NFL H2H vs. GPP Picks: Week 4


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) in which between 10-20% of the field is paid out.

In this article we will utilize the FanDuel Week 4 NFL contest period beginning with Sunday’s 1 PM ET games and continuing through the Monday Night Football game with the Detroit Lions visiting the Seattle Seahawks.

Please note that there is a 9:30 AM ET game in London between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins. The Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots 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.

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

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 less 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 Andrew Luck, 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.

Tyrod TaylorBUF vs NYG – $7,600: It is time for us to truly take notice of Tyrod Taylor as a solid H2H play this week in his matchup against the New York Giants. It looks like there’s a very strong possibility that RB LeSean McCoy will be sitting out this week to allow his balky hamstring to heal. This means that the Bills will be relying heavily on Taylor and rookie RB Karlos Williams. Through three weeks the G-Men are allowing the most passing yards in the league a 336 per game. In his last two games, the first-year starter is averaging 22 completions on 29.5 attempts, and 260 passing yards per game. Any rushing production is just icing on the cake. He is a solid option this week if you are willing to take a chance based on his somewhat limited body of work.

Aaron Rodgers – GB at SF – $9,200 – Rodgers grew up in California and attended college at UC Berkley where he was 17-4 as a starter over two seasons. So this is very much a friends-and-family game and all of the narrative is in play. Of course, it also helps that Rodgers is probably the best quarterback in the game right now. The 49ers are allowing opposing signal callers the third-highest passing rating in the league at 111.6, and they will not have any answers for Rodgers in this matchup.

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.

Mark Ingram – NO vs DAL – $8,100: Ingram gets to face a Cowboys’ defense that was just run roughshod for 193 combined yards and three touchdowns by the relatively unknown RB Devonta Freeman. Ingram is a much more talented back and his team is going to be relying on him heavily with QB Drew Brees likely out for another week or two. Ingram is averaging 15.3 FanDuel points per outing and I like him to eclipse the 20 fantasy point plateau in this matchup.

Latavius MurrayOAK at CHI – $7,500: While they have only allowed two rushing touchdowns through their first three games, the Monsters of the Midway are allowing the fourth-most rushing yards to opponents at 135.7 per game. Murray should see 20-25 touches in this contest and he is involved in all facets of the Oakland offense.

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 – $9,400 vs HOU: Through the first three weeks of the season, Jones is leading the league with 46 targets, 34 receptions and 440 yards, and he is second with four receiving scores. Yes, he is spendy, but with Antonio Brown playing on Thursday night, he is the premier option once again.

Mid-Tier Choices – Keenan Allen – $7,700 vs CLE: It has quickly become clear that QB Philip Rivers will be leaning on Allen this season. Through three weeks he already has 39 targets and he is averaging 18.7 fantasy points per game. Larry Fitzgerald – $7,400 vs STL: It looks like as long as QB Carson Palmer is healthy, we have to consider Fitz a top 10-15 option each week.

Bargain Bin Ballers – Donte Moncrief – $6,300 vs JAX: Moncrief slipped a little in Week 3, however, he did find the end zone for the third straight week. He continues to match teammate T.Y. Hilton target for target and he should continue to provide solid production for this reasonable price point. Allen Robinson – $6,500 at IND: In the same game we can look to the other side of the field and utilize Robinson, who has been targeted on nearly 39% of the Jaguars’ passing attempts this season. Even though everyone knows the ball is going to him, he provides a solid fantasy floor with that opportunity volume.

Tight End

Charles Clay – $5,200 vs NYG: The NY Giants are allowing 17.4 FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends this season and this time to use Clay either with or without QB Tyrod Taylor in H2H contests.

Martellus Bennett – $5,500 vs OAK: Through the first three games, the Raiders have allowed an astonishing 23.7 FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends, including such luminaries as Tyler Eifert, Crockett Gilmore and Gary Barnridge. Regardless of who is under center for the Bears this weekend, we need to give Bennett strong consideration.

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. If you are looking for a minimum priced option then Zach Hocker – $4,500 vs DAL and fellow minimum priced kicker Josh Lambo – $4,500 vs CLE are both options at home. If you have the extra cap space to spend, then Adam Vinatieri – $4,900 vs JAX with his dome-field advantage is the top play.

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 DET are once again the team to spend on if you want a deluxe option. The Denver Broncos – $4,700 vs MIN will be incredibly popular in the Mile High City as seven point favorites. Lastly, if you just want the cheapest D/ST with the best matchup, then the Indianapolis Colts – $4,400 vs JAX are likely to be quite popular.

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 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.

Quarterback

Carson Palmer – $8,200 vs STL: Back to the well once more this week. The matchup against the St Louis Rams will be a little tougher for the Cardinals, however, I do suspect the Rams will stay in the game a lot longer than the 49ers did last week. The bonus is that the Rams have a fairly stout run defense, so that should dictate more action through the air again this weekend for Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and crew.

