Welcome to another edition of Bales’ Top GPP plays. In this article, I will outline my favorite NFL GPP plays for this week. I will not be including the Thursday, Sunday, or Monday night games. If you want all of my core plays along with our staff’s Final Thoughts article with access to our Discord, click here.
Rodgers saw his value dip in 2019 after averaging 250.1 yards per game with only 26 touchdowns. His touchdown rate sat at only 4.6% with Aaron Jones scoring 16 touchdowns on the ground. It was only a matter of time before that stabilized again, though. Rodgers saw 44 attempts in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, completing 32 for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was nearly unstoppable when getting the ball out within 3 seconds while also leading the NFL with 10 deep pass attempts.
There was quite a bit of talk about Rodgers forcing his way out of Green Bay after the team drafted Jordan Love in the first round of the NFL Draft while failing to upgrade their receiver group. Some are arguing now that Rodgers has begun his 2020 revenge tour, showing he still boasts the elite arm that many thought he lost years ago. Regardless, he has a number of weapons at disposal, specifically Davante Adams, who is likely to make a push for the best WR in the NFL in 2020. Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling appeared to take a step forward Week 1 although the offense wasn’t without a few crucial drops.
Rodgers gets a matchup against the Detroit Lions, who allowed Mithcell Trubisky to throw for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns without many mishaps last week. Even with the success, Trubisky wasn’t overly efficient, completing only 55.6% of his passes. Rodgers is a significantly more efficient passer and I don’t expect Detroit’s defense to get pressure against the Green Bay lineup. If Jeff Okudah can suit up, he’ll be an upgrade in the Lions secondary but Rodgers isn’t likely to struggle with the addition of a rookie cornerback. He’s only slightly more expensive than Dak Prescott and Josh Allen, solidifying his ownership will stay low this weekend.
Montgomery struggled in 2019, totaling 1,074 yards and 7 touchdowns on 267 touches. He wasn’t a major part of the passing attack, recording only 35 targets in 16 games. He found moderate success Week 1 this season, recording 74 yards on 14 touches. Montgomery also saw three targets, including a red zone target against the Detroit Lions. With that being said, he surprisingly didn’t see any red zone rushing attempts, although the team only saw three.
Montgomery missed multiple practices leading up to their Week1 game but still played 44.6% of the offensive snaps. He also touched the ball on nearly 50% of his snaps. He’ll be the featured early-down option with Tarik Cohen spelling him on passing downs. Montgomery’s role has quite a bit to do with game script, though, allowing us to predict games that he could find the most success. He played early on against Detroit but gave way to Cohen when Chicago was forced to play from behind. That isn’t likely to be the case this week, though, and the Bears are -5.5 point favorites against the New York Giants.
The Giants struggled against the run in 2019, allowing 113.3 yards per game although they only allowed 3.9 yards per carry. With that being said, New York allowed 19 touchdowns on the ground last season. Their defense struggled once again Week 1, allowing Benny Snell to run for 113 yards on 16 rush attempts. Similarly to Snell, Montgomery likely isn’t as bad as many suggested he was after last season. He’s a talented player that held too high of expectations as a rookie. He’s a player we should attack when the Bears are large favorites, as he’ll see extra work late in the game and that’s what makes him a great GPP option on this slate.
Johnson is a running back that was slandered mainly because of an injury last season. Prior to his injury, he was on pace for 795 yards and 5 touchdowns on 203 carries. He was also on pace for an 80/840/8 receiving line on 109 targets. Johnson looked fully healthy in his first game of the season, totaling 109 yards and 1 touchdown on 14 touches. The Houston Texans weren’t in the red zone often last week but Johnson saw one of the teams two red zone rushing attempt, scoring a touchdown. He didn’t see any of their three red zone targets, although I expect that to change as the season continues.
the Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins in the deal for Johnson, leaving very little concern as to whether he would see a massive role this season or not. That was confirmed Week 1 when he was 1 of 4 running backs in the NFL to play 80% or more of their teams offensive snaps. The other three included Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, and Saquon Barkley.
