NFL H2H vs. GPP Picks: Week 14
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 14 NFL contest period, beginning with Sunday’s 1 PM ET games and continuing through the Monday Night Football game with the New York Giants heading to Miami to square off against the Dolphins.
Looking through the lens of the FanDuel pricing and scoring system, we will key in on players suited foboth 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 2 points for each $1k 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.
Selecting a quarterback depends 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 Cam Newton or Tom Brady, 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 2pts/$1k of salary.
Russell Wilson – SEA at BAL – $8,500: We have a West Coast team travelling to the East Coast for a 1pm start time, however, being in the uppermost right hand corner of the country, Seattle teams are typically among the league leaders in miles travelled every season. Wilson has been phenomenal the last three weeks with 14 combined touchdowns. It is very important to note though that in the nine games prior, Wilson only had more than a single touchdown just once, in Week 2 in Green Bay.
On the positive side, other than leading a surging Seahawk squad that is really hitting its stride, the Baltimore Ravens have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. If Wilson can get to 250 passing yards, 30-40 rushing yards and two scores, he will reach 20 FanDuel points. That seems like a reasonable expectation and we have seen his upside with a combined 94.6 fantasy points over his last three games.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – NYJ vs TEN – $7,800: Fitzpatrick was solid against the NY Giants last weekend and on Sunday he has a very favorable matchup against the Tennessee Titans who just surrendered five touchdowns to Blake Bortles and are allowing the tenth most fantasy points to opposing signal callers. As long as WRs Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall are healthy, Fitzpatrick is a fine play with the Titans having been successful at limiting the fantasy production of opposing running backs.
While QBs are a very important building block for a solid fantasy roster, RBs are absolutely crucial. Because 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.
Shaun Draughn – SF at CLE – $6,500: Draughn has seen nearly every offensive snap since joining the San Francisco 49ers as they have no backup depth. As long as RB Carlos Hyde (stress fracture in his foot) is out again this weekend, this is a nice matchup against the Browns who are allowing the second most rushing yards per game this season at 136.3 per game and a robust 4.6 yards per attempt along with 11 rushing scores. Draughn has a solid floor as he is very active in the passing game and he has averaged 5.5 receptions and 41 receiving yards in his four starts. Like most running backs, he will be a jackpot play if he finds the end zone.
LeSean McCoy – BUF at PHI – $7,900: If you would prefer a running back that projects more safety than Draughn this week, then Slim Shady making a return to Philly to square off against his former team is someone that deserves a long look. On the season he is averaging 14.6 FanDuel points per game and he has been in single digit fantasy points just once in his last ten games. RB Karlos Williams was inactive last week and has not actually practiced, as of Monday. Monitor the news coming out of Buffalo this week, but as long as Williams is anything but a full go, this is a fine matchup for McCoy against a mediocre run defense.
David Johnson – ARI vs MIN – $6,500: The Minnesota Vikings were embarrassed at home last weekend by the Seattle Seahawks and now they are travelling to Arizona to face the Cardinals. On the season, they are allowing the 11th most rushing yards at 115.8 per game at a 4.1 per carry clip. Johnson was solid with 22 carries for 99 yards in St Louis last weekend and he scored his ninth touchdown of the season on a pass from Carson Palmer. He should again see a similar workload and he is a solid play.
There are always great WR options at varying price levels and matchups. Typically what you do at the other positions will dictate how you assemble your receiving corps.
– Antonio Brown – PIT at CIN – $9,300: Three touchdowns including a fourth-quarter punt return, there is not much else to say about Brown. As long as QB Ben Roethlisberger is healthy, Brown is an elite play every week.
A.J. Green – CIN vs PIT – $8,500: In his last five games against the Pittsburg Steelers, Green has seen 77 targets and converted them into 45 receptions for 558 yards and two scores. This game has the potential to be a wild one and having a couple of the receiving options is not a bad way to start a roster.
– Alshon Jeffery – CHI vs WAS – $7,700: Over the last two games, Jeffery has seen 12 targets against San Francisco and 11 targets at Green Bay on Thanksgiving. Those opportunities resulted in 11 receptions and 175 yards. The volume should continue to be there this week against Washington and it is hard to believe that Jeffery will go a fifth straight game without a touchdown.
