NFL H2H vs. GPP Picks: Week 9

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 9 NFL contest period, beginning with Sunday’s 1 PM ET games and continuing through the Monday Night Football game with the Chicago Bears visiting the San Diego Chargers.

Please note the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, and Baltimore Ravens are on 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 Aaron Rogers or Drew Brees, 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 vs WAS – $9,500: Normally I would not want to spend so much on a quarterback, however, with the many injuries that occurred last week there is a lot of value available, which will allow us to splurge on a luxury quarterback. The Redskins have been in the top third of the league’s rushing defenses, and the bottom third in the pass defenses from a fantasy perspective, however, they have a lot of defensive players that will be game-time-decisions this week. This will likely be another game where the Fightin’ Belichiks turn to Tom Terrific to secure a victory.

Jameis Winston – TB vs NYG – $6,700: Hang with me for just a moment. Yes, the NY Giants allowed an incredible historic performance to a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees, but that is not the main reason why I am recommending Winston in H2H games. On the season he is averaging 16.9 FanDuel points per game and he has multiple touchdowns in five of his seven starts. The G-Men are allowing 315 passing yards per game and have recorded just nine sacks this season, and they have allowed at least one passing touchdown in every game. At this price point, we just need Famous Jameis to throw for 250 yards and a score. Every thing else is gravy.

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.

DeAngelo WilliamsPIT vs OAK – $6,500: Williams has been great when filling in for Le’Veon Bell, and in this great matchup against the Oakland Raiders, this is a play where we will just want to follow the crowd at this price and best our opponents at another spot.

Jeremy LangfordCHI at SD – $6,100: Langford got a price bump, however, much like Williams he is in a fine matchup against the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football. On the season, the Chargers have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, and while I most likely won’t double down with both Williams and Langford, I will have one on nearly every roster this weekend.

DeVonta FreemanATL at SF – $8,900: The San Francisco front office has clearly decided to torch the ship this season. Taking a top-end running back against a team in disarray is a fine option. Though it has been two weeks without a score, Freeman still leads the league in touchdowns, and the 49ers are allowing 25.3 FanDuel points per games to opposing running backs this season.

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 – Antonio BrownPIT vs OAK – $8,700: The Steelers are a rare team where you can utilize both a running back and a wide receiver and not have them cannibalize production from one another. Brown is an outstanding option this weekend.

Mid-Tier Choices – Alshon JefferyCHI at SD – $7,900: Jeffery was magnificent last week and I am recommending him once more. With RB Matt Forte sidelined for the next couple weeks, Jeffrey becomes the Bears’ primary option. The Monday Night Football matchup with the San Diego Chargers hosting Chicago projects as one of the highest-scoring games of the week, so we want to make sure to get a player or two in this contest.

Bargain Bin Ballers – Willie Snead – NO vs TEN – $6,100: Last week in this space I wrote that we needed to trust the process as Snead was still on an upward trajectory with his involvement in the Saints’ offense. He did not disappoint with his six receptions for 65 yards and two touchdowns. While we can’t expect two scores, he still is coming of a game in which he had the second most snaps and targets on this season. Michael CrabtreeOAK at PIT – $5,800: Over his last three games, Crabtree has turned 29 targets into 17 receptions for 219 yards and two scores. This game could easily turn into a track-meet with both sporting incredibly porous defenses. Steve Johnson – SD vs CHI – $5,400: It has been announced that WR Keenan Allen has been placed on injured reserve with a kidney injury and TE Ladarius Green suffered an ankle injury, which leaves ample opportunity for Johnson to pay off this very reasonable price point.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski – NE vs WAS – $8,500: This is a nice matchup for Gronkowski, and as previously mentioned, there is plenty of value to facilitate rolling in luxury this weekend at a couple positions.

Jordan ReedWAS at NE – $5,700: When healthy, Reed is seeing just shy of 10 targets per game from QB Kirk Cousins, and there is little reason to see those opportunities decrease in this tough matchup, as Washington will need to muster every point they can if they want to have a chance against the Patriots.

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 TEN – $4,600: Forbath is in the Super Dome once again and he should have several scoring opportunities this weekend against the Titans.

Josh Lambo – SD vs CHI – $4,700: Look to the rookie Lambo or Robbie Gould – $4,600 as they face off against each other on Monday Night Football.

