Daily Fantasy: Week 2 DraftDay Optimal Plays

Daily Fantasy: Week 2 DraftDay Optimal Plays

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Sep 12, 2013

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Jonathan Bales is a DraftKings Pro and the author of the Fantasy Football for Smart People book series. His latest book, How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports, is a data-driven guide to winning on DraftKings. He is also (unofficially) sponsored by GrubHub.

Follow Jonathan Bales on Twitter: @BalesFootball.

Of the four sites I’m using for the 4for4 staking series, DraftDay was the only one at which I lost money. You know what that means, don’t you? Absolutely nothing. As a daily fantasy player, you have to realize that you’re going to lose money at times. You’re going to lose many a lot of times. And if you haven’t been profitable at a particular site, it’s probably more just because 1) your lineups suck or 2) you’ve just been unlucky with your player combinations.

To improve my profitability at DraftDay, one of the strategies I’ll be using is (almost) always placing a wide receiver in the flex position. I think the flex spot is really the top area where you can gain an advantage over novice owners because there’s really a lot of deviation in strategy there, with most believing a running back is typically the best flex option.

But if you look at the DraftDay Value Report, you’ll see that wide receivers are by far the best values on a dollar-per-point basis. Take a look.



















That’s ridiculous. Wide receivers are so much better cheaper than running backs and tight ends it isn’t even funny. The No. 20-ranked receiver is typically nearly just as good of a value as the No. 5 running back, and an even better value than the No. 5 tight end when we’re talking about the flex spot. So, yeah, maybe go with a receiver?


Value Plays

QB Jay Cutler $11750
Chad Henne is a good value on every site, but Cutler is a better option if you’re looking for more production. He’ll run you just $250 more than rookie E.J. Manuel. Cutler will face a Vikings defense that he should be able to light up, and he’s cheap enough to allow plenty of flexibility elsewhere.

RB Ryan Mathews $8500
Unlike at FanDuel, the top values at DraftDay are typically low-priced players. There’s a bigger deviation in their player salaries at each position, so you typically want to go with a relatively balanced lineup strategy. Mathews can help you do that. He’s still underpriced from the start of the year because sites factored his injury risk into their pricing, but there’s no possible way to project an injury in a single game. And playing the Eagles, the Chargers should get plenty of snaps off.

Side Note: You’ll notice that you need to move down the value reports quite a bit when optimizing your lineups at DraftDay. The low-priced players are so much better of values than the top-priced guys, but you can typically find better overall value by fading both for consistent second-tier players.

WR Julian Edelman $8000
If you’re playing in a Thursday night league, consider Edelman. It’s not that he’s an incredibly talented receiver, but just that Tom Brady doesn’t have anyone else to target. Rob Gronkowski, Shane Vereen, and Danny Amendola are all out, and rookies Zach Sudfeld and Kenbrell Thompkins failed to impress in Week 1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Edelman get double-digit looks.

TE Brandon Pettigrew $5400
Site scoring is so important. Unlike FanDuel, DraftDay is a full PPR site, so Pettigrew has extra value as a high-volume tight end. Arizona is strong on the outside and will surely place a safety over top of Megatron, and you can bet that Reggie Bush is going to command even more attention this week as well. That leaves the middle of the field for Pettigrew to go to work.

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