FanDuel GPP Domination - Week 9

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 9

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 across Footballguys.

Week 9 is the second week in a row with six teams on a bye, but there is one more game on the main slate (11) with no London game to pull teams away from the core Sunday group of contests.  Even with 22 teams in action, injuries and bad matchups make it feel like a week with limited options, especially at wide receiver.  Finding value is tricky this week, but for tournaments, GPP stacks could create that cap space needed to roster top notch options to round out the lineup.  So for GPPs, starting with a QB-WR or QB-TE stack and "running it back" in a game stack with an opposing receiver can start your core of a tournament lineup.

Just like last week as well, 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.

Going forwards for the rest of the season, I will also add any concerns regarding weather.  Following NFLweather.com and also Kevin Roth are great options for DFS as well.  For Week 9, things look pretty calm on the weather front.  Only two games show any precipitation (Seattle and the Giants), but both are light drizzle if anything.  Should be clear sailing this week, but just in case things take a bad turn, just remember to watch for weather updates for Sunday, and also monitor the Vegas lines for any movement. If the totals start to drop, expect adverse conditions for passing and kicking games in those contests.

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

Footballguys' DFS Week 9 Page

Vegas Value Chart

Interactive Value Chart

Projecting Ownership

Normalized Stength of Schedule (NSOS)

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
Russell Wilson 8500 1 3 High Wilson is the offense for Seattle with such a poor rushing attack
Drew Brees 8300 2 2 High Matchup against Tampa Bay looks great, and Brees is at home - but lots of production coming out of the run game for the Saints now
Dak Prescott 8200 3 5 Medium With no Ezekiel Elliott, the offense falls on Dak's shoulders
Carson Wentz 8000 n/a 1 Low Always a good play this year, and Denver has weaknesses in the short passing game and to tight ends. Love him at low ownership
Marcus Mariota 7800 n/a 6 Low Sneaky call for a shootout in BAL-TEN, and the Ravens secondary is not what it once was. Mariota also has good rushing skills
Cam Newton 7600 4 4 Medium Rushing stats help to raise his floor, and will use McCaffrey as a short yardage target often
Kirk Cousins 7500 n/a 7 Very Low Seattle just gave up a big game to Deshaun Watson, and Cousins may need to follow that script
Joe Flacco 6800 n/a 8 Very Low We are overdue for a "Wacko Flacco" game, and Tennessee's secondary is not good at all
Brock Osweiler 6000 n/a 9 Very Low "The Brocketship" will either launch you to the top of GPPs or explode on the launching pad - there is no in between


CHALK TALK:
 Things took a turn for the worse this week as Deshawn Watson tore his ACL on Thursday.  Watson was the chalk quarterback heading into Week 9, but now Tom Savage will be under center for Houston.  That obviously radically changes the DFS landscape for the week.  There are other options at quarterback for cash, starting with Russell Wilson.  Seattle's ground game cannot get going, but Wilson is starting his annual mid-season tear.  Ride that wave in cash and do not worry about figuring out which wide receiver to stack him with - we will get to Jimmy Graham later.  The other quarterback to consider is Drew Brees, who is in a favorable spot (home against Tampa Bay).  Brees has not had to throw a ton with the running game faring well for New Orleans, so in cash I would lean Wilson, but neither is a bad option.  Both QBs also have GPP upside of course, but again I think the ceiling is higher on Wilson than Brees.

GPP: The yo-yo continues in Dallas with Ezekiel Elliott now playing again on Sunday.  That lowers Dak Prescott's appeal, but he is still in play for tournaments as the Cowboys-Chiefs game has a 50+ point projection.  Alex Smith is in play for that game as well, but he may have less of an impact if Kareem Hunt goes off - but then again, Smith may connect with Hunt for a long reception.  Dallas has given up four 50+ yard games to running backs this year, so the upside is there for Hunt as a receiver.  

I just love Carson Wentz this week.  According to our ownership projections, Wentz is going to be criminally under-owned.  Wentz can hit TE Zach Ertz or any of his receivers and have another big game (on top of several already this season) to put up a big fantasy number.  As a big home favorite, Wentz is in the right spot to capitalize on the Eagles' high point projections.  Philadelphia would love nothing more than to get a big win and move to 8-1 before their bye week.

