Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Don't fear the min salary QB

NFL Cash game lineup construction on FanDuel is centered around safety in your picks and aiming for that 120 point mark. The quarterback position is one where savvy players will typically 'pay up', because no one feels safe fielding a cash game line up with Brian Hoyer in the QB slot.

However, while digging into the numbers for this season I found that min salary starting quarterbacks hit value at a very high rate. I gave myself a bit of leeway with the definition of 'min salary', which is technically 5000. I increased it to 6000 because that still falls under 'punt' territory for QB and the 3000-5000 savings allow you to upgrade the rest of your lineup significantly.

This is a raw table of all starting QBs priced at 6000 or less, and how many FanDuel points they scored.

Name Team Week Salary Points
Chad Henne JAC 1 5600 17.44
Derek Anderson CAR 1 5000 18.2
Derek Carr OAK 1 5400 13.94
Brian Hoyer CLE 1 5600 13
Matt Cassel MIN 1 5400 14.5
Shaun Hill STL 1 5000 2.14
Derek Carr OAK 2 5500 18.32
Austin Davis STL 2 4700 9.4
Chad Henne JAC 2 6000 12.42
Drew Stanton ARI 2 5000 6.48
Ryan Fitzpatrick HOU 2 6000 13.56
Brian Hoyer CLE 2 5800 12.16
Brian Hoyer CLE 3 5800 16
Derek Carr OAK 3 6000 5.96
Drew Stanton ARI 3 5900 19.36
Teddy Bridgewater MIN 4 5900 23.38
Mike Glennon TB 4 5500 19.08
Charlie Whitehurst TEN 4 5000 14.08
Derek Carr OAK 4 5700 9.74
Kyle Orton BUF 5 5000 15.32
Brian Hoyer CLE 5 5800 22.88
Christian Ponder MIN 5 5400 14.38
Drew Stanton ARI 5 5900 4.72
Derek Carr OAK 6 5700 26.48
Teddy Bridgewater MIN 6 5900 5.62
Teddy Bridgewater MIN 7 5700 8.98
Zach Mettenberger TEN 8 5200 16.86
Brian Hoyer CLE 8 6000 15.1
Teddy Bridgewater MIN 8 5400 13.94
Michael Vick NYJ 8 6000 8.02
Brandon Weeden DAL 9 5000 9.52
Teddy Bridgewater MIN 9 5900 16.72
Josh McCown TB 10 5700 21.94
Drew Stanton ARI 11 5900 17.84
Zach Mettenberger TEN 11 6000 17.52
Ryan Mallett HOU 11 6000 15.14
Shaun Hill STL 11 5000 13.3
Ryan Fitzpatrick HOU 13 5000 39.32
Colt McCoy WAS 13 6000 26.88
Geno Smith NYJ 13 5000 3.5
Derek Anderson CAR 15 5000 16.48
Jimmy Clausen CHI 16 5000 15.14
Case Keenum HOU 16 5000 8.3

Derek Carr in Week 4 and Christian Ponder in Week 5 are excluded from these stats due to not being on the Sunday 1PM slate, which is the most commonly played.

The table shows that in weeks 12 and 14 there were no starting QBs priced at 6000 or less, but in all the other weeks we had a good amount of options and a high % chance of getting good production from them.

Of the 41 total picks, 31 of them hit 2x value or more (75.6%) and 16 of them hit 3x value or more (39%). Only 5 hit less than 1x value (12.2%).

Our value star QB of the season is Brian Hoyer who appears in this list 5 times and hit >= 2x value every single time. Teddy Bridgewater also appeared 5 times but had a couple of dud games along the way.

The value monster game was Ryan Fitzpatrick's Week 13 where he threw for 6 touchdowns and got 39.32 FanDuel points.

This data shows that there is a pricing edge that can be consistently exploited at the bottom tier of QBs, although you shouldn't 'force it' on any week if you don't believe there to be any viable options.

Similarly to seasonal fantasy football, it seems that mid-range QBs are the worst plays relative to the amount invested to use them.

Data Cleaning Techniques (SQL Server)

This will be a constantly updated library of all the data cleaning techniques I come up with, mostly for my own reference and convenience. You use this code at your own risk, and always put it in a select first before making any updates!

LastName, FirstName to FirstName LastName

REVERSE(SUBSTRING(REVERSE(Player),1,PATINDEX('% %',REVERSE(Player)))) + ' ' + SUBSTRING(Player,1,PATINDEX('%,%',Player)-1)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FanDuel Week 14 Recap

It was a difficult week for line up construction. My gut feeling was to avoid playing at all but I followed the investing principle of 'dollar cost averaging', not trying to 'time' the market, or in this case the game. The scoring total to cash was low at 112.48 but I fell short by 12 points.

My record after 9 weeks of playing is 6-3. Back into the losing column, but still netting 3 units.

This is my record so far:

Week 14 - 100.0 - LOST (112.48 to cash)
Week 13 - 174.8 - WON (162 to cash)
Week 12 - 151.18 - WON (118.8 to cash)
Week 11 - 106.68 - LOST (112.32 to cash)
Week 10 - 107.9 - LOST (119.02 to cash)
Week 9   - 145.66 - WON
Week 8   - 126.42 - WON
Week 7   - 123.5 - WON
Week 6   - 137.44 - WON

My cash game lineup for week 13:
QB - Drew Brees - 13 @ 9400  (1.38x value)
RB - CJ Anderson - 23.8 @ 7800 (3.05x value)
RB - Tre Mason - 6.6 @ 7200 (0.92x value)
WR - Josh Gordon - 2.5 @ 8000 (0.31x value)
WR - Stedman Bailey - 5.7 @ 6300 (0.9x value)
WR - Charles Johnson - 18.3 @ 6000 (3.05 value)
TE - Jordan Cameron - 6.1 @ 4900 (1.24 value)
K - Shaun Suisham - 11 @ 5000 (2.2 value)
D - Detroit Lions - 13 @ 5300 (2.45 value)

I 'hit' on 4 of 9 picks and whiffed on 3. My worst line up of the season. I learned that I need to do a lot more research on tough weeks like this or just avoid them entirely. If I don't feel good about a lineup, it's ok to bail out and cancel the entry. You can't lose what you don't put in.

Picks I missed on
Tre Mason
People suggested to fade him due to the Redskins supposedly strong run D, but I looked up the PFF stats and they graded 2nd worst in Run Defense. I guess you can be a bad run D but not a bad fantasy run D if you don't give up big plays. I need to improve my running back research process to not fall for these traps in future.

Stedman Bailey
It was overall a bad idea to have 2 Rams players in my line up, but Im not sure if Bailey was a bad pick. He had a nice matchup, the Redskins pass coverage is all around bad with no redeeming qualities and Bailey had emerged as a capable receiver. The lesson is that there is more than usual risk with a receiver on a 'bad' offense, even in a good matchup.

Josh Gordon
Runner up for tilt of the week, I had already penciled Gordon in for a monster game against a Colts secondary without Vontae Davis. The Browns decision to stick with Hoyer should have been a red flag. I didn't even think about this pick it seemed like such a layup at $8000.

Drew Brees
Tilt of the week, excluding the garbage time stat padding this was a disaster for Brees. The Saints were heavily favored at home against a soft pass defense by all metrics. It stings to whiff on a high priced QB because my price/value research shows them to hit at an extremely high %, even if you picked blind.

Picks I should have made
Joique Bell
I had Joique in my cash game lineup at one point, but went against playing him due to the news of Reggie Bush coming back. Bell was the cheapest of 4 lead backs on teams which were heavy favorites at home. (Lacy, CJ Anderson, Ingram and Joique) I have Joique in my seasonal so I have followed him closely and I have an impression of him as a low YPC 'plodder', which is not entirely inaccurate but it blinded my judgement in this case. At $6800 Bell would have been a nice hit and would have led me to cashing this week.

Quick look at Week 15
It looks like we go from a difficult week to an easy one, Derek Anderson at $5000 and Marquess Wilson at $4500 open things up really nicely to play studs in soft matchups.

Running back is absolutely stacked this week, you can't really go wrong but I'm favoring Matt Forte at $9000 against the Saints and Arian Foster at $8900 against Indy.

