Week 9 DFS Cheat Sheet: FanDuel and DraftKings (UPDATED)
November 2, 2016 | Ian Goldsmith
Welcome to Week 9 of the 2016 The Fake Football 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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At the moment, FanDuel has Raiders WR Johnny Holton priced at $0. Yes, $0. As far as I know, it is FanDuel’s policy not to change pricing after they have already locked, so we should expect Holton’s price to stay at $0 for the week. This opens up a number of possibilities that would obviously never be possible. He likely won’t get you more than 1 or 2 FP at the very most (probably a 0), so you’d need your studs to go off. Still….it is VERY intriguing.
Even though they’ve tried to play coy with Ben Roethlisberger’s status, all signs continue to point toward him playing.
Carlos Hyde will be out this week according to Ian Rapoport. DuJuan Harris is the only player I’d play in his place, but he coould lose carries to committee members.
Dwayne Allen should play. He’s not a recommended play.
The Saints will likely ride the “hot hand” at running back. Hightower and Ingram have stand alone value this week, but they are both volatile. Ingram is still the better player, so I like his odds to put up better numbers, but Payton sure seems to love Hightower. Tough call.
Spencer Ware is out with a concussion, while Jamaal Charles is out for the season. That puts Charcandrick West as the lead back in a good matchup at home. He’s a no-doubt play this week in DFS and redraft.
Carlos Hyde practiced in a non-contact jersey this week, so his status is still very uncertain. If he can’t go, DuJuan Harris is expected to be the lead back, but he doesn’t have a solid grip on the job with Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn also in the mix.
Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor will play without restriction. Cody Kessler gets the start and the Cowboys slow games down to a snails pace. I don’t love their upside for DFS, but like Pryor more than Coleman in his first game back.
Jerick McKinnon looks like he will play, but he is dealing with a high ankle sprain and Matt Asiata isn’t going anywhere. There’s not a clear play between these two this week.
Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin will both play, but Benjamin’s injury could sap him of some of his explosion. I’d prefer Williams in DFS.
Hunter Henry won’t be able to go, so Antonio Gates should see a few more targets and is in a good matchup. His upside isn’t great because he’s really just a shell of his former self, but he can still box out with the best of them, so receptions and possibly touchdown(s) should be in play.
LeSean McCoy plans on playing and should be able to go for the Monday night game against Seattle. It’s not a great matchup, but he should be in your redraft lineups. I’d stay away from him in DFS except in a contrarian GPP.
DeMarco Murray got full practices in Thursday and Friday and is good to start as usual. The Chargers run defense has been fairly stout this season, so I’m not going all in on Murray for DFS, but there’s no reason to not play him in redraft.
Delanie Walker is a game-time decision. He missed Friday’s practice after suffering a groin injury Thursday. It may have been extremely minor and he’ll be good Sunday, but it is no doubt worrisome.
Ben Roethlisberger should play against Baltimore and he helps the offensive players without a doubt. His health and recent poor play on the road makes him a little iffy as a solid quarterback play though.
Steve Smith is questionable to play against Pittsburgh, but did get a limited and full practice in this week. It would be surprising not to see him and for bye week stretched teams, I would have no qualms playing him.
T.Y. Hilton practiced in full Thursday and Friday and gets a nice matchup against the Packers weak secondary.
Randall Cobb is a game-time decision, but the prevailing winds have him sitting this week. If he were to end up going, the matchup is great and I could see starting him, but be ready for a zero if he is used as a decoy.
Ty Montgomery is expected to play after dealing with an illness and with Cobb hobbled and James Starks still out, he should be in line for a bunch of work as a running back and receiver. He has an extremely high floor in PPR leagues this week.
Sammie Coates is no longer wearing the extra protection on his hand and Roethlisberger should be back, so his upside just skyrocketed.
Devontae Booker will play after being taken off the injury report. He gets a good matchup with the Raiders and after a good, but not great game last week, I expect him to have better running lanes against the Raiders than he had with the Chargers last week.
Dwayne Allen practiced this week and should be ready to play against the Packers. Jack Doyle is still going to see targets, so Allen will likely need a touchdown to bring value.
Michael Thomas missed part of practice on Friday, but isn’t listed on the injury report. He gets a great matchup with San Francisco and is a good DFS play.
