FanDuel GPP Domination - Week 6

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 6

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, and so many it almost feels like no teams are on a bye.  The problems this week is that most of the options you want are all high end (expensive) options, and choosing between a few of them comes down to very tough calls.  Sunday injury reports and inactives may help to open up salary cap room, but with limited time it is going to be tricky.

One tip this week is to enter two free contests (head to heads) and have two "dummy" lineups built, just in case you have a RB or WR punt play pop up as a must start Sunday morning.  Having that dummy lineup ready for that possibility allows for a quick substitution of that lineup into other contests, expediting your changes at the last minute.

This week on FanDuel, there are several options at each pricing level at running back and wide receiver.  Options are relatively limited at tight end, kicker and defense, so roster construction is going to be very similar this week.  If you can build a GPP lineup a little differently than most (two cheaper running backs, for example), then you could make a rather unique roster for Week 6.    

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

Footballguys' DFS Week 6 Page

Vegas Value Chart

Interactive Value Chart

Projecting Ownership

Please note that if a player isn't mentioned in the write-ups but is in the table, it does not mean that I like the player more in the write-ups.  The discussion sections are to add more detail, support and clarity for those players mentioned, but all of the picks in the tables are viable options if they are ranked.

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 n/a n/a Medium Costly, and his shoulder is questionable - but this is New England, is it really just his shoulder?
Drew Brees 8600 3 4 Med-High The Saints at home off of a bye week - could be a shootout coming against Detroit
Deshaun Watson 7900 1 3 High Just feels too cheap this week in a game that could be high scoring, and Watson's floor is higher due to his running ability
Kirk Cousins 7800 n/a 8 Med-High Washington projects for 28 points this week, and they just had a bye
Matthew Stafford 8500 n/a 7 Med-High Shootout against New Orleans a definite possibility
Jameis Winston 7800 4 1 Medium Arizona is good against the run, and Tampa Bay's defense is as well. Recipe for a shootout here
Carson Palmer 7100 2 2 Medium Tampa Bay is also good against the run, and so is Arizona. Tough to pick a WR to go with Palmer, but he has a strong shot at 300+ yards again
Derek Carr 7500 n/a 6 Very Low Cheapest price he has been at all year, and he says he is ready to go
Josh McCown 6900 n/a 5 Very Low Risky play, but New England has not stopped any QB this year

CHALK TALK:  The main choice this week in both cash and GPP is going to start with Deshaun Watson, as the Texans host Cleveland in what should be a high scoring (and potentially one-sided) affair.  Watson offers a high floor with his rushing and passing abilities, and the matchup is perfect for him to use both to rack up points on the Browns.

GPP: Two other games have strong scoring potential with Detroit visiting the Saints.  New Orleans is coming off of a bye week, and Drew Brees has had some monster games after a bye: 

  • 2016: 465 4TDs
  • 2015: 228 0 TDs (at Houston)
  • 2014: 342 2 TDs
  • 2013: 332 5 TDs
  • 2012: 377 4TDs
  • 2011: 363 4TDs
  • 2010: 382 4TDs
  • 2009: 369 4TDs

I don't think you even need to average all those numbers to just say "It is really good" (for the record, it is 357 yards passing and 3.4 touchdowns.)  So Brees is definitely in play, and he makes a solid option in all formats.  Matthew Stafford comes along for that ride, but the New Orleans defense is a big question after two bad performances early then two strong games where they only gave up 13 points to Carolina followed by a shutout of Miami.  The most likely outcome that I see is a high scoring contest, offering good fantasy value to both quarterbacks, but Brees is easily my preferred choice.

The other game that should be a back and forth matchup is Tampa Bay at Arizona.  Both teams give up less than 3.5 yards per carry, so the passing games have to move the ball - and Tampa Bay is not good at defending the pass (bottom 10 team in QB rating against, yards and yards per attempt).  Carson Palmer should be able to use his four wide receiving options (more on them later) to move the ball effectively, so a "naked Palmer" is a solid choice if you choose to not stack him with another receiver.  For the Buccaneers, Jameis Winston will have to look elsewhere with Patrick Peterson shutting down Mike Evans in coverage.  A Winston-DeSean Jackson is definitely in play in this contest as Arizona has still given up the 11th-most yards passing and fifth-most touchdown passes (10) despite Peterson's efforts.  