Wide Receiver I like Antonio Brown at $9100 against the Falcons and Odell Beckham at $8500 against Washington.

I know those are all super chalky picks but this is definitely a 'stars and scrubs' week so don't bother playing mid priced guys.

Jordan Cameron is a nice punt play, the Bengals are a tough match up for tight ends but he is talented and Manziel could go to him if he gets in trouble. I almost don't care about TE this week because Im extremely confident that the rest of the line up can hit the 120 mark. If I get 4-6 points from Cameron, that's great.

I like the Ravens D at home against Jacksonville, Im not even messing around looking at cheaper Ds anymore. The FanDuel pricing algorithm has been strong for defenses for a while now, so I advise paying up and grabbing a D with a lot of floor and upside every week.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

FanDuel Week 13 Recap

Whew! A crazy week for fantasy NFL. The best value plays were very highly owned (Kenny Stills 62.3%, Tre Mason 50.8%) and they went off for huge scores, leading to a monster minimum of 162 to cash on the FanDuel $10 double up. The #1 line up in the $10 double up, would have won $20,000 had it been entered in the FanDuel Sunday Million. Unfortunately, that player only won $10 from that line up.

My record after 8 weeks of playing is 6-2. I'm up 4 units now and back to a winning streak.

This is my record so far:

Week 13 - 174.8 - WON (162 to cash)
Week 12 - 151.18 - WON (118.8 to cash)
Week 11 - 106.68 - LOST (112.32 to cash)
Week 10 - 107.9 - LOST (119.02 to cash)
Week 9 - 145.66 - WON
Week 8 - 126.42 - WON
Week 7 - 123.5 - WON
Week 6 - 137.44 - WON

My cash game lineup for week 13:
QB - Ben Roethlisberger - 28.2 @ 8300 (3.4x value)
RB - Tre Mason - 35.9 @ 6000 (5.98x value)
RB - C.J. Anderson - @ 7800 (3.27x value)
WR - Kenny Stills - 24.7 @ 5100 (4.84x value)
WR - T.Y. Hilton - 14.7 @ 8700 (1.69x value)
WR - Antonio Brown - 27.7 @ 9200 (3.01x value)
TE - Travis Kelce - 5.1 @ 5300 (0.96x value)
K - Shayne Graham - 5 @ 4700 (1.06x value)
D - Miami Dolphins - 8 @ 4900 (1.63x value)

I 'hit' on 5 of 9 picks and whiffed on 1.

Picks I missed on
Travis Kelce, I can't quit you. I get the strategy of playing Gronk, but he has only exceeded 2x value 3 times this season. He has a nice floor, but I don't think there is enough value in his price. I'd rather have more salary flexibility at other positions, unless there are weeks where I feel very confident in a lot of my value picks.

Picks I should have made
I'm not going to complain about a cash game line up which hit 174.8 points. I'm glad that I wasn't victim to this high scoring week and I was able to keep up with the crowd. I do expect the scores to go back to normal next week, around 120 to cash should still be the aim.

Quick look at Week 14
I like Rodgers and Brees as the pricy QB options, both at home with soft matchups.

Manziel ($6700) is an interesting play if he's the starter and if Vontae Davis is out. He would only need 13.4 points to hit value and that 3000-4000 you save opens things up nicely at other positions.

C.J. Anderson is the RB stud to play, the match up is stiffer but teams are not able defend the run to their full capability against the Broncos. I like the game flow, the carries, his efficiency has been great and he is still fresh seeing as his season effectively started in Week 10.

Kenny Stills' salary went up, but at $6400 he is still in play against Carolina. Ingram is a nice insurance stack play with him in case the Saints get ahead early and Stills doesn't grab a TD.

