Another week, another installment of the RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship blog! Returning users will know the drill: fill your entry, earn cash prizes, and if you finish above the RotoWire experts you will earn an entry into the week 11 $20,000 Championship Freeroll! If you are just getting on board this week, it is not too late! You can join this week's contest here.
Week 4 Results
Congratulations to FanDuel user, srolle, who took home the $500 first place prize, along with an ever-elusive entry into the week 11 $20,000 Championship Freeroll! Their winning lineup put up 147.88 points despite only getting 1.7 points from tight end Kyle Rudolph! They were able to do that with monster performances from Devonta Freeman (35.4), Vincent Jackson (25.7), and Falcons D/ST (21). He/she went value on the quarterback position by picking Jameis Winston (16.68) who ended up outscoring Aaron Rodgers in week 4; who would of thunk it? Well, srolle did. Congrats!
In the expert competition, RotoWire expert Herb Ilk (joecomma) took home 1st place honors with a strong 134.16 output, narrowly edging out Clay Link (linkdaddydollaz) who put up 133.96 points. The common factor in both of their lineups? You guessed it, Devonta Freeman and his three-touchdown day that yielded a whopping 35.4 points! What pushed Herb's lineup ahead of Clay's was the fact that he listened to Ed Kensik last week and started Martellus Bennett, who outscored Clay's tight end Charles Clay by 3.2 points.
As for myself, I was sitting pretty in the top 10 through the Sunday Night game, but Monday's SEA/DET matchup pushed four experts ahead of myself, causing me to finish 12th and out of the money. I did put up a respectable 107.46 points on the backs of Martellus Bennett (19.8), Chandler Catanzaro (17.0), Cam Newton (16.06), and Amari Cooper (12.9). What I - and every other entrant who didn't win last week - forgot to put in my lineup was Devonta Freeman. Usually I don't buy into a player repeating a crazy performance if they haven't proven that they can do it consistently, and that strategy cost me in week 4. That being said, I doubt Freeman will be able to put up another three-touchdown week in week 5, right.... Right?!
Here is how the Top-10 shakes out in the Expert Competition. You can see the full standings here.
1. Adam Wolf (rotosomething) - 521.14
2. Josh Collacchi (JCollachi) - 503.86
3. Jake Letarski (rotojakeski) – 494.96
4. Tony Goldstein (trookie83) - 482.64
5. Brian Pelowski (brianp) - 478.40
6. Tate McIntyre (tamc10) – 478.08
7. Peter Merrill (black26) – 476.72
8. Clay Link (linkdaddydollaz) – 474.64
9. Jason Brown (modano9) - 474.50
10. Ed Kensik (chicagoed) - 471.72
Going forward I will call this section "Value Picks" because with how savvy participants have become, no one is truly a sleeper in FanDuel anymore. The key to success is to identify players who are undervalued. Just like in the stock market, you are trying to buy into undervalued commodities and sell on overpriced ones. The same rules apply to DFS. No one is going to win their contests by picking Julio Jones (in fact, probably no one did if they picked him last week) because almost everyone will have one or more of the big names rostered. Tournaments are won when you hit on those low-to-mid tier players that aren't highly-owned. So let's take a look at some undervalued week 5 options to help bolster your lineups.
QB Tyrod Taylor: Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans
FanDuel Price: $7,500
Taylor has been a perpetual value play in FanDuel, even if he doesn't have a $5,000 price tag like he did in week 1. With dual-threat ability and surprisingly good touch on his throws, Taylor has earned his right to be ranked fourth among all DFS quarterbacks. With both LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams looking doubtful for Sunday's tilt against the Titans, the Bills will look to get back in the win column riding Taylor's arm and legs. Even with his early success, he is still only the 10th highest priced signal-caller, which is why I am rolling with him in multiple lineups.
QB Blake Bortles: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FanDuel Price: $6,900
After a poor showing week 1, Bortles has strung together three fantasy-friendly games. Allen Robinson has flashed no. 1 receiver talent, and the emergence of Allen Hurns over the past couple of weeks has given Bortles a couple of legitimate weapons; something he didn't have all of last year. I could see Bortles eclipsing 300 yards for the first time this season in this matchup. When two terrible teams face each other, it usually ends up being a 9-6 game or a 49-45 donnybrook. I'm hoping for the latter, so get ready for more exciting Jacksonville/Tampa Bay picks!
