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Andrew Swanson | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Daily: Week 11 Walkthrough

The daunting aspect of building a lineup for large GPP contests like the $3.11M Fantasy Football Millionaire contest on DraftKings is knowing that you will need to hit nearly the perfect lineup for all nine positions to be in the running for the top prize. Missing on just one of your selections can be the difference between a hefty payday and finishing out of the money.

For this reason, I typically avoid massive GPP games and focus my attention on head-to-head cash games and multipliers. But for this season I decided to enter one ticket in the Millionaire contest each week to see if I can break even or come out ahead. Through 11 weeks of the season I am up $200, but overall, my experience playing in this type of contest has been a bust.

The following losing ticket is a prime example of why playing in GPP’s can be frustrating, as I went for a home run play at quarterback with Jay Cutler, one to be left out in the cold with what could have been a lineup in other formats.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler
Points: 4.42
Grade: F-

More often than not a winning ticket in GPP contests have an inexpensive quarterback with a low ownership percentage that blows up with a big game. Spending only $5,400 on Cutler afforded me the ability to spend more money on other expensive plays like Mike Evans and Melvin Gordon, my two high-priced skill position players in this lineup.

Cutler at home against the Tampa Bay Bucs had the making of a shootout, with Cutler throwing for four touchdowns and 300 yards. The game also had a high probability of Smokiní Jay throwing pick after pick for a single digit point return on my investment. With three interceptions and 83 yards in the first half and an alleged concussion that mercifully held him out for the second period, Cutler burned me and killed any chance of at least getting my money back.

In hindsight, going with a more expensive quarterback with a high floor paired with a mid-level wide receiver instead of Evans would have been a better play. But in GPP you go high risk/high reward, and in the case of Cutler, I received high risk and no reward.

Running Backs: Melvin Gordon & Rex Burkhead
Combined Points: 21.7
Grade: D-

Gordon at home against a Bills defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to RBs over the past month seemed like a logical expensive play to pair with Rex Burkhead against the Raiders. I anticipated that Gordon would give me the floor of around 100 yards and a touchdown with the ceiling of a possible monster day, while Burkhead was an inexpensive wild card with an unknown amount of usage by Bill Belichick and the Pats.

Game script somewhat killed Gordonís ceiling as Nate Peterman dropped an Urban Sombrero of five interceptions in the first half against the Chargers D/ST (forgive me, I am a die-hard Seinfeld fan).

Predicting usage for Patriots running backs can be an exercise in futility, with Belichick continually mixing up how he doles out carries in his backfield. With 15 points in each of his last two games and an attractive $3,600 salary, Burkhead vs. the Raiders seemed like a nice home run play. 24% of DK players shared that same logic, and nearly a quarter of all tickets ended up swinging and missing as Burkhead scored just 7.7 points.

Wide Receivers: Brandin Cooks, Mike Evans, and Jarvis Landry
Combined Points: 64.6
Grade: A

60 combined points is the target floor for my wide receivers in GPPs, with the goal of scoring around 75 for any hope of making a serious return on my $20 entry fee. Cooks was the no-brainer play of the week with Hogan out and Amendola likely limited.

I thought about pairing DeVante Parker as my stack with Cutler, but I decided last minute to go with the volume play in Landry instead. That move ended up being a smart move, as Landry now has a touchdown in three connective games.

Mike Evans dropped a touchdown pass that could have given him 20-plus points on the day and moved my WR corps into the 70-plus point total threshold. Iím not sure I will invest in Evans again this season, as he just doesnít seem to be clicking with Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Tight End: Tyler Kroft
Fantasy Points: 9.2
Grade: B

The decision here was between Marcedes Lewis and Kroft, two touchdown dependent tight ends playing against two teams that seem to always give up receiving touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Both players scored, but neither had a big game.

Flex: Chris Thompson
Fantasy Points: 10.3
Grade: B

Thompson was the no-brainer flex play of the week with the Redskins down Rob Kelley, Jordan Reed, and Terrelle Pryor vs. the Saints. Thompson looked primed for a monster game with 10.3 points in the first half, but a nasty leg injury knocked him out for the rest of the season and killed any chance of a big performance. A tough break for one of the most talented receiving running backs in the game.

D/ST: Jacksonville
Fantasy Points: 25
Grade: A+

Week 11 was a week for monster D/ST performances with the Jags, Ravens, and Chargers scoring 25 points. I was pleased to see the Jags come through in what looked like a must-start game. Nearly 25% of all DK players agreed that paying up for the Jags made sense, while a small percentage of Chargers owners banked with similar production from a $3,000 priced DST.

I anticipate staying in the fire with the Jags week 12 as they take on the Blaine Gabbert-led Cardinals this Sunday.