DraftKings GPP Domination: Week 10

Looking for edges in DraftKings tournaments.

WEEK 10 TOURNAMENT VALUE CHART

The chart below is a value guide for this week’s DraftKings tournaments. In an effort to help the widest range of players, only tournaments ranging from $1-to-$100 buy-ins are listed. The color scaling favors lesser entry fees, lower entry limits, and flatter payout structures since these tournaments generally represent the best return on investment for average DFS players. But remember it’s important to consider your specific strengths and goals when choosing which tournaments to enter.

Do you excel at GPP roster construction and game theory? Then don’t avoid GPPs like the Millionaire Maker due to high entry limits and a top-heavy payout structure -- you can still profit in these types of tournaments while giving yourself a shot at a life-changing payday. Therefore, cells in red do not indicate tournaments to avoid. The color scaling serves primarily to highlight the differences between tournaments, which will make it easier for you to identify the best ones to enter based on your individual skills and goals.

ROSTER CONSTRUCTION

Before constructing your own GPP lineups, it’s important to consider how most of your opponents will be making theirs. Due to the salary cap, figuring out the most common roster construction each week isn’t necessarily as simple as looking at a list of projected ownership percentages for individual players.

  • Anytime Matthew Stafford is the player with the fewest question marks at the position, we can safely assume quarterback ownership will be even flatter than usual. Those who don’t use Stafford against the Browns will either be punting the position (Ryan Fitzpatrick or Eli Manning are the likely options), making a substantial investment in a 2017 underachiever with a great matchup (Ben Roethlisberger or Matt Ryan), or hoping Dak Prescott isn’t affected by the health of his wide receivers and suspension of his All-Pro running back.
  • The majority of rosters will include at least one running back priced over $8,000 and many will try to jam in two. Even with Ezekiel Elliott (finally) forced to begin serving his suspension, fellow workhorses Le'Veon Bell and Todd Gurley will be irresistible with their teams each favored by double-digits. 
  • Heavy spending at running back should cause the top-tier of wide receivers to go relatively overlooked. Expect significant ownership to settle in the $4,500-$5,500 range, with players like DeSean Jackson, Sterling Shepard, Robby Anderson, and Robert Woods the usual suspects.
  • Spending down at tight end is a requisite for the most common roster construction. Evan Engram and Jack Doyle will garner plenty of attention individually, but won’t appear in many lineups featuring two high-end running backs.

There are more paths than usual to a unique roster this week, but you can guarantee spending in a different direction than your opponents by beginning a build with any two of Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, or Julio Jones (health permitting). All have exploitable matchups and share a scoring ceiling with the upper crust running backs. A different route to contrarian construction would be to take the high-priced running back strategy to the extreme. While tons of lineups will feature two running backs priced over $8K, not many will be able to stomach what the rest of their roster looks like after clicking on any three of Bell, Gurley, Leonard Fournette, or LeSean McCoy. Luckily, there are several sources of cheap wide receiver volume that can make this strategy viable, provided you know where to look (hint: look below).

WHAT ABOUT THE CHALK?

Assuming you plan on making multiple GPP lineups each week, your decision on highly-owned players usually isn’t whether to fade them completely, but rather how much exposure you want to them in comparison to their projected ownership.

Some suggestions on how to treat this week’s chalk plays (ownership percentages based on our Steve Buzzard’s projections).

QB: Matthew Stafford (vs. CLE, $6,800, 12% owned) - Stafford offers the most attractive floor/ceiling combo of any quarterback on the slate. His only game with less than 14 fantasy points this year came on the road in Week 4 against a tough Minnesota defense and he’s eclipsed 21 fantasy points in each of the last three games. The entire Lions offense gets a bump this week thanks to a date with the lowly Browns at home. Cleveland has allowed the tenth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, a feat which seems impossible when you consider their season-to-date opponents -- Ben Roethlisberger (on the road), Joe Flacco, Jacoby Brissett, Andy Dalton, Josh McCown, Deshaun Watson (forgivable), Marcus Mariota (the immobile version), and Case Keenum. Detroit averages the third-fewest yards per rush attempt (3.2) and the Browns allow the fewest (2.9). The path of least resistance for the Lions is clearly through the air. If you’re making 30 lineups, Stafford should be in at least four, putting you about even with the field.

