*THIS ARTICLE IS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR GPP ENTRY CONTESTS ON DRAFTKINGS. MY GOAL WHEN SHARING MY THOUGHTS/INFORMATION WITH YOU ALL IS THAT THESE PLAYERS COME IN UNDER 10-15% OWNED IN GPP’S. TO FIND PLAYERS THIS LOW OWNED, WE ARE TAKING ON A “BUST RISK”. THIS IS THE TYPE OF RISK AS A GPP PLAYER YOU NEED TO TAKE DOWN A TOURNAMENT. *
>$6,900: Ben Roethlisberger ($7300)- Forget the home/road splits here folks. Big Ben is going to dominate in this game. I'm less concerned with the road splits as this could be one of if not the final season Big Ben plays in the NFL. The Browns were ranked 31st in defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) and while making some offseason improvements (Myles Garrett who is out this week with an ankle injury) everything is not going to mesh together week 1. They will get better as a defense as the year goes on but under a new defensive coordinator, it will take some time. Now we turn to the Steelers offense which is bound to be at the top of the league yet again this season. With Martavis Bryant back on the field and apparently stronger/faster than ever, the Steelers will be doing some major damage. Bryant brings a career 2.13 yd/route run average back to the table. Now let's look at one of the most underrated DFS aspects of an NFL offense, the offensive line. The Steelers line last season ranked 4th in the league in pass blocking efficiency (83.3). Big Ben will have a huge Week 1 and people won't play him because 1.) His terrible road splits 2.) Everyone's trying to squeeze in David Johnson and Leveon Bell. Play him.
$5800-6800: Marcus Mariota ($6,800) - I absolutely love both sides of this game. It should be an absolute shootout which is something you definitely want to take note of from a GPP perspective. Game stacking is one of the most underrated NFL DFS strategies but is extremely correlated to FP. Let's get into why I love the Titans signal-caller in this game. Mariota, while not playing in all 16 games in each of his first two seasons, has seen his statistics increase every year. In Mariota's first two seasons his TD% has jumped .7 points from 5.1% to 5.8%. He has also seen a decrease in his IR (interception rate)% which dropped .7 points from 2.7% to 2%. Not to mention this was all with a terrible wide-receiver core. Now with major upgrades at the WR position (Davis, Decker, Matthews), we should see an outstanding year from Mariota. Not to mention, the Titans also have a Top-3 caliber offensive line which will only contribute more to Mariota's success in Week 1. The Raiders made attempts to improve their secondary this offseason but we're not going to see a huge improvement from the 25th DVOA ranked pass defense on the road in Week 1.
<$5,700: Jared Goff ($4,800) - This might be a hot take as I'm not sure what kind of ownership we'll see on Goff this week but I figure it will be pretty low. Although many hate Goff and think he is a complete bust, I have faith in the 22-year-old signal-caller. Jeff Fisher, who was detrimental to Goff's development, is out of the picture and now Goff gets a brand new coach and OC to work with. Add in the acquisition of Sammy Watkins (STUD), Robert Woods, and Kupp (who had great chemistry with Goff in the offseason), and we should see a completely different Jared Goff this 2017 season. With a lot of the Colts 29th ranked defense (Pro Football Focus - preseason) focused on Watkins, Tavon Austin should also see more opportunities to break a long TD as there will be less focus over the top on him. With Todd Gurley expected to have a big role in Week 1 against the 31st (PFF - PS) ranked defensive line, Goff should have ample opportunities through play action which leads to a lot of big play potential. Last season the Rams were behind in games 76.9% of the time, ranking out 30th in the NFL. Although they are -3 favorites in this game, past seasons game script suggest they should be airing the ball out more often than not. If anyone has seen the blind-side they know that left-tackle in an offensive line is crucial for the protection and performance of a right-handed QB, that being said, newly added Andrew Whitworth should have a HUGE impact on this Rams OL and in turn Goff. According to PFF, Whitworth ranked out as the best tackle in the NFL in pass-blocking efficiency (98%). Goff's completion percentage spiked to 76% (from 44% on dropbacks) when there was no pressure on the pocket. Between these major acquirements at WR/OL and a weak opposing DL/secondary, we may see a huge game out of the 2nd year QB.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (FP/$): Jared Goff
