DraftKings GPP Domination: Week 13

Looking for edges in DraftKings tournaments.

WEEK 13 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.

This week, there are a few near-certainties when it comes to how most people will build their rosters:

  • Philip Rivers and Tom Brady are the only quarterback options at $7K or above on the slate. Both will be popular, but there are at least five viable quarterbacks available from $5K-$5.6K, as well as a few outright punt plays below $5K. With most entrants either paying up or saving salary at quarterback, the mid-tier ($6K-$6.7K) looks exploitable from an ownership perspective.
  • At least four running backs (Kenyan Drake, Jamaal Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Alex Collins) can be safely projected for 15-20 total touches. Expect to see many entrants spend big at RB1, where Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara are the usual suspects, then conserve cap space by picking a cheap RB2.
  • Lack of spending at quarterback and running back should lead to many lineups being top-heavy at wide receiver. Keenan Allen, Brandin Cooks, Mike Evans, Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins will lead the way, creating several opportunities to leverage ownership in the $5K-$7K range.
  • It wouldn’t be shocking if 70% of total tight end ownership settles on players priced at $4.7K and above. Making the right choice on a cheap tight end who scores a touchdown figures to provide an even greater edge this week than most.

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). Be sure to check back on Saturdays for updated ownership projections.

QB: Philip Rivers (vs. CLE, $7,000, 10% owned) - The national television audience just watched Rivers dismantle the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day (31.86 fantasy points) and now he’s back at home to take on the lowly Browns. On a slate without many brand name quarterbacks in plus passing matchups, we can safely project Rivers (as well as the Rivers-Keenan Allen stack) to get piled on by the masses -- especially since Tom Brady’s $7,800 salary makes him somewhat cost prohibitive. While Rivers makes for an ideal cash game play with the Chargers favored by two touchdowns at home, a $900 price increase from last week caps his upside in tournaments. Prior to his Week 12 explosion against the floundering Cowboys, Rivers hadn’t topped 20 fantasy points in a game since Week 6. LA does match up well with the Browns pass defense, but it’s worth noting Cleveland has allowed the eighth-fewest normalized fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks over the last five weeks. The Browns previously stout rush defense has taken a hit with the losses of linebacker Jamie Collins Sr and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah to injury. This matchup sets up just as nicely for a big day from Melvin Gordon III, which could limit Rivers’ fantasy output, even if the game stays on script. On a slate with no shortage of quarterback value plays, there’s no need to pay up for heavy exposure to Rivers.

RB: Jamaal Williams (vs. TB, $4,700, 27% owned) - DraftKings released Week 13 pricing prior to last Sunday night’s shootout between the Packers and Steelers, which kept Williams’ salary from spiking following his 29.5 fantasy point explosion. With a combined 47 touches in his two games as a starter, Williams profiles as one of the best dollar per touch values we’ve seen on DraftKings all season. The matchup against Tampa Bay favors Green Bay’s passing game, but this is a case where a rising tide lifts all boats. If Brett Hundley and the Packers receivers can move the ball effectively through the air on the Buccaneers, Williams will benefit from the positive game script. Besides, Tampa Bay’s troubles defending the pass also extend to running backs. The Buccaneers have allowed seven different running backs to catch at least four passes in a game against them this season, and Williams has piled up eight catches on 11 targets for 107 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks. Aaron Jones has been practicing on a limited basis this week, which is something to keep an eye on, but it seems like he’s still a week away. As long as Williams has the Packers backfield to himself, his value is too great to pass up due to high ownership. Make him a high-exposure play.

RB: Alvin Kamara (vs. CAR, $8,400, 17% owned) - It’s tempting to say Kamara is bad chalk now that he’s the most expensive running back on the slate, but it’s impossible to argue with his fantasy output, even if his efficiency is wholly unsustainable. Kamara has now posted at least 25 fantasy points in each of the last four games despite never exceeding 17 total touches in a single contest. Among running backs who have touched the ball at least 100 times this season, Kamara’s other-worldly 1.71 fantasy points per touch lead the league by a 10% margin over the next closest player (Chris Thompson). Eventually, Kamara has to put up a mortal stat line and when he does, it will sink lineups due to the combination of his ownership and elevated cost. The matchup against Carolina’s fifth-ranked rush defense (DVOA) isn’t particularly inviting, especially when you consider the Panthers have allowed the eighth-fewest receiving yards to opposing running backs, but the game script is in the Saints favor. New Orleans is at home, favored by four points, and implied to score 26 points. Kamara -- who has seen 42% of the Saints red zone targets over the last four games -- is highly likely to be involved in at least one scoring play. A fade in cash games is understandable at his increased salary, but your GPP exposure to Kamara should be at least even with the field.

