NFL H2H vs. GPP Picks: Week 3

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 3 NFL contest period beginning with Sunday’s 1 pm ET games and continuing through the Monday Night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers.

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.

Head-to-Head/50/50/Double-up Format

When constructing a H2H roster, the important thing to remember is that you want to 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.

Quarterback

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 Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. 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 pts/$1k of salary.

Russell Wilson – $8,400 vs CHI: It would appear that the Seahawks are in a near “must win” situation this week after starting the season 0-2. They are always a much different team when they are playing in front of their fans at home, and I expect them to rally this week against the Chicago Bears. Wilson is showing, once again, that he can get it done with his legs, and he is averaging a healthy five FanDuel points per game on the ground. He is the best way to consolidate any of the Seattle aerial stats and he has a good chance to be involved in three touchdowns this week.

Nick Foles – $6,500 at STL: Week 2 had so many injuries to quarterbacks (Tony Romo, Matt Stafford, Jay Cutler, Drew Brees) that it almost feels like a bye week. A popular strategy in H2H contests is to look for a low-salary quarterback who is stepping into a starting role as an injury replacement. I would rather look to a discounted signal-caller who has already been getting work.

The PIT at STL game actually has one of the highest projected scores with a 47.5 o/u. At the rate the Steelers have been piling up the points, their opponents have been forced to go to the air early and often. Through their first two games they are allowing 290 passing yards per game, and they have given up the second-most passing touchdowns in the league so far with six. We should see Foles with 250 passing yards, two scores, and enough rushing production to offset any turnovers.

Running Back

While QBs are a very important building block for a solid fantasy roster, RBs 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.

Le’Veon Bell – PIT at STL – $8,800: After watching teammate DeAngelo Williams rack up 200+ yards and three scores over the last two weeks, Bell should be raring to go. Bell is involved in all facets of the game as we saw last year when he rolled up 1,361 rushing yards, and also had 83 receptions for 854 receiving yards. Williams will likely be brought in to spell him every couple of series, however, I have no issues spending on Bell this week.

Marshawn Lynch – $8,700 vs CHI: Coach Pete Carroll has yet to really establish a consistent offensive flow, so I have no issues using both QB Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch on the same entries this week. The Seahawks need a statement game to start the momentum rolling, and Lynch should be a big part of that against the Bears. Chicago is in the bottom-third of the league against the run, and they have yet to face a back quite like Lynch.

Wide Receiver

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 – Julio Jones – $9,000 at DAL: Through the first two weeks of the season, Julio has posted 50.6 FanDuel points on 22 receptions for 276 yards and two scores. His price keeps inching up, however, if you are looking for a premium option, he is your guy. Antonio Brown – $9,300 at STL: also deserves consideration, though it will be interesting to see if he loses any production with Le’Veon Bell back in the mix.

Mid-Tier Choices – Allen Robinson – $6,600 at NE: There are several mid-tier options this week that should provide solid point totals, and while we cannot expect a repeat of his 6-reception, 155-yard, 2-TD bonanza from last week, the Jaguars will certainly need to throw to keep pace with the Patriots. Larry Fitzgerald – $6,700 vs SF: While expecting three touchdowns would be filed under “chasing points,” penciling in Fitz for half a dozen catches, nearly 100 yards, and a decent shot at score puts him easily in the top 10-15 receivers and at a very reasonable price point.

Bargain Bin Ballers – Donte Moncrief – $6,000 at TEN: Through the first two weeks, Moncrief has 19 targets for 13 catches, 168 yards and 2 TDs. He should, once again, be on the receiving end of a lot of attention from QB Andrew Luck, with teammate T.Y. Hilton still dealing with a deep knee bruise. Michael Crabtree – $6,000 at CLE: Speaking of targets, Crabtree already has two dozen, and after many years in the run-first San Francisco offense, he is a little under-the-radar.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski – $8,400 vs JAX: As long as he is healthy, he is the top option in all formats.

