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FD Building Blocks

FD Building Blocks Week 1

A bit behind for Week 1 given all the season-long drafts finishing up and the uncertainty around player status due to no preseason, COVID, etc. But here’s the first installment of 2020’s FanDuel Building Blocks.

Let’s start with a quick strategy primer. If you followed along last year this shouldn’t be new to you, but it’s always a good reminder…

Want to make your lineups safer and give them more upside?

Use a combination of mini-stacks… people tend to either load up on one game or spread their players across a bunch of games. You don’t (sometimes you do) want to put all your eggs in one basket, but you also don’t want to put your eggs in nine different baskets!

When you take a player from each game, that’s nine scenarios you have to get right… when you take mini-stacks from three games, that’s only three scenarios you have to get right! Much more likely to predict the game flow of only three games.

Yes, you have to pick the right players in those games but using correlation principles makes it much easier.

Example…

Game with highest over/under… take QB and WR from one team (could add TE).

Game with biggest blowout potential… take RB and DEF from favored team (could add WR from other team).

Game with second-highest over/under… take TE from one team and WR from the other team.

You’ve got 6 to 8 players in the best situations and still have a unique lineup structure. Add a sleeper WR or another stud RB and you’ve got a potential tournament winner, but you also have a really strong cash lineup!

Now back to Week 1.

I think the public ownership on Brees and Brady is going to be higher than people think, so I’ll likely pay up for Russell Wilson instead. Tampa Bay’s defense is still underrated, so I’ll shy away from this game. That said, it certainly could turn into a shootout so if you’re playing multiple lineups in some cheap GPPs it’s worth throwing in some Saints stacks, Bucs stacks, and full game stacks there. I will have Chris Godwin as a foundation WR though, with Evans hurt and Brady’s propensity to throw to the slot. In large GPPs I may take a shot on a Brady + Gronkowski stack.

Normally we want to stack our QB with a WR but I’ll be playing Wilson naked, hoping he runs one in and maybe throws one to Carson or Hyde or even Greg Olsen. If you want to stack him though preferred option is Tyler Lockett as DK Metcalf seems to be getting more public attention. With the highest over/under and a close spread, this game will draw attention from both sides, so to get some contrarian stacks we’ll take Hayden Hurst on the other side and may have some lineups with Gurley also. Feel free to grab some Matt Ryan stacks as well, perhaps stick to Ryan and Hurst as people will be loading up on Ryan and Jones/Ridley.

At Running Back we have Christian McCaffrey who seems be priced lower than he was most weeks last year. I’ll take the discount while I can. Teddy Bridgewater is an upgrade at QB and just spent a year watching Drew Brees dump passes off to Alvin Kamara. I see no reason McCaffrey won’t continue his run and see no reason to believe the Raiders can stop him.

The only other possible foundation/dilemma RB is Boston Scott. He’ll be highly owned, perhaps even more than McCaffrey. At the end of last season, in a similar situation, we faded Scott due to the high ownership and it, uh, did not work out. If you’re playing cash lineups just throw him in there. In tournaments he’s probably too cheap to pass up on, but I’ll at least have some lineups fading him. As good as he was in spot starts last year, there is still a reason he’s not the full-time starter. And with the Eagles most likely playing with a lead, they may go to some of the other backs as well.

We’ll be taking some tourney shots on Cam Newton as well. We called this marriage in March, even though it took them courting all the way to the end of June to realize they were meant for each other.

Belichick needs to show he can win without Brady and Cam certainly has a chip on his shoulder too. I think they come out in Week 1 and try to make a statement. For extra statement-making impact they may even throw to the TE, whoever that is.

At defense, throw in Indianapolis and don’t look back. They’ll be the highest owned, but they come at a great price for the matchup. Indy has an underrated defense this year. It’s actually a shame they’re starting against Jacksonville and are so popular. Had they started against a better team, we could have had a nice value pick with Indy D this week.

In hail-mary territory, give James Robinson a shot. If Indy D doesn’t live up to what I just said, Robinson is a min-priced RB (cheaper than the two guys who will likely be playing behind him). And if Indy D doesn’t work out, and Robinson does work out, that likely means Jacksonville D has a good game, so I like this a hail-mary stack. Even if you just want to move away from Boston Scott, Robinson is a nice pivot, albeit in a tougher matchup and worse game script.

QB RB WR TE DEF Stack
Foundation Russell Wilson
Matt Ryan
Christian McCaffrey Chris Godwin Indianapolis
Tournament Lamar Jackson
Cam Newton
Boston Scott
Austin Ekeler
Joe Mixon
Todd Gurley
Bryan Edwards
Allen Robinson
Marvin Jones
Hayden Hurst
Hunter Henry
Darren Waller
Philadelphia Wilson + Hurst
McCaffrey + Edwards
Scott + Philadelphia
Taylor + Ekeler + Mixon + Henry
Million $ Derek Carr
Drew Brees
Tom Brady
Tarik Cohen Rob Gronkowski Tampa Bay Carr + Waller
Carr + Edwards + McCaffrey
Hail Mary James Robinson Jacksonville Robinson + Jacksonville