Jeremy Maclin – KC vs SD – $6,900: With three touchdowns to go along with 18 catches and 255 yards in his last two games, Maclin is not going to sneak up on anyone in daily fantasy football or in the NFL. San Diego is a team in disarray and this is a very fair price point for Maclin in this matchup.
– Brian Hartline – CLE vs SF – $5,300: It sounds like Johnny Manziel will be starting this week for the Browns, so this is a bit of a wild card pick. Hartline has posted double digit FanDuel points each of the last four weeks and if you are looking for an extreme value play at wide receiver, he is in play.
DeVante Parker – MIA vs NYG – $5,900: If you can manage to scrape up a few hundred dollars more, then rookie DeVante Parker is a little safer of an option since he has a more reliable quarterback running his offense.
Will Tye – NYG at MIA – $4,900: On the season the Miami Dolphins have been in the bottom five of the league for fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Tye has been very sneaky and in his last three games he has averaged 4.7 receptions and 67 receiving yards. If you need a spot to save some salary cap, here is one way to do just that and not put yourself behind the eight-ball.
Scott Chandler – NE at HOU – $5,800: In the last two games, Chandler has seen 18 targets and managed 9 receptions for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns. If Rob Gronkowski is out again, Chandler is a decent mid-tier option.
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.
Cairo Santos – KC vs SD – $4,700: In five of his last six games, Santos has produced at least nine FanDuel points, last week he did not attempt a field goal and only converted two extra points. These things will happen, this is a good matchup for the Chiefs against the banged up San Diego Chargers, who are limping into Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
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 10 return scores on the season and the worst around four, which makes it tough to know which team to roster.
Sticking with the Arrowhead Stadium theme, the Kansas City Chiefs – $4,800 are at a very favorable price point against San Diego, who is led by Philip Rivers, the league leader with five pick-sixes on the season. If you are looking for a deeply discounted option then the Jacksonville Jaguars – $4,300 are hosting the Indianapolis Colts, who are being lead by the venerable Matt Hasselbeck.
Large Field Tournaments – 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.
Ben Roethlisberger – PIT at CIN – $8,300: In six of his last eight games, Roethlisberger has tallied 330+ passing yards. After last week’s fine showing on Sunday Night Football, he will be a very popular option, but one that is worth following the crowd as there will still easily be two out of three entries that do not have him in tournaments.
Jameis Winston – TB vs NO – $7,800: This is an interesting matchup for the rookie quarterback hailing from Florida State University. The Saints have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season and are allowing an astounding 287 passing yards per game which is second in the league and 35 passing touchdowns, which is SEVEN more than the next worst team. Winston has four rushing touchdowns in his last six games and we saw home throw for five touchdowns three weeks ago in Philadelphia. If everything comes together, there is a chance he could lead all quarterbacks for fantasy production this weekend.
Jonathan Stewart – CAR vs ATL – $7,200: The Atlanta Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points this season to running backs. With Cam Newton taking a few hard hits last weekend, it would not be a surprise to see more work for Johnathan Stewart. As always, touchdowns are very fickle, but there is a chance Stewart could do very well in this matchup and he will not be on many tournament rosters as he lacks the name recognition of more flashy options.
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.
Mike Evans – TB vs NO – $8,000: If you are a believer in Jameis Winston then it makes sense to take a look at his receiving options. Evans is the more talented option, but teammate Vincent Jackson – $6,800 is still a game-breaking threat when he can pick his spots. Using two or even all three of these Buccaneers could lead you to some serious tournament treasure!
Brandon Marshall – NYJ vs TEN – $8,200: Marshall and teammate Eric Decker – $7,300 did not disappoint in last week’s matchup with the other New York football team. The Titans are mediocre against the pass and tough against the run, this is what is known as a “funnel” game meaning if the J-E-T-S, jets, Jets, JETS take the path of least resistance, both receivers should have productive afternoons.
Greg Olsen – CAR vs ATL – $6,600: Olsen is by far the most reliable target for QB Cam Newton and he has two touchdown potential which is worth spending for on a couple tournament entries either solo or paired with Newton.
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!