I play mainly cash games, but I also like to toss a few entries into some GPPs (guaranteed prize pools) as well. In GPPs, one of the keys to winning (besides having players score a bunch of points) is having a few players who are low owned to make your lineup unique. I’ve been working on an analysis to see if there are any similarities between winning lineups for the DraftKings Millionaire Maker. While I’m still in the preliminary stage of this analysis, I thought I would share something I’ve found that may help you out if you play in these large field GPPs.
Since Week 1, there has only been one winning lineup where the winner’s starting quarterback was more than 10 percent owned (Week 10, Kirk Cousins, 12.2 percent). The average ownership of a winning lineups starting quarterback is right around 5.0 percent.
What this says to me is that if you want to win one of these GPPs, fading a quarterback who is anticipated to be highly owned has merit to being a viable strategy. If you’re starting a quarterback in a large tournament who everyone else is starting as well, it’s going to be very hard to win if you’re staying with the pack. It also says that you don’t have to find an extremely obscure quarterback either. Five percent ownership is enough that the quarterback should be on your radar as someone you could consider playing in one of these tournaments. With the tournaments being so top heavy in their payout structure, you’re going to need a unique lineup to take home the cash. It seems that starting with a lesser-owned quarterback could be a good starting point for your tournament lineup construction.
Since I do have a day job, and write for Fantasy Sharks on the side for fun, it could be awhile before I complete this full analysis. I’ll be continuing with this project through the end of the season and be able to give you more insight into what I find so you can use this information to hopefully take down one of the large tournaments next year. Stay tuned.
Cam Newton ($7,400) is going to be the highest-owned quarterback this week and it’s not going to be close. Newton is on fire lately, averaging more than 26 DraftKings points over his last four games. Now with a matchup against the most quarterback friendly team in the league, the New Orleans Saints, you can bet his ownership is going to be through the roof and for good reason. The Saints have allowed every single quarterback against them this year to exceed their salary expected points per game. The only thing that’s making me hesitant to use Newton this week is his high price, so it could be beneficial to look at lower-priced quarterbacks if you can’t make Newton’s high price work in your cash game lineup.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,200) is coming off a big week and gets a really soft matchup. Fitzpatrick is playing another team that I like to pick on with my quarterbacks, the New York Giants. I like to pick on them because, like the Saints, the Giants have a weak defense and a strong offense, which means teams can score on them but the Giants offense can keep up and make for a shootout of a game. The Giants have allowed 10 passing touchdowns over their last four games, as well as allowing three quarterbacks to go over the 300-yard passing bonus mark in DraftKings scoring as well. Fitzpatrick is averaging a solid 17.9 points per game on the year, and has multiple touchdown passes in all but three games this season. With Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker at his disposal as well as a solid ground game from Chris Ivory, Fitzpatrick can put together a nice game for you every week, and this week he’s got the upside to exceed his value more than usual.
Eli Manning ($6,500) is a quarterback who could go under the radar this week, even though he shouldn’t. Manning has had more than 20 points in back-to-back weeks. Now he gets a home game against a New York Jets defense that plays the run well and funnels the action to their weak pass defense. It also looks like Darrelle Revis will miss this game and that’s a huge hit to an already weak Jets defense. Manning has had multiple touchdown passes in all but one home game this year, and he’s a good bet to get multiple in this game as well. If you’re looking for a middle-of-pack priced quarterback, Manning is your guy this week.
David Johnson ($3,400) is an easy cash game play for me this week, getting his first start in an injury-plagued Arizona backfield. His salary is cheap and his projected usage is high. He doesn’t have to do very much to have value, which will also leave a lot of money left for you to pay up at other positions. The St. Louis defense can be run on with all running backs who get at least 18 carries, having at least 15.4 points per game. I expect Johnson to be in a lot of lineups this week, and he should be in yours too. He’s too cheap not to roster.
DeAngelo Williams ($5,600) is another guy I see as an easy cash game play. He’s playing on Sunday night, at home, as a big favorite, against a team that ranks in the bottom third of the league against running backs, and has no competition for touches. That should make his floor very high this week, and his ceiling is going to be high as well. That’s a good combination for a cash game play. Williams has surpassed his salary expected points per game in three of his last four games, but his salary is still low enough that he has a good chance to greatly exceed his value.
Shaun Draughn ($4,000) is a cheap option that could pay off for you this week. Draughn has over 13.6 points per game in each of the past three games, and it’s been mainly through the air. He’s getting more than a dozen rushes in those games but is also averaging just under six catches a game, which is where he’s getting his real value. Blaine Gabbert likes to check down to Draughn a lot. Draughn also plays on almost all the downs. He’s averaging 95 percent of the snaps over the last two games. With San Francisco projected to be behind a lot of the game against Chicago, I’m guessing his value in the passing game will make him a good cash game value as well.