FanDuel GPP Domination - Week 4

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 4

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 4 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 9500 6 3 High Priced up $100 from last week, but for good reason. Not the easiest to fit in your lineups, but a strong play if you can make it work.
Eli Manning 7000 n/a 4 Low The Giants have to throw, and Minnesota just lit up the Buccaneers last week behind Case Keenum
Matt Ryan 8000 5 9 Med-High This could be another shootout for the Falcons, led by Ryan's passing
Carson Palmer 7400 1 2 Medium Strong performance again last week, and San Francisco was just lit up by the Rams last Thursday
Cam Newton 7300 n/a 8 Very Low Yes, Newton. Really. No one will be on him this week, and the Patriots defense is that bad.
Marcus Mariota 7700 n/a 6 Low Tennessee-Houston could be a shootout, and I like the WR and TE options for the Titans
Deshaun Watson 7300 8 7 Low See Mariota, but not with as much upside
Trevor Siemian 7500 3 5 Med-Low Oakland has given up some great passing games, and Siemian has looked good with his two top receivers and a balanced offense
Philip Rivers 7400 4 1 Medium The Eagles are hurting in their secondary and the Chargers need a win
Dak Prescott 7600 7 11 Medium Prescott could do well, but so could Ezekiel Elliott, which limits the upside for the passing game
Tyrod Taylor 7100 n/a 12 Medium Taylor in play for GPPs against the Falcons if it is a shootout - best pairs with Clay or McCoy
Russell Wilson 7900 2 10 High Big week in Week 3, cannot play him on "that other site", so he will be sought out on FD this week
DeShone Kizer 6600 n/a n/a Very Low If ever there was a week to use him, this would be it - but I still cannot recommend hi

CHALK TALK: This feels like a week where there really is not a true chalk play at quarterback, which means ownership for the position will be spread around several different options.  Tom Brady would be the top option if he wasn't $1500 more than the next quarterback on the list, but several other quarterbacks have 2-3 touchdown pass upside (or higher).  Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson are all in the same price range of $7,000-$8,000 and should cover most of the chalk.  

GPP:  Even with the names mentioned above, they are all in play for GPPs because they can achieve 3x or higher of their $7-8K price range.  Trevor Siemian ($7,500) is a purer tournament play because he really needs to get three touchdowns to break through that 3x (22.5 points) level, even with 250 yards passing.  Against the Raiders, who have given up six total touchdowns in three games to opposing quarterbacks and a 365-yard performance to Kirk Cousins last week, Siemian has the potential to reach tournament value.  Russell Wilson (hosting the Colts) has a great matchup and is riding high after a four touchdown game in Week 3, while Matt Ryan at home against Buffalo offers similar upside.  Philip Rivers has a the benefit of being at home against a banged up Eagles defense that gave up Eli Manning's best performance of the season and nearly cost Philadelphia the game last week.  The Chargers are desperate at 0-3 and need to rely on Rivers' arm to avoid falling to 0-4 on the season.

Dak Prescott is an interesting pivot, as he could run or pass for multiple scores against the Rams.  With many targeting Ezekiel Elliott as the path towards the scoring for Dallas, Prescott should go rather under owned.  Eli Manning also has a prime matchup at Tampa Bay after Case Keenum had a great performance (25-33-369-3-0) last Sunday.  The Giants have on ground game at all, so look for Manning to push for similar numbers against the Buccaneers.  Tyrod Taylor, as mentioned above, is all about investing in a shootout at Atlanta.  If the Bills-Falcons contest gets into a 31-27 or higher scoring affair, Taylor to Charles Clay and/or LeSean McCoy could rack up points.  Marcus Mariota offers a similar script against a Houston secondary missing their top cornerback (Kevin Johnson). 

There are just so many options in Week 4 to consider for GPPs, it is really remarkable.  One guy I am struggling with - and I mentioned him last on the Power Grid this week which sparked quite the discussion - is Cam Newton.  I know, I hear you groaning already - but that is the exact response you get when a guy has so much recency bias against him that his ownership this week will be under 5%.  Now if I told you that a quarterback is going to be facing the worst team in pass defense and total yards and has given up 42, 20 and 33 points in their first three games, would you have some interest in that player? What if that player was multi-dimensional, offering value as a runner and a passer, and was the MVP of the league just two years ago?  All of those details has me seriously considering a couple of GPP darts this weekend at a Cam Newton-based Carolina offensive stack.  I dare say that you should as well, especially if Kelvin Benjamin does not go and Devin Funchess winds up as a cheap WR1 for the Panthers.  

