Creating Your FanDuel Core – Week 5

Michael Dubner highlights the players he’s considering for his core FanDuel lineup in Week 5.

Week 4 Recap

  • Inflated cash lines: As with other weeks this season, Week 4 cash lines were crazy high. This is directly related to the offensive explosion so far this year. We need to adapt our strategy to these inflated cash lines by not only caring about floor in cash games, but also ensuring every player rostered has some upside.
  • Tampa Bay passing game flow chart: is Tampa Bay on the main slate? Then play the opposing passing game. We’ve successfully done so every week this season.
  • Game environments: The plays we loaded up on in the NO @ NYG and CIN @ ATL mostly exceeded value. This continues to show the importance of just stacking up players in good game environments.
    • While Sterling Shepard, Tyler Boyd, Giovani Bernard, Matt Ryan, and Alvin Kamara were all hits in these games, two sub-optimal picks were Michael Thomas and Tevin Coleman. After diving further, Coleman wasn’t actually a good play considering his lower backfield opportunity share.
    • The Giants were able to funnel opportunity away from Thomas. Thomas is still a strong consideration every week, but does show us the downside of rostering such an expensive player and saving salary elsewhere on the roster.
  • Melvin Gordon’s role: Even with Austin Ekeler as a strong backup RB who continues to get touches, Gordon’s receiving and goal line roles allow for a crazy floor and ceiling. However, his price is starting to be valued appropriately.

Creating Your FanDuel Core – Week 5

I’m primarily a cash game and single-entry tournament player, and have the vast majority of my money (80 percent) on one lineup. Playing one team forces me to make the optimal lineup. Below are the primary players I’m considering for my core lineup on FanDuel in Week 5.

Pittsburgh’s Perfect Storm

I’m probably not the first person to tell you, but roster as many players in this game as possible. I’m not going to say anyone in this game is a bad play, but I lean towards rostering Ben Roethlisberger ($8,400) and James Conner ($7,800) in order to capture all of the Pittsburgh touchdowns. Roethlisberger is at home with an implied team total over 30 points and draws a depleted Falcons defense who has surrendered three-plus touchdowns in each of their past three games.

If you’ve been following this article series, we all know the Falcons defense is decimated by injuries and is the premier matchup for passing catching RBs. While Conner hasn’t truly smashed since Week 1, Conner is the ideal cash game pairing with Roethlisberger to secure four-plus touchdowns from Pittsburgh.

Even in cash, I don’t mind having three players on the same team by adding Vance McDonald ($4,600), as he is just far too underpriced. McDonald is priced as the TE 21 on FanDuel but the TE 11 on DraftKings (per the Weekly Explorer):

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 2.07.58 AM

Jam ‘Em In: Todd Gurley ($9,100) and Melvin Gordon ($8,700)

While it may be difficult to pay up at QB and three RB positions, I plan to do everything I can to roster Gurley and Gordon. Gurley and Gordon have outrageous goal-line, game-script independent roles on efficient offenses with high implied team totals.

If for some reason I need a little more savings, I wouldn’t mind ending up on Christian McCaffrey ($8,100) whose 8.7 targets per game are unmatched.

Cheap Targets

Tyler Boyd ($6,300), Sterling Shepard ($6,200), and Nelson Agholor ($6,100) will all likely see 7-10 targets at cheap prices. I feel like the hype has cooled down on all three players, despite all being in good opportunities-per-dollar situations. Agholor has double-digit targets in three of four games, Boyd has 7-15 targets the past three games, and Shepard always has a bankable role with Evan Engram inactive.

If Marvin Jones is limited (popped up on the injury report Friday), then this is also a good spot for Kenny Golladay ($6,300) who is still underpriced on FanDuel – WR38 on FanDuel vs WR23 on DraftKings. Golladay has 7.4-plus points in each matchup, and has the upside we need if cash lines remain inflated.

Jared Cook’s ($5,900) Red Zone Role

Rostering Cook in cash rarely goes well, but so much suggests he’s a good cash play even on FanDuel. He leads tight ends in receiving yards, is fourth in Weighted Opportunity Rating (WOPR), and is first in red-zone targets (eight). If I have the luxury to spend up from McDonald, I’ll likely hold my nose and roster Cook this week.

Titans ($3,900) Against the Bills

It’s certainly good idea to roster multiple defenses in tournaments due to the volatility of the position, but in cash, lock in the Titans and move on in. Buffalo has six interceptions this year (26th), 21 sacks (32nd), and 12.5 points per game (31st).

DFS Lineup Optimizer

Last week was the first time I added the DFS Lineup Optimizer segment. We saw how valuable it was, as it got us on to Tyler Eifert, who caught a TD and was contrarian exposure to the CIN @ ATL game.1

After locking in Roethlisberger and Conner, the DFS Lineup Optimizer generates the following:

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 2.56.56 AM

Julio Jones is a great way to game stack ATL @ PIT but doesn’t have the touchdown upside I like in cash game considering his price. The DFS Lineup Optimizer further wants to game stack with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Calvin Ridley, speaking to this game’s fantasy production potential.

Final Thoughts

  • Higher cash lines this year requires more upside in cash games.
  • Get exposure to the ATL @ PIT game. And then get more exposure on top of that.
  • I really like the star RBs and scrub WRs approach this week.

You can follow me @Michael_Dubner, where I’ll provide any updates to my FanDuel core as they may arise through the weekend. Good luck everyone, I hope to see you all at the top of the leaderboards.

  1. And he would have been even better if not for suffering a devastating ankle injury.  (back)