What makes for a good GPP pick?
It’s a simple enough question and after last week’s piece that soared across the sky, I wanted to remain grounded this week. A number of you have asked how I make my picks. So here’s my methodology in making a GPP pick:
First off, I look for anyone that is producing and under the radar. Easier said than done; I know. But a simple way is to sort by Fantasy points per game. However, those players will often see high price increases due to the sites’ algorithms. A quick check of targets for receivers or even YPC for backs for example can give you some revealing information. It’s why I was on board with Marqise Lee early or recognized the value that Alex Collins presented.
Secondly, I review the matchups. Yet, it’s not just the rank of the defense I notice, but I break it down as well. I look at the individual players in the secondary that the offensive players will be facing. Are there players returning from injury? Are there players NOT playing for one reason or another. When I went Rams-heavy (successfully!) a few weeks ago for example, it was because I knew the Giants would be starting third stringers in their secondary.
Third, where is the value? To be clear, sometimes I go with the value for a GPP pick, sometimes I steer away from it. Because sometimes the value is too good to pass up. Sometimes I’d rather fade the value and make a contrarian pick. Which brings us to contrarian picks. I love to try and make at least one a week. Everyone loved Pittsburgh last week, but Jacoby Brissett and Donte Moncrief were a common GPP pick of mine last week. It goes back to the previous step, but as I mentioned last week, the Steelers secondary had not really shut down any quality quarterbacks. A contrarian pick can be a risky one, but that is what often makes a good GPP pick.
And finally, I like to consider the “narrative” for that week. And then can be either to support the argument or zig when others are zagging. The stats might tell us one thing, but some of the non-tangibles are telling a different story. For example, there are a lot of narratives this week about Drew Brees or Kareem Hunt. But we’ll get to that when I discuss the GPP pick of the week. Let’s start with our usual cash game pick of the week.
Week 11 DFS Picks
Cash Game Pick of the Week
Sterling Shepard (DK $6300, FD $6500)
There are definitely some better picks this week for cash game picks, but lately I’ve been including a lot of my cash game picks in my GPP lineup. So we won’t call this the “obvious” pick, but I do like Shepard this week in cash games, especially on Fan Duel where he is a much more valuable buy.
First off, he’s coming off an amazing week last week, posting 11 catches for 142 yards. So we know he can do it. Secondly, something tells me McAdoo gets fired this week so I foresee a “dead cat bounce” coming. And if those two aren’t enough for you, how about the fact that Kansas City is giving up more Fantasy points to wide receivers than any other team?
GPP Pick of the Week
Drew Brees, QB, Saints ($6800 DK, $8100 FD)
To win a GPP, you need players to produce of course, but part of the key is picking players that produce who ownership is lower. One of the best ways to do that is to pick a player who could produce, but is surrounded by better values. Enter Drew Brees.
On Draft Kings, Brees is the second highest salaried quarterback, but any of the three quarterbacks behind him have lower salaries yet higher FPG. On Fan Duel, Brees is only the fifth highest quarterback, but Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, and Alex Smith can all be had for $100 or $200 less and have higher FPG. Throw in the numerous articles this week about Brees possibly having lost a step, and Brees is going to be very low owned.
But that’s a mistake. First off, it’s not like Brees has been bad. He’s still been good for over 17 points and nearly 22 points a week, without a single week with his lowest output on either site at nearly 12 points. If he hits his average, you’ll easily profit and given that he’s taking on the Redskins, I think he easily does that. Did you see what Case Keenum did to the Redskins secondary for crying out loud? And just a reminder, I think most would argue that Brees is slightly better than Keenum.
Bonus GPP Pick of the Week
Bruce Ellington, WR, Texans ($4600 FD $3000 DK)
Ellington is a late addition to this article, but he definitely fits the aforementioned under valued and under the radar. Arizona is giving up the seventh most Fantasy points to WRs and all-everything Patrick Peterson is likely to shadow DeAndre Hopkins. So if Will Fuller can’t go because of cracked ribs, I’ll be entering Ellington into a bunch of my lineups. Coach Bill O’Brien might not say much, but when he does publicly say something, I believe him:
Bill O’Brien: ‘Bruce Ellington needs to get the ball more. He’s doing some really good things out there’
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 15, 2017
If I need to save some salary, Ellington is definitely a great GPP pick. But for now I’m keeping him out of the GPP selections for the week .