RB: Le'Veon Bell (@ IND, $9,800, 22% owned) - The tax to roster Bell is steep this week at about 20% of the salary cap, but it’s a price worth paying for the highest ceiling player on the slate. Bell leads all running backs with 28.6 total touches per game and a 91% market share of his team’s total backfield touches. His monstrous workload should propel him to a huge game against the Colts, who have allowed 27.5% more fantasy points to opposing running backs than league average over the last five games. The matchup for Bell upgraded from great to phenomenal when it was announced Wednesday Indianapolis’ best run stuffer, defensive tackle Henry Anderson, was placed on season-ending IR. But as great as Bell's outlook is this week, his mammoth salary and inflated ownership make him risky to play in one-third of your line-ups. An ideal way to go heavier than the field on Bell would be to start him on one of your rosters in 3-entry max contests. Your 33% ownership of Bell will put you slightly ahead of the field in these tournaments, while still giving you two more chances to separate from the pack if variance strikes and he fails to meet expectations.

RB: Todd Gurley (vs. HOU, $8,700, 24% owned) - What Gurley lacks in on-paper matchup, he more than makes up for in workload and implied game script. The Texans have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season and 48% less fantasy points than league average over the last three games. Those last three games, however, were played against the anemic rushing attacks of the Browns, Seahawks, and Colts. Leonard Fournette (26-100-1) and Kareem Hunt (29-107-0) proved the Texans can be run on when faced with negative game scripts earlier this season (while their defense was still fully healthy). The Rams face a depleted Houston defensive front as 12-point home favorites, with the highest-implied team total on the slate (29 points). While it’s not advisable to trust Vegas lines implicitly (especially when building GPP lineups), it’s tough to project this game any differently with Tom Savage quarterbacking the Texans. Gurley is in line for 25-30 total touches and has greater probability of scoring at least one touchdown than any other running back. Don’t drop below 20% exposure.

WR: A.J. Green (@ TEN, $7,700, 21% owned) - Green will find the coverage much softer this week after literally fist-fighting his way out of a difficult matchup with Jacksonville in Week 9. He should have little trouble taking out last week’s frustrations on the Titans bottom-10 pass defense (DVOA), regardless of which Tennessee cornerback attempts to cover him most frequently. When Green lines up on the right side of the formation, he’ll face Adoree' Jackson’s coverage. Jackson is six inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than Green. The tale of the tape doesn’t improve for the Titans when Green lines up to the left, where second-year corner Leshaun Sims’ coverage is graded 108th out of 114 qualifiers by Pro Football Focus. With Antonio Brown’s prohibitive price tag and Julio Jones’ injury concerns, Green is the preferred route to a wide receiver who possesses a 35-point ceiling.

WR: Antonio Brown (@ IND, $9,500, 21% owned) - With the surprise release of injury-plagued former All-Pro cornerback Vontae Davis, there isn’t a player on the Colts roster capable of containing Brown. How much Brown you sprinkle into your portfolio this week depends upon how you think the Steelers will do most of their damage against Indianapolis. Brown’s yardage upside is massive against a Colts defense that has allowed the most pass plays of 20+ yards this season, but his touchdown probability may not be so high. Indianapolis has allowed 44% of their total touchdowns via the pass this season, which is the fourth-lowest rate in the league. And since 2014, Brown is about half as likely to score a touchdown in a road game than he is when playing at home. These are far from reasons to fade him completely, but if you’re looking to break a tie between rostering Brown or Bell at similar salary and ownership levels, there's a case to be made for a slight lean towards Bell.

