Week 3 DFS Cheat Sheet: FanDuel and DraftKings (UPDATED)
September 21, 2016 | Ian Goldsmith
Welcome to Week 3 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.
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Rashad Jennings is out. Shane Vereen will get the bulk of the work and has some DFS appeal for his price against Washington today.
Kenyan Drake will get the start over Jay Ajayi. This is looking like a huge mess, so I would stay away from it if you can. Ajayi had been the No. 2 back until this week, so who knows how many touches are spread out today.
Delanie Walker is still a game time decision. Don’t use him today.
Brandon Marshall is expected to play, but will be on a snap count. He can be used in some redraft situations, but bump Decker and Enunwa slightly in DFS.
Alshon Jeffery is expected to play. The injury is scary, but the targets should be there as long as he’s okay. Wouldn’t use him in any H2H or 50/50s.
Sammy Watkins won’t play. He had tweeted out that he was ready to go last night, but it appears he has not been cleared by the doctors.
Jamaal Charles is out, which gives Spencer Ware another start. Ware has faced Houston and San Diego so far has a 6 yards per carry average and a 19.7 yards per reception average. That receiving number will go down, but the guy has a ton of upside, even in a tougher matchup with the Jets.
Thomas Rawls is doubtful against the 49ers this week, so Christine Michael will get the lead back work. Michael has looked very good so far this offseason and in the first two games and should be worth your hard earned DFS money. In two games he has 157 yards on 30 touches. The 49ers stopped Todd Gurley Week 1, but the Rams had a total meltdown in that game. Last week though, Fozzy Whittaker went for 100 yards on just 16 carries against them. They will be in Seattle and I expect the Seattle defense to step up, which should allow Michael plenty of work with a lead or at worst a close game.
Sammy Watkins missed every practice this week after having his injured foot stepped on in a walkthrough. He’s questionable, but Rex Ryan says he chances of playing are “not real good.” Sit him no matter what you hear on Sunday. Marquise Goodwin, Robert Woods and Charles Clay get a bump in targets, but against the Cardinals I think this mainly moves the needle toward trying to get the Cardinals’ D/ST on your team.
Antonio Gates is listed as doubtful after missing Friday’s practice. Rookie Hunter Henry will get the start in a great matchup, but he’s still very much a mystery as to how many targets he’ll see and how he’ll do, but I could see throwing him in a DFS tournament due to his low price and nice matchup. If Henry doesn’t take Gates’ targets, then Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams should see an uptick.
Julio Jones didn’t practice on Friday, but coach Dan Quinn seems optimistic about his status for Monday night. If he practices Saturday I’d feel much better about rostering him. Mohamed Sanu on the other hand got in a full practice on Friday and should be ready to go. If Jones looks like he may be hobbled at all, Sanu could see a plethora of targets against a bad defense.
Brandon Marshall got a limited practice in on Friday and is listed as questionable. The Jets are calling him a game-time decision, but he is leaning toward the starting side of things. Unfortunately it is a late afternoon kickoff, which is perilous if Marshall ends up sitting. Either way you look at it though, Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa should see a bit more work.
Willie Snead didn’t practice on Friday due to a toe injury, but could practice on Saturday since they play Monday night. Hopefully we will have a better read on this after practice Saturday, because Snead has a good matchup and Michael Thomas would be a great play if Snead can’t go.
Ka’Deem Carey is listed as doubtful, so rookie Jordan Howard should be the main backup to Jeremy Langford, but with how Langford has looked, I could easily see Howard getting the “hot hand” treatment against the Cowboys.
Alshon Jeffery got a limited practice in on Friday and is listed as questionable. I expect him to play, but he plays Sunday night, so you will want to carry another receiver from that game or Monday night’s game just in case.
Rashad Jennings will play with a cast on his left thumb against Washington Sunday. He was bad last week in a great matchup against the Saints, so I think the cast is an extra reason to drop him off your radar this week.
Delanie Walker is listed as questionable, but didn’t practice on Friday after being limited on Thursday. If he can’t go this does hurt Marcus Mariota, but would funnel even more targets to Tajae Sharpe.
Virgil Green is out with a calf injury. John Phillips will start in his place. C.J. Anderson could see a bump in targets this week.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase still hasn’t named a starter, but we know for sure Arian Foster is out. That leaves Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake, Isaiah Pead and Damien Williams, but Ajayi did lead the backfield in touches after Foster went down. It will be a committee, but if you’re desperate, Ajayi is the start against a weak Browns defense.
Jonathan Stewart is out and Cameron Artis-Payne will get the start, but will split work with Fozzy Whittaker. I think they cancel each other out too much with Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton around for short yardage. Whittaker could have some use in PPR, but the Vikings defense is stout.
Chris Ivory is listed as questionable, but does look like he will play. How much he will play is up in the air, but he would likely get all the goal line looks if he is active.
