Welcome back to the daily DraftKings picks where we try to get super rich playing daily fantasy football. As usual I’ll do a brief recap of my lineups from the week before then throw out some picks that I’m brainstorming for this weekend, and hopefully get some good feedback/tips/picks from you guys either in the comment section or on Twitter @kmarkobarstool.
Not an ideal week on my end. Out of 4 lineups entered in the Millionaire Maker, only managed to cash on one.
And it wasn’t even enough to break even for the week. Think this was my first NFL Sunday with an overall loss which sucks, but whatever, only thing to do is look it over and find some areas to improve.
Here’s my optimal lineup for the week, let’s break it down.
QB: Cam was my featured blog pick of the week and I rolled with him. I’ll be honest, when I wrote up my picks blog last Thursday, I did not anticipate a monsoon during the Monday Night game. Probably would not have gone with Cam had I known. Thought I was done checking weather reports when baseball season ended, guess not. Anyway 20 points is fine – OT didn’t hurt helping us reach at least some value – but still, 20 is not an ideal tournament play. That 7.50% ownership is what we like to see though.
RBs: Adrian Peterson was my featured blog pick – again, 16 points is fine for cash plays, but not enough to make a splash in tournaments. Didn’t do as much against the Bears as I thought he would. I was right about ownership though – only 4%. If he had hit bigger it would have been HUGE. Meanwhile Ronnie Hillman quickly became one of my favorite plays of the week when he was named the starter. His 2 TDs paid off, but he didn’t get enough yards, and CJ was still out there splitting a bunch of time. Woodhead – huge bust. Didn’t anticipate that. Boo.
WRs: Went chalk with Julio because he was too good to pass up, then went contrarian with my other 2 guys: one paid off, one did not. After hearing the injury news for John “F**k Your Fantasy Team” Brown, I knew I wanted exposure to Floyd who is quickly turning it on and becoming one of Carson’s big targets. Worked out well. On the other hand, Marvin Jones didn’t do a thing. Thought with Dalton airing it out on that Steelers’ D and AJ Green drawing doubles, Marvin could sneak in a nice 90 yard 2 TD game. No sir, he did not.
TE: Pairing Olsen with Cam was an easy call, and can’t argue with that low ownership for the best TE in the game not named Gronk.
Now let’s move on to some picks for this week – as always, please read the write-up, don’t just plug and play. And for the people last week who said these are “chalk plays,” my picks last week had 7%, 4%, and 11% ownership respectively, while I specifically said Phil Rivers, Todd Gurley, and Stefon Diggs are great plays but would be owned through the roof (they were).
There are a lot of great resources out there that can give you some solid ballpark figures for what you can expect in ownership % by analyzing the Thursday-lock tournaments. They’re obviously far from perfect but they are definitely useful for at least giving you an idea of who will be popular and who will fly under the radar.
Here are some under the radar plays for Sunday/Monday:
Ben Roethlisberger $6.6K
QB is the hardest position for me this week and it physically hurt typing in Big Ben’s name here, but let’s look at the facts. One, the 3 safe guys this week are Brady, Brees and Rivers, all 3 of whom will be the 3 highest owned guys at the QB spot. Two, Ben is coming off an injury, a 3 INT game, and hasn’t looked comfortable yet, which will keep his ownership down – right now he’s projected at around 4-5% owned. Three, the Raiders have the worst pass defense in the league (Giants are challenging them for this spot, but I’m not going with Jameis). So you’ve got a situation that shapes up to present us with a lot of upside – a low owned QB missing his starting RB who is capable of slinging the ball around all day against a real shitty defense. Tourney play, check please. Pairing him up with Antonio Brown could pay off nicely.
My Projected Highest Owned QB: Tom Brady. Obviously a great play. If you feel good about a bunch of contrarian value plays then you should definitely consider spending up on Brady, who is virtually a lock to go for 300 yards and 3 TD every time he’s out there.
Contrarian Guys to Consider: Matt Ryan (personally I hate playing him and almost never do), Jay Cutler, Jameis Winston
Jeremy Langford $4K
Didn’t think I’d be featuring Langford here because I expected him to be right up at the top of most highly owned players for the week. A starting running back against a horrible run D for only 4K is basically what fantasy players live for. But according to a couple of charts DeAngelo Williams is the one getting all the love in that role, while Langford is clocking in at a paltry 7-9% ownership rate, which is great for us. Like I said he’s got the matchup, reports have him “guaranteed to get 20 carries at least,” and he can catch the ball out of the backfield – Cutty loves that. Obviously when we’re talking about a $4K player he’s far from a lock, but when you’ve got that much upside and opportunity, you basically lock it in and look for places to spend up on some studs.
My Projected Highest Owned RBs: DeAngelo Williams, Devonta Freeman and Todd Gurley. (Gurley is actually creeping down from his massive 60% ownership days, and I love him this week, so he might be a guy I don’t mind following the pack on)
Contrarian Guys to Consider: Ronnie Hillman, LeSean McCoy…and Adrian Peterson, who I don’t love, but is so low owned that he could be huge for you.
Emmanuel Sanders $7.3K
I love Sanders this week for a 4 of my favorite fantasy reasons. 1) The Colts have a bottom 5 pass defense and Peyton finally looks…well, somewhat good. 2) Vontae Davis will be covering Demaryius. and 3) Sanders had 2 catches for 22 yards last week. Little sneaky tidbit all astute fantasy players know is that Peyton loovveesss to force feed guys who got snubbed the week before.
Oh and 4) He’s way down on the list of projected ownership for wide receivers. So yeah, who knows if we can trust Peyton’s arm to hold up, who knows if Davis will actually stop Demaryius from getting all the targets like usual, who knows if they’ll just pound away on them with Hillman and CJ instead of airing it out. But you never really know anything, all you can do is find some good reasons and roll with them.
My Projected Highest Owned WR: Alshon Jeffrey and it’s not even particularly close. Hey he’s a great play. Also up there: Odell Beckham and Malcolm Floyd.
Contrarian Guys to Consider: Stevie Johnson isn’t exactly contrarian, but it looks like everyone is on Floyd instead – he’s a big play guy, while Stevie has a chance to be a lot more steady and fill up more of the Keenan Allen role. Mike Evans should eat against the Giants, and nooobody is on Brandon Marshall this week – if his injury is cleared up, he could be a great tournament play.
Tight End Notes
Not sure I’ve ever seen a position like this before…this barren and just flat out bad. Tight end always works the same way: there’s Gronk as the #1 option that you have to decide if you want to pay for, there’s 1 obvious chalk play that you know 25% of people will be all over, then there are 2-3 good contrarian options to take a risk on. This week there’s Gronk and then nobody. With Eifert and Barnidge falling victim to the Thursday game, we’re left with basically only Greg Olsen as a reliable play. We’ve got a nobody-knows-how-injured Antonio Gates, Martellus Bennett who is getting no looks lately, Jordan Reed who is always one play away from a concussion, dart throws in Delanie Walker and Charles Clay.
Three guys I’m looking at: Ben Watson if I want to chase points…and Jacob Tamme & Seferian-Jenkins if I love upside but also want to experience what it’s like to get 0 points out of a position. Not too inspiring.
Good luck on Sunday. Got any sweet sleeper picks I should consider? Tweet them at me. @KmarkoBarstool