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:
- Nailing down a common roster construction on this slate might be the most difficult it’s been all season. Not only are there a surplus of high-scoring offenses in excellent matchups, but there is also an uncharacteristic number of value-plays at both running back and wide receiver.
- The first teams most entrants will look to when choosing their core players are the Chiefs, Rams, and Packers. Each is a home favorite of at least nine points, with an implied team total over 28. We can also assume players from the Chargers, Falcons, Saints, and Patriots will be in demand. All average at least 27.5 points per game and are favored by more than a field goal on the road. In the cases of LA and Atlanta, the ineptitude of their opponents (Oakland and Cleveland, respectively) will add to their appeal.
- With so many of the top offenses in great spots, and only $700 separating the QB2 from the QB11, quarterback roster percentages should be super-flat. Patrick Mahomes II, Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff, and Philip Rivers will be popular plays, but unlike last week when Cam Newton appeared on 24% of Milly Maker entries, it’s safe to ignore the crowd’s exposure when selecting a quarterback.
- Running back is where the path towards a common roster build will begin to diverge. Dion Lewis ($4,600) handling 23 touches to Derrick Henry’s eight last Monday night is not factored into Week 10 pricing. And assuming Chris Carson rests his hip injury this week, Mike Davis ($4,300) becomes a second source of 20+ affordable touches in a potentially high-scoring game. Usually, two standout values at running back would lead to heavier wide receiver spending, but there is also an abundance of viable low-priced receivers for the crowd to consider this week.
- Geronimo Allison was placed on IR after Week 10 contests opened, leaving flashy rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,000) too cheap in an every-down role as Rodgers’ No. 2 target. If Sammy Watkins’ foot injury keeps him out, Chris Conley ($3,200) is the likeliest candidate to absorb his 17% target market share in Kansas City’s top-scoring offense. And the return of Josh McCown as the Jets starting quarterback could breathe life back into the team's starting wide receivers, each of whom is available for less than $4,000.
- With so many running backs and wide receivers in play at $5,000 or less (Duke Johnson Jr, Aaron Jones, and Corey Davis also qualify), entrants will have no trouble getting up to the elite plays of their choosing. Stars & scrubs roster-builds will take on many varieties, but will be the norm in comparison to balanced construction.
- Perhaps no player’s ownership will increase more due to the loose cap than Travis Kelce’s ($7,000). There is a large gap in raw fantasy point projections between Kelce and the next-closest tight end, and the opportunity cost to roster him is not as significant as usual.
- No defense/special teams unit is priced above $3,600 and there is less than a $1,000 difference between the DST1 and the DST10. With cap space at less of a premium than most weeks, entrants shouldn’t have much trouble paying up to top-ranked options like the Jets ($3,400), Chiefs ($3,300), and Chargers ($3,500).
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