I think the Saints could try to get Jimmy Graham going after his dry week, but he isn't priced like a guy who just put up a 0. So I will most likely pass on the pricey TEs again this week.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

FanDuel Week 12 Recap

A bit late due to being on vacation, but here is my Week 12 recap:

My record after 7 weeks of playing is 5-2. I'm up 3 units now and I broke my 2 week losing streak. This is my record so far:

Week 12 - 151.18 - WON (118.8 to cash)
Week 11 - 106.68 - LOST (112.32 to cash, 5.64 points off)
Week 10 - 107.9 - LOST (119.02 to cash, 11.12 points off)
Week 9 - 145.66 - WON
Week 8 - 126.42 - WON
Week 7 - 123.5 - WON
Week 6 - 137.44 - WON

My cash game lineup for week 12:
QB - Mark Sanchez - 14.68 @ 7500 (1.96x value)
RB - Matt Forte - 25.7 @ 9300 (2.76x value)
RB - Isaiah Crowell - 20.8 @ 5500 (3.78x value)
WR - T.Y. Hilton - 21.7 @ 8500 (2.55x value)
WR - Torrey Smith - 12.3 @ 6500 (1.89x value)
WR - Anquan Boldin - 24.2 @ 6800 (3.56x value)
TE - Coby Fleener - 3.8 @ 5400 (0.7x value)
K - Stephen Gostkowski - 11 @ 5300 (2.08x value)
D - Philadelphia - 17 @ 5100 (3.33x value)

I 'hit' on 6 of 8 picks. It's difficult to find fault with this lineup. Coby Fleener was the only whiffed pick, but it was still a good play that just didn't work out. Tight End is truly a crap shoot and its tough to fit in Gronk and a good QB unless there are 2 really nice budget running back plays that week.

Picks I missed on
Coby Fleener
Similar to the Travis Kelce whiff last week, Dwayne Allen's injury set up Fleener to have a nice week against Jacksonville. Fleener was targeted heavily the week before, against New England who are much better in pass coverage. This is just the nature of the Tight End position so I can't fault the process too much.

Picks I should have made
Nitpicking due to the high score, but Kyle Orton hit 18.2 points for the same money. I felt more comfortable playing Sanchez at the time. The game I believe had a higher over/under and Sanchez is Chip Kelly's quarterback so there is always much more upside there.

Quick look at Week 13
Im staying away from the Green Bay game. I don't think it will be the fantasy bonanza that the high Vegas over/under suggests. I think the Steelers / Saints game will play that role this week, with a similarly high over/under but the 1st and 10th worst pass coverage units.

Big Ben is the QB play of the week for me, he has elite floor and upside against the Saints. Playing at home, after a bye week, against the worst pass coverage unit with an ineffective pass rush. The game has a 54.5 over/under. I would say it seems almost too good to be true, but let's not over think things here.

Tre Mason ($6000) and Kenny Stills ($5100) are my two 'salary relief' plays this week. I am also going back to the well with Travis Kelce. Every week I want to roster Gronk but I never like my lineups with him in them.

The Dolphins are the obvious defense play of the week for me, with the Jets going back to Geno Smith. He is much worse than Vick at protecting the ball, so I see this as being a no brainer at $4900.

Monday, November 17, 2014

FanDuel Week 11 Recap

After a dud week of football, I thought I would start a postmortem on my weekly cash game lineup in order to review my thought process and see what I missed. I scored 106.68, which currently puts me in the money in a very low scoring week, but with the Monday night game still to come I am sure it won't be enough.

My record after 6 weeks of playing is 4-2. Im up 2 units but am now on a 2 week losing streak after going 4 straight weeks making a profit. This is my record so far:

Week 11 - 106.68 - LOST (112.32 to cash, 5.64 points off)
Week 10 - 107.9 - LOST (119.02 to cash, 11.12 points off)
Week 9 - 145.66 - WON
Week 8 - 126.42 - WON
Week 7 - 123.5 - WON
Week 6 - 137.44 - WON

My cash game lineup for week 11:
QB - Tom Brady - 16.08 @ 9500 (1.69x value)
RB - Mark Ingram - 13.2 @ 8000 (1.65x value)
RB - Jerick McKinnon - 7.8 @ 5500 (1.42x value)
WR - Demaryius Thomas - 13.8 @ 9100 (1.52x value)
WR - Kelvin Benjamin - 21.4 @ 6600 (3.24x value)
WR - Jordan Matthews - 19.2 @ 5500 (3.49x value)
TE - Travis Kelce - 3.2 @ 5900 (0.54x value)
K - Nick Novak - 9 @ 4500 (2x value)
D - Denver Broncos - 3 @ 5200 (0.58x value)

Discounting the kicker, I only 'hit' on 2 of 8 picks. The most disappointing was the QB, the game lived up to its high Vegas over/under but the touchdowns did not come from Brady's arm. 1 more touchdown and this post would probably have a more positive note, but that's how it goes.

