How I am going to win the 11/1 Sunday Million on FanDuel with a Single Entry
This week, Fanduel is running its $2.5mm Sunday Million contest. $4.44 cost per entry with the ability for players to enter up to 150 entries. And I am going to win this contest. With one paltry single entry. Yes, I am. $1mm to me. Will finish first of the 600,000+ entrants in this contest. Anyone can jump up and down after they ship a tournament, send out screenshots and tell all their friends. If they are associated with RG like Notorious, STLCards or HeadChopper, you may see them write about it with titles like “How I won $100,000 playing sport xyz DFS”. Clearly, this writeup is superior to those. I am telling you IN ADVANCE that I am going to win FanDuel’s largest contest of the weekend. And I am going to tell you how. No, I am not a psychic. No, I am not the human embodiment of the Zoltar machine from the movie Big. And no, I was not sent back from the future to save Sarah Connor and decided to play some NFL DFS before fighting with a Terminator machine. I just love this slate, have a good feel for it and am sending positive vibes out into the universe. You mean that type of mumbo jumbo works? No, it doesn’t, but hard work in attempting to reach goals can. And that is what I have going for me. So, let’s get to it and run through my Sunday Million winning process.
I am not going to tell you my lineup. Did you think I would? Oh no. Not only is that against fantasy site guidelines (I think), but I don’t want to split this cool $1mm with you lot. I am sure you are all good people, but you can win next week. This week is mine. Rather, I am going to run through my process this week and perhaps this will help you with how you are looking at the slate. Conversely, if you see something in my process that looks/sounds wonky, feel free to call me out. Label me a donkey or a fish or a clownface and tell me how I am wrong. It won’t hurt my feelings. Rather it will help me. So, I won’t be giving out my 9 roster slots and who mans them. Rather, I will take you through my work so far this week (it is currently Friday at 5:00pm) to see how I narrow my roster choices down to something very manageable. Enough of my process talk, let’s actually get to the process.
1). Identify the best game environments.. This is relatively easy. We can all access the stats necessary to do this. The highest over/under games are TEN/CIN (51.5), MIN/GB (50), SF/SEA (54) and IND/DET (50). And Las Vegas/CLE is right behind these games with a total of 49.5. So, that’s my starting point. A different look at game environments would be to check pace of play for the teams. This should already be incorporated in Vegas game totals, but I like to look at it anyways. The Chargers, Titans, Bills, Rams and Bengals are all in the top 11 fastest paced teams in neutral situations. This underscores the attractiveness of the Titans/Bengals game given both teams are playing up pace football this season. On the flip side, 3 of the 5 slowest paced teams are playing on this slate and are the Niners, Saints and Bears. This makes me cringe as I think about any players from the Bears and Saints game. As in my man Alvin Kamara.
2) Don’t even think about weather until Sunday morning.. I listened to three podcasts today and the main topic at the top of each of them was weather. Wind and cold and rain and more wind. While weather can certainly impact the fantasy production outlook, it matters ZERO two days before game day. Think about it. How often is the forecast in your area wrong just 1 or 2 days before the day you are actually interested in? I live in the Washington DC area and 2 days ago it was supposed to rain all day Thursday and Friday. It rained all day Thursday and then stopped early this morning. You see what I am getting at? We won’t truly know what the weather will be in places like Green Bay, Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo and Cincinnati until Sunday. In the meantime, it would be a shame to eliminate or downgrade players in these games from your player pools. So, my plan has been to do all my research assuming perfect weather everywhere and assemble my initial player pool that way. And I will check the weather forecasts up until about noon on Sunday, take weather into account at that time and see where that leaves my lineup.
