FanDuel Week 6 Values & Top Plays
Last week, I spoke about the value of a contrarian strategy, and as the games played out, the value of this strategy showed once again. The winner of the Sunday Million was in the 1.3 percent of Arian Foster owners, and the runner up was in the 4.3 percent of Matt Forte owners. It’s important to note that “contrarian” play doesn’t have to mean the player has a bad matchup, or isn’t expected to do well. It simply means the player isn’t a screaming value that day and therefore is likely to be not highly owned.
With that in mind, here are some contrarian pivots from players likely to be far more popular this weekend. Note that a contrarian strategy is mostly valuable in a large-field tournament where you need to beat a large percentage of entrants. The risk of going away from the top values in cash games where you only need to beat roughly half the field is not worth the risk.
- QB Andrew Luck ($9,900): Luck leads the NFL in fantasy points per game and takes on a Houston defense that ranks a middling 18th in QB aFPA. Many will be on Peyton Manning instead, after he set a career high in yardage and won someone a million dollars over on DraftKings.
- RB Giovani Bernard ($8,700): Gio will likely be lower owned than the four RBs priced higher than him because they are all coming off 20-plus fantasy point games, while Bernard didn’t crack 10 points. But the Panthers gave up 12 receptions to Forte last week and A.J. Green may not suit up for the Bengals.
- WR Dez Bryant ($8,900): He will likely be owned the least out of all the stud WRs due to matchup, but a physical beast like Bryant is capable of beating the Seahawks deep for a TD. Seattle’s pass rush is strong, but Tony Romo is great at extending plays. Last week, Terrance Williams was the beneficiary of Romo eluding pressure and heaving one deep, but it could easily be Dez this week.
- TE Larry Donnell ($6,000): Julius, Gronk, Delanie Walker, and even Martellus Bennett will all likely be more highly owned than Donnell after he dropped a goose egg last week. But Donnell is still tied for third in the NFL in red zone targets; he hasn’t magically lost his 3 TD upside from two weeks ago.
Now for the actual, non-contrarian values and top plays.
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QB Peyton Manning @ NYJ $10,200
The Jets have one of the most exploitable secondaries in the NFL. They have given up a 12:1 TD:interception ratio and are ranked 30th in QB aFPA. New York’s offense is also in shambles, so any attempt to play keep-away, ball control offense will likely fail as well. The Broncos have passed more than twice the amount of times they’ve run in the red zone, and that ratio may increase with top RB Montee Ball sidelined. The Manning brother with less Super Bowl rings needs 20.4 points to hit cash game value, which he is a near-lock for this weekend.
QB Eli Manning @ PHI $7,200
The Eagles are ranked last in the NFL in plays per game allowed (74.2) and 31st in QB aFPA; they’re giving up both volume and efficiency numbers to QBs. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s quick-hitting offense is doing wonders for Eli. His 66.3 percent completion rate is four points more than his career high up until this point, and his one interception over the past three games is the least interceptions he’s thrown in a three game stretch since 2011. While a replication of Austin Davis’s 375 yard, 3 TD day against Philly last week is unrealistic, Eli should easily hit his 14.4 cash game value target and has an outside chance at doubling that if the game turns into a shootout.