Picks I missed on
Travis Kelce
With Anthony Fasano declared out, I thought this would be the week Kelce is unleashed. The Chiefs refusal to use such a talented player is annoying, but I won't be playing Kelce again this season. The mid price ranges at Tight End are a killer, pay up or go cheap.

Broncos D
Everyone was wrong about this game. They were a big favorite going into this game and their defense rated 2nd in the league in DVOA. I won't be playing this D again as they don't make too many plays but they are always priced > $5000 due to the reputation of the team and the Vegas spreads they get each week.

Tom Brady
The Patriots definitely lived up to their end of the high Vegas over/under (58), and while I did anticipate a run heavy game plan from Belichik, I still thought Brady would hit 300/3. I think if you're going to pay up for QB (you should), it's safer to go Luck/Rodgers/Peyton, as the Pats have no problem using Brady as more of a 'game manager' if the situation calls for it.

Picks I should have made
There was a group of $6200-$6500 running backs a lot of people were debating, of the 5, 3 of them hit value:

Ryan Mathews 8
CJ Anderson 15.5
Jeremy Hill 17
Alfred Blue 15.6
Shane Vereen 9.7

There were legitimate concerns about all 5 of these backs, and I originally had Jeremy Hill but shuffled things around to put in the 'safer' Mark Ingram instead. There were game flow concerns for Hill, who didn't get many touches last week once the Bengals went down by a couple of scores. I predicted a similar thing happening against the Saints' stronger offense (as did Vegas), but the game did not go that way. Still, Hill was effectively a feature back at $6500 and he is decently talented so I shouldn't have second guessed the pick so much.

Quick look at Week 13
The pricing algorithm generally seems to be getting tougher as there is more data on the matchups at this point of the season.

Jordan Matthews salary shot up $2200 all the way up to $7700. The algorithm over-reacting to his touchdowns, you definitely can't play him at that price point.

Josh Gordon is back this week and priced at $7800, the Cleveland Browns passed 50 times this week against the Texans. I think they will switch back to being a pass heavy team, as the running game has fallen apart in recent weeks. I wouldn't play Gordon in a cash lineup this week, just because we don't know how good he's going to be, being out for so long.

Gronk drops under $8000, due to the Patriots' run heavy game plan last week, making him a must play.

McKinnon is still cheap ($5600), Trent Richardson's ownership will be > 40%, he sucks but is dirt cheap at $5700 if Ahmad Bradshaw is out.

Defense is really overpriced now, they are anticipating people's thought process and putting anyone who logically could have a good game > $5000. I remember there were better options < $5000 earlier in the season.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Turn SQL Server on using Powershell

This is a neat little script that toggles on or off the default SQL Server service, as well as SQL Server Agent and SQL Writer. This is good if you keep an instance installed to play around with that is off 90% of the time. You should set the services as manual to free up RAM and then just toggle it on with this script when you need to use it.

How to use this script:

1) Save as a .ps1 file to My Documents, right click file and choose Send To .. Desktop (Create Shortcut).
2) Right click the shortcut on the desktop and replace the Target with this:

%SystemRoot%\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File "C:\Users\Vince\Documents\TOGGLE_SQL.ps1" -WindowsStyle Hidden

Modify the path (bolded) accordingly based on where you saved the file.

$sqlserv = Get-Service -Name MSSQLSERVER
$agentserv = Get-Service -Name SQLSERVERAGENT
$writerserv = Get-Service -Name SQLWriter

if($sqlserv.Status -eq "Stopped")
    Start-Service MSSQLSERVER
    if($agentserv.Status -eq "Stopped")
        Start-Service SQLSERVERAGENT
    if($writerserv.Status -eq "Stopped")
        Start-Service SQLWriter

    if($agentserv.Status -ne "Stopped")
        Stop-Service SQLSERVERAGENT
    if($writerserv.Status -ne "Stopped")
        Stop-Service SQLWriter