GPP Selections of the Week
Definitely some variation between my DK and FD picks this week, but consider the write-ups especially when making selections for other DFS sites out there.
QB Drew Brees, Saints ($6800 DK, $8100 FD)
RB Lamar Miller, Texans (FD $6500)
The more affordable price on Brees enables me to spend up at RB2. Given Houston’s issues passing the ball, I think Miller sees a ton of touches.
RB Danny Woodhead, Ravens (DK $4100)
Woodhead might not even play this week. However, the use of Brees and his high salary requires some creativity. And Woodhead has not even played one quarter of football this year, but in that one quarter alone he had over half a dozen Fantasy points. Woodhead is the essence of a GPP pick.
RB Kareem Hunt, Chiefs ($8000 DK $8600 FD)
This is more of a cash pick, but the upside of Hunt makes him worthy of a GPP pick. Please continue the narrative of Andy Reid not using Kareem Hunt enough. It should keep driving his ownership down. Against the Giants, Reid probably doesn’t need to worry about it either way. But something tells me Hunt gets at least 15 touches and punches one into the endzone.
WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (DK $6900 FD $6900)
Love me some Larry this week. Obviously a better deal on FanDuel this week, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make a difference whether it is Drew Stanton or Blaine Gabbert under center, I think Fitzgerald gets fed this week.
Jamison Crowder, Redskins ($5400 FD $4300 DK)
If Brees is going to have a good week, the ‘Skins will need to air it out to keep it up. And Crowder now has 24 targets over the last two weeks and has converted those into 199 receiving yards. I like him more on DraftKings this week, but he should return a profit on both sites as Crowder’s TD drought ends this week.
WR Jeremy Maclin, Ravens ($4500 DK)
Maclin is averaging seven targets a game over his last four games. Ravens are often low owned, and I would have gladly paid a few hundred more than this price on Draft Kings. Check his injury status on Sunday, but meanwhile, take the value and move on.
WR Stefon Diggs, Vikings (FD $7500)
All this attention being paid (rightfully so) to Adam Thielen, time for the big Diggs game. Thielen might be the cash game pick, but Diggs is the GPP pick.
FLEX Austin Ekeler, Chargers or Duke Johnson, Browns ($4500)
I kept flip-flopping these two players. After about the fourth time, I figured I would just list them both here. With limited funds, I am tempted to go extremely high risk/high reward on Ekeler since we are talking GPP. However, that might be more higher risk/high reward. Yet there’s certainly a case to be made that the Chargers are done with Gordon and his sub-4.0 average YPC; and will instead rely on Ekeler.
Depending on what I hear between now and Sunday, I might pivot to Duke Johnson. Johnson saw double-digit carries last week for the first time this season, in addition to his usual six receiving targets. And I’m not scared by the matchup against Jacksonville, as the Jags have given up the eighth most rushing yards per game. Duke is definitely the higher floor play. Regardless which player I use, it’s a big risk, but I’m balancing it with the next option.
TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs (DK $7300 FD $7500)
He’s overpriced on both sites. And I wouldn’t blame you if you pivoted to the cheaper Evan Engram or went with some of the more expensive options at TE this week. I think Kelce is probably closer to his floor this week than his ceiling, but I’m willing to pay for both. And I doubt others will.
K Kai Forbath, Vikings (FD $4800)
The Kelce purchase forces me to spend down somewhere and I’m doing it at kicker. If you pivot elsewhere and have more salary, I would spend up here. Unfortunately, I don’t have more salary and I’m happy with Forbath at $4800.
DST Chiefs ($3300 DK) or Ravens ($4700 FD)
Worth noting that I can’t afford the other listed option on the opposing site. But I love the value each site is giving me on the respective choices. Predicting touchdowns is a quixotic task as there are only eight teams that have a special teams touchdown this year. The Chiefs and Ravens are two of those teams and that upside makes for a perfect GPP pick.
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