Tennessee and Baltimore is my call for a sneaky shootout this week.  The Titans started out the year as one of the worst passing defenses, but not much has changed aside from the caliber of quarterbacks that they have faced in October.  Jay Cutler, Jacoby Brissett and the Cleveland duo of Cody Kessler and DeShone Kizer are far from a murderer's row of passers.  No one is going to be looking at Joe Flacco as an option this week, but I think you should - in LARGE FIELD GPPS.  Flacco will be 1-2% owned (if that) this week after he was knocked out last Thursday, but if there is one thing that he can do it is throw the deep ball.  Flacco-to-Mike Wallace could be that stack that blows up the slate in a "Wacko Flacco" game that happens about once a year.  That performance, should it happen, could easily spawn a big game on the other side with Marcus Mariota

 

RUNNING BACKS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Todd Gurley 9100 4 2 Very High Big part of the Rams' offense and should continue at the Giants
Kareem Hunt 9000 3 1 Very High Huge part of KC attack and the highest scoring game - fit him in if you can
Leonard Fournette 8600 5 5 High Not a good average per carry aside from two long runs, but the volume (and TDs) are there
Mark Ingram II 7900 1 4 Very High Top RB for a favored home team, and catches passes too
Lamar Miller 7500 2 3 High With the QB out for Houston, Miller may have to carry the load this week
Chris Thompson 6700 n/a 8 Medium Good receiver out of the backfield, and Washington likely low on pass catchers
DeMarco Murray 6400 n/a 7 Low Baltimore's run defense is not good, and the Titans may attack the Ravens all day that way
Christian McCaffrey 6100 6 6 Medium Most targeted RB in the NFL, and that may increase with no Benjamin
Derrick Henry 5200 n/a 9 Very Low Fewer touches than Murray, but explosive

CHALK TALK: The chalk this week begins (and possibly ends) with the most expensive options at running back.  From Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt in good matchups down to Leonard Fournette, Mark Ingram II and Lamar Miller all in favorable game scripts as home favorites, these five backs should comprise a large portion of the running backs used for Week 9.  The tricks will be to figure out which ones are the best values and also to possibly find a pivot in GPPs.

GPP: Pivoting away from the big names at the top is going to be a great way to differentiate rosters for Week 9, just like I said last week.  The problem is that there are not that many names outside of that Top 5 list.  Kareem Hunt may be owned in GPPs more than cash just due to his big price tag, but I think that many will get him in if there is an injury replacement starter that pops up on Sunday.  Todd Gurley is in a similar spot (and price) to Hunt, but I think he will be overlooked a little more than Hunt just because of the high profile nature of the Cowboys-Chiefs contest (and the big implied score of 50+ points). 

So aside from going to the rest of the cash game running backs, where else can you turn? I see 3-4 options this week, with two of them in Tennessee.  Baltimore is giving up 4.4 yards per carry and the Titans could run a ground and pound attack with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry this week.  Both are very affordable and offer 3x upside for tournaments.  The other two options are pass-catching backs that are usually seen as lower in value on FanDuel with just 0.5 PPR scoring, but both Chris Thompson and Christian McCaffrey are in great spots to catch plenty of passes this week.  Washington has a beat up offensive line and will likely be without Jordan Reed and possibly Jamison Crowder as well, so Thompson will get extra targets. That is also the case with McCaffrey, as Kelvin Benjamin was traded away by Carolina. His 8+ targets a week have to go somewhere, and the options are limited (McCaffrey, Devin Funchess, Ed Dickson).  Atlanta has given up over nine targets and over six catches a game to running backs over seven games (totaling a 48-384-3 stat line), which aligns incredibly well for McCaffrey - who leads the NFL in receptions for running backs.  This all adds up to a big game for McCaffrey, and a probable touchdown to push him up to tournament value. 


