TipAndPick's: Tips and Picks, DK Edition

Cash game and GPP selections for DraftKings

For the uninitiated, playing daily games on DraftKings can be an enjoyable experience, but equally sobering is the fact that season-long knowledge does not always translate to success in the daily space. FootballGuys will bring you a series of value- and strategic-based selections from a number of seasoned daily veterans throughout the NFL season. Herein is another edition of “Tipandpick’s Tips and Picks,” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on DraftKings and make value-based recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments.

Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games; cash game players are consistent with high fantasy floors. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he may fall into both categories…let’s have a look.

TIPS...

In order to help you build winning rosters, let's walk through some of the observations that I have made while doing my research for DraftKings this week. As you build out your lineups on DraftKings, try to consider the following commentary, which revolves around game strategy and how we will want to take advantage of what the masses are doing when they construct their own lineups.

CASH GAME TIPS

LIMIT YOUR CASH GAME PLAY! 

Over the past few seasons, cash games have gotten increasingly difficult to beat over the long-term. That trend can be blamed squarely on the availability of good information that was previously not readily available. Today, however, there are an abundance of data, tools, and articles on various websites that make constructing cash game lineups a straightforward endeavor. This week, I am urging you to limit the amount of cash game action that you put into play because the overlap that occurs on smaller game sets, like Wild-Card Weekend, is absurd; LeVeon Bell will be 80% owned with names like Russell Wilson, Zach Zenner, and Jimmy Graham trailing not far behind. As a result of this massive ownership overlap, the difference between winning and losing will often distill down to one or two players’ performance, which is less than optimal because of the variance associated with NFL scoring. The edge associated with playing DFS is far less defined on a shorter slate because there are less mistakes that can be made. With this in mind, I would encourage you to play less volume than you typically play on an NFL slate and also direct you to play a bit more of your cash game action in head-to-head contests, where you are not likely facing an all-or-nothing outcome.

GPP TIPS

WINNING A TOURNAMENT ON A LIMITED SLATE: 

Because there are only four games from which to choose your players for tournaments this weekend, GPP strategy becomes quite contrasted from a typical full-slate NFL weekend. First, do not concern yourself with spending your entire salary cap; the winners of tournaments this weekend will almost assuredly not spend their allotted $50K and most will probably spend less than 95% of that amount. The reason is simple, yet goes underappreciated, because we have grown accustomed to focusing on spending all of our salary cap in every week leading up to the playoffs; doing so on a limited slate will shoehorn your roster to resemble 90% of the rosters entered this weekend, which largely eliminates any uniqueness that you might otherwise try to construct for your tournaments. Instead, try to leave a few thousand dollars on the table, which will force you to roster players that others are ignoring.

As a corollary to the previous point about spending less on your GPP rosters, you must have exposure to that one or two players who is less than 10% owned, but manages to get into the endzone at a $3K-4K price point. Think of names like Geronimo Allison, Paul Richardson, or Victor Cruz, all of whom will be overshadowed by their workhorse stablemates, but still stand a chance to score a touchdown at low ownership; if you choose the correct dark horse candidate at low ownership, while the masses are flocked on a player who is 40% owned and has a disappointing day, you will be primed for a top-end GPP finish. Of course, preemptively identifying that one or two players who get into the endzone is the tricky part of that equation.

Cliffs Notes Summary: Force yourself to spend under the salary cap by taking a flyer on a cheaper player who you foresee as having a chance to put up a decent day at lower ownership. Clicking ‘submit’ on that roster will not be easy, but I have always stated that if you feel confident clicking ‘submit’ on a GPP roster, then it’s probably not a good (i.e., winning) GPP roster. Best of luck!

...AND PICKS

Let's take a deeper look into some of the players who I will be targeting for my cash game and tournament rosters this weekend. There is little difference in terms of strength of selection between those players who have text to justify their appearance in this article versus those in the "also eligible" section; all are strong plays in their respective categories, but time and space restrictions do not allow for expansive written summaries of every player listed.

**This weekend is Footballguys' annual retreat where 40+ of our staff get together to celebrate another great season. I am literally wrapping up this article in Joe Bryant's kitchen surrounded by the best of the best in fantasy football analysis. Due to the earlier than usual Saturday start and travel to Tennessee, the extended commentary associated with the "Picks" section of this article is absent this week. That said, all picks have been researched thoroughly and take into account the normal matchup, usage, game strategy, and other factors that go into every week of "Tips and Picks." If you have any questions about any of the selections or individual players, give me a tweet @tipandpick (link at bottom of article) and I will get back with you. Best of luck this weekend!**

QUARTERBACKS

 

NAMESALARYCASH RANKGPP RANKCOMMENTS
Russell Wilson $7.0K 1 2 Questionable RB play; worst-ranked DVOA pass D
Eli Manning $6.1K 2 1 Big game player vs. shaky banged up secondary
Aaron Rodgers $7.9K 3 3 Red-hot but tough WR-CB matchups
Ben Roethlisberger $7.6K 4 4 Has big game potential but Bell is the mark here
Matthew Stafford $5.7K N/A 5 Tough matchup in SEA vs. 13th DVOA pass D
Matt Moore $5.0K N/A 6 Been serviceable but PIT = best pass D faced in 2017
Brock Osweiler $5.1K N/A 7 Should be a game manager whose only goal is \'win\'
Connor Cook $5.0K N/A 8 Do not even consider it

