Michael Dubner uses the DFS Lineup Optimizer and other RotoViz tools to prepare for Week 11 GPPs on FanDuel.
Large-field GPPs are primarily won in three key areas: 1) player projections, 2) roster construction, and 3) ownership.
Groupthink can run rampant through the fantasy football grapevines and cause DFSers to concentrate on just one scenario in a player’s possible range of outcomes. What was once a good play in a vacuum can become sub-optimal as chalk. And what may feel thin at first may actually be plus-EV at low ownership.
One of the benefits of using the RotoViz Lineup Optimizer is that it provides information that is unbiased and unaware of public touting. Our goal here is to uncover players and roster constructions that are going overlooked by the public and can help vault us to the top of the leaderboards to bank a large GPP prize.
First, we’ll look at the top values and overall plays at each position, then at the end walk through the optimal lineup.
Player pricing and projections do not exist within a vacuum, but must take into the consideration of the context of the slate. To do this, I will use the DFS Lineup Optimizer to generate 50 lineups and we’ll look at the players who appear most frequently. Before generating the lineups:
- Excluded players I don’t want in my player pool.
- Forced QB-WR stack, since it is basically mandatory to stack your quarterback with at least one pass-catcher to take down a FanDuel GPP.
- RB in the Flex, since RBs tend to provide more upside in FanDuel’s half-PPR scoring format.
- Set the randomness to 50% in order to enhance player diversity.
What to do with Christian McCaffrey in GPPs?
As always, McCaffrey has the highest floor-ceiling combination. Rostering McCaffrey in DFS ultimately comes down to the context of that week’s slate — (1) how much value there is so that we can afford McCaffrey’s expensive price ($10,500) and (2) the expected outlook of the other RBs. Brian Hill ($5,900) and some under-priced WRs provide enough savings to fit in McCaffrey. However, we have other RBs who are $2,000 to $3,000 less than McCaffrey that are also in terrific spots.
Expensive but Worth It: Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Josh Jacobs
These three RBs will likely be popular this weekend, and for good reason. They all project for 22-plus touches, their teams are favored with implied team totals over 25 points, and they are all in positive matchups. FanDuel adjusted Jacobs up for the plus-matchup, but this was appropriate. Cook could lose touches to Alexander Mattison if the Vikings blow out the Broncos, but that also probably means Cook already smashed earlier in the game. If Elliott ends up with lower ownership after his 2.4 yards per carry last week, then I want to be overweight on him (no, that’s not a ‘Zeke is fat’ joke) in this matchup against a Lions team getting roasted on the ground.
Mid-Priced with Slate-Breaking Upside: Tevin Coleman and Leonard Fournette
While Coleman disappointed against the Cardinals just two weeks ago (4.6 FanDuel points), he still has a massive ceiling, which he showed with an otherworldly four-touchdown game earlier this season. The 49ers versus Cardinals is expected to be the fastest-paced game of the week, ensuring there will be plenty of volume to accumulate fantasy points.
Leonard Fournette is bound for positive touchdown regression, and is second among RBs in expected fantasy points per game, yet is priced as the RB9.
Bargain Hunting: Devin Singletary and Brian Hill
Brian Hill saw 20 carries and two targets and Devonta Freeman left Week 10 due to injury. Hill is priced below $6K but will project to see 15-20 touches.
Singletary has a low floor since the Bills won’t commit to him over Frank Gore, but he has upside against the Dolphins and is a pivot play off of Brian Hill who will be chalk.
Passing Units to Target
Game Stack: Atlanta Falcons versus Carolina Panthers
Everyone in this game is either under-priced or will be a contrarian way to build lineups. The absence of Austin Hooper and Devonta Freeman condenses the target share and opens up Red Zone opportunity. Since Matt Ryan relies on passing to score fantasy points, he should almost always be double-stacked in GPPs. Calvin Ridley will be one of my highest owned WRs. Mike Beers’ weekly matchup charts show that over the last five games the Panthers are allowing opposing WR2s to score 6.18 fantasy points more than their per game average.
A Julio Jones eruption game could happen in Week 11, as he should see a 30% target share against a defense allowing the second-most air yards and fourth-most yards after the catch over the last five weeks.
RotoViz’s favorite – D.J. Moore ($6,000) – is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games and is 10th among WRs in targets. He hasn’t exploded yet this season because he’s only scored one touchdown. Moore has eight-plus targets in seven games, and is a clear positive touchdown regression candidate. Curtis Samuel ($6,300) is fifth among WRs in air yards. Greg Olsen ($5,100) is a reasonable punt play at TE who you’re hoping finds the end zone if this game shoots out. Obviously McCaffrey can be used in game stacks as well.
1 WR Touchdown Regression Thread (since Week 5)— Michael Dubner (@Michael_Dubner) November 12, 2019
– using @RotoViz Screener
The WRs due for the most + TD regression include a few high profile receivers – Julio Jones, REDACTED, DJ Moore, and OBJ pic.twitter.com/bAqX7Gistw
Saints versus Buccaneers Is Expensive
While the optimizer gives us a lot of pass-catchers in this game, I’m going to strongly consider being underweight on game stacks. The main pieces in this game are appealing in a vacuum, but game theory suggests we want to be underweight on expensive and popular WRs because the position is naturally volatile. For reference, Michael Thomas is more expensive than every RB except McCaffrey.
Marquise Brown is someone who I will have exposure to every week. While he still isn’t running a lot of routes per game, he’s routinely ripping off chunk plays.
Julian Edelman low-key leads all WRs in red-zone targets (18) and now draws the Eagles secondary.
Amari Cooper has 16-plus FanDuel points in five-of-nine games and is good leverage off of Zeke in lineups where you go a different direction at RB.
Josh Allen – John Brown stacks against a Dolphins defense allowing the seventh-highest yards per reception (14.4) over the last five weeks, despite playing an unimposing schedule.
Stars or Scrubs
The DFS Lineup Optimizer is pretty much telling us to either pay up for the best scorer at the position (Darren Waller) or just completely punt the position and spend your valuable money at a less gross position.