FanDuel GPP Domination - Week 7

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 7

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 (link to be updated Friday - available on the DFS home page) - be sure to watch and subscribe!). For this week, there are lots of options again, but many of the decisions will hinge upon scratches that will happen this weekend, so expect some updates here on Saturday.

This week feels like a week where many will pay down for RB2, WR3 and maybe even tight end - and possibly even quarterback. That's how it looks on Thursday night - but I expect much to change. If 1-2 cheaper options become chalk plays, look for those guys to make the lineups (likely Derrick Henry at RB2 and Allen Hurns at WR3) which will open up plenty of cap space to pay up at RB1, WR1, WR2 and possibly more. Cash games could have a lot of overlap, which means GPPs will be far more interesting, as will pivots off of those chalkier options.

For GPPs, I am strongly recommending building your stacks and filling in the pieces around those stacks with your short list of favorite players (quite likely a mix of cash and GPP options from the tables below). Stay tuned to Footballguys for all the updates on injuries right up until inactives come out at 11:30AM Eastern.

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

Footballguys' DFS Week 7 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 9200 4 9 Very High Biggest Over/Under of the year is ATL-NE (56 points). Brady gives a big way to get exposure to all the Patriots
Matt Ryan 8700 6 8 High "Naked Ryan" is a great way to target the Sunday night game, but hasn't Atlanta had two great matchups in a row yet been disappointing?
Dak Prescott 8400 1 4 High Dallas comes off of a bye week and visits an 0-6 team ripe to be picked apart. Prescott offers run and pass value
Drew Brees 8300 5 10 Med-High Brees on the road is usually not a great play, and it could be a wet track in Green Bay - but the Packers have a weak secondary
Marcus Mariota 8200 2 2 Medium The way to beat Cleveland is through the air, and Mariota also offers scrambling upside
Russell Wilson 8100 3 11 Medium The Giants have a good secondary, but how else will Seattle move the ball? Wilson offers rushing yards as well
Andy Dalton 7300 n/a 5 Low Sneaky GPP play in a game that could shoot out. Bengals have several favorable matchups against Pittsburgh
Brett Hundley 6900 n/a 7 Med-Low Another cheap option this week in a great offense - but is New Orleans a tougher defense that first thought?
Philip Rivers 6900 n/a 6 Low Denver is a tough defense - outside of the numbers. Rivers can target Melvin Gordon III and Hunter Henry across the middle
Ryan Fitzpatrick 6300 n/a 3 Very Low Most will fade Tampa Bay if Fitzpatrick is under center, but he is a capable quarterback with a revenge narrative in play
C.J. Beathard 6300 n/a 1 Low Dallas is a suspect pass defense, and Beathard is a cheap option

CHALK TALK: Since FanDuel is the only site that has the Atlanta-New England on its Main Slate, I expect both Tom Brady and Matt Ryan to garner very high ownership.  While some may favor Dak Prescott, Marcus Mariota or Russell Wilson, those who seek out Ryan or Brady have to do it on FanDuel.  That leads to some very interesting game theory ideas this week.  You can either fade the Sunday night contest or look for other ways to play it.  Considering the game has the highest Over/Under (56) of any game this season, I favor the latter approach and will look elsewhere at quarterback in GPPs.

GPP:  As mentioned above, I will be fading what I think will be the chalk this week (but then again, with only one quarterback spot and many options, no quarterback should have over 20% ownership and therefore it is really had to say you are fading true chalk without much higher ownership).  That makes me want to look at a few other options that will be lower owned but could go off.  San Francisco (against Dallas) is projected for 20+ points this week, a very high total for an 0-6 team.  C.J. Beathard will not be a FanDuel favorite but he should not be dismissed so easily.  With his former college tight end (George Kittle), a solid receiver out of the backfield (Carlos Hyde) and a solid possession receiver (Pierre Garcon), Beathard has strong upside against can exploit the weakness of the Dallas defense, which is through the air. 

Denver is considered to be a “No Fly Zone” defense, but they do offer opportunity to selective passers with good receivers out of the slot, at tight end and also out of the backfield.  That puts Philip Rivers in play for me, and he knows how to go against a team he faces twice a season.  With both Hunter Henry and Melvin Gordon III, he has two weapons that can work well against the Broncos.

Andy Dalton is another quarterback facing a divisional foe, and while the Bengals have not fared well overall in the past against Pittsburgh, A.J. Green has and that should benefit Dalton.  The Steelers are also weak against tight ends and receiving backs, which favor Dalton, Tyler Kroft and Joe Mixon.  Dalton makes for a solid GPP option. 

Injuries are also factoring into Week 7.  Jameis Winston is questionable, but if he scratches, the matchup is still good for Ryan Fitzpatrick against his former team.  Buffalo can be picked apart through the air, and who would know that better than a former Bills quarterback.  Brett Hundley also gets a starting nod this week as another backup forced to start due to injury, but I am leery of that Saints defense.  I would rather pivot away from cheaper options to a lesser owned but cash-viable quarterback like Marcus Mariota, who can run and also faces a Browns team that is great against the run but near the bottom of the NFL in pass defense. 

 

RUNNING BACKS

 

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Le'Veon Bell 9700 4 10 High Pittsburgh needs to get it done at home against Cincinnati, so expect Bell to be a workhorse
Leonard Fournette 9000 n/a 12 High All he does is score touchdowns - every game of his pro career
Ezekiel Elliott 8700 6 4 High Perfect game script with Dallas returning to action as a big road favorite against the 49ers
LeSean McCoy 7900 3 8 High Could be the bulk of the offense against Tampa Bay
Devonta Freeman 7800 n/a 9 Medium Great pivot play if you love the game theory of going after the ground game for Atlanta instead of an aerial attack
Melvin Gordon III 7700 n/a 5 Medium Running the ball against Denver is a very viable strategy to beat the Broncos. Gordon is being used like a David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell from 2016 but at a discounted price
C.J. Anderson 7100 n/a 6 Low The Chargers are susceptible to a ground game, and everyone has a sour taste from Anderson last week
Mark Ingram II 7100 5 2 Medium Another positive game script with the Saints a road favorite in Green Bay. Brees has had some bad games on the road, but Ingram can carry the mail here
Jerick McKinnon 7000 2 1 Med-Low Baltimore is bad and Minnesota's defense could hold them down all game, allowing McKinnon to own the second half. The Vikings lack receivers, adding to McKinnon's usage
Carlos Hyde 6700 n/a 13 Med-Low Hyde is a big piece of the 49ers offense, and is game script independent with him involved running or receiving
Tevin Coleman 6400 n/a 7 Low Coleman is a strong receiver out of the backfield, and he gives good exposure to an offense that could finally break out against New England
Derrick Henry 5600 *1 3   Stay tuned, as if DeMarco Murray scratches, Henry will be highly owned in cash
Joe Mixon 5600 n/a 11 Low Cheap option against the Steelers, and Mixon can rush or catch against a defense that has given up big games to lead backs

CHALK TALK: At both running back and wide receiver this week, the chalk really hinges on the latest injury news.  Derrick Henry will leap to the top of the “must start” list if DeMarco Murray cannot go, which will open up plenty of salary room on a week where it is really needed.  Henry may not have the most ideal matchup against Cleveland (3.3 YPC against) but the volume of touches will be there, and Tennessee will not want Marcus Mariota running too much as he is still on the mend. 

Assuming Henry is the starter, the other RB option is not as clear cut.  Many will look towards Le'Veon Bell at home against Cincinnati, and his workload in Pittsburgh’s last two victories (77 carries, 7 receptions, 370+ yards and three scores) justifies that opinion.  Ezekiel Elliott’s game script (road favorite at San Francisco) pushes his expectations for Week 7 into 18+ fantasy point range as well, but he costs almost as much as Bell.  The other option is to take a second cheaper option (or even use two as a pivot from Henry).  Mark Ingram II and Jerick McKinnon had stellar Week 6 performances, and both are in favorable spots as favorites on Sunday, even with the Saints in Green Bay.  I strongly lean to McKinnon against a very bad Baltimore club that is reeling right now, and McKinnon’s touches are nearly at the same level as Bell’s.

