By TJ Hernandez, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
Whether you are playing in the biggest tournament of the week on Yahoo or prefer to play in smaller GPPs, there are some general GPP strategies that you can implement in contests of any size. These concepts include stacking, finding pivots off of popular players, and targeting players that won’t be on many rosters.
While it’s important to implement these into your lineup-building approach, the foundation of any tournament lineup is a solid core — usually players that you would use in cash games.
Stacks to Target
QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys ($41)
WR Amari Cooper, Cowboys ($26)
WR Michael Gallup, Cowboys ($20)
Only one team on the main slate has a higher implied point total than the Cowboys, who are projected for over 30 points according to betting lines. Dallas has thrown at the second-highest rate in the league in neutral game script and they face a Browns defense that ranks 26th in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
Dak Prescott’s path to upside is a clear one but figuring out who to stack him with is where DFSers may get lost since targets are evenly distributed beyond Amari Cooper. The big-play-options are clear, though, as Cooper and Michael Gallup have combined for 64% of the Cowboy’s air yards, the eight-highest rate for any duo in the league. This stack won’t be a contrarian one but as we saw last week, a popular double-stack can take down even the biggest tournaments with the right contrarian pieces elsewhere.
WR DK Metcalf, Seahawks ($28)
WR Tyler Lockett, Seahawks ($25)
TE Mike Gesicki, Dolphins ($17)
Speaking of popular double-stacks from last week, running it back with the Seahawks is not chasing points. Seattle is one of three teams on the main slate projected for at least 30 points and no passing offense is more concentrated than Russell Wilson’s. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf have combined for the third-highest target share in the league (52%) and they are the only teammates to account for at least 60% of their team’s air yards. The Seahawks already pass at a top-10 rate in neutral games script and with Chris Carson questionable for Week 3, they could lean on Russ even more.
Seattle is built for shootouts, pairing Wilson’s uber-efficiency with the worst passing defense in the league through three weeks. No defense has given up more yards through the air than the Seahawks and they have allowed two passing touchdowns per game. Mike Gesicki leads Miami in targets and is one of two tight ends with at least 30% of his team’s air yards. He could see an increased workload with DeVante Parker nursing a hamstring injury.
QB Deshaun Watson, Texans ($30)
WR Will Fuller, Texans ($22)
WR Adam Thielen, Vikings ($24)
After facing arguably the three best teams in the AFC to start the season, Deshaun Watson will finally get a favorable matchup against a Vikings defense that has already allowed two 300-yard passers and surrendered at least 28 points in all three games this season. Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks are interchangeable for anyone playing multiple lineups but Fuller does have a slightly higher average target depth than Cooks (12.5 yards to 12.1 yards). Justin Jefferson will be a popular play after his breakout game in Week 3 but Adam Thielen’s 48.5% share of air yards is the third-highest in the league.
Contrarian Plays to Target
RB Darrell Henderson, Rams ($23)
With the highest implied point total of the slate (30.75), the Rams will be a popular offense to stack but Henderson could prove to be a fantastic leverage play. After seeing 21 touches for 75% of the backfield work in Week 3, Sean McVay was hesitant to declare Henderson the Week 4 starter which should keep his rostered percentage down. As 13-point favorites, LA should be in a game flow that favors a run-heavy game plan.
RB Jonathan Taylor, Colts ($27)
The Colts rookie was one of the most popular players in DFS last week but underwhelmed after Indianapolis rested Taylor in a blowout. That pedestrian performance will keep his rostered percentage in check with some other running backs in blowup spots. Taylor is in an underrated spot with the Colts only slightly favored but facing a Bears team ranked 29th against running backs when adjusted for schedule strength.
WR Kenny Golladay, Lions ($28)
The Lions top wideout played 73% of Detroit’s snaps in his first game of the season and still managed 22% of targets and 35% of air yards. A week healthier, expect those numbers to increase across the board. This game projects for 55 points with a spread of just 4.5, meaning the Lions could approach 30 points even in a loss. Alvin Kamara will be one of the most popular plays of the week and playing Golladay with the Saints back is a smart way to offset Kamara’s popularity.
Cash Game Strategy
The backbone of my cash game approach is 4for4’s proprietary value metric, which goes beyond simple point per dollar projections. That value calculation extends to a player’s odds of hitting cash game value based on their implied volatility according to their floor, median, and ceiling projections.
Week 4 offers a plethora of value wide receivers at or near the minimum salary. This lets cash game players lock in the top two backs on the slate, if they choose, and still be able to afford a high-end quarterback or tight end.
Cash Game Plays
QB: Deshaun Watson, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson
RB: Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Mike Davis, Jerick McKinnon, James Robinson
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, DJ Moore, Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Cooper Kupp, Terry McLaurin, Adam Thielen, Keenan Allen, Hunter Renfrow, Gabriel Davis
TE: Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, T.J. Hockenson
DEF: Cowboys, Bengals, Rams, Buccaneers
Follow TJ on Twitter @TJHernandez
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TJ is a former full-time poker player who has been playing fantasy football for more than a decade. After online poker was outlawed, TJ ended his poker career and dedicated himself to fantasy football. His background in poker statistics and analytics translates to success in both daily and season-long fantasy football.