I have to mention Tom Brady, who I listed above but mostly to mention him as being scratched off my list.  Brady costs a ton and there are enough warning signs mid-week to avoid him at this point.  Brady allegedly has a shoulder issue, but it is not clear if there could be more to the story.  Regardless, if Brady is not at 100% and the Patriots are expected to cruise past the Jets, why risk him if they have a lead late?  Bill Belichick may rest him and showcase Jimmy Garoppolo for later in the year (or a future trade) to buy Brady more time off, or even just make Brady a glorified handoff machine once New England has a solid lead.  Way too much downside risk to use Brady this week.

 

RUNNING BACKS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Kareem Hunt 9300 3 6 High A top option for sure this week, but I question him hitting value (especially in GPPs) if Kelce plays
Leonard Fournette 8600 4 4 High The Rams do not stop the run, and Fournette has scored a TD every week
Devonta Freeman 8500 n/a 9 Medium Solid option (at home, after a bye) but Tevon Coleman and Julio Jones could steal the scores
Todd Gurley 8400 1 2 Med-Hi Bounce back spot here (at Jacksonville) for Gurley, who could find the end zone twice this week
C.J. Anderson 7000 2 1 Medium Game script lays out great for Anderson, as Denver should be cruising against the Giants
Mike Gillislee 6200 n/a 8 Low Could easily be overlooked this weekend, but if Tom Brady is not at full strength, this could be his kind of game
Mark Ingram II 5900 5 3 Medium More and more touches and snaps for Ingram, and Adrian Peterson is now gone. Kamara is a threat
Elijah McGuire 5700 n/a 7 Low If Forte plays, that will cut into McGuire's value, but upside is there even if Forte suits up
Samaje Perine 4900 n/a 5 Very Low Perine is the likely starter for Washington, who should be ahead against the 49ers, but I wonder if an upset may happen

CHALK TALK:  My list is not going to be popular, and that is okay.  Part of Footballguys' appeal is multiple opinions, and that is appreciated, especially if it can be substantiated.  Kareem Hunt is the top back for many this week, but I am pushing him down on my list, especially in GPPs.  Hunt is a solid cash game play, no doubt, but I just happen to think that there are better alternatives that can more easily hit 2x and have upside.  Pittsburgh has given up a lot of yards on the ground (500+ in the past three weeks), but I know Andy Reid's ways from his days back in Philadelphia.  Just when you think Hunt will get 25+ touches, he will get under 15.  The main reason I am pivoting from Hunt is not just for salary relief, which is a valid point, but if I am going to spend big money on a tailback this week I want a clear path to offensive dominance in workload.  I had that if Travis Kelce was out, but now that he is back in the mix, I have a few other backs I would rather use.  

GPP:  There are three main tiers this week in pricing - high, low and those in between.  High-priced backs (Hunt, Fournette, Freeman, Gurley and even Le'Veon Bell) come down to personal preferences.  Carries, touches, matchup and upside all factor in when choosing amongst these options.  Fitting two might be difficult this week, so nailing one strong option will go a long way.  Of this group I like Gurley the most due to matchup (at Jacksonville) and that the team went away from him way too much last week after his fumble against Seattle.  Fournette is my next option but he is almost too much of the offense with Blake Bortles continuing to struggle.  Devonta Freeman is a solid option, but Atlanta can spread the ball around too much.  Bell faces the Chiefs on the road, which gives me pause as well.

There are viable options at the lower end of the scale as well.  Mark Ingram II kicks off this list as the most likely beneficiary of the Adrian Peterson trade, and a home favored team in a high scoring game favors the running back in the fourth quarter.  Samaje Perine has a similar script for Washington, and he is even cheaper, but he feels a little too risky for my taste.  Elijah McGuire falls in between these two with plenty of upside against a porous Patriots defense.  Even if Matt Forte suits up, McGuire should see plenty of work to meet value and approach three times his salary.

The middle tier is a bit sparse, but it does offer two viable options.  Mike Gillislee has two touchdown upside if New England is rolling over the Jets this week, and if Tom Brady's involvement is minimized the matchup could quickly become one favorable for Gillislee.  My favorite option overall for both formats is C.J. Anderson, who could pound the ball into and through the Giants on Sunday Night Football with Denver expected to dominate New York to close out the big day of football. 

