NFL H2H vs. GPP Picks: Week 10
In daily fantasy football, there are two main types of playing formats; head-to-head games (including 50/50 and double-up formats in which half of the entries win and half of the entries are left wondering what went wrong) and large field guaranteed prize pool tournaments (GPPs) where between 10-20% of the field is paid out.
In this article, we will utilize the FanDuel Week 10 NFL contest period beginning with Sunday’s 1 PM ET games and continuing through the Monday Night Football game with the Houston Texans visiting the Cincinnati Bengals.
Please note the Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers are on a bye this week.
Looking through the lens of the FanDuel pricing and scoring system, we will key in on players suited for both H2H and GPP game formats.
When constructing a H2H roster, the important thing to remember is that you want construct a team that has the highest projected “floor” with regards to projected scoring production. The reasoning behind this is simple, you just need to be better than half of the field. Whether it is mano-a-mano or a whole crowd, the top half are victorious and the others are looking ahead to next week. For this reason, we will want to focus on players that have the highest projected points per salary cap dollar. The key word to remember is probable. In today’s NFL, just about any offensive player could have a three-TD day, or they may not see the end zone for a month.
As a general rule of thumb, in this format on FanDuel you will need to score about 120 points in order to put your team in a good position to win. Sometimes you will win with fewer points, other times you will lose with a much higher score, but that is a reasonable target figure.
With an overall in-game salary cap on FanDuel of $60,000, this means we need our players to score two points for each $1000 of salary. The roster format includes 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 D/ST.
Now for the fun part, let’s look at a few players at each position that should be able to “return value” on their FanDuel in-game salary. These will be players that I will be using myself on various iterations of my FanDuel H2H lineups this week.
Depending on the style that best suits your team-building preference and risk-reward potential. One school of thought focuses on anchoring your roster with a premium guy like Andrew Luck or Philip Rivers, another way to approach a week may be with a mid-tier QB who has a great matchup, or perhaps even someone who has come into the starting job after that week’s pricing was already created. The key thing to keep in mind though is that we need to find a production ratio of 2 points per $1000 of salary.
Tom Brady – NE at NYG – $9,100: This looks like a week to spend at the quarterback position for safety, or look to a discounted option in a very favorable matchup. Once again, Brady has been stellar and is adding to his Hall of Fame resume. This week he will be traveling to the Meadowlands to face his old nemesis the New York Giants. On the season, the G-men are allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers. With the loss of RB Dion Lewis, it will be up to Tom Terrific and the passing game to shoulder the load.
Kirk Cousins – WAS vs NO – $6,500: Over his last six games, Cousins is averaging just under 42 passing attempts per contest. The Saints have allowed the most FanDuel points to opposing quarterbacks this season by a healthy 11.8% margin over the next worst team. The yardage will be there, but we need Cousins to score twice to make this selection pay off. While he has had more than one passing touchdown in a game only once this season, he has scrambled for two during the last five weeks.
Blake Bortles – JAX at BAL – $7,800: If Cousins is too risky for you and you can’t afford to allocate a big chunk of your salary cap to Brady, may I recommend Blake Bortles. Yeah, I did not think I would be in this spot either, but stay with me. On the season, the Baltimore Ravens have allowed the second most FanDuel points to quarterbacks and Bortles is averaging 20.2 fantasy points per game and has had 22+ in three of his last four outings.
While quarterbacks are a very important building block for a solid fantasy roster, running backs are absolutely crucial. Running backs have the volume and opportunity to earn points with touchdowns, rushing and passing yards, AND receptions, this usually makes them the steadiest source of daily fantasy production.
Generally it is wise to “pay up” for a premium RB in a good matchup by utilizing your savings from another position such as defense and kicker, which will be addressed in short order.
DeAngelo Williams – PIT vs CLE – $7,600: Williams has been a revelation when stepping in for Le’Veon Bell, and with Cleveland being a bottom-five team against the run all season, this is an easy play. The one worry is that Williams is working through a swollen foot, so I am hesitant to put him in my lineups that lock on Thursday night. However, if he practices by the end of the week, I will be featuring him on the majority of my lineups in all formats, as will most gamers. In the event Williams is limited or out for any reason, Jordan Todman – $4,700 enters the conversation as an alternative option.
Mark Ingram – NO at WAS – $7,500: Washington has lost several key members of their defense, and over the last two weeks, they have allowed the second-most FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs at a healthy 31.4 points per game. Last weekend the Saints scored on a one-yard Drew Brees run and a one-yard pass to Michael Hoomanawanui after Ingram failed to punch it in himself. He should be good for 100+ combined yards and a score this weekend, with a chance for upside.
There are always great wide receiver options at varying price levels and matchups. Typically what you do at the other positions will dictate how you assemble your receiving corps.
Top Shelf Options – DeAndre Hopkins – HOU at CIN – $8,900: While it is not the easiest of matchups heading into Cincinnati on Monday Night Football, Hopkins is definitely the premium option this week. Hopkins is seeing 14 targets per week, and with Houston coming off of a bye, they will have had extra time to figure out how to feature him even more in the absence of any running game.
