Michael Dubner uses the DFS Lineup Optimizer and other RotoViz tools to prepare for Week 14 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.
GLSP Is Begging Us To Be Contrarian At RB in Week 14
The running back slots are the most valuable roster spots on FanDuel, so I usually try to stick to a limited player pool at RB with only the best plays, and don’t really go off the board. However, I don’t think three of the four RBs popping in the RotoViz DFS Lineup Optimizer will be popular. Aaron Jones and the Packers draw a plus matchup at home versus Washington, but he’s relatively expensive at $7,800 for someone in a running back by committee (per the Player Usage App).
Melvin Gordon ($7,300) is also in an RBBC, but is a bit cheaper than Jones. The Jaguars have been getting gashed on the ground the past five weeks, and have not been as forgiving to pass-catching RBs, which suits Gordon more than Austin Ekeler.
Latavius Murray is priced as a true backup RB, which is fair since he only has four and seven touches the past two games and now has a difficult rushing matchup versus the 49ers. Murray can only be considered as a dart throw in large-field tournaments but is even thin for that.
Le’Veon Bell: Fool’s Gold or GPP Winner
Bell is priced very affordably at $7,300 as a home favorite with an implied team total over 25 and a matchup against the Dolphins. Bell has had the opportunity to score fantasy points (ninth in EP/g), but has been one of the least efficient RBs in 2019.
Passing Units to Target
Unfortunately no game stacks are immediately popping in the RotoViz DFS Lineup Optimizer. But this also makes sense since the game with the highest over/under is sitting at 48.5 right now. As a result, game stacks may actually be loss popular than usual, so you can gain a lot of equity by identifying the highest scoring game.
The Ryan Fitzpatrick to DeVante Parker Connection is Real
Fitzpatrick’s YOLO ball mentality has finally unlocked Parker. Parker is getting more expensive at $7,200, but that is more on the appropriate side than on the over-priced side. He’s fifth among WRs in air yards and has 15-plus expected fantasy points per game in five of the last seven games. Fitzpatrick-Parker stacks can even be brought back with the opposing RB in Le’Veon Bell, mentioned above.
Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams
The Rodgers to Adams stack will be popular as the Packers have a 27-point implied team total at home versus Washington. Given the volatility of the positions, I tend to be underweight on expensive WRs if they are the highest owned on the slate. However, Adams’ touchdown upside is enticing even at the price tag and ownership projection. The other issue with this stack is not having a Washington pass-catcher to run it back with. As a result, I will have some Rodgers-Adams, but will likely have more solo Adams.
Fade Ryan Tannehill Chalk Week
As of this writing on Wednesday evening, I think Tannehill could have some steam this weekend since he’s just $7,300 and has 18-plus FanDuel points in five of his last six games. However, if he does catch ownership, then I’m happy to fade him. Generally, I like to build my FanDuel GPP QB player pool based on stacking options. Stacking Tannehill with A.J. Brown is the best option, but is also the obvious choice since the combined salary of Tannehill and Brown makes a cheap stack. I don’t think I will have any other Titans pass-catchers in my player pool. But Brown is only seeing a handful of targets each game (five per game over last four games). As a result, the Tannehill-to-Brown stack may go over-owned in tournaments.
Take Advantage of Mike Evans’ Salary Dip
Evans is coming off four games with fewer than 13 fantasy points. As a result, his salary is now below $8k again. However, prior to the last four games, Evans scored 36, 42.8, and 20.6 FanDuel points. Evans is still first among WRs in air yards and is third in expected points per game. He’s capable of breaking the slate.
D.J. Moore Continues Hot Streak
Everyone who read RotoViz this offseason isn’t surprised by Moore’s stellar sophomore season. Moore now has 13-plus expected fantasy points in 10 of 12 games. FanDuel has disrespected Moore all season, and a $7,100 price tag is still too cheap for someone who has nine-plus targets in seven straight games.
Jarvis Landry Is Sneakily a WR1 Since Week 2
Baker Mayfield gets a cake matchup as a home favorite against the Bengals defense allowing opposing WR1s to score 20.2 PPR/g over their last five games. Odell Beckham Jr. will likely be the WR popping in most projection systems, especially with the $400 savings from Landry. However, Landry is seeing massive volume (10.6 targets/g over last six games). Monitoring Beckham and Landry’s ownerships will be important to evaluate if you should be even or overweight compared to the field on both.
If Adam Thielen Is Out -> Kyle Rudolph
Rudolph has been a fantasy performer lately mainly because he has been finding the end zone recently. The four-game touchdown streak could continue as he is third on the team in red zone opportunities, only behind the two running backs. The yardage floor has been much higher with Thielen out.
If Greg Olsen is Out -> Ian Thomas
Thomas provides tremendous salary relief at the stone minimum price on FanDuel if Olsen is inactive. For what it’s worth, Thomas saw nearly six targets per game in 2018 when Olsen missed time.