FanDuel GPP Domination - Week 3

A Deeper Look at Who to Target for FanDuel GPPs this Week

For those of you who are new to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), GPPs are "Guaranteed Prize Pool" Tournaments with larger, sometimes very large prize amounts.  FanDuel is one of the biggest sites in DFS and offers some of the biggest prizes in the industry.  The goal of this article is to guide you towards some players that could help you take home that big prize.  Footballguys offers a ton of resources to help you build that winning lineup, and this is just one of the many - but I hope that you will find it a valuable resource and check this article out on a regular basis.

Before we talk about the players for this week, we cannot completely ignore cash game plays.  Typically a "GPP player" for the week is one that can score big or score terribly - the classic "boom or bust" player.  A wide receiver that can catch two deep balls for two scores can get you 30+ points - or he might wind up with nada.  Chasing 1-3 big plays can win you a tournament, but filling out a roster completely with these types of options will likely leave you well short of first place.  That is why you cannot ignore the cash game plays each week as well, as combining the two groups is what usually leads to those big victories in GPP contests.  So expect some mention of players who are cash game plays each week, as well as some players that could be considered for both GPP and cash games.

Note - this article is not intended to provide a fully exhaustive list of every possible player.  That would be an immensely long group of players.  These are just some of the best options I see for GPPs this week when considering value, price, upside, and matchups.

Second note - Keep in mind the multiplier target(s) you want to hit for both cash and GPP / tournaments on FanDuel.  In general, you are looking for 2x in cash (twice the cost of the player in $1,000 increments) and 3x in GPP.  That means a player that costs $6,000 should produce 12 or more points in cash and 18 or more in GPPs.

Now, on with this week's top options:

GENERAL THOUGHTS ON WEEK 3

To help you out each week, I will give you some general thoughts as we progress through the season (you can also find more on the weekly Power Grid show - be sure to watch and subscribe!).  For this week, there are many options at all positions, almost more than last week.  The problem is that the salaries feel a little tighter, and most everyone is waiting for Sunday inactives to hopefully find one (or more) value plays to get better players in the lineups.

Three general options for cash lineups appear likely - pay down at either WR3, RB2 or tight end.  That means in GPPs, doing the opposite of this strategy could lead to lineup uniqueness, which may help to elevate a strong roster to the top of the tournament standings.  

This week there are only 10 teams expected to score 24 points or more, well below the 14 in Week 2.  Part of that is due to more road favorites this week and some to Las Vegas moving totals downwards after so many "Under" wagers hitting in the first two weeks.  Road team favorites are not as strong as home favorites, so keep that in mind in making close call lineup decisions. 

Here are a few general references I will be using as the season progresses:

Footballguys' DFS Week 3 Page

Vegas Value Chart

Interactive Value Chart

Projecting Ownership

Now, without further ado, here are the players I like the most this week.   

QUARTERBACKS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Tom Brady 9400 6 2 Medium Brady has the highest implied total again this week, yet he is not projected to be Top 5 in ownership. He is getting overlooked this week and makes for another great GPP play in Week 3
Aaron Rodgers 9300 4 6 High Rodgers price went up slightly, but Green Bay has the third highest implied total, and their main RB is a receiver
Matt Ryan 8500 5 3 Medium High scoring game in a dome, with Julio Jones and others to rack up the yards and TDs
Derek Carr 8400 3 4 Medium Another quarterback from a game with a high implied total. Some will be scared off of a Josh Norman-led Washington secondary, but there is just one Norman and several targets for Carr
Cam Newton 8100 2 7 High Newton is still yet to get on track, but facing New Orleans at home could jump start his stats
Ben Roethlisberger 8000 n/a 9 Low The Steelers may be on the road, but Chicago has given up 52 points to Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
Matthew Stafford 7900 7 8 High Detroit at home against Atlanta could easily turn into a shootout
Carson Wentz 7700 n/a 1 Low Philadelphia barely has any run game, but they are 1-1 and being productive behind Wentz\'s two 300+ yard, 2 TD games
Kirk Cousins 7600 1 5 High Cousins is the cheapest quarterback of all the teams expected to score 24+ points this week, and the lead back for Washington is hurt

CHALK TALK: I truly believe that there is no consensus quarterback pick for chalk this week.  Ownership should go mostly towards the two quarterbacks in the Oakland-Washington game (Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins, respectively) with several other options for higher scoring contests such as the Atlanta-Detroit contest (Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford).  Cam Newton is the wild card as he has not fared well this year, but a home game against a terrible New Orleans secondary that has been part of a defense that is the league worst at yards against (512.5) and yards per play (7.6).

GPP:  Although I listed Tom Brady as a potential cash game play, I think he is far more interesting in tournaments.  With the projected ownership under 10% and coming off of a big game last week with "Angry Brady" fully on display, Brady could be poised for a similar performance at Foxboro.  New England has yet to register a home win after losing a big lead on opening night against Kansas City, and Brady could be part of a winning GPP stack this week with either Brandin Cooks or Rob Gronkowski (but not both, as that comibnation is way too expensive at almost $16,000). 

My favorite tournament option is Carson Wentz, who has next to no ground game for support - yet has two games over 300 yards passing and two touchdowns in each contest.  Wentz has a Top 5 tight end in Zach Ertz, a strong receiver out of the backfield in Darren Sproles and also has Alshon Jeffery, who will greatly benefit from Janoris Jenkins being out this week for the Giants' secondary.  Ben Roethlisberger is worth a mention in a game where the Steelers could blow out Chicago, and his ownership will be very low.  He makes for a very interesting stacking option with either Antonio Brown or Le'Veon Bell.


RUNNING BACKS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Le'Veon Bell 8700 1 6 High Bell has not been this cheap since November. The question is, is he as good as he was back then?
Kareem Hunt 8300 4 5 High Hunt owns the Kansas City backfield, and he will get plenty of work again this week - but maybe not the ownership he deserves
Jay Ajayi 8200 2 1 High Ajayi should be the top option against the Jets, assuming he is ready to go come Sunday
LeSean McCoy 8100 n/a 8 Medium The way to beat Denver is on the ground, and Ezekiel Elliott was shut down last week. McCoy is still Buffalo's best option, and he is at home.
Melvin Gordon III 7600 3 4 High Gordon topped 17 FanDuel points last week on just 13 yards rushing - quite the feat. He has plenty of upside to do it again, and I like his lower price than the upper tier
Ty Montgomery 7200 5 3 High Montgomery gets used early and often in all phases of the Packers\' offense, so he offers a high floor with good upside
C.J. Anderson 6900 n/a 7 Med-Low Anderson has been a workhorse in the first two weeks with 45 carries and four catches in just two weeks. Buffalo\'s defense is overrated at 2.7 YPC against thanks to facing the Jets and Carolina so far
Marshawn Lynch 6700 n/a 9 Low Everyone was on Lynch last week as he returned to Oakland - but are we skipping over him too easily in Week 3?
Derrick Henry 6400 6** 2** Low** Henry is in play even if DeMarco Murray is not out, but he is a must play (in cash) if he starts - but what about GPPs? Read below
Tarik Cohen 5600 n/a 12 Medium Receiving backs are not targeted often for FanDuel lineups, but Chicago needs pass catchers. I would only consider him if Jordan Howard is OUT for the week.
Theo Riddick 5600 n/a 10 Low Normally better in PPR leagues, but Riddick is a GPP option thanks to how many receptions Atlanta has given up to receiving backs this season
Darren Sproles 5200 n/a 11 Very Low Similar to Riddick, but bigger upside as the top RB for the Eagles in a matchup they are favored in at home

CHALK TALK: Le'Veon Bell is going to be very highly owned this week as the Steelers visit Chicago, and the Bears are down to their third string middle linebacker.  It will either be Bell or Jay Ajayi as the highest owned running back this week, as Miami travels to face the Jets in New Jersey this Sunday, and Ajayi saw a ton of touches in Week 2 (28-122 rushing, 2-4 receiving). Melvin Gordon III is also in the highly owned mix, but he was just downgraded to questionable as of Friday, and Ajayi missed two practices (Wednesday and Thursday) and did not look to be 100% on Friday.  Injuries are already a theme amongst running backs, which bring me to....

**Derrick Henry gets his own write-up this week as a lot of eyes are going to be on the inactive lists for Week 3.  While some are going to hope that DeMarco Murray is inactive so that there is a clear path for Henry to be the starter, I am rooting for the opposite.  Why?  Henry will be the top option for Tennessee even if Murray is playing, as he looked like a true feature back in Week 2 against Jacksonville (14-92-1) with Murray sidelined due to a hamstring issue.  Either way I will want exposure to Henry, but I think fewer players will use him if Murray is active - so that favors those who will use him in either case.  I think that's the smart play whether Murray is active or not.