Andrew Luck – $9,100 vs JAX: Luck was solid last week with 260 passing yards, two touchdowns and another 21 yards on the ground. We are going to need to see spectacular (300 yards and three touchdowns) in tournaments, though, if we want to climb to the top of the leaderboard. Through three games, the Jaguars are allowing 284 yards and nearly two aerial scores per contest. We should again see Luck on less than 15% of all tournament rosters, making him an outstanding option.

Running Back

Matt Forte – $8,300 vs OAK: Forte sees some of the highest % usage of the offense when compared to any other running back in the league. This week I am looking at Forte more as a tournament option because I am really curious to see how he does with a more mediocre defense trying to stop him, as opposed to the Seattle Seahawks’ stalwart unit. QB Jay Cutler is out for another week, so Forte will be the main option once more for the Bears.

Karlos Williams – $6,300 vs NYG: As of this writing Tuesday night, we do not have definitive playing status for RB LeSean McCoy, so for the time being, I am using Williams as a tournament option. However, if we get more concrete news about McCoy being held out this week, Williams will be one of the best values and most popular plays in all formats. The rookie has managed to score a touchdown in each of the first three weeks this season, despite averaging just over eight touches per game. The New York Giants are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, making this a phenomenal matchup for the Bills.

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.

Odell Beckham Jr – $9,100 at BUF: Ten days is a long time and it seems like a lot of gamers are overlooking Beckham this week. The Bills are allowing the third-most fantasy points per game this season to opposing wide receivers, and pairing ODB with QB Eli Manning – $7,800 is a nice tournament combo.

Randall Cobb – $8,200 at SF: While Cobb will not be sneaking under the radar this week after posting three scores on the marquee stage of Monday Night Football, he also did not receive a price bump since the games were already posted prior to his monumental effort. Fellow wideout Davante Adams has already been ruled out this week with a high ankle sprain, making Cobb and teammate James Jones – $6,000 solid options as solo plays, or as a trio with QB Aaron Rodgers.

Tight End

Jordan Reed – $5,600 vs PHI: It sounds like WR DeSean Jackson may return this week, however, Jordan Reed has proven to be QB Kirk Cousins’ most reliable target and he is a fine sneaky option to use in tournaments, as he was very close to having two touchdowns last Thursday against the Giants. Most gamers will forget that little tidbit.

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

  • cheatc0des

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    thanks for the read. Do you like Carr/Cooper this week? If you play Thursday, fade Bell and play Forte?

  • thelawnranger

    triple stack Carr/Cooper/Murray?, they are winning this week vs. CHI before coming back to earth next week

  • sgogineni

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    Thanks Emac. Is it risky to have both Aaron Rodgers and Cobb in cash games?

  • emac

    @aggie1288 said...

    thanks for the read. Do you like Carr/Cooper this week? If you play Thursday, fade Bell and play Forte?

    Aggie, that picture is going to give me nightmares!

    In my Thursday games, I currently have Le’Veon Bell, though I am not playing a ton.

    Yes, I do like Carr/Cooper this week and think that Carr is an adequate H2H option if you really want to load up on the other positions.

    EMac

  • emac

    @thelawnranger said...

    triple stack Carr/Cooper/Murray?, they are winning this week vs. CHI before coming back to earth next week

    I heard an interesting tidbit that last week was the first time the Raiders had a victory on the road outside of the Pacific time zone since 2009.

    In a tournament, sure stack all three….they are where all the offensive production is going to be concentrated. Of course if Chicago keeps the score down it will be a loss for that entry, but why not roll it out somewhere for entertainment purposes.

  • emac

    @sgogineni said...

    Thanks Emac. Is it risky to have both Aaron Rodgers and Cobb in cash games?

    I have no issues with that pairing and frequently use a QB/WR combo in my H2H lineups if I like the matchup. It is much rarer for me to use a QB/RB combo, however, I can see it with Carr/Murray this week as well as Taylor/Williams because of the pricing for both players in the pairing.

  • cheatc0des

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    @emac said...

    Aggie, that picture is going to give me nightmares!

    In my Thursday games, I currently have Le’Veon Bell, though I am not playing a ton.

    Yes, I do like Carr/Cooper this week and think that Carr is an adequate H2H option if you really want to load up on the other positions.

    EMac

    Glad you liked the picture haha. I have the same dilemma as the lawnranger. I really want to play Murray but I feel like Carr and Cooper are a good stack to build from and hate playing a third since I don’t see it being very high scoring

  • cheatc0des

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    One last question..Julio jones/karlos Williams or forte/Fitzgerald?

  • Ebby8

    Hey Emac, great article as always, and I really appreciate the work you put into all of this. One question though, in your mind, which receivers are actually worth paying up for (outside of Julio) for cash games? I was looking at Emmanuel Sanders or Cobb, but I don’t know which other ones would be worth it. Thanks as always!

