I’ve had quite a bit of success at FanDuel this season, but no big winners yet. Hopefully this week.
I play across multiple sites to take advantage of pricing discrepancies and differences in roster construction and scoring. I recommend you do the same.
I hope you haven’t started playing at Draft Kings yet, but you are considering it. This week, until Dec. 20, if you sign up using my refer-a-friend link and deposit a few bucks, we each get two $20 tickets into the $5 million Millionaire Maker, the final milli-maker of the season.
So, you drop a couple bucks, use the info we have on this site (I started by depositing just $50 this season, finished high in a couple tournaments and have profited 600% combined across three sites) and get two chances to win a million. So even if you drop $40 on DK, you’re still even because of the tickets. And I get two free entries for all the work I’ve done on these boom-or-bust projections this season.
Thanks for considering it, and sorry for selling it here, but it is a pretty sweet deal, even better than last week’s.
The formula we use for our rankings and our daily fantasy sleepers and values is not perfect, but I feel it’s at least as good as most of the advice out there. Each week, this thing spits out the best chalk plays and a couple contrarian plays that match up with our discoveries in the weekly projected scores column.
Last week, I had a pretty good week. I lost a few dollars at FanDuel, but I profited overall. I had one tournament lineup that took off early, but didn’t have enough legs to keep it up. One of these weeks it’s all going to fall in line for one of us. If it’s not me, I hope it’s you, Ninja.
It’s important to keep a few things in mind before jumping into daily fantasy each week:
- Only play 10% of your bankroll. Your bankroll is the amount you are going to play with this year. Wagering more than 10 percent sets you up to go bankrupt before the end of the season. Only wager more if you play a lot of cash games and have found success there.
- Always follow rule No. 1, unless you find some serious overlay. And even then, don’t go overboard. We’re all going to have bad weeks, even when we do everything right. Don’t spend so much that you can’t recover from it the following week. This allows us to brush off a bad week and move on to the next.
That said, I’ve been playing 40% at both Draft Kings and FanDuel this season and these last three weeks have really ground down my accounts. I’m still up 600% on the season, but I’ll be sticking to 10-20% again this week on both sites. Pricing is a little tighter this week, so it’ll be interesting to see how things play out.
OK, let’s get to this weeks sleepers and values at Draft Kings. I will referenceDefense-adjusted Value Over Average a lot, it is a Football Outsiders’ metric which can be a better predictor of future success than fantasy points allowed. All team rankings and yards allowed to receivers are referenced from Football Outsiders’ Defense Efficiency page.
Projected scores/matchups/Las Vegas | Game day weather | Waiver wire
Daily fantasy: Draft Kings values | FanDuel values
Russell Wilson, $8,800, SEA vs. CLE — Last week I told you to not chase the points and Wilson throws five more TDs. I wonder if things had been different if Thomas Rawls had finished the game. In any case, people who chased points won money last week. I’m not going to tell you to do it again, especially against a Cleveland defense which is among the worst in the NFL. My big concern here is the blowout factor.
Tyrod Taylor, $7,500, BUF at WAS — The Redskins have allowed 300 yards and two touchdown passes in two of their last three games. The game before that, Cam Newton threw five TDs against them.
Derek Carr, $7,200, OAK vs. GB — We don’t trust Carr as much as we did earlier in the season, but the potential will always be there for a huge game considering his receiving targets. The real x-factor here is Green Bay. If Aaron Rodgers can get going against the Raiders poor secondary, Carr could be in for quite a bit of garbage time at home.
Alex Smith, $7,000, KC at BAL — Smith’s price is ridiculous, near minimum for a quarterback. And now he faces a Ravens defense which got torched by Wilson for 292 yards and five passing touchdowns last week. Smith is usually a game manager, so he is far from safe. A tournament-only play, but pair him up with Charcandrick West and/or Jeremy Maclin this week.
Matthew Stafford, $7,800, DET at NO — I was surprised Stafford didn’t make it on our Draft Kings values. I’ll have him at both sites this week against arguably the worst defenses and worst passing defense in the NFL.
Drew Brees, $8,000, NO vs. DET — I was texting with a leaguemate who is playing Brees in the semifinals. Big spot, at home, under the lights, can’t bench Brees, he said. I can’t disagree. It also doesn’t hurt that the Lions rank in the bottom third against the pass according to DVOA.