RUNNING BACKS
 

NAMESALARYCASH RANKGPP RANKCOMMENTS
LeVeon Bell $10.3K 1 1 Clearly the best option of the weekend
Zach Zenner $4.5K 2 6 Tough matchup but volume should be there
Lamar Miller $6.1K 3 2 BOB should lean on him heavily; full practice FRI
Jay Ajayi $6.8K 4 4 Sneaky GPP play vs. 22nd DVOA rush D
Rashad Jennings $4.2K N/A 8 Negative gamescript & splitting with Perkins
Paul Perkins $4.1K N/A 7 Negative gamescript & splitting with Jennings
Ty Montgomery $5.5K N/A 9 Pricey; only + game vs. CHI; sees 3rd DVOA rush D
Latavius Murray $5.0K N/A 10 Losing significant carries to Richard & Washington
Alex Collins $4.5K N/A 5 Sneaky GPP play w/more snaps than Rawls
DeAndre Washington $3.3K N/A 3 Trending upwards with YPC and snaps recently
Jalen Richard $3.4K N/A 12 Low-owned GPP punt play; minimize exposure
Thomas Rawls $5.7K N/A 11 Too expensive for volume & health questions

WIDE RECEIVERS
 

NAMESALARYCASH RANKGPP RANKCOMMENTS
Odell Beckham Jr. $9.1K 1 1 GB secondary simply cannot match up; + gamescript
Antonio Brown $9.4K 2 5 Volume monster; uptick with no Ladarius Green
Kenny Stills $3.8K 3 8 Scored in 4 straight; cheap; + gamescript
Jarvis Landry $5.1K 4 7 Cash game value in 4 of last 5 games
Michael Crabtree $5.3K 5 9 More reliable than Amari right now
Jordy Nelson $8.0K 6 6 Redzone prowess cannot be ignored off poor game
Amari Cooper $5.2K 7 3 Targeted on 6 of 21 Cook attempts last week
Doug Baldwin $7.0K N/A 2 Great personnel matchup; recency bias = low-owned
DeVante Parker $4.2K N/A 4 Biggest redzone target in + gamescript; low-owned
Sterling Shepard $4.8K N/A 10 Low-ownership due to ODB; scored in 2 of last 3 games
Eli Rogers $4.0K N/A 11 Has benefitted when Ladarius has missed previously
Geronimo Allison $3.3K N/A 12 DFS\'ers ignore him but 10+ FP in last two games
Davante Adams $5.6K N/A 13 Upside is there but recency bias will drive up ownership
Anquan Boldin $4.0K N/A 14 Avoids SEA\'s best CB\'s; needs to score to reach value
Will Fuller $4.4K N/A 15 Upside is always there but Brock…
Victor Cruz $3.8K N/A 16 Like Anquan needs to score to reach value
DeAndre Hopkins $6.7K N/A 17 O\'Brien should limit Brock which limits Nuk; pricey
Golden Tate $6.3K N/A 18 Has the upside but pricey for 50% of routes vs. Sherman
Paul Richardson $3.4K N/A 19 Outsnapped Kearse last week; WR2 in SEA now?
Marvin Jones $4.1K N/A 20 Will see most of Sherman; likely overowned for matchup
Jermaine Kearse $4.0K N/A 21 Odd man out in SEA receiving corps; limit ownership
Seth Roberts $3.0K N/A 22 Redzone target with Carr--not sure about Cook?

TIGHT ENDS
 

NAMESALARYCASH RANKGPP RANKCOMMENTS
Jimmy Graham $5.3K 1 1 Only legit TE on WC slate; 2 TD upside
Will Tye $2.8K 2 3 Redzone threat; cheaply priced
Eric Ebron $3.9K 3 2 Has upside that other TE\'s on this slate lack
Jesse James $3.0K 4 8 Always a redzone threat but behind Bell/Brown
Dion Sims $2.5K N/A 4 Sneaky GPP play who will go underowned
C.J. Fiedorowicz $4.2K N/A 5 Consistently one of Osweiler\'s fave targets
Jared Cook $3.6K N/A 6 Will go overlooked; NYG susceptible to TE\'s
Clive Walford $2.5K N/A 7 Disappointing season but could be outlet for Cook
Ryan Griffin $2.9K N/A 9 Surprised from time to time; GPP flyer
Mychal Rivera $2.5K N/A 10 Only in the deepest of GPP tournies

TEAM DEFENSES
 

NAMESALARYCASH RANKGPP RANKCOMMENTS
Houston $3.8K 1 1 Solid at home all year; D has to win this one
Pittsburgh $3.5K 2 2 Matt Moore is not a playoff QB; rested & ready
Seattle $3.7K 3 4 Not the same D as previous but will be ready
Oakland $3.0K 4 5 Only way to win is to force mistakes from Brock
NY Giants $3.1K N/A 3 Frigid temps + excellent DB\'s = possible ARod letdown
Green Bay $3.2K N/A 6 Poor secondary is also banged up; hope for Eli meltdown
Detroit $2.9K N/A 7 Kept them in many games; season ends here
Miami $2.7K N/A 8 Cannot recommend against rested PIT team at home