Travis Kelce – $6,400 at GB: If the Chiefs hope to stick with the Packers on Monday Night Football, they are going to need to feed the rock to Kelce.

Crockett Gillmore – $5,400 vs CIN: If you are looking for a discounted option, then Gillmore is your guy. Through the first two games he has 111 yards and has managed to find the end zone twice. Plus, he is HUGE at 6’6” and 265 pounds, making him a great red-zone target.

Kicker

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. This week I like Chandler Catanzaro – $4,700 vs SF and the minimum priced Travis Coons – $4,500 vs OAK at home against the Raiduhz, or the equally cheap Andrew Franks – $4,500 vs BUF.

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.

There are decent D/ST options at all price points this week. The Seattle Seahawks – $5,300 vs CHI are the team to spend on if you want to ride in style. The New England Patriots – $4,700 vs JAX will be incredibly popular as two-touchdown favorites against the Jaguars. Finally, if you want to see if the magic is real, the Cleveland Browns – $4,600 vs OAK have an interesting matchup at home against Oakland.

Editor’s Note: Tune into GrindersLive for NFL First Look, presented by RotoGrinders every Wednesday at 8 PM ET, to see Eric “EMac” MacPherson, Paul “BoggsLite” Errington and Bryce “3rdDFS” Mauro discuss their daily fantasy football strategies each week. Here’s the link!

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.

Quarterback

Carson Palmer – $8,100 vs SF: Well, the Arizona passing game certainly looks legitimate, and with RB Andre Ellington likely out for a couple more weeks, the Cardinals are only going to go as far as Carson Palmer can carry them. He should continue to flirt with 300 yards and three scores this week against the punchless 49ers’ defense.

Andrew Luck – $9,000 at TEN: Oh my goodness, Andrew Luck is horrible. I would never pick him. Good, let’s allow the other gamers to think that, so we can take a chance on him in a large field tournament and pair him with WR Donte Moncrief and hope they connect a couple times against the Titans.

Running Back

Adrian Peterson – $8,900 vs SD: Well, after two weeks he hasn’t scored a touchdown, so he must be washed up, right? Nope, he was close to scoring a couple times against Detroit last weekend, and now through two weeks, he has 135 rushing yards and five receptions for 79 receiving yards. All he has yet to do is find pay dirt. I suspect he will be on less than 20% of all tournament entries this weekend.

Jamaal Charles – $8,700 at GB: The Monday Night game has the highest projected point total of the week at 49.5, and if the Chiefs are going to keep pace with the Packers, they will need a multi-touchdown game from Charles. Through the first two weeks of the season, Green Bay has allowed the second-most rushing yards at 154 per game. The only worry here is that Coach Andy Reid forgets he has Charles on his team. Sadly, we have seen this happen several times before.

Wide Receiver

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.

Antonio Brown – $9,300 at STL: This worked out well last week when we paired Brown with QB Ben Roethlisberger – $8,500 and I am willing to go back to the well again. Yes, it is a bit risky that Le’Veon Bell may take away some of Brown’s looks, however, that worry will extend to other gamers too. Ideally, that keeps this pairing under-utilized again this weekend.

Calvin Johnson – $8,200 and Golden Tate – $6,800 vs DEN: Depending entirely on the health of QB Matt Stafford – $7,400 I have no issues going back to this trio in tournaments. Last Sunday, Megatron saw 17 targets, and Tate had 11 come his way. The Lions are going to throw in order to beat the tough front seven of the Broncos’ defense, which could lead to some fantasy goodness.

Tight End

Eric Ebron – $5,100 vs DEN: I do not mind using Ebron with QB Matthew Stafford and one of the Lions other receivers in tournaments. Ebron has scored each of the first two weeks, and he is averaging a solid 4.5 receptions and 48 yards per game. If Ebron does not tweak your beak, then look to one of the recommended tight ends above.

