NFL GPP Week 16 Recap: HE IS MARSHALL
I know I spent more than one week using Kirk Cousins as an entryway to this piece. More than one time I used his now famous “You Like That,” as a reference. Some people were probably upset that they didn’t have Cousins those weeks, or maybe they hate the Redskins or Michigan State or StarTrek or something. I don’t know. But I do know, that I owe it back to them to now make fun of Kirk Cousins as the same time everyone else does. For those of you that won’t find your name somewhere below. Laugh at Kirk’s expense.
|Brandon Marshall||2RecTd, 8Rec, 115RecYds||34.5||27.5|
|DeAngelo Williams||2RuTd, 100RuYds, 53RecYds, 6Rec||36.3||30.3|
|Blake Bortles||4PaTD, 368PaYds, 2Int, 5RuYds, 1 2P||34.22||31.22|
|Allen Hurns||2RecTd, 8Rec, 106RecYds||33.6||26.6|
$250K Gunslinger, $1,065 Entry, $50,000 to First Place
Team: Blake Bortles, David Johnson, DeAngelo Williams, Allen Robinson, Rueben Randle, Brandon Marshall, Zach Miller, Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
$450K Monster, $300 Entry, $75,000 to First Place
Team: Blake Bortles, Tim Hightower, Darren McFadden, Brandon Marshall, Allen Robinson, Rueben Randle, Travis Kelce, Chandler Catanzaro, Houston Texans
$1.75M Sunday Million, $25 Entry, $175,000 to First Place
Team: Carson Palmer, Tim Hightower, DeAngelo Williams, Brandon Marshall, Keshawn Martin, Allen Robinson, Will Tye, Blair Walsh, Arizona Cardinals
$4M Main Event, $1,500 Entry, $1,000,000 to First Place
Team: Blake Bortles, Doug Martin, DeAngelo Williams, Brandon Marshall, Rueben Randle, Allen Robinson, Travis Kelce, Javarious Allen, Cardinals
$250K Blitz, $300 Entry, $50,000 to First Place
Team: Blake Bortles, Tim Hightower, David Johnson, Michael Floyd, Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, Julius Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Steelers
$1.75M Chop Block Championship, $50 Entry, $150,000 to First Place
Team: Blake Bortles, David Johnson, DeAngelo Williams, Allen Hurns, Brandon Marshall, Rueben Randle, Kyle Rudolph, DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
Note: All ownership data taken from DraftKings will be used from the $50 Chop Block Championship.
So What Happened This Week?
You know all those times throughout the year when we really expected a team to put a hurting on another team, and it didn’t happen? Well, that happened this week. The Steelers offense once again shriveled up and died (with the exception of DeAngelo Williams) and many a merry man became sad. On the other hand, the Saints and Jags put up fireworks, as anticipated, so the chalk wasn’t completely left in the box. Overall though, the week leant itself to sneaky plays that littered the winning teams – Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones and even Allen Hurns (who for some reason carried less than 10% ownership against the Saints).
Who Made the Difference?
I hinted at it above, but the difference this week was made with low percentage wide receivers and the right defense. There were a lot of different pairings that played well. You might have hit two out of three spots, or perhaps all three with a putrid defense. But let me play for you the nuts.
See Exhibit A:
Position – Player
DK Pts / Own %
FD Pts / Own%
|WR – Allen Hurns||33.6 / 8.8%||26.6 / 6.7%|
|WR – Julio Jones||35.8 / 3.8%||28.3 / 2.9%|
|WR- Brandon Marshall||34.5 / 5.4%||27.5 / 3.8%|
|Def/ST – Cardinals||33 / 0.4%||33 / 1.1%|
If you think I’m silly enough to believe that you could have fit all four of these slots on a team, I understand that the salary cap probably wouldn’t have bent in your favor. However, it was plausible that an individual could fit three, and should they have, they would have put themselves in territory for big money. I understand the ownerships…a little bit. The Cardinals defense, while stout, was facing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers – while they were at home, and have a nice upside for a defense, they are more or less a tournament differentiator in this spot (good work if you threw them in for that reason). Julio Jones drew the dreaded Josh Norman, so naturally that should deflate his ownership levels. Yet, given his immense upside and the propensity for Matt Ryan to force feed targets his way, it’s shocking he didn’t see just a tad bit more ownership from the contrarian crowd. Brandon Marshall also drew a tough matchup with the Patriots defense, but, he had no trouble navigating tough waters. Allen Hurns however, had an incredible matchup, a solid price (given his production on the year), and a game that was anticipated to be a shootout, yet stood less than 10% owned on both sites. That one, I don’t understand.
Remember earlier in the season when running back was so easy? Just plug in Devonta, they yelled from the crowd. Since his dominating performances in the early season, plus injuries everywhere, the position has become a muddy water of inconsistency and faceless value. Excluding the free space that is David Johnson, deciding where to go at running back made a big difference in tournaments, as only a select few made their services worth it.
The names you’ll see in the winning lineups are DeAngelo Williams, Tim Hightower, David Johnson and Javarius Allen – none, starting running backs at the start of the season. Some names you won’t find near the top, but that you probably took a chance on, well, they are listed below.
Couple any of these guys with another shoddy performance, or even one less rewarding than any of the guys at the top, and you wouldn’t have stood a chance in GPPs this week.
Quarterback, Schmaurterback – The Penultimate Episode
I like to say penultimate. I’ve said it at least three times this week, so I wanted to say it again here.
Below I’ve once again gone through the quarterbacks in the top-20 lineups in both of the major tournaments on FanDuel and DraftKings. This week though was a tad bit different, as the data I’ll be using for DraftKings is coming off of their $50 ChopBlock Championship, as a result of there being no more Milly Makers.
Sunday Million, FanDuel: FOUR quarterbacks used in the top-20 lineups, FOUR LESS quarterbacks than last week: Blake Bortles, Carson Palmer, Matt Stafford and Drew Brees. Difference in highest and lowest score = 13.62 (Bortles – Palmer)
ChopBlock Championship, DraftKings: THREE quarterbacks in the top-20 lineups, ONE LESS quarterback than last week: Blake Bortles, Drew Brees and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Difference in highest and lowest score = 10.08 (Bortles – Fitzpatrick)
Ok. So, Bortles and Fitzpatrick are perhaps the “Quarterback, Schmaurterback” GOATs. These guys are consistently found on winning teams, and largely because so many of the touchdowns their teams score come from their own arms (and sometimes legs). The sheer volume of touchdown chances via the pass that these quarterbacks are receiving consistently make them top options for tournaments, especially large entry tournaments where it is important to be able to differentiate at the skill positions. As for the numbers this week, I’m not entirely surprised given the matchups and price point for Bortles, and his respective production as well. Some of the other highly owned quarterbacks, like Roethlisberger, made it impossible for you to weave a lineup into the money in a GPP, dropping a large percentage of lineups and narrowing the selective player pool at quarterback.
I’m still in the process of tallying data, as well as collecting through next week before I bring you a full season recap, but my memory is indicating it’s going to be a dogfight between Fitz and Bortles for most appearances. I’ll be creating a honorable award for the winner, and hopefully, one shall wish to accept.