Who to Target and Who to Fade in This Week’s FanDuel Sunday Million


“Look at you… In two years, they’ll be marking your gravesite. Me? I’ll be right here.”

Nino Brown might as well have been talking to traditional fantasy sports because their time is truly over. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) is growing by leaps and bounds weekly, new sites are springing up constantly, and the fantasy landscape is in the midst of a revolutionary overhaul; tournaments with seven-figure prize pools are commonplace and the numbers are only getting larger. Every day is the fantasy playoff season in DFS, with literally thousands of opportunities to cash from your fantasy knowledge a mere click away.

One of the premier weekly events in DFS is the FanDuel NFL Sunday Million. This week’s edition, at $25 per entry, will max out at 103,448 players with a guaranteed prize pool of $2.25 million. The winner will take home a cool quarter-million, with a pay ladder that covers the top 20% of the field through 20,675th place. In the Sunday Million, more than $600,000 of the prize pool is distributed to the top 20 finishers and you must beat 95% of the field to at least quadruple your money, so we want to be aggressive and go boom or bust.

We want to do a few things here:

1) Isolate good value plays based on game flow projections.
2) Fade highly owned guys that you can make a case against.
3) Pair up your QB with a receiver teammate. You need your QB to go off in order to take home a juicy prize and therefore you should be looking to pair him up with the guy on the other end of his passes.

You have a $60,000 salary cap to fill nine positions as follows: (1) QB, (2) RB, (3) WR, (1) TE, (1) K, (1) DEF

With that said, here are a few thoughts:


– QB: Russell Wilson ($8,500): Down $200 from last week and facing a Philly team that speeds it up on offense and has a defense that is way stronger against the run than the pass. That’s a good combo.

– QB: Brian Hoyer ($6,700): Down $200 as well, he hits on multiple levels: he’s the same price as Johnny Manziel, the perception that he’s one bad pass away from the bench will keep his ownership percentage low, and, last but not least, with the salary price relief he offers, he becomes a nice, affordable pairing with his target machine, the also reasonably priced Josh Gordon ($8,000) in a great matchup where they should be trailing most afternoon against a poor Indy pass defense. Vontae Davis’ absence would make this even better.

– RB: Mark Ingram ($7,700): When NO went to Carolina back in late October, Ingram was the horse, going for 100 yards and two TDs on the ground in a strong 28-10 win. Coming off his best effort since that game and on a day where Brees will be used heavily in GPPs, thus dropping Ingram’s ownership percentage, I’m willing to gamble on a repeat performance of Week 9.

– WR: Charles Johnson ($6,000): The sharp pick last week, Johnson burned multiple owners and comes in reduced by $300. It’s a good spot to buy low and possibly cash in on a bounce-back against a Jets defense that will be forcing the Vikings to put the ball in the air.

– WR: Doug Baldwin ($5,500): Remember that whole boom or bust thing? His numbers are mediocre, but again we’re facing a fast-paced offense who has a soft pass defense and if you’re rostering the QB, this is the type of reach that gets your name on those 3’x6′ checks. He will fail in this spot 80% of the time and still be a +EV play.

TE: Delanie Walker ($5,400): If you’re not on a big boy here, you can do much worse than Walker, who is coming in $300 cheaper off last week’s dud in HOU. NYG are dismal against opposing TEs.


– QB: Drew Brees ($9,400): He is on a strong three-week run and as the fifth highest price at the position, he will be owned in heavy doses and paired with WR Kenny Stills ($6,400) in most of those. He is up $400 from last week, so he’s not the great value he had been. With the chance of a blowout versus Carolina and that whole “Ingram controlled the game” thing from Week 9, I’ll go contrarian here and take my lumps when he puts up 400/3. We have to beat the masses in this event.

– QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,200): Up a whopping $2,200 in price. If you missed the wedding, don’t show up for the funeral. Especially if they’re charging increased admission.

– RB: Tre Mason ($7,200): Up $1,200, he will still be heavily owned as the 15th highest priced RB. 14 carries against the Raiders is something I’m willing to bet the bounce on and the Skins have a better run defense than they get credit for. You could have driven though some of the holes in the Raiders line; hell, MJD might have gotten 40 yards on that defense.

Lastly, keep an eye on injury reports: Crowell, D. Jax, and Roddy all need to have their replacements considered if out. Looks like I’m out of time; good luck everyone.

If you don’t have a FanDuel account, sign up through PocketFives by clicking hereand get a generous deposit bonus plus access to 5,000 one-day leagues each week! Plus, play in this week’s Sunday Million, which has a $2.25 million prize pool. Get started.