Week 6 DFS Cheat Sheet: FanDuel and DraftKings (UPDATED)
October 16, 2016 | Ian Goldsmith
Welcome to Week 6 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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Dez Bryant says he feels good enough to play, but still remains a game-time decision.
Will Fuller isn’t expected to play tonight. DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller should see all the work they can handle.
Dwayne Washington won’t play today. Zach Zenner and Justin Forsett wills split work. This situation is tough for fantasy.
Kelvin Benjamin, Rob Gronkowski, LeGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett, Julian Edelman, Gary Barnidge, Jonathan Stewart, and Mike Wallace will all play today.
There are some weather concerns on the west coast this Sunday. Seattle has a high wind warming for Saturday night, but it will be decreasing from crazy gusts up to 50 mph to a slightly more reasonable 16-23 mph during the day with a 60 percent chance of rain. I’m pretty much okay with that for the passing games, but I will be checking on the on field reports Sunday morning.
The other rainy spot will be in Oakland, where the wind will be gusting around 20 mph with a 60 percent chance of rain. I could see the wind hurting Alex Smith’s weaker arm, but he also doesn’t pass down the field too far to test that wind or his arm, so he could still be fine in a good matchup.
Jonathan Stewart practiced all week and should start in a great matchup against the Saints worst run defense in the league. The team does want Cam Newton to protect himself more, so there’s a chance Stewart at least gets a few more goal line attempts moving forward. Of course, if he has any trouble, they would quickly go back to Newton and his usually great success rate at the goal line.
Theo Riddick will not play Sunday against the Rams due to an injured ankle and Dwayne Washington is listed as questionable after returning to a limited practice on Friday. Beat reporter Michael Rothstein believes Washington will end up playing and splitting time with newly acquired Justin Forsett. This is a situation to monitor, but I don’t expect there is enough upside here to cash in on.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Friday that Arian Foster will be a game-time decision against the Steelers on Sunday. If he can’t go Jay Ajayi would likely get the start. The Steelers should get a lead in this one and their run defense is their strength. Foster has the most upside if he can play though, as he would likely be heavily used in the passing game.
Rashad Jennings is listed as questionable, but expects to play after missing the last three weeks due to an injured thumb. The Ravens defense has been tough this season, especially against the run. If he does play I would stay away and maybe lean toward Bobby Rainey, especially in PPR leagues.
Dez Bryant got limited practices in this week and is listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game against the Packers. He appears to be a game-time decision and we may not know if he’ll go until he warms up. Unless we hear otherwise earlier, I’d stay away from him for fantasy this week.
Steve Smith is doubtful for their game against the Giants. That designation is better than OUT as we look toward the future, but he will not go this week. Mike Wallace, Dennis Pitta, Kamar Aiken and Breshad Perriman all could see an uptick, but it’s tough to know who will see the most.
Sammie Coates practiced in full on Friday, but it was also revealed that he has a broken index finger to go with the cut on his left hand. Markus Wheaton is out for this game with a shoulder injury, so if Coates does play, his upside is high. If he doesn’t, Eli Rogers should make for a decent play, as he is now completely off the injury report after missing the last two games.
Jordan Reed has a concussion and is listed as questionable, but it would be a minor miracle if he played. Vernon Davis and Niles Paul figure to share TE duties in Reed’s absence, but neither is worth a fantasy play against the Eagles defense this week. This should help Jamison Crowder the most, but also the Eagles D/ST.
Carson Palmer practiced in full this week and will be good to go in a great matchup with the Jets on Monday night. I’ll be playing a few Monday night included DFS games to get Palmer and John Brown in my lineups.
Cam Newton is listed as questionable, but did get a full practice in on Friday and will play unless there is some kind of setback. Last season Newton threw for 331 yards, five touchdowns to just one interception and ran for 49 yards in the Superdome.
Jay Cutler is still out, so Brian Hoyer will go for his fourth straight 300 plus yard game, this week at home against the Jaguars. Cameron Meredith, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Miller and Eddie Royal should all suit up this week, with Royal looking the iffiest.
