NFL H2H vs. GPP Picks: Week 8

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 8 NFL contest period beginning with Sunday’s 1pm ET games and continuing through the Monday Night Football game with the Indianapolis Colts visiting the Carolina Panthers.

Please note the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Jacksonville Jaguars 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 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.

Quarterback

Picking a QB all 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.

Andy DaltonCIN at PIT – $8,100: This is a nice matchup for Dalton against the Steelers who have allowed just over 290 passing yards per game this season. While no longer the Steel Curtain, Pittsburgh has been solid against the run this season and it makes sense that the Bengals will end up doing most of the heavy lifting through the air in this divisional matchup.

Cam NewtonCAR vs IND – $8,000: Newton has been keeping up his production with his legs scoring four rushing touchdowns over his last five game. While that will be tough to continue at that rate, he is the main red zone rushing threat for the Panthers and he has rushed for 240 yards in his last six games. As a bonus, the Colts are allowing 294 passing yards and 1.7 aerial scores per game along with nearly 190 rushing yards per contest.

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.

Todd GurleySTL vs SF – $8,100: Back to the well once more. While Gurley’s matchup is not quite as delicious as last weekend, San Francisco lost too many defensive veterans in the offseason and with the high usage he is seeing, Gurley is a solid option even with the price hike.

Le’Veon Bell – PIT vs CIN – $8,900: Ideally we will see QB Ben Roethlisberger back under center this week, which should be a major boost for the Pittsburgh offense. Cincinnati has been league average against the run and Bell is far from league average. Hopefully in the what have you done for me lately world of DFS he may be a little under the radar this week.

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 JonesATL vs TB – $9,200: So far this season, Jones has 89 targets through seven games, he is the first, second and third option when QB Matt Ryan drops back to pass and if you have the extra salary cap space, he is a solid top option if you choose to make this a spend position. From my perspective, this week seems like one where we will want to secure top running backs in H2H contests, so we will need to find some WR value.

Mid-Tier Choices – Alshon JefferyCHI vs MIN – $7,700: Coming off the bye, Jeffery should be about as healthy as he has been all season. In his two games this year he has 22 targets for 13 receptions, 225 yards and a score. Splitting the difference seems like an attainable target.

Bargain Bin Ballers – Stefon DiggsMIN at CHI – $6,700: Diggs paid off in a big way last weekend and I don’t have any issues going back to him this weekend for another division road matchup in the Windy City. He has amassed 48.8 FanDuel points in his last three games and has become the top option for the Vikings passing game. Michael FloydARI at CLE – $4,900: Now with back-to-back weeks with 13+ FanDuel points, I have confidence in using Floyd as a deeply discounted wide receiver option. It is clear that QB Carson Palmer is not locking in on one pass catcher, so I am thrilled to get a small slice of the Cardinals passing game on the cheap. Willie Snead – NO vs NYG – $5,800: Trust the process. Yes, Snead disappointed last week with just three receptions for 25 yards. Digging a little deeper, he was on the field for 71 snaps, 20 more than any other game this season and he did see seven targets, which equaled his second highest total on the season. Enjoy the discount this Sunday.

Tight End

Tyler EifertCIN at PIT – $6,000: This is a good matchup for Eifert as the Steelers have allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends this season. With six touchdowns in six games this year, including two multi-touchdown games, Eifert is definitely going to be a big part of the Bengals offense going forward.

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.

Kai Forbath – NO vs NYG – $4,600: The new Saints kicker should do well in the Super Dome this Sunday.

Matt BryantATL vs TB – $4,800: Other home dome option, Bryant should see several opportunities this weekend against the porous Tampa Bay defense with multiple extra points and a field goal or two.

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 a couple top options this weekend, however, they are also above $5,000. While they are expensive, they carry the same price tag for everyone so I don’t mind spending a little extra for the potential security. The St. Louis Rams – $5,100 vs SF were phenomenal against the Cleveland Browns, however, we have seen their price escalate as a result. This is a good matchup against San Francisco and turnover prone QB Colin Kaepernick. The Arizona Cardinals – $5,400 vs BAL have been averaging 10.7 FanDuel points per game this season and while they are on the road, the Cleveland Browns have been making every defense that faces them look like they are chock full of all-pros. If you feel the need to go with a deeply discounted option, then the New Orleans Saints – $4,200 vs NYG warrant consideration at home against Eli Manning and the Giants.

