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A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

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Fantasy Football: Daily Optimal Plays and Creating the Best Possible League

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At 4for4, I provided optimal plays for both FanDuel and DraftDay. Here’s FanDuel:

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. That’s not actually the definition of insanity, but whatever, let’s roll with it.

They also say there’s a fine line between genius and madness. I think I’m walking that line right now, and I have a strong hunch that, instead of being brilliant, I’m insane. A lunatic. A nut.

Because I will indeed be doing the same thing this week that I’ve done almost all season—starting Eli Manning in my fantasy leagues—and expecting a different result.

I really don’t like Eli at all. I hate the way he licks his hands. I hate the way he tilts his head all the time. I hate that he looks like Eeyore.

That didn’t even take me 10 minutes to create in Paint. Nbd. Donkeys talk out of their shoulders, by the way.

But despite Manning’s paradoxical ability to be likeable and hated at the same time, I’m going to be all over him again this week. So I ask, please, will you all join me in placing an exorbitant amount of your bankroll in Eli Manning until he severely cuts into our profitability and eventually bankrupts all of us? It should be a fun ride.

Week 8 FanDuel Values

QB Eli Manning @PHI $6800

In all seriousness, I think fantasy owners need to be willing to buy into guys who have burned them in the past. If you haven’t had Manning on any teams this year and you look at his salary and matchup in Week 8, you’ll probably be more likely to recognize he offers value than someone who had him in their lineups over the past month.

But that’s the beauty of daily fantasy football; we get a new go at it each week, so your past choices shouldn’t affect your current ones. If you think Manning offers a high ceiling-to-price ratio, which he does, you need to be willing to pull the trigger even if he’s killed you in the past.

As a side note, don’t play Manning in Thursday leagues. The reason is that I think we should monitor the weather in Philly on Sunday morning before putting him into lineups. Namely, if it’s excessively windy, don’t start him. As much as people think rain and snow hurts the passing game, it’s wind that really kills it. The Eagles’ stadium has the ability to turn into a wind tunnel, so make sure everything is calm on that front before plugging him in.

And DraftDay:

Week 8 DraftDay Values

QB Michael Vick vs. NYG $13500

I’m generally bullish on players others view as injury-prone (even if they are indeed injury-prone) in daily fantasy because the odds of getting injured in a single game are small. Having said that, I’d still play Vick only in tournaments this week, just to be safe. The last thing you want it to put half of your heads-up money on him and he pulls up lame in the first quarter.

RB Darren Sproles vs. BUF $11250

Sproles is always a high-ceiling week-to-week play in PPR leagues. I think he’s going to have a monster game against the Bills, but his salary has fallen into the mid-tier range to account for his recent drop in production. Like Vick, he’s probably just a tournament play due to a potentially low number of touches.

At RotoWire, I attempted to take the variance out of fantasy football. Here’s a preview:

I participate in too many fantasy leagues to mention without being horribly embarrassed, one of which is a league with some people work within the Dallas Cowboys organization (some writers, a Cowboys cheerleader, and a fan).

Now I’m not going to completely speculate on the quality of the owners in the league because some might be decent for all I know, but let me just say Tom Brady was drafted in the first round. So there’s that.

You’d think I could just run over a league like that. But after missing the playoffs last year, I’m currently 2-5 and in second-to-last place. I’ve scored almost 50 points less than the cheerleader. I’m winning or in the top quarter of multiple high-stakes leagues, yet I can’t crack the top half of a league in which Brady was a first-rounder and Jamaal Charles nearly slipped into the third.

You might argue I’m writing this because I’m bitter, and you’d be exactly right. It’s pretty annoying to make what you consider to be optimal decisions and then just get killed by a game filled with so much inherent variance.

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