Johnson gets a tough matchup on paper against the Baltimore Ravens this weekend. They ranked fifth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (93.4) per game last season. With that being said, they were the only team in the top half of the NFL to allow 4.4 or more yards per carry last season. They also allowed 12 rushing touchdowns in 2019. Baltimore easily beat the Cleveland Browns last week but they did allow Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb to post 132 yards on only 23 carries. They also gave up a combined five receptions to the RB duo. The biggest problem with using a running back against Baltimore’s defense is that their likely going to be playing from behind but Johnson has the ability to be spotlighted in the passing attack, giving him elite upside on a full PPR site like DraftKings.
Evans looked elite in 13 games last season, posting 67 receptions for 1,157 yards and 8 touchdowns on 118 targets. He ranked second in the NFL with 1,809 air yards to go along with a 15.3 aDOT. Evans only saw four targets last week after struggling with an injury throughout the week. He totaled one reception for two yards and one touchdown, scoring on his only red zone targets Week 1.
Even with the injury, Evans played 92.9% of the Tampa Bay Bucs offensive snaps. He simply wasn’t a major part of the game plan. Tampa Bay head coach, Bruce Arians, made it clear that he will move Evans around the formation more frequently to get him involved in the offense. He also stated that he wants Evans to find 10+ targets in every game he plays.
Evans gets an elite matchup against the Carolina Panthers, who are expected to feature one of the worst defenses in the NFL this season. Unsurprisingly, they got into a shootout with the Oakland Raiders in their first game, allowing Derek Carr to throw for 239 yards and 1 touchdown on 30 attempts. I don’t expect Tampa Bay to be able to rely on their run game nearly as much as Oakland was able to in that game, though. If that’s the case, they’ll need a big game from their pass attack to keep up with the Panthers, who seemingly will score plenty of points throughout the 2020 season.
NOTE: Chris Godwin is now questionable with a concussion. If he’s out, more ownership could move to Evans.
Gallup is coming off of a breakout season,, posting 66 receptions for 1,107 yards and 6 touchdowns on 113 targets in 14 games (12 starts). He saw 1,376 air yards with a 12.2 aDOT in 2019, as well. Surprisingly, Gallup only saw seven red zone targets last season, scoring 2 touchdowns.
He saw a similar role in the offense with the addition of CeeDee Lamb. He led the Dallas Cowboys receivers with 69 offensive snaps, playing 95.8% of their snaps. Gallup recorded 3 receptions for 50 yards on 5 targets. He left quite a bit on the table, though, seeing 87 air yards against the Los Angeles Rams with the seventh-highest aDOT (17.4) of the week. Gallup also had a big play called back on a pass interference call. He’s a clear deep threat for the Cowboys, although he didn’t record any of the seven red zone targets. Gallup brings the same upside he boasted last season, though, as Lamb will continue to be featured similarly to the way Randall Cobb was in 2019.
Gallup gets a great matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, who feature one of the league’s worst secondaries. That was evident last season with Russell Wilson throwing for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns on only 35 pass attempts. Seattle featured a pair of receivers over 90 yards and Dallas could emulate that success this weekend. The arrival of Lamb will keep Gallups ownership down on a weekly basis but his role is likely to remain unchanged for the time being. The targets will be a bit unpredictable for the majority of the season but Gallup comes elite upside in one of the most fantasy-friendly matchups on the slate.
Henry is coming off of a successful 2019 season. He saw 76 targets, recording 55 receptions for 652 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also saw 793 air yards with a 10.4 aDOT in those games. Henry ranked fourth on the team in red zone targets (10), though, recording 3 touchdowns on them.
The Los Angeles Chargers offense is different with Tyrod Taylor in control but Henry’s role doesn’t seem to be changed much. He saw 8 targets, posting 5 receptions for 73 yards. Henry also saw 81 air yards with his aDOT sticking at 10.1. The biggest surprise may be that he saw a team-high 3 red zone targets, which accounted for 60% of the red zone targets in that game. It’s clear Henry is one of Taylor’s favorite targets, although that may go overlooked early in the season.
Henry gets a plus matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, who have struggled against tight ends dating back to last season. Jordan Akins and Darren Fells combined for 4 targets in their Week 1 matchup against Kansas City, posting 4 receptions for 58 yards and 1 touchdown. Neither player is near as involved in the offense as Henry, suggesting he could find plenty of success this weekend. He’s a high upside option that is likely to go overlooked as a mid-priced tight end option.
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