Blake Bortles, $7,900, JAC vs. ATL — Bortles has thrown at least two touchdowns in 10 of 13 games this season. Play Bortles and hope Matt Ryan and Julio Jones can connect and turn this thing into an epic shootout. This feels like a tournament-only play to me, but Bortles has been so consistent I’m not going to tell you to avoid him in cash.
David Johnson, $6,500, ARI at PHI — The hits just keep coming for Johnson, who has had several good matchups to begins his experience as a starter. The only downside here is that the game is on the road, where letdowns often creep up. I’m inclined to believe this will be a big game for the Cardinals and that Johnson will be in line for some extra work late.
Lamar Miller, $6,700, MIA at SD — I’m normally not a big fan of playing a running back on the road, but a high-volume back like Miller playing against the second-worst run defense in the NFL? Count me in.
Devonta Freeman, $8,400, ATL at JAC — When a player like Freeman pops up on our value list at a price of $8,400, we need to take note and strongly consider starting him. He probably has the highest floor of any NFL running back this week, based on this ranking.
LeSean McCoy, $7,900, BUF at WAS — McCoy disappointed in an especially big spot last week and his competition for carries, Karlos Williams, returns. It’s not a great spot, but not an awful spot for McCoy either, and considering those other two points we talked about, McCoy’s ownership should be lower. Good tournament play.
Giovani Bernard, $5,600, CIN at SF — The 49ers allow 50.2 yards receiving per game to opposing running backs, one of the highest totals in the NFL. Bernard has also been far more consistent than Jeremy Hill this season. His price is so low and the situation is so good against San Francisco, Bernard feels like a safe play.
Latavius Murray, $5,900, OAK vs. GB — This is a bad matchup on paper according to DVOA and fantasy points allowed, but the Packers gave up 162 yards on just 16 carries to the Cowboys last week.
DeAngelo Williams, $7,000, PIT vs. DEN — The Broncos have the best defense in the NFL but DeAngelo gets a pile of touches in both facets of the offense. The Broncos, while stout, have allowed an 84-yard receiving game to Brandon Bolden and a 92-yard receiving game to Charcandrick West.
Shaun Draughn, $6,100, SF vs. CIN — The Bengals allowed 72 yards and two touchdowns to Williams last week. Draughn is the only game in town at running back for the 49ers. He’s a risk after he burned us last week, but that also means he’ll have low ownership and could be a strong tournament play.
Charcandrick West, $5,900, KC at BAL — Spencer Ware is questionable. If he can’t go, West becomes an almost instant must-start. The Chiefs are favored by quite a bit and West has proven able to perform in the passing game.
Matt Jones, $5,200, WAS vs. BUF — Like some of the guys on this list, Jones’ price provides an opportunity for a very high payoff. The Bills rank 30th in DVOA run defense. This is strictly a tournament play, but Jones was one of the first quarterbacks I considered this week.
Alshon Jeffery, $7,900, CHI at MIN — Had his lowest target total of the season (9) in a game where he was healthy. He also had his fourth 100-yard game and scored his fourth touchdown. He was targeted 15 times for 10-116-1 the last time these teams met.
Julio Jones, $8,600, ATL at JAC — This feels like the perfect time to get on Julio Jones — potential shootout against the second-worst pass defense in the NFL.
Jeremy Maclin, $6,700, KC at BAL — Maclin has 30 targets, 18 catches and three touchdowns in the last three weeks. Now he faces a Ravens secondary that got torched by the Seahawks last week.
John Brown, $6,300, ARI at PHI — Brown is my favorite receiver out of all the Cardinals this week. A lot of people will probably gravitate toward Michael Floyd, who is $500 less, or Larry Fitzgerald, the team leader, who costs the most of the corps. This is a great matchup for all Cardinals wide receivers.
Antonio Brown, $8,800, PIT vs. DEN — This is a tough matchup. Brown has proven to be matchup proof with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Last week’s mediocre performance against the Bengals will likely lower his ownership. I doubt he would have been able to settle for 7-87 if Andy Dalton hadn’t gotten hurt.
