With the NFL season now in full swing, no one in the United States is happier than the sportsbook owner/operators. According to multiple reports, the NFL’s opening weekend helped U.S sportsbooks take in a record-setting number of bets. Although there is a growing number of states allowing legalized betting, a vast majority of the country is still (legally) limited to Daily Fantasy as a way to profit off sports.
For the past several years, DFS was synonymous with Fanduel and Draftkings. However, within the past year, new DFS platforms have gained popularity. This expansion of DFS outlets is in part due to the added variety of contest structures.
PrizePicks: Contest Structure
For DFS players looking for a sportsbook feel, PrizePicks allows users to simply choose the over/under total on individual statistical categories or a player’s Fantasy Score projection as a whole.
Users are required to make at least two picks before submission, operating similarly to a sports betting parlay. The maximum number of legs in the pick is 5 (10x payout). However, unlike a traditional parlay, users can still profit (2x payout) if they get one leg wrong. Hit on three out of five and you still recoup some of your wager (.4x).
For those feeling confident on picks involving 2-4 players, PrizePicks offers a “Power Play.” This option provides a higher payout but requires 100% accuracy on picks.
PrizePick Week 2 Picks By Statistical Category
When building a PrizePicks entry, I prefer to find profitable opportunities within each statistical category. After compiling this list, I combine them in different iterations of entry size and payout structures.
Running Back Entries
Devin Singletary (Under 47.5 Rush Yards) – Given that Singletary is coming off an 11 carry, 72-yard performance, this would appear to be a lock for the over. However, the week two running back model shows Singeltary being held in check by the Miami defense. Buffalo is one of the league’s most pass-friendly teams and I don’t expect that to change in week two.
David Montgomery (Over 63.5 Rush Yards)- The week two running back model shows Montgomery going over with a projected 70 yards rushing. The Bears running back is the clear workhorse in a run-heavy offense.
Nick Chubb (Over 87.5 Rush Yards)- Despite the model showing only a slight lean on the over (89.5 rush yards), Chubb should benefit from the Browns having a lead and opting to keep the ball on the ground. In 2020, Houston was the league’s worst defense against the run, allowing 160 yards per game.
D.J. Chark (Over 50.5 Receiving Yards) – Despite only hauling in three catches in week one, Chark received a healthy 12 targets. Even with the limited receptions, the Jaguars receiver still managed 86 yards receiving. The week two model puts Chark at 56 yards.
Chris Godwin (Over 66.5 Receiving Yards) – Even in a crowded group of skill players, Godwin was Brady’s most targeted receiver in week one. The Falcons have little chance of slowing down the Buccaneer’s passing attack. The model predicts Godwin to have 75 yards on 5 catches.
Russell Wilson (Over 275.5 Passing Yards)- In week one, Wilson was extremely efficient completing 18/23 passes for 254 yards. The Seahawks couldn’t have a better matchup as Tennesee was the 29th ranked defense in opponent pass attempts per game (38) and 28th in yards allowed per game.
Patrick Mahomes (Over 317.5 Passing Yards)- In week two, Mahomes has the highest line among quarterbacks. This is for good reason as Baltimore is coming off allowing 435 yards to Derek Carr. The week two model places Mahomes total at 325 yards.
UnderDog Fantasy: Contest Structure
Underdog Fantasy has two contest structures appealing to the crowd looking for Fanduel and Draftkings alternatives. Their player prop entry system is similar to PrizePicks. However, the payouts structure for longer leg entries is more lucrative than PrizePicks.
What I believe makes Underdog Fantasy stand out is the rival section. Rather than building an entry of individuals, rival entries require users to choose between two players on a variety of statistical categories. Players are not required to be on opposing teams but are always involved in the same game.
This section has a sportsbook feel as some matchups involve a spread. For example, in a clash between Brandin Cooks and Jarvis Landry, Cooks is given +.5 receptions.
Unique statistics such as longest reception, fantasy points, total yards, interceptions, and longest completion allow users to benefit from varying degrees of research. Both over/under and rival selections can be combined in the overall entry.
UnderDog Fantasy: 5 Picks (x20 payout)
Longest Completion (Josh Allen -4.5 vs Tua Tagovaoiloa)
Allen will be looking to rebound after a disappointing performance against Pittsburgh. I like the chances of Allen connecting with Stefon Diggs more than Tua hitting Davante Parker for a big game. In 2020, Miami ranked 27th in opponent yards per pass attempt (7.4). Buffalo was 10th (6.6)
Total Yards (Darrell Henderson +4.5 vs Jonathan Taylor)
During the week, Rams coach Sean McVay gave Henderson a vote of confidence after a strong performance against Chicago. Taylor appears to still be stuck in a running back by committee situation in Indianapolis. He is also far more limited out of the backfield than Henderson.
Longest Completion (Zach Wilson +1.0 vs Mac Jones)
In week one, Wilson led Jones in deep pass attempts (9-4). Wilson will benefit from the return of deep-threat Jamison Crowder. The 1-2 combo of Crowder and Corey Davis is more explosive than the options for Mac Jones.
Longest Reception (Justin Jefferson -1 vs Adam Thielen)
Justin Jefferson is the clear-cut deep threat in Minnesota. In 2020, was tied for first in receptions over 20 yards with 23. Thielen ended the year with 8 such receptions.
Receiving Yards (Keenan Allen -7 vs Amari Cooper)
In 2020, the Dallas Cowboys were the worst-rated defense in defending the team’s number one receivers. The Chargers were third-best, allowing only 53 yards per game to the opponent’s top options.
Next week I will add to the list of alternative DFS platforms with StatHero as well as providing picks on PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy.