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How To Win A Football GPP Tournament

Welcome to the DailyFantasyUK guide to developing surefire Daily Fantasy Football GPP Tournament strategies. First things first: if you’re looking for tips on 50/50 cash contests, head over to our How To Win A 50/50 guide.

If strategising for Daily Fantasy Football GPP tournaments is your focus, you’ve come to the right place.

What Is A GPP Tournament?

Tournaments are mainly characterised by their payout structure. You can win different amounts of money depending on where you place on the results leader board.

First place usually wins a big prize, followed by smaller and smaller amounts as results decrease. A large number of contestants don’t win anything, so it’s a very competitive type of contest!

See this example from a DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football GPP contest:

Screenshot example of DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football GPP Tournament payout.

‘GPP’ stands for guaranteed prize pool. This means the operator will pay out prize money even if the contest isn’t entirely full before it runs. Each tournament will have its GPP rules listed on the contest details, or on the website’s information pages.

Now that you’re clued up, here are some cardinal rules on how to play Daily Fantasy Football GPP tournaments to win:

Don’t Play It Safe


You don’t want to play it safe in GPP football tournaments. This is because it’s difficult to get into the winning percentile if you’re making the same choices as everyone else. Unlike 50/50 cash games, where the top 50% of entrants win, in GPP tournaments the winning percentile can range from 10-20%. That’s narrow pickings, so you’re going to have to stand out.

You could do this by making contrarian choices. Draft a player that few others will, or choose players from a match which is expecting bad weather or other complications. Going against the grain means there’ll be fewer contestants getting the same points as you. Your choices will be unpopular and possibly riskier, but if they pay off then you’re in the running for serious cash.

Pick Wildcards

Playing cards

In a 50/50 cash game you’re usually looking for reliable players, who you know will probably pull in a certain number of points to propel you into the top 50%.

Daily Fantasy Football GPP tournaments are different in this respect. Given the competitive, daily nature of DFS GPP tournaments, you can afford to roster unreliable high-scoring players. This is to try and take advantage of the insane scores they can offer. Risky picks won’t pay off every time, but that’s why they’re risky after all!

Studs Are Still Good

Stud players are high scorers who are very reliable (for more DFS lingo see our Glossary). For these reasons, they also tend to be pricey. Though reliability isn’t your primary concern with GPP tournaments, you don’t have to avoid studs completely. If a player is expensive but rakes in tons of fantasy points, they’re definitely one to consider.

Aim For The Ceiling

A hand pointing upwards

In daily fantasy, the ‘ceiling’ refers to the highest possible predicted score of your chosen players. This is in contrast to the ‘floor’, which is the lowest possible outcome. You may want to focus on maintaining a high floor in 50/50 games, but in daily fantasy football GPP tournaments it’s about pushing the ceiling as high as possible.

The higher your ceiling, the better chance you have to hit those winning positions with your score results.

Achieve Variance – the Spice of Daily Fantasy Football GPP!

Arsenal scores

In seasonal fantasy football, variance is the last thing you want. An unreliable player could be on a streak of bad performances, or horrendous weather could ruin your chances.

With Daily Fantasy Football GPP tournaments picking players involves much less commitment. Plus, variance can actually be a good thing! In the competitive world of Daily Fantasy Football GPP, the wiggle room allowed by variance could push you into the winning side.

This is to do with risk-taking: with variable players and conditions, your scores could nosedive or skyrocket. So your picks could backfire, or lead to serious DFS glory and cash prizes.

We’re talking prizes in the thousands or even hundred-thousands. Putting it into perspective: one GPP tournament win is worth small entry fee losses – as long as you’re sticking to your budget, of course.

For more tips and tricks on all things Daily Fantasy, check out our Guides section.

If you’re not sure about the differences between the two, we’ve also written a handy guide on Daily Fantasy Tournaments vs Cash Games.

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