 

GPP:  All of the chalk talk above encompasses many backs, but there are a ton of options this week.  Two things to consider when making your choice of running backs for tournaments:  First, make sure the choices have multiple touchdown upside.  Secondly, side with backs that are likely to be “game script independent”, meaning that they will be a big part of their team’s offense if they are ahead or behind.  That is what makes a receiving back such a good option, and one that is likely to be overlooked this week is LeSean McCoy.  Buffalo will look to test Tampa Bay’s defense both rushing and receiving, and McCoy is the best Bill to do both.  Carlos Hyde has a similar description against Dallas this week, and if rumors are true that the 49ers are shopping him for a trade, expect Hyde to get plenty of touches on Sunday.  Speaking of running backs similar to Bell, Melvin Gordon III is game script independent and comes at a fraction of the price.  Denver can be beaten with receiving backs, and Gordon has seen 20 targets the past two weeks.  Gordon has over 300 yards of offense and four scores the past two weeks and makes for a great Week 7 pivot. 

Another pivoting approach goes back to game theory for the New England – Atlanta game on Sunday Night Football.  With many targeting the passing games to rack up the points, favoring the running backs – in particular, Tevon Coleman and Devonta Freeman – is a great way to get exposure to this game and fade Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.  If the Falcons get 24+ points as expected and it comes from the run attack, few will be on the Atlanta rushers (and receivers not named Jones) which will boost Freeman or Coleman rosters while also elevating past Ryan and Jones teams.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

 

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Antonio Brown 9300 4 5 High Big game upside. Price makes it hard to hit 3x
Julio Jones 8800 8 4 High When is he finally going to break out?
A.J. Green 8500 1 2 High Great history against Pittsburgh, and the Bengals are very likely to have to throw against the Steelers
Dez Bryant 8200 5 1 Med-High Two weeks for Dez Bryant and Dallas to get ready for a weak 49ers team - huge upside here
Michael Thomas 7700 7 6 Med-High Lots of options for Drew Brees, and he costs more than Julio
Larry Fitzgerald 7500 11 15 High Top target for Carson Palmer, but needs a touchdown to really pay off - just like every week
Doug Baldwin 7400 12 9 Medium While the Giants are strong against the pass, they have a weakness against slot receivers - which is where Baldwin lines up
Demaryius Thomas 7100 6 3 Med-High Too cheap this week as the main target for Denver against the Chargers
Adam Thielen 6900 9 12 Medium Stefon Diggs is still not 100%, making Thielen the top Minnesota receiver
Pierre Garcon 6700 10 14 Medium #NarrativeStreet against his former team, and seeing a lot of targets for SF
Danny Amendola 6200 n/a 13 Low Good option for NE passing game exposure
Allen Hurns 5800 *4 10 Low/High Big upside is Marqise Lee scratches - becomes a cash option if he does
Rishard Matthews 5500 2 7 Med-High The way to beat Cleveland is through the air, and Matthews is the top target for Marcus Mariota
Robert Woods 5500 n/a 11 Very Low The purest of GPP plays, he has the best matchup against the Cardinals this week and could get open deep
Bennie Fowler 4500 3 8 Low Likely starter opposite Demaryius Thomas, but can he be effective as a WR2 vs. a slot WR3?

CHALK TALK: As I mentioned with the running back section, much is dependent upon injury news at both running back and wide receiver this week. If Marquise Lee is out, Allen Hurns becomes a very chalky play and there is suddenly a lot more cap room to use for WR1s this week if you plug in Lee (and Derrick Henry as well).  Tennessee and Rishard Matthews is still a strong play in any event, as is Demaryius Thomas for Denver with no Emmanuel Sanders.  Bernie Fowler looks like a trap play for me as he is better suited as a slot guy and WR3 status for Denver.    

