We are back at it! It is finally the NFL regular season and it’s time to help the readers of Breaking Football win some cash through Daily Fantasy Sports. I haven’t come up with a complete fantasy agenda for this season but I’m going to get things kicked off with my favorite GPP (tournament) targets for each position at a different pricing tier.
For those who are new to daily fantasy (DFS), there is a huge difference between what we call ‘cash games’ and ‘guaranteed prize pool tournaments’ (GPP). In cash games, like double-ups, and head to heads, we are competing against a much smaller field. A smaller field of opponents would mean you can take a safe approach in picking your players. In GPP’s, you could potentially be competing against thousands and thousands of people, therefore, we are looking for low ownership and high upside when it comes to our GPP targets.
For week one, I expect QB ownership percentage to be completely spread out across the industry. We don’t have to look for a low owned QB this week because I really don’t think there will be a good one. I have Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr pegged towards the top of my ownership chart so in tournaments I’ll likely pivot off them for my high priced quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers (Packers) (DraftKings: 7.0k)
Aaron Rodgers to DaVante Adams was the stack I used in my highest scoring lineup of 2016. Who were they playing? They were playing the Seattle Seahawks, their week one opponents in 2017. With a total up around 50, I expect this game to be a shootout despite Seattle’s solid and upgraded defense. When you play Rodgers you know you’re getting a solid floor but he also has 4 touchdown upside on any given week. At less than 10% ownership, this is the type of upside you’re looking for in large field tournaments.
Russell Wilson (Seahawks) (DraftKings: 6.9k)
Okay, he is only 100$ cheaper than Aaron Rodgers, ‘middle tier’ might be a stretch but hear me out. In order for these two quarterbacks to reach their maximum ceiling the game script would have to end up in a fast paced shootout. This means that if Rodgers has the potential to throw for 4 touchdowns in this matchup, you better believe that Wilson does too. Green Bay’s secondary gave up the most DraftKings points to opposing quarterbacks in 2016. Will they be that bad again? Probably not, but with this total hanging around 50 points, look out for Rodgers and Wilson to be your top two scoring quarterbacks while landing around fourth and fifth in ownership.
Jared Goff (Rams) (DraftKings: 4.8k)
Ask yourself, will Jared Goff be the quarterback of a winning GPP lineup? I highly doubt it. However, we have seen crazier things happen. This is more of what we like to call a ‘game theory’ play. Todd Gurley is the ‘chalk’ runningback of week one and should carry around 35% ownership in DraftKings tournaments. The perfect pivot is to pivot to his quarterback and hope the passing game steals from his production. You will be able to get Goff at 3% ownership and all you are looking for is two touchdown passes and 250 yards. However, if he throws three touchdowns and gets the 300 yard passing bonus you’re looking at a huge edge on the field. It might sound crazy but I love Goff and the pairing of his new head coach, Sean McVay. Then you have to factor in how atrocious the Colts are on defense, we might be on to something.
Although it isn’t optimal, something is telling me that nor Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson will be on the winning GPP lineups in week one. DraftKings did a nice job of pricing them way up to the point where if they score 25 points, you aren’t completely dead. I’ll probably match the field with David Johnson at 30% ownership and go a little light on Bell in week one.
Lesean McCoy (Bills) (DraftKings: 8.2k)
Lesean McCoy and the Bills are surprisingly ten point favorites over the New York Jets in week one. At only 10% ownership, you rarely get to say that the player is at home, a ten point favorite, and has a floor of 22 touches. McCoy is in an absolute smash GPP spot and I’ll have about 40% ownership. It wouldn’t surprise me if McCoy outscored Bell at more than half the ownership and at a cheaper price.
