Strategy – Cash vs GPP

Chandler Catanzaro

Cash vs GPP

What is the difference in cash vs GPP? You hear these terms all the time in the DFS world. We will look into these types of games and give you some insight how to play these different types of games.

Cash vs GPP Game Structure

The daily fantasy sports world has two main categories or types of games. These are Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPP’s, sometimes called Tournaments) and Cash Games, which fall into the 50/50’s and double ups. The biggest difference between them is the payout structures. With the cash game the top half, or 50%, of the entrants win and with the double ups the number is roughly 45%. In the GPP only the top 10-20% of entries win, with some of them having a larger curve towards the top, meaning the closer to the number one spot the bigger the prize.


Cash vs GPP Game Strategy

Now onto the most important part of the cash game vs. the GPP. The strategy. In a cash game the ultimate goal is to outperform half of the competition so your selections need to have the highest floor. The floor refers to the minimum at which the player should perform. These players are more consistent, and are the safest option in the plethora of players in whatever your game of choice may be. In the cash game, you do not want to target players that have the potential to score a lot of points as well as the potential to flop. As an example an NBA player that plays roughly the same number of minutes every game, hits 12 fantasy points one game, and 36 points the next, then 18 the following game, is not a safe place to invest. You must remember you don’t need to finish first, just better than half the entries. Another item of importance is value. Value is just as important in cash games as the potential ceiling or upside of players, which refers to the upper limit of what they may score in fantasy points. Value is the number of points per salary dollar that a player gets. Another example an NBA player that is priced at $5,000 that is projected to score 35 points, for whatever reason like due to an injury to a team mate therefore they are starting and will get more minutes, has a higher value. This is a safer player than the all or nothing guy. A key point to take from this is knowing value, and how it relates to the overall lineup to put together the highest floor possible. Should you worry about ownership in a cash game? Not so much. If you select the player than 80% of the other entrants pick and the worst case scenario happens and that player does terrible, you are in the same situation as 80% of the other players.

In the GPP, more players are considered because of their potential upside and trying to maximize the total points scored is key to placing in the payout structure. With this structured game mixing the highest scoring consistent players with the highest potential guys is the only way to maximize the potential total fantasy points scored. This requires more time and effort on the DFS player to research more data and look at more players in depth. Optimal lineups will have lower owned players because if that player does well, less DFS entrants benefit from it. This doesn’t mean a higher ownership is bad if that player puts up big numbers as the ultimate goal is as I’ve said before, scoring the most fantasy points! A big key to GPP lineups include match-ups. Some players will have good potential to score more against a weaker opponent and at the same time have a higher ownership because more DFS players will realize the potential big game and put them in their lineup. On the converse, some players will have a tougher match-up and won’t have as high of ownership, but also has the potential to not perform up to their floor. Picking the right player on the right night will get you to the top of the leader board and increase your payout.


Something I personally have found is that when making a cash lineup, it doesn’t hurt to add it to a GPP as well because that could be the night that the players you picked decide to outperform their ceiling and do really well. Do you really want to get first place in a cash game only to find out you could have hit the top prize in a GPP? What is your cash vs GPP strategy? Do you have one? If not, now is the time to get one.

Cash vs GPP


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