Michael Dubner uses the DFS Lineup Optimizer and other RotoViz tools to prepare for Week 16 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.
Top Optimizer Raw Scorers: Christian McCaffrey > Joe Mixon > Chris Carson > Ezekiel Elliott > Saquon Barkley
Last week, we highlighted Chris Carson as the must-play RB given his combination of affordable price and increased role. Carson smashed for 26.2 FanDuel points. Even with the price increase, Carson remains a top play on the Week 16 main slate as the Seahawks have an implied team total north of 30 points versus a Cardinals defense that has been getting gashed on the ground.
The surprising name on this list is Joe Mixon, who was one of fantasy football’s biggest draft day busts over the first half of the year. However, Mixon has sneakily scored 15-plus FanDuel points in six of his last seven games. The Bengals have been force-feeding Mixon the rock, and now he draws a Dolphins defense that just revived Saquon Barkley’s busted season. Mixon is definitely priced up for the matchup at $7,800, but his recent volume suggests he can still support the price.
Top Optimizer Values: Joe Mixon > Chris Carson > Kenyan Drake > Melvin Gordon
After being the slate-breaking RB last week, I don’t think the public will go back to Kenyan Drake, as they will feel like it’s chasing points. The Cardinals are in a much worse spot in Week 16 as they travel on the road to Seattle, and have an implied total of just 20 points. However, Drake is an intriguing tournament option as someone you can use as a “bring back” in Seattle stacks. Drake is 10th among RBs in targets, and has averaged 19 opportunities per game over his last six games.
Melvin Gordon will catch some ownership as his $7,000 salary on FanDuel is really affordable. Gordon is a good pivot off of Alvin Kamara ($7,200) who will be the Week 16 chalk at a similar price. Since Gordon returned in Week 5, he leads the Chargers in red-zone opportunity market share (34%). The game script sets up well for Gordon to have a shot at a multi-touchdown game.
Possible Fade List
Alvin Kamara is projected to be one of the best points per dollar plays on the slate by most industry optimizers and will probably be 25% owned in large field GPPs. Don’t get me wrong, I personally think Kamara is really good play this week, but it is interesting that the RotoViz DFS Lineup Optimizer hates him, as Game Level Similarity Projections only project Kamara for 6.65 FanDuel points. Kamara is a scary fade as he’s still been seeing about 20 opportunities per game, and is fourth among RBs in Expected Fantasy Points per game. However, he’s been one of the least efficient RBs in the NFL this year.
Passing Games to Stack
Philip Rivers – 1 or 2 of: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, Hunter Henry
While individual pieces on the Chargers may carry some ownership, I don’t think there will be many stacks, let alone double stacks. Ownership likely won’t get out of control because there are so many options at the skill-positions so people end up just avoiding the uncertainty instead of embracing the variance. Yet, Mike Williams ($6,500) and Keenan Allen ($6,700) are two of the best points per dollar WRs on the slate.
Russell Wilson – D.K. Metcalf > Tyler Lockett > Jacob Hollister
Chris Carson is going to be one of the most owned players on the main slate, and for good reason. The Seahawks are going to score close to 30 points against the Cardinals. If Carson doesn’t get it done on the ground, then it’s likely that Russell Wilson had a monster passing day. Russ and Carson are not mutually exclusive, as they can have spike weeks together if Seattle scores five touchdowns. However, I prefer to stack Wilson with his pass-catchers.
Wilson to D.K. Metcalf is my favorite pairing for tournaments. Wilson to Tyler Lockett is the better raw pairing, as it appears Lockett is fully healthy and balling again, but also comes at a higher combined price. Metcalf is in a more affordable salary range, and is coming off a nine target game, which could continue with Josh Gordon no longer on the team. Jacob Hollister gets the flow chart matchup, and allows you to build a unique stack in this game.