Sample FanDuel Lineups
Although Julio Jones had a bit of an injury scare, it turned out that he had nothing more than a knee bruise. He should be good to go against a Tampa defense that just allowed for Derek Carr to pass for over 500 yards, including 172 to Amari Cooper. If Julio can’t have a massive game in this matchup, then the world will have turned on its head. I’ve stacked him with Matt Ryan, who has been as consistent as any QB this year and has 30+ FP upside in this matchup. At RB, I’m rolling with Charcandrick West and Jay Ajayi. Ajayi’s matchup is difficult, but I could have said the same thing when he faced the Bills. He then, as you all know, proceeded to run for over 200 yards for the second week in a row. I’m not betting against him here, especially because I think the Dolphins will be able to open up some lanes by dominating in the passing game. Charizard is one of my top plays of the week should Spencer Ware miss the game. If Ware plays, then West could still be used in GPPs, but he’ll not be usable in cash games. Considering how hesitant Andy Reid has been to play injured Chiefs too early this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gives Ware the week off and West starts.
Besides Julio, I’ve rostered Jarvis Landry and Donte Moncrief at WR. Moncrief is the biggest value of the week. After being out a few weeks with injury, he came back and posted a solid 4/41/1 line. What’s more important, however, is that he had 9 targets. He should be in a shootout this week and will be in nearly every lineup I make at FanDuel. Landry has one of my favorite matchups of the week against a terrible Jets passing defense. Their front seven are still very solid, but their secondary is trash. I’m happy to roll out a Tannehill/Landry stack this week. Kelce slots in at TE in a solid matchup against Jacksonville. In a week with poor TE options, I’m not straying too far away from the bigger names. At DST, Seattle should bounce back in a big way at home. KC is easily my #1 overall this week, but I wasn’t able to afford them here, so Seattle, my #2 for the week, takes over.
In a straight cash lineup, this week I’m paying up big at QB and RB by paying over $9K each for Aaron Rodgers at home against Indianapolis, and Ezekiel Elliott, who is on the road versus Cleveland. Zeke has proven he can dismantle the best defenses in the league. He has at least 148 total yards in five straight games, which is simply insane. The addition of Jamie Collins to Cleveland’s D shouldn’t be enough to stop Zeke. West and Moncrief are once again staples in this lineup. Again, make sure West starts.
The other two WR slots are Terrelle Pryor and Dez Bryant. I think this game is going to be quite high scoring. Dallas is a 7.5 point favorite, but with their two top players in the secondary out for the next 4-6 weeks, I think Cleveland will be able to keep this close by finding Pryor and the returning Coleman at WR. Dez Bryant was looked at 14 times by Dak Prescott last week. Though he only caught 4 passes, he turned them into 113 yards and a TD. I always look for players with high target potential in cash games, and Dez fits the bill. Gates has quietly turned back into the go-to TE option in SD. He and Rivers are back to their old tricks. The Chiefs, against turnover machine Blake Bortles, are the clear #1 defense play this week.
Josh McCown is a bit of a question mark this week. Will he start? I’m not entirely sure. Cody Kessler is cleared to return, so it could be his show, but as of now McCown is the starter. Keep this situation monitored. I’m happy starting either against the Cowboys who are now without Morris Claiborne and Barry Church, so their secondary will be exposed. I’ve stacked him with Pryor in this lineup. There are a lot of other similar names here, but one new name is Tim Hightower. Mark Ingram fell into the doghouse this past week when he fumbled, and Hightower proceed to get 28 carries. Yowzas. He gets a matchup against the pathetic Niners run defense this week. However, we don’t know if he’ll start. If West starts, I’m probably forgetting this questionable situation in New Orleans, but the upside could be huge if he does get the nod. Jimmy Graham slots in at TE. I actually like Kelce a little bit better this week, but for tournament purposes, I think Graham’s upside and likely smaller ownership could play dividends.