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

Philip Rivers – SD at BAL – $8,500: Each of the last few seasons, Rivers has been underpriced on FanDuel at the start of the season and rolled through the league like gangbusters. Then around the halfway point, he is priced up and the decline starts as the nagging injuries catch up. This has me dropping Rivers from the H2H section to the tournament section because as we saw last weekend, the bottom can drop out at any time or he could uncork an amazing 20 FanDuel points in a half.

Derek CarrOAK vs NYJ – $6,800: This surprised me, so I be it will be missed by the more casual gamers in the large field tournaments, but the New York Jets have actually allowed nearly 20 FanDuel points to opposing signal callers over the last three weeks, which is among the more shaky third of the league. Yes, WR Amare Cooper will probably be on Revis Island this weekend, however, Michael Crabtree – $5,700 has been solid when facing single coverage and I think there is some upside with Carr in tournaments this weekend.

Running Back

Chris Johnson – ARI at CLE – $7,300: The Cleveland Browns have been horrible this season allowing opposing running backs to rack up 33.7 FanDuel points per game. Look to Chris Johnson or teammate David Johnson – $5,100 as potential tournament options.

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 JrNYG at NO – $8,700: ODB just did not look like he was completely healthy against the Cowboys and frankly he was disappointing with just four catches for 35 yards. This should have a lot of gamers looking elsewhere and that makes him a nice tournament option with his upside potential.

Antonio BrownPIT at CIN – $8,400: Okay, if you are playing on the early Thursday contests, there is a chance we may not have official news of QB Ben Roethlisberger’s status. I would not mind using Brown and or teammate Martavis Bryant – $7,200 along with Big Ben in a low dollar tournament as a purely speculation play.

A.J. GreenCIN at PIT – $8,200: At some point we are going to see Green post a 20+ fantasy point game and this is a matchup where that could happen as the Bengals and Steelers have combined for an average of 46.8 points per game over their last four meetings.

Tight End

Greg OlsenCAR vs IND – $6,400: With Rob Gronkowski playing on Thursday Night Football, Olsen is the most expensive option on the board. I think gamers will be looking elsewhere this week and trying to save a the this position, making Olsen an interesting option as QB Cam Newton’s most trusted receiver.

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

  • ModernMarvels

    If you’re targeting 120 points, you will lose almost all of the time in H2H games. You need to score at least 140-150 points, in general, to be in the money.

  • Njsum1

    @modernmarvels….there is no score you really need to target, it’s all about how the chalk and popular value plays perform. That is what will determine the score you need to cash

  • squidkill

    I “targeted” 300 only got 109. I want my money back!

  • emac

    @Njsum1 said...

    @modernmarvels….there is no score you really need to target, it’s all about how the chalk and popular value plays perform. That is what will determine the score you need to cash

    Very true, it varies from week to week. Last week with nearly half of the field having both Gurley and the Rams D/ST that was 55 points right there, making it one of the highest scoring weeks with several other chalky plays having great games.

    Week 2, the only three running backs over 20 points were D’Angelo Williams (not a popular play), Matt Jones (not on anyone’s radar) and Dion Lewis (most people were still far away from him since this game was at Buffalo).

    The 120 FanDuel point benchmark or two points per $1,000 is what you are going to need to have a chance. It is not a guarantee that you will win by any stretch.

    What the paragraph in the writeup is trying to convey is that if you can’t project your team to solidly attain 120 points (and you are not on a four game or smaller slate), you may want to rethink the roster composition. If your projections come out higher, then by all means that is probably a solid team…and/or it may be a potentially high scoring week.

    Most of the time my projected lineups are in the 120-130 ranges. Often times they will score more (and of course they do score less) but that is my “likely” range of outcome. If you have your projections set too high, you will often over estimate the likely success of your rosters.

