An Early Look at FanDuel's Week 1 Pricing

Aug 02, 2016
An Early Look at FanDuel's Week 1 Pricing

It's that time again.

FanDuel has dropped Week 1 pricing. One thing will be interesting to monitor is how quickly the site will be to alter pricing after Week 1. If pricing is slow to correct from Week 1, there are many players priced way below their current ADP that could provide value well into the season because their prices are starting so low.

Here's a position-by-position breakdown of my first impressions:


I'm going to be releasing a very cool study in stacking combinations later this month, and one thing I found was that QBs in the same game tend to be more positively correlated than you might think. You can put this information to use by getting exposure to both QBs in what are projected to be high-scoring games:

Carr will likely be the highest-owned QB in Week 1 against a Saints defense that allowed 45 passing TDs in 2015. Now that a healthy Keenan Lewis will replace Brandon Browner opposite the talented but mistake-prone Delvin Breaux at corner, the Saints secondary could be improved. Problem is, the pass rush may be poor enough for it not to matter. The Raiders-Saints over/under of 50 is currently tied for highest on the slate.

Manning is priced as QB19, but his ADP is QB10. According to our early aFPA, Manning has the easiest schedule for a QB. He could be a strong value early in the season if his price adjusts upwards slowly. John Paulsen issued a sleeper alert for Eli.

Garoppolo is priced as QB24, but the Cardinals could force the Patriots to score points, and Matt Cassel (who we now know is not good) managed a QB11 finish in PPG in 2008 while replacing Tom Brady.

Running Back

RB production is driven by opportunity more so than by efficiency, so seeking out cheap options slated to get a lot of volume is one of the best practices you can employ in DFS. There are a number of affordable RBs slated to rack up volume:

  • Doug Martin ($7,200) averaged 20.1 touches per game in 2015.
  • DeAngelo Williams ($7,100) averaged 21.3 touches (and 19.6 PPG) when Le'Veon Bell was out last season.
  • LeSean McCoy ($7,200) averaged 19.6 touches in 2015, and his backups are dropping like flies.
  • Latavius Murray ($6,600) averaged 19.3 touches in 2015. He may eventually cede snaps to DeAndre Washington ($4,700), but he looks to be a strong Week 1 play with a strong offensive line going against what is likely to again be a putrid Saints run defense.
  • Matt Forte ($6,500) averaged 20.2 touches for the Bears in 2015. The Jets had 480 RB touches last season, so even if Forte gets 50 percent of them, that's still 15 touches, which is solid at his price tag.
  • Frank Gore ($6,200) averaged 18.3 touches in 2015 and there's not much behind him. His Colts are also a five-point home favorite against the Lions.
  • The big question with Rashad Jennings ($6,000) is will he get the 21.5 touches per game he saw over the last four weeks of the season, or the 11.5 he saw over the first 12 weeks? If it's the former (which is likely), he's a bargain.

FanDuel's 0.5-PPR scoring system and no yardage bonuses like DraftKings puts added emphasis on TDs, so pass-catching platoon RBs aren't quite as valuable here as they would be on DraftKings or other full-PPR sites. That being said, there are some notable discounts to be had on pass-catching RBs:

  • You're getting an injury discount on Dion Lewis ($6,500), who is priced as RB24 after finishing last season as RB9 in per-game scoring. If he's healthy, his yards-after-catch prowess will likely be utilized often to help prevent Garoppolo from having to test Patrick Peterson and co. down the field.
  • Danny Woodhead ($5,800) is priced as RB35, which is below his 2015 finish in per-game scoring (RB15) and his current average ADP (RB29). A lot of missed games by other Chargers receivers aided Woodhead's 2015 numbers, but the absence of Stevie Johnson should open up a few more short targets. Paulsen thinks Woodhead still has RB1 upside in 2016.
  • Charles Sims ($4,700) finished 2015 as RB36 in per-game scoring and has an ADP of RB39, but is priced as RB79.

