Written by: Alex McKinnon– Staff Writing Intern (@)
All ownership projections are based on Fantasy Aces $3 Thursday-Sunday contest, which is a two-QB contest. Please note that all QB ownership projections are based on a two-qb contest but will still show disparagement between each QB. The following information is based on a Sunday Contest for DraftKings.
Highest Ownership Projected for QBs:
- Ben Roethlisberger $7200 (28-33%)
- Derek Carr $6800 (18-23%)
- Brian Hoyer $5500 (16-21%)
- Tom Brady $7500 (13-18%)
- Carson Wentz $6400 (11-16%)
Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Aaron Rodgers are also expected to hover around 10% ownership. The most notable low-ownership options would be Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford and Dak Prescott. Ryan is coming off of an absurd stack week with Julio Jones accumulating almost 40 DraftKings points. At $7,100, he is expected to be around 1-5% owned. The combination of the public fading him in anticipation of everyone selecting him mixed with his matchup vs. the Broncos defense makes him an interesting prospect this week. Clearly Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are in the midst of a revival and he clearly has proven the opposing defense doesn’t matter much. Sam Bradford is not a very flashy pick on DraftKings and he has a tough matchup against the Texans this week. However, he has yet to be in a competitive game and has not had much of a reason to throw the ball often this season. The Texans should keep the game tight and a Bradford-Diggs stack may pan out at a low ownership and low cost. Bradford only will cost you $5100 and should be no higher than 3-4%. Dak Prescott still sits at $5600 and has a home game vs. the Bengals this weekend. At around 5% ownership projected, Dak is definitely settling in as the starter for ‘America’s Team’ and has created a chemistry with his offense. The only thing to be wary of is the Dez injury situation. Even if Bryant is out, I think a Dak Prescott-Bryce Butler stack is an excellent under the radar decision.
The best value this week is Ryan Fitzpatrick at $5100. Despite a decent ownership expectation, Fitzpatrick is in an excellent situation vs. the Steelers. Any sort of stack of Fitzpatrick with Marshall, Enunwa or Forte would be wise. The sleeper this week is Brock Osweiler. At $5300 and a >1% ownership projection, Osweiler is on no-ones radar as he heads to Minnesota to face an elite defense and the undefeated Vikings. The Brock-etship has created a strong chemistry with rookie Will Fuller and has a set of offensive weapons to work with. He may not have the potential for a 30+ point showing, but he is growing quickly in this offense.
| Running Backs
Highest Ownership Projected for RBs:
- Jordan Howard $5200 (35-40%)
- Jerick McKinnon $4000 (22-27%)
- DeAndre Washington $3400 (21-26%)
- Melvin Gordon $7000 ($17-22%)
- DeMarco Murray $7200 (14-19%)
CJ Anderson, Le’Veon Bell, Theo Riddick, Carlos Hyde and Terrance West are also expected to sit around 10-15%. Le’Veon Bell under 20% is an absolute no brainer for your lineup. He is the most expensive running back at $7500 but he is such an absurd weapon for that offense. The Jets/Steelers game should be all fireworks and there are plenty of lower cost running backs to pair with Bell.
The most notable low-ownership backs would be Zeke Elliott, DeVonta Freeman and Todd Gurley. Ezekiel Elliott has instantly become a difference maker for the surprisingly successful Cowboys offense and has 157 and 160 all-purpose yards in the last two game. At $6800 and an expected ownership around 3-5%, he is a sneaky play for the higher end running backs. Freeman is in a interesting situation. He has essentially split time with Tevin Coleman all season and has had a few great performances along with a pair of stinkers. Tevin Coleman has the sickle cell trait (like the Steelers Ryan Clarke) which makes playing in the high altitudes of Denver essentially dangerous. Reports suggest Coleman will start, but there is a theory that he will either be a late scratch or played extremely cautiously. At $5000 and around 5% ownership (which would obviously rise if Coleman is scratched), he is a great play despite Denver’s defense. Gurley is slowly returning to form this season and has been involved in the passing game which is always excellent for a running back in DFS. At $6500 and around 5-7%, he is similar to Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal this weekend. Facing the Bills should be interesting, Buffalo has given up 37 points to the Jets but have also shutout the Patriots this season. Gurley has the most explosive upside in the $6000 range so keep him on your radar.
