NFL H2H vs. GPP Picks: Week 16
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 16 NFL contest period beginning with Sunday’s 1pm ET games and continuing through the Monday Night Football game with the Cincinnati Bengals heading to Denver to try and tame the Broncos.
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 $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 Tom Brady or Russell Wilson, 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.
Blake Bortles – JAX at NO – $8,800: On the season the New Orleans Saints are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing signal callers. In fact it is at epically bad levels with the second worst team a full 10% behind the Saints. Bortles has had multiple touchdowns in eleven games this year and with his receiving options all healthy, he is in the mix for 300+ passing yards and three touchdowns.
Ben Roethlisberger – PIT at BAL – $8,900: Pittsburgh is in the playoff hunt and can continue to improve their positioning by winning out. On the season, the Steelers have scored the fourth most points in the league (tied with Cincinnati) and that is mainly due to Roethlisberger playing at an incredibly high level despite multiple injury issues. Over his last six games he is averaging 365.8 passing yards and that includes 380 against Denver last weekend and 456 in Seattle just after Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
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.
David Johnson – AZ vs GB – $7,300: This is easily a 15-20% discount on where rookie phenom David Johnson should be priced. While we cannot expect anything close to his 229 combined yards and three scores, 100 yards and a touchdown are reasonable expectations as long as the other Arizona rushing options remain on the shelf.
Karlos Williams – BUF vs DAL – $5,400: Injuries lead to opportunity and here we have a fantastic option in Karlos Williams who should be starting for the injured LeSean McCoy who injured his MCL against Washington. The Dallas Cowboys are in the bottom five this season against running backs from a fantasy perspective and this is too good of a price point to pass on.
DeAngelo Williams – PIT at BAL – $7,400: Williams continues to be an excellent play as he is active in all facets of the Steelers offense. It seems likely that he will see a little more work in the running game this week as Pittsburgh may try to run the clock if they can get a significant lead. Of course, they could just continue to throw too.
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.
Top Shelf Options – Antonio Brown – PIT at BAL – $9,300: Brown has been simply amazing from a fantasy production standpoint with 32.9+ FanDuel points in four of his last six games. Ahead is a very favorable matchup and the Ravens just don’t have anyone capable of stopping Brown.
Mid-Tier Choices – Jeremy Maclin – KC vs CLE – $6,900: Maclin was once again excellent last weekend in Baltimore with seven receptions for 50 yards and a score. He is the target of choice for QB Alex Smith and this is a fair price point for a player who should see double digit targets.
Golden Tate – DET vs SF – $6,700: Tate’s two touchdown performance on Monday Night Football against the Saints has not yet been factored into his FanDuel salary. Tate now has five receiving touchdowns in his last four games and with Calvin Johnson turning into more of a decoy with just five receptions on fourteen targets over his last three games. Enjoy the discount, because this price is going to jump next week.
Allen Hurns – JAX at NO – $7,100: Hurns is the most price friendly route to gaining exposure to the Jacksonville receiving corps. While he has not had more than five receptions since the first week in October, he has scored a touchdown in seven of his last ten games. The best part is that he continues to be overlooked by daily fantasy gamers.
Bargain Bin Ballers – Rueben Randle – NYG at MIN – $5,700: With Odell Beckham Jr suspended for Week 16, look to Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris – $5,100 as discount options who will need to step up bigtime to fill the void.
Will Tye – NYG at MIN – $5,100: Tye has reached paydirt in each of the last two weeks and over his last five games he is averaging 4.8 receptions and 54.6 yards. With Odell Beckham Jr out, he should continue to see enough volume to sustain this level of production against the Vikings.
Greg Olsen – CAR at ATL – $6,800: It appears that the Carolina Panthers will not be resting their players as they continue their undefeated season. Olsen has tallied 12.9+ FanDuel points in seven of his last ten outings and he is clearly the go to target for Cam Newton, making him an excellent option as long as they are both on the field.
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.
Chris Boswell – PIT at BAL – $5,000: Boswell has now reached double digit FanDuel points in six straight games. With the Steelers firing on all cylinders he is a fine play if you have the extra salary cap.
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.
Once again, there is quite a bit of value available, so spending for a premium defense is in play. The Seattle Seahawks – $5,400 will be welcoming St Louis to the Pacific Northwest and should be able to easily handle whomever is starting at quarterback for the Rams. Alternatively, the Kansas City Chiefs – $5,400 get to say hello to Johnny Manziel in his first game at Arrowhead Stadium. From the middle tier we have Pittsburgh – $4,800 who has been taking advantage of opponents stuck in catchup mode and if an extreme discount option is needed, then the Titans – $4,000 are fine option against quarterback Brandon Weeden if Brian Hoyer remains out with his concussion.
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.
Cam Newton – CAR at ATL – $9,300: It would seem to make sense that if the Panthers falter or if they get up to a big lead they will turn to reserve QB Derek Anderson, so for that reason I am shifting the leading MVP candidate to the tournament section. With a trio of five touchdown performances in his last five games, this could be premature, however, with the other quarterback options available this week for H2H contests, I am comfortable with this strategy.
Adrian Peterson – MIN vs NYG – $8,200: Keep a close eye on the news coming from the Vikings, but it looks like Adrian Peterson will be a full go in this matchup against the Giants. Minnesota is in the driver’s seat for the second NFC Wildcard berth so there is a chance they may rest Peterson if this game is in hand. Of course, Peterson will likely be a large part of any offensive surge so he is a fine tournament play.
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.
Markus Wheaton – PIT at BAL – $6,000: With most gamers focused on Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant – $7,200 it is Wheaton who has actually become a sneaky option for tournaments. In three of his last five games he has posted over a dozen FanDuel points, including the amazing 9 catch, 201 yards and a score performance in Seattle. Everyone on the Pittsburgh offenses is in play, just don’t overlook Wheaton.
Kamar Aiken – BAL vs PIT – $6,600: In his last half dozen games, Aiken is averaging 10.3 targets and turning them into 6.2 receptions, 78.2 yards and three scores. The Ravens will be passing from the jump and there is going to be a lot of volume coming Aiken’s way as one of the last remaining starters at a skill position for Baltimore.
Julius Thomas – JAX at NO – $6,500: Since finally regaining his health, Thomas has been an excellent option with double digit FanDuel points in four of his last five games. The Saints are allowing the most fantasy point to the tight end position making Thomas a fine option in all formats on Sunday. For me personally, his price and the many other options available to QB Blake Bortles, have me utilizing Thomas more in tournaments as I build my lineups for the week.
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!