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 Denver Broncos – $5,300 at IND while they are not cheap and they are on the road, the Broncos have failed to reach double digit fantasy points just once this season, and it was last week against Aaron Rodgers where they ended the night with nine FanDuel points. The Philadelphia Eagles – $4,700 at DAL have been averaging 10.3 FanDuel points per game this season and while they are on the road, the Dallas offense is not the most intimidating right now. If you are more comfortable with taking a home defense, then the Buffalo Bills – $4,700 vs MIA warrant consideration against the Dolphins, whom they worked over for 15 FanDuel points in Week 3 on the road.

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

Philip Rivers – SD vs CHI – $8,600: Losing WR Keenan Allen will be a tough blow for the Chargers, but Rivers has shown time and time again that he can find the open receiving options. His price has crept up enough that I am relegating him to tournament status, but he still does have decent options in TE Antonio Gates and WRs Malcolm Floyd and Steve Johnson, along with RB Danny Woodhead.

Derek CarrOAK at PIT – $7,000: In his last two games, Carr has posted 29.1 and 23.9 FanDuel points against the NY Jets and at San Diego respectively. The matchup against the Steelers is shaping up to be chock full of fantasy goodness and rolling with Carr and one or two of his receivers this week is a fine tournament play.

Running Back

Dion Lewis – NE vs WAS – $7,400: Lewis can get his points in a myriad of ways, and while Washington has been solid this season against opposing running backs, Coach Belichik has plenty of tricks up his sleeve and Lewis should be in line for double-digit fantasy points with upside.

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.

Mike Evans – TB vs NYG – $7,500: Evans is a great play in all formats this weekend against a New York Giants’ squad that was just embarrassed for the all-time, single-game passing touchdown record. With most of the other Pewter Pirate receiving options dinged up, Evans should see a giant helping of targets coming his way.

Amari CooperOAK at PIT – $7,300: It looks like the Oakland Raiders have the makings of a solid passing game for several years to come with Cooper and Carr.

Martavis BryantPIT vs OAK – $6,900: Bryant has 20 point fantasy upside if things go his way and with the loss of RB Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh will be relying on their passing game more than ever.

Tight End

Heath MillerPIT vs OAK – $5,800: on the season the Raiders are allowing 19.4 FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends which is nearly 10% more than the next worst team. Last week Miller had 10 receptions and 105 yards on 13 targets, however, in the six preceding games he had just nine catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. This is very much a boom or bust play.

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

  • TigerJake

    Love the insight…I’m initially using Langford in my GPP and Williams in my 50/50 lineup and pairing both with Ingram at RB. I’ll play one full slate lineup for each format.

  • rivalsarereal

    How would you recommend going about finding out the % of a player owned before they event starts.The only way i have been able to do this is once it starts clicking an seeing

  • dpc374

    It is not possible for us to see that information before the event starts. Only employees of fanduel and draftkings can see that before it starts and that is supposedly highly confidential.

  • jdobs

    You can lookout for “the nfl field report” posted on here by stlcardsfan after the thursday games start .. it gives that info from that thursday’s tournaments, which you can use for the sunday tournies.. but yea otherwise you just dont know til it starts. cheers

  • andrewjc14

    You can get into a Thursday contest on FanDuel and get a rough idea of the ownerships or check back at rotogrinders and they break it down for you in an article.

  • HeeHawTime

    Predicting ownership percentage is a skill… And a difficult one to master. It is a combination of understanding Vegas odds + over/unders, recency bias, and general matchup ratings.

    For me, I play most of my volume on the Sunday+Monday slates leaving Thursday pretty much untouched. This allows me to utilize the Field Report (rotogrinders) which comes out on Friday. This article documents the ownership percentages on Fanduel for the players in the Thursday night slates (since Fanduel is a lineup lock at first game site). Naturally, ownership varies site to site due to pricing and scoring, but this gives a good sense of where the masses are looking. Also, late week injury news can change ownership and the quality of the Thursday night game can skew weekend ownership.

    Hope that helps!

  • njsum

    McFadden is once again interesting on draft kings…his price is only 4200…and he received 20 carries and 6 catches last week and delivered 17 plus points versus the hawks, without finding the endzone (oh how i love that production with no endzone)…the eagles are solid versus the run as well, but if hes in store for a similar workload…I will be making a return trip, bucket in hand, to that proverbial well….thoughts?

  • emac

    @TigerJake said...

    Love the insight…I’m initially using Langford in my GPP and Williams in my 50/50 lineup and pairing both with Ingram at RB. I’ll play one full slate lineup for each format.

    Thanks for the kind words Jake!

  • emac

    @njsum said...

