As you probably have already heard, Rotoballer has partnered with Fanduel to bring you the finest weekly league fantasy football action. In this strategy series, we're going to bring you some tips on how to play and win Fanduel leagues!
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How to Win on Fanduel Football - Advice for Weekly Fantasy Gamers (Part 3)
In our second installment last week, we began drilling down into how more seasoned fantasy football salary cap league players make the tough choices at the Quarterback slot. We covered the "Going with the Ace" vs. the "Going with the Sleeper" approach, and hopefully that gave you a good understanding of how things work at the signal-calling position. If you happened to miss that, check it out. In this week's edition, we are going to try to tackle (no pun intended) the daunting task of picking the right options for your running back slots.
How to Select a Running Back
One of the worst possible things you can do every week is just to go on name recognition for a specific back and slot him in without doing your due diligence-- it takes a lot of research to make the toughest choices. For example, we know that so far in 2013, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and the Shady McCoy types are essentially the best RB options week-in and week-out, both in real football and in the fantasy game. The issue, however, is allocating a price tag that will let you differentiate among the high-end talents that are available to you on any given Sunday. Doing that slightly cumbersome research is what separates the big boys from the ones who just make a lot of noise. Ultimately, you'll prpobably want to employ a stars-and-scrubs approach to your two running backs, but in doing so you want to identify a few key points for each pricing plateau that will set those players apart from the rest of the pack for that particular week.
Option 1: Going with the Star
It's not really the hardest task in the world to have a gander at the options available to you with your full bankroll and feel good about splurging on a #1 RB. Sure, we all do it, but when we do, it is important to measure up the best of the best, to separate the cream of the crop, if we are going to break the bank for that luxury item. To do that, we have to take a good hard look at opposing defenses and travel schedules. Those two factors generally have the largest impact on a running game's potential for success. Get your favorite NFL team rankings website handy and make sure you're looking at Run Defense and not just Overall Defense when researching your potential victims. Additionally, travel schedules have a huge impact on team offenses and player availabilities. For example, if Seattle is traveling east to play a 1:00 PM game on Sunday, that should raise an immediate red flag that Marshawn Lynch might be a slightly weaker play, given the time zone differences. Keep in mind that these athletes are all finely tuned machines, so we have to try to find the slightest of edges to help us make our salary cap league decisions (even if they might seem a bit trivial or of marginal importance).
Option 2: Going with the Scrub
Once you go ahead and blow a hefty percentage of your wad on your RB1 (and your high-end QB), the fun part begins, as you now must penny-pinch your way through the rest of your decision making. These are the decisions that will set you apart from your competitors. Generally, the upper tier of RB1s drops off around the $8K mark, and somewhere around $7K and below is where you can start seeking out some hidden undervalued gems. To find that supreme value, you will need to target injury fill-in players and guys who may have underperformed to this point, but who can still pop off a huge game with the right matchup. This week (Week 5) for example, we are eyeing a supremely cheap Rashad Jennings at our RB2. Let's use this exercise to explain why (and give you some valuable free advice at the same time). Normally, that name would mean a pile of fecal matter, but because we are seeking value plays, our research has shown a Raiders team that will likely be without Run DMC and best of all, will be facing the WORST-ranked defense in the NFL (San Diego, 32nd overall). For just $5,200, we are saving a ton of money, but also giving ourselves a nice chance to score big from a value play position. This is the kind of analysis you need to do for your RB2 position to try to maximize the return on a minimal investment-- getting a solid game out of a guy that very few of your competitors will have targeted, and getting it at a minimal price, will separate you from the field and give you a better shot at finishing in the money.
The fun for this week has already begun and we saw some nice running back performances out of both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson on Thursday night!
Now that you've got the basics down, are you ready for the real thing?
This week, Fanduel is hosting an exclusive partners-only tournament. It's an inexpensive $5 entry tournament with over $2500 in prizes awarded. And remember, our experts are hanging around in our chatrooms all day to answer any type of lineup questions you might have!
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That's it for this week fellow RotoBallers! Stay tuned for our next installment and don't forget to sign up for a Fanduel contest this week to start experiencing all the fun and instant fantasy football gratification that has been missing in your life!