FanDuel GPP Domination - Week 2

A Deeper Look at Who to Target for FanDuel GPPs this Week

For those of you who are new to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), GPPs are "Guaranteed Prize Pool" Tournaments with larger, sometimes very large prize amounts.  FanDuel is one of the biggest sites in DFS and offers some of the biggest prizes in the industry.  The goal of this article is to guide you towards some players that could help you take home that big prize.  Footballguys offers a ton of resources to help you build that winning lineup, and this is just one of the many - but I hope that you will find it a valuable resource and check this article out on a regular basis.

Before we talk about the players for this week, we cannot completely ignore cash game plays.  Typically a "GPP player" for the week is one that can score big or score terribly - the classic "boom or bust" player.  A wide receiver that can catch two deep balls for two scores can get you 30+ points - or he might wind up with nada.  Chasing 1-3 big plays can win you a tournament, but filling out a roster completely with these types of options will likely leave you well short of first place.  That is why you cannot ignore the cash game plays each week as well, as combining the two groups is what usually leads to those big victories in GPP contests.  So expect some mention of players who are cash game plays each week, as well as some players that could be considered for both GPP and cash games.

Note - this article is not intended to provide a fully exhaustive list of every possible player.  That would be an immensely long group of players.  These are just some of the best options I see for GPPs this week when considering value, price, upside, and matchups.

Second note - Keep in mind the multiplier target(s) you want to hit for both cash and GPP / tournaments on FanDuel.  In general, you are looking for 2x in cash (twice the cost of the player in $1,000 increments) and 3x in GPP.  That means a player that costs $6,000 should produce 12 or more points in cash and 18 or more in GPPs.

Now, on with this week's top options:

GENERAL THOUGHTS ON WEEK 2

To help you out each week, I will give you some general thoughts as we progress through the season (you can also find more on the weekly Power Grid show - be sure to watch and subscribe!).  For this week, there are many options at all positions, especially with everyone now in play (welcome back, Miami and Tampa Bay!).  We have nearly a full week under our belts, but we still think that we know more than we actually do.  There will be surprises over the first few games, but that uncertainty can lead towards more big swings in tournaments.  Do not be afraid to take some GPP shots this week and fade the players that are expected to be more highly owned.

This week there are 14 teams expected to score 24 points or more.  That's a ton.  Two games in particular are going to be heavily targeted and owned - New England at New Orleans and Green Bay at Atlanta.  Seattle, Oakland, Kansas City and Philadelphia are also expected to have several players in DFS lineups this week.  Contrarian plays start by either finding lesser owned players from these teams, or targeting stacks from contests not involving these eight teams.

Here are a few general references I will be using as the season progresses:

Footballguys' DFS Week 2 Page

Vegas Value Chart

Interactive Value Chart

Projecting Ownership

Now, without further ado, here are the players I like the most this week.   

QUARTERBACKS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Tom Brady 9200 1 5 High Best way to get a piece of (projected) highest scoring offense, but will be highly owned
Aaron Rodgers 9100 2 3 Med-Hi Lots of points projected, even on the road at Atlanta
Drew Brees 8700 5 6 Medium Hosting New England in what could be a very high scoring game
Derek Carr 8300 n/a 2 Med-Low Oakland/Jets total is deceiving - Raiders have second highest projected total. Do they pass more than run, or are both productive?
Matt Ryan 8200 3 4 Med-Hi Home game on Sunday Night football, and high scoring expected
Russell Wilson 8100 4 1 Medium Who is the best rusher for Seattle? Hint - he holds the ball every play
Ben Roethlisberger 8000 n/a 9 Med-Hi Roethlisberger at home is a thing, and so is getting him at low ownership
Jameis Winston 7800 n/a 8 Low Tampa Bay is back in action, but I do not trust the run game. Give me the pass attack
Kirk Cousins 7700 n/a 13 Low Washington suffered a tough loss, but looked respectable in the passing game. They could pull an upset and Cousins (with Pryor) will be low owned
Carson Wentz 7300 n/a 12 Low Wentz looked great last week, but he is getting overlooked
Philip Rivers 7000 n/a 7 Med-Low Rivers also looked strong on Monday Night Football against Denver, a tough challenge
Jared Goff 6500 n/a 10 Very Low Goff could be turning a corner, and is a home favorite again (and really cheap)
Sam Bradford 7100 n/a 11 Low Hot right now and game in Pittsburgh could be a shootout

CHALK TALK: Tom Brady is the chalk this week - let's make that clear.  On a week with relatively few chalk options, Most everyone in cash lineups will be focused on "Angry Brady" against a very bad New Orleans secondary that made Sam Bradford look like Dan Marino.  Several other names from the bigger contests are considerations, such as Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and even Drew Brees.  Russell Wilson is a borderline cash game consideration, but I really like him for tournaments.  Speaking of which...  