I feel like I should mention Kareem Hunt in the "chalk" section, as Steve Buzzard's ownership lists him atop the ownership list, but I feel like he will be overlooked due to better matchups and higher scoring situations listed above.  Hunt could get overlooked (and underowned) despite five touchdowns in two weeks.  I put him right on the border of chalk vs. GPP.

GPP: If Buffalo wants to beat Denver at home, they would be wise to try and replicate the recipe that the Chargers used in the first half of Week 1 and get the ball in the hands of their best player, LeSean McCoy (and throw to another guy I will mention shortly).  The Bills are a home underdog but there is a very reasonable chance that McCoy has a strong game against a Denver defense that just shut down Ezekiel Elliott but gave up five receptions and 25 yards and a score to Melvin Gordon III on the late edition of Monday Night Football in Week 1.  Buffalo will have a hard time throwing to the outside on their strong corners, so expect the Bills to focus on attacking the middle of the Denver defense.  In a similar fashion, Denver is going to try and rely on C.J. Anderson, who has 45 carries in the first two weeks and has created a strong run game to balance out Trevor Siemian's passing attempts.  Both of these rushers are going to be overlooked despite dominating touches in this contest including near the goal line.

Three other backs who are more receiver than rusher will be overlooked this week, but make for solid GPP plays even with only 0.5 PPR on FanDuel.  Darren Sproles for the Eagles, Theo Riddick for Detroit and Tarik Cohen for Chicago all could approach 10-12 touches and several catches this week in favorable matchups and make for solid punts with touchdown upside and also offer some cap relief for rosters.

Lastly, Oakland is expected to score a lot of points this week, yet there has been next to no mention of Marshawn Lynch.  Last week was all about "Mr. Oakland" as he returned to his home town and found the end zone, but there is no real reason to believe that he will not get additional chances to find the end zone for the Raiders this week.  At Lynch's lower price and very low ownership, he offers a strong GPP pivot option.


WIDE RECEIVERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Antonio Brown 9400 n/a 2 High If Pittsburgh decides to feature the pass against Chicago, another 100-yard game and a touchdown seems likely for Brown
Michael Crabtree 7700 n/a 5 Medium Likely to see Josh Norman 60-70% of the time, but only needs 1-2 touchdown catches to erupt
Amari Cooper 7700 n/a 7 Medium Cooper should see less of Josh Norman, but his touchdown conversion ability is much lower than Crabtree
DeAndre Hopkins 7500 3 8 Medium The Texans face New England, but Hopkins has over 50% of the intended targets for his team, so he should get his, even with double coverage
Brandin Cooks 7500 4 3 Low Cooks could bounce back in a big way against Houston with few other pass catchers for Tom Brady
Alshon Jeffery 7500 n/a 9 Low If Javoris Jenkins misses for the Giants, Jeffery could have his first 100-yard game as an Eagle
A.J. Green 7500 1 1 High Fantastic matchup against the 30th-ranked pass defense of Green Bay, and Green's salary is too low
Keenan Allen 7200 2 6 Medium Ten targets in both Weeks 1 and 2, the epitome of rock solid. Chargers expected to be trailing at home, and Kansas City has given up two 90+ yard receivers in two weeks.
Terrelle Pryor 6900 n/a 11  Low Pryor is all amped up to face the team that drafted him
Kelvin Benjamin 6600 6 4 High TE Greg Olsen is out, but Cam Newton and Benjamin get to face the Saints
DeSean Jackson 6400 n/a 10 Very Low Big play potential as the "other WR" for Winston, as Xavier Rhodes covers Mike Evans
Rashard Higgins 5100 5 12 Med-Low Target monster in Week 2 with 11 chances (7-95), most of which came before Corey Coleman broke his hand. The Colts are better against the run, and Higgins is cheap

CHALK TALK: Wide receiver is a tough call for chalk this week aside from two names - A.J. Green and Keenan Allen.  Green will be heavily owned as the Bengals are well rested and face off against a bad (30th ranked) Green Bay secondary that gave up a big day to Julio Jones in just 30 minutes on Sunday Night Football.  The other option may appear to be Antonio Brown, but I would caution that he may not hit value with Martavis Bryant now being productive and Le'Veon Bell always a threat to steal away touchdowns and touches.  I believe that the second chalk option should be Keenan Allen, who has 20 targets (10 each game) and faces a Kansas City team that has allowed lesser WR1s to post strong numbers in Week 1 (Danny Amendola, 6-100-0) and Alshon Jeffery (7-92-1).  Allen looks poised to post similar numbers and offers upside, especially if Melvin Gordon III is not at full strength.

