INDIANAPOLIS --- Week 1 is fast approaching, which means many of you are drafting and setting your lineup for your first match-up in traditional fantasy football. This year, why not take your skills to the next level by playing (and winning) on FanDuel? Most people are brand new or don't have as much experience with FanDuel as they do traditional fantasy football.
That's where this article comes in, with best practices for winning on FanDuel, with some great promotions as well between the Colts and FanDuel to announce this season that give you, the fans, a chance to win even more.
Colts & FanDuel 2015 Fantasy Season Plans
Every Sunday morning on 1st Down with Rick Venturi (CBS 4 in Indianapolis at 8:30 AM Sundays; Colts.com starting 9:00 AM Sundays), FanDuel Managing Editor Will Carroll will join me to give our FanDuel lineup picks for the FanDuel Sunday Million Tournament.
Every Friday afternoon, Colts.com will also host the FanDuel Fantasy Focus, a weekly fantasy football live show that will hit on both traditional and FanDuel fantasy football. You can join the conversation, by questions at the bottom right of the Colts.com Fantasy Football page. Download the Colts mobile app for alerts on when to watch. If you miss it, it will also be on Colts.com over the weekends.
A special FREE week 1 FanDuel League has been set up for Colts fans (click here to find it). Create an account, and compete for awesome Colts fan experiences. 1st place? An Exclusive Fantasy Prize. 2nd and 3rd? An Exclusive Colts Game Experience 4th and 5th place? Another Colts Game Experience. And knowing FanDuel and the Colts staff, these will be sweet prizes. Best part? It costs you nothing to play.
Filling Out Your FanDuel Lineup
Each FanDuel lineup includes a QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, and DEF. Scoring is the same as your standard scoring traditional fantasy leagues, except receptions are also worth an extra ½ point each.
Your lineup must fit under a $60,000 salary cap, as each player has a price. That's the key and where skill comes in. You can't just start a lineup with Luck, Peterson, Lacy, Bryant, Beckham, and Gronkowski.
Strategy Depends on the FanDuel League
Head-to-Head Leagues: You are just trying to beat one person, and you should be making safer picks (higher floor vs. higher ceiling but lower floor, is a popular term in FanDuel).
- 50/50s: Leagues where you are trying to finish in the top half of the standings. Everybody that finishes in the top half almost doubles their entry. Mix in a couple riskier picks.
Tournaments: Tens of thousands of people entered, and the key is to not only choose higher scoring players but also higher scoring players that won't be picked by many people in the tournament. Mixing in sleepers is the goal in tournaments, because it will help you move up the standings faster.
"STACKING": No matter the FanDuel League format, stacking is a great strategy to implement. This means combining a great receiver with his quarterback. Why? Because if you think that receiver is going to have a big game, that usually means his QB will too. DOUBLE THE POINTS! If you really think an offense is going to dominate, you can even Double Stack with 2 WRs and a QB from the same team, or a QB, RB, and WR from the same team. I can foresee myself stacking with Colts often in 2015.
Best Practices for Building Your $60,000 FanDuel Lineup
Start with kicker and find a cheaper option. There is little difference between the top kickers and mid-tier kickers. Ravens Justin Tucker is the most expensive kicker week 1 but Caleb Sturgis also averaged 8.8 FanDuel points per game last year and costs $500 less.
Go to Defense next and again, find a cheaper option. Fantasy defenses are all based on match-ups. The most expensive ones on FanDuel are priced based off of previous performances and less on that week's match-up. The Seahawks are the most expensive defense week 1 and play at the Rams, a place where they gave up 28 points forced no turnovers last year. I really like the Jets for $600 less hosting the Browns week 1, with their revamped defense.
Select a TE after that, invest in a good one, and ignore the match-up. Those that play traditional fantasy football know how hard it is to find a good tight end from week-to-week if you didn't draft Gronkowski, Graham, Olsen, Kelce, or Bennett. Pay up for one that gets a lot of targets, especially in the red zone. Rob Gronkowski plays Thursday night, so he's not available for FanDuel's Sunday week 1 contests. Olsen is the cheapest week 1 of the remaining "Big 5 TEs", and the Panthers lost top WR Kelvin Benjamin to an ACL. If you think too many people will also pick Olsen, I like Bennett, because the Bears WRs are banged up too.
Fill in your 2 RBs with at least one high-priced bellcow RB. Remember when I said in tournaments you want to mix in sleepers that others won't take? Your top RB is not the place to do so. If one has a great week, and you don't have him, it's really hard to make up those points. For example, take Adrian Peterson in his return to action or Eddie Lacy if you want to save just a little bit, but I wouldn't recommend starting two RB sleepers, like Alfred Blue and David Cobb, for example. One middle of the road RB I like week 1 is Tampa Bay's Doug Martin against Tennessee. Martin has had a great preseason.
Find that WR/QB stack, with a sleeper WR if possible. Now is the time to stack 'em up to get double points. Find that WR you love week 1 that nobody else is talking about. Other than the Colts, which most of you reading this already know about, I have two favorite stacks for week 1. Packers WR Davante Adams (Jordy Nelson out with ACL) and QB Aaron Rodgers and Eagles WR Nelson Agholor with QB Sam Bradford.
Complete your lineup with the two best WRs your remaining salary can buy. If you've been following along, you should have enough salary left to still get a couple of really good WRs. I always like to have two stud WRs in my FanDuel lineup each week, because it is a ½ point per reception scoring format. You can't go wrong with T.Y. Hilton or Andre Johnson week 1. I also like Jeremy Maclin.
The FanDuel Week 1 Lineup I Came Up With While Writing This Article
QB - Sam Bradford (PHL, $7,500)
RB - Adrian Peterson (MIN, $9,200)
RB - Doug Martin (TB, $6,900)
WR - Julio Jones (ATL, $9,000)
WR - Andre Johnson (IND, $6,900)
WR - Nelson Agholor (PHL, $5,500)
TE - Greg Olsen (CAR, $5,900)
K - Caleb Sturgis (MIA, $4,700)
DEF - New York Jets ($4,400)