A lot of strategy and game theory can be discussed here, starting with the concept of fading the cheap options and working your lineup assuming Lee is NOT in play.  That alone could differentiate your lineups this weekend.  Another solid option is to work your cheaper stacks (such as San Francisco) and then build core options (cash-plus / GPP upside guys with high floors) around those stacks.  Let your stacks be your value plays this week, and hope that they hit.

 

GPP:  It seems like every week we have 10-15 options in this column, but all of them have 3x upside this week on the chart above.  Danny Amendola?  He offers a cheap piece of the New England passing game (that is not Chris Hogan or Rob Gronkowski) and he has a favorable secondary matchup against Atlanta.  Robert Woods looks like a strange call, but he also gets the best option (slot coverage) against Arizona on a fast track in Twickenham Stadium in London, a much better surface than Wembley.  Adam Thielen, Doug Baldwin, Larry Fitzgerald and Mike Thomas feel like fixtures on a weekly basis here, but once again they have two touchdown and 100-yard upside as the top receiving options for their respective teams.  Pierre Garcon may start to be in that category as he gets 9-11 targets a week and faces a bottom 10 Dallas secondary. 

The higher priced guys are playable in stacks, as Dez Bryant (with Dak Prescott) and Antonio Brown (with Ben Roethlisberger) offer high upside, and also fade high end running backs (Ezekiel Elliott and Le'Veon Bell, respectively).  A.J. Green is playable in a stack or “naked” as he has a great track record against Pittsburgh (three consecutive 100+ yard games with a touchdown).  Of course the big question with high priced wide receivers revolves around Julio Jones – will he or won’t he break out against New England?  A stack is viable, but so is a fade, and I favor fading Julio with a running back from the Falcons to try and get a piece of the Atlanta offense and hope it is the running game (or short passing game) that finds the end zone.  If so, your team should be way ahead of the Julio Jones rosters.

 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
Jimmy Graham 5800 1 4 Medium The Giants are also bad against tight ends, and Seattle is coming off the bye
Rob Gronkowski 8500 7 10 High So expensive - but that should keep his ownership lower than his true value, which is quite high
Jack Doyle 5100 3 3 Low Denver is in the bottom third of the league against tight ends, and the Giants are out of wide receivers
Delanie Walker 5900 2 7 High Cleveland is not good against tight ends, and Mariota loves his big target down the seam
George Kittle 4800 n/a 2 Med-Low Beathard was not only his college QB but his roommate - and the chemistry is showing
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 5900 6 6 Medium Miami is not good against tight ends, and his ownership should be low. Scored once last week and nearly twice
Hunter Henry 5200 5 5 Medium Denver is great against outside receivers, but not so hot against tight ends. Henry has been a bigger part of the Chargers offense of late
Austin Hooper 5000 n/a 8 Medium Cheap exposure to the highest total game of the year
Kyle Rudolph 5400 4 1 Low The Ravens are terrible against tight ends, and Minnesota lacks receivers
Tyler Kroft 5600 n/a 9 Very Low Another bad team against tight ends is Pittsburgh, and Kroft had two touchdowns in his first game as a starter

CHALK TALK: With Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce both on non-Main slates this week, Rob Gronkowski is the only “pay up” option this week, and he may get some attention if value shows up Sunday morning.  Gronkowski has two-touchdown upside every week and he will be firmly in play, but I believe that most will go to the $5,000-$6,000 range this week for their tight ends.  Jimmy Graham, Kyle Rudolph, Delanie Walker (if healthy), Hunter Henry, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and even Jack Doyle are all viable cash game options, which means that many of the rosters will have similar constructions this week but ownership could be very spread out.

GPP: Rob Gronkowski is a strong option IF we do not see value pop up this weekend due to injuries.  If it is difficult to fit in an expensive tight end, ownership will be low – but Gronkowski offers strong exposure to the highest (projected) score of the week, as does Austin Hooper for the Falcons.  Another tight end that will fly under the radar is Tyler Kroft, and as I mentioned when I discussed Andy Dalton, Pittsburgh is a bottom 10 defense against tight ends.  Kroft scored twice in his first start and he will be overlooked with the Bengals coming off of their bye.

