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Daily Archives

FanDuel Market Exploitation

by C.D. Carter
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Nick Foles, who was highlighted in this space last week following an eye-opening drop in his FanDuel price tag, did (almost) exactly what he’s done in Philadelphia wins since the start of 2013.

 

Foles tossed two touchdowns in the Eagles’ win over St. Louis, right in line with the 2.36 touchdowns he’s averaged in Philly wins under Chip Kelly.  Sadly, he fell 60 yards short of his average in Eagles wins, and he threw an interception – something he’s rarely done when Philadelphia gets the W.

 

Foles’ 16.6 fantasy points weren’t abhorrent, though they were disappointing against a St. Louis defense that had allowed a whopping 8.1 yards per pass attempt through the season’s first month.

 

Investing in the Eagles after an across-the-board FanDuel salary cut was the right move. A big early lead and a whacked-out game script foiled our plans.

 

We’ll continue looking for value among players whose daily fantasy salaries have dropped the most from one week to the next, hoping to capitalize on market inefficiencies along the way.

 

The Market Watch Tool on RotoGrinders — an incredibly useful feature that will be key to market exploitation –- is going to be the centerpiece of our approach from here on out. Market Watch tells us which players have seen their salary dip and which guys have had their asking price skyrocket.

 

Remember, these plays are mostly for large-field tournaments, not head-to-heads and 50/50s. We’re going to be right alone or wrong alone on many of the guys listed below. (Click this link if you’re interested in 50/50 strategy. It’ll take you to a lesson in RotoGrinders’ “Grinders U” course. Otherwise, read on as we continue to be greedy while our competitors are fearful building their tournament lineups.)

 

 

Quarterback

 

Joe Flacco ($7,000) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

There’s nothing quite like recommending a quarterback fresh off an 8.5-point performance in which he averaged a hideous 6.26 yards per pass attempt.

 

But Flacco this week gets his crack at the lowly Bucs’ secondary – a unit that has allowed an unholy 71.5 percent completion percentage to opposing signal callers. Only Oakland allows a higher percentage.

 

Quarterbacks are notching 7.7 yards per attempt against Tampa, the fourth-worst mark in the NFL. Perhaps the best news for Flacco: Teams have consistently attacked Tampa through the air, throwing 37.8 passes against the Bucs’ exploitable corners and safeties.

 

Flacco is now FanDuel’s 20th highest priced quarterback after a $500 drop in salary. I see him as an ideal against-the-grain play after a horrendous Week 5 performance.

 

 

Running Backs

 

Ahmad Bradshaw ($6,200) at Houston Texans

 

It’s tough to look past a running back averaging 5.1 yards per carry (YPC) facing a defense allowing 4.8 YPC, especially when that runner’s FanDuel price tag falls by $400. Thirty-four backs are priced higher than Bradshaw this week.

 

Bradshaw, averaging 13.4 touches per game, is still somehow, some way getting a smaller piece of the backfield pie than Trent Richardson, but I like his chances to well-exceed his cost in Thursday night’s throwdown with Houston.

 

Teams are running the ball 27.8 times per game against the Texans. Only five defenses see more rushes every week.

 

 

Matt Asiata ($6,600) vs. Detroit Lions

 

There are a couple reasons Asiata is a contrarian play in Week 6: he plays a Detroit front seven allowing just 3.2 YPC, and he’s coming off a decidedly disappointing performance against Green Bay.

 

Asiata still has a few things going for him in this objectively bad matchup: his FanDuel price tag dropped by $500 – making him the site’s 25th priciest back – and he’s still seeing 18.3 touches every week. His goal line duties have helped him post a .95 fantasy points per touch mark through four weeks as Minnesota’s starter.

 

For as solid as the Lions’ run defense has been, they’ve allowed .6 rushing scores per game through five weeks. Fred Jackson managed 4.9 YPC against the Lions last week – an unusually high mark, and one that comes in the wake of linebacker Stephen Tulloch’s dance-related, season-ending knee injury.

 

 

Wide Receivers

 

Kelvin Benjamin ($6,600) at Cincinnati Bengals

 

It would’ve been borderline unimaginable two weeks ago for Benjamin to fall out of the top-25 priciest receivers on FanDuel. That’s exactly what transpired this week after a three-catch, 38-yard Week 5 stat line.

 

Benjamin’s price tag plunged by $500, and now he gets to play a Bengals’ coverage unit anchored by Leon Hall and Terrence Newman – Pro Football Focus’ 36th and 22nd rated cover cornerbacks, respectively.

 

Cincy gets no pressure on quarterbacks, as seen against Tom Brady in Week 5, and teams pass the ball on 61.9 percent of plays against the Bengals – the seventh-highest percentage in the league.

 

Benjamin has seen nine targets per contest this year and was very close to posting a solid stat line in Week 5.

 

 

Markus Wheaton ($5,100) at Cleveland Browns

 

Wheaton will face off this week against Buster Skrine – PFF’s 94nd ranked cover corner – while Antonio Brown goes up against PFF’s 95th best cover corner, Joe Haden.

 

Wheaton has seen a respectable 5.4 targets per game over the season’s first five weeks, notching a decent 1.7 fantasy points per target. I expect the Steelers to attack the atrocious Cleveland secondary early and often in this one, and Wheaton, as FanDuel’s 72nd priciest receiver, represents a clear chance to exploit a salary drop and lowered expectations after a few pedestrian outings.

 

 

Tight End

 

Martellus Bennett ($5,900) at Atlanta Falcons

 

Bennett’s FanDuel price tag doesn’t resemble anything close to what it was after his great Week 4 performance. Bennett’s salary dropped by $1,400 after Week 5. That’s a nice discount for a guy seeing 8.2 targets every week.

 

Perhaps most importantly, Bennett is running more pass routes than any tight end in the NFL – a critically important factor in reliable pass game production from tight ends and running backs.

 

Atlanta, when adjusted for strength of schedule, is allowing just 5.9 fantasy points to tight ends. That doesn’t dissuade me from deploying Bennett, who has more targets than any tight end not named Jimmy Graham.

 

Play Bennett with confidence in a game that NFL Vegas lines project as the week’s highest scoring contest.

 

 

C.D. Carter

C.D. Carter is co-host of Living The Stream, owner of DraftDayConsultants.com and author of fantasy football books, including How To Think Like A Fantasy Football Winner. He can be found on Twitter @cdcarter13. He never logs off.