Wide Receiver

T.Y. Hilton ($6,800) is priced as the WR23 with a current ADP of WR17. Darius Slay is a good corner, but a price of $6,800 seems way too low for Luck's No. 1 WR against a Lions defense we currently have ranked 28th versus WRs in early aFPA.

Speaking of Luck's WRs, Donte Moncrief ($6,200) is a popular breakout candidate on a Colts team that lost more than 200 targets from last season. He is priced as the WR38, but has an average ADP of WR32, including WR23 on the sharp platform.

Brandon Marshall ($7,700) and Eric Decker ($6,900) finished last season fourth and 14th in 2015 per-game scoring, respectively, but are priced as WR10 and WR20, respectively. The low prices may be matchup-related, but the duo combined for over 50 percent of the Jets' target market share in 2015.

Marvin Jones ($5,500) priced as WR55 could be a screaming value or fool's gold. Jones's ADP is currently WR39, but his value depends on how often Golden Tate ($6,900) lines up outside as opposed to in the slot. If Tate is mostly in the slot, Jones would likely draw Vontae Davis, who can play shutdown ball at times.

Bruce Ellington ($4,700) could be highway robbery if he wins a starting job (which appears likely). The addition of Chip Kelly means the 49ers will likely run the most plays in the league (as Chip's Eagles did over the last three seasons), and Torrey Smith (also a bargain at $5,600) has never been a volume receiver. Ellington has a shot at leading the 49ers in receptions in 2016.

Martavis Bryant finished 21st in per-game scoring in 2015, and Sammie Coates ($5,200) is his likely replacement on the outside while Markus Wheaton ($6,100) will likely continue to man the slot. With newly acquired star corner Josh Norman almost certain to shadow Antonio Brown ($9,300), Wheaton and (especially) Coates make for solid GPP dart throws.

Tight End

Priced as TE13, Coby Fleener ($5,400) will be hugely popular against a Raiders defense that we have ranked as bottom-five versus TEs in early aFPA. With a current average ADP of TE7, Fleener is a relative bargain, regardless.

Ladarius Green ($5,100) is priced as the TE20 but currently has an average ADP of TE9. The health of his ankle is something to monitor, but playing with a stud QB and smallish WRs, Green could pay huge dividends on a TD-centric site like FanDuel.

Clive Walford ($4,700) is dealing with a knee laceration and missed valuable early camp reps with Carr, but if he's ready to go, he should be in play against a Saints defense we currently have ranked dead last in early TE aFPA. Walford is priced as TE35, but his average ADP is currently TE24.

Jason Witten ($5,500) is not an exciting play, but over the last three years, he's averaged 14.6 PPG in six games against the Giants linebacker- and safety-deficient defenses, compared to 8.1 PPG in 42 games against everyone else. Unless rookie safety Darian Thompson is a revelation and someone emerges at linebacker, the Giants defense is again shaping up to be ... linebacker- and safety-deficient.


Selecting a kicker comes down to finding teams with high implied point totals or spreads, preferably playing at home.

Here's an early list of kickers who fit the criteria:

Defense/Special Teams

Selecting a D/ST is all about leveraging Vegas odds to select teams that will play with a lead and therefore force the opponent into passing situations where mistakes like sacks and interceptions that benefit the defense from a fantasy perspective are more likely to occur. Look to selecting defenses who are favorites, with home favorites being the ideal choice.

Here is a list of the current Week 1 home favorites (some games don't currently have spreads and are not listed):

  • Seahawks (-7.5, $5,000) vs. Dolphins
  • Chiefs (-7, $5,100) vs. Chargers
  • Cardinals (-5.5, $5,000) vs. Patriots
  • Colts (-5, $4,400) vs. Lions
  • Cowboys (-3.5, $4,400) vs. Giants
  • Ravens (-2.5, $4,300) vs. Bills
  • Falcons (-3, $4,200) vs. Buccaneers

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