WR: Keenan Allen (vs. CLE, $8,300, 17% owned) - Allen is on fire, combining for 27 targets, 23 receptions, 331 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns in the Chargers last two games. But there’s a strong chance the crowd will overrate his matchup against the winless Browns. Football Outsiders ranks Cleveland dead last at defending the opponent’s WR1, yet they’ve allowed the third-fewest normalized fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers over the last five games. The Browns can thank outside cornerback Jason McCourty for much of the improvement. McCourty has limited A.J. Green, Marqise Lee, and Marvin Jones Jr to middling or worse production while shadowing the last three weeks. Allen should largely avoid McCourty, who hasn’t followed WR1s into the slot this season, but nickel corner Briean Boddy-Calhoun owns Pro Football Focus’ seventh-best slot coverage rating out of 33 qualifiers. Like Rivers at quarterback, you can’t do much better at wide receiver than Allen for cash games. However, a $1,000 salary hike and worse than advertised matchup conspire to make Allen a fade relative to his projected ownership.

TE: Jared Cook (vs. NYG, $5,400, 17% owned) - Prior to Vernon Davis’ befuddling Thanksgiving Day donut, the Giants had either allowed a touchdown or 100 receiving yards to a tight end in every one of their games. Cook would have been a popular play against this defense in a normal week, but with Amari Cooper sidelined, Michael Crabtree suspended, and the Giants degenerating into a complete three-ring circus, this is anything but a normal week for Oakland. The logical assumption is Cook will act as Derek Carr’s primary receiver, but while he may see a few more targets by default, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll get the opportunity to run free up the seam if the Giants don’t have to worry about Cooper or Crabtree on the perimeter. It’s also worth noting Cook disappointed with 1.1 fantasy points in an excellent matchup last week against Denver. With a strong possibility both offenses completely tank in this game, you’re better off allocating more of your tight end exposure in Cook’s pricing tier to Delanie Walker and Hunter Henry.

D/ST: LA Chargers (vs. CLE, $4,000, 17% owned) - The puzzle pieces fit for the Chargers defense as 14-point home favorites against the Browns. LA has the fifth-highest sack percentage this season, while Cleveland quarterbacks have been sacked on over 8% of their dropbacks -- the seventh-highest rate in the league. DeShone Kizer sports a dismal 53% completion percentage and has thrown a league-leading 14 interceptions. Josh Gordon will certainly help the Browns offense in aggregate, but even if Gordon’s return boosts Cleveland’s final score in this game, the sacks and turnovers aren’t going anywhere. The Chargers deserve a place on your short list of defenses.

MORE CHALK PLAYS

Player Pos Opponent Salary Proj. Own % Comment
Tom Brady QB @BUF $7,800 10% Enough value opened up to squeeze him in. BUF D is overmatched.
Todd Gurley RB @ARI $8,200 19% Tough matchup, but touching the ball too much for it to matter.
Melvin Gordon III RB CLE $7,400 13% 20+ carry workload has still been there. Should thrive in game script.
Julio Jones WR MIN $8,600 16% $900 price hike, Xavier Rhodes' coverage keeps ownership in check.
Mike Evans WR @GB $7,100 17% Gets Winston back, GB 30th pass defense DVOA vs. WR1s.
DeAndre Hopkins WR @TEN $7,300 23% Target hog still getting it done with Savage. Went for 30 in Week 4 vs. TEN.
Rob Gronkowski TE @BUF $7,300 14% Always seems to save his best for Bills.
Delanie Walker TE HOU $5,600 9% HOU allowing 41% more fantasy points to TE than league average over last 5 weeks.
Oakland Raiders D/ST NYG $3,100 8% Managed 8 points vs. P. Lynch last week. Floor and ceiling both higher vs. Geno.

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: Case Keenum (@ ATL, $6,000, 3% owned) - Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur deserves a monument built in his likeness for his transformation of Keenum this season. His salary may be at a season-high, but Keenum remains fairly priced as the QB8. In fact, over the last four weeks, only seven other quarterbacks have scored more cumulative DraftKings points. It’s not as though Keenum has been padding his stats in soft matchups either. Three of the Vikings last four opponents -- the LA Rams, Washington, and Detroit -- all rank inside the top-14 pass defenses (DVOA). This week, Keenum faces the Falcons, who have given up 12% more schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than league average over the last five weeks. If Minnesota -- the third-fastest situation neutral offense in the league -- can control the tempo, this game will be a shootout between two teams that each rank inside the top-10 in points per offensive play. Atlanta’s best cornerback, Desmond Trufant was ruled out on Friday. His absence gives Keenum and his pass catchers a significant matchup upgrade.