RUNNING BACK :
> $7,300: LeSean McCoy ($8,200)- Let's be real here. I can easily list David Johnson or LeVeon Bell here and be done with it. However, those two guys are going to carry an insane amount of ownership Week 1 and almost every week going forward (for good reason). Shady McCoy has the ability to put up the same if not more points than both DJ/Bell on any given week. That's not to say that McCoy has the same upside as them but assuming Bell/DJ don't have ceiling weeks (highly unlikely) I think McCoy will beat them BOTH out FP/$. The first thing that pops out in the news to me about Shady is the workload. One of the most trusted Bills beat writers, Joe Buscaglia, has reported that HC Sean McDermott will do "whatever it takes to win the game" and "If he has to play every snap, and he feels good, that's what we'll do" when referencing McCoy's projected workload for this Sunday. All signs here point to an equivalent or larger workload compared to DJ/Bell. The Bills are HEAVY favorites in this game which imply that the game script will bode well for McCoy and with the Jets trading one of their best defensive lineman in Sheldon Richardson, expect some struggles for this Jets run D early on. Shady will eat them up this week.
$6,000-7,200: Todd Gurley ($6,000) - If you read my analysis above on Jared Goff you will find that I am on the Rams this week a lot more than some others. This is not as bold as the Goff call as I am seeing more chatter around the industry about Gurley (mainly in GPP's) in Week 1. After an all around bad year from the Rams in 2016, I expect a turn around this season. With Andrew Luck out on the other side of the ball, the game script should be favoring Gurley. In 2016, Gurley received 84% of the carries out of the backfield, and against a terrible Colts D, we may see an even higher percentage to kick off the regular season. We went over how the Colts defensive line was ranked 31st in DVOA last year and with the new HC, Sean McVay, promising more pass-catching opportunities for Gurley (perfect for DK full PPR), he could have a breakout game to a major bounce back season in Week 1.
<$5,900: Christian McCaffrey ($5,400)- So this is the biggest question mark for Week 1 in my opinion. Many call him over-hyped, many think he won't be effective in the NFL, many think he'll split the workload. The key word is THINK. We don't know what to expect from McCaffrey in Week 1 which makes him a perfect GPP play. The expectation a lot of us have is that the Panthers get McCaffrey involved heavily from the gecko i.e. The report that says he has his own playbook with more plays than anyone on the team aside from Newton. At Stanford McCaffrey was untouchable, forcing 43 missed tackles in 2016 while not being tackled on first contact 31.8% of the time (via PFF). His ability as a receiver increases his upside even more, especially in a full PPR format like Draftkings. If healthy, this oft-injured offensive line should produce and improve on their ranking of 17th according to PFF. Opportunity will be crucial for McCaffrey in Week 1, and if it's there expect a potentially HUGE game.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (PT/$): Todd Gurley
>$7,000: AJ Green ($8,000) - Although many see the Ravens secondary as one of the most elite in the league it is not entirely the case. The Ravens gave up the 3rd most amount of touchdowns to WR's last season (21). Green has also dominated the Ravens in his career combining for 6 TD's in 8 games. Both Carr and Smith (Ravens CB's) are not easy but fairly average defenders against the elite Green. Ownership factor is another huge reason I'll be on Green this weekend as I don't see him coming over 10% on DK. Using some basic game theory analytics here we easily find that the masses will be jamming in DJ/Bell which leaves them unable to fit in top tier receivers (and in which cases they do people will play Julio, Brown, and OBJ over Green) which makes him the perfect target for a large-field GPP. The only worry we have is Weddle over the top at free-safety who grades out as an elite player, who could limit Green's big play potential. But Dalton has been FEEDING Green in the preseason and I expect that to carry over in this game where I expect at LEAST 9 targets (with potential for 12-14) for Green which is what will help him do his damage.