3) Is there overlap between the best game environments and best spots for offensive players? I mentioned above that the Titans and Bengals game strikes me as an attractive game environment. As it turns out, the Bengals are in the bottom six versus the rush (both total yards and yards per carry). And guess who is a pretty good running back? Derrick Henry. And while Henry is the highest priced RB on Fanduel this week, he might be worth it against this Cincy defense. Game script isn’t as important on FD as it is on DK (since Henry doesn’t usually catch passes), so I will be trying to work him into my lineup. What about the passing game in this same game? Well… the Titans are in the bottom 11 versus the pass and the Bengals like to chuck it (especially with Joe Mixon out). As such, a Cincy passing stack of Joe Burrow paired with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and/or AJ Green has to be in consideration. Ideally, this game would see the Titans go up 14-0 on the legs of Henry and the Bengals then play catch up by passing it all over the place for the rest of the game. The 49ers and Seattle game presents two teams who play in the bottom 10 of pace in neutral game situations, but does carry a 54 total. And this is completely due to the historically bad nature of the Seahawks defense. Seattle ranks in the bottom 5 or 6 versus opponent passing attacks, thus making Jimmy G, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and even perhaps Kendrick Bourne as possible roster plays. The Vikings/Packers game is likely to play slow with at least the Vikings very focused on the run game. That being said, the 50 point total is appealing and the Packers are bad against the run (most fantasy points against according to RG tool) and the Vikings are terrible against the pass (bottom 10, Rodgers carved them up in week one). So, we have a Packers stack of Rodgers and Adams, with potentially Jamaal Williams thrown in on one side and Dalvin Cook as a possibility on the other side. The Raiders/Browns game gives us almost a 50 total with two medium paced teams and one bottom ten defense against the rush in the Raiders. Thus, Kareem Hunt looks solid as a RB option. The Raiders are also a bottom 10 defense versus the pass, so we have to look at Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins and TE of the year in Harrison Bryant. Detroit and Indianapolis strikes me as a high total of 50, but I have to respect what Vegas has to say. Both teams play at a medium pace, but neither defense is horrible. Given how much each team uses different RBs, I think I’ll fade both rushing attacks here despite the potential of players like Swift and Taylor. And no way I’m touching either the Colts or Lions passing games.
4) Are there any cheap RBs that are autoplays this week? Last week, injuries presented us with very cheap options like Gio Moustache and Jamaal Williams. Gio was very cheap while Williams was at/close to the minimum on both FD and DK. Never forget the mantra “Always play a starting RB when he is at the minimum price.” This allows you to do so much with your lineup that even if that super cheapo craps out, he won’t torpedo your lineup. Later Friday, we got the news that Joe Mixon and Aaron Jones will be out again this weekend. Pete Carroll also told us that everyone in the Seattle backfield is ok, when in reality maybe no one other than DeeJay Dallas is ok. And the 49ers backfield is a mess with Willson and Moestert out, Coleman who knows, McKinnon available but has tired legs and Hasty seemingly healthy. So, do we have access to any $5k like RBs out of the group highlighted above? Williams is priced up to $7k and Gio Moustache is $5.9k, which makes Gio a bit more interesting to me. On the Seattle side, Hyde, Homer and Dallas are all in the $5k +/- range. The issue is that we still don’t know who will actually play and we may not know until after 3pm Sunday given this is an afternoon game. would love to get some certainty on this situation by Sunday morning, but I’m not holding my breath. As for the 49ers, Hasty is $5.6k, McKinnon is $6k and Coleman is $5k. Like the Seattle players, we may not know the situation here until Sunday afternoon. However, if we get news Saturday or Sunday that Coleman is sitting out again, I may look at Hasty. Other potential cheap options this week include La’Michal Perine of the Jets who is $5.3k and would be the only real option in the Jets backfield if Frank Gore surprisingly misses. The Ravens J.K. Dobbins is $5,1k and could get more run with Mark Ingram likely out, but he faces a very tough Steelers defense. Myles Gaskin is $5.7k and could be popular in the industry, but I just wonder how his role changes with a new QB at the helm.
5). Do defenses actually matter? I think so. Many times, I would just put my defense in last. Just whatever team fit in the spot left over after filling out the 8 offensive slots. Not anymore. The last 4 weeks or so I’ve spent more time here since defensive scores do matter. Sure, the differential between a zero and 15 isn’t as much at the D spot as it can be with RBs and WRs, but still it is better to have more points than less, no? Finding defenses that pressure the QB in a favorable game script is the recipe for success here. Teams with the highest QB pressure rate this weekend include the Steelers, Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers, Patriots, and Chargers. Let’s try to match this up with teams who get sacked a lot. Teams in the top 10 of most sacked QB this year include the Jets and Chargers. This confirms my initial feel that I wanted to play the Chiefs at home this week versus the Jets. At $5k, the Chiefs are super expensive, so I don’t know if I will get there. The Chargers are $4.3k, so a bit more affordable. I know people want to go to the Saints against the woeful Bears, but the Saints don’t pressure the QB or force turnovers this year, so I’m likely to fade this popular defensive choice this week.
So, there you have it. The winning lineup for the Fanduel Sunday Million this week. Well, not really. But, the process is there. And don’t forget there is still more to do. Saturday injury news could help winnow down my player pool. And I’ll do my final weather check by noon on Sunday. And then the final lineup will come together. See you at the top Sunday night!