RB: Mark Ingram II (vs. CAR, $7,900, 9% owned) - Kamara-mania will shade Ingram from the crowd in a perceived poor matchup. For his own part, Ingram is coming off a floor game against the Rams (5.6 fantasy points), but his snap count hovered in the usual 50% territory despite the Saints trailing for most of the contest. We have every reason to expect a bounceback with New Orleans favored by more than a field goal at home. In four games as a home favorite since the Adrian Peterson trade, Ingram has averaged 21.5 touches, 120 total yards and 1 touchdown per game (21.8 DraftKings points). It would be nice if Ingram’s salary had dropped by more than $400, but his multi-touchdown upside is rivaled only by Kamara and Todd Gurley at running back. He’s more than capable of a 4x salary multiple (something he's done twice at his current price this season) but doesn’t need to get all the way there to be part of a winning lineup at relatively low ownership.

RB: Alex Collins (vs. DET, $4,500, 11% owned) - After Jamaal Williams, Collins is the next best dollar-per-touch value on the slate. The Vegas line implies the Ravens should beat the Lions by a field goal and score about 21 points. If we buy this game script, how does Baltimore score 21 points? Justin Tucker making seven field goals is more likely than Joe Flacco throwing for multiple touchdowns at this point. Only three teams have a lower passing touchdown percentage than the Ravens this season. Detroit also happens to be much easier to beat on the ground (23rd rush defense DVOA) than through the air (14th pass defense DVOA). Over the last three weeks, Isaiah Crowell (16-90-1), Jordan Howard (15-125-1), and Latavius Murray (20-84-1) have exploited the Lions run-stopping unit. Collins ceded some snaps to a healthy Danny Woodhead last week but still managed 18 total touches. It marked the third time in the last four games Collins reached the 18-touch plateau. Consider him as a price/ownership pivot off Kenyan Drake ($4,900), who has never been anyone’s idea of a three-down running back in the NFL.

WR: Marqise Lee (vs. IND, $5,200, 9% owned) - Before getting blanketed by shadow coverage from Jason McCourty in Week 11 and Patrick Peterson in Week 12, Lee had posted 19.5 and 21.5 fantasy points in his previous two games, respectively. He would have faced another difficult one-on-one matchup this week, but the Colts top cornerback, Rashaan Melvin, has been ruled out with a hand injury. With Melvin out of the picture, Lee will run the majority of his routes against Kenny Moore II, a 5’9’’ undrafted rookie free agent out of Division II Valdosta State. Hopefully, box score chasers will shy away from Lee due to his $700 price increase, recent lack of production, and Dede Westbrook’s 10 targets from last week (some of which resulted from Lee being locked up by Peterson). Even at an increased price, he’s poised to return a 4x salary multiple.

WR: Josh Gordon (@ LAC, $4,100, 9% owned) - The fantasy football public has waited nearly three years to see the little red S (for suspended) disappear from next to Gordon’s name. Now that Hue Jackson has confirmed Gordon will make his return as a starter, his ownership may end up exceeding our projections. In the 15% ownership range, Gordon is an awfully dicey play. Anyone suggesting they know today how Gordon’s extended layoff and newfound sobriety will affect him on the field come Sunday is lying. What we do know for sure is Gordon’s first two seasons were historically great. The only receivers since the merger to finish with more receiving yards than Gordon in their first two NFL seasons were Randy Moss and Jerry Rice. In 2013, the top-end of his range of outcomes was a 10-262-2 receiving line, while playing with quarterbacks who weren’t much better than DeShone Kizer. The matchup against Chargers outside cornerbacks Casey Hayward and Trevor Williams is less than ideal, but it’s not often a player with realistic 40+ fantasy point upside is available at $4,100. Cap your exposure to Gordon at 10% of your tournament lineups.

TE: Travis Kelce (@ NYJ, $7,000, 8% owned) - Are people really abandoning ship on this season’s cumulative TE1 after one poor game? The Chiefs offense has been in struggle mode for the better part of a month, yet last week marked the first time in four games Kelce failed to exceed 20 fantasy points. The Jets have quietly given up the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. In particular, they’ve struggled to contain athletic tight ends, including David Njoku (3-48-1), Rob Gronkowski (6-83-2), and Austin Hooper (4-47-1). With Gronkowski, Cook, Delanie Walker, and Hunter Henry tying up ownership at the position, Kelce is a borderline contrarian play, who has the highest demonstrated upside of any tight end this season.

D/ST: Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. IND, $4,500, 11% owned) - There are several RB2s available in the same price tier as the Jaguars defense, which will make them a luxury purchase for most entrants. When Jacksonville’s league-best defensive front faced Indianapolis in Week 7, they sacked Jacoby Brissett an astonishing 10 times. Even if we remove that game from the equation, the Colts have still allowed 4.5 sacks per game over their last four games. No team defense has a higher floor or ceiling than the Jaguars this week, and their middling projected ownership provides the perfect opportunity to double the field on your exposure.