TE: Evan Engram (@ SF, $6,200, 14% owned) - Engram has at least seven targets, 60 receiving yards, and one touchdown in all three games since Odell Beckham was lost for the season with an ankle injury. There isn’t a more reliable tight end in fantasy football at this point, but we’re now forced to pay a premium for his consistency. At $6,200, Engram costs nearly 20% more than Jack Doyle, this week’s TE2. His salary is tough to fit with just about any roster construction and it’s unclear whether San Francisco is rated as the top defense against tight ends (DVOA) because they cover the position well, or because they’re just getting flamed by every other position. With an established ceiling of only about 3x his current salary, Engram is a GPP fade relative to his projected ownership.

D/ST: Chicago Bears (vs. GB, $3,000, 14% owned) - The Bears are 5.5 point home favorites in the projected lowest scoring game of the week. They have the second-highest adjusted sack rate in the NFL and performances of 15 and 30 fantasy points in two of their last three games. The crowd has every reason to jump on Chicago matched up against Brett Hundley, who has looked abysmal as the Packers starter. But before going overboard on the Bears, we should consider opposing defenses have only scored four and six fantasy points against Green Bay in Hundley’s two starts. Hundley’s tendency to play it close to the vest (5.04 yards per pass attempt) hurts the Packers on the scoreboard, but it doesn’t create much opportunity for turnovers, which is how team defenses score the most fantasy points. Due to the high variance inherent to the position, D/ST is usually the easiest way to differentiate your lineups and this week is no different. Fade the Bears relative to their ownership.

MORE CHALK PLAYS

Player Pos Opponent Salary Proj. Own % Comment
Dak Prescott QB @ATL $6,700 13% No Elliott, banged up receivers. DAL offense on Dak's shoulders.
Alvin Kamara RB @BUF $6,900 19% Approaching max usable price for 15-touch RB.
LeSean McCoy RB NO $8,300 16% 24+ fantasy points in three out of four home games.
Bilal Powell RB @TAM $4,000 30% Assuming Forte sits, you can do no better at $4K.
Leonard Fournette RB LAC $8,400 18% Chargers cannot tackle. Possible ceiling game.
Julio Jones WR DAL $8,000 21% In-game injury risk if he plays, but matchup is pristine.
Golden Tate WR CLE $6,800 21% Use more Marvin Jones Jr for $600 less.
Jack Doyle TE PIT $5,200 15% Right there with Engram in terms of volume/consistency.
LA Rams D/ST HOU $3,600 13% Even the Colts D/ST put up 8 points on Tom Savage.

CORE PLAYS

These players fall in the middle to upper-middle ownership tiers. Each has a path to top-5 numbers at their respective positions or a strong chance to exceed their salary-implied point expectation. You want more of them than your opponents.

QB: Drew Brees (@ BUF, $6,900, 4% owned) - The public is sick of paying up for Brees, only to watch him score 18-20 fantasy points while the Saints coast to an easy win. A road matchup against the Bills, who are undefeated on their home field, will give entrants all the reason they need to bail on Brees this week. Nothing in Brees’ season to date performance suggests he’s in decline. He leads the league in completion percentage, ranks third in QB Rating, and his 8.05 yards per pass attempt are his most since 2011. The problem is a severe seven pass attempt per game drop-off from his previous seven-year average. While the Saints are certainly scheming to run more this season, a schedule full of soft opponents has made it easy for them to do so. Bills games have totaled between 48 and 57 points in each of the last three weeks. If Brees is forced to keep his foot on the gas for four quarters in a back and forth game, we could see his 30+ point fantasy ceiling emerge for the first time in 2017. Oh, and forget the home/road splits narrative surrounding Brees. He has averaged four more fantasy points per game away from the Superdome this season.