 

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Antonio Brown 9200 3 10 High Great matchup against the Kansas City secondary, big game upside. Price makes it hard to hit 3x
Michael Thomas 8500 10 11 Med-High Lots of options for Drew Brees, and he costs more than Julio
Julio Jones 8400 2 2 High Similar upside to Antonio Brown but a much better price
DeAndre Hopkins 8000 1 7 Very High Price is soaring for Hopkins, but is a target monster from Watson
Golden Tate 7600 n/a 6 Medium Might be his best matchup yet this season against the Saints
Keenan Allen 7200 5 3 Med-High Oakland is not good against the pass, and Allen is due for a score
Davante Adams 7200 n/a 4 Low Jordy Nelson will be covered by Xavier Rhodes, so Aaron Rodgers will likely look at Adams often
Pierre Garcon 6800 7 9 Medium #NarrativeStreet against his former team, and seeing a lot of targets for SF
Larry Fitzgerald 6600 4 13 Med-High Top target for Carson Palmer, but needs a touchdown to really pay off
Jarvis Landry 6500 8 n/a Medium Cash play only, but value increases without Parker
Adam Thielen 6500 6 5 Medium Could be the top WR for Minnesota this weekend
DeSean Jackson 6400 n/a 1 Low Mike Evans gets Patrick Peterson, so Jackson has big upside
John Brown 6300 n/a 8 Low Pure GPP play, but has seen an increase in volume of late. Tampa Bay not good against the pass
Jamison Crowder 5400 9 12 Low Washington is expected to score a lot, and they want to work Crowder in more
Michael Floyd 4500 n/a 14 Very Low Pure GPP play for now, but if Diggs is out, Floyd could become relevant Sunday morning

CHALK TALK:  The chalk this week starts at the upper end, where three options reside above the $8,000 price point.  DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown and Julio Jones all have great matchups, and many DFS players are going to look to get at least once, if not two, of these options in their cash rosters.  All three offer GPP upside as well with two touchdown potential.  Given Houston's and Atlanta's implied point totals, Antonio Brown looks like the odd man out of the three. 

GPP:  Value plays are always coveted, and I have a very interesting one to come, so stay tuned.  As usual, there are plenty of receivers who can hit that magical 3x level for tournament production.  DeSean Jackson leads the way as Mike Evans should be blanketed by Patrick Peterson.  Jackson always has been game potential, and the matchup against Arizona (and not Peterson) screams out for a big Week 6.  Davante Adams also looks good when digging into the matchup against the Vikings, as Jordy Nelson should draw Xavier Rhodes in coverage.  Adam Thielen could be the WR1 for Minnesota in that same game if Stefon Diggs cannot go, and it is possible that Michael Floyd may start for Diggs.  If he does, he immediately becomes an interesting punt play option at the site minimum of $4,500. 

As for the Cardinals, good luck figuring out which wide receiver will get the touchdowns.  Larry Fitzgerald is the possession receiver, but three options (J.J. Nelson, Jaron Brown and John Brown) exist for deep threats for Arizona.  I would place my bets on John Brown, who is getting more snaps and targets, but all four receivers are in play - but it is not an easy call. 

Pierre Garcon returns to his old stomping grounds of Washington, after five years with the team.  He sees a ton of targets for the 49ers (34 in four games) and is their top option, and Washington is now without Josh Norman for a month.  Garcon is overdue to find the end zone, and if he does it almost assures him reaching 3x value.


TIGHT ENDS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Travis Kelce 7200 1 4 High If he can pass concussion protocol, he becomes a great chalk play
Evan Engram 5300 2 3  Med-High Denver is in the bottom third of the league against tight ends, and the Giants are out of wide receivers
Jordan Reed 6500 n/a 6 Medium Washington projects for 28 points, but SF has been the best against tight ends this year
George Kittle 5300 n/a 1 Low Best game of his young career last week, and Washington is Bottom-5 against tight ends. Strong pivot from Engram
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 5500 3 2 High The Patriots are a bottom-5 team against the TE, and the Jets should be throwing all day
Zach Miller 5000 n/a 5 Medium Baltimore is one of the worst teams against TEs, and the Bears have few receiving options

CHALK TALK: Tight end gets easier if Travis Kelce is a full go, and he is practicing already after his concussion. Pittsburgh is rated well against tight ends so far this year (seventh best), but the quality of tight ends that they have faced is not very high.  Kyle Rudolph went 4-45 and no other Top 15 tight end has been up against the Steelers, who were not good last year against the position and could be picked apart by Kelce.  The problem is his price, and with two other strong options (Engram, Seferian-Jenkins) at nearly $2,000 less, Kelce may not be worth paying up for this week.  These will be the top three options and the chalk, so finding options to pivot to outside of these three may be strong tournament plays. 