Two other WR1s that may garner high ownership in Week 3 are Kelvin Benjamin of the Panthers and DeAndre Hopkins of the Texans.  Benjamin should benefit from targets that have to head his way due to the loss of tight end Greg Olsen (broken foot), but other options (RB Christian McCaffrey, WR Devin Funchess) could minimize that uptick.  New England loves to double the top option for the opposing team, but really - is that rocket science?  Houston wants to feed Hopkins the ball, and he sees over half of the Texans' passes head his way (including plays called back by penalty).  Brandin Cooks is getting buzz as a possible chalk receiver for Week 3 with Danny Amendola recovering from a concussion, but reports have all the Patriots ready to go this week.  Cooks also gets a favorable matchup as the Texans' right cornerback (Kevin Johnson) is injured, which could open the door for a big day for Cooks.  My personal opinion is that this could be more wishful thinking, but it does make Cooks a solid GPP option for Week 3, especially with an expectation of lower ownership.

GPP:  Questions are all over regarding which Oakland wide receiver will get more attention from Josh Norman this week, and we debated both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on this week's Power Grid episode (again, a must watch for any DFS player).  Both are solid GPP options as Norman could cover either of them on any play, but both targets have two score upside in Week 3.  Another receiver with big upside is Tampa Bay's DeSean Jackson, as Mike Evans should see plenty of attention from the Vikings' Xavier Rhodes this week.  Jackson's value drops quite a bit, however, with Sam Bradford sidelined once again in Week 3.  Terrelle Pryor is in play for Week 3 for GPPs, but because of a good matchup - not due a revenge narrative.  Pryor should see plenty of action against the Oakland defense in a high scoring game and has a strong chance to find the end zone (Jermaine Kearse scored twice last week) against a Raiders team that has allowed three wide receivers 60+ yard games already this season.

Rishard Higgins is the final receiver I will mention this week, and he is a rather special case.  Higgins had 11 targets for Cleveland last week, and he comes in at the value price of only $5,100 on FanDuel.  He will likely get plenty of ownership because of the value he represents, and he can be used to round out a lineup if budget is a problem, but I do not anticipate a huge game for Higgins.  An argument can be made, however, that the Colts are better against the run, so Higgins could be rather productive against Indianapolis in Week 3.  He is worth a flyer, but not a receiver I am eyeing for a must have in my lineups.



TIGHT ENDS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Rob Gronkowski 8400 3 1 Medium Top target for Tom Brady - need I say more? Price will force lower ownership
Travis Kelce 7100 2 5 High Always a big part of the offense, great cash play - but worth pivoting away from in GPPs
Zach Ertz 6500 1 2 High The Giants are bad against tight ends, and Ertz is a favorite target of Carson Wentz
Jack Doyle 5300 5 8 Med-Low Brissett loves his big tight end
Eric Ebron 5200 4 4 Medium Atlanta is not good against tight ends, and Ebron is coming off a good game on Monday against the Giants
Jared Cook 5200 n/a 3 Medium Zach Ertz tore up Washington in Week 1, and both Crabtree and Cooper could face tough coverage
Charles Clay 5100 n/a 7 Low Denver's weakness in the passing game is slot receivers and tight ends
Evan Engram 5100 n/a 9 Low Solid effort in Week 2, but must be healthy. Philadelphia has not been good against tight ends.
Zach Miller 4800 n/a 6 Very Low Miller has 15 targets in two weeks, and the Bears will be trailing again.

CHALK TALK: Zach Ertz has had a great start to the young season (13-190-0) and now he faces the New York Giants, who were taken apart by Jason Witten (7-59-1) and Eric Ebron (5-42-1) in their first two contests.  Ertz may have his top game of the year in this matchup, which makes him the most coveted tight end of the week for me.  Travis Kelce is the only other tight end who could rival Ertz in ownership, but it remains to be seen how tough the Chargers are this year against a high caliber tight end.  Rob Gronkowski is always in play, especially at home with New England's other receivers banged up. If it were not for price, Gronkowski may be the top option, but he is nearly 30% more expensive than Ertz, which makes him hard to fit into Week 3 lineups.  Two other tight ends that may get reasonable ownership either have a good matchup (Eric Ebron against Atlanta) or have proven to be their quarterback's top target (Jack Doyle).  Both Ebron and Doyle have much lower ceilings and are at least a full tier below the other three choices.