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!

About the Author

  • Emac (emac)

  • Emac won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. You can check out his ESPN Fantasy Experience here. Emac finished in the top ten for the DraftKings inaugural $1,000,000 Chase for the Crown promotion and also won the first ever MLB King’s Crown ($5k top prize) on DailyJoust.

Comments

  • Stouts01

    Ebron does not tweak my beak. I’m looking at Jared Cook though as a value at TE. He’s been a consistent target for Foles through the first two weeks and Pittsburgh has been giving it up to TEs (see NE week one). I think Cook has a solid floor and a pretty high ceiling as well. Thoughts?

  • mytzeus66

    Quality article. Have a profitable week!

  • emac

    @Stouts01 said...

    Ebron does not tweak my beak. I’m looking at Jared Cook though as a value at TE. He’s been a consistent target for Foles through the first two weeks and Pittsburgh has been giving it up to TEs (see NE week one). I think Cook has a solid floor and a pretty high ceiling as well. Thoughts?

    Hi Stouts, no issues with Jared Cook at all, particularly since I have Foles as a H2H quarterback option. I am not pushing any receivers with him, however, I would have no problem if Cook was the perfect fit on the lineup I create.

    mytzeus66, thanks for the kind words!

    EMac

  • sgogineni

    • 87

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #64

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Thanks for the write up Emac..

    1) What is your take on spreading cash games over 2-3 lineups? So far I have always believed in just picking one lineup that I believe is the best for all cash games. But last week’s RB disaster making me think otherwise.

    2)I know that usually QB RB stack is not recommended for GPPs because of the negative correlation. Is the limiting on the ceiling of such a stack an issue even in cash games though it offers a high floor?

  • emac

    @sgogineni said...

    Thanks for the write up Emac..

    1) What is your take on spreading cash games over 2-3 lineups? So far I have always believed in just picking one lineup that I believe is the best for all cash games. But last week’s RB disaster making me think otherwise.

    2)I know that usually QB RB stack is not recommended for GPPs because of the negative correlation. Is the limiting on the ceiling of such a stack an issue even in cash games though it offers a high floor?

    Typically I use several lineups in H2H games (2-3 if the slate is 7+ games and 1-2 if it is 4-5 games…it also varies by the teams playing, personnel available and pricing). Also, I don’t force multiple lineups, particularly if I am playing on more than one site and ended up with different players on each site and this is also based on volume. If I am playing a couple hundred dollars then I have a different approach than when I am playing a couple thousand dollars.

    There is a lot of crossover between the player pool I use though. The reason I employ this strategy in NFL (and CFB) is that there are just too many injuries.

    Yes, in theory this “limits” your upside, however, it has the converse effect too and provides a bit of a hedge. The one thing to remember though, the more spread out you are across a slate, the less likely you will even be able to stay ahead of the rake.

    Another way to get exposure to different players is to play the different slates, Sunday only, 4pm and late, All Day, etc.

    As for the second question:

    There are a few QB/RB combinations each week that are fine pairings, the key is that you don’t want playing styles that are going to cannibalize each other. For example, can you envision many likely scenarios where Tom Brady and LeGarrette Blount both have a MONSTER Day? Short of Brady leading the Pats to three passing touchdowns in the first half and Blount mopping up the second half with 150 yards and 2 TDs I can’t see them both doing well in the same game (similarly Andy Dalton and Jeremy Hill, Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart, Andrew Luck and Frank Gore).

    This week I think it is fine to do pair up Russell Wilson / Marshawn Lynch and also Ben Roethlisberger / Le’Veon Bell. If we find out that Eddie Lacy is ruled out then I have no problem with Aaron Rodgers / James Starks.

    As a general over-arching rule, yes, there is negative correlation…however, it just means that BOTH players are probably not going to have 3-4 TDs except in extreme outlier situations. Instead it means you are looking at a typical ceiling of 4-5 TDs between the two or more likely a reality that they combined for 350-400 yards and three touchdowns.