GPP: As I mentioned above, Brady is the chalk.  To win a tournament, you need to find a quarterback for better value or comparable value that will be cheaper and/or lesser owned.  That screams Russell Wilson as my top choice.  Wilson is the skeleton key to the Seattle offense, since he touches the ball on every snap and can run or throw it on every down.  With Seattle projected for over 28 points, I can see him getting 2-3 scores including one on the ground.  

The other quarterback that is a top choice for me offers similar upside as Wilson, and that is Derek Carr.  The narrative this week is that the Raiders will roll up and over the Jets at home, thanks to Marshawn Lynch finding the end zone in his first true home game (he grew up in Oakland).  But Oakland has a 28-point expectation as well, so that should mean Carr has a big game too.

After Wilson and Carr, I do like the popular guys  (Rodgers, Ryan, Brady, Brees), as you cannot get away from them entirely this week.  If I am using them in a GPP lineup (and I will), I will likely game stack it as I think that the best way for one of these four QBs to win you a GPP is to be involved in a shootout, and that means both teams are scoring.  So for example, Ryan and Ty Montgomery or Jordy Nelson, or Rodgers and Julio Jones in the lineup together.

Several other options round out the long list of quarterbacks this week.  Since so many teams are projected to score quite a bit, many are in play for Week 2.  I like Philip Rivers, who had a good game against Denver (22-33, three touchdown passes), while Jameis Winston will have recency bias in play with Tampa Bay coming off of a bye week.  Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford had big games last week, so they could easily build on those efforts in Week 2.  There are a number of options on the chart - just be sure to include at least one, if not two targets for your quarterback to stack the offense.

RUNNING BACKS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
LeVeon Bell 9000 n/a 7 High Will Bell get back on track in Week 2?
Ezekiel Elliott 8700 n/a 5 Medium The way to beat Denver is on the ground, and Elliott will be lower owned
DeVonta Freeman 8100 n/a 8 Medium Freeman has had better performances at home vs. the road, and Atlanta should score often
Kareem Hunt 7800 4 4 Medium Hunt owns the Kansas City backfield, and he will get plenty of work this week
Melvin Gordon 7600 1 1 High Huge game last week against the Broncos, and Miami could be an even better matchup
Marshawn Lynch 7200 3 3 Medium Great Narrative Street as Lynch plays the first game in his hometown
Ty Montgomery 6500 2 2 Medium Montgomery will be used early and often in all phases of the Packers\' offense
LeGarrette Blount 6300 n/a 10 Very Low Mike Gillislee just scored three short touchdowns on KC - why not Blount?
Tarik Cohen 5400 n/a 6 Medium Receiving backs are not targeted often for FanDuel lineups, but Chicago needs pass catchers
Alvin Kamara 4700 n/a 9 Low Cheap GPP option in a high scoring game who saw a lot of action last week

CHALK TALK: Melvin Gordon and Kareem Hunt are going to be highly owned this week, so they make for great fading options on the surface, but I find it hard to find reliable options outside of these two.  The cash pivots (Marshawn Lynch, Ty Montgomery) are the best alternatives, but the ownership is not that disparate to make me want to go after the switch to make a line more unique.  I would rather take the two backs that fit the best of these four and call it a day.  Gordon and Hunt own their respective backfields, and it seems Montomgery does as well and is game script independent.  Lynch has the big narrative (playing at home in Oakland, where he grew up, and he un-retired to play there) so I cannot skip him either.  Take two of four.

GPP:  Everyone wants options, so I will throw out a couple.  Tarik Cohen is more receiver than rusher for a Bears team without much talent left at wideout.  Ezekiel Elliott is the best path for Dallas to beat Denver's defense.  DeVonta Freeman and LeVeon are rarely bad plays, but I like two lower owned players in bigger GPPs.  Alvin Kamara was heavily involved for New Orleans last week, and that game could break 60 total points.  Lastly, if Mike Gillislee scan score three short touchdowns against Kansas City, I have to like LeGarrette Blount if he gets similar changes for the Eagles this week.  