RUNNING BACKS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Ezekiel Elliott 8500 1 7 High Similar story to Gurley, but has higher floor and ceiling
LeSean McCoy 8300 n/a 3 Med-Hi If you buy into the narrative that pass-catching RBs against Atlanta are highly successful and Buffalo can turn the game against Atlanta into a shootout, McCoy becomes a great GPP pivot from the higher priced options
Todd Gurley 8000 3 8 High Solid cash play against Dallas, but he will need two scores to reach value
Leonard Fournette 7700 4 1 Med-Hi Three touchdowns in three weeks, along with a matchup against the Jets
Dalvin Cook 7500 2 2 Medium 71 touches in three contests, and Detroit gave up over 200 total yards to Atlanta RBs last week
Chris Carson 6600 6 5 Low With C.J. Prosise out, Carson could dominate the touches for Seattle
Christian McCaffrey 6400 5 4 Medium One of two likely viable receivers for Carolina against New England
Mike Gillislee 6000 n/a 6 Low New England is projected to score over four touchdowns, and Gillislee has four this season

CHALK TALK: Ezekiel Elliott may be the top owned running back by a wide margin this week in a game where the Cowboys are expected to win at home and run the ball almost at will against a Rams team that has given up six rushing touchdowns and the fourth-most rushing yards (139) per game this season.  Other chalkier running backs that will push for high ownership include Dalvin Cook of Minnesota and Todd Gurley of those aforementioned Rams.  Both backs own their respective backfields and have 70+ touches through three contests.  Both backs are looking at 100+ yards and a score this week, especially Cook, who is both cheaper and has the better matchup (Cook faces Detroit and their 4.0 YPC against while Gurley gets the 3.6 YPC Cowboys).  

GPP: Some additional names that will likely be somewhat popular in both cash and tournament lineups include several running backs under $7,000 this week.  Chris Carson looks to be the top back now for Seattle, and the game script should line up well for him to dominate touches out of the Seahawk backfield against the Colts.  Leonard Fournette is looking to make it four weeks in a row with a touchdown as he faces the Jets, while Christian McCaffrey could see a heavy load of short targets from Cam Newton against New England.  Speaking of receiving backs, that is the path to success for a higher-priced pivot play in LeSean McCoy.  Atlanta struggles with pass catching running backs (11, 8 and 7 receptions to running backs across Weeks 1-3), so McCoy will be a big part of the Buffalo game plan to keep pace with the Falcons for Week 4.  Lastly, it is hard to overlook the multiple touchdown possibilities for Mike Gillislee, who has four scores already and will see favorable game script (expected big lead late) and matchup (4.1 YPC against) when he faces Carolina.


WIDE RECEIVERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Antonio Brown 9200 10 15 High Low game score total, but most likely Steeler to be productive in Baltimore
Juilio Jones 8400 5 5 High Strong play in cash, but can he hit 3x for GPPs? That could be tough, even if he scores - and many others will own him
A.J. Green 8000 1 2 High Fantastic matchup again this week, and even with the $500 increase he is worth it
Brandin Cooks 7900 n/a 10 High Cooks was a big part of the New England outburst in Week 3, and the Patriots have the highest implied total again in Week 4
Doug Baldwin 7600 9 11 Med-High Baldwin will have inflated ownership because FanDuel included Sunday Night Football, he did well last week and it is a strong matchup
DeAndre Hopkins 7300 6 9 High The Texans face the Titans, who have given up a ton of yards and production to wide receivers this season
Keenan Allen 7300 3 1 High Target monster for the Chargers, and the Eagles are very banged up in their secondary
Demaryius Thomas 6900 7 7 High Both Denver WRs are the same price, but stacking both together in GPPs could be the play
Emmanuel Sanders 6900 8 8 High See Demaryius Thomas
Chris Hogan 6900 11 4 Med-Low Similar story to Brandin Cooks, but Hogan appears to have a slightly higher floor - for less price
Larry Fitzgerald 6700 2 3 High Big performance last Monday night, should continue that run
DeSean Jackson 6700 n/a 13 High Big play potential as the "other WR" for Winston, as Janoris Jenkins covers Mike Evans
Adam Thielen 6400 n/a 14 Medium Stefon Diggs should draw the tougher cornerback, opening things up yet again for Thielen
Rishard Matthews 6000 4 6 Med-High One of the top plays of the week in terms of value and upside
Kenny Golladay 5500 n/a 17 Very Low Home run threat against a Minnesota team that gave up big plays last week
Devin Funchess 5400 n/a 10 Low Funchess and RB McCaffrey saw the vast majority of targets with Kelvin Benjamin out last week. Against New England, Funchess could be a great value play with excellent upside.
Travis Benjamin 5000 n/a 16 Low Similar to Keenan Allen, but a big play threat