Cody Kessler will start for the Browns against the Titans on Sunday. He has been average, but that’s better than many of the alternatives. He should be able to keep Terrelle Pryor, Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson at least fantasy relevant.
James Starks hurt his knee on Tuesday and then had to leave due to a death in his family and has now been ruled out for this week. . Eddie Lacy on the other hand did get three limited practices in this week. He is listed as questionable and was non-committal when asked if he’ll play, but after the practices, there’s a good chance he suits up and without Starks to take away some receptions, he should see an uptick in work.
Latavius Murray has been ruled out with turf toe for the second straight week. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard figure to share backfield duties again this Sunday. They split work evenly last week, but Richard was more productive. Kansas City has allowed a 4.8 yards per carry mark on the ground this season, so both backs have some upside in a game where they might get extra use due to wind.
Jeremy Hill started this week with his arm in a sling, but practiced all week and isn’t on the injury report. He should be fine to go, but game flow is probably more in Giovani Bernard’s favor this week, as the Patriots will likely get the lead and the Bengals will need to be in pass mode without Tyler Eifert and with Belichick’s defense probably keying on A.J. Green.
Julius Thomas put in a full week of practice and is not listed on the injury report. He has some nice upside this week in Chicago. He’s a must start in redraft and a decent DFS play for his touchdown potential.
Eric Ebron remains out with ankle and knee injuries. Anquan Boldin should see a slight jump in value.
Sample FanDuel Lineups
Note on Thursday: As you all are probably aware by now, I hate to roster players on Thursdays. However, there are exceptions, and I think that Denver is in a very good place this week to score a ton of points against a broken down Chargers defense. If I were to roster players from the game, I’d be looking to a stack with Trevor Siemian and either Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders. The Chargers’ secondary could be beaten by anybody at this point. The team’s only shining light is Joey Bosa, who finally showed his promise after a chaotic offseason. I’m more than happy to roll out the Denver defense, as is always the case. Update: Well, San Diego played their hearts out. Though they won, the game was basically fantasy wasteland except for rookie Hunter Henry, who was absolutely dominant, and kicker Josh Lambo, who was 4/4 on FGs en route to a solid 13 FP outing.
This lineup is only Thursday eligible because of the defense. If you want to move it to a Sunday lineup, you can easily swap out Denver’s DST for Buffalo or any number of teams. Rivers may throw for a ton of yards, but he’s bound to make mistakes with his patchwork offensive line giving him little time against the likes of Von Miller and Co.
At QB, I’ve slotted in Mr. Dink-and-Dunk, Alex Smith. He has a dream matchup against an Oakland secondary that is giving up nearly 340 yards per game through the air. They have also given up 12 passing touchdowns. Smith gets the bonus of having Jamaal Charles starting this week, which is an upgrade over Spencer Ware. I’ve stacked Smith with Jeremy Maclin, who will go largely overlooked this week as people flock to the Doug Baldwin, Sammie Coates, etc. In the two games against the Raiders last year, Maclin caught 12 passes for 149 yards and 3 TDs.
I love Lamar Miller this week against a Colts defense that is giving up points aplenty to opposing backs, especially those who can catch the ball as well. Next to him sits Christine Michael, who is fresh off a bye week and will get a heavy workload against a porous Falcons D. The Falcons are worse against RBs who can catch the ball, so C.J. Spiller could be a sneaky play as well if you want a very risky, low-owned option in tournaments.
After the day Cameron Meredith just had against the Colts, I’m happy to utilize Will Fuller this week against them. I think Miller will be very effective on the ground, opening up the air game. I’m actually considering using – GASP! – Brock Osweiler. Rounding out the lineup, I’m using two more Seahawks in the aforementioned Doug Baldwin, and TE Jimmy Graham, who the Hawks have finally remembered is a good player.