OK, as I said above, FanDuel has a pricing error this week. As such, it has been interesting playing around with lineups to see what is possible with $$$ freed up. The results are pretty astounding, but this type of lineup comes with a ton of caveats. On the plus side, I was able to fit in Rodgers, Zeke, Bell, AB, Landry, Kelce, and the Chiefs. On the down side, if even one of these guys fails to do well, then we’re looking at a lineup with a poor score plus a zero from Holton. If we estimate that a cash line is 120 FP on FanDuel, then a normal player would have to average 13.33 FP in order to reach that. With a given 0 in Holton, each remaining player needs 15. Now, Rodgers, Zeke, Bell, and AB can all easily give you 20-25. I’d venture to say 80 FP from that quartet is a near given, which means you’d need 40 from Landry, Kelce, Crosby, and the Chiefs. Could each average 10? Sure thing. But if one of them doesn’t hit? Not good.
In addition to this, there are probably a good number of people that have recognized that Holton is $0, so by using him you are at risk of having a very similar lineup to a lot of other people, which is a big no-no in a GPP. Because of this, I’m only rolling out Holton in cash lineups, as odd as that may sound. That is, of course, unless we get some last minute word that Cooper or Crabtree are out, which is not going to happen. Anyways, if you choose to roster Holton, buckle up…because it will be a hell of a roller coaster this weekend!
I like this lineup for both cash and GPP lineups. Obviously, the iffiest part of this lineup is Ty Montgomery’s health. He practiced all week and isn’t on the injury report, so he should be good to go. Considering he was a late scratch last week, however, I’d want to make sure before slotting him in on a website like FanDuel where lineups lock at kickoff. Still, everyone on this lineup either has good matchups, or the skills necessary to make up for the poor matchups. With all of the ways to find value this week, I love paying up for Aaron Rodgers this week. He has an excellent matchup, and his team’s running game is poor, which combines to give him an extremely high floor and 30+ FP upside.
West will have a huge workload this week with both Charles and Ware out. The Chiefs did sign Bishop Sankey and Knile Davis (again), but they are in no way going to encroach on his fantasy potential. I’ve paid up big at WR, rostering Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, and Terrelle Pryor. In order to do so, I decided to save a bit of money on TE and used Antonio Gates instead of my preferred Travis Kelce. Hey, you have to make some sacrifices when building teams, and Gates could have similar upside if he’s able to find the end zone. The Chiefs will be in every lineup I make personally, but I also like Miami as a cheaper play should you need one.
Sample DraftKings Lineups
DraftKings Lineup Configurations
There are some similar names here from the FanDuel lineups above, so I won’t rehash them here. However, there are plenty of new names. Ryan Tannehill is one of them. Fresh off a bye week, he gets a matchup against the terrible Jets secondary. Normally I wouldn’t use him in cash games, but the matchup/price combination are good enough for me that I’m using him there in certain situations. For a much safer play, Mariota is only $300 more, if you want less risk. I stacked Tannehill here with Landry.
I have two Thursday players, both from the Falcons: Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman. Jones is over his injury scare, and Freeman will have a huge workload with Coleman still out this week. I’m not thrilled about using Asiata here, but McKinnon should still be out and he gets a decent matchup against a injury-plagued Detroit defense.
I’m using three RBs, which is a theme this week…and I’m paying up big for two of them in Le’Veon Bell and Zeke Elliott, both of whom are near locks to hit value. Charcandrick West is once again a staple of my lineups here. The only other big change here is the addition of Tyrell Williams, who should be very target heavy this week with Travis Benjamin out. The Titans aren’t awful against the pass, but they’ve given up 4 100 yard receiving games (another just missed when Allen Hurns had 98 and a TD a week ago).
If you play NBA, you may be familiar with the “stars and scrubs” approach to building a lineup. That is, you pick some really expensive players and some really cheap players, hoping those cheap players get big workloads and go off. Well, Charcandrick West helps a ton with this approach, as does his teammate Tyreek Hill, who should be involved heavily again if Spencer Ware is out. I’ve stayed cheap at TE with Kyle Rudolph, the winner of this week’s “which TE plays the Lions” award, and slotted in Kenny Stills, who is a deep threat that should be able to stretch the field against the Jets. One big play, and he pays off his salary. At the other end, I’ve paid up big for Rodgers, Zeke, Bell, and Dez Bryant, who paid off well last week in his first game back from injury. As you can see, the Chiefs are a staple at DST. They are easily my top play of the week.
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!!
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.
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|