There are plenty of different ways to win GPPs (guaranteed prize pool tournaments) on DraftKings. Full game stacks, contrarian QB/WR combos surrounded by chalk (popular plays) and completely fading (not using) the chalk are all viable strategies.
Another GPP strategy worth exploring is a price-point pivot. This means identifying a player who you think will be very popular, consciously fading him and then using a similarly-priced player at the same position. This is effective because the ownership of players priced similarly to the chalk is almost always depressed. If our pivot outscores the chalk, we will zoom up the leaderboard. Here are some price-point pivots to consider for Week 1.
1. Pivot off Latavius Murray $5,600
A) Frank Gore $5,500 – Gore brings two pivots into play. First, he’s priced right next to a player who I project around 20-25 percent ownership in Latavius Murray. Second, Gore is a pivot off of a Colts passing game which will be extremely popular. Everyone rostering Andrew Luck, Donte Moncrief, T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen and Phillip Dorsett will be less likely to click on Gore. There’s nothing sexy about a 33-year-old running back playing behind a very shaky offensive line, but Gore has multiple-TD upside against the Lions.
B) DeMarco Murray $5,300 – Beastly rookie Derrick Henry is the future of the Titans’ running back position. But for now, Murray is still the man as he got every first-team rep in the second preseason game and handled the Titans’ first 21 RB reps in the third preseason game before calling it a day. Now freed from a disastrous Chip Kelly scheme ill-suited for him, Murray posted a 19-153-2 line on 51 snaps and ranks third in PFF’s Elusive Rating. I think he’ll be underowned because he’s priced near Latavius and because it’s assumed the Vikings have a strong defense. In reality, they ranked 21st in YPC allowed and 18th in rush defense DVOA last year.
C) Matt Forte $6,100 – Forte returned for the third preseason game and was heavily involved, racking up 10 carries plus three targets on his 20 snaps. The time I want to use older players is early in the season when they’re healthy/fresh, something Forte should be after sitting out most of training camp. While everyone else is figuring out how many touches Bilal Powell will steal and if Forte has anything left, his ownership should be very low.
2. Pivot off Marvin Jones $4,600
A) Vincent Jackson $4,400 – Much like the aforementioned Gore and Forte, Jackson is an older player (33) who I prefer to use early in the season. Right out of the gate he gets a plus matchup as Desmond Trufant is likely to focus on Mike Evans, leaving V-Jax to run routes at Robert Alford, Akeem King and the rest of the Falcons’ leaky secondary. I think Marvin Jones will be one of the highest-owned players on the slate and Evans will likely garner double-digit ownership as well, meaning it will be difficult for Jackson to get over 5 percent.
B) Anquan Boldin $4,500 – A great place to look for pivots is the teammate of a chalk player. When that player plays the same position and is similarly priced, we have an ideal scenario. Of course, my projection for Marvin Jones is far, far higher than Boldin’s. The explosive Jones will play every snap while Boldin will be limited to low aDOT slot routes. So it’s a low-percentage pivot from Marvin to Boldin, but one that would pay huge dividends if the the former hits the bottom of their range the latter hits the top.
C) Kamar Aiken $4,700 – The Ravens’ depth chart is so murky that many people will simply avoid it. That’s certainly true at wide receiver, where Kamar Aiken, Mike Wallace, Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman are all competing for targets. But Smith is 37 and coming off an Achilles tear, Perriman’s knee has been an issue since he entered the NFL and Wallace has been sub-average since leaving Pittsburgh in 2013. That leaves Aiken, who averaged 6.2 catches over the final nine games of last year.
D) Stefon Diggs $4,800 – When the Vikings took Laquon Treadwell 23rd overall in April’s draft, many assumed it was big trouble for Stefon Diggs. That’s not the case. Treadwell did not move up the depth chart at all in his first NFL offseason and is a strict backup on the outside to Charles Johnson and Diggs. So we can expect Diggs to play around 80 percent of the snaps against a Titans’ secondary which is among the least talented in the entire league. The Teddy Bridgewater injury could actually be a good thing for Diggs in the short-term as Hill is more willing to be aggressive with the football and the Vikings are likely to be trailing more. Remember that last year, they ranked dead last in pass attempts per game and Teddy was 32nd in average depth of target.
3. Pivot Off Amari Cooper $7,200
A) Sammy Watkins $6,900 – I believe Cooper is going to be massively owned as a second-year breakout candidate facing the “flow-chart” pass defense of the Saints in Week 1. I also think his ownership will also be bloated by the fact that there isn’t much around his $7,200 price tag at the WR position outside of Mike Evans at $7,400, who I also expect to have double-digit ownership. The low-ownership pivot will be to Sammy Watkins, who returned from foot surgery to play 10 snaps in the third preseason game. The Bills are facing a potentially very bad Ravens’ defense and Watkins quietly ranked fourth among WRs in PPR fantasy points per opportunity last season – behind only Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Alshon Jeffery.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is AdamLevitan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.