FanDuel Week 15 Values & Top Plays
How Do Defense/Special Teams Perform Relative to Their Salary on FanDuel?
So far, I've taken a look at QBs, RBs, and WRs. I'll get to TEs and Kickers in the coming weeks, but this week I wanted to look at defenses because their salaries fall so close together, I wondered if the data would show a greater return at any particular salary range.
|Salary ($)||#||Average Value||Average FP|
An average priced D/ST in the $5,000-$5,100 salary range seems to be the best bet to return value. Paying a premium of $5,500 and over has generally not worked out well. Defenses in the $4,500-$4,900 range perform more or less the same, so if you're going under $5,000, the data suggests simply playing the cheapest defense you're comfortable with.
If you've read my preseason work on D/ST, you know that I favor selecting them based almost entirely on opposing matchup (specifically the opposing QB), rather than the strength of the defense. So let's look at the data to see which opponents are providing the most generous to D/STs from a value perspective.
|Opp||2x %||3x %||Avg Value|
The Jaguars are far and away the safest bet to pick a D/ST against, having returned 2x value over two-thirds of the time so far this season. Note how the top 6 teams on the list all have had QBs issues and used more than one signal caller this season. In general, teams with below-average QBs find themselves near the top of this list, with only Houston and Cleveland able to use a run-heavy philosophy to prevent surrendering a lot of value to opposing D/STs.
Another point of interest is the 8 percent discrepancy between Atlanta and Cincinnati. The 13 teams from Cincinnati down yield a less than one-in-four chance at returning 2x value against. Since we have somewhat reliable data on 2014 by this point in the season, targeting these teams should be largely avoided.
Top Plays & Values
QB Eli Manning vs. WAS $7,500
My first inclination was to go with Mark Sanchez at this price, but gave Manning the edge after considering he is the better QB in the better matchup (Redskins are 32nd in QB aFPA) with the best receiver (Odell Beckham). The Redskins permit a 28-5 TD-interception ratio on the season. Ever since Beckham took on a prominent role in Week 7, Manning has thrown for at least 248 yards and 1 TD in every game, which means he could perform close to his floor and still approach cash game value. He lit up this same defense for 300 passing yards and 5 total TDs in Week 4, without Beckham.
QB Derek Anderson vs. TB $5,000
Minimum priced “punt” plays at QB tend to make sensible investments because they only need about 12.5 points to hit 2.5x value. I’ve personally used Josh McCown ($5,700), Shaun Hill ($5,000), and Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,000) in cash games this year, and they’ve all returned at least 2.5x value so far. Even the worst starting NFL QB usually projects for 12.5 points just by stepping onto the field. Our numbers bear this out, as Anderson is the top player on our FanDuel Value Reports.
Anderson has played well over a sample of 57 passing attempts with Carolina, sporting a 70 percent completion rate, 7.44 yards-per-attempt, and a TD every 14.3 attempts. The Bucs defense is an average 18th in QB aFPA, allowing 261 yards and 1.92 passing TDs per game.