CHALK TALK: I could spend a ton of time on all the chalk on the list above, but to be somewhat brief I think several receivers are going to be at 15+% ownership this week (See Steve Buzzard's great list above or through this link here).  Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green had great games last week and they have strong matchups once again, so expect them to be in a lot of lineups on Sunday.  The Chargers' Keenan Allen also has both a great matchup (Eagles) and salary, as does Rishard Matthews.  All four of these receivers have GPP upside if they can hit the end zone twice, but know that they all will have high ownership.  The same can be said of Julio Jones, who is still awaiting his first touchdown of the year but may get it this week against Buffalo (who also has not given up a touchdown through the air).  Regression is coming (much like Winter).  Rounding out the chalkier players include high volume receivers in both Houston's DeAndre Hopkins (strong matchup against Tennessee) and both top receivers for Denver.  Again, any of these players could hit or exceed that magical 3x line for tournament values so they are reasonable considerations for tournaments - just know that they are more likely to appear on opposing rosters.

GPP:  To win a big tournament this week, you are probably going to have to have at least one wide receiver that is lower owned and gets in the end zone.  That means finding a receiver at under 10% ownership but still has enough upside to collect 5-6 catches and 50-75 yards on top of that score in order to rack up enough points outside of that scoring play to get 15+ points for the week.  That is a higher bar for most receivers, but I like narrowing down the list of targets to simplify the selections.  Either of New England's top receivers (Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan) offer this type of upside, but I much prefer Hogan at $1000 less in price.  Doug Baldwin could get to the end zone this week against the Colts, but at $7900 he really needs a big game to get that 3x value, which drops him down the list some for me.  I would much rather take a shot on a cheap option like Devin Funchess ($5400) who could be the top receiver for Carolina against New England this week, or even a DeSean Jackson against the Giants as Jackson seems to love facing this team (six touchdowns in 16 games against the Giants, not even counting his punt return history).  

Three receivers with big play potential I like quite a bit this week for opportunity, salary and ownership reasons are Adam Thielen of Minnesota, Kenny Golladay against those Vikings and Travis Benjamin of the Chargers.  I mentioned earlier how banged up the Eagles are in their secondary, so a big home run ball to Benjamin could rack up big points quickly.  Golladay has a similar matchup if he runs out of the slot and gets deep on Minnesota.  Thielen should see a favorable cornerback matchup against Detroit (Trae Waynes), and we have seen several big games already from Thielen with both Sam Bradford and Case Keenum.


TIGHT ENDS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Rob Gronkowski 8400 5 1 Medium Top target for Tom Brady - need I say more? Price will force lower ownership
Zach Ertz 6500 1 3 Very High Another great matchup for the Top 3 tight end against the Chargers
Jared Cook 5500 3 2 Med-Low Tight ends make for good matchups against the Broncos, Cook scored last week
Charles Clay 5300 4 5 Medium Atlanta is not good against the tight end, and Clay is seeing good volume of targets
Evan Engram 5200 2 4 Medium Hot target for a team that needs to throw to move the ball
Eric Ebron 5200 n/a 7 Low Good matchup against the Vikings, and Detroit will likely need to throw
Jesse James 5100 n/a 6 Low Baltimore gave up three touchdowns to Marcedes Lewis last week - the same amount he has had in the last three seasons. Yes, James is in play this week

CHALK TALK: Tight end keeps getting harder, especially when some good names are not playing Sunday.  Zach Ertz and Rob Gronkowski always seem to bubble towards the top this year, and that remains the case in Week 4.  