WIDE RECEIVERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Antonio Brown 9400 n/a 2 Medium Big game last week, and lower ownership. Great GPP play
Julio Jones 8800 1 3 High Stud WR at home on Sunday Night Football. Huge game expected - and huge ownership
Mike Evans 8500 7 1 Medium Great to stack with Winston
Jordy Nelson 8100 n/a 10 Med-Hi Top WR for Green Bay, but will he produce like it?
Michael Thomas 8000 8 12 High Hard to select just one target for Drew Brees
Brandin Cooks 7900 n/a 4 Med-Hi Revenge narrative as Cooks returns to Big Easy
Doug Baldwin 7600 6 5 Medium Seattle WR1 should be a big part of the offense
Michael Crabtree 7300 n/a 13 Med-Low Oakland projected for four touchdowns - and Crabtree is the TD receiver
Tyreek Hill 7200 5 9 Medium Always a big part of the Chiefs\' game plan
Keenan Allen 7100 9 6 Medium Big numbers whenever he starts, which is great for DFS
DeSean Jackson 6700 n/a 15 Very Low Big play potential as the \"other WR\" for Winston
Stefon Diggs 6500 3 11 Med-Hi I like both receivers for Minnesota this week - Diggs slightly better on full PPR sites (FD is 0.5)
Chris Hogan 6200 4 8  Medium Hard to trust Hogan - but who else is Brady targeting at wide receiver?
Adam Thielen 5800 2 7 Medium I like both receivers for Minnesota this week - Thielen has a much higher ceilin\'
Terrelle Pryor 5800 n/a 14 Low Eleven targets last week - will one find the end zone? I think so

CHALK TALK: As you might expect after mentioning so many quarerback choices for Week 2, there is no shortage for wide receiver options this week.  The chalk all points to the games with the highest totals, including Julio Jones and Michael Thomas.  While some others may see some higher ownership this week, those are the two top targets that should be on many lineups for this weekend.

GPP:  The next group of receivers could go in the "hybrid" category - meaning they fit the bill of cash games, but offer GPP upside.  I like both options for Minnesota (Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs) against Pittsburgh, and they looked fantastic against New Orleans on Monday.   Two studs that are at the top of my GPP list are unlikely cash game plays, which is part of the reason I really like them.  Opposite of the Vikings is Antonio Brown, who had a big day in Cleveland last week and both he and Ben Roethlisberger tend to fare better at home.  Tampa Bay will not be targeted much since they were off last week (recency bias), but Mike Evans (and longer shot DeSean Jackson) offer great GPP upside.  Evans costs more but higher floors are worth it.  Brandin Cooks also goes in the hybrid pile with his return (and narrative street) to New Orleans.  Doug Baldwin should be a top option for Russell Wilson, and Keenan Allen has played very well in recent starts when healthy with Philip Rivers - its just that he gets hurt too often.  Chris Hogan looks to a be a cheaper option to get a piece of the New England passing attack, and there are not too many targets for Tom Brady.  Tyreek Hill is another WR1 that should be very active against Philadelphia and he wraps up this strong group of options.

Longer shots that I like this week include Michael Crabtree, who should be seeing more Red Zone targets from Derek Carr after Amari Cooper continues to struggle near the end zone.  Terrelle Pryor had 11 targets last week and he could be a cheap option to break 100 yards and a touchdown this week.  Lastly, Philadelphia played well last week and Nelson Agholor was quite close to getting a second touchdown, as he was tripped up inside the 10-yard line with open spaces in front of him.  I can definitely see the Eagles trying to use Agholor like their version of Tyreek Hill this week.


TIGHT ENDS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Rob Gronkowski 8100 2 2 High Top target for Tom Brady - need I say more?
Travis Kelce 6700 n/a 6 Medium Always a big part of the offense, and good matchup
Jimmy Graham 6300 3 4 Medium Seattle is expected to score a lot, and Graham is getting more Red Zone work
Zach Ertz 6100 5 3 Med-Low No Eric Berry at safety for Kansas City, and Ertz was a big part of last week\'s game plan for the Eagles
Kyle Rudolph 5500 n/a 7 Medium Always a threat to score, and Bradford is hot
Coby Fleener 5300 1 1 High Cheap piece of New Orleans passing game, and sees more work due to Snead suspension
Charles Clay 5200 4 5 Low Clay saw a lot of targets last week, and Carolina is not the best against them

CHALK TALK: Not a lot to love at tight end this week, outside of Rob Gronkowski - who is crazy expensive.  Of course there is a reason for that, and many will be looking to get up to him if they can afford him.  Coby Fleener is the other tight end option that offers good upside and salary cap relief.  Fleener saw a lot of work on Monday against Minnesota and he gets many of the targets that would be going towards Willie Snead (suspended).  