GPP:  Two names will be kicked around for tight ends in tournaments this week, starting with San Francisco's George Kittle.  Kittle had a career best game (7-83-1) against the Colts last week and he gets a great matchup against Washington this week.  Another option on the other side of that contest is Jordan Reed, and he could be popular because he is both cheap and healthy.  I am recommending a fade here, however, as the 49ers are the best overall defense against tight ends so far this year.   The one GPP option that should be on the radar is Zach Miller of Chicago.  Baltimore is one of the worst teams against tight ends, and the Bears have limited receiving options.  Trubisky will likely favor a big target on shorter routes, adding more chances for Miller.

 

 

KICKERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Stephen Gostkowski 5300 6 7 Medium Road favorite and hits criteria, exposure to New England for cheap
Matt Bryant 5200 3 6 Medium Expensive, but strong favorite and gets a piece of Atlanta
Matt Prater 5000 n/a 10 Low Misses criteria, but a dome kicker in a shootout could prove valuable
Brandon McManus 4900 4 1 Med-Low Denver should coast, and long kicks in Denver are a thing
Ka'imi Fairbairn 4800 5 3 High Houston should roll all over Cleveland, leading to field goals late
Mason Crosby 4800 n/a 8 Low On the road, but in a dome and meets criteria
Dustin Hopkins 4700 1 4 High One of the top two options, home favorite that meets criteria
Will Lutz 4700 2 5 High One of the top two options, home favorite that meets criteria
Harrison Butker 4700 n/a 2 Very Low Meets the criteria and relatively cheap - is he overlooked?
Phil Dawson 4500 n/a 9 Low Pretty much a staple of my list - and he is the minimum price

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.

Just like last week, there are not many cheap values to really consider in Week 6.  The last two weeks I have pretty much nailed (Phil Dawson in Week 4, Jake Elliott in Week 5), as any time you get 10+ points from a kicker you have to consider that a success.  This week it looks like there are two main choices in Will Lutz (New Orleans) and Dustin Hopkins (Washington), both at $4,700.  Both kickers check all the boxes on the criteria list and should be in good spots for several field goal and extra point tries.  There are several higher priced options in good spots, but if I were to pivot off of either of these two kickers I would choose two others under $5,000 in similar spots.  Both Harrison Butker (KC) and Phil Dawson (Arizona) are going to be lower owned options that could get overlooked this week.  


TEAM DEFENSES

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Houston 5400 4 4 Medium Great pivot off of Denver, and hosting Cleveland
Denver 5400 1 3 High Chalk play against the Giants, who might not get 14 points
Atlanta 5000 3 5 Med-High Miami has not looked good at all this year, and Falcons come off a bye
Baltimore 4900 2 2 High Bears on a short week and on the road with a rookie QB
Washington 4700 n/a 6 Medium Washington comes off their bye to face a SF team on their third road game in a row
Jacksonville 4500 n/a 1 Low Lead the league is sacks (20), takeaways (15) and TDs (4) - for low ownership against a West Coast team heading to the East Coast

CHALK and GPP: This week is relatively simple - if you can afford Denver, use them.  The Giants project to score only 14 points this week, and that may be generous.  New York has only one wide receiver that survived Week 5, so expect Denver to blanket him and TE Evan Engram, offering Eli Manning very few chances to move the ball.

As a pivot, Baltimore is a reasonable option with Chicago visiting the Ravens on a short week.  Mitch Trubisky will be in his first road NFL contest, and this game could easily be a kicker-fest where Baltimore relies on Justin Tucker and their defense.  

Jacksonville is a favorite GPP option for me, with the Jaguars expected to be low owned despite gaudy defensive numbers so far this year.  Hosting the Rams after a long trip to Florida and with Jacksonville having a top rated pass defense, the Jaguars make for a cheap GPP option that could help take down a tournament.

 

Good luck this weekend!

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