Michael Dubner uses the DFS Lineup Optimizer and other RotoViz tools to prepare for Week 10 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 ($10,500)
The biggest decision everyone will have to make when first creating lineups is deciding if they want to allocate 17.5% of their budget to one player. Paying that much for one player really depends on the context of the given slate and how much value there is. But for what it’s worth, he appeared in exactly zero point zero percent of optimal lineups using the Game Level Similarity Projections. I will have plenty of McCaffrey exposure myself this week and cannot imagine fading him in cash, but think it’s at least reasonable to consider building GPP lineups with him.
What To Do With The Next Two Highest Projected RBs – Marlon Mack ($7,400) and Saquon Barkley ($8,600)
Marlon Mack’s fantasy production relies on positive game script since his fantasy points are largely accumulated by rushing (seventh in rushing attempts per game) with little pass-catching usage (55th in targets per game), but this is the ideal matchup for Mack as the Colts are a 10-point home favorite versus the tanking Dolphins that are surrendering the second-most rushing yards per game.
Mack has 100-plus rushing yard and multi-touchdown potential in Week 10. However, since his ownership is likely to be north of 20% I will strongly consider being underweight on a player that has such a low floor and largely depends on two-scores to truly burn me. Mack is just 24th in Expected Fantasy Points per game.
On the other hand, I am more likely to be overweight on Saquon Barkley compared to the rest of the field, even at a projected ownership of 20%. Barkley has seen five-plus targets in every game this season and has 15-plus Expected Fantasy points in five-of-six games (3rd in EP/G).
Bounce Back Candidates – Aaron Jones ($7,600) and Nick Chubb ($7,900)
Last week we were reminded of the low floor that comes with running back committees, as Aaron Jones barely topped 3.0 FanDuel points. With 11.1 FanDuel points, Nick Chubb didn’t disappoint as much as people made it seem, but that’s still a lower score than you’d hope when paying up at RB.
Both are now likely to draw lower ownership after scoring below expectation in the previous week, however, both are also awesome pivots off of Mack ($7,400) who is at a similar price.
Derrick Henry Coming Off a Two-Touchdown Performance
Derrick Henry scored 23.4 FanDuel points last week, yet it seems as if his ownership is going to come in below 8%. The field has been much better about not chasing last week’s box scores, and sometimes even over-corrects for expected “regression”. Henry gives you access to a cheaper and low-owned version of Mack. The game script for Henry doesn’t project to be as good against the Chiefs, but their defense is also allowing the most Expected Points per game over the last five weeks.
Passing Attacks To Target
Cardinals versus Buccaneers: Fastest Pace-of-Play
Despite being the obvious best game environment, it appears everyone (like me) also thought about being underweight on the Seahawks versus Buccaneers given the projected ownership, and so the game actually went under-owned. We’re in a similar situation again in Week 10, where the Buccaneers should be chalky against the Cardinals, as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are expected to be the No. 1 and No. 2 highest-owned WRs.
While it’s fine to play Jameis Winston stacked with both Evans and Godwin in small field tournaments, I plan to build my large-field GPP Buccaneers stacks with at most one of Evans or Godwin. Their combined salaries and ownership will be really difficult to pay off to take down a large-field GPP. They rarely have monster scores in the same week, as they’ve both scored 15-plus fantasy points in just two of eight games (Weeks 4 and 6).
Superdome Shootout: Saints versus Falcons
Drew Brees has 20-plus FanDuel points in his two starts this year, and is now coming off a bye and gets a supreme matchup at home against a Falcons defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing QBs in their last five games.
Michael Thomas is the obvious stacking partner with Brees. Brees’ archetype as a pocket-passer suggests he should normally be double-stacked in tournaments. However, I don’t have an issue with only single-stacking him with Thomas, since Thomas likely needs 20-plus points if you are going to win a tournament with him at his cost.
With Matt Ryan expected to play, Falcons pass-catchers are intriguing again. Calvin Ridley provides salary relief at $5,300 as a positive correlation piece to your Brees-Thomas stacks.
Bengals Allowing the Second-Most Fantasy Points to QBs (last five games)
I was really surprised to find that Lamar Jackson is not fairing well in the Lineup Optimizer, which projects him only for the sixth-most fantasy points. I’m going to go against the Optimizer here, as Jackson’s rushing ability provides an extremely high weekly floor-ceiling combination. Back from injury, Marquise Brown is now also appearing in 20% of optimal lineups, so Jackson and Brown stacks are definitely in play against the Bengals.
My Tight End process: put each name on a piece of paper, pin paper to a wall, close my eyes, throw a dart at the piece of paper.
Austin Hooper can be using in Saints-Falcons stacks. Travis Kelce is the cheapest we’ve seen in a while at $6,700 and now gets Patrick Mahomes back. Gerald Everett is a little more expensive than I’d like, but has seen five-plus targets in five of eight games and Brandin Cooks’ absence helps condense the target distribution.