Zach Ertz has been ruled out, which elevates Trey Burton once again. Burton scored a touchdown against the Bears last week and gets a good matchup with the Steelers weak secondary this week.
Sample FanDuel Lineups
I’m all aboard the Dolphins stacks this week. There are some moments in life when things aren’t too good to be true, but rather exactly what they appear to be on the surface. Don’t be scared of using the Fins. Be bold. Cleveland is TERRIBLE. (Insert five synonyms for terrible here). Tannehill should have his best day of the season, whilst throwing darts repeatedly to Parker and Landry. I actually initially had Landry AND Parker in this lineup, but considering I already had three Fins in the lineup, I decided to use Travis Benjamin instead. That being said, I think a four (or five with Ajayi) Dolphin stack is perfectly acceptable. That’s how much I love this stack this week, including the defense, who gets to go up against a rookie QB with Terrelle Pryor as his #1 receiver (Coleman broke his hand in practice on Wednesday). I’m tossing in two of my favorite RB plays this week in Murray and Gordon. Murray’s running matchup isn’t great, but because he has been used so extensively in the passing game for the Titans, he is a very solid play once again this week. Gordon will clearly be a 3-down back with Woodhead gone. McCluster will take over the Woodhead role for San Diego, but he is not at that same caliber, though he does know Whisenhunt’s system, which should bode well for some low-end value. Rounding out the lineup are two Falcons: Julio Jones and Jacob Tamme, both of whom I love against a terrible Saints D in the Dome. Saints kicker Wil Lutz rounds out the lineup, and is a fairly safe bet to hit value.
I’m dipping back into the Mariota/Sharpe well as I did last week. Sharpe, unfortunately, had an underwhelming game against Detroit, but a game against Oakland should get him right back into the thick of fantasy relevancy. Oakland is giving up more than 400 yards per week to opposing QBs, and is worst against both QBs and WRs in this early season. I mean, they are WAY worse than anybody else so far. I plugged in another cheap WR in Mike Wallace, who is getting little love from pricing algorithms…to our benefit. He faces a Jags team that just game up two 40+ yard TDs to the Chargers, and Wallace is, in my opinion, a better deep threat than Travis Benjamin. For the price, he is very enticing this week. Because of the two cheap WRs, I was able to plug in both David Johnson and Zeke Elliott. The Chicago defensive front is in shambles and should not get much pressure on Dak. If that is the case, then Zeke should have a lot more room to run than he has had in the first couple of weeks. Given his two fumbles last week, which put him in Jason Garrett’s doghouse, I’m not using him in cash games as one more blip could spell extended time on the sidelines. The only reason Johnson didn’t have a monster game last week was because Arizona went up on Tampa too big too early. He was pulled in favor of Chris Johnson late, who scored what should have been DJ’s TD. I say he get’s in the end zone this week in what should be a closer game than last week’s 40-7 throttling. OBJ, Tamme, Lutz and the Fins DST rounds out the lineup.
While I have Brees as my #1 overall QB for the week (as does the entire TFF Staff), Ryan is not far behind. I currently have Luck at 2, but might move Ryan there before all is said and done. The matchup is just too good, and he has been on fire so far this early season; he’s either the #1 or #2 QB in fantasy land, depending on the site. It’s amazing what he can do with a healthy team around him. I’ve stacked him here with Julio, and would be fine with a Ryan/Julio/Tamme stack, though I left Tamme off here. I like Coleman in PPR sites, but not on FanDuel. You could use Devonta in GPPs, as his ownership will likely be low due to his slow start and the nature of the RB situation in Atlanta. I’m taking a bit of a risk here with Cobb, who has not been that good to start the season. However, I’m guessing Nelson will be covered by Darius Slay, which should force Rodgers to look towards Cobb a bit more often this week. Riddick is more of a PPR play, but given his increased workload as the new RB1 in Detroit, he should be relevant in 0.5 PPR as well..and even in your standard redraft leagues. Fleener, I’ll admit, is a risky play here. He redefined what it means to drop passes last week against the Giants. He could have had a huge game, but instead was pathetic. The matchup here, however, as Atlanta gives up roughly 20 FP per game to TEs in 0.5 PPR setups. He’s worth a shot only if you are entering multiple lineups into a tournament.
