FanDuel Week 12: GPP Tournament Plays
In daily fantasy football, it is essential to find value for your lineups. If we want to be able to afford the top dollar names like Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, we’ll inevitably need to balance our lineup with less expensive players who provide upside.
There are certain value thresholds that we need from these players in order to cash in, and more importantly, win tournaments and larger leagues.
For FanDuel tournaments, we need our guys to reach 3X their salary (for example, Tyler Boyd is $5,600 this week and would need to score 16.8 FanDuel points to justify his usage).
If these high-upside plays are also low-owned, we now have an elite GPP tournament play. Each week, we’ll look at who the most popular plays will be and how we can pivot away from them without losing upside.
Here are the top tournament plays for Week 12.
These three quarterbacks have great matchups
$7800 | CAR +3, 49.5
Cam Newton put up a disappointing performance in Week 11 in a home game against the New Orleans Saints, but if we’re looking for a silver lining, Newton’s salary is now $700 cheaper in this weekend’s matchup with the Oakland Raiders. Oakland has been an average defense against the pass, but elite quarterbacks have roasted them — Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Philip Rivers have all scored more than 28 FanDuel points against the Raiders in 2016. Any time Newton takes the field, he has one of the highest ceilings at the quarterback position, so in a game ripe for a shootout against a defense that has allowed monster performances this season, Newton is a perfect tournament play.
$7100 | MIA -7.5, 44.5[the_ad id=”66786″]When you think of San Francisco’s defense, you mostly think of their inability to stop the run. However, they’re just as terrible against the pass — they’ve allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Ryan Tannehill has only faced one bottom-five pass defense this season and he torched them for 319 yards and three touchdowns in Week 3 (Cleveland). Not many DFS players will roster Tannehill this week because of his perception as an average quarterback, but it’s hard to find a better spot for a quarterback on a team with an implied team total of 26 points against a terrible pass defense traveling across the country.
$7900 | OAK -3, 49.5
At one point this season, Carolina was ranked in the bottom three of FanDuel points allowed to quarterbacks, but recent matchups against Case Keenum, Alex Smith, and Drew Brees on the road have diluted their defensive ranking against quarterbacks. Derek Carr and his array of pass catchers are a perfect team to take advantage of this Panthers’ secondary and the upside is massive in a game with the second highest Vegas total of the weekend. Carr has already been on some GPP-winning lineups this season, so we know he has the ceiling capable of helping you cash big. You’ll definitely want exposure to both passing offenses in this game.[wlm_ismember]
Two running backs who will see increased opportunity:
$5700 | PHI -4, 47.5
Ryan Mathews hasn’t practiced all week after spraining his MCL against the Seahawks in Week 11, which means rookie Wendell Smallwood could see the bulk of the carries on Monday night. It’s impossible to determine who will be the lead back from week-to-week in this Eagles’ offense, but with one less piece to worry about, we should see the touches distributed evenly, at worst, against the Packers. Smallwood handled 17 total touches last week after Mathews and Sproles exited the game, so he’s certainly capable of handling a larger load. At just $5700, we won’t need a huge game from Smallwood to hit tournament value. Against a Packers’ defense that has been gashed in recent weeks and is decimated by injuries, Smallwood can have a big game even if Philadelphia goes with a committee approach. [/wlm_ismember]
$4800 | MIA -7.5, 44.5
This is an off the board play, but the stars are aligning for Damien Williams in FanDuel tournaments this weekend. While all the talk in the Dolphins’ backfield has been about Jay Ajayi (and rightfully so), Williams has flashed on film and in the box score — he’s scored a touchdown in three of his last five games. He’s only seen a max of eight touches in that span, but against the 49ers this week, there’s a good possibility of an increased snap count for Williams. Because of the 49ers’ terrible defense and their fast-paced offense, they are allowing 36 percent more running back attempts than league average (30/game). With possibilities of vulturing two touchdowns, getting 10-plus carries in a complementary role, or taking over in a blowout, there are multiple paths to tournament value for Williams on Sunday.
Three receivers with larger target shares this week:
$4500 | NE -7.5, 46.5
This tournament selection hinges on the availability of both Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan. Both were limited in practice this week and if they are unable to suit up on Sunday, Malcolm Mitchell will be the second or third option in the passing game against a Jets’ defense that has allowed six 100-yard receivers in 2016. Mitchell took advantage of his increased role last week, hauling in four passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. It’s hard to argue with a minimum price receiver catching passes from Tom Brady.
$5900 | ATL -5, 50.5
Mohamed Sanu should be the beneficiary of a softer matchup in Week 12, as the Arizona Cardinals will likely plan to shadow Julio Jones with Patrick Peterson. In his four matchups with stud receivers this season, Peterson has allowed just one touchdown and no receiver to exceed 73 receiving yards. If Jones is indeed limited, Sanu will be the next option to lead Atlanta in receiving in a game with the highest Vegas total of the weekend (50.5 points). Sanu has already hit tournament value twice this season — in Week 1 against Tampa and Week 8 against Green Bay — so we know he has the ability to reach his upside. Atlanta has the highest team total of the weekend, so someone will have to score the points if Peterson continues his shutdown ways.[wlm_nonmember]
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$5500 | ARI +5, 50.5
After being named a starting receiver a couple weeks ago with a big performance against the Carolina Panthers, J.J. Nelson has played poorly in recent weeks and his fantasy production has suffered. He may not have a choice to put up numbers this week — as 5-point road favorites against the Falcons, a team in the bottom five of FanDuel points allowed to wide receivers, Arizona should be passing plenty in this contest. Add in the fact that fellow wide receiver Michael Floyd (53 snaps, five targets in Week 11) is unlikely to be active after suffering a hamstring injury in practice and Nelson should be in line for enough targets to reach tournament value with his playmaking ability.
Two red zone targets at tight end:
$4600 | NYG -7, 44
Since taking over as the starter three weeks ago, Will Tye has averaged 6.7 targets and 3.7 receptions per game while playing at least 45 snaps in each of those games. Eli Manning has also targeted Tye twice in the red zone in the last three games, so it’s only a matter of time before he reaches the end zone. Now, he’ll face the Cleveland Browns who have allowed the most FanDuel points to opposing tight ends this season (15.1 per game). Tye’s lowly $4600 salary doesn’t reflect his role in the Giants’ offense and it certainly doesn’t account for his excellent Week 12 matchup — he’ll be popular, but it’s difficult to ignore the savings that will allow you to pay up for studs at other positions.
$5400 | TB +6, 45
Cameron Brate hasn’t been super consistent this season, but since taking over as the full time starter, he’s scored a touchdown in four of his eight games. It may be surprising, but Brate has only received one less red zone target than Mike Evans this season. Against Seattle this week, it’s hard to envision Tampa Bay having success in the run game or targeting their only legitimate wide receiver against these Seattle defensive backs. If Tampa Bay is going to come close to approaching their implied team total of 19.5 points, Brate will certainly play a huge role.[/wlm_ismember]
Brian has been playing fantasy football for 16 years and commissioned his first fantasy league at age 12. When he’s not writing about sports, you can find him playing every daily fantasy sport and participating in high stakes fantasy football contests. Brian won more than 1,000 NFL contests on FanDuel last season and has won multiple league championships in the Footballguys Player Championship contest. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Brian usually spends his winters agonizing over Terrapins basketball. When the weather is warmer, Brian is known for his receiving prowess in flag football leagues on the National Mall in Washington, DC.