The top contrarian plays for Week 1 in DFS

One of the keys to DFS glory is zigging when others zag. Scott Barrett offers a few alternatives to the week's chalk plays.

| 10 months ago
Eagles QB Carson Wentz

(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The top contrarian plays for Week 1 in DFS

“The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd, but to think for yourself.” – Peter Thiel

We have endured that foul savage beast of winter, the rancid and suffocating aromas of spring, and now finally passed those last long deadening days of summer. God only knows what I have done to exist in that eternal interval of wait. I vaguely remember white sands and cool salty waters licking my knees. Truly a most wretched vision that haunts me still. Yestermorn, I made my final goodbyes to my wife and told her I loved her. It will be close to 11 fortnights before I see her or the children again. But, alas, now is the time for rejoicement as the day of our salvation has come upon us, for …

Football is finally back.

If you followed this column last season, you already know the deal. Each week I’ll discuss my DFS tournament strategy and recommend two under-owned players at each position. If you’re unfamiliar with me, this column, or my strategy, luckily, I wrote a primer earlier this week.

Unfortunately, there is one significant change since this was written. On Thursday we found out that FanDuel is no longer releasing ownership for players until game time. There has been no official release by the company on the changes, but I did spend thirty minutes Friday night talking to one of their representative who confirmed it. Going forward we’ll have to project ownership ourselves. In future weeks I may reference other sites that still report ownership like Fantasy Aces (once I check correlation), but this week I’m left mostly just with good old-fashioned intuition.

This week’s chalk is the following (in order): Dak Prescott, Christine Michael, Martellus Bennett, Marvin Jones and Spencer Ware.

In Week 1 there is always a lot of chalk due to pricing being released so early. In addition to the above names, Jordan Reed and all of the highest-priced wide receivers will all be considerably chalky given the loose pricing and newly found value plays.

I will not be fading every player on this list in GPPs, but I will be fading the majority of them in most of my GPP lineups. In my cash lineups, I’ll probably be playing 3-4 of the above names in my main lineup. In GPPs I’ll want to buck the crowd and play some of the following projected low-owned options.


Earlier this offseason I wrote a streaming/DFS guide on what to look for when targeting underpriced quarterbacks. Basically, paying up for quarterbacks proved disastrous for DFS players last season. Instead, you can cobble together a very productive fantasy quarterback by just looking at guys who were favored at home. (Last season, quarterbacks outside of the top 12 who were favored by Vegas and were also playing at home added a whopping 3.9 fantasy points per game more over their expectation.) Both of the following two quarterbacks satisfy this condition.

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

Everyone loves Prescott because he’s only $5,000, he’s up against a bad pass defense (or rather, the Giants were that last year), and he can score you fantasy points from the ground. You know who is also $5,000, up against a bad pass defense, and can score you fantasy points from the ground? Wentz seems to satisfy every condition every condition that has left DFS players drooling over with Prescott. One key distinction between them? Wentz was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, while Prescott went No. 135. I can’t help but wonder if we’re all falling victim to preseason-hype.

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Scott Barrett is our Senior Fