Daily Fantasy: Week 3 DraftDay Optimal Plays

Daily Fantasy: Week 3 DraftDay Optimal Plays

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Sep 18, 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.

One aspect of daily fantasy football strategy that’s really important, but one I haven’t discussed too much thus far, is how to analyze flex positions. Many daily sites have flex spots in which you can place a running back, wide receiver, or tight end.

Since there are so many different routes to go, this is the single most effective way to gain an advantage on the competition. If you’re creating values for each player based on their projection and salary, you should be able to see which positions are generally the most valuable on each site, relative to their particular scoring.

Some sites price each position pretty accurately. StarStreet is one that has really accurate salaries each week. But some don’t, and DraftDay is one of them. With full PPR scoring system, DraftDay continually underprices wide receivers.

Take a look at the DraftDay Week 3 Value Report. The top of the list is dominated by wide receivers and quarterbacks. You obviously can’t start the latter position in your flex spot, but the best players and top lineups can often be found with a wide receiver in the flex. On a per-point basis, you have to pay less for wide receiver production than the other spots.

Moreover, novice owners typically want to get a running back into the flex. So while they’re paying $723 per point for Maurice Jones-Drew, who we have projected at 11.9 points, you can pay just $528 per point for Stephen Hill, who we have projected only 0.1 point lower.

Stephen Hill or Maurice Jones-Drew? The choice seems obvious when you hear the names, but the truth is that targeting wide receivers and fading running backs in full PPR formats is typically a good strategy, and it’s an excellent one specifically on DraftDay.

With that in mind, let’s get to this week’s top values.


Value Plays

QB Jake Locker $9550 (vs SD)
DraftDay has a fairly soft cap, so you can’t generally go with too many low and medium-priced players just because you’ll be leaving too much cap space on the table. But if you work a guy like Locker into the mix, you can go big pretty most everywhere else.

Did you see what the Eagles did to the Chargers’ secondary on Sunday? The Titans offense obviously isn’t that explosive, but Locker could quietly be a top 10 quarterback this week.

RB DeMarco Murray $11000 (vs STL)
I was high on Murray last week and he laid a dud. But you know what? Lots of people were high on Murray to start the year, and all of a sudden the hype has died down. The Cowboys’ running game is a mess and Murray isn’t getting that many carries.

However, we’re just two weeks into the season and it’s an excellent time to buy low on some guys. In both daily and season-long fantasy football, it’s important to never say you won’t own a guy “no matter what.” Everyone has value as some point, and Murray has it at this price tag.

Plus, the public opinion on Murray is tied to the fact that Dallas can’t run the ball, but the running back has caught 13 passes already. Check out this fact: Murray has only 111 yards and no touchdowns in two games, but he’s still ranked 10th in PPR leagues!

WR Julian Edelman $12450 (vs TB)
DraftDay typically underprices their lower-tier players such that they are by far the best values. But they also have a soft cap, so you can’t really use more than one bottom-dweller. That means that you often need to move far down the value reports to find usable players just because the top is filled with guys who aren’t projected to score very many points.

It also means that when an elite (or near-elite) player finds himself near the top of the DraftDay values, it usually means he’s really good value. Edelman is a great value on a bunch of sites this week—he’s a monster in PPR and Tom Brady has nowhere else to go with the ball—and there’s no one else in his tier that’s near as good of value.

TE Greg Olsen $9150 (vs NYG)
Olsen was undervalued in season-long leagues and he’s undervalued on a week-to-week basis in daily leagues. He’s a good mix of value and projected points on DraftDay, and he should be able to eat up the Giants.


Optimal DraftDay Lineups

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