If you haven’t already done so, please go back and read the bit about bankroll strategy in the intro to the cash game picks.
It’s important that you don’t go overboard, especially in tournaments.
In Week 1, a lineup using just our Draft Kings values would have finished in the top half of the top one percent of games. The top half of the top one percent is really, really good. It would have cleaned house in cash games and you would have cashed in every tournament, but you still wouldn’t have won with it.
In the tournament game, only one player gets the top prize and depending on the size of the tournament, that player will likely have most of the biggest surprises and the absolute best of the best from the high priced players.
So go, read that and come back here prepared to spend $1 or $2 this week in tournaments.
In order to take down a tournament — I’ve finished third and won $500 in one NFL tournament and won two NBA tournaments for $350 — you need a lineup filled with players who rocket through their respective ceilings. It doesn’t hurt when your team has a handful of players very different from the rest of the crowd.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be contrarian. That can be a winning strategy, but here’s one thing that always sticks in my head from years of reading about daily fantasy sports — the top players in the industry have a reason for starting every player in their lineups. It’s never just because that player is $6,300 and they have exactly $6,300 left.
There are a handful of players out there this week coming in with low salaries that provide monster dividends. Thomas Rawls proved he could excel if given an opportunity in place of an injured Marshawn Lynch; Lance Dunbar leads the Cowboys in receptions. Both players are minimum priced at $3,000 at Draft Kings. [Correction: I’ve had this in my head all week, but it’s incorrect. Dunbar is actually $3,600, which still makes him an excellent value.] However, there are caveats to both. Lynch could play and Dunbar is only the leading receiver because backup QB Brandon Weeden isn’t throwing downfield.
Another important tip I keep in the back of my head when filling out tournament lineups: You should almost feel sick when you press the submit button. You don’t want to have a good lineup, more importantly you can’t worry about having a bad lineup.
Using another example from this week, if you think Jimmy Clausen and the Bears pull of a huge upset against the Raiders this week and you think he’ll throw three TDs to Martellus Bennett, then that’s your play. Clausen should make you queasy.
That’s a bit extreme. Like I said above, you don’t NEED to be contrarian to roster low-ownership players and have a diverse lineup. You just need to have players nobody else has. For example, DeAndre Hopkins has a red 6th next to his name at Draft Kings. That means many owners will avoid him. However, that ranking may be a bit of a mirage. In Week 3, Atlanta faced the Dez Bryant-less Cowboys. In Week 2, they surrendered 146 yards and a touchdown on seven catches to Odell Beckham Jr. In Week 1, they gave up 102 yards on 10 catches to Jordan Matthews.
That red number represents overall performance. But individual results tell us when opponents focus on a top option, the Falcons can be beat.
OK, here are my tournament (GPP) suggestions for today. Use our rankings, matchups and value articles below to help you fill out your best lineup, and bring home that top prize. Let’s be first and second going into Monday night’s game with $1 million on the line.
Week 4 tournament picks
Cam Newton, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Tyrod Taylor, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson
Contrarian: Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Clausen, Sam Bradford, Blake Bortles, Colin Kaepernick
Matt Forte, Arian Foster (if he plays), Devonta Freeman, Jamaal Charles, Latavius Murray, Karlos Williams, Mark Ingram, Adrian Peterson, Danny Woodhead, Ryan Mathews, Giovani Bernard, Melvin Gordon, Joseph Randle, Chris Johnson, Darren Sproles, Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon
Contrarian: Thomas Rawls, Lance Dunbar, Alfred Blue (if Foster sits), Theo Riddick
Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Odell Beckham Jr., Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins, Demaryius Thomas, Randall Cobb, Brandin Cooks, Emmanuel Sanders, Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, Travis Benjamin, T.Y. Hilton, Marvin Jones, Jordan Matthews, Percy Harvin
Contrarian: Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Calvin Johnson (because they’re facing the Seahawks and he hasn’t played up to his draft position so far this season)
Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, Jordan Reed, Travis Kelce, Tyler Eifert, Jason Witten, Charles Clay, Martellus Bennett
Contrarian: Kyle Rudolph, Eric Ebron, Jared Cook