    Additionally, pricing plays a major role in this strategy. If both players are near the top of the salary lists, it could be devastating if they combined for just 300 yards and two touchdowns.

  • sgogineni

    • 87

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #64

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Thanks emac.. That is very useful

  • daveinchi1975

    2012 DSBC Finalist

    I was surprised to see you list Foles as a H2H choice as I like him much more in gpp entries as he will be virtually unowned and if you pair him w Cook at TE, you’ll have two cheap players who should produce well, allowing you to spend up for Julio. I have to say that I absolutely hate the Lions passing game against Denver – the Bromcos have the look of a must-avoid defense. I do like the Luck-Moncrief combo, but I would say that a really sneaky approach toward gpps this weekend will be to ride Russ to Graham on gpps, particularly w Graham as the squeaky wheel in need of grease. Also, a gpp approach that I like to use is to stack a powerful offense like Brady-Gronk-Edelman and then, in order to offset the high price while also guarantee a low owned player, I’ll split the WRs from a team that has no clear cut WR – for example, if Hopkins is out this week, who knows which of Washington or Shorts will produce, but one of them HAS to sans Hopkins, so you use 2 entries toward the 3 ace Pats, and then take 1 w Washington, n 1 w Shorts. This can also be done w a high octane passing offenses #2 – in week 1 EVERYBODY was on Davante Adams – on my Pats stacks, I went Adams on half and James Jones on the other half because I knew on half those entries I was going to get 20 fpts from a 5k WR but I couldn’t be sure if Jones or Adams would be the pick. Once the Pats produced well on Thurs. Night in the opener, I knew I would have several entries w 100 points from 4 players (halfway to a big cash) – as it turned out, it was the Jones entries that cashed well, while the Pats-Adams entries were min cash range – the saving from doing something like this allows you to not be forced to pick an arbitrary 3k WR to make up for Gronk-Edelman-Brady’s high price tag. My best cash of the 1st week ended up being an entry with Brady-Edelman-Gronk-James Jones-Hyde – it not only paid for all my losers w Adams, but it also brought me $300 in profit in a $3 gpp. Had I not done this, there is simply no way I would have picked James Jones on any entry.

  • SRQ750

    @daveinchi1975 said...

    I was surprised to see you list Foles as a H2H choice as I like him much more in gpp entries as he will be virtually unowned and if you pair him w Cook at TE, you’ll have two cheap players who should produce well, allowing you to spend up for Julio. I have to say that I absolutely hate the Lions passing game against Denver – the Bromcos have the look of a must-avoid defense. I do like the Luck-Moncrief combo, but I would say that a really sneaky approach toward gpps this weekend will be to ride Russ to Graham on gpps, particularly w Graham as the squeaky wheel in need of grease. Also, a gpp approach that I like to use is to stack a powerful offense like Brady-Gronk-Edelman and then, in order to offset the high price while also guarantee a low owned player, I’ll split the WRs from a team that has no clear cut WR – for example, if Hopkins is out this week, who knows which of Washington or Shorts will produce, but one of them HAS to sans Hopkins, so you use 2 entries toward the 3 ace Pats, and then take 1 w Washington, n 1 w Shorts. This can also be done w a high octane passing offenses #2 – in week 1 EVERYBODY was on Davante Adams – on my Pats stacks, I went Adams on half and James Jones on the other half because I knew on half those entries I was going to get 20 fpts from a 5k WR but I couldn’t be sure if Jones or Adams would be the pick. Once the Pats produced well on Thurs. Night in the opener, I knew I would have several entries w 100 points from 4 players (halfway to a big cash) – as it turned out, it was the Jones entries that cashed well, while the Pats-Adams entries were min cash range – the saving from doing something like this allows you to not be forced to pick an arbitrary 3k WR to make up for Gronk-Edelman-Brady’s high price tag. My best cash of the 1st week ended up being an entry with Brady-Edelman-Gronk-James Jones-Hyde – it not only paid for all my losers w Adams, but it also brought me $300 in profit in a $3 gpp. Had I not done this, there is simply no way I would have picked James Jones on any entry.