The best value plays are Jordan Howard, Jerick McKinnon, Terrance West and Matt Jones. Howard at $5200 is going to be very highly owned this week. After starting the season as the #3 running back on the depth chart, John Fox was recently quoted as saying we will keep riding Howard. The Colts defense is awful and Howard is on a steep incline, creating a perfect fit for any lineup that wants to spend a lot on receivers and save at the RB position. Jerick McKinnon has started to take over in the backfield for the Vikings post-AP. He jumped from 17 to 23 touches this past week and has taken advantage of his opportunity. At $4000, he is a safe option at a low price. Terrance West seems to have established himself as the premiere back in Baltimore which was supported by the release of Justin Forsett this week. After a 113 yard, 1 TD performance against the Raiders, West looks to keep trucking this weekend against Baltimore. At $4800 and a 10% ownership expectation, he is just another solid sub-5K option this week. Finally, Matt Jones will certainly stay off most DFS player’s radar with the packed backfield in Washington, but at $4500 and less than 1% expected ownership, Jones is a great contrarian/value option. With 57 touches in the last three weeks, he is a proven option for Kirk and the Redskins offense.
Your sleepers this week will be Orleans Darkwa, Josh Ferguson and Kenjon Barber. Orleans Darkwa saw his cost on DK rise from $3000 to $3700 this week after establishing himself in the Giants running game. Darkwa has taken advantage of his fill-in duties as the starting running back in New York and should continue to see touches going forward. Ferguson has only 26 yards this season but an insane 17 catches. He is the check-down option for Andrew Luck, and his is used often as he saw 10 targets this past week. At $3000, he isn’t a running back you should be watching but if you are in desperate need of a bottom dollar option, Ferguson could always grab 6-8 catches and maybe break just one off for a touchdown. Kenjon Barber has looked great in the Eagles offense while Ryan Matthews has recovered. Also at $3000, Barber appears to be in the scheme of Doug Peterson’s offense even when Matthews returns.
| Wide Receivers
Highest Ownership Projected for WRs:
- Antonio Brown $9800 (28-33%)
- Brandon Marshall $7100 (25-30%)
- Jordy Nelson $7900 (17-22%)
- Steve Smith Sr $5300 (15-20%)
- Sammie Coates $3600 (10-15%)
Amari Cooper, Odell Beckham, TY Hilton, Michael Crabtree, Quincy Enunwa and Julian Edelman are also expected to be around 10%. The most notable low-ownership receivers are Jarvis Landry, AJ Green and Will Fuller. Landry, $7000, has been so consistently targeted all season and is expected to be around 5%. His targets through the first four games are 10, 13, 12, 10. That plus an awesome matchup against the Titans this week is a perfect combo. AJ Green is coming off of 10 days rest and a 36 point DraftKings performance. He has consistently been disregarded behind guys like Antonio Brown all season and even though he is $8900, he is towards the bottom of the ownership. Will Fuller has had great chemistry with Brock Osweiler all season and is still be ignored by safeties and DFS players. At 1% or lower, he is yet again a good option at $5800.
The best value available is with Steve Smith Sr, Sammie Coates, Dontrelle Inman and Brice Butler. Steve Smith Sr has bursted back on the scene after shaking off some rust in Week 1 & 2. Over the past two games, smith has received 11 targets in each and caught 8 balls each day. Flacco loves to identify anytime Smith is open and that won’t slow down this weekend against the Redskins. At $5300 and appearing to only be around 15%, Smith is an excellent option in that mid-tier receiver range. Sammie Coates, $3600, has become a long ball threat opposite Antonio Brown for Big Ben. He may not be a great long-term option with so many weapons on the Steelers offense, but the Steelers/Jets game is shaping up to be a shootout. Dontrelle Inman is the latest target for Phil Rivers to exploit. With 11 targets, 120 yards and a touchdown last week, Inman will be a great option this weekend against the Raiders at $4100. Brice Butler is the most talented receiver on the Cowboys outside of Dez. With Bryant likely to be out again this week or at least not 100%, Butler becomes an instant threat for a big day. Prescott paid a ton of attention to Butler in the red zone which is obviously perfect for a cheap DFS option. At $3500, he is a great option if you wanted to pay high on running backs and QB.
The sleepers this week are Chris Hogan, Brian Quick, Adam Thielen and Cameron Meredith. Chris Hogan is a little pricey for a sleeper at $4100, but he may be in a good position this weekend. After being on the field for 52 out of 56 plays last Sunday vs. the Bills, Chris Hogan will have the opportunity to showcase his value to the returning Tom Brady. Brady quickly took a test drive with Danny Amendola in Danny’s first game with the Patriots so don’t be shocked if Tom does the same with Chris this weekend. Brian Quick is a dangerous play. With Case Keenum, Quick has only seen 14 targets all season but has punched in 3 touchdowns including a 2 catch, 69 yards and 2 touchdown game last week. He is a boom-or-bust player for the Rams despite his excellent athleticism. If you want to take a contrarian pick with some evidence of potential, Quick at $3200 is your guy. Adam Thielen may potentially be the number 1 receiver this weekend if Stefon Diggs does not play. He played the second most snaps for receivers this past weekend for the Vikings and may see that increase. At $3100, he doesn’t have huge upside, but you never know what a guy can do when his opportunity arrives. Finally, Cameron Meredith is the fill-in option for Kevin White and Marquess Wilson. He has received 8 targets with 6 catches over the past two weeks and that could expand this weekend. With Brian Hoyer starting to get comfortable in the Bears offense, Meredith could become a big part of the immediate future. Great option if you need to dig deep to the $3000 price tag.
