NFL H2H vs. GPP Picks: Week 6
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 6 NFL contest period, beginning with Sunday’s 1 PM ET games and continuing through the Monday Night Football game with the New York Giants visiting the Philadelphia Eagles.
Please note the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 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 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.
Picking a QB 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 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.
Tom Brady – NE at IND – $9,000: Brady is once again the top option for H2H games if you are going to be spending at the quarterback position. Through four games he has just shy of 1,400 passing yards, 11 aerial scores and a rushing touchdown to boot. Oh yeah, wasn’t there some sort of kerfuffle with air pressure or something in that game against the Colts last postseason? Brady is coming to play for sure in this one.
Carson Palmer – ARI at PIT – $8,000: The Arizona Cardinals prudently pulled Palmer when the game was in hand against Detroit last Sunday and he was an efficient 11-of-14 with 161 passing yards and three touchdowns. Word is that he may begin wearing a heavier brace to protect his knee, however that is just precautionary. The Steelers have a lot of injuries on defense and they are getting by on reputation alone in the fantasy world at this point in time.
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 vs ARI – $9,000: In general, Arizona has been solid against the run, allowing the tenth-fewest fantasy point to running backs. On the flipside, they are allowing 7.6 catches per game out of the backfield, and as we saw at the end of Monday Night Football, Coach Mike Tomlin is going all in with Bell until QB Ben Roethlisberger returns from injury.
Adrian Peterson – MIN vs KC – $8,900: Like with Bell, Adrian Peterson is going to be the focal point of the Vikings offense yet again this season. With the Chiefs losing RB Jamaal Charles, they may find offense tough to come by, which will allow Minnesota to control the clock and work the ground game. That will give AP the opportunity to pile up the points.
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 – DeAndre Hopkins – HOU at JAX – $8,500: With 74 targets on the season through five games, I have no issues making Hopkins a priority building block in my H2H games. Even with a half point per reception, he is still averaging just shy of 20 FanDuel points per game.
Mid-Tier Choices – Larry Fitzgerald – ARI at PIT – $7,500: Fitz was solid with 14.3 fantasy points against the Lions in a game that was in the bag early. He leads all starting wide receivers at 20.1 FanDuel points per game and his price is very fair.
Bargain Bin Ballers – Anquan Boldin – SF vs BAL – $6,500: Boldin has become the security blanket for QB Colin Kaepernick and he gets a great matchup against his former team, as the Baltimore Ravens are coming out to the City by the Bay. The Ravens defense has been allowing 16.8 receptions, 220 yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game to opposing wide receivers this season. Enjoy! Jamison Crowder – WAS at NYJ – $5,500: This is a steal for Crowder, who has seen the most targets of any Washington receiver over the past two games; over the past three he is averaging double-digit FanDuel points. He will be a mainstay on my rosters, as I plan on allocating most of my cap towards the top backfield options this week.
Rob Gronkowski – NE at IND – $8,200: Gronk is once more the clear top option, though with the spendy plays at running back, going this route will force you into a discounted quarterback option. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that strategy.
Antonio Gates – SD at GB – $5,500: Back from his four-game PED suspension, Gates had a fine game on Monday Night Football with nine receptions, 92 yards and two touchdowns. He will be very popular, and until his price increases, he is a fine option with the Chargers relying so heavily on the pass.
Zach Ertz – $5,000 and Brent Celek – $4,700: If you are looking for a punt option, these Eagles teammates are in play against the NY Giants, who are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing 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.
Robbie Gould – CHI at DET – $4,500: A minimum priced kicker, in a dome, who has put up 13+ FanDuel points in three of the last four weeks. I am in!
Josh Brown – NYG at PHI – $4,700: For the late game set, I am fine with taking Brown, who is playing on Monday Night Football in Philadelphia.
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 very manageable price points this weekend. The New York Jets – $4,800 vs WAS are in a solid matchup against the limited Washington offense. The Denver Broncos – $5,000 at CLE are on the road again, but against another offensively challenged team. Lastly, if you just want the cheapest D/ST with the best matchup, the Detroit Lions – $4,300 vs CHI are in consideration, as they are averaging 10.8 FanDuel points per game this season.
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.
Andy Dalton – CIN at BUF – $7,600: Typically I don’t take quarterbacks when they travel into Ralph Wilson Stadium, however, the Buffalo Bills are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points in the league to opposing quarterbacks this season. We are still in line for nice weather, and even if there are wind issues, Dalton can check down to TE Tyler Eifert, who already has five touchdowns this season, or RB Giovani Bernard.
Eli Manning – NYG at PHI – $7,800: Oh Eli, you trickster you! Every year you are one of the most difficult quarterbacks to peg on a weekly basis. Each of the last five seasons you have had at least one game with 400+ passing yards. I can’t quit you, but I will relegate you to tournament-only status.
Shane Vereen – NYG at PHI – $5,600: The Giants defense is horrible and I don’t think they will be able to do much to slow down the Eagles, so this means they are going to be in passing mode from the jump. Last week against the 49ers, Vereen had eight receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown. With the NY receivers banged up, he may get a similar number of opportunities on Monday Night Football.
Duke Johnson – CLE vs DEN – $5,900: As long as Johnson doesn’t have to stay in and block, it seems like he may be one of the few ways that Cleveland will be able to move the ball against the Broncos defense. Denver is actually allowing 8.6 receptions per game to running backs, the second-highest figure in the league this season. Coupling that with the 25 targets and 21 receptions that Johnson has over the last three weeks and we have a nice discounted dart throw that will enable us to lock in some premium talent at other positions.
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.
Brandon Marshall – NYJ vs WAS – $8,000: Washington has a solid run defense and teams have been forced to take to the air to move the ball against them. While I would only use him in tournaments, I have no issues rolling with him or teammate Eric Decker – $6,100, who can be had at a substantial discount.
Jordan Matthews – PHI vs NYG – $6,600: Three straight weeks of single-digit points will have everyone looking elsewhere. Matthews is going to have a two-touchdown game at some point. Why not against the Giants, who are allowing just over 300 passing yards per game this season?
Tyler Eifert – CIN at BUF – $6,000: I like the idea of pairing Eifert with QB Andy Dalton. After tallying five touchdowns already this season, which includes two multi-TD games, Eifert will be a very popular option at this price point and we will likely seem him on around 25-30% of all tournament entries. Sometimes it pays to follow the crowd, and I think this is one of those times.
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!