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:
- This spotlight is on Houston at Kansas City, which opened with a 55-point over/under. The brand names from this matchup -- Patrick Mahomes II, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill (if he plays), Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller V -- are sure to attract the crowd. Should Hill and/or Sammy Watkins scratch, Kansas City’s secondary receivers, particularly Byron Pringle ($3,500 fresh off a nationally televised breakout game), will also be popular. Leverage plays from this game will be scarce, but Kansas City’s running game and defense, as well as Houston’s tight ends, are the best places to start looking.
- The Texans and Chiefs aren’t the only teams our opponents have circled. Baltimore’s implied total is sitting at about 30 points in a home matchup against the hapless Bengals defense. Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram II, and Mark Andrews, in particular, will get an ownership bump as a result. Atlanta at Arizona (o/u 51) could rival Houston at Kansas City for total ownership in an up-tempo matchup between two awful defenses. Add Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Austin Hooper, Calvin Ridley, Kyler Murray, Larry Fitzgerald, and David Johnson (assuming he plays) to the list of commonly-owned players.
- Saints at Jaguars has a middling 44.5-point over/under but DraftKings has been painfully slow to raise the price of Jacksonville players. Leonard Fournette and D.J. Chark Jr are in an unusual spot as crowd favorites in a potentially low-scoring game.
- The popularity of Chiefs, Texans, Ravens, Falcons, Cardinals, and Jaguars may allow 49ers at Rams (and its 50.5-point over/under) to fly below the radar. This is a game to stack if you want your builds to stand out.
- Ryan ($6,400), Murray ($6,500), Russell Wilson ($6,600), Jackson ($6,900), and even Mahomes ($7,500) are clustered together so closely in price, it’s easy to nail down how most of our opponents will spend at quarterback. Gardner Minshew ($5,000) is the obvious pay-down option to open up more spending at other positions.
- With Christian McCaffrey off the main slate, it is less obvious than usual how the masses will attack running back. At the top salary tier, Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500) hasn’t flashed much of a ceiling this season, Dalvin Cook ($8,400) faces an Eagles defense that has yet to allow 50 rushing yards in a game to a running back, and Alvin Kamara ($8,000) has been ho-hum the last two weeks with Teddy Bridgewater under center. It’s not to say the best running backs will go lightly-owned this week, but more ownership should settle between $6K and $7.6K where Chris Carson ($6,000), Derrick Henry, Le'Veon Bell ($6,400), Ingram ($6,600), Fournette ($6,700), Nick Chubb ($7,300), and Johnson ($7,600) give entrants plenty of options to choose from. Look for the most common construction to include at least two from this group.
- Moderate spending at quarterback and both running back spots allows for splurging on a high-end wide receiver. DeAndre Hopkins ($7,400) and Julio Jones ($8,000) should lead the way at the top as the most obvious stacking partners for Watson and Ryan, respectively. While guys like Fuller ($6,000), Fitzgerald ($6,100), and Tyler Boyd ($6,300) should be high-owned, Chark ($5,500) and Courtland Sutton ($5,000) are mispriced relative to their season-to-date production. The two sophomore standouts should appear frequently in lineups next to a high-priced WR1. There isn’t much to grab the crowd’s attention in the sub-$5K range unless Pringle is guaranteed snaps.
- Travis Kelce ($7,000) will command his usual ownership, but he’s priced out of consideration for stock roster builds. Andrews ($4,800), Will Dissly, Hooper ($5,000), and George Kittle ($5,200) can be used interchangeably. Targeting a tight end outside of the $5K range is an easy way to force a unique build.
- There is an interesting twist at DST this week, as DraftKings has dropped the salary floor all the way down to $1,500 for the Jets. Regardless of what you think of New York’s prospects at home against Dallas, a measly six fantasy points from their defense equate to a 4x salary multiple. With the number of teams in great spots this week, we can expect plenty of entrants to take the bait. Those who don’t are likely to pick on the Dolphins by rostering Washington’s defense ($3,200).