KNOW YOUR ENEMIES
To place near the top of a large field GPP, your roster has to stand out from the crowd in some way. Knowing which players will command the highest ownership is a helpful first step, but without the context of how those players fit together under the salary cap, it’s difficult to project the type of lineups you’ll be up against most frequently.
Sometimes, the clearest path to creating a unique roster is to allocate more of your salary cap to the positions your opponents are not. To gain some insight into how most other entrants are likely to think as they construct their rosters, with the goal of building yours differently, consider these bullets:
- Four games opened with an over/under of at least 50 points, including Rams at Saints, which is the first game to reach a 60-point total this season. Players from LA and New Orleans will be in high demand, along with plenty of Chiefs, Panthers, Vikings, and Lions.
- Cam Newton ($6,600) is next in line to feast on Tampa Bay’s dreadful pass defense. It would be surprising if he didn’t have the highest quarterback roster percentage by a wide margin. After Newton, ownership at the position should be fairly flat due to an overload of big names clustered in the $5,500-$6,200 price tier. Punt options at $5,000 or less should go largely ignored, as most entrants will find the cap space to get up to a name they trust.
- The choice at running back for most people will come down to using Todd Gurley ($9,500) and a low-to-mid range RB2 like Phillip Lindsay ($5,500), or fading Gurley and using the savings to roster two high-end running backs. Some combination of Christian McCaffrey ($7,800), Kareem Hunt ($7,700), and Alvin Kamara ($7,300) will appear most frequently in non-Gurley lineups.
- Pairing Newton with Gurley and one of McCaffrey, Hunt, or Kamara is possible with balanced spending at wide receiver, but the popularity of Adam Thielen ($8,900) and Michael Thomas ($7,600) makes it unlikely Newton and two stud running backs will appear in the most common roster construction. Playing Newton, Thielen/Thomas, and spending roughly 30% of the cap on running backs requires less spending at WR2 and flex. As a result, trade deadline winner Courtland Sutton ($3,900) should see elevated ownership and D.J. Moore ($4,300) will attract attention due to his low price, correlation with Newton, and last week’s mini-breakout. It’s a rare week in which the biggest names at wide receiver -- Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins -- are likely to go overlooked.
- Zach Ertz, Rob Gronkowski, and the Colts are missing from the main slate, leaving Travis Kelce ($6,600) as the only premium tight end option. Kelce should lead the position in ownership, but considering no other tight end is priced above $4,800, rostering him comes with a steep opportunity cost. Sub-$5K options like Greg Olsen (to stack with Newton) and David Njoku (great matchup) are more likely to appear in the most common lineup builds.
- The Chicago Bears ($4,100) are the Kelce of defense/special teams. Their matchup against Nathan Peterman is a dream, but with a salary 28% higher than the next closest defense, they’ll be a luxury most entrants can’t afford. Expect the masses to settle on a DST priced under $3,000, with the Chiefs ($2,700) leading the way in a matchup against the dysfunctional Browns.
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