Week 7 FanDuel Optimal Plays
Value! I NEED value. How can I get more value!?
From the months of August to December, I’m pretty much a fantasy football crackhead searching for just one more hit of value. I don’t even want to mention some of the things I’ve done for more value. You don’t want to hear them, either. I’m the Lamar Odom of fantasy football.
And there’s a reason for that. All other things equal, we want to target players who offer value in that their expected production exceeds their cost, whether that cost is a draft pick or a daily fantasy salary.
But value isn’t all we need to be concerned about. Go ahead and fill your daily fantasy lineups with the top values at each position. You’ll probably be, like, 30 grand under the cap and have a projected score of 80 points.
The ultimate goal isn’t to maximize value. It’s to maximize projected points, and that’s important to remember. Sometimes—lots of times—it’s okay to trade in value for pure points.
And the more points a player is expected to score, the more we can overlook moderate value. It’s not like we ever want to choose players listed at the bottom of the value reports, but we can move down them a bit in an effort to optimally balance value and production.
That’s why when a high-priced player is near the top of the value reports and he’s surrounded by min-priced guys, that’s a sign he’s probably a really great value that week. If he returns two points more than his projection, that’s way, way more valuable than a min-priced player returning two points more than his projection.
So with that in mind, I’m going to provide you some names who are listed near the top of the FanDuel Value Report who I probably won’t start this week. I might have minimal exposure to them, depending on the format, but in general, they won’t be in many of my lineups, despite their so-called value.
Week 7 FanDuel “Sneaky” Sits
QB Josh Freeman @NYG $5000
Freeman checks in as the third-best quarterback value because of his price tag. But what can he really do for you this week? He was horrific in Tampa Bay in an offense he knew with weapons much better than those in Minnesota. Even with a favorable matchup, Freeman’s ceiling in this game is probably like 200 yards.
Freeman is the perfect example of why min-priced players can appear to offer value. He’s so cheap that, in isolation, he won’t kill you because a 200-yard, 1 TD game will probably give you “value.” And you’ll get to fill your team with some high-priced studs, too.
But those players are less likely to return lots of value; the higher the salary, the lower the chances of a player greatly surpassing his expectation. Freeman could conceivably double his expectation, whereas a player like Peyton Manning can’t do it, for example. That’s a reflection of their prices and not their talent, obviously, but it means when you’re bullish on a min-priced option, it needs to be someone who has a legitimately high enough ceiling to really return value since you might just “break even” at the other spots.
RB Joseph Randle @PHI $5500
More important, everyone is going to own Randle this week. Bypassing him offers a great opportunity to acquire an advantage at the running back position if he fails, so I’ll be fading Randle in heads-up leagues and especially in tournaments.
WR Keenan Allen @JAC $4500 (Tournaments)
Let me start by saying that I think Allen is such a great value and has a high enough ceiling that you can and should play him in heads-up leagues. In head-to-head matchups, it’s not inevitable that you’ll run into him. And despite being a rookie, Allen should see enough targets to potentially outperform his price tag in a big way.
But coming off of his big Monday night performance, Allen is going to be very heavily owned. If you play him in a tournament, there’s a decent shot you’ll see him in over half of your competitors’ lineups. That’s just not a beneficial situation because, if he goes off, it really won’t be all that advantageous to you. It will just reduce the number of viable options in your lineup, increasing variance. So use Allen in head-to-head, if you wish, but consider fading him in larger leagues.
TE Charles Clay vs. BUF $4900
Not too much in-depth reasoning here. Clay comes out as the second-best tight end value on FanDuel, but he’s surrounded by enough high and medium-priced players with greater expected production (Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Jordan Cameron among them) to go with one of the studs.