FanDuel GPP Value Plays – Week 1
Each week, I’ll explore cheap players whose FanDuel price does not match the ceiling they offer, making them GPP value plays. In FanDuel GPPs, I recommend cheap players who will offer at least 3x value, providing salary relief for your remaining roster spots.
In general, I will be looking at quarterbacks priced below $7,500, running backs and wide receivers below $6,500, and tight ends below $5,500. It is important to remember that these value recommendations are for GPPs (and not cash games), so we’re aiming for an above-20 percent hit rate.
General Week 1 Notes
- Early season, especially Week 1, is the best time to be contrarian in GPPs. We do not know much about team tendencies, we only have our offseason predictions.
Carson Palmer ($7,300)
Value Threshold: At his price, Palmer needs 21.9 fantasy points to hit 3x value. Palmer hit that 21.9 point mark in 18.8percent of his games last year and was above 20 points in 31.3 percent of games.
Vegas: The Cardinals opened as a 2.5 point underdog to the Lions, but the line has since moved to the Cardinals being favored by 1.5 points (4 point line movement), with a 48-point total. In 2016, Palmer averaged 22.9 points in wins vs 19 points in losses.
- Ameer Abdullah ($6,100)
Value threshold: Abdullah needs 18.3 fantasy points to reach GPP value.
Opportunity: The biggest obstacle is opportunity, as Theo Riddick is expected to soak up most of the RB receptions and Zach Zenner may take goal line carries. However, this is Week 1, so we know very little about how the Lions will actually distribute RB touches. At low ownership and with great potential if the volume is there, I’m willing to play Abdullah in GPPs.
Opponents: After having the No. 7 run defense in 2016, the public thinks the Cardinals have a stout run defense. However, after losing significant pieces on the defensive side of the ball, I want to attack them in week 1 GPPs. Patrick Peterson will be shutting down whoever lines up across from him, so the Lions will have to find other ways to move the football.
- Jonathan Stewart ($6,100)
Value Threshold: Stewart needs 18.3 fantasy points to reach the desired 3x GPP value.
Vegas: Carolina is a six-point road favorite with a 27 point implied team total. If game script goes accordingly, Carolina will be scoring a lot of points (thus more scoring opportunities for Stewart) and looking to run out the clock in the second half.
Leverage: I expect most of the Carolina ownership to go to Cam Newton. Stewart is a great leverage play, as he is likely to hit GPP value by vulturing rushing TDs.
Opponent: San Francisco gave up a historical amount of fantasy points to RBs in 2016 (29.5 per game). While we can’t expect the 49ers to be that dreadful again, they will likely remain near the bottom of the NFL.
- Others Considered: Isaiah Crowell ($6,500) – a good leverage play to capitalize off of the Steelers’ high ownership, but an implied team total below 20 scares me off a bit. Christian McCaffrey ($6,500) – one of Stewart or McCaffrey is going to have a big game.
- Larry Fitzgerald ($6,400)
Value Threshold: A Fitzgerald-Palmer stack is in a prime spot for a stack. Fitzgerald needs 19.2 fantasy points to hit value.
Splits: Over the past two seasons, Fitzgerald has averaged 16.2 fantasy points in weeks 1-10, while tailing off to just 9.4 points during weeks 11-17.
Of his 15 TDs the past two seasons, eight (53.3 percent) have come in the month of September.
Opponent: Fitzgerald’s RACR (ability to convert air yards into total yards) is well above average when targeted between 5-20 yards from the line of scrimmage, while the Lions defense allows an above-expected RACR to opposing pass catchers in this target distance range. It is expected that Fitzgerald will line up against CB Quandre Diggs, who PFF graded as the No. 94 CB in 2016.
- Kelvin Benjamin ($6,500)
Value Threshold: Benjamin needs 19.5 fantasy points to reach GPP value
Vegas: Carolina currently sits as seven point road favorites at San Francisco with a 48 total and an implied team total of 27.
Opponent: Throughout Benjamin’s career, he has been most effective, in terms of RACR, when targeted 20 yards downfield. On the other hand, in 2015 and 2016, the 49ers struggled the most at a target distance of 20. In 2016, Benjamin played his first game against the 49ers and put up seven receptions (on nine targets) for 108 yards and two TDs (26.3 FanDuel points). At 6 – 5, 243 pounds, Benjamin has a massive size advantage over CB Rashard Robinson (6 – 1, 176).
Touchdowns: TDs are the driving force of winning GPPs on FanDuel. Benjamin has scored a TD in 14 of 32 career games (43.8 percent).
- Randall Cobb ($5,900)
Value Threshold: Cobb needs 17.7 fantasy points to reach GPP value.
Vegas: Green Bay is a three-point home favorite with a 49.5 total, and Green Bay has a 26.25 implied team total.
Aaron Rodgers: Over the past 5 seasons, Rodgers has 49 games with multiple passing TDs and only 24 games with fewer than two passing TDs. Selecting WRs attached to a QB who consistently throws the most TDs is a good way to accumulate fantasy points.
Opponent: The Packers have played the Seahawks in Lambeau each of the past two seasons, putting up 38 and 27 team points, with Rodgers passing for three and two TDs in 2016 and 2015, respectively.
Momentum: Cobb was targeted 24 times, had 260 yards, and three TDs in the three playoffs games last year.
- Others Considered: Terrelle Pryor ($6,200) – has multi-TD potential but possible volume concerns.
- Jason Witten ($5,400)
Value Threshold: Witten needs 16.2 points to reach GPP value.
Home Favorite: The Cowboys are a 3.5 point home favorite, and TEs have historically performed much better when home favorites.
Matchup: After you get past the fact that Witten is a dad runner and is playing against one of the best overall defenses, you will realize he has a sneaky good matchup based on his history against the Giants.
In his six games against the Giants the past three seasons, Witten has three TDs. At a position that depends on the ability to score TDs, Witten’s history against the Giants, combined with a low ownership projection, make him a good play in GPPs.
Let me know which GPP value plays you agree with, disagree with, or who I left out @Michael_Dubner