AAF DFS - Fanball Week 1 Lineup Review
My favorite fantasy column is Adam Levitan’s Cash Game Review. Adam is so open about his process, even when he has losing weeks, and I really admire that about him. Learning how he constructs lineups is invaluable.
In that same spirit, I will be reviewing my AAF lineups from the upstart DFS site Fanball – currently the only game in town when it comes to DFS for this niche league. Outside of AAF, my primary DFS game is Canadian football, where I am coming off two profitable seasons grinding it out with my brethren from up north.
I’m not into #ScreenshotLife but I wanted to show some transparency and also prove that I know a thing or two about playing niche DFS sports.
Week 1 - Fanball Lineup
I tried to max enter every guaranteed contest that was posted on Fanball, on both the 4-game and 2-game slate. Ultimately, it’s not a ton of money because the prize pools are tiny, but I wanted to get as much action as I could. The information edge is huge in niche sports and never more so than the opening weekend.
The lack of information was especially pronounced for the AAF as there were no official stats for the preseason “scrimmages” (it’s hard to really call them games) and many teams had shaky depth charts. The marketing for the league was also heavily focused on players like Trent Richardson, Denard Robinson, and Aaron Murray – who I was planning to fade with impunity.
My Must Plays
Based on my experience with CFL and looking at preseason stats, I had a hunch that RBs would be overpriced. Only a few teams had a clear-cut starter, with most teams ready to go with a full committee approach. When I combined that with PPR scoring, unknown offenses, and no real read on workload, I wanted to focus my core plays around WR that I thought could score.
That lead me to locking in:
San Antonio WR Mekale McKay
McKay scored a highlight reel touchdown in SA’s preseason game and was the clear top WR throughout camp. The Commanders put up 37 points on what we now know to be a bad Atlanta team, but I knew the offense would at least function. At $6300, he was WR5 by price and a must-play for me.
Orlando WR Charles Johnson
Charles Johson caught three balls from locked-in ORL starter Garrett Gilbert, including a 6-yard TD. Johnson has an NFL pedigree after making the Vikings roster, even going as far as starting opposite Stefon Diggs in 2016. Johnson had upside and was, like McKay, well positioned as the top WR on an offense that scored 30+ points in preseason. Johnson was $6100 (WR7 by price) and capable of scoring multiple times.
My Want Plays
Arizona WR Josh Huff tops the WR pricing and for good reason. Huff projected to be the top target for Arizona – who Vegas installed as the favorite to win the league. Huff had been productive in a limited role in the NFL, hanging around the league for three seasons. There were injury concerns with Huff carrying a Questionable tag all week and his lack of participation in the preseason were the only things keeping him from being a Must Play.
Salt Lake WR Kenny Bell was someone I targeted heavily in week one. It’s boring, but it was the same pattern. Scored in the preseason, on an offense that put up 29 points in the scrimmage, and was the clear top WR on the depth chart based on camp news. I had high hopes for the Salt Lake offense as I thought the Stallions would be in a shoot-out with Vegas front-runner Arizona. Bell was no secret – he was priced up at $6600 and 30% owned in the largest tournament.
Orlando RB Akeem Hunt was where I wanted to go at the RB position. Hunt would get the first crack on offense and he has pass catching ability to capitalize on the PPR scoring. Compared to popular “name brand” guys like Trent Richardson or Zac Stacy, I wanted a guy that could catch 3-4 balls out of the backfield. Hunt was $900 less than Richardson.
Salt Lake QB Josh Woodrum looked like a high-floor QB option. There was turmoil over who would start in Arizona, Bercovici looked awful in the preseason (3 picks), and I wasn’t going to play any of the Hackenberg/Simms-types. I had ruled my QB pool down to Woodrum, Garret Gilbert, and Dustin Vaughn (who did not get the start, surprisingly). I went with Woodrum in my main lineup to pair with Kenny Bell and got my exposure to ORL with Hunt and Johnson.
To fit all of my high-priced plays, I punted with a min-price RB Terrell Watson – who was listed on top of the SD depth chart. Watson was a name I knew from the NFL and presumably starting for only $3000. It seemed like a pricing error to capitalize on.
In tournaments, I targeted San Antonio WR Greg Ward Jr who was making waves in camp. Ward was third on the depth chart, but WR De’Marcus Ayers was a late scratch for the Commanders so I was happy to stack Ward with McKay and Woodside.
My other punts were fliers on SL WR Adonis Jennings and ORL WR Rannel Hall – both were expected to start as secondary options and were min-priced. Early in the season, who really knows who might catch a TD?
Week 1 Results
Fanball has 4 entry max GPPs so I built four lineups: my cash roster and 3 tournament stacks.
Cash Lineup (41.92 pts)
J. Woodrum - A. Hunt - C. Johnson - M. McKay - K. Bell - T. Watson
Salt Lake Stack (47.22 pts)
J. Woodrum - K. Farrow - C. Johnson - M. McKay - K. Bell - A. Jennings
San Antonio Stack (54.2 pts)
L. Woodside - A. Hunt - C. Johnson - M. McKay - G. Ward Jr - J. Huff
Orlando Stack (70.88 pts)
G. Gilbert - J. Pressley - M. McKay - J. Huff - C. Johnson - R. Hall
McKay was solid and had multiple endzone targets – he could have finished with 2 TDs easily. Johnson looked good early, but suffered a knee injury at half-time. Woodrum also only played a half before getting sidelined with a hamstring issue. Watson ended up only getting 3 carries as the SD offense never got anything going.
Akeem Hunt played well, but could not catch any of his five targets – including an underthrow by Gilbert to a streaking Hunt wide-open on a wheel route. Hunt lost goal-line work to De’Veon Smith and third-stringer D’Ernest Johnson scored in garbage time.
The biggest surprise was Bell who went catchless on three targets on a night he will want to forget.
I was surprised to see that my cash lineup actually won 66% of my double-ups. My Orlando stack was good for 4th place in the main GPP and I ended up with a big score in a $50 5-man winner take all, winning by 0.4 pts.
Main slate: entered $299, won $464 Sunday slate: entered $85, won $38
Week 1 Total Results
Entered $384, Won $502
+$118 (30% ROI)
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