Week 8 DraftDay Optimal Plays

Week 8 DraftDay Optimal Plays

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Oct 24, 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.

After a few weeks off, my DraftDay Optimal Plays are back. DraftDay tends to have a pretty loose cap for NFL, so there’s less value in playing low-salary guys. They price them low enough to make it enticing, but it’s difficult to fill the cap—and come close to maximizing projected points—by jumping on min-priced players on DraftDay.

That’s not a good thing for sharks, but their FLEX position at least partially makes up for it. The FLEX is probably the primary area where you can obtain an advantage over a novice player. Most fish naturally want to start running backs in the FLEX, but that’s not always the best play.

To start the year, DraftDay was underpricing wide receivers so much that you absolutely had to play one in the FLEX. That’s changed as the season has gone along; while many wide receivers still offer the best value, running backs and tight ends are closing in.

If you have a highly projected back or tight end who’s also one of your best values, there’s certainly a good chance that he might make a better FLEX play than a receiver. So even if wide receiver is still the best position as a whole to insert into the FLEX, it’s no longer an always sort of thing.

It’s important to remember that the “best” daily fantasy strategies transform all of the time. It’s such a fluid situation because, working with what is a marketplace in the same way as the stock market, player values are constantly in flux. Further, because your decisions should be dictated by both site salaries and opponent beliefs—two ever-changing components of the game—there’s not much room for rigid strategies.


Week 8 DraftDay Values

QB Michael Vick vs. NYG $13500

I’m generally bullish on players others view as injury-prone (even if they are indeed injury-prone) in daily fantasy because the odds of getting injured in a single game are small. Having said that, I’d still play Vick only in tournaments this week, just to be safe. The last thing you want it to put half of your heads-up money on him and he pulls up lame in the first quarter.


RB Darren Sproles vs. BUF $11250

Sproles is always a high-ceiling week-to-week play in PPR leagues. I think he’s going to have a monster game against the Bills, but his salary has fallen into the mid-tier range to account for his recent drop in production. Like Vick, he’s probably just a tournament play due to a potentially low number of touches.


WR Marques Colston vs. BUF $8350

Colston is far from an elite wide receivers these days, but there are 29 receivers who cost more than him on DraftDay. He’s the No.4 value in our DraftDay Value Report, yet costs less than Rueben Randle, Brian Hartline, Michael Floyd, and Greg Jennings. Colston is probably a better heads-up play than a tournament option. With his big body, he’s always a threat to score.


TE Greg Olsen @TB $7300

If you want to go a little pricier at tight end on DraftDay, I’d recommend Tony Gonzalez. However, I’ll be playing Gonzalez quite a bit on FanDuel, so I’ll probably fade him (despite his value) on DraftDay. Remember, you need to track your total exposure to players on a week-to-week basis across all sites. I wouldn’t bypass Gonzalez if he were an elite value, but with Olsen ranked ahead of him in terms of dollars-per-point, the decision is made easier due to my exposure to Gonzo elsewhere.


Week 8 DraftDay Optimal Lineups

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