Jordan Howard (Bears) (DraftKings: 6.3k)
I do have some game theory to this approach but most of my approach comes from my gut with Jordan Howard and the Bears in week one. The Atlanta Falcons opened up as pretty massive road favorites and garnered most of the public tickets, however, the line continues to move in the Bears favor. Not only that, the total is up around 49 points, meaning the putrid Bears offense would have to score at least three touchdowns to keep this game close. Something deep down tells me the Bears definitely keep this game close but even end up winning this one. Cameron Meredith is out for the season and Kevin White will see a lot of Desmond Trufant on the outside. That leaves most of the production coming from Kendall Wright or workhorse back, Jordan Howard. Howard has a floor of 20 touches and should only come in around 7% ownership.
Ameer Abdullah (Lions) (DraftKings: 4.3k)
I’m not buying the fact that the Lions are going to rush Zach Zenner onto the field to steal Abdullah carries. I also think that Abdullah and Theo Riddick will share the field together rather than stealing from each other. The total in this game is set at 48 and the Lions are home underdogs. If the game-script goes the way Vegas thinks, Abdullah could have 3-5 receptions in the passing game on top of his 15-20 carries. DFS players should hop on Abdullah now because I think he could be up around 6.5k before the year ends.
A.J. Green (Bengals) (DraftKings: 8.0k)
It’s really, really simple. The Ravens probably have the best run defense in the NFL and they have holes at the cornerback position. If the Bengals want to move the football, they will have to throw the football. The game script is set up perfectly for Green to get well over 12 targets in the passing game. Let’s not leave out the fact that Green has absolutely smashed on opening day in previous years and he absolutely owns the Ravens, despite missing both of the games last season. At less than 7% ownership, sign me up for all the Green in the world.
Martavis Bryant (Steelers) (DraftKings: 6.0k)
The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t made Martavis Bryant earn his spot back at all after serving a year long suspension. He was on the field for all fifteen of Ben Roethlisberger’s snaps in week three of the preseason. We know that Bryant has big play potential but he also can experience high volume in targets right from the get go. If you give me eight targets with big play potential against the Browns at 6.0k, sign me up in GPP’s with the low ownership.
Paul Richardson (Seahawks) (DraftKings: 3.8k)
This is the ultimate leverage and pivot play. We are pivoting off of Kendall Wright of the Chicago Bears who will be 30% owned at 3.2k. Then we are leveraging off Doug Baldwin who won’t necessarily be popular but end up being more popular than Richardson. The Seahawks started to use Richardson more in the playoffs and without Jermaine Kearse, Richardson should see nearly 100% of the snaps. If we can peg Richardson for 6 targets in a high scoring game against a putrid Packers secondary, I’d feel really comfortable playing him at low ownership.
Greg Olsen (Panthers) (DraftKings: 6.2k)
No one ever pays up for tight end and the guys at the top have two touchdown potential. In GPP’s, it always makes sense to pay up for tight end and this week I’m rolling out Greg Olsen. I actually think the 49ers run defense will take a huge step up in 2017 and to the point where targets will need to be funneled towards their secondary. Olsen could legitimately explode for a 2 touchdown game and I’ll have a ton of exposure to Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin in this match up on Sunday.
Martellus Bennett (Packers) (DraftKings: 4.1k)
Jermaine Gresham (Cardinals) (DraftKings: 2.7k)
To be honest, I’ll probably just eat the Zach Ertz and Delanie Walker chalk unless I’m going up to Greg Olsen. I don’t see either one of these players outscoring Ertz or Walker but its important to note Bennett and Gresham. Gresham is playing the Lions, who the DFS community has targeted tight ends against for the last three years. Bennett is in a new home but with the best quarterback in the NFL, enough said.
Bengals (DraftKings: 3.1k)
For the defense portion of this article I’m only going to recommend one each week. Unless you’re going to roll with the chalk Texans, I would suggest jamming in a low-owned defense that you feel confident in. My pick this week? The Bengals. The Bengals might literally be two percent owned and they could come out as a top three scoring defense in week one. Joe Flacco hasn’t taken a snap all preseason and we are looking at one of the lowest team totals of the day. Smash in the Bengals for your GPP’s.