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FanDuel Market Exploitation

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

Joe Flacco, heading into Week 6, was exactly what we look for in this space: a veritable collision of falling perceptions and rising prospects.

Flacco’s FanDuel price tag had been knocked down by $500 after a horrid Week 5 performance, though a matchup against the Tampa Bay secondary was right around the corner, and with it, market exploitation.

Never in my wildest daily fantasy dreams would I have expected Flacco to go for 306 yards and five touchdown tosses, but he did just that, finishing as Week 6’s No. 2 fantasy quarterback.

Other players highlighted in this space last week, including Ahmad Bradshaw and Kelvin Benjamin, proved worthwhile investments after marked price drops.

Meanwhile, Matt Asiata’s workload was slashed in favor of explosive rookie runner Jerick McKinnon, and Markus Wheaton did almost nothing with 10 targets from Ben Roethlisberger. That’s become a disturbing trend – one that makes Wheaton almost unusable despite consistent FanDuel price reductions.

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 exploitations — 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.  If you’re interested, click this link to read more about the differences between H2H and GPP strategies in NFL games.  Otherwise, let’s continue to be greedy while our competitors are fearful.

 

Editor’s Note: RotoGrinders.com is our exclusive partner for one-week fantasy football strategy. Want to take your FanDuel game to the next level? Check out RotoGrinders' FanDuel Incentives Package to get picks and advice from proven daily fantasy winners.

Quarterback

Kirk Cousins ($7,200) vs. Tennessee Titans
Cousins continued his concerted push for Robert Griffin III to maintain his starting gig upon a possible return from injury next week, tossing three picks – one of which was returned for a game-capping touchdown.

Cousins’ FanDuel price subsequently dropped by $400, making him the site’s 21st most expensive quarterback option for Week 7.

I see that as good news: The Titans sport a middling secondary and their almost-total lack of a running game means opponents are collecting lots of offensive snaps against Tennessee (70, to be precise). The Titans are allowing 6.9 yards per pass attempt, along with 340 passing yards and 2.6 passing touchdowns over their past three contests.

Cousins has somehow maintained a .51 fantasy points per attempt (FPAT) despite throwing eight picks during his time as Washington’s starter. That means he’s hitting on big plays – thanks to DeSean Jackson – and throwing it plenty. Cousins might not have a tremendous fantasy floor in this one, but I’d put his ceiling as high as any quarterback in Week 7.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $500,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 7's games. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $40,000. Starts Sunday, October 19th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

Running Back

Justin Forsett ($6,200) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Forsett was out-carried by Bernard Pierce last week and missed out on the Ravens’ lone rushing score. His FanDuel salary took a $200 knock as he prepares for a matchup that somehow looks tastier than Flacco’s Week 6 matchup.

The Falcons are a sieve to opposing runners, giving up an astounding 141.3 ground yards per game at a clip of 4.3 yards per tote. In fact, RotoGrinders’ Defense vs. RB tool ranks this Atlanta unit dead last in the NFL. Baltimore coaches have had nothing but praise for Forsett in recent weeks, and I think we can safely write off Pierce’s Week 6 workload to the blowout conditions against Tampa.

Forsett, over his past three games, is notching 6.4 yards per carry and has 10 catches for 86 yards. He’s averaging a very healthy .84 fantasy points per touch. There’s really no reason to think he can’t maintain that per-touch efficiency against Atlanta.

There are 31 running backs priced ahead of Forsett this week.

Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen ($6,500) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Allen is officially the most disappointing wideout not named Cordarrelle Patterson, and his FanDuel price reflects as much. He’s not the site’s 34th priciest receiver after a $200 price tag drop.

Allen, despite his total lack of touchdowns and big plays, is still targeted at a decent clip, seeing 7.1 targets per game. Kansas City’s secondary is mediocre by almost every measure and Eddie Royal could be out – or limited – with a rib injury in Week 7. That, of course, doesn’t change the fact that Antonio Gates is hogging the red zone action in San Diego.

I’m not all that bullish on Allen in an offense that spreads around the ball like no other, but it’s tough to turn him down at a reduced price.

Pierre Garcon ($7,000) vs. Tennessee Titans
Garcon’s FanDuel price tag took a $300 hit after a disappointing line against an exploitable Arizona secondary. DeSean Jackson, who is now a full $1,000 more expensive than Garcon, is Washington’s clear-cut No. 1 option, right?

That depends. Jackson is far more efficient on a per-target basis, but Garcon is still seeing more passes come his way. He’s averaging 6.7 targets since Cousins started his first game in Week 2.

Tennessee’s coverage unit, according to Pro Football Focus, is manned by the NFL’s 37th, 76th, and 98th rated cornerbacks. The Titans have been shredded by opposing passers over the past month, as mentioned above, and I think Garcon could reap the benefits of a potentially big day for Washington’s passing attack.

While Garcon’s not exactly cheap, I don’t see any way he’ll be widely owned in Week 7. He makes for a fine tournament play.

Tight End

Dwayne Allen ($5,700) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
A quiet Week 6 performance led to a $200 reduction in Allen’s FanDuel price tag – just the thing we’re looking for as a player enters a (very) favorable matchup.

The Bengals, thanks in large part to linebackers and safeties who have proven to be predictably terrible in pass coverage, are being gouged by opposing tight ends. Cincy, against teams that use their tight end as part of the passing attack, is allowing an average of 9.5 receptions and 115 yards to the position. That’s 16.25 fantasy points, on average, just in reception production.

Allen is notching an eye-popping 2.24 fantasy points per target. For some perspective, consider that efficiency machine Travis Kelce is scoring 2.05 every time he’s targeted.

Ten tight ends are priced ahead of Allen this week, and I think he’s pretty clearly a top-5 play against the Bengals. The production split with Coby Fleener always looms, which might keep Allen’s ownership capped in Week 7. Hope for that and trust this ideal matchup.

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.