GPP: Week 4 is partially about finding upside and also finding cheaper options.  Those two goals merge at the tight end position and work to push Ertz and Gronkowski down the list for some cheaper targets.  Jared Cook found the end zone late last week for the Raiders, and he gets a Denver team that is most susceptible to the passing game over the middle of the field.  Couple that with a questionable Michael Crabtree and Cook may leap up to the top of the list quickly.  Charles Clay ($5300) and Evan Engram ($5200) are also viable options as both the Giants and Bills are expected to throw quite a bit as underdogs on the road.  Engram gets the slight nod due to more volume than Clay of late, although Clay offers more touchdown upside which makes it a close call.  Two longer shots round out my list for the week with Jesse James facing a Baltimore team that just gave up three touchdowns to a past-his-prime Marcedes Lewis last week in London, along with Detroit's Eric Ebron facing the Vikings.  James has 12 catches and two scores in three contests but his upside is very highly dependent on touchdowns and remember the Baltimore-Pittsburgh game is expected to be very low scoring.  Eric Ebron offers bigger upside, although Minnesota has not been that tight end matchup target that they were last season.  Both James and Ebron are true darts, and I would recommend sticking with the Top 5 on the chart above.


KICKERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Stephen Gostkowski 5100 5 4 High Expensive, but great way to get a piece of New England
Matt Bryant 5000 4 5 High Always in play, especially in a dome.
Brandon McManus 5000 n/a 6 Low Big leg and in Denver - good shot at a 50+ yarder
Dan Bailey 4900 3 7 High Probably too high owned, and Dallas should score more TDs than FGs
Blair Walsh 4800 2 2 Medium Not many will wait on a kicker for Sunday night
Jake Elliott 4600 n/a 3 Low Strong value, and just hit the biggest kick of his career
Phil Dawson 4500 1 1 Med-High Don't get cute this week - just plug in Dawson
Younghoe Koo 4500 n/a n/a Med-Low Just say no to Younghoe

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.  

Let’s look hard at Week 4 – there are not many cheap values to really consider.  That is a problem on a week where the value may be hard to find, and every $100 matters.  All of the kickers that meet the criteria level are $4800 or higher, except two – last week’s hero for the Eagles (Jake Elliott, $4600) or Arizona’s Phil Dawson ($4500).  Elliott is much more of a GPP play on the road at the Chargers, while Dawson is all of the chalk it seems with his bargain bin price and meeting all of the criteria for success as Arizona is favored to win over the 49ers.  My suggestion – just plug Dawson in and move on with the rest of the lineup.

 

TEAM DEFENSES

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Seattle 5400 6 2 Medium Very expensive and only on the Main Slate on FanDuel - only price keeps their ownership down
Jacksonville 5200 5 1 Low At the Jets, but expensive
Cincinnati 4600 1 4 High Facing Cleveland - which puts the Bengals in the realm of possibility
Arizona 4600 2 3 High Nice mix of low price and strong upside, but SF is not a pushover
Baltimore 4500 4 6 Low Ben Roethlisberger struggles on the road, especially at Baltimore - and the O/U keeps falling
Pittsburgh 4500 3 5 Low The Ravens were virtually shut out last week, and the O/U keeps going down on this game
Dallas 4500 n/a 9 Very Low The Cowboys are cheap, have 11 sacks, 3 turnovers and have held 2 of 3 opponents under 18 points. Can you trust the Rams on the road?
Detroit 4400 n/a 8 Very Low Case Keenum has to implode at some point, right?
New York Giants 4300 n/a 7 Low Really cheap and have sack and turnover upside


CHALK and GPP:
  There are actually quite a number of options this week on defense.  Seattle at home against the Colts is the most expensive, and they will be targeted if you have enough cash to spend, but cheaper defenses are usually the target even on weeks with extra cap room.  Pittsburgh and Baltimore is expected to be a low scoring contest, and one turnover can make the difference here.  The Ravens were just torched by the Jaguars last week (three turnovers and two sacks, one late touchdown), so Pittsburgh looks to be a good spot – but so does the home team.  Speaking of those Jaguars, they are on the road at the Jets in another lower total game (Over/Under right around 38 points) so both Jacksonville and (gasp) the Jets are GPP options. New York is actually very interesting if you are getting tight on budget as they are just $4,100, only $100 more than the bottom rung Browns. 

Several defenses in the mid-range offer solid value this week, and choosing can be troublesome.  Arizona (hosting San Francisco) looks good in theory, but the 49ers are well rested (10 days vs. 6 for the Cardinals) and they just scored 39 points.  Cincinnati looks the safest despite visiting Cleveland.  Detroit hosts a backup quarterback in Case Keenum, making the Lions a decent option to look for a defensive touchdown.  The Giants rack up plenty of sacks and always offer turnover upside for cheap in Tampa Bay.     

Good luck this weekend!

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


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