    Just my thoughts.

    EMac

  • cheatc0des

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    Nice writeup emac. I like your picks for both h2h and GPP. Only one question, do you think Odell will make value with Breaux “Bro” guarding him? He’s done well against WR’s thus far.

  • ModernMarvels

    Fair enough. I think my point was, that if you score around 120 points, you probably aren’t going to be in the money. But, in looking back through this season’s large tournament $25 50/50s, I am wrong in that assessment.

    Two times the minimum winning score was in the low 140s (including this past weekend). The other 5 times it was 125 or below (as low as 99.64).

    So, I apologize and stand corrected.

    One thing that was interesting this past weekend, was playing 50/50s on the Thursday/Sun/Mon slate, versus just the weekend slate. The score needed to win in that contest was around 120 vs the 140 needed in similar contest but only playing the weekend slate. I played the same team in both slates and scored 145 so I won in both. Do you or anyone know if this is typical? i.e. that the Thursday/Weekend slates need a much lower number to be in the money, in general, than just the weekend slate?

    Thanks,

    MM

  • emac

    @ModernMarvels said...

    air enough. I think my point was, that if you score around 120 points, you probably aren’t going to be in the money. But, in looking back through this season’s large tournament $25 50/50s, I am wrong in that assessment.

    Two times the minimum winning score was in the low 140s (including this past weekend). The other 5 times it was 125 or below (as low as 99.64).

    So, I apologize and stand corrected.

    Hahahaha, no need to apologize, it is a very valid question!

    Additionally baseline projections can shift over the seasons, FanDuel has made tweaks to scoring (NBA used be be pretty much 1 point for everything, now assists are 1.5 and rebounds are 1.2 which make the scores “seem higher” than they used to be).

    Salaries have changed in some sport with both the minimum (look at the new $2k floor for TEs in CFB) and maximum priced players (the cap used to be $9,900 across all the sports) having wider ranges. This definitely affects things as does a more pass happy NFL.

    Before kickoff we want teams that project to 120-130 to have a fighting chance to at least break even…what happens once play begins…well, that is the fun part to figure out if we correctly analyzed and assembled the clues for the week!

    EMac

  • maxpowers50

    What are your thoughts on Forsett & Doug Martin as cash game plays? Also do you think Walford from OAK can be a viable punt play at TE this week?

  • emac

    @cheatc0des said...

    Nice writeup emac. I like your picks for both h2h and GPP. Only one question, do you think Odell will make value with Breaux “Bro” guarding him? He’s done well against WR’s thus far.

    It is a tough matchup, Eli is his usual mercurial self and Beckam very well may no be more than 80-85% right now…which lands him in the tournament only category. Even at less than full health, he still has 2-3 touchdown upside if things go his way in the red zone…and he also could be in single digits again like last week. Definitely a boom/bust with more emphasis on the bust potential.

    That said, if you can envision him with a path to 20+ fantasy points (2 scores, half a dozen catches and 60 yards) in this matchup one time out of five…then I think it is worth having him on a team or three.

    EMac

  • cheatc0des

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • 2015 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    I agree. Definitely a GPP play. I like his potentially low ownership as well so I don’t mind the play at all. I just think Bro will hold him down to human-like numbers; but if he doesn’t, Odell does have that special skillset to get 25+fpts.

  • shivdaddy

    @ModernMarvels said...

    Fair enough. I think my point was, that if you score around 120 points, you probably aren’t going to be in the money. But, in looking back through this season’s large tournament $25 50/50s, I am wrong in that assessment.

    Two times the minimum winning score was in the low 140s (including this past weekend). The other 5 times it was 125 or below (as low as 99.64).

    So, I apologize and stand corrected.

    One thing that was interesting this past weekend, was playing 50/50s on the Thursday/Sun/Mon slate, versus just the weekend slate. The score needed to win in that contest was around 120 vs the 140 needed in similar contest but only playing the weekend slate. I played the same team in both slates and scored 145 so I won in both. Do you or anyone know if this is typical? i.e. that the Thursday/Weekend slates need a much lower number to be in the money, in general, than just the weekend slate?