RB Doug Martin: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FanDuel Price: $6,400
Martin turned in his best performance of the year (20-106-1 and 5-37) against Carolina last week, and he gets a porous Jacksonville defense that could be without its defensive captain Paul Posluszny on Sunday. I could easily see Martin finding the endzone again against the Jags. At $6,400, Martin is cheap enough to compliment a top-tier back such as Le'Veon Bell ($9,000) or Eddie Lacy ($7,600) who are both primed for big games.
WR Allen Robinson: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FanDuel Price: $6,300
The results have been inconsistent for Robinson this season, but overall, his year has to be considered a success. He has developed into quite the big-play receiver (three 40+ yards catches and a 22.0 YPC). He also averages 9.8 targets per game, so Bortles is looking to get him the ball. Plus, the recent emergence of Allen Hurns will keep opposing defenses from doubling Robinson. I honestly do not see his FanDuel price staying under $7,500 by the end of year. Make sure to take advantage of his bargain basement price.
WR Mike Evans: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FanDuel Price: $7,500
Evans had a disappointing output last week while Vincent Jackson went off against Carolina. It may just be a gut feeling, but I think Evans gets into the endzone for the first time in week 5. He has averaged 12.5 targets over the past two weeks, and I can see Tampa Bay forcing the ball to their young star in an effort to develop chemistry between him and Winston against a soft defense. $7,500 may seem high for a player that hasn't done much this year, but I see value in this play.
***I promise that was the last Jacksonville or Tampa Bay player I will recommend***
RB Ameer Abdullah: Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions
FanDuel Price: $6,100
Abdullah got the start last week, but couldn't muster anything against a stout Seahawks defense. The Cardinals won't be much easier to run against, but with the Lions returning home in what is essentially a must-win game, I could see them stepping up against a tough opponent. Joique Bell is looking like a no-go again this week, opening up carries for Abdullah. He has shown he can hit the home run, and that is what I am hoping for with his extremely discounted price.
WR Jordan Matthews: New Orleans @ Philadelphia
FanDuel Price: $6,800
Matthews got off to a hot start this season, but he hasn't done much over the past two weeks. Let me go ahead and make some excuses for his poor play. Week 3 he was guarded by Darrelle Revis; enough said. Last week looked to be a prime matchup for Matthews, except for the fact a hurricane happened to be blowing through town. I quickly removed all Philadelphia and Washington players from all my lineups, and I am glad I did. With a clear forecast for Sunday's game, I see Sam Bradford connecting with his top target regularly and the duo finding the end zone at least once.
High Risk/High Reward
RB Le'Veon Bell: Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Diego Chargers
FanDuel Price: $9,000
With Adrian Peterson on a bye, Bell is the most expensive RB in FanDuel this week, and deservedly so. He gets a soft Monday Night Football matchup against the 31st ranked Chargers' run defense. Even though Michael Vick looked like a shell of his former self last week, the presence of Antonio Brown plus the return of Martavius Bryant will keep opposing defenses from stacking eight in the box. Now there is always the risk that Philip Rivers and San Diego go up big early at home, but Bell's elite pass-catching ability will keep him involved in the gameplan if that were to happen.
WR Julio Jones: Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons
FanDuel Price: $9,200
I was big on Jones in the preseason and he ended up on almost all of my fantasy teams this year, as well as becoming a mainstay in my weekly FanDuel lineups. I managed to avoid picking him last week in what had the makings of a blowout, and that moved paid off. This week I am going to make sure he is back in most of my lineups despite his high price. The Redskins are going to be without their top corner, DeAngelo Hall, and their offense has been getting in sync recently, which will limit the chance of a blow out. Jones is currently questionable with a minor foot injury, but he has essentially been questionable all season, so I am not worried about it. I have several lineups this weekend that feature both high-priced commodities listed in this section, and I am able to do that because of how many attractive value plays there are this week.
RB Todd Gurley: St. Louis Rams vs. Green Bay Packers
FanDuel Price: $6,700
After bursting on to the scene with 147 rushing yards last week, many FanDuelers may see Gurley's $6,700 price as a value heading into week 5, but buyer beware! Don't get me wrong, I am also on board the Gurley train, but just not this week. Facing an Aaron Rodgers led Packers offense at Lambeau Field could have the Rams playing from behind early, which does not suit Gurley's running style. He was able to see 20-plus touches against the Cardinals because the score was close for the entirety of the contest. But don't worry, if Gurley does indeed turn in a dud, he will be even more of a value after the Rams' week 6 bye when they begin to face defenses he can run all over.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @JashFath to see my rage tweets when my fantasy backs get vultured or my receivers have long touchdowns called back on holding penalties. I am also open to 1-vs-1 FanDuel challenges if you are up for the challenge. Good luck to all, and happy FanDueling!