WIDE RECEIVERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
DeAndre Hopkins 9100 4 9 High Stock falling with Watson now out at QB
Julio Jones 7900 6 5 Med-High So hard to trust, but he is as cheap as he has ever been
Tyreek Hill 7700 7 4 Medium Dallas has given up big games to WR1s, and Hill is due
Michael Thomas 7600 1 1 Med-High WR1 for the Saints against Tampa Bay - perfect scenario for a big game
Michael Crabtree 7100 5 7 Medium 35 targets the past four weeks - and three scores
Jarvis Landry 7000 10 14 Med-High Without Ajayi, Miami will have to use short passes to move the ball
Larry Fitzgerald 7000 9 13 Med-High Great matchup and a strong possession and Red Zone guy
Demaryius Thomas 6700 8 3 Medium Good history with Brock Osweiler, and the Eagles' secondary is their weakness
T.Y. Hilton 6600 2 2 Medium Houston defense not what it used to be, and could have his best game of the year
DeSean Jackson 6200 n/a 6 Med-Low Mike Evans will be locked down in coverage, opening up chances for DeSean
Devin Funchess 6100 3 8 High Not as cheap as you might expect, but now the WR1 for the Panthers after Benjamin was traded
DeVante Parker 6100 n/a 11 Medium Similar to Landry, but higher risk
Cooper Kupp 6000 n/a 15 Low Good matchup against the Giants this week, high upside
Robert Woods 5700 n/a 16 Medium Similar story to Kupp
Rishard Matthews 5500 11 10 Med-Low WR1 for Tennessee, and could see even more targets if Delanie Walker is out
Mike Wallace 5500 n/a 12 Low Home run threat against a bad Tennessee secondary
Marquise Goodwin 4800 n/a 17 Low Probable WR1 for San Francisco now

CHALK TALK: DeAndre Hopkins was the clear cut top option this week before the Watson injury, but his ownership could easily fall off with Tom Savage as his quarterback.  That makes Mike Thomas (great spot against Tampa Bay, clear WR1 for the Saints) and Devin Funchess (new WR1 for Carolina) as the top options for cash, although projections from Footballguys have Funchess' production to be low.  That makes it a bit challenging to round out the roster with a WR2 and WR3 option.

GPP: So many choices, so little time.  The list of wide receivers that are viable GPP options is long, but to boil it down a bit I am limiting to just the names on the list above - which still is not that short.  Julio Jones' salary is ridiculously low, but so has been his production.  Will he bust out against Carolina this week?  Of course he can, but will he is the question.  Welcome to the GPP list, Mr. Jones.  If you are willing to go to that well again for Julio, I do not blame you one bit - nor can I blame anyone who has had enough.  I fall somewhere in the middle, but am very likely to not use him this week.

The receivers in the Oakland-Miami game are very interesting.  I firmly believe that the Raiders are led by Michael Crabtree, and he has great matchups against the Dolphins secondary - but so do Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker against Oakland.  Could this be a shootout?  I think it might, but keep in mind that an investment in the passing game for the Dolphins is a vote for Jay Cutler.  Yeah, I know - that scares me too (Happy Halloween!).  Given that the Dolphins just traded away Jay Ajayi, I like Landry and Parker more in cash than GPP, but Parker has more upside and a lower price - so that is where I would go for a tournament stack. 

The Tennessee - Baltimore game could also be a sneaky shootout.  The Titans started the year as a terrible pass defense then had four easy games - but now Joe Flacco gets a shot to throw some deep balls at them.  Is it a lock for a Flacco-Mike Wallace stack?  Not really, but I like the low ownership for big GPP contests.  I also like Rishard Matthews a lot, especially if Delanie Walker is out.

Janoris Jenkins will not play this week for the Giants, which opens things up for Robert Woods and/or Cooper Kupp.  Both make for solid big GPP one off options for a cheap WR with upside.  Kupp even has some cash game appeal with 38 targets and two scores the past four weeks.


TIGHT ENDS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Zach Ertz 7600 4 1 High Always a good play, and Denver is weak against tight ends. Watch injury report
Travis Kelce 7000 3 2 High Coming off another 100+ yard game and primed for another, but expensive
Jimmy Graham 6200 2 3 High Best target for Russell Wilson against Washington
Jack Doyle 5700 1 4 Very High Target monster who could do it again this week
Vernon Davis 5400 n/a 5 Low Davis will start for Jordan Reed, and if Jamison Crowder is out then Davis's value only goes up
Ed Dickson 4900 n/a 6 Med-Low Carolina needs receivers with Kelvin Benjamin traded away
Ben Watson 4700 n/a 8 Very Low In play if Jeremy Maclin cannot go
Jonnu Smith 4500 n/a 7 Very Low Good option if Delanie Walker is sidelined
Trey Burton 4500 n/a 9 Very Low GPP only - and only if Ertz is out

CHALK TALK: Jack Doyle had a career game last week (12-121-1) against Cincinnati, and he will be a top DFS option due to recency bias and pricing for Week 9.  Jimmy Graham is in a prime spot against Washington, and with Russell Wilson running hot right now, Graham is in a prime spot.  The only thing standing between him and monster ownership is a hefty price tag, but he will still be on a lot of rosters.  The same can be said for Zach Ertz, who is expected to go in a great matchup against Denver.

