I’m on a flight to Miami right now. In a few hours, I’ll be at a DraftKings Kickoff Party with a lot of big DFS players.

My plan is to wait until they’re all drunk and figure out who they’re gonna play this weekend. That seems smart.

But really, I will be trying to pick a lot of these guys’ brains, mostly for the reason of predicting tournament ownership. I’ve talked about the importance of ownership often in the past, but it’s a lot different in a sport like baseball. In football, we have to wait all week for games. Stories come out. Things get made up. So much of our perception of football and the NFL is narrative-driven, and thus I think predicting ownership in daily fantasy football is very much an art right now. We’re just sort of trying to gauge public opinion—which can swing wildly over the course of six or seven days—to help determine which picks the public will like.

When you’re filling out your Millionaire Maker lineups this weekend, think about which players are getting a lot of press. Who is on ESPN all the time? Who plays in a big market? Who is getting discussed on Twitter? It’s often the under-the-radar “boring” players who see reduced tournament usage, and are thus arguably more +EV plays.


Drew Brees ($8000) Brees will face off against an Arizona defense that I think is pretty overrated against the pass. They particularly struggle over the middle, where I think Brees will be able to hook up with Brandin Cooks quite a bit.

Joe Flacco ($6700) Flacco is one of the most high-variance quarterbacks in the league. He could throw five touchdowns in the first half, or he could be a complete disaster. I do like that he’s likely to air it out often in Denver.

Carson Palmer ($6500) With as often as the Cards throw it deep, Palmer generally has a lot of tournament upside. I like this game more than Vegas, which typically isn’t a good sign, so maybe just ignore what I think.


Tyrod Taylor ($5000) Taylor is such an obvious value at quarterback against the Colts. The question is simply whether or not he’s worth a look in tournaments if you think ownership will be high. I will have exposure because I’m more bullish on him as a passer than most.


Justin Forsett ($6200) I really like Forsett this week, in both cash games and tournaments. I think he’s underpriced in a game in which he could see a ton of late targets, yet he still probably won’t have ridiculous tournament usage.

Jeremy Hill ($7100) Hill actually scares me somewhat in cash games because the Bengals aren’t favored by that much over Oakland, and Hill is pretty dependent on game script for his production.

Devonta Freeman ($4300) This is certainly a high-risk move, particularly because we have no idea how many touches Freeman might get. Teammate Tevin Coleman is also in play, but I like Freeman’s ability to score from far out.

Adrian Peterson ($7700) I’m really having trouble figuring out how popular AP will be as a tournament play. The 49ers’ D might scare away some users when it really shouldn’t.


Lamar Miller ($5500) The Redskins were actually pretty good against the run last year, but I think Miami is going to win this game by a ton—they’re a much better team than Washington—and Miller will get a huge workload.


John Brown ($4500) Brown is sort of the prototype big-play receiver. His possible workload concerns me, especially in the red zone, so I think this is a guy to use, but with limited exposure

Davante Adams ($4400) You really don’t need to be contrarian with every selection in GPPs. I’m fairly confident Adams will be the most popular receiver this week, but I also feel like I can field a contrarian lineup even with him in it.

Brandin Cooks ($7100) Like I said, I think Cooks will have some fun across the middle in Arizona. I think a Brees/Cooks/Colston double-stack is in play.


Julio Jones ($9300) Value plays don’t always need to be cheap guys. Julio is the top receiver this week, even if Philly has an improved secondary. This game could see 150+ plays.


Larry Donnell ($3200) I think Dallas is going to play a lot of Cover 2 to limit Beckham, which should open things up for Donnell.

Richard Rodgers ($2500) I love to find cheap tight ends on really explosive offenses because they have decent upside (via touchdowns) without requiring too many snaps.

Jared Cook ($2900) Cook is a sneaky good play against a Seattle defense that is actually mediocre against tight ends.


Jordan Cameron ($3900) Last year, the Redskins gave up 2.0 PPG to tight ends above what you’d expect based on the players’ salaries. That was the worst mark in the NFL.


Miami ($3000) Kirk Cousins is definitely capable of moving the ball, but that’s mainly because he makes so many low-percentage throws. Sometimes it works, but many times he gets picked.

Minnesota ($2800) I think the Niners are in contention to have the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft. Minny’s defense is pretty good and they should be able to bring down Kaepernick all night.

Dallas ($2800) The Cowboys are perhaps a sneaky good play against a quarterback who can do some really dumb crap at times. With so many people loading up on Beckham, I’d expect Dallas ownership to be very low.


Carolina ($3100) They play the Jags. That’s it.

Take home $2 MILLION in the NFL Millionaire Maker Week 1!