| Tight Ends
Highest Ownership Projected for TEs:
- Zach Ertz $3500 (15-20%)
- Martellus Bennett $3700 (11-16%)
- Zach Miller $3600 (11-16%)
- Hunter Henry $3300 (7-12%)
- Kyle Rudolph $3600 (6-11%)
The rest of the field should be at 7% or lower ownership. The most notable would be Jordan Reed, Rob Gronkowski and Delanie Walker. Arguable the three most talented tight ends in the league, Reed Gronk and Walker sit in the 1-5% range of ownership. Jordan Reed has yet to see lower than 7 targets in a game and has continued to be a big part of the Redskins offense with 2 TD’s last week. My guess is that his $6600 price tag isn’t worth his production, but this guy is legit. Rob Gronkowski at $6500 is likely to be around 1-3%. His injury and price will scare away DFS players but there is plenty of discussion that Gronk was held to a light workload in anticipation of Tom Brady’s return. At minimum, I think Gronk will grab at least one score this Sunday. Delanie Walker has suffered from poor QB play from Marcus Mariota and a lack of receiving threats beside him. He still is seeing his targets and the Miami defense isn’t too fierce so he may be a decent play this week at $4700.
The best value this week is with Zach Ertz, Hunter Henry, Martellus Bennett and Gary Barnidge. Ertz has returned to the Eagles and has been regarded as being 100% ready to go. He has often been a boom-or-bust, but he is one of the most talented tight ends the game has to offer. If you can suppress the doubters, Ertz at $3500 is the play this week. Hunter Henry will continue to be the starting tight end this week for Rivers with Gates out of commision. Henry, $3300, is great value based on Rivers obsession with utilizing that position. Martellus Bennett falls in the same category as Chris Hogan. With Tom Brady returning, Bennett will likely be targeted often for Brady to immediately begin working on their chemistry. Bennett will only cost you $3700. Finally, Barnidge is a modest $3200 despite his resurgence in weeks 3 and 4 seeing 13 targets and catching 12 balls. The Patriots have often allowed a lot of receptions across the middle to opposing tight ends while the concentrate on stopping the long ball and the running game. Barnidge is in a good position to churn out a great game for a guy costing only $3200. The only deep sleepers this week is, again, Jack Doyle. At $2600, he is still a part of the offense for Andrew Luck and averages 10.1 points per week on Draftkings.
Highest Ownership Projected for DEFs:
- Buffalo Bills $3100 (18-23%)
- Minnesota Vikings $3400 (12-17%)
- Denver Broncos $3800 (8-13%)
- Miami Dolphins $2900 (8-13%)
- Pittsburgh Steelers $3500 (5-10%)
Everyone else should be around 5% or lower. The Dolphins, Packers, Eagles and Falcons are the best value/plays this week. The Dolphins at $2900 are a pretty legit option this week with the Titans across the field. Even if the Titans score off of a DeMarco Murray run or a drive or two by Mariota, the Titans and Marcus Mariota have handed the ball over so often this season. They have allowed 7 sacks on Marcus while Mariota has thrown 5 picks and the offense is responsible for 5 fumbles. The Packers have created turnovers every week this year and take on a Giants team with a lack of an identity. The Packers have the ability to come up big and provide value at $3200. The Eagles have scored 11, 10 and 17 on DraftKings this year but only would cost you $2900 this week. The Lions offense has been strong all season and Matt Stafford will throw until his arm falls off, but similar to the Dolphins against the Titans, all you need is a defensive touchdown and a few sacks to have a big game. The Falcons are the risky play/sleeper this week against Denver. Denver will not know it’s quarterback until late in the week so it will either be an injured Trevor Simien or the rookie Paxton Lynch. The Falcons are coming off of back to back 11 point DraftKings performances and their offense is on fire. If Matt Ryan can keep the Falcons defense off the field and the Broncos have any uncertainty with their QB, the Falcons will be an excellent play at $2300.