Demaryius Thomas, $7,700 DEN at PIT — Has at least six targets in each game this season. The Steelers have allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers over the last five weeks. Brock Osweiler is a concern, but Thomas makes a heck of a tournament play at a price not reflective of his talent.
Sammy Watkins, $7,200, BUF at WAS — This isn’t an out-of-this-world matchup, or a projected high-scoring game, but the connection between Watkins and Taylor so far this season has proven to be potentially magical. At this price he represents a good value.
Larry Fitzgerald, $7,200, ARI at PHI — Like I said in the Brown blurb, more people will likely gravitate toward Fitzgerald. He is worth the price and has a lower relative cost at FanDuel compared to Draft Kings. This is expected to be a huge game for the Cardinals, which should mean big things for Fitzgerald.
Jarvis Landry, $6,300, MIA at SD — Here’s a scenario for you: The Dolphins and Chargers are two of the highest-paced teams in the NFL. Both offenses have struggled of late. However, because of the pace and the poor defenses, let’s say the Chargers get on the board with a quick strike, then the Dolphins answer. Next thing we know, this thing is out of control and every network is switching to the final moments. If that happens, Landry is the No. 1 player I want to own. Even if all of that doesn’t come to pass, Landry has such a high floor in PPR leagues, you’ll want him anyway.
Calvin Johnson, $8,000, DET at NO — The Saints have, arguably, the worst defense in the NFL and one of the worst if not the worst passing defense in the NFL. They rank third-worst in the league in DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers. I’ll have quite a few shares of Johnson this week.
Anquan Boldin, $5,700, SF vs. CIN — Low price and low ownership, considering his poor performance last week. However, he had a whopping 47 targets in the previous five weeks. It’s not a great matchup, but I expect the targets to return and for Boldin to get an opportunity to pay off at this salary.
Greg Olsen, $6,800, CAR at NYG — The Giants have the worst tight end defense in the NFL and Greg Olsen is Cam Newton’s favorite target. The only downside here is the potential for a blowout, which means Olsen won’t be needed to do much.
Antonio Gates, $5,800, MIA vs. SD — As I said above in the Landry brief, I hope this game turns into a shootout. Gate is probably the second-most coveted player in the game in that scenario. Gates has 17 targets, 12 catches and 128 yards in the last two games, which makes him a decent cash game option, especially at $1,000 less than Olsen.
Jordan Reed, $6,300, WAS vs. BUF — Reed has 34 targets in the last three weeks. I shouldn’t have to tell you to play him if you can afford him. You should probably try to afford him in cash games.
Delanie Walker, $6,300, TEN at NE — My biggest fear is that Bill Belichick is notorious for taking away a teams top threat, which in this case is Walker. Walker is easily Marcus Mariota’s favorite and most-effective target. He is, however, almost a lock for double-digit targets considering Tennessee will spend a lot of time trying to catch up.
Jacob Tamme, $5,100, ATL at JAC — The Jaguars allow 71.3 yards per game to tight ends, third-most in the NFL. Tamme has had some brilliant games this season. He hasn’t been consistent late, but Tamme offers the potential for low ownership at a cheap price with an awesome matchup.
Eric Ebron, $4,800, DET at NO — Ebron is nearly free and he has one of the best tight end matchups of the game this week, but he’s strictly a tournament play. You could pay up or down for better cash game options.
Zach Miller, $3,600, CHI at MIN — If you scratch off Week 13, Miller has 24 targets in his last four games. Despite that volume, Miller is no cash game threat. He is, however, a great tournament option at this price.
Matt Prater, $4,500, DET at NO
Stephen Gostkowski, $5,100, NE vs. TEN
Steven Hauschka, $5,000, SEA vs. CLE
Blair Walsh, $4,600, MIN vs. CHI
Justin Tucker, $4,500, BAL vs. KC
Cairo Santos, $4,800, KC at BAL
Mason Crosby, $4,800, GB at OAK
Houston Texans at IND, $4,800
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. PIT, $4,600
New England Patriots vs. TEN, $5,000
Cincinnati Bengals at SF, $4,900
Carolina Panthers at NYG, $5,100
San Francisco 49ers vs. CIN, $4,400
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. ATL, $4,400