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Daily Fantasy Sports Strategies For Week 10 Of The NFL Season

Win $1 Million This Weekend On DraftKings For Just A $27 Buy-In


Upside. That’s the magic word when discussing what it takes to win a large field guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tournaments like the ‘Millionaire Maker’ on industry leader DraftKings. The site has already crowned multiple $1 million winners in the 2014 NFL season alone.

You don’t just need a lineup full of players who are solid. What you need is to find the right combination of players who perform well above expectation for the week. That is a very difficult task, which is why the payouts are so handsome if you manage to pull it off.

So, how do you go about finding that upside and integrating it into your lineups? Well, I’ll break it down and provide some insights into what your thought process should include.


One would think that you would need to grab an expensive quarterback in order to win a tournament. After all, they score the most points, right? Well that’s true, but they’re also the most consistent performers from week to week. That also sounds nice. But we’re not looking for consistency when trying to win a big tournament. We are looking for players who can blow expectations out of the water. And frankly, players such as Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers have raised the bar so high that it’s difficult for them to drastically outperform their salaries. On top of that, they limit your ability to get other elite talents at running back and wide receiver into your lineup.

A few guys I’m looking at for the ‘Millionaire Maker’ on DraftKings this week are Mark Sanchez ($5,400) and Matt Ryan ($6,300). These are guys in high-powered offenses that offer the upside of a 4 touchdown passing performance, but come at a steep discount from the tier of elite quarterbacks.

When using quarterbacks in tournaments, it is almost always advisable to pair the quarterback with one of his receivers or tight ends. When looking to maximize upside, this can be huge because you’re essentially getting credit twice for any touchdown that your quarterback throws to a receiver who you have also drafted.

To clarify, none of this is to say you can’t make it work with an expensive quarterback in a tournament. Surely, it’s possible and has been done many times over. But by finding upside for cheap at quarterback, you have the money to spend to dominate elsewhere.

Running Backs and Wide Receivers

When people think about upside when it comes to running backs and receivers, they immediately think about big plays. That is fair to some extent, but shouldn’t be the only focus.

You’re looking for ways that these players can produce huge fantasy days. It doesn’t matter how you get there. The best way is touchdowns. Finding players with the ability to score two touchdowns in a game with more regularity than other players is one of the biggest keys to nailing the running back and wide receiver positions. While players like Desean Jackson can get a 60-yard touchdown for you at any time, they’re not always the best bet to score where scoring is most likely taking place in the red zone.

Trying to predict red zone touchdowns can seem daunting. But information is available in various places that can help. Look for red zone targets for wide receivers and red zone touches for running backs. The leaders in these categories will be your best bet for multiple scores in a week. This doesn’t always make them great tournament plays, but it can be a leg up.

The other thing I look for is overall involvement in the offense. Running backs such as Matt Forte ($10,000), Demarco Murray ($8,600), Jamaal Charles ($6,400) and Lesean McCoy ($5,600) figure to be huge parts of their respective offenses most weeks. At wide receiver, players such as Demaryius Thomas ($8,500), Jordy Nelson ($7,600) and Brandon Marshall ($5,600) see targets up and down the field, including in the red zone. These will be your best bets for huge breakout games.

Overall, when researching players, look for others who see lots of usage throughout games and also get red zone opportunities.

Tight Ends

Touchdowns. Period. End of story. The tight end position is dominated by touchdowns. Their big bodies make them ideal red zone weapons. Look for players on good offenses who get targeted often in the red zone when choosing tight ends. Julius Thomas ($4,900) is the ultimate example of this. He has Peyton Manning, he’s huge, and he gets tons of looks in the red zone. There is no higher upside play than Julius Thomas this week.


When selecting a defense, you want a team that will be in the lead. Look for the large favorites in the betting lines. I also love having a team at home. A home team with a big lead is the ideal situation for a fantasy defense. You’ve put the other team in a position where they will have to throw the ball a lot, increasing the likelihood for sacks, interceptions, and in turn, defensive touchdowns. The Baltimore Ravens ($3,200) are my favorite team defense to target this week.

When building tournament lineups capable of competing for that $1 million top prize on DraftKings always remember the goal is to find situations where a player can play his very best game. Playing it safe is not necessary. Pair your players in ways where they either wildly succeed or fail miserably together. A middling result wasn’t going to result in you hitting a big payday anyway. Keep it safe in the 50/50 and head-to-head games. In tournaments, however, you go for the gusto.

Any questions? Find me on Twitter @IanJ300 and I’d be happy to give my best answer. Come back next week for more strategy talk.

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