GPP: Travis Kelce falls right between the cash/chalk and GPP area, and for good reason.  He is one of the Top 4 options at the position, but his upside is undeniable.  Check out this stat:

 

 

So with Kelce in the game with the highest projected point totals, he is a strong chalk play with great GPP upside.

Other options at tight end are some cheaper selections like Vernon Davis (filling in for Jordan reed) or Ed Dickson (who could be the WR2 for Carolina with Kelvin Benjamin traded away).  My choice would be Davis, who has averaged double-digit fantasy productions in games where Reed missed the start.  Seattle is not strong against tight ends, so the matchup looks favorable as well.

Two last options this week are only in play if the starter is out.  Delanie Walker is questionable, but Baltimore cannot stop the tight end.  That puts Jonnu Smith firmly in play coming off of the Tennessee bye week.  Teams coming off of two weeks preparation often are in a position to scheme in newer players even more, so I like his upside.  A flier is Trey Burton of the Eagles, who is only viable if Zach Ertz cannot suit up on Sunday.

 

KICKERS

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Will Lutz 5100 6 6 Med-High Dome kicker, home favorite
Jake Elliott 5000 5 1 Medium Large home favorite
Ka'imi Fairbairn 5000 4 2 Medium Texans will need points from somewhere
Ryan Succop 4900 2 3 Med-Low Very underrated kicker coming off a bye
Blair Walsh 4700 1 4 Med-High Home game against Washington, just watch the weather
Mike Nugent 4600 3 5 Medium Dallas is projected for a lot of points in the highest scoring game 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.

Week 9 is very straightforward - all six options in the chart above meet all of the criteria.  Pick your preferred option, and do not be alarmed if you cannot make them all fit - just get one of the guys off the chart onto your roster.  Now if you are to ask my favorite, the answer is an awkward "it depends".  The reason I say it that way is that you want to add to your variance in GPPs, which means you should NOT have a kicker that matches your quarterback, and possibly not even the rest of your skill position players.  The reasoning is that if you want your guys to get 1-2 touchdowns, or have your quarterback throw for 3-4, having a kicker on the same squad that you hope will kick 3+ field goals is a bit of a stretch.  As we saw with Detroit last week, kickers do best when the offense struggles to get touchdowns.  So, for this week I lean towards Walsh in non-Wilson QB lineups, and in general I like Elliott and Succop (both have been very consistent) and also Fairbairn, since Houston may struggle without Watson at quarterback.

 

TEAM DEFENSES

Name Salary Cash Rank GPP Rank Ownership Comments
Jacksonville 5300 n/a 4 Medium "Sacksonville" living up to the nickname
Philadelphia 5200 1 3 High The chalky play of the week as Denver is starting Brock Osweiler
Houston 5200 n/a 5 Medium Hosting the Colts, the Texans will need their defense to step up with Deshaun Watson now out for the year
Seattle 5000 2 1 Medium Seahawks will be motivated at home after a poor showing last week
Arizona 4900 3 2 Med-High The 49ers are a mess and just lost their top receiver
Los Angeles Rams 4800 n/a 7 Low Tough road trip but the Giants offense has not offered much
New Orleans 4500 n/a 6 Medium The Saints are underrated and Tampa Bay is very turnover prone

CHALK and GPP: With Brock Osweiler now starting for Denver, Philadelphia is going to catch a lot of eyes (and be on a lot of teams) this week.  Denver is projected for a low point total (18) as they travel to the East Coast for a 1PM Eastern kickoff.  Seattle will be looking to avenge a bad performance (allowing 38 points to Houston) against Washington, who has an offensive line in shambles.  Arizona rounds out the chalky list as the Cardinals travel to San Francisco to take on the 0-8 49ers who are led by a lame duck quarterback in C.J. Beathard.

Tournament options are far tougher, but the Rams look appealing on the road against a Giants team that does not appear to have any offensive firepower, and lacks playmakers.  The Saints have been strong of late, and as home favorites may be pinning their ears back to chase down Jameis Winston to force extra turnovers.  Jacksonville will certainly be doing just that all game against Andy Dalton, and Houston - who has struggled - will be asking their defense to step up big against Indianapolis at home in a contest where they have to make plays to make up for the loss of their star quarterback.

   

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


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