Odell Beckham Jr. ($8,300) - If you've been staying up to date with football news and injuries you know by now that OBJ hurt his ankle in a preseason game against the Browns and is "questionable" for Week 1. I'm not buying it. OBJ is one of the most passionate players in the NFL and embraces the identity as a true competitor. Especially in an opening night showdown with the Cowboys, I guarantee OBJ plays this game. Now maybe his ankle sprain is something to be concerned about, but then again maybe it's not as big a deal as most are speculating and it's all a precaution. Averaging 2.27 yds/route run in 2016 was good for 5th in the league among wideouts according to PFF. With less double-coverage and shadowing expected for Odell this year (Marshall/Shepard) expect an even more productive season out of the explosive playmaker. The Giants will be moving OBJ around the field and with no word of any sort of shadowing from the Cowboys (no elite CB good enough to shadow), I project OBJ to get at least 30% of his targets in Week 1 against Nolan Carroll (a terrible CB who is ranked 92nd in the league according to PFF) who he will absolutely destroy.
$5,000-6900: Sammy Watkins ($6,200)- Another question mark in which people don't know what to expect in Week 1. With Kenny Britt's 1000+ yards gone from the equation for the Rams, someone will need to pick up the slack. Watkins is an ELITE player when healthy finishing 2 out of his 3 seasons as a top-32 WR despite only playing 16 games in his CAREER (3 seasons). With the uptick in targets projected with moving from the Bills to the Rams, there is no reason to argue against Watkin's potential to finish in the top 15-20 in fantasy scoring at the WR position this year. As I went over in Jared Goff's analysis, the Rams finished 30th last season in % of games leading. This game script should fair well for Watkins (Goff as well) this season where they should be airing the ball out more often than not. A huge development for Watkins in this week 1 matchup with the Colts, is that their best defensive player, Vontae Davis, is out for at least a couple weeks (he was burned by elite receivers all last year anyway). The Colts are going to be BAD on defense this year and although Watkins is a volatile option, his big-play potential and ceiling make him the perfect choice for GPP's.
Allen Robinson ($5,200) - This could possibly be my boldest call of the week. Although Anthony may fire me for this call it's a stance I'm just going to have to take, especially from a GPP perspective. Last season Allen Robinson was tied for 7th in the NFL in targets with 9.4/game but ended up finishing 42nd in receptions per game. Most of this was due to Bortle's sophomore slump than Robinson's hands or route-running ability. Bortles was actually not as terrible as people think, throwing 18 TD's while limiting the picks to 2 in the red zone during 2016. Robinson is due for a bounce back season and I think we might see a big game out of him in Week 1. There will be limited yards gained through the middle of the field in this game so expect most of the yardage to come from Robinson on the sidelines. The Jaguars are favored in this game so something is up with the Jaguars, or Vegas really believes the defenses will do all the scoring (quite possible). He's cheap, low owned, and has massive upside. My favorite GPP wideout.
<$4,900: Kenny Britt ($4,800) - After a very impressive season from Britt in his first 1,000-yard season with Jared Goff, I'm expecting big things from Britt this season in Cleveland. Kizer is a major question mark with Britt, but one that I'm willing to take a gamble on week 1 considering he literally made Jared Goff stats a lot better last season. With Pryor out of the picture, Britt should see a large chunk of the targets here from Kizer. In addition, this is actually a great matchup against a Steelers secondary that I think will be bottom 10 in the league this year. Garbage time is going to be a huge factor here, especially if you are loading up on Steelers, the game stack correlation makes perfect sense. The game script should benefit Britt as well with the Steelers currently a -9 favorite. As a high-upside low-owned play in Week 1, I'm comfortable rolling out Britt as a GPP salary saver.