GPP:  There are a handful of GPP options, including paying up to Gronkowski (which many will not want to do).  If you can get Brady and Gronkowski in the same lineup, that will be more unique than you think since they cost you over $17K combined.  Both tight ends in the Eagles-Chiefs contest are going to produce, and I like Zach Ertz over Travis Kelce due to likely ownership and price.  Jimmy Graham and Charles Clay fall somewhere between cash and GPP this week, but I favor Graham combined with Russell Wilson in a tournament lineup.  Clay is a great pivot off of Fleener at about the same price point.  Kyle Rudolph has similar appeal, but he looks to be the fourth option for Sam Bradford (Diggs, Thielen and Dalvin Cook).

KICKERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Blair Walsh 4600 1 1 High Home in Seattle, big favorite. Meets all criteria (home favorite, 24+ points)
Giorgio Tavecchio 4700 2 3 Med-Hi Criteria met (home favorite, 24+ points)
Stephen Gostkowski 5100 3 2 Med-Hi Criteria met (home favorite, 24+ points) - higher price should force lower ownership. Good way to get a piece of NE
Matt Bryant 5000 4 4 Medium Always in play, meets criteria.
Phil Dawson 4500 n/a 5 Med-Low Arizona will struggle in Red Zone, but should score points against the Colts. Dawson could have a great day, and relatively cheap

CHALK and GPP: These general kicker comments will likely be repeated week after week, but they are important so take note.  Yes, FanDuel is the only DFS site left that uses a kicker, but you have to deal with it if you are playing on FanDuel.  Sorry, that's how it goes.  But there's some good news - you can actually make smart, informed decisions that can go a long way towards increasing your bankroll.  First, there are four general criteria in picking a kicker:

  1. Pick a kicker who is playing at home
  2. Pick a kicker who is in a game where his team is favored
  3. Pick a kicker whose team is expected to score at least 24 points.
  4. Pick a kicker who will not be in bad weather.

Just following that above recipe will help you quite a bit.  Remember - a 50+ yard field goal is five points or almost as much as a touchdown.  That's significant.  

So, who do we like for Week 2?  The list is remarkably short this week, but we have several options.  The chalk answer is Blair Walsh, who has the perfect mix of upside and price to make him the best value this week.  Seattle should dominate the 49ers and add several field goals to pad their lead in the second half.  Giorgio Talvecchio in Oakland offers similar value and checks all the criteria boxes, but he costs a little more and is slightly riskier.  For tournaments, I really like Stephen Gostkowski as he offers exposure to the New England offense and a high scoring game.  Matt Bryant for Atlanta is always in play, with Arizona's Phil Dawson rounding out the list.  With David Johnson out, Dawson could make those prior touchdowns into three points for Arizona on a regular basis against the Colts this week.  

TEAM DEFENSES

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Seattle 5400 3 1 Medium The 49ers visit Seattle for the Seahawks home opener
Oakland 5300 2 3 High Home game against the Jets. Any questions?
Carolina 5100 n/a 6 Low Panthers host Buffalo - how good are the Bills?
Arizona 5000 n/a 8 Low Colts are out of Luck, but no Johnson not in the Cards
Dallas 4800 n/a 7 Low Do you trust Trevor Siemian? Are the Giants bad, or Cowboys good on defense? Good pairing with Elliott
Baltimore 4700 1 2 High Should be a close game, and the Ravens just shut out Cincinnati on the road
Tampa Bay 4500 4 5 Medium Long time since Tampa Bay played, but the Bears look very beatable
LA Chargers 4300 5 4 Med-Low First Chargers home game in L.A., and they are cheap

CHALK and GPP: Despite a lot of big game totals, we still have a number of teams expected to struggle on offense.  Seattle hosts the 49ers for their home opener while Oakland gets the Jets in the Black Hole in Week 2.  Both are strong options, but they are also expensive.  Baltimore is coming off of a road shutout and they get the Browns at home.  For those two obvious reasons, the Ravens will be very popular this week.  Tampa Bay and the Chargers are two cheaper options with good upside should you need some cap relief.  In tournament play, I am leaning towards Seattle or Oakland (preferably Seattle) as the big price will drive many off of them - but as we have proven in our historical analysis in Cracking FanDuel, no position has a better chance in DFS to hit 3x on FanDuel than a defense.  Spend on a good one this week and enjoy some differentiation with argualby the best option in the Seahawks at home against San Francisco - a team that scored only a field goal last week. &nbsp,  

Good luck this weekend!

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com