Drew Brees ($9,700) AT HOME
On DraftKings, there are mainly two types of contests available, the Head-to-Head (H2H) or 50/50 contests and the Guaranteed Price Pool Tournaments (GPPs). Depending on the type of contest you enter, the team of players you select should vary.
H2H contests are simple, you beat the one person you play against, and you nearly double your entry fee. In 50/50 contests, if you finish in the top half of the field, you nearly double your entry. When selecting players for these contests, be very conservative. You do not have to have a perfect lineup. The goal is to get solid production from all of your players. You should target players that are very consistent from week-to-week.
In GPP contests, you have to go big, or you will be going home empty handed. These contests only pay out if you finish around the top 20 percent. You should select lineups for GPPs with a much different approach compared to your H2H and 50/50 teams. In his most recent article, Joel wrote about some GPP strategies. Your main goal is to be a contrarian and go for players with a ton of upside that will not be heavily owned. When you use this strategy, you will hit on underused and over performing players; however, you will also land a ton of duds. GPP contests are not for the weak-hearted. You must prepare to fail more than you will succeed, but when you do succeed, you can win a ton of money.
Below, I look at some players that I feel best fit each strategy. For the H2H and 50/50s, you should target the most consistent players, and the GPP selections should be guys that are capable of huge games and the occasional dud. These selections are for the early part of the season, not just the first game.
Quarterbacks are the easiest for me to classify. Generally, I move all of the pass heavy quarterbacks into H2H and 50/50s and all of the running quarterbacks to my GPPs. Rushing yards and touchdowns provide a ton of fantasy value for quarterbacks, however, they can be very sporadic. This makes running quarterbacks very valuable in GPPs, because of their high variation from week to week.
H2H and 50/50 Targets
Peyton Manning ($10,100) – Manning is a very consistent player and makes a great H2H and 50/50 play. His very high salary does worry me, so only play him if you can find a lot of value at other positions. You should be able to do this week one, but it will be harder after that.
– Brees plays much better at home. In 2013, he averaged 32.2 fantasy points per game at home and 18 fppg on the road. When Brees is playing at home, get him into your H2H and 50/50s.
Matt Ryan ($7,900)
– Ryan is a solid value at $7,900 and should be a pretty consistent performer in 2014. If you can’t afford Brees or Manning, Ryan provides a reliable quarterback option at a more reasonable price.
Cam Newton ($8,400)
– Newton is the ultimate GPP play at quarterback. If you can get him into your lineup when he scores a rushing touchdown, you will have a nice foundation for success. If he runs for two touchdowns, you will be looking really good.
Johnny Manziel ($6,300)
– This is, of course, contingent on Manziel becoming the starter at some point. If Johnny Football can start a game, he has the potential for some big point totals. He will certainly struggle some and put up major duds, but his running ability should create some very strong performances.
The running back position DraftKings
is very similar to that of season long fantasy. The first ten or so running backs are very consistent, but after that, there’s ton of uncertainly. For this reason, I tend to spend on the running back position in H2H and 50/50s; however, the best running backs have very high salaries, so you may have to go for some of the second-tier guys. I like to go for more value plays in GPPs, and mix in a couple high salaried running backs (just in case they go off).
H2H and 50/50 Targets
Le’von Bell ($6,700)
– Bell had an extremely consistent year in 2013. He played 13 games and scored at least 10 fantasy points in 12 of those contests. He is helped by his pass catching ability (45 receptions). With DraftKings
point-per-reception format, running backs that catch passes on a regular basis are very reliable.
Chris Johnson ($5,100)
–Johnson is a steady player at a reasonable price. He should have a pretty pedestrian season in 2014, but it should be very consistent week-to-week.
Jamaal Charles ($9,000)
– Charles is a consistent player, but at $9,000 he’s too costly for H2H and 50/50 contests. However, his high price may benefit you in GPPs, forcing you to use lower salary players that may be under owned. Charles showed his big game ability last year with a 62.5 point game in Week 15. If you didn’t have him in your lineup that week in a GPP, you had almost no shot of finishing in the money.
Chris Ivory ($4,300)
– Indications out of Jets camp say that Ivory will be their goal line back. If he retains this position, he will be a perfect GPP play. He will have some terrible games of under 10 yards rushing and no touchdowns, but he may mix in a couple two touchdown performances. This will make his ownership very limited. If you can get him into your lineup for one of his big games, you will have an advantage over your competition.
C.J. Spiller ($6,200)
– Spiller is the ultimate running back play for GPP contests. He has some very bad games (nine games under 10 points in 2013) and some solid performances (three games over 20 points). Because of his big-play ability, he can accumulate fantasy points very quickly.
I split wide receivers into two groups the short-pass/high-reception guys and the big-play/lower-colume players. The players with high receptions tend to be more consistent and make for better H2H and 50/50 plays, while the big-play receivers make better GPP plays.
H2H and 50/50 Targets
Antonio Brown ($7,500)
– Because Brown catches a ton of passes (110 in 2013), he makes a great H2H and 50/50 play. Brown scored more than 10 fantasy points in all 16 of his games last year.
A.J. Green ($7,400)
– Green is very consistent for a wide receiver, scoring at least 10 fantasy points in 15 of his 16 games. He brings a nice blend of big-play ability and high reception totals. I would not rule him out of your GPP contests.
Kendall Wright ($5,700)
– Wright proved last year that he can be a consistent player, scoring between 9.9 and 18.8 fantasy points in 11 of his 16 games, and scoring less than 9.9 points only three times. He only had two touchdowns last year, so his ceiling is limited for GPP contests. However, if he can combine his high reception totals with a few more touchdowns, he could become a viable GPP play.
Brandin Cooks ($4,500)
– Cooks is only a rookie, but I expect him to get close to 100 receptions this year. He should become the top short option for Brees, in an offense that loves to throw short.
Dez Bryant ($7,800)
– Dez had a monster season last year, but he did also put up some stinkers. Out of his 16 games, he produced four games of less than 10 fantasy points.
Cordarrelle Patterson ($5,800)
– Patterson is the perfect example of a guy that you want in GPPs, but do not want in H2H and 50/50s contests until he can prove to be a reliable pass catcher. He had some monster games last year, but he also had a ton of duds. He is the ultimate big play type of guy.
T.Y. Hilton ($5,500)
– In 2013, he had games of 40.1, 34 and 29.5 fantasy points, but he also had nine games of less than 10 fantasy points. The Colts added Hakeem Nicks
and will get Reggie Wayne
back from injury; those players should move Hilton back to his role as Andrew Luck
s’ big-play receiver.
Outside of the top four or 5 players at the position, tight end is a very touchdown dependent position. This makes most tight ends very inconsistent. You must decide if you want to go with a stud tight end or go with a value option. Below are a couple of value options that should be considered based on the contest you enter.
H2H and 50/50 Target
Greg Olsen ($4,700)
– Olsen is consistent for a mid-priced tight end. He scored more than 10 fantasy points in 11 of his 16 games last year. However, he scored more than 20 points only once, so his upside is limited and he does not make a great GPP play.
Vernon Davis ($4,800)
– Davis had some monster games last year, including a 41 point game in Week 6 against the Cardinals (reminder - play tight ends against the Cards this year), but he had some duds of five, 1.2 and zero fantasy points as well.