    Thanks for the interesting and informative post. Regarding injuries and playing either Washington or Shorts this weekend, it took me a long time to come to this realization regarding injuries. I’ll have some exposure to both in GPPs.

  • emac

    @SRQ750 said...

    Thanks for the interesting and informative post.

    Daveinchi is wicked smart and a brilliant GPP tactician.

  • burns92

    Does high amount of interceptions not concern you when using Matt Stafford against Broncos tough pass D

  • jagibbs23

    Good stuff Emac, thanks!

  • DHowade

    What do you think about Mike Evans and Jeremy maclin ? I feel like this is the week they wake up.

  • njsum

    Maclin is sneaky good…people are sleeping on him…week 1 he was ok but had extremely negative game flow yet still delivered 5 for 50 something. week 2 he faced perhaps the best secondary in all of football and still got 4 for 56. He is heavily involved in the game plan each week, and theyll look to find him in the endzone again, as they did last week (it just didnt happen). this week he faces a mediocre secondary and should have game flow on his side, he makes for a phenemonal gpp play. I might hesitate using him in cash just because he is a chiefs wr after all. good luck!

  • crashtestdomis

    How do we feel about Lance Dunbar this week as a GPP play?

  • emac

    @burns92 said...

    Does high amount of interceptions not concern you when using Matt Stafford against Broncos tough pass D

    No, be cause in a tournament you are going big or going home. I am more worried about his health than anything else…well and the tough defense of Denver limiting yardage or scores.

    On FanDuel interceptions are just -1 so they don’t particularly influence what I am doing in tournaments.

    EMac

  • emac

    jagibbs23, thanks for the kind words!

    DHowade, with regards to Mike Evans, while he was awesome last season, I want to see him produce before I am willing to put my faith in him with a rookie QB. Particularly after we found out post-game that he was on a snap limit last weekend. As far as Maclin, I have not yet put him on a roster. Per the field report, he will probably be on around 5% of the large field tournament rosters. It does make sense to give him a look since the Chiefs are likely going to need to throw to keep pace with the Packers.

    crashtestdomis, I have a hard time seeing the Cowboys scoring more than three touchdowns this week….heck two TDs and a couple field goals is more realistic. I would prefer Sproles or Starks even not knowing the status of their RB1’s before playing Dunbar.

  • sueban12

    Always love reading this – scared a little of using Wilson in my cash games but used your method for 2 weeks and so far..2 for 2!!

  • sgogineni

    • 87

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #64

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Emac how do you feel about Kyle Rudolph as a cash game punt on FD? I liked my Thursday lineups and finding it hard to change any players. Just swapping Reed with Rudolph is the only way I can keep the rest together..

  • daveinchi1975

    2012 DSBC Finalist

    @emac said...

    Daveinchi is wicked smart and a brilliant GPP tactician.

    Emac – thanks! It would be nice if it would translate to a big cash in one of these monster tournaments, but I’ve had some good recent gpp success in both baseball and football that has increased my DK bankroll. I’m still playing the $3 gpp’s, but now, I’m throwing 100 entries at it every game. It amazes me how easy it is to produce a $150 plus cash when you flood even a 20,000 entry tournament with 100 unique lineups! In multi-entry gpp’s, if you are not making 50 plus different lineups, it might be a year before you have a top 10. I see how the grinders do it now. The hardest part is coming up with 100 unique lineups and setting them all in the 2-3 hours you have before lock.

  • emac

    @daveinchi1975 said...

    he hardest part is coming up with 100 unique lineups and setting them all in the 2-3 hours you have before lock.

    Have you tried the RG lineups builder and export system?

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