MORE CORE PLAYS

Player Pos Opponent Salary Proj. Own % Comment
Jared Goff QB @ARI $6,700 7% You should only be avoiding Goff against the very best pass defenses.
Marcus Mariota QB HOU $6,200 4% Before stopping Flacco, HOU flamed by Wilson, Brissett, Goff, Gabbert.
Carlos Hyde RB @CHI $5,900 16% Getting WR target volume. 8.3 targets per game since Week 6.
LeSean McCoy RB NE $7,600 9% Follow the workload. 26 touches last week despite subpar output.
Jordan Howard RB SF $6,500 15% Went off for 32-117-3 vs. SF at home last year.
Stefon Diggs WR @ATL $6,200 8% No Trufant benefits Diggs most.
Cordarrelle Patterson WR NYG $3,400 4% Roberts the safer option at $3.7K but Patterson can hit value on one play.
Michael Thomas WR CAR $6,900 12% Perennially under-owned. Carolina's young corners getting burned recently.
Davante Adams WR TB  $6,500 17% Hundley's WR1. Price didn't rise enough for matchup with TB secondary.
Demaryius Thomas WR @MIA  $5,300 11% Siemian provides more stability than Brock, Lynch vs. 31st DVOA pass defense.
New England Patriots D/ST @BUF $3,300 4% Extremely consistent since Week 6. Week 10 NO @ BUF game script?

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: Geno Smith (@ OAK, $4,500, 2% owned) - Why you should and shouldn’t play Geno Smith this week in five tweets, presented without comment:

RB: Jerick McKinnon (@ ATL, $5,100, 3% owned) - McKinnon seems to have ceded control of the Vikings backfield to Latavius Murray, who has outscored him on DraftKings by a 26-point margin over the last three weeks. But a closer look at Minnesota’s backfield shows this is still very much an even timeshare. Murray has touched the ball just eight more times than McKinnon since Week 10, and McKinnon has seen more snaps in two out of the three games. The difference, of course, is Murray receiving the overwhelming majority of the Vikings goal line touches, while McKinnnon hasn’t found the end zone since Week 8. While Minnesota has no reason to waver from using Murray at the goal line, McKinnon has the ability to score from distance (two touchdowns from more than 27 yards out this year) and he has upside as a pass catcher in this matchup. The Falcons rank as a bottom-10 unit in both receiving yards and receiving touchdowns allowed to opposing running backs. Recency bias will lead more entrants to Murray, but McKinnon -- and his 25+ point ceiling -- are more likely to appear in a first-place lineup.

WR: Marvin Jones Jr (@ BAL, $6,000, 2% owned) - No one wanted to use Jones in a tough one-on-one matchup against Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes on Thanksgiving Day and we saw how that turned out (31.9 fantasy points). This week, the crowd is shying away from all Lions players on the road in Baltimore, where they’re implied to score only 18.5 points. The Ravens field the second-ranked pass defense (DVOA) in the league, but a recent trend of the opposition’s top perimeter receiver getting over on Baltimore may go overlooked. Rishard Matthews (4-70-1), Davante Adams (8-126-0), and DeAndre Hopkins have crushed this matchup over the last three weeks, so why not Jones, who has now scored between 18.5 and 32.7 fantasy points in five of his last six games? 65% of Detroit’s touchdowns are scored via the pass, and Jones’ 38% team touchdown market share trails only six other pass catchers. Even if the Lions only score two touchdowns this week, the odds Jones accounts for at least one are in his favor. His ownership is way too low given the ceiling and consistency Jones has shown this season.

D/ST: Green Bay Packers (vs. TB, $2,800, 1% owned) - If you want to go off the grid with a defense and save salary while doing it, the Packers -- despite being horrendous all season -- are in play. Tampa Bay will be without two of its best offensive linemen in this game. Center Ali Marpet was PFF’s sixth-rated center and right tackle Demar Dotson their overall top rated pass blocking offensive tackle. Adjusting to a new center is difficult for any quarterback, especially one as mistake prone as Jameis Winston.

MORE CONTRARIAN PLAYS

Player Pos Opponent Salary Proj. Own % Comment
Matthew Stafford QB @BAL $5,800 2% Odds he reaches at least 3x in this matchup much better than 1%.
Isaiah Crowell RB @LAC $4,100 1% LAC stinks out loud vs. run. Crowell running well over last month.
Dontrelle Inman WR SF $7,900 5% Double-digit fantasy points in 2 of last 3, matchup vs. SF is a peach.
Marquise Goodwin WR @CHI $4,000 2% Catching bombs every week. What if Garappolo is good?
Jarvis Landry WR DEN $5,900 3% 3rd in the league in targets, 5% owned or less in PPR scoring?
Ben Watson TE DET $3,100 1% DET dead last in yards per pass attempt allowed to TEs.


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