I might have saved the best for last with George Kittle of San Francisco.  He had a career day against the Colts and then nearly scored two touchdowns last week, and now he gets not only his college quarterback (C.J. Beathard) starting for the 49ers, but both of them were once college roommates.  I have to assume that they still share a room on the road, as did Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta – and that QB/TE rapport leads to strong production.  I love Kittle (and Beathard) against Dallas this week.  

 

KICKERS

 

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Matt Bryant 5300 n/a 5 Med-Low Injury risk - which should drive down ownership
Stephen Gostkowski 5100 4 3 High Road favorite and hits criteria, exposure to New England for cheap
Dan Bailey 5000 2 4 Medium Kickers against San Francisco have scored over 11 points a game
Will Lutz 4800 3 1 Medium Good spot in Green Bay, but not normally kicking outdoors, and it may be raining
Ryan Succop 4700 1 2 High Meets all the criteria, cheap and very consistent

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.

Week 7 looks pretty straightforward, in that there are only a handful of kickers that meet the criteria and only two that are reasonably priced.  Matt Bryant ($5,300) and Stephen Gostkowski ($5,100) check all the boxes, but I am looking at either Dan Bailey ($5,000) or Ryan Succop ($4,700).  San Francisco is giving up over 11 points to opposing kickers, so Bailey should definitely get 10+ points this week, but Succop is $300 cheaper and he is practically automatic under 50 yards (a record 51 in a row).  Only Will Lutz is even considerable at $4,800, but he will be outdoors in what could be wet conditions.  I lean strongly to Succop, and if not him, take Bailey and do not sweat either choice.

 

TEAM DEFENSES

 

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Seattle 5500 5 4 Low Going back to the well against the Giants, and the Seahawks are well rested after a bye. Ownership should be low due to high price
L.A. Rams 5100 4 3 Very Low The Rams are going to sack Carson Palmer a lot, and force a few turnovers as well
Tennessee 4800 3 5 High On the road, but facing Cleveland
Minnesota 4700 1 2 High Chalk play of the week against a terrible Baltimore offense
New Orleans 4500 2 1 Medium Forget all the touchdowns last week - 13 sacks, 9 turnovers and 39 points against in their last three games
Buffalo 4500 n/a 8 High If Tampa Bay is without Jameis Winston, their value goes up
Pittsburgh 4500 n/a 6 Medium Cincinnati can be up or down, and the Steelers have a strong history against the Bengals
L.A. Chargers 4100 n/a 7 Low Cheap option against Denver, who now is without a top receiver and just had a poor showing at home last week

CHALK and GPP: The clear cash choice this week is the Vikings, as Baltimore is on the road and projected to barely get to 17 points – which might be high considering the state of disarray that is the Ravens offense.  At only $4,800 this week, Minnesota will be the highest owned, chalkiest defense out there.  I believe that you can “swallow the chalk” here as they really are a strong play and you can differentiate your lineup elsewhere, but there are a few reasonable pivots this week  Tennessee is on the road but face Cleveland, whose offensive and executional woes are on par with the Ravens.  New Orleans is also in a great spot, as the Saints face a quarterback about to get his first NFL start.  Some will scoff at the pick and just look at the three touchdowns the Saints racked up last week, but New Orleans has plenty of value if you discount those scores.  The Saints have 13 sacks, 39 total points against and have forced nine turnovers in the past three contests.  They are firmly in play at just $4,500.  Buffalo ($4,500) also could be facing Ryan Fitzpatrick this week, but there is a legitimate revenge narrative for the former Bills quarterback. I would rather pay way up to Seattle against the Giants or go with the Rams against an Arizona team flying all the way to London this week (the Rams stayed in Jacksonville after Sunday’s contest).  One last option is to go all the way to the bottom with the Chargers, who could continue the offensive woes for Denver in Los Angeles this week, as the Broncos will be without Emmanuel Sanders and just had a horrible showing against the Giants at home.

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


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