Speaking of Seahawks, there is probably not a player with higher upside this week than Russell Wilson. The Falcons have given up 14 passing TDs this year, tied with the Lions for worst in the league. Wilson’s floor here is 250 and 2 TDs, which would be enough to exceed 2X value, but I’m expecting a lot more. Expect fireworks. He’s stacked with Baldwin.
Jonathan Stewart should be back and gets to face a Saints team that has given up NINE touchdowns to opposing backs…in four weeks. Yikes. If he’s playing, I’m starting him, especially at his discounted price. I wouldn’t use him in cash games given the question marks on his health so far, but he’s full go in tournaments. The other RB here is LeSean McCoy. The Niners have allowed a 100 yard rusher in four straight weeks. In the past three weeks, the lead backs have scored 5 times. McCoy should not disappoint and is a top 3 RB for me this week.
I love Sammie Coates again this week. Don’t be scared of reports of a big cast on his hand. He got a cut last week and it is just a precautionary measure. Unless you hear differently, he’s worth using. Odell Beckham should have a big game this week. He’s due, and I expect Manning to feed him against the Ravens. I wouldn’t even consider touching him in cash games, but in tournaments I’m all over him, especially at his price.
Coby Fleener is a bit risky, obviously, but I love Drew Brees at home. This is more of a bet on Brees than Fleener. He is not a safe play, but his upside is huge. The Titans are my favorite cheap streaming option this week at DST facing Cody Kessler and the Cleveland Browns.
Alex Smith gets no love, but he should. He has the best matchup of any QB this week, and should be a lock to hit 2X value, which is all you can ask for…I expect more, of course, given that the Raiders can’t stop anyone. I’ve teamed him here with Jeremy Maclin as the Raiders, not surprisingly, also fail to stop WRs. At RB, I’m paying up this week, especially in cash games. Most of the expensive RBs have good matchups and are worth paying for. Whether it’s Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy, Lamar Miller, Christine Michael, or someone else, they are worth using. I’m using McCoy and Michael here as I love both of their matchups and the prices are right.
I actually didn’t want to pay up for Antonio Brown, but given that Sammie Coates could well be sitting out the game, Antonio is a lock for 20 FP, and has a ceiling for MUCH more. I’m looking for floor here given this is a cash lineup, so AB is worth using. I’ll still likely avoid him in tournaments. Martellus Bennett slots in at TE here. I love how often Brady looked to him in the red zone last week. I expect Gronk to start getting more involved, but this is looking like a two-headed TE monster. I had to save money somewhere, so I plugged in Cameron Meredith. I’m not thrilled to use him, but given his high ownership, I don’t mind using him in cash games. I’ll likely avoid him in tournaments, however, as he doesn’t offer a ton of differential.
As Sunday approaches, the more and more I’m beginning to like a Brock Osweiler/Will Fuller stack. Given the Indy defense (or lack thereof), I’m happy to use both, even though Brock has not really had a standout outing this year so far. I think this is a breakout week, and I’m happy to use him in tournaments. It is a little confounding, however, that he is more expensive than Alex Smith. Smith is easily more consistent and has the better matchup this week. As you can see above, I’m enamored with Smith in cash games this week, and he’s also a good fit in tournaments. But I digress…
LeSean McCoy is a fixture for my lineups this week given the matchup. I’m using him in all formats. With him here, I’m plugging in Ryan Mathews, who has been remarkably (surprisingly) consistent this year. In three of the four games he’s played in, he’s scored at least 13.7 FP on FanDuel. He gets an excellent matchup this week against a Washington team giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to RBs on the season. Going relatively cheap at QB and one RB slot has allowed me to plug in T.Y. Hilton and Kelvin Benjamin. Both are tournament only plays for me this week, but both have very high upside. Hilton historically dominates Houston in Houston, and Benjamin gets the Saints…Just make sure he’s starting before using him on Sunday as he’s been questionable with knee soreness. The game is early, so you should know an hour or so ahead of kickoff about his status.