    McFadden is once again interesting on draft kings…his price is only 4200…and he received 20 carries and 6 catches last week and delivered 17 plus points versus the hawks, without finding the endzone (oh how i love that production with no endzone)…the eagles are solid versus the run as well, but if hes in store for a similar workload…I will be making a return trip, bucket in hand, to that proverbial well….thoughts?

    McFadden is a fine option on full PPR sites if he can be found at a discount. While in the past he has had a higher in-game injury risk than most players, as we saw last weekend, anyone can get hurt at any time.

    EMac

  • emac

    HeeHaw has a fine description of how to obtain the ownership %s.

    We offer them here on RotoGrinders for the Thursday FanDuel contests and others do as well.

    The key thing to remember is that it is just another piece of data and not an end-all, be-all indicator of success.

    Looking at last week’s field report there were nine quarterbacks between 2% and 9% owned. This would indicate that in large field tournaments, there would probably not be one consensus top pick…additionally the 20% of the field that chose Tom Brady on Thursday will be landing on other options Sunday.

    Some weeks their will be a clear cut favorite play (more often than not it will be someone like Tom Brady, because he is good, but also due to his popularity) or someone in a great matchup at a good price, such as Todd Gurley and the STL D/ST the last two weeks.

    While it is useful, we still have to figure out which player is going to score the most points or have the best production/price ratio.

    EMac

  • daribrown

    The way I try to determine ownership %, is to try to think like the sheep. Players that did good last week will likely get an ownership bump, and duds will likely go down as people get gun shy once they get burned by a player. If you start out by picking your line up without thinking about matchup and consider last week you will most likely pick some of the higher owned players.

    The real tough part comes when you have to find the under owned players that will perform and match them with the chalk.

  • generalkenobi711

    Blake Bortles baby fantasy stud, real life dud. lol

  • glorifiedmonkey13

    @generalkenobi711 said...

    Id like to ask this to a bigger forum but its been on my mind so here I go. Is it possible that ownership percentage is overrated some.

    I think ownership percentage is overrated, but I am mostly a cash game player and ownership percentage really only applies to tournaments. In my experience, a good cash game lineup should be able to finish in the money in tournaments, but it won’t get you rich.

    Ownership percentage is just a tool for people who are trying to submit a unique lineup to large field tournaments. Think of the goth or hipster kids in high school, they try so hard to be unique and different then everyone else. Tournament players are trying to achieve the same thing. That might not be the best analogy but it makes sense to me.

    Edit: The post I replied to was deleted, oh well.

  • CashFlowDiaries

    I love Ingram this week! Im not quite sold on langford yet but I will have him a lineup or two for sure just in case.

    Also if Sefarian Jenkins plays this week, I like him as well.

  • maxpowers50

    Where do you have Mark Ingram ranked this week? Do you prefer Stevie Johnson or Malcolm Floyd if you had to chose? Do you think LaFell is a viable punt play in what should be a easy win for the Pats. Maybe Brady tries to get him more involved.

  • dubbyas

    LaFells targets are surely on the rise as the season moves on and he regains his big WR presense on this team Edelman apparently has some kind of concern, and like we saw after the finger injury, look for a one week slump

  • daveinchi1975

    2012 DSBC Finalist

    Ownership percentage is most valuable to those who enter multi-entry tournaments and plan on constructing 100 plus rosters. By using variance in selections from under-owned players, you have a great chance of having a top 100 finish from one of those rosters and in a large-field gpp, that top 100 finish can pay off all your entries, leaving your other cashes as profit.

    The top DFS gamers ALWAYS either work to predict ownership % and the field report is a must-study for anyone constructing a ton of lineups. Think about it this way, if Tom Brady is 20% owned in this week’s field report for Thursday-Monday slates, his ownership will probably be around 21-22% on Sun-Mon slates, since Dalton and Manziell won’t garner much ownership to make a difference. Consequently, when constructing your 100 lineups, if you have Brady leading 40 of them, you get a jump on the field DESPITE the high ownership. OR, if you think he will under perform, you can pull a slight fade and take him on 8 of your 100 (8%) and you can essentially pull against him while still have a chance at a high cash if he goes off.