Mid-Tier Choices – Alshon Jeffery – CHI at STL – $7,600: This is not the easiest of matchups, however, there is a good chance that the Rams will be able to limit the Bears running game. This will force them to go to the air in this matchup. Mike Evans – TB vs DAL – $7,700: The Dallas defense is above league average, however, Evans is the only healthy pass catcher for the Buccaneers, and while he may not see 19 targets again this week, he should be in the mix for double-digits and be able to reach pay dirt.
Bargain Bin Ballers – Willie Snead – NO at WAS – $6,500: Snead continues to be the most steady of the Saints receiving options and he posted six receptions and 95 yards on 10 targets last week, each representing his highest or second-highest total of the season. The is a good matchup for the Saints against the porous Washington passing defense. Michael Crabtree – OAK vs MIN – $6,400: Over his last three games, Crabtree scored four touchdowns and had 20 receptions for 273 yards. Clearly opposing teams are keying on teammate Amari Cooper – $7,100 and Crabtree is making them pay. Kamar Aiken – BAL vs JAX – $5,400: With the news that Steve Smith will be missing the remainder of the season with his torn Achilles, we should see Aiken get a chance to step into the void at a discounted price.
Jordan Reed – WAS vs NO – $5,800: New England did a good job of shutting down Jordan Reed, who had his day salvaged with a touchdown. He should dramatically improve upon his three catches this week against the New Orleans Saints, who are allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.
Kickers are very tricky to project, so I typically look for the lowest-priced kicker in a decent matchup, ideally in a dome or a fair-weather stadium.
Greg Zuerlein – STL vs CHI – $4,500: Greg the Leg at home, in a climate controlled arena for minimum price is the way to go.
Mike Nugent – CIN vs HOU – $4,600: For the late slate games, enjoy Nugent and his deeply discounted price tag at home on Monday Night Football against Houston.
Defense / Special Teams (D/ST)
D/ST is another position that is very hard to predict because so much of their value comes from return touchdowns. The best teams will have ten return scores on the season and the worst around four, which makes it tough to know which team to roster.
There are a couple top options this weekend, however, they are also above $5,000. While they are expensive, they carry the same price tag for everyone so I don’t mind spending a little extra for the potential security. The Green Bay Packers – $4,900 vs DET should be highly motivated after their horrible showing against the Carolina Panthers. Be sure to keep an eye on the injury reports, but if most of their guys are healthy, this is a great matchup. The Denver Broncos – $5,200 vs KC will be without Aqib Talib, who has been suspended for a game after attempting to gouge Dwayne Allen in the eye, and DeMarcus Ware, who is injured, however, they are at home and should be able to limit the Kansas City offense.
Large Field Tournaments aka Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs)
Depending on the contest, GPPs will generally pay out 10-20% of the field. It will take an outstanding score in order to finish in the money, so your mentality needs to be that you want to be in the top 10% or finish last. Being middle of the pack or even above average does not come with any reward, so don’t be afraid to take a few risks and stray from the herd.
Aaron Rodgers – GB vs DET – $9,200: Last week in Carolina, Rodgers finally posted his first 20+ fantasy point game since the last week of September. At this price and with the limited success he has had the last few weeks, I am looking at him for tournaments this week. The Lions are a bottom-five unit against the pass this season and after their defeat to the Panthers, I am counting on the Packers to come out firing on all cylinders this week. The risk is that they jump out to a quick lead and do not need Rodgers to throw much in the second half.
Drew Brees – NO at WAS – $8,600: Brees is in a similar situation to Rodgers, coming off a tough loss and getting to face a weak passing defense. He carries a similar risk, with the Saints likely to jump out to a lead against Washington this week.
James Starks – GB vs DET – $6,000: Starks has posted 21+ FanDuel points in two of his last three games and clearly has the edge over teammate Eddie Lacy – 6,000. The only concern is that he may only get 15ish touches, thus relegating him to tournament-only status.
Generally in a GPP it is a good idea to pair a receiver with your QB so you can double up on your points if they connect for a score or two. Remember you want to go big or go home in this format.
A.J. Green – CIN vs HOU – $8,300: Green is capable of multi-touchdown games, however, it seems that the Bengals have been leaning more on TE Tyler Eifert for the scoring opportunities. Green is a sneaky play, as he is usually on only 10-15% of all tournament entries.
Allen Robinson – JAX at BAL – $7,500: This is a phenomenal matchup for Robinson against the Baltimore Ravens who have been among the worst teams against the pass this season. Teammate Allen Hurns – $7,300 is also in play having scored a touchdown in six straight games. He is dealing with an injury to his left foot that has him in a walking boot, so be sure to monitor his status up until game time.
Rob Gronkowski – NE at NYG – $8,000: A lot of people were disappointed by Gronk last week after he posted just four catches and forty-seven yards. Do not lose sight of the back to back 20+ FanDuel point games he posted against Miami and the NY Jets in the two prior games.
Kickers and Defense / Special Teams
Generally I will utilize the same handful of cheap kickers and DSTs across my H2H and GPP lineups because of their inherent boom/bust nature.
Feel free to send questions via Twitter: @EmacDFS
Good Luck Gamers!