Sample DraftKings Lineups
DraftKings Lineup Configurations
On Thursday, there are only a couple of players to target. Melvin Gordon and Demaryius Thomas are among them, as both Gordon and Thomas have been fantastic this season. Gordon stepped into a larger role this season when Danny Woodhead went down with an injury. He is getting a majority of the carries and, more importantly, targets. Thomas has been benefiting from the arm of Trevor Seimian, a pleasant surprise for the Denver Broncos after a horrible season from Peyton Manning. Cam Newton is currently dealing with a concussion, but he should be able to return to action this week. Pairing him with a tight end of Greg Olsen’s caliber is a great move in both cash games and tournaments. Carlos Hyde is still too cheap. Use him in cash games. He should continue to see around 20-25 carries per game, a couple of receptions, and around 20 fantasy points. The San Francisco 49ers’ offense is so fast that Hyde is very likely to at least hit value. John Brown is a target-heavy wide receiver with a great matchup against the New York Jets’ terrible pass defense this week. He is very valuable. Sammie Coates is dealing with a hand injury, but he should be good to go before Sunday. He has huge upside and makes for a great tournament option. Finally, Cole Beasley, who has been a target-machine this season, and the Arizona Cardinals’ defense rounds out this safe, high-upside lineup.
In cash games, it is important to get players that are going to hit value. Ownership percentages really do not matter too much. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and, despite his struggles in the second half of games, he generally hits value in the first half. Pairing him with someone who is going to be targeted 10 times, like Jordy Nelson, is a great cash game move. As far as running backs go, Carlos Hyde obviously makes for a great play. He was mentioned in the Thursday Cash/GPP section. DeMarco Murray has been hitting value every week this season, and he should continue to play well, especially this week against the Cleveland Browns. Jeremy Maclin does not have too much upside, but his floor is high. That is more important than his ceiling in cash games. Cole Beasley was mentioned previously, so the reason for using him should be obvious. As far as a defense goes, use the Colts. The Colts are not great defensively, but they are cheap, and defenses are generally unpredictable, as far as fantasy is concerned. Coby Fleener is one of the best, cheap tight ends on the board, and the Saints should start utilizing him quite a bit more. Finally, Steve Smith Sr. is injured right now, but he still might play. If he does play, he will be a solid cash game option, as he sees a lot of targets and tends to convert on them. This lineup is very safe.
In tournaments, high upside and a low own-percentage is essential to winning. Tyrod Taylor is generally overlooked, and he gets a great matchup against San Francisco. Without Sammie Watkins , it’ll be difficult for Taylor to succeed, but wide outs like Marquise Goodwin are going to have to step up. For his price tag, Goodwin makes for a great tournament option. As far as running backs are concerned, LeSean “Shady” McCoy should definitely be used. He is a strong running back with a great ability to succeed in the pass game. Taylor will benefit from McCoy screens, and so will your fantasy team. Le’Veon Bell is one of the best in the league, and getting him with Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr. is a steal. Antonio Brown is great and all, but Jones and Beckham have a higher ceiling when taking their price tag and ownership percentages into consideration. Use them both. Fill out the roster with cheaper, solid options. Vernon Davis could start this week for the Washington Redskins, as Jordan Reed is dealing with concussion-like symptoms. If he does, he will be a strong addition to any fantasy team. Finally, Tavon Austin is a target machine, and the Oakland Raiders are surprisingly good on defense…from a fantasy perspective.
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: 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 New Orleans DST this week, so I would remove them using the filters on the optimizer and then run it again. The projections for New Orleans DST were likely made assuming Cam Newton was still out, as such they got a bump based on potentially facing Derek Anderson. Similarly, I think projections are too high for Theo Riddick. As such, when I run the optimizer for myself, I exclude him.
Update!: Theo Riddick is OUT! So, run your optimizer without him!!! I will re-post optimized lineups for those that included him above. Justin Forsett is only available on FanDuel this weekend. He makes for an interesting, albeit very risky, punt play.
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|