NFL Week 10: DFS Contrarian Value

NFL Week 10: DFS Contrarian Value

Last Friday we posted our third article of the season focusing on contrarian strategies for DFS tournament playersThe basic idea was to highlight players that were not only being undervalued by DraftKings pricing, but were also owned in a very low percentage of leagues.

In the past week there have been a number of key developments in the daily fantasy world. On Tuesday, the New York attorney general ordered that DraftKings and FanDuel stop accepting bets from in-state residents. Despite evidence to the contrary, he claimed that these games constituted illegal gambling and were not classified as a game of skill.

On Friday morning, a large contingency of DFS players (including many employees from DraftKings and FanDuel) gathered outside the attorney general’s office to protest the ruling.

This was a striking blow for daily fantasy, although both companies were quick to react and have sued the New York attorney general to prevent the ban of DFS.

While there may be significantly less participants from New York in this week’s contest, this development could actually be good news for opportunistic DFS players. Reports indicate that 10% of all daily fantasy players reside in the state of New York, which means that some of the larger tournaments may struggle to fill up.

Last week we highlighted contrarian value on Marcus Mariota (371 yards, 4 touchdowns), Aaron Rodgers (369 yards and 4 touchdowns), DeMarco Murray (161 total yards, 1 touchdown) and Randall Cobb (99 yards, 1 touchdown) although admittedly we missed the boat on low-cost tight ends Heath Miller (3 receptions for 32 yards) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (zero fantasy points).

We should note that low ownership percentages alone don’t mean that a player is offering value; however, if you’re comparing two players with similar expected value you should always select the player with a lower ownership percentage. We should also point out that these ownership percentages can change by Sunday, but they offer an interesting insight into the popularity of many players.

Using the Week 10 ownership percentages from one of the larger Thursday night tournaments at FanDuel and the tools over at Fantasy Labs, we determined the most undervalued tournament picks for DraftKings players.

Quarterback

PlayerDraftKings PriceOwnership Percentage
Tom Brady$860012.8%
Cam Newton$700011.2%
Andy Dalton$650010.5%
Drew Brees$74009.4%
Aaron Rodgers$75008.9%
Blake Bortles$56008.6%
Derek Carr$58007.9%
Kirk Cousins$52007.3%
Eli Manning$67003.0%
Jameis Winston$50001.1%
Landry Jones$53001.1%
Joe Flacco$55001.0%
Matthew Stafford$54000.9%
Marcus Mariota$53000.7%
Sam Bradford$57000.5%
Russell Wilson$59000.4%
Jay Cutler$51000.2%

One of the more interesting names listed is Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill, who fits 7 Pro Trends at Fantasy Labs but was almost unowned at FanDuel. Although Tannehill hasn’t found the end zone in the past two weeks, he has accumulated over 600 passing yards in those games. Tannehill seems incredibly underpriced at just $5300, which is $100 less than Brian Hoyer (who is facing an elite Bengals defense).

Another intriguing contrarian value is Ravens QB Joe Flacco, who was owned in just 1% of leagues last night. Flacco fits 5 Pro trends at Fantasy Labs and has a fantastic matchup against a Jaguars defense that has allowed 263.5 passing yards and 29.4 points against per game. Those figures rank 25th and 30th in the league, respectively. It’s true that the Ravens receiving core is depleted, but $5,500 seems far too low.

Running Back

PlayerDraftKings PriceOwnership Percentage
DeAngelo Williams$6500 25.3%
Todd Gurley$7300 20.7%
James Starks $490016.8%
LeGarrette Blount$490014.4%
Mark Ingram $640013.0%
Darren McFadden $490011.2%
Adrian Peterson $710010.9%
Lamar Miller $540010.7%
DeMarco Murray $62009.3%
Justin Forsett $60008.5%
Doug Martin $56007.6%
Jeremy Langford $48004.8%
T.J. Yeldon $48003.3%
Marshawn Lynch $67002.0%
Jonathan Stewart$43001.8%
Charcandrick West $48001.3%
Chris Johnson $46001.2%
Antonio Andrews$37000.8%
Brandon Bolden $30000.4%
Latavius Murray$5700 0.3%
Duke Johnson $40000.3%

Our top rated running back is Todd Gurley, but the Rams star rookie was owned by 20.7% of all teams and is this week’s highest priced running back. He may be a good play in head-to-head leagues, but doesn’t offer contrarian value for tournament players.

One under-owned running back who’s offering value is Giovanni Bernard ($4700). With Jeremy Hill struggling, Bernard has emerged as one of the premier offensive threats for an undefeated Bengals team. The shifty third year back has tallied 511 rushing yards and 155 receiving yards this season and has an excellent matchup against a Texans run defense that has allowed 123.5 rushing yards per game.

Other potential low-cost values include Matt Jones ($3,300), Ryan Mathews ($3500) and Jonathan Stewart ($4300).