    Thanks,

    MM

    For the Thur slates.

    I think it just depends on how quality the Thursday game is. Thursday players are over owned because its fun to get to watch your players on TV. This week has the highest total of the week and I do not think it will be the case where Thursday slate games have a lower winning threshold. Of course if a heavily owned player gets scratched that will really lower the Threshold.

  • shivdaddy

    And because this weeks Thursday game has the highest total of all week 8 games I do not think it will have a lower winning threshold.

  • emac

    @maxpowers50 said...

    What are your thoughts on Forsett & Doug Martin as cash game plays? Also do you think Walford from OAK can be a viable punt play at TE this week?

    I never seem to get Doug Martin right….well other than once this season and then that glorious afternoon game his rookie year when he had 40+ DK points. If ATL gets ahead, we may see more Charles Sims than Martin.

    For Forsett, he almost made the list as a H2H guy, but ultimately I went the spend route for the RB recommendations and I don’t see him having more than 17-20 points so he did not quite make the GPP cutoff either with his realistic upside capped at needing two TDs to get over 20 points. While not horrible, not one of the guys I am particularly targeting in tournies.

    As for Clive Walford, he has played in six games this season on 134 snaps and has just eight targets…5/80/1 on the season just doesn’t get me excited as their are similarly discounted options that will have a lot more opportunity.

    EMac

  • sgogineni

    • 90

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #64

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Emac your thoughts on Maclin for cash games on FD at 6.8K??

  • jholliman

    @ModernMarvels said...

    Fair enough. I think my point was, that if you score around 120 points, you probably aren’t going to be in the money. But, in looking back through this season’s large tournament $25 50/50s, I am wrong in that assessment.

    Two times the minimum winning score was in the low 140s (including this past weekend). The other 5 times it was 125 or below (as low as 99.64).

    So, I apologize and stand corrected.

    One thing that was interesting this past weekend, was playing 50/50s on the Thursday/Sun/Mon slate, versus just the weekend slate. The score needed to win in that contest was around 120 vs the 140 needed in similar contest but only playing the weekend slate. I played the same team in both slates and scored 145 so I won in both. Do you or anyone know if this is typical? i.e. that the Thursday/Weekend slates need a much lower number to be in the money, in general, than just the weekend slate?

    Thanks,

    MM

    You may have been thinking about being over on DraftKings. With the half a point difference between PPR and Half-PPR, plus the 3 bonus on 100 yard rushing/receiving games, or 300+ passing games, people generally target a bit higher over there.

    If you do some quick math, you can assume a 140ish score on DK is roughly equivalent to a 120ish score on FanDuel.

    So that you don’t have to do the quick math, here it is: your 3 receivers catch, let’s call it 20 passes combined. 20 × 1 = 20 on DraftKings. 20 x .5 = 10 on FanDuel. Let’s say your RBs and TE catch 10 combined, and whoever you play at your flex catches another 5. 15 × 1 = 15. 15 x .5 = 7.5. Even if none of those cats rack up their 3 point bonus, you still have a 17.5 point difference between sites while using the exact same lineup on each site.

    Basically, 120 is a generally solid cash game target on FD, and 140 is a generally solid cash game lineup on DK.

    :)

  • stumpers51

    Rotogrinders actually really pounded this idea down last Thursday and insisted anyone playing cash games sign up w/ the Thursday Game as a part of it and DONT PLAY A SINGLE PLAYER from that game and you’ll be starting off with everyone else in a hole!! The reason being almost ALL OF THE PLAYERS were not good fantasy football players and lo and behold thhey were exactly right and your math proved it!!

  • emac

    @sgogineni said...

    Emac your thoughts on Maclin for cash games on FD at 6.8K??

    Lots of other choices, I am not one to mess with concussed players…of course that kept me off of TE Jordan Reed last week…it is unlikely that I have Maclin this weekend.

  • emac

    @stumpers51 said...