GPP: Earlier when I mentioned LeSean McCoy, I pointed out that the way to attack Denver in the passing game is over the middle.  Jason Witten had a big game in Week 2 (10-97-1) and Charles Clay is poised to take advantage of the matchup.  Similarly, Evan Engram could build on the successes of Travis Kelce and Jordan Reed against the Eagles, as the two elite pass catchers racked up impressive totals (13-139-1) agianst Philadelphia.  No one is going to confuse Engram for the Pro Bowlers, but the opportunities for Engram should be there.  

Two other tight ends with possible productive matchups include Jared Cook, who gets Washington in a week where most fantasy owners are debating if Derek Carr will target Michael Crabtree or Amari Cooper in the red zone.  The answer could be neither, as Washington has yielded over 100 yards to tight ends in both of their first two games this season.  Chicago's Zach Miller has had 15 passes thrown his way over two weeks, and Pittsburgh is likely to force the Bears to throw early and often in Week 3.  If the Steelers focus on shutting down Tarik Cohen, Miller may see a heavy workload on Sunday.


KICKERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Stephen Gostkowski 5200 3 1 High Expensive, but great way to get a piece of New England
Matt Bryant 4900 4 5 Medium Always in play, especially in a dome.
Giorgio Tavecchio 4800 1 3 High Nice piece of the Oakland offense.
Jake Elliott 4600 n/a 2 Low Great value, and will be low owned.
Ryan Succop 4500 2 4 Low Best value of the week.

CHALK and GPP: These general kicker comments will likely be repeated week after week, but they are important so take note.  Yes, FanDuel is the only DFS site left that uses a kicker, but you have to deal with it if you are playing on FanDuel.  Sorry, that's how it goes.  But there's some good news - you can actually make smart, informed decisions that can go a long way towards increasing your bankroll.  First, there are four general criteria in picking a kicker:

  1. Pick a kicker who is playing at home
  2. Pick a kicker who is in a game where his team is favored
  3. Pick a kicker whose team is expected to score at least 24 points.
  4. Pick a kicker who will not be in bad weather.

Just following that above recipe will help you quite a bit.  Remember - a 50+ yard field goal is five points or almost as much as a touchdown.  That's significant.  

So, who do we like for Week 3?  With pricing potentially tight if some of the players we hope to be inactive do not take Sunday off, we may need to save some money at the kicker spot.  Ryan Succop is just $4,500 - the kicker minimum - and he offers a nice floor complement if you choose to use Derrick Henry (should Henry not find the end zone, Succop should convert that into three or more points).  If you have plenty of cash to spare, Stephen Gostkowski offers a nice piece of the New England offense.  Roughly in between these two options lies Giorgio Tavecchio, who sounds like he should more cast member of The Sopranos than Oakland Raider (hey, I can say this - count the vowels in my name) - but in all seriousness, Tavecchio has a strong leg and is also a solid option as part of an offense that is projected to score quite a bit in Week 3.  The last kicker I want to mention is yet another Eagle (there is a theme, I know) in Jake Elliott.  Who is that?  Well, Philadelphia had to put their top kicker on IR after Week 1, and they signed Elliott off of the Cincinnati practice squad after he was drafted in Round 5 in the 2017 draft.  Elliott has a big leg and, as you might expect from the other sections of this article, I expect the Eagles to score quite a bit this week.  He meets all of the criteria as a home favorite and I like him to be very low owned with 10+ point upside. 

TEAM DEFENSES

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Miami 5100 3 5 High Strong pivot as the Dolphins visit the Jets. Price will make them less attractive.
Denver 5100 n/a 4 Medium What has Buffalo done, really?
New England 4900 2 1 High Aside from price, my second choice of the week. Houston has not looked good, and if New England corrals DeAndre Hopkins, could be a long day for the Texans
Tampa Bay 4600 4 3 Low Since Sam Bradford is out, it could be a long day for the Vikings
Philadelphia 4500 1 2 High The Giants have looked terrible and their offensive line is a mess. The Eagles have a strong front four and are opportunistic. Best value, and I don't care that they will be highly owned

CHALK and GPP: The Eagles are mentioned here yet again as the top option in cash games, but they are not my top selection for GPP play.  Philadelphia should dominate the Giants and rack up plenty of sacks, but everyone is on them this week.  That means there are better ownership plays if you want to pivot to a more expensive New England (home against Houston) or Tampa Bay (at Minnesota).  The Buccaneers offer solid value and potentially low ownership against a team that will be without Sam Bradford again in Week 3.  Miami is a reasonable alternative at the Jets, but they are expensive - I favor taking Denver instead on the road at Buffalo in a game where the Broncos may want to run a lot and play strong defense against Tyrod Taylor.


Good luck this weekend!

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com


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