Week 1 Draftkings GPP Plays
Bullfroggreen’s Week 1 Draftkings GPP Plays
NFL Week 1 has finally arrived and it’s time for us DFS football junkies to finally get some action. I’m as excited as anyone else but let me issue a few words of caution. Pay attention to your bankroll management as it’s easy to go crazy and leave yourself “broke as a joke” later in the season as a friend of mine likes to say, particularly if you are playing on a limited bankroll. Week 1 is certainly fun but it’s also one of the most unpredictable weeks of the season as we only have so much information available to help us with our DFS process. Sure there are mountains of data out there and you can get forecasts from just about any site but invariably every year NFL Week 1 will bring many surprises. This is actually good news for the casual player as I think the uncertainty lowers the edge the sharks have just slightly so, by all means, don’t be afraid to risk a reasonable amount of money to chase that GPP glory. Part of the reason most of us are playing is to experience the rush of that GPP sweat and I’ll be right there alongside you with some GPP lines of my own.
If you haven’t followed me I’ll let you know I generally approach GPPs from a game theory perspective and that’s how I’ll approach all of my GPP articles. It’s tough to get to the top of the GPP mountain playing just the chalk players you’ll see listed on many DFS sites. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with chalk players but I believe it’s much much easier to win a GPP by identifying some low owned targets with upside and mixing them in with some chalk players to gain an edge against the rest of the field who I affectionately refer to as The Herd. I’m going to dive into a few names at each position that aren’t real high on the radar this week.
I definitely don’t recommend making a whole team of the names I mention but I think if you can make a line or two with one or two of these guys it might help you gain the edge to take down that large field GPP with a zillion entries that would pay out to you a zillion dollars and make you the envy of…well…pretty much everyone. Let’s get to the plays. Please note I’ll be focusing on the DK main slate for my selections.
Marcus Mariota is very similarly priced to Derek Carr in the same game and Mariota always seems to have low ownership. I think Carr will be a much more popular play this week with people keying in on Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper to stack with Carr. These are fine stacks indeed but it’s much more difficult to pinpoint someone to stack with Mariota. The beauty of Mariota though is you can run him naked (meaning you don’t have to stack him with a receiver) and hope to take advantage of some rushing points in addition to passing touchdowns which could be spread out to multiple receivers. I think this game has shootout potential and for me Mariota is a very enticing GPP play this week.
Draftkings has made it a little tougher to go value at quarterback this year as the high-end guys (at least this week) aren’t priced nearly as high as they used to be. Nonetheless, you can still dip down to the bottom end and take some darts. The world seems to be on Brian Hoyer this week and everyone is talking about taking a wait and see approach with Deshone Kizer. Well sometimes wait and see means “see that damn rookie just took someone down a GPP.” Now, in all honesty, I don’t expect a huge game from Kizer this week at all but I do expect very low ownership with everyone basically expecting the Steelers to dominate this game. At only $4800 it’s unlikely but certainly not unrealistic that Kizer could crush this salary. In large field GPPs “not unrealistic” is what we are targeting. Kizer could come out and play above his head or he could rack up big yards in garbage time if indeed this is a Steelers blowout. Don’t go overboard here but I love pairing Kizer with some Steelers for GPP. Game stacking is a very viable GPP line as big plays in a shootout mean more opportunities for players on both teams. Or, in the case of a Steelers blowout, your Steeler players have likely done a lot of damage and the Kizer garbage points come in to play. High-risk high reward here.
Darren Sproles every year is capable of having a breakout game at a cheap price that can help take down a GPP. He’s a year older and I keep expecting to see a sharp decline one year but so far he keeps going and going. With LeGarrette Blount in this backfield as almost zero threat in the passing game, I think we’ll see some very nice doses of Sproles. It’s early in the year and with fresh legs, I’m willing to take a gamble or two that Sproles can still get it done.
There is really a lot of chalk at running back this week so it’s tough to come up with many differentiation plays. One I do like a lot though is Jonathan Stewart. Christian McCaffrey is getting all kinds of attention this week and should indeed be heavily involved in the Carolina offense. Stewart is also expected to see a decent workload including some likely carries around the goal line. With I think just about everyone going McCaffrey when using a Carolina back I think Stewart makes for a great gamble who could pay huge dividends simply by making a couple of short runs into the end zone. McCaffrey likely has the better game here but it’s “not unrealistic” that Stewart could vulture the touchdowns and outscore him easily.
I love the prospect of playing Paul Richardson this week. It looks like he’ll be the clear number 2 receiver for the Seahawks finally and he has as much upside as anyone on the board this week (relative to salary) in my opinion. I’d avoid him in cash but for GPP Richardson is hands down the Bullfroggreen upside play of the week. Get this guy in a few lines for sure and watch him go! I don’t even mind pairing him with Doug Baldwin/Russell Wilson or just Wilson but he’s fine on his own as well.
Corey Coleman is not someone I recommend much exposure too but at this price, one bomb from Kizer could end up making your day. If you are going to the Kizer well you may as well throw Coleman in there with him. This is certainly not a great matchup by any means but there is no doubt Coleman possesses game breaking speed and Kizer by all accounts has a big gun for an arm. This may seem like reaching, and probably is, but it’s also the kind of stack that could hit the zillion dollar lottery. Not to mention a Kizer/Coleman stack would allow you to pretty easily fit both Brown and Bell on the other side of the ball if you so desired. Just saying.
I was super high on Julius Thomas this week but the Dolphins game has been moved. Zach Ertz is going to be chalky but I have to mention he is my favorite tight end play now that Thomas is unavailable. Outside the chalk at tight end this week I think you are really doing nothing more than throwing darts so I can’t really recommend anyone as a superior differentiation play. Charles Clay with the Bills is certainly in play as one of the few knowns among a many number of unknowns in Buffalo. I don’t mind a dart with him but I’ll be rolling a good deal of Ertz myself.
As I say every year I’ve never solved the defensive equation and I won’t pretend to have solved it this year. You can certainly target defenses playing rookie quarterbacks or Blake Bortles and put yourself in a good spot. Although please don’t target the Steelers if you happen to stack Kizer/Coleman as you’ll be limiting your upside quite a bit unless you think Antonio Brown returns a couple kicks for touchdowns in a massive shootout. Honestly, I usually choose my defense last after I have come up with a solid line I like. Some people may call this lazy but I call it the way it is. If anyone has any input on accurately predicting defensive outbursts (GPP winning type outbursts) I am all ears.