Upside Leagues / GPP Strategy : Basics

By devo1099 on December 10, 2014

The most fun you will have playing daily fantasy football is near the end of a GPP contest if you’re in contention. Each goal and assist will change things dramatically, and bonus points for clean sheets can shake things up further. Even completed passes and tackles can be the difference.

GPP stands for Guaranteed Prize Pool which just means that the site will set the pool size in advance and hold that firm no matter if there are enough entrants to fill it or not. These contests tend to have much larger fields with big prizes going to the top finishers.

(NOTE: This term GPP is based on United States law which means the prize pool must be fixed in advance. It may not carry over to UK play but for now we will use it.)

How is the prize pool structured?

There are various types of GPPs, or Upside Leagues, where you can win more than 2X your entry fee. Some contests will have 3 or 5 entrants, with either winner take all or in the 5-mans it might pay out the top 2. There are also 10-man contests that pay out the top 3, much like Sit-and-Gos if you are familiar with that online poker format.

In large field GPPs you may be up against 500 other competitors, or even 10,000. It is important to see how the prize pool is structured in that instance. Is it top heavy where the winner and other top finishers are paid out the majority of the pot? Or is it balanced where the top 25% of finishers will receive a handsome reward? This will impact your selections as you determine how much risk to take on.

What Are the Different Strategies for GPPs?

Due to the nature of GPPs, or larger field contests, you will need to outperform the vast majority of the field to win money. Depending on the size of the field, this can demand a different strategy in terms of player choices you might not normally make.

Sometimes the same team you use for your Head-to-Head or Double Up games will suffice for GPPs. This will happen when you have chosen a team that should generate a decent low score and with the potential for a break out week. You might need to select all or nothing players that perhaps aren’t as consistent scorers as elite fantasy players but when they perform, they perform big. Romelu Lukaku is a good example of this type of player, not as prolific as an Aguero or Costa but capable of 2 or 3 goals a game. In large field formats you will need everything to break right for you, and you’ll need players that can score multiple goals and fire you up the standings.

So, the general strategy for large field formats is the bigger the number of entrants, the more risky choices you need to consider. This should always be a calculated decision as you don’t want to select poor players that are total outsiders to produce anything worthwhile. More that there is value in avoiding what you deem ‘obvious’ picks and finding some off the radar players that have the potential to put together big point totals and distinguish you from the rest of the field.

Conclusion

GPPs are the best way to build a bankroll quickly, or deplete it. It is important to use discretion in the percentage of your money that you put at risk in large field formats. Pairing a strict money management system with some careful GPP entries can provide a winning strategy.

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