NFL Week 11: DFS Contrarian Value
For the past few weeks, we have attempted to highlight contrarian value for DFS players using the tools from Fantasy Labs alongside the ownership percentages from large Thursday night tournaments at FanDuel. This allows us to pinpoint players who are under owned and offering value — two key components for anybody playing in a large tournament like the Millionaire Maker at DraftKings.
Many DFS players prefer to play smaller tournaments or double-ups, so we will also make note of any widely owned player who appears to be offering value.
Last week we nailed our picks on Joe Flacco (316 yards, 3 touchdowns), Matt Jones (56 rushing, 131 receiving, 1 touchdown), Jonathan Stewart (91 rushing, 1 touchdown), Jamison Crowder (5 receptions, 60 yards, 1 touchdown) and Richard Rodgers (5 receptions, 32 yards, 1 touchdown). Unfortunately we also missed the boat on Ryan Tannehill (217 yards, 2 touchdowns), Giovani Bernard (36 rushing, 43 receiving) and the Raiders D/ST (Allowed 30 points, no turnovers forced).
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 11 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||DraftKings Salary||Ownership %|
Cam Newton ($6,900) has triggered the most Pro Trends among quarterbacks with eight, but he was owned on 10.2% of FanDuel rosters which makes him the second most popular player at the position. Newton could be a good pick in double up leagues, but should be avoided in larger tournaments.
If you’re looking to save money at the position, Matthew Stafford ($5,400) could offer good bang for your buck. Although he was the sixth most popular quarterback on Thursday night, Stafford has an excellent matchup against a Raiders defense that has given up the 6th most points to opposing QB’s. With an over/under of 49.5, oddsmakers are expecting this to be the highest scoring game of the week — a great sign for Stafford owners.
Perhaps the best contrarian value is Tony Romo ($6,000) who was just the 11th most popular quarterback selection at FanDuel. Although he hasn’t played since Week 2, Romo has consistently been an elite fantasy quarterback and this week he has triggered 6 Pro Trends at Fantasy Labs.
Potential value picks: Carson Palmer ($6,700), Tyrod Taylor ($5,200), Russell Wilson ($5,900) and Ryan Tannehill ($5,100)
|Running Back||DraftKings Salary||Ownership %|
Although Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman is once again projected to be this week’s highest scoring running back, his prohibitive price tag ($8,400) and high ownership rate (26.1%) make him a poor play for larger tournaments.
Kansas City’s Charcandrick West is criminally underpriced at just $4,500 which explains why he was owned on a league-high 36.0% of FanDuel rosters. Last week West managed 69 rushing yards, 92 receiving yards and 2 total touchdowns against a stout Broncos defense. Considering that the Chargers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs, it’s not surprising to see such a high ownership percentage. This makes West an interesting head-to-head play buy a bad choice for tournament play.
One fascinating name is Adrian Peterson ($6,800), who was surprisingly owned on just 8.4% of FanDuel rosters. There have been more Pro Trends triggered on Peterson (10) than any other running back, who rushed for 203 yards last week against Oakland. In this instance, it’s worth paying up for elite talent.
Potential value picks: LeGarrette Blount ($5,000), Jonathan Stewart ($4,400), Theo Riddick ($3,300) and Frank Gore ($4,700)
This week Julio Jones ($9,300) is the most expensive receiver, but he’s not providing solid production on a per dollar basis. In fact, a majority of the most expensive wide receivers aren’t offering value but there are a number of excellent low cost options. That’s great news if you’re already planning to pay up for Cam Newton and Adrian Peterson.
With Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis out, Brandon LaFell ($4,300) and Danny Amendola ($4,000) should see an increased workload for the Patriots. They both appear to be offering value, but Amendola (28.6%) was the most owned receiver last night while LaFell (7.3%) also cracked the top ten. This makes them excellent head-to-head options but poor tournament plays. We should also note that Amendola is the safer bet, while LaFell’s size gives him a better red zone option.
Perhaps the most interesting name is Texans receiver Cecil Shorts ($3000). Although his numbers this season are fairly underwhelming (29 receptions, 315 yards, 1 touchdown) he has been targeted 51 times in just six games. DeAndre Hopkins will be marooned on Revis Island on Sunday, which means new quarterback TJ Yates will likely be looking for Shorts early and often.
Potential value picks: Leonard Hankerson ($3,000), Dontrelle Inman ($3,000), Golden Tate ($4,600), Stevie Johnson ($3,900)
|Tight End||DraftKings Salary||Ownership %|
Over at Fantasy Labs there are four tight ends that have triggered 11 Pro Trends: Jacob Tamme (3,600), Travis Kelce ($4,700), Coby Fleener ($3,200) and Jimmy Graham ($4,900). However, Kelce was the third most popular tight end in Thursday night contests which means he’s not offering contrarian value.
The player that I love this week is Eagles TE Zach Ertz who is completely mispriced at just $3,100. With Sam Bradford injured, Mark Sanchez will start for the Eagles and Ertz could be one of the main beneficiaries. Last season Sanchez threw a lot of interceptions, but his willingness to make mistakes led to some impressive fantasy numbers (277 passing yards/game in eight starts).
Potential value picks: Jordan Cameron ($2,500), Richard Rodgers ($3,100), Vernon Davis ($2,500) and Eric Ebron ($3,500)
|Defense||DraftKings Salary||Ownership %|
|New York Jets||$3000||10.2%|
|St. Louis Rams||$3600||5.1%|
|Kansas City Chiefs||$2600||4.9%|
|New England Patriots||$3200||3.8%|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||$2300||3.0%|
This Colts are tied for the least expensive defense this week, and could be an excellent contrarian value for DraftKings players. Although the Falcons averaged 34.25 points in their first four games, they have averaged just 18.4 points in their last five games including losses to the lowly Bucs and 49ers.
Potential value picks: Cowboys ($2,400), Dolphins ($2,500) and Vikings ($2,300)
Based on this data, we wanted to provide you with two potential lineups: One for head-to-head tournaments and another for contrarian bettors.
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 11 lineup.
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@sportsinsights.com.