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Max’s FanDuel FFFC Recap

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to participate in Fanduel’s FFFC, the biggest fantasy football tournament of the year. The FFFC is a 100 person fantasy football tournament with a $7,000,000 prizepool, $2,000,000 of which goes to the winner. The only way to participate is to qualify, which I did in week 2 of the NFL season in a $25 qualifier.

To say I was excited about this tournament would be an understatement, I was downright nervous. FanDuel put all the qualifiers up in the Cosmopolitan hotel, and even though I live in Las Vegas, I decided to stay there with all the qualifiers as well. On the morning of the tournament, some injury information came out that caused me to change my prepped lineup. At 9:30am, I was done making my adjustments, but continued to check twitter every 30 seconds to make sure no last minute info came out that would require me to make a change. When the 10:00am came and our lineups were locked, I was relieved.

But that relief lasted only a few minutes. As a poker player who’s played with $100,000’s of dollars on the line, one would think I would be mentally prepared for something like this. But I wasn’t at all. There was something about the lack of control and watching player’s who are not you effect the outcome of your tournament that made me an emotional wreck. I quickly went to the bar and order a whiskey neat, and ended up going back several more times within the first hour. At least I didn’t have to think.

As you likely already know, I didn’t win the FFFC, I wasn’t even close. But even in hindsight, I do like my lineup quite a bit. A screenshot of my lineup and my total score is below, and I’ll explain the thought process of each one of my picks and why I didn’t go with different options.

FFFC lineup


 

QB

Ben Roethlisberger ($8,700) – I suspected before the tournament that Derek Anderson would be the highest played QB, because his min salary would free up money for some high salary options like Odell Beckham Jr. and Le’Veon Bell. I was right, Anderson was about 41% used. A Roethlisberger/Antonio Brown combo was the perfect fade to this. If Roethlisberger and Brown had a big game, Le’Veon Bell would almost certainly not. And No one would be able to afford Beckham and Antonio Brown, so my hope was Brown would outperform Beckham here, which I felt was actually more likely than not (although I was wrong). Lastly, my lineup construction would be totally different from those who chose Anderson since I went with a much higher salaried QB. I was also correct about this, but it didn’t work out, an Anderson/Bell lineup ended up being what won the tournament. Roethlisberger was clearly a good play though, he racked up 360 yards through the air, so if the TDs were there he may have been the best QB of the day.

RB

LeGarrette Blount ($6,500) – This had a lot to do with a last second line move in the morning. The sharps were heavy on the Patriots, moving the line 2 points from Pats -7.5 to Pats -9.5. I was already thinking of using Blount, and this was just icing on the cake. Miami’s secondary is good, but their defense had been poor against RBs the last several weeks. And Blount was actually getting pretty consistent action on the Pats. I felt like he was significantly underpriced. But this is why you can’t trust Bill Bellichek, he inexplicably started using Jonas Gray again, taking a lot away from Blount’s value. He still got me 9.4 points, which isn’t bad, but the sudden use of Gray killed me here.

Jamaal Charles ($9,200) – If you were to tell me the final score of the Chiefs game would be 31-13, and asked me to guess Charles’ fantasy output, I would’ve guessed at least 20 points. Instead, Knile Davis vultured a rushing TD and TD out of the backfield, and Charles only had 5.8 points. My guess is that he was a little more banged up than was let on. I didn’t think he was as good of a play as Bell, but I though he was closer than this.

WR

Antonio Brown ($9,100) – I thought he was a good bet to outperform Odell Beckham Jr. here, and he did have a solid game with 10 catches for 123 yards. But 3 TDs is always going to beat 0 TDs.

Harry Douglas ($5,800) – Julio Jones was announced inactive in the morning, which caused me to change my lineup a bit so I could use Douglas. Douglas has proven over and over again that when Julio Jones or Roddy White are out, he performs well, and he once again did with a 10 catch 131 yard performance. The only sad part was that he was 38% used, there were more saavy players in the FFFC than I thought.

Malcom Floyd ($5,600) – I felt like the Chargers were going to pass a lot especially with Ryan Mathews out (they did, over 40 times) and Floyd is one of the best receivers on that offense. He was targeted 7 times, but only caught 3, and San Diego’s offense was much less effective than I thought it would be. I still like the pick in hindsight.

TE

Delanie Walker ($5,300) – I knew Delanie Walker was going to be highly used, but I didn’t care. The Jets rank close to last in both DVOA vs TE and fantasy points given up to TEs, and TE was a pretty weak position this week for day games. Walker actually had a deceptively poor game, if it wasn’t for a last second long reception, he wouldn’t have hit value. It didn’t help him that Jake Locker got injured early in the game though.

K and D/ST

Graham Gano and Panthers D/ST – The Panthers D has not been great this season, but they do have a quality pass rush and Josh Mccown has been sack and turnover prone. They we’re also cheap. I paired Gano with the defense because kicker and defensive performance are highly correlated, and Gano got some great field goal opportunities from the turnovers Carolina forced. If it weren’t for Connor Barth’s big day, Gano may have been the kicker play of the week.

In the end, I didn’t win or come even close, but I liked my thought process with each pick. Hopefully next year I’ll get another shot.

View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

3 thoughts on “Max’s FanDuel FFFC Recap

  1. SkipLock

    This is great – congrats on qualifying – sounds like it was a great experience. With Delanie Walker, you used him even though you knew he’d be in a lot of line ups – is that alright especially if you had some unique/low-usage picks in other spots? Or is it ideal to have solid and unique plays in as many spots as possible?

    1. Max J SteinbergMax J Steinberg Post author

      I just felt that the TE position was so weak, I liked Delanie Walker above and beyond everyone else. I didn’t mind doing it especially with some unique picks in other spots.

  2. Clovenhoof

    Great article. Condolences on the finish, but congrats on being there. It’s the nature of the beast that, by the time you get to this event, there isn’t a whole lot of +EV — most of the players there know what they’re doing.

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