 price range. The Washington Redskins’ defense is cheap and effective, even though they have looked defeated of recent. Finally, the old reliable Steve Smith Sr. should see over 10 targets this week on his way to another, almost predictable, performance.
Steve Smith Sr., Zach Ertz, and the Washington Redskins’ defense are all mentioned in the prior paragraph, so refer to that if interested in why they were chosen. Aaron Rodgers has a very high floor, which makes him one of the better quarterbacks in the league to use in 50/50 contests. He is also perfect for pairing, as Jordy Nelson is also one of the best 50/50 contest options in the league. He is going to be targeted around 10-15 times this week, as usual, and Rodgers should find him on a majority of those targets. This mini-stack is a no-brainer. Jordan Howard is officially the Chicago Bears’ workhorse running back, and the coach confirmed that the Bears will rely on him heavily this week. That is great news for fantasy owners. DeMarco Murray has looked unstoppable for the Tennessee Titans. This has fantasy owners in heaven, while Derrick Henry owners are currently sitting in purgatory, waiting this one out. Use Murray until otherwise instructed, solider. Quincy Enunwa is another interesting fantasy standout over the first quarter of the season. He is seeing a lot of targets from Ryan Fitzpatrick, and he is hitting value more often than not. His low price tag allows for one high-priced quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. Terrelle Pryor Sr. has been great for the Cleveland Browns this season. He is hitting value consistently, and he also has the upside of a low-end number two WR. This lineup is very safe with a little bit of upside.
In tournaments, upside is the most important factor. Tom Brady is coming back this week, and he will return with a vengeance. The New England Patriots have been scoring on teams without him, and Julian Edelman is undoubtedly ready to find the end zone, perhaps a couple of times. Rob Gronkowski is not worth his price tag, as Zach Ertz if far-and-away the best tight end on the board, so using Edelman over ‘The Gronk’ is the right move. LaGarrette Blount should also be used. Recent studies show that using a quarterback, running back, and the top wide receiver from the same team results in the greatest amount of upside each week. That is exactly what this lineup does. Lamar Miller gets a tough matchup this week against the Minnesota Vikings’ stellar defense, but he touches the ball so many times that the end zone is never too far away. Miller’s price tag has dropped, but he will end the season in the top five as far as running backs are concerned. Add him while fantasy owners are giving up. The low price tags of Tavon Austin and Cole Beasley, each of which is seeing a lot of targets and could find the end zone, allow for Odell Beckham Jr. to find his way into the flex. He has been disappointing this season, but all that emotional energy is going to explode one of these games. It’ll likely be against the Green Bay Packers’ less-than-impressive secondary this week, as the Giants are going to be forced to throw the ball. Finish this lineup off with the Patriots’ defense, as they should hold the Cleveland Browns to under 14 points without an issue.
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|