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 can 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:
- Kansas City at Oakland has the potential to finish with the highest collective ownership in DraftKings history. It’s not just the slate-leading 53-point over/under or the fact the Chiefs are popular every week. Sammy Watkins’ $2,200 price increase, while substantial, wasn’t enough to reflect his value in the absence of Tyreek Hill. To make matters worse, pricing was released prior to the Raiders playing on Monday Night Football, leaving Josh Jacobs ($4,700), Tyrell Williams ($4,400), and Darren Waller ($3,300) severely underpriced. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lineup that doesn’t include at least two players from this game and full-game stacks will be commonplace.
- Look for the majority of lineups to spend up at quarterback, where Patrick Mahomes II ($7,500), Lamar Jackson ($6,700), and Tom Brady ($6,400) each have terrific matchups. Punting quarterback will be the exception, but entrants who want to save cap space will look to Josh Allen ($5,300) facing a listless Giants team on the road and Derek Carr ($5,100), who draws the same Kansas City defense that turned Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew into an instant cult hero in Week 1.
- Similar to last week, the most obvious running back value lies in the middle price tier. Austin Ekeler ($6,100) scored a slate-busting 39.4 fantasy points in Week 1, yet was only bumped $600 in price. He could take on an even bigger role in the passing game due to injuries in LA’s pass-catching corps. Chris Carson ($6,400) remains moderately priced in a 75-25 workload split with Rashaad Penny. Matt Breida ($5,200) is looking at an expanded role with Tevin Coleman sidelined. And Jacobs’ price is off by at least $1,500 after we saw him handle 24 touches Monday night.
- The soft running back pricing, coupled with the Raiders players being mispriced, could lead to lots of balanced lineups, but also leaves plenty of room for running back spending. Whereas the field might be a bit nervous to splurge on Saquon Barkley ($9,200) and Ezekiel Elliott ($8,700) after ho-hum Week 1 performances, Alvin Kamara ($8,200) should be highly sought after in a road game against the Rams (52.5-point over/under).
- If the stock build includes an expensive quarterback, Jacobs, Ekeler, Kamara, and Watkins, there won’t be room for another wide receiver over $7,000. But those who pass up on Kamara are likely to look to Michael Thomas ($8,000) and Keenan Allen ($7,600) in the top tier of wideouts, each of whom is in line for massive target volume. Mid-priced receivers like Tyrell Williams, Larry Fitzgerald ($4,600), John Brown ($5,200), and possibly Mecole Hardman ($4,800) are the top candidates to fill in the remaining spots in the most common roster construction.
- At least 20% of the field will roster Travis Kelce (and you should do the same). The easiest way to squeeze Kelce in with the rest of the chalk is to step down from Kamara to Carson and punt WR3. Evan Engram ($5,200) will rival Kelce’s ownership at a $2,100 discount and appear in the most common construction more frequently. Waller ($3,300) and T.J. Hockenson ($3,000) will be popular in lineups that look to maximize spending at running back and wide receiver.
- The spread in New England at Miami is creeping towards 20 points in favor of the Patriots. New England’s defense ($3,700) will get piled on as a result, though they should be followed closely by the Texans. Houston ($2,800) is facing the unproven Minshew at home and the $900 savings are needed to fit a stud receiver alongside Jacobs, Ekeler, Kamara, Engram, and Watkins.