  • daveinchi1975

    2012 DSBC Finalist

    BTW – as someone who plays 100 entries in a $3 gpp whenever I play NFL DFS (which isn’t every week), I use the field report and cross-reference it with my own spreadsheet to determine how often I take a particular player across my 100 entries. The spreadsheet functions as a baseline. For example, I will identify 8 QB’s I like, and will distribute them based upon my own rankings to begin with and then I cross-reference that with their expected ownership ‘s. I then make adjustments based on those ownership %‘s, so if I had Rivers ranked 3rd out of 8, he was probably set to take 20 of my entries, but if his ownership is expected to be 15, I would bump it up to 25, if his ownership is expected to be 7%, I might bump it down to 15 of 100, so that I can bump up my other QB options.

    Using a system like this, the commentator who mentioned the fd and dk employees is right on the money – I would not be surprised if they used their info to create a 100 plus lineups relativized to actual ownership %‘s to increase their odds of having a good low-owned combination of players.

  • daveinchi1975

    2012 DSBC Finalist

    Remember, you only make a really good profit in a gpp if you nail a high cash, so with 100 entries, you want variance and combinations of players that you have twice as much as everyone else. If Brady is 20% owned and you have him 20 of 100, you have gained NOTHING at QB when he leads QB’s in points scored – it was a wash for you, so your success is dependent upon other positions, UNLESS you double-down and have him 40 times – now, you are twice as likely to produce a high cash eventhough everybody and their brother has him too – OR, you fade him and hope he has an off game.

  • njsum

    @maxpowers50 said...

    Where do you have Mark Ingram ranked this week? Do you prefer Stevie Johnson or Malcolm Floyd if you had to chose? Do you think LaFell is a viable punt play in what should be a easy win for the Pats. Maybe Brady tries to get him more involved.

    In cash games you do not have to choose between floyd and stevie johnson…nor should you. Heres what I know….the bears arent good versus the pass…the chargers arent good at running the ball and will most likely pass. I know that for 7100 on draft kings you dont have to guess who its gonna be and you can roster them both. Good Luck!

  • emac

    @maxpowers50 said...

    Where do you have Mark Ingram ranked this week? Do you prefer Stevie Johnson or Malcolm Floyd if you had to chose? Do you think LaFell is a viable punt play in what should be a easy win for the Pats. Maybe Brady tries to get him more involved.

    The RBs I am finding on most of my teams are coming from Freeman, Gurley, DeAngelo, Langford, Ingram with the order/preference varying by site and slate.

    With Stevie Johnson and Malcom Floyd, I have gone with the cheaper one on whichever site I have been making teams that lock tonight.

    LaFell is fine if get him at a good price, the Pats are going to need him in the playoffs so I think they will continue to get him in the mix and build his confidence.

  • emac

    @daveinchi1975 said...

    Remember, you only make a really good profit in a gpp if you nail a high cash, so with 100 entries, you want variance and combinations of players that you have twice as much as everyone else. If Brady is 20% owned and you have him 20 of 100, you have gained NOTHING at QB when he leads QB’s in points scored – it was a wash for you, so your success is dependent upon other positions, UNLESS you double-down and have him 40 times – now, you are twice as likely to produce a high cash eventhough everybody and their brother has him too – OR, you fade him and hope he has an off game.

    Thanks Daveinchi, everyone should read this post until they understand how to design their strategy each week with regards to the popular plays.

  • sueban12

    If I have Carr as my cash qb (which you listed as a gpp) i am assuming you would rather me play Stevie Johnson over Crabtree? (Same price)

    Im still not 100% sold on carr for a qb..so you still trust Winston even w Austin (not going to try and spell his name on my phone lol) likely not playing? Feel like te kill the giants.

    Thanks for your help and thanks for all the advice above

  • emac

    @sueban12 said...

    If I have Carr as my cash qb (which you listed as a gpp) i am assuming you would rather me play Stevie Johnson over Crabtree? (Same price)

    Im still not 100% sold on carr for a qb..so you still trust Winston even w Austin (not going to try and spell his name on my phone lol) likely not playing? Feel like te kill the giants.

    Thanks for your help and thanks for all the advice above

    Hi Sueban, Johnson and Crabtree are both fine plays…depending on the site, Johnson can be had for a slim to significant discount. Ignoring price for your question, I would have Crabtree higher than Steve Johnson.

    As for Winston, I still like him, though a little less if Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is ruled out (he is still a game-time decision though this morning it is sounding like he will probably sit). ASJ hasn’t been a factor since Week 2 and Winston has been solid without him. I will still be using Jameis in H2H on a section of my teams.

    This article is written on Tuesday, so often times things can dramatically change during the week. The one player I feel that I have used in my H2H games more than expected, that was not listed here is Mark Ingram for the Saints.

    Good luck!

    EMac

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