Paul Richardson ($3,700) - I am really hoping that no one picks up on this play in Week 1. With an uncertain situation at running back and a terrible offensive line (looking to improve in 2017), I think a lot of the weight will be on Russel Wilson's shoulders. While obviously, Richardson will be the #2 receiver this year with Kearse traded to the Jets, Richardson is being given a massive oppurtunity (which = massive potential). If some of you recall he did some DAMAGE in the final 4 games of the Seahawks 2016 season (including playoffs), posting 214 yards and 2 TD's (with Kearse on the team). Richardson had some insane catches in that 4 game span and carries some massive playmaking ability. Vegas loves the Packers/Seahawks in Week 1 and while I expect a lot of pieces from this game to be popular, I think Richardson flies WAY under the radar. Definitely, someone to consider for an awesome price, low ownership, and a soft matchup with one of the league's worst secondary.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (PT/$): Allen Robinson
>$4,600: Jordan Reed ($5,900) - I think we're going to get criminal ownership on arguably the league's most talented tight end. There is no doubt this is a tough matchup for Reed going against the Eagle's, who rank out as a top 5 team against the tight end. It doesn't matter for Reed. Although his floor is obviously lowered (which is why he's NOT a cash game play) his ceiling remains, in my opinion, the highest of any TE this week. And nobody is going to play him. A healthy Jordan Reed is something we may not see a lot in the future so take advantage while you can.
<$4,500: Eric Ebron ($3,600) - First of all. Shout out Zack Ertz, the 30+% owned DK tight end for Week 1. Although he's obviously the top play at this position I can't list him in a GPP article. Just wouldn't be right. So forget Ertz and pivot to Eric Ebron. Ebron is poised for a breakout year after setting a career best 61 receptions for 711 yards last season. His hamstring which was an issue in the preseason is reportedly not a problem. Although Arizona played some stingy defense last season, Vegas loves the Lions in this game, currently projected at 24 points. I think Ebron will have a huge year and will prove it in this tough matchup against the Cardinals.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY: Jordan Reed
GAME THEORY ANGLE FOR THIS WEEK :
Wow. What a great time I had diving into the NFL research for the first time this season and putting it all together into an easy to read article for our DFS Karma readers! Let's get into some game-theory in GPP's this week. First off, Week 1 in the NFL is a completely different monster. A completely unique week. One thing to note is that there are going to be a LOT of fish (fish = inexperienced DFS players) in this first week. Everyone reading this article, watching our videos, using our lineups, etc. has a huge advantage over these "fish" already. The second thing is we are going to get our first look at what teams do with players replacing those who are injured i.e., Ware/Edelman. I also believe that there is a major contrarian advantage in Week 1. There are a lot of sharp plays (listed in this article) that are going to fly WAYYY under the radar. Another thing to keep an eye on is the possible overlay. The sites will get better at predicting what size contests they should put out to completely fill but it's the toughest for them week 1. If you're a true grinder looking for that + E/V make sure to take advantage of the overlay.
Now let's get into some strategy for Week 1. Everyone and their cousins are going to be paying up for David Johnson and LeVeon Bell. Not to say I won't have some shares in my lineups, but I will definitely be under-exposed. The contrarian strategy I'll be implementing this week will be to pay down at RB while looking to pay up at other positions such as QB/WR/TE. Ertz will be MEGA chalk on DK and again, I will have shares but also be under-exposed.
Another part of NFL DFS that a lot of players are slow to implement is game stacking. There is a MAJOR correlation between being in the top 1% of scoring with your lineup and implementing a game stack. I'll give away my favorite game stack of the week right here. Big Ben/Bryant/Brown and then coming back with Britt. Yes all players whose name start with B. And no not because my name also starts with B LOL! In all seriousness, this stack will allow you to differentiate from the chalky Steelers, as I expect 75+% of Steelers stacks to include Bell. Then you get the correlation going back the other way with Britt against one of the leagues weakest secondaries, who has a positive game script with possible garbage time.
I will be giving out more of my low-owned GPP's plays throughout the weekend between our Livestream tomorrow night and a periscope Q&A sometime either Saturday night or Sunday morning! Make sure to stay tuned and thanks for reading! I better see ALLLL the screenshots Monday morning with all of you RAKING in the cash! LET'S GOOOOO! #MONEYTEAM
WRITTEN BY: @ DF_ADVANTAGE - Follow me on Twitter :)
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