I started playing DFS on DraftStreet in 2013. For the next six years, I primarily played cash games because I was in love with the slow, methodical grind, along with the safety that comes from playing a format where you only have to beat one other person or roughly half the field if you’re in 50/50s or double-ups.
Nowadays, I’ve decided to pull the ripcord on the safety net so that I could seek out more upside.
The hardest part of switching to GPP only? Getting comfortable with losing … a lot more often. However, with proper game selection and bankroll management, all you need is one or two nice scores to be in the black when the season ends.
One of my favorite ways to find these plays is by using the Minimal Tournament Model that I created late last year.
Additionally, our Lineup Builder is the perfect tool to use when hand-building your small-field GPP lineups. Otherwise, our Lineup Optimizer may be more your speed if you like to enter multiple lineups into tournaments.
Anyway, each week I’ll be discussing various one-off plays you could target to fill out the rest of your tournament teams after you’ve settled on your stacks and core plays.
Note: I primarily play on DraftKings, so that’s where this analysis will focus.
NFL DFS Running Back Leverage Plays
As of Saturday morning, it looks like most ownership is going to condense around Leonard Fournette, David Montgomery, and Josh Jacobs (pending health).
Perhaps my two favorite running back options away from the chalk are Miles Sanders and Dameon Pierce. Pierce’s ownership is still projecting around 15%, but it’s still nearly half of Fournette’s ownership projection. Sanders is a bit lower at around 12%, and his 17.5 touches per game ranks 11th in the league. Their moderate ceiling projections are giving them a low Leverage Score, but I still like them this week.
While it may not be an ideal spot as the Colts are 5.5-point underdogs against the Chiefs, it’ll be hard to pass up on Jonathan Taylor when he’s projecting at single-digit ownership. He has one of the best Leverage Scores in our models with his low ownership and high ceiling.
Leverage pool: Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, Miles Sanders, Dameon Pierce
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Leverage Plays
With tons of ownership landing on Stefon Diggs this week at $7,700, that will likely lead to lower ownership on some of the higher-priced wide receivers like Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson.
Kupp and Jefferson come in as No. 1 and No. 2 with their ceiling projections with my custom inputs.
For those who don’t know, FantasyLabs subscribers now have the option to purchase Derek Carty’s THE BLITZ from our Marketplace. Projections from One Week Season and Establish the Run are available if you’re a subscriber to those specific sites (our optimizer is a separate add-on feature).
You can also combine them to create your own aggregate projections:
I wrote up Jaylen Waddle last week, and I’ll go back to that well again. I think you can use either him or Tyreek Hill given their comparable ownership projections, and their ceiling projections are within three points of each other. With Diggs priced at $7,700, that’ll leave Hill as a solid pivot at $7,600 at half the ownership.
This might feel like “point chasing” after their massive week, but these guys combine for 59.5% of the Dolphins’ target share, giving them very condensed usage. The Bills-Dolphins game is setting up as a high-scoring affair given all the injuries on the defense for the Bills — Waddle and Hill both have solid Leverage Scores, and I don’t think there’s a rule that players can’t have two big games in a row.
Tyler Lockett has a top-five Leverage Score in our models against the Falcons. At just $5,800 in a gross week, he certainly has my interest with a team-high 26% target share and 70.5% Weighted Opportunity Rating (WOPR). Overall, Lockett boasts a top 15 ceiling projection, but he’s projecting for less than 8% ownership.
Leverage pool: Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Tyler Lockett,
NFL DFS Tight End Leverage Plays
I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself, but Kyle Pitts continues to make my leverage pool each week. He has done absolutely nothing with his 17% target share, but his price has dropped $900 since the season started, and he still has the third-highest ceiling projection among tight ends.
The absence of Hunter Renfrow should be good news for Darren Waller. His usage has been solid to start the season, seeing eight and six targets in Week 2 and Week 1. He’s managed double-digit DraftKings points both weeks this year. Waller currently has the fourth-highest ceiling projection with my inputs.
Leverage pool: Kyle Pitts, Darren Waller, Dallas Goedert