    Rotogrinders actually really pounded this idea down last Thursday and insisted anyone playing cash games sign up w/ the Thursday Game as a part of it and DONT PLAY A SINGLE PLAYER from that game and you’ll be starting off with everyone else in a hole!! The reason being almost ALL OF THE PLAYERS were not good fantasy football players and lo and behold thhey were exactly right and your math proved it!!

    Yes, that is directionally correct….however, this week is on the other end of the spectrum with so many solid to good options (Brady, Gronkowski, Landry, L.Miller) that it almost feels like we are forced to play some/all of those guys because of their potential high production and popularity.

  • offtackleleft

    @ModernMarvels said...

    Fair enough. I think my point was, that if you score around 120 points, you probably aren’t going to be in the money. But, in looking back through this season’s large tournament $25 50/50s, I am wrong in that assessment.

    Two times the minimum winning score was in the low 140s (including this past weekend). The other 5 times it was 125 or below (as low as 99.64).

    So, I apologize and stand corrected.

    One thing that was interesting this past weekend, was playing 50/50s on the Thursday/Sun/Mon slate, versus just the weekend slate. The score needed to win in that contest was around 120 vs the 140 needed in similar contest but only playing the weekend slate. I played the same team in both slates and scored 145 so I won in both. Do you or anyone know if this is typical? i.e. that the Thursday/Weekend slates need a much lower number to be in the money, in general, than just the weekend slate?

    Thanks,

    MM

    I noticed gates was about 35% owned on FD, so my guess is that this was part of the reason for this. But in general people roster more players than they otherwise would from the thursday slate, and so when that game is a stinker (Seahawks/49ers), the Thursday scores are lower, but when it’s a barnburner (Falcons/Saints) the scores could be higher (Freeman got ~30 FD pts that week which sunk a lot of cash lineups that didn’t contain him).

  • njsum

    @emac said...

    Very true, it varies from week to week. Last week with nearly half of the field having both Gurley and the Rams D/ST that was 55 points right there, making it one of the highest scoring weeks with several other chalky plays having great games.

    Week 2, the only three running backs over 20 points were D’Angelo Williams (not a popular play), Matt Jones (not on anyone’s radar) and Dion Lewis (most people were still far away from him since this game was at Buffalo).

    The 120 FanDuel point benchmark or two points per $1,000 is what you are going to need to have a chance. It is not a guarantee that you will win by any stretch.

    What the paragraph in the writeup is trying to convey is that if you can’t project your team to solidly attain 120 points (and you are not on a four game or smaller slate), you may want to rethink the roster composition. If your projections come out higher, then by all means that is probably a solid team…and/or it may be a potentially high scoring week.

    Most of the time my projected lineups are in the 120-130 ranges. Often times they will score more (and of course they do score less) but that is my “likely” range of outcome. If you have your projections set too high, you will often over estimate the likely success of your rosters.

    Just my thoughts.

    EMac

    Totally agree, I was just giving @modernmarvels the quick and dirty on why 120 sometimes isn’t good enough. I play DK so for cash I’m always aiming for 3x (or better) yet my teams overall production and score needed to cash is either higher or lower than that based on the chalk and value plays performance.

    Also, I know he’s Darren Mcfadden, I know he’s facing the Seahawks, and I know that even the lightest of breezes may have the cowboys calling for the stretcher cart, yet at 3800 on DK, if randle is out for sure, I do think he’s cash game playable on Dk. He has a legitamate shot to 2x his salary on receptions alone (no joke). Thoughts?

  • emac

    @njsum said...

    Also, I know he’s Darren Mcfadden, I know he’s facing the Seahawks, and I know that even the lightest of breezes may have the cowboys calling for the stretcher cart, yet at 3800 on DK, if randle is out for sure, I do think he’s cash game playable on Dk. He has a legitamate shot to 2x his salary on receptions alone (no joke). Thoughts?

    With Randle going MIA and the team clearly not trusting Christine Michael think I too may be reaching out to touch the hot stove that is Darren McFadden YIKES!

    EMac

  • EliMac5

    Ty Emac for the artical and information. It is always greatly appreciated by those of us with a little less time to focus on research each week. GL and Go BENGALS

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