FanDuel values used for all players.
Headed into week two, we have a little more information about quite a few players and their fantasy usage and impact for 2014. Unfortunately, this information is reflected in their assigned value on Daily Fantasy Sports websites. Kelvin Benjamin, for example, who I was very high on coming into the season, skyrocketed from $4500 on FanDuel last week to $6600 in week two. While I like him again this week, I am wary of the pricetag in relation to value.
A Quick Look Back…
Last week, my best lineup was one that went unpublished! As a general rule, I try to avoid any “iffy” injury situations. My DFS article was finished Thursday evening, before any news came out of Andre Ellington’s injury. I took Ellington out of the lineup and replaced him with Ryan Matthews, which made it look like this:
Carson Palmer ($6900)
Ryan Matthews ($6800)
Rashad Jennings ($6700)
Brandon Marshall ($8100)
Dez Bryant ($8500)
Marques Colston ($5700)
Jimmy Graham ($8100)
Greg Zuerlein ($4500)
Houston Texans ($4700)
This lineup was good for 124.96 points, and would have won you the majority of your H2H matchups. I usually think 120 will win most weeks, so anything above that is, as they say, “golden.” Matthews only managed to accrue 13 points and Ellington was only 7-8 short of that mark, so if you did roll with the published lineup, you still almost cracked the 120 barrier.
This week I wanted to break down in print something we discussed on the podcast two Tuesdays ago. While debating our weekly “value picks”, I explained to our host, Mark Milano, that one of my key methods in assembling a DFS roster was to break the players down into “tiers” and then select from the tier based on price and matchup. Let’s further expand on this concept with direct examples. For simplicity, I’m going to focus on only one position, the tight end.
First, I go and look at the tight ends and “rank” them myself. For the sake of this article, I’m only going to use 2 (and a half) tiers.
Jimmy Graham (@ CLE)
Julius Thomas (KC)
Rob Gronkowski (@MIN)
So there’s my “half-tier”. I think all three of these guys could qualify as tier-1 tight ends, but I still have Graham slightly above the other two. Note also that I include the opponent while doing my “self-ranks” so that I can already start to consider matchups. I have not yet looked at the value for any player, but one way to read this list is “If everyone costs the same, the first tight end I would use is Graham and the second is Julius Thomas.”
Greg Olsen (DET)
Vernon Davis (CHI)
Zach Ertz (@IND)
Martellus Bennett (@SF)
Jason Witten (@TEN)
Kyle Rudolph (NE) (?)
And here’s my second tier. I have a (?) by Rudolph as I am not entirely certain he belongs in this tier this week, though he is always a threat to score. I like Olsen the best 0 I believe he has the best opportunity to catch the most passes and score. Davis has a great matchup against a terrible Bears defense, and Ertz will play in what I like to be a high-scoring game and, again, has an excellent chance to find the endzone. I’m not to excited about Witten (Romo looked awful in week one), and the matchup isn’t great either.
For the next step, I’m eliminating T1. If you want to use a high-end TE, great. On Fanduel, they all cost roughly the same ($7900-$8100) and where you spend your money (which position) is a different strategic element to DFS than the tier discussion. Let’s focus only on T2, where we need to now fill our spot. Now we will add values (taken from FanDuel):
Which name stands out? To my mind, it’s clearly Ertz. He’s over $1000 dollars cheaper than the second name on my tier, Davis. The only other player below $6000 is Rudolph, who I am uncertain as to whether he belongs, anyway. I feel good about using Ertz this week and he will probably find my way into a lot of lineups.
Andy Dalton ($7800)
Adrian Peterson ($8800)
Shane Vereen ($6800)
Demaryius Thomas ($8700)
Reggie Wayne ($6200)
Kendall Wright ($6100)
Zach Ertz ($5600)
Cody Parkey ($4900)
Tampa Bay ($4900)
Andy Dalton plays very well at home and against a porous Falcons secondary, I like his value a lot. Peterson should have a nice week against a New England defense that just gave up 134 yards to Knowshon Moreno, and AP is the cheapest of the “big-3”. Remember, this is a 1/2pt-PPR league, so Shane Vereen is great value at only $6800. I feel the same about Wayne and Wright.
Here is another strategic choice I like to make. Essentially, I have the same lineup. All I did was re-distribute some of my dollars. I spent more on Quarterback and “downgraded” from Vereen to West (a great value play this week- he’s the starter, folks). This downgrade also allowed me to “move up” from Kendall Wright to Michael Floyd, who I think is in for a breakout season and has a great matchup.
Last week I "hit" well with the Texans D/ST, and I am using Tampa quite a bit this week against a pathetic Rams "attack." Shonn Greene ($5000 on FanDuel) is another name that pops up quite a bit in my lineups. I love his matchup with Dallas.
Best of luck in week 2. As always you can tweet me: @pkaragianis