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FanDuel Market Exploitation

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

Colin Kaepernick, with the magic of hindsight, wasn’t a classic exploitative play in Week 12, but rather a value trap.

Writing this column last Wednesday morning, I saw an investment in Kaepernick – whose FanDuel salary had dipped by $100 – as a chance to be greedy when others were fearful. The quarterback’s relatively high Week 12 ownership numbers showed that he did not, in fact, fit that exploitative bill.

Going in on Kaepernick was being greedy when others were, well, greedy.

Meanwhile, Terrance West – highlighted last week in this space – saw a hefty 15 touches against a leaky Atlanta front seven, but managed just 7.6 FanDuel points as Isaiah Crowell converted two touchdowns on 14 touches.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $1.75 Million Fantasy Football league for Week 13's games. It's only $25 to join and first prize is $175,000. Starts Sunday, November 30th at 1pm ETHere's the link.

There are plenty of FanDuel salary drops headed into Week 13, and as per usual, we’ll use the useful Market Watch tool to find which guys saw the biggest dips, and how that might create opportunity for those looking to exploit inefficiencies in Week 13 tournaments.

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.

That being said, feel free to also check out this RotoGrinders lesson on 50/50 strategy to help you in your daily fantasy endeavors.

Quarterback

Andy Dalton ($8,000) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If there’s one thing fantasy footballers know about Dalton, it’s that the red-haired signal calling wonder is untouchable when matched up against tough defenses, but a potentially elite play against the NFL’s most generous secondaries.

The Bucs, in case you missed it, are horrendous in the secondary, giving up a 67.9 percent completion rate and 252.3 yards per game to opposing passers. That completion percentage is outrageously high, and it gives any quarterback a decidedly high floor against Tampa.

Dalton, against bottom-half secondaries, have notched 3.9 more fantasy points per contest than he has against top-half defenses. That’s hardly insignificant. A.J. Green and Mohammed Sanu could feast on Tampa’s secondary, as the Bucs’ cornerbacks are rated by Pro Football Focus as the league’s 48th and 59th best cover guys

After a $200 price tag drop, Dalton is FanDuel’s 13th priciest quarterback. I think he has top-5 upside, as the NFL Vegas odds project the Bengals to score 24.25 points against that occasionally disastrous Tampa defense.  

Running Back

Joique Bell ($6,300) vs. Chicago Bears
The hope here is that daily gamers will be scared away by usage questions surrounding the Lions’ best running back. Bell’s carries have been spotty, even when Reggie Bush is out of the lineup.

This is the week to capitalize on that fear. Bell’s FanDuel salary fell by $400 after a disappointing Week 12 output against the Patriots, making him the site’s 31st-most expensive runner. I see Bell as a potential RB1 with a RB3 price tag.

Lack of touchdown production has been the driver behind Bell’s consistent FanDuel price plunge, as the back hasn’t found the end zone since mid-October (and only three times all season). He now gets to take on a banged-up Bears’ front seven allowing 4.3 yards per tote and seeing 25.5 rushes attempted against them every week.

Going in on Bell this week requires some belief that Detroit will simply overpower the sinking, fiery ship that is Marc Trestman’s team on Turkey Day. A Detroit lead fatter than said turkey will lead to a nice workload for Bell, who has seen carries come his way this season when the Lions have nursed second half leads.

Wide Receiver

DeSean Jackson ($7,600) at Indianapolis Colts
There’s no better feeling than investing in a player on one of the most dysfunctional NFL teams in recent memory. Jackson’s FanDuel price fell by $400 after he posted 4.9 fantasy points against the 49ers in Week 12.

His Week 13 price, however, doesn’t account for an upgrade at quarterback in Washington. Robert Griffin III was officially sent to the pine on Tuesday, making Colt McCoy the starter against the Colts. It’s the same McCoy who connected with DJax six times for 136 yards last month against the Cowboys on Monday Night Football. Jackson saw a team-high seven targets that night.

My one concern for DJax this week is that he’ll see quite a bit of shutdown cornerback Vontae Davis – PFF’s second-rated cornerback after 12 weeks. I still think DJax is worth the play. Indianapolis is projected to put up 30.75 points against Washington, meaning McCoy will likely have to put it up early and often in this one. And with Jackson, all it takes is one deep shot.

Tight End

Travis Kelce ($5,100) vs. Denver Broncos
Kelce, after two straight hideous stat lines, showed signs of fantasy life in Week 12 thanks in large part to the Chiefs being forced to try to score points in the face of a second-half deficit.

He finished with 67 yards on four catches against Oakland. The last meeting between the Chiefs and Broncos saw Kelce snatch four passes for 81 yards as Kansas City did as so many teams have done and attacked Denver’s defense via the tight end. The Broncos have allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends in 2014, and tight ends have topped five receptions against Denver seven times in 11 games.

Kelce and professional vulture Anthony Fasano combined for eight catches and 130 yards against the Broncos when these teams met in September. Kelce ran a meager 23 pas routes in that contest – a total he should easily eclipse in the rematch.

Try to wrap your degenerate mind around this: Kelce is a top-10 fantasy tight end despite seeing just 52 targets through 12 weeks, or 30 fewer than Martellus Bennett. The point here is that Kelce doesn’t require much to put up a big, fat stat line. I think he has as good a chance to blow up in Week 13 as he has had all year.

Kelce is FanDuel’s 15th-priciest tight end after a $100 price drop.

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.