  • Ebby8

    Aggie I think Julio/Karlos would be better for cash games, just my opinion.

  • emac

    @aggie1288 said...

    One last question..Julio jones/karlos Williams or forte/Fitzgerald?

    Julio and Karlos, particularly is LeSean McCoy is ruled out.

  • emac

    @Ebby8 said...

    Hey Emac, great article as always, and I really appreciate the work you put into all of this. One question though, in your mind, which receivers are actually worth paying up for (outside of Julio) for cash games? I was looking at Emmanuel Sanders or Cobb, but I don’t know which other ones would be worth it. Thanks as always!

    Thank you for the kind words Ebby,

    My top five WRs for FD including price are Julio, Cobb, Beckham, Fitzgerald and then a tie between Keenan/Hopkins/Cooper depending on personal preference.

  • sgogineni

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    Emac would you consider Hopkins in cash games even if Foster is ready?

  • Ebby8

    Thanks again Emac, always a huge help!

  • cheatc0des

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    @emac said...

    Julio and Karlos, particularly is LeSean McCoy is ruled out.

    Thanks for the reply!! This looks like a week I’m not my pairing my QB with anyone lol wish me luck! Any thoughts on the Ravens D? I need to be at 4300 or below to get all other spots I really like

  • Pkkilla

    got anymore questions bro? @aggie1288. jumpin’ jimminy

  • km19shel

    @sgogineni

    Love Hopkins this week, even more so if Foster is active. Opposing D’s have to respect Foster if he is out there opening up the field a bit for WRs. This game actually could be high scoring too. I view him as more of a tournament play, but the targets are guaranteed and at least 1 touchdown is likely.

  • emac

    @sgogineni said...

    Emac would you consider Hopkins in cash games even if Foster is ready?

    Yes, I am fine with that. Hopkins is clearly their top option and getting back A.Foster is a bonus because the defenses will have to respect the threat of the run. While the volume of targets will go down somewhat, it is my belief that the quality will remain. Also, some of the target volume turned into rushing plays is going to come away from Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts too.

  • BamaWhoDat

    Hey I love the questions and reading EMACs answers. Aggie probably covered some questions others would have asked anyway, plus EMAC didn’t seemed put off ( no one forced him to respond) he is the QQ king and I think he truly enjoys this stuff or he wouldn’t do it. Great stuff EMAC!

  • emac

    @Pkkilla said...

    got anymore questions bro? @aggie1288. jumpin’ jimminy

    Hi PK, I am more than happy to answer as many questions as are asked… as long as I have the free time :)

    EMac

  • bdubbs

    Loved the article, I thought it was a little strange I hadn’t seen much written up about Matt Forte this week as a tournament option given his high usage rate, match up, and the fact that his ownership percentage should fall a little low for this week, at least in my opinion. Any opinion on Ty Montgomery this week as a sneaky GPP play? I know I’ll work him into at least one team just because I would kick myself if I didn’t play him at all and he had a good game, but at his salary he doesn’t need a monster game to provide value, a 14.1 point game would put him at 3x salary. Do you think there’s enough of an argument to be made to get him onto more than 1 gpp lineup even though Rodgers didn’t find him much Monday night?

  • emac

    @bdubbs said...

    Any opinion on Ty Montgomery this week as a sneaky GPP play?

    Good question, StevieTPFL, Boggs and I actually discussed this a little last night on GrindersLive NFL First Look and you can see them compare Pac 12 stars Ty Montgomery and Nelson Agholor.

    With regards to Forte, I think a lot of people are off the play because the Bears are such a mess. Look, they are a mess and they very well may continue trading away assets (which is tough to do in the middle of an NFL season), however, for now Forte is the main cog in the offense and he could have a big game with his volume if things break his way.

  • sgogineni

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    @emac said...

    Yes, I am fine with that. Hopkins is clearly their top option and getting back A.Foster is a bonus because the defenses will have to respect the threat of the run. While the volume of targets will go down somewhat, it is my belief that the quality will remain. Also, some of the target volume turned into rushing plays is going to come away from Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts too.

    Thanks Emac. I am also slightly worried about Trufant following Hopkins

  • fish43

    question for you: do you still like andrew luck in a gpp now that we know his shoulder is bothering him enough to miss practice? thanks!

  • emac

    @fish43 said...

    question for you: do you still like andrew luck in a gpp now that we know his shoulder is bothering him enough to miss practice? thanks!

    No, I will probably have him in a lower dollar lineup or three, but that is a risk reward play only if you are willing to wave goodbye to those entry fees.

    This is the one major downside of writing these columns on Tuesday nights, most teams have just had one real practice. Similar deal last week with recommending Marshawn Lynch as a top H2H RB option only to be gobsmacked by his injury news later in the week.

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