Sunday GPP Update
I’ve decided to pay up a bit more for QB here, going with Andrew Luck against a very beatable San Diego defense that is giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs in this young season. I’ve paired him with Phillip Dorsett, who will take over as Indy’s WR2 with Moncrief out for at least a month. I actually like Dorsett more than Hilton this week as Hilton will be guarded by Jason Verrett. Gordon is a near must play for me this week at RB in the same game. He should see 80%+ of the snaps this week with Woodhead out. McCluster could take some 3rd down work, but he won’t detract from Gordon’s fantasy value. I’ve lined him up with Christine Michael, who is in line for 20-25 touches himself this week at home against the Niners. He’s a bit more enticing on some other sites where his price is lower (hello, Yahoo!…he’s $14 there, only 7% of salary), but I like his upside nonetheless. Larry Fitzgerald and Jarvis Landry round out my WRs. They should both easily see double digit touches, with Landry a candidate to hit 15+. I’m being a big risky here paying up for Reed, but he’s due to break out. I’m not using him in tournaments, but I love his upside. The Giants gave up a 9/66 line to Jason Witten in Week 1; the only reason they stopped Coby Fleener last week was because Coby Fleener decided he wanted to drop everything that came his way…ugh. Anyways, if Cousins is just marginally better in the red zone, then Reed could have a fantastic game. I love Lambo at kicker in what should be a very high scoring game, and the Dolphins are easily (EASILY) my favorite DST this week.
Sample DraftKings Lineups
DraftKings Lineup Configurations
The San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts game has one of the highest over/under scores via Vegas on the slate. The Chargers and Colts both have high-powered offenses, and scoring should come easily. Philip Rivers has been proving that he can continue to excel, even without star wide receivers, and Travis Benjamin stepped into Kenaan Allen’s role as “target machine” nicely. He found the end zone twice last week, and he should continue to find it at least once per week, especially now that Danny Woodhead is out for the season. Speaking of which, Melvin Gordon gets the nod at running back. There was recently a study that suggests the success of a quarterback, in fantasy, leads to the success of the WR1, which then leads to the success of the RB1, making the best stack a QB, WR1, and RB1. That is exactly what this lineup has done. Fill out the rest with a few valuable options. Theo Riddick is seeing about five targets per game, and his chances of finding the end zone warrant his price tag. DeSean Jackson was open all last week, but Kirk Cousins simply missed him. They will be working on that in practice this week. Brandin Cooks and the New Orleans Saints have a huge over/under this week, so his chances of scoring a rather good. Jason Witten is a target machine, which is all one can ask for in a tight end. Speaking of target machines, Marvin Jones Jr. has double-digit targets in both of his first two starts. The lineup can be completed with the Houston Texans defense, as the Vegas over/under is low, and the New England Patriots could soon have to resort to Julian Edelman at the quarterback position.
In 50/50 contests, consistency is key. Drew Brees at home is the definition of consistency, so using him with both Brandin Cooks and Coby Fleener is a smart cash game move. Fleener looked horrible week one, he got better week two, and he is poised to finally have a great game week three. He is starting to see more targets, and Brees could undoubtedly find him in the end zone. Brandin Cooks is simply a great wide receiver. He does not need Brees to make him great; he already is great. Brees will look for him early and often. Melvin Gordon, with Danny Woodhead out for the season, is going to see a huge uptick in playing time and production. Use him in all leagues until his price tag goes up. C.J. Anderson has been playing well this season, and it is clear that he is a big part of the Denver Broncos’ offensive game plan. Marvin Jones Jr., as previously mentioned, has double-digit targets in both of his first two starts, making him a fantastic option in all leagues at his price point. Cole Beasley has been surprisingly good of recent, as the Cowboys are forcing him the ball, and his price tag is very low. Travis Benjamin is the new Keenan Allen, but with a much lower price tag; and finally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be able to hold the Los Angeles Rams to a minimum in the points scored category.
This is going to take a very strong stomach to do, but rostering Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins offense, including DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed, is a high-upside play in tournaments this week. Cousins has been missing a lot of throws. He should have torched the Dallas Cowboys last weekend, but he continuously missed DeSean Jackson in the red zone. He has been making quite a few mistakes, but that is going to correct itself over time. He is going to start hitting those throws, and when he does, the Redskins are going to have a very scary, explosive offense. This is crunch time for the Redskins’ season already. Two division losses in three games is not ideal for a playoff run late in the season. The team knows that. They will open up. Cousins simply has to show up and make throws. Melvin Gordon, again, is going to see an increased workload this week with Danny Woodhead out for the season. Giovani Bernard had a huge game in the receiving department last week, and he will look to build on that. Marvin Jones Jr., again, is a high-target wide receiver with great consistency and upside. Larry Fitzgerald is a target machine in the red zone, and he is not showing his age one bit. Finally, Travis Benjamin – as stated prior – is a great option in all leagues, and the Oakland Raiders should be able to handle the Tennessee Titans’ struggling offense.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!!
Note: Links below will be live on Friday. Due to a request, I will be including a step-by-step process with screen-caps so you can see how to use it to it’s fullest extent.
These two lineups were spit out of the optimizer without using any filters. One for DraftKings and one for FanDuel.
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 email@example.com. 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|