Wide Receiver

PlayerDraftKings PriceOwnership Percentage
Allen Robinson$670027.0%
Michael Crabtree $580020.2%
Randall Cobb $670016.8%
A.J. Green $760015.9%
Julian Edelman$820014.5%
Alshon Jeffery $710013.0%
Stefon Diggs $510011.6%
Antonio Brown $880011.2%
DeAndre Hopkins $870010.2%
Jarvis Landry $67009.9%
Odell Beckham $88009.6%
Brandin Cooks $60008.8%
Tavon Austin $48007.3%
Amari Cooper$68006.8%
Brandon LaFell $41006.4%
Martavis Bryant $55006.1%
Davante Adams $42004.9
Mike Evans $68004.8%
Kamar Aiken$45004.4%
Jordan Matthews $62004.3%
DeSean Jackson $54003.4%
Emmanuel Sanders $73003.2%
Dez Bryant $78002.8%
Willie Snead $49002.8%
Larry Fitzgerald$74002.8%
Allen Hurns $58002.2%
Calvin Johnson $75001.7%
Pierre Garcon$48001.7%
Ted Ginn Jr. $34001.0%
Jeremy Maclin $55000.6%
Golden Tate $46000.4%

Over the past few weeks, it’s become clear that the Saints pass defense is beyond atrocious and that daily fantasy players should be stacking their lineup with opposing quarterbacks and receivers. Rob Ryan’s defense is allowing 292.2 passing yards per game and has allowed at least 26-points in every game this season.

This week, the biggest beneficiary is Redskins WR Jamison Crowder ($3500). The rookie receiver has been a target monster, with Cousins throwing at him 48 times in the past six games. Crowder is dirt cheap, offers contrarian value and has triggered 5 Pro Trends at Fantasy Labs. He should be in all of your lineups this weekend.

Other potential low-cost values include Tyler Lockett ($3000), Cecil Shorts ($3000) and Marques Colston ($3400). For head-to-head leagues, managers should also consider Randall Cobb ($6700) and Demaryius Thomas ($7400).

Tight End

PlayerDraftKings PriceOwnership Percentage
Tyler Eifert580022.3%
Jordan Reed460019%
Rob Gronkowski800013.7%
Greg Olsen630013.6%
Ben Watson43007.2%
Gary Barnidge48004.9%
Delanie Walker47003.8%
Martellus Bennett47002.2%
Jason Witten51001.4%
Jimmy Graham49001.2%
Travis Kelce48001%
Eric Ebron33000.8%

It was shocking to see that Richard Rodgers ($3000) was being owned by less than 1% of managers on Thursday night. The Packers tight end was targeted nine times last week against Carolina and hauled in two short touchdown receptions. This week against an atrocious Lions defense, Rodgers could be primed for another huge day.

There have been 9 Pro Trends triggered on Rodgers yet he’s tied for the 14th most expensive tight end this week. With James Jones listed as questionable with a quad injury, Rodgers could see his role in the offense increased this week.

Other potential low-cost values include Jared Cook ($2,500), Zach Ertz ($3,000) and Eric Ebron ($3300). Willing to spend slightly more? Gary Barnidge ($4800) and Jimmy Graham ($4,900) appear to have excellent upside.

Defense/Special Teams

TeamDraftKings PriceOwnership Percentage
Carolina Panthers $330018.6%
Denver Broncos $340016.4%
Green Bay Packers $32007.1%
St. Louis Rams $36006.9%
Cincinnati Bengals $33006.7%
Pittsburgh Steelers $30006.4%
Philadelphia Eagles $27005.2%
Arizona Cardinals $39003.6%
Seattle Seahawks$35002.6%
New England Patriots $32002.5%
Baltimore Ravens $28001.4%

Although there are more Pro Trends on the Packers defense ($3200) than any other team, Green Bay had the third highest ownership rate Thursday night on FanDuel. This makes them an interesting head-to-head play, but a less valuable bet for tournament players.

One interesting contrarian play is the Raiders ($2100), who have the second least expensive defense this week. Although the Raiders defense has been subpar this season, there are a lot of question marks surrounding the Vikings offense — particularly QB Teddy Bridgewater who suffered a concussion in last week’s game.

It’s worth paying up for the Broncos defense ($3400) in head-to-head leagues, but they are the second most popular defense this week which means they aren’t offering any contrarian value.


We stress that contrarian value is only one factor to consider, and it’s significantly more important in tournaments than cash games. We also want to remind players that variances in pricing between DraftKings and FanDuel can also skew these ownership rates.

Daily Fantasy players looking for additional information and advice should make sure to check out Fantasy Labs for access to Pro Models, Lineup Optimizer and other unique data for your Week 10 lineup.

Have any questions for the staff at Sports Insights? Utilize our live chat to speak with a customer service representative or e-mail us at help@sportsinsights.com.

David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.


David Solar

David is the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He specializes in sports betting analytics and creating data-driven betting systems.

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