RB: Carlos Hyde (vs. NYG, $6,300, 15% owned) - Can we finally get this guy something resembling a neutral game script? Hyde has quietly finished with 20+ DraftKings points in four out of nine games this season, despite San Francisco having the second-worst average scoring margin in the league (-10.7 points). The Giants are the first team to blatantly quit on the season, as evidenced by the 50-burger LA dropped on them last week and their players saying things to the media like, “Guys are giving up on the season and nothing's being done. Guys just don't care anymore”. We should finally see Hyde in the first competitive game of the C.J. Beathard era, and even if New York does build a lead in this game, Hyde's involvement as a pass catcher will bail him out. Hyde has been targeted a whopping 28 times in Beathard’s three starts (9.3 per game). Given the poor quality (and/or lack of commitment) of the two defenses in this game, scoring chances could abound for both teams, giving Hyde multi-touchdown upside. When the 49ers have gotten inside the 10-yard line this season, Hyde has seen 49% of their opportunities (rushes plus targets), which trails only Bell, Gurley, and Jordan Howard for the league lead.

RB: Jordan Howard (vs. GB, $6,100, 18% owned) - The only running backs with more rushing attempts than Howard since Week 3 are Le'Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott. By now, we shouldn’t be questioning John Fox’s offensive game plan in any given week. Chicago is going to run the ball no matter what. The only question is how effectively they’ll be able to do it if the opposition gets out to a lead. Fortunately for Howard, game flow isn’t a concern for the Bears this week. Chicago opened as 5.5 point favorites at home, where Howard has scored 9 of his 12 career touchdowns. Green Bay’s average time of possession in Hundley’s three games played (24:40) is second-lowest in the league, putting a 30 carry game well within Howard’s range of outcomes. He has no business being priced $300 less than Aaron Jones, his counterpart on the Packers, in the same game.

WR: Marvin Jones Jr (vs. CLE, $6,200, 15% owned) - Jones leads all wide receivers in cumulative fantasy points scored since Week 6 despite missing a game due to the Lions Week 7 bye. With 36 targets in his last three games to Golden Tate’s 24, Jones has assumed the WR1 mantle in Detroit just in time for a date with the dismal Browns. Cleveland has the best rush defense in the league by most metrics, which forces teams to beat them via the pass. Specifically, opposing WR1s have had their way with the Browns this season. Football Outsiders ranks Cleveland dead last in pass defense DVOA vs. the opposition’s number one target. Jones’ price has come up $1,600 since his heater began, but he’s hit at least a 3.5x multiple of his current salary in each of the last three games. Considering this week’s opponent, plenty of room remains for Jones to return value in GPPs.

WR: Mohamed Sanu (vs. DAL, $5,100, 11% owned) - If it becomes clear Julio Jones can’t play through his vague “lower leg” injury this week, the spotlight will shift to Sanu, causing his ownership to at least double our current projection in a prime matchup vs. Dallas. Should Jones scratch, going heavier than the field on Sanu at inflated ownership may not be advisable, but he warrants some exposure as a mid-priced, high-floor, GPP glue guy regardless. Slot receivers have burned the Cowboys all season and Sanu has been one of the league’s premier pass catchers when lined up in the slot. Per PFF, Matt Ryan has targeted Sanu on 24.6% of his slot routes, which trails only Adam Thielen for the highest rate in the league. All three of Sanu’s touchdowns have come when lined up in the slot, including one in each of the last two games. Despite the uncertain status of several key players on both teams, the over/under in the Cowboys at Falcons game remains the only one on the main slate greater than 50 points. Perhaps he’s best left for cash games, but Sanu has considerable touchdown equity with or without Jones in the lineup and is an inexpensive way to gain exposure to a potential shootout.

TE: Delanie Walker (vs. CIN, $5,000, 7% owned) -Walker played through a lingering ankle injury last week with no ill-effects. He led the Titans with 71 receiving yards, and more importantly, escaped the matchup against Baltimore unscathed. The Bengals aren't typically thought of as a favorable tight end matchup, but perhaps they should be. Last season, they allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position and Cincinnati's performance against tight ends for most of 2017 has been suspect at best. In Week 3, they allowed a combined 5-64-1 receiving line to Lance Kendricks and Martellus Bennett. Since then, they've allowed a combined 7-85-0 to Nick O'Leary and Charles Clay, 3-49-0 to Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble, a 12-121-1 explosion to Jack Doyle, and 3-49-0 to the previously invisible Mercedes Lewis. The Titans are 4.5-point favorites and playing at home, creating favorable conditions for tight end touchdown scoring. Walker will go overlooked priced as the TE4, making it worth doubling the field on your exposure.

D/ST: Pittsburgh Steelers (@ IND, $3,700, 5% owned) - The Colts have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season by a wide margin. Indianapolis quarterbacks have been sacked on a league-high 10.8% of their dropbacks, while Pittsburgh has the fourth-highest adjusted sack rate in the league at 9%. The Steelers are fresh off a bye and should have no problem forcing a negative game script on Jacoby Brissett via their defense and running game. The resulting pass-heavy attack by the Colts can only lead to more sacks and turnovers for Pittsburgh’s top-5 pass defense (DVOA). The Steelers boast the best combination of high floor and high ceiling of any D/ST on this week's slate.

MORE CORE PLAYS

Player Pos Opponent Salary Proj. Own % Comment
Ben Roethlisberger QB @IND $6,600 10% Ben-Brown-Bell stack very much in play.
Devonta Freeman RB DAL $6,000 15% Price has bottomed out. At home in great matchup.
Melvin Gordon III RB @JAX $7,200 11% You don't beat the Jags by passing.
Adam Humphries WR NYJ $3,100 15% Evans leaves huge void. Fitzpatrick will target intermediate routes.
Sammy Watkins WR HOU $4,800 9% Flashed on big play last week. HOU secondary will give him more chances. 
Sterling Shepard WR @SF $5,500 14% Cheap source of 8-10 targets vs. terrible defense.
Robby Anderson WR @ TAM $5,200 10% 5x upside vs. awful TB secondary.
Minnesota Vikings D/ST @WAS $3,100 6% Fierce pass rush vs. banged up o-line. Price pivot off CHI.

CONTRARIAN PLAYS

These players will appear in a small percentage of your opponent’s line-ups. They're high variance plays, but the greater your exposure, the farther your teams will separate from the pack if they have big games.

QB: Andy Dalton (@ TEN, $5,300, 3% owned) - Cincinnati's offensive line has been in shambles all season and now they’ll be without starting right tackle Jake Fisher, who was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. The disaster up front is less than ideal for Dalton and the Bengals, but it doesn’t necessarily handicap them against the Titans. Tennessee has trouble getting to the quarterback. Their 5% adjusted sack rate is fifth-lowest in the league, which at least gives Cincinnati's beleaguered offensive line a puncher’s chance of keeping Dalton upright. Prior to last week’s impossible matchup against the Jaguars, Dalton had accounted for either multiple touchdowns or 300 passing yards in every game since Week 3. He’s exceeded his current salary by at least 3x in half his games this season and flashed a 30 fantasy point ceiling in a similarly enticing matchup vs. Cleveland back in Week 4. If A.J. Green is going to garner 20+% ownership, Dalton at 3% owned makes little sense. Exploit this ownership inefficiency by using Dalton in about 10% of your lineups.

RB: Joe Mixon (@TEN, $4,900, 8% owned) - If you want to go way off the grid with a Dalton stack, consider pairing him with Mixon, whose price dropped back down below $5K. Even though his usage didn’t spike with Jeremy Hill sidelined with an ankle injury in Week 9, it was encouraging to see Mixon find the end zone and stay on the field for a season-high 72% of the team’s offensive snaps. The Titans field a solid run stopping unit, but they’ve had trouble containing pass catchers out of the backfield. Tennessee has allowed seven separate running backs to exceed 30 receiving yards against them in eight games this season. Their defense ranks as a bottom-10 unit in target rate, pass success rate, and yards per pass attempt allowed to running backs. Despite Giovani Bernard’s reputation as a pass-catching specialist, Mixon is seeing just as many targets as Bernard and has only failed to convert one of those looks into a reception. With Hill once again slated to scratch, Mixon will have the opportunity to prove he has a higher ceiling than last week’s season-high 13.6 fantasy points.

WR: Cooper Kupp (vs. HOU, $4,600, 6% owned) - Kupp was the odd man out last week, while Robert Woods continued his strong play and Sammy Watkins re-emerged with a splashy 67-yard touchdown catch. But it was Kupp who led LA with 10 targets in Week 9, including two more from inside the red zone, where he now leads the NFL in total targets with 15. It’s difficult to project exactly where the Rams passing production will go each week, which is exactly why we should be interested in Kupp if he’s going to check in with about half of Woods’ ownership. Kareem Jackson -- Houston’s nickel cornerback -- has been atrocious in coverage this season. Per PFF, he’s allowing 2.02 yards per cover snap, which ranks 30th out of 31 qualifiers. Kupp has multi-touchdown upside in this spot, making him the clear leverage play in LA's passing game.

TE: David Njoku (@ DET, $2,600, 2% owned) - This play is admittedly thin, but if we follow the trends, either Njoku or fellow Cleveland tight end Seth DeValve could surprise against Detroit. The Lions rank 24th in pass success rate and dead last in yards per pass attempt allowed to tight ends this season. This is the same defense that ceded a 5-175-0 receiving line to career nobody Ed Dickson in Week 5. On the season, the Lions have the fourth-highest discrepancy between their raw and normalized fantasy points per game average allowed to tight ends. The tricky part is choosing which min-priced Cleveland tight end -- Njoku or DeValve -- to roster against Detroit. Their efficiency stats, red zone usage, and overall season-to-date numbers look remarkably similar. DeValve has the edge in routes run with 175 to Njoku’s 137, but Njoku has 16% of the Browns targets over the last four weeks compared to DeValve’s 9%. In the end, Njoku’s elite athleticism (and theoretical big-play ability) breaks the tie. It won’t take more than two out of 30 Njoku lineups to triple the field on his ownership and a single one-yard touchdown catch essentially gets him to a 3x salary multiple. If Cleveland does manage to get in the end zone this week, it’s basically a coin flip Njoku will be on the receiving end. His 43% team touchdown market share is surprisingly tied for the league lead.

D/ST: New York Giants (@SF, $3,200, 4% owned) - The Giants defense has been atrocious recently, combining for negative fantasy points in their previous two games. Recency bias and the aforementioned negative press should keep them mostly off the radar against the 49ers, despite the fact C.J. Beathard is an absolute gift to opposing defenses. In Beathard’s three starts, the defense playing against San Francisco has scored 15, 20, and 13 fantasy points, respectively. Even if they have truly quit on the season, the Giants playmakers on defense may not be able to avoid hanging double-digit fantasy points on the 49ers. Beathard has been sacked at least four times in each of his starts and has turned the ball over seven times in three games.

MORE CONTRARIAN PLAYS

Player Pos Opponent Salary Proj. Own % Comment
Eli Manning QB @SF $5,100 4% Last four QBs to face SF have multiple pass TDs.
Tevin Coleman RB DAL $4,800 3% DAL ranks 30th in pass success rate to RBs. Freeman banged up.
Aldrick Robinson WR NYG $3,600 2% 8 targets in 1st game w/out Garcon. CB Jenkins likely on Goodwin.
DeAndre Hopkins WR LAR $7,400 7% Price and ownership way down, targets still way up.
Cole Beasley WR @ATL $4,000 2% Low-key beneficiary of Elliott suspension.
Eric Ebron TE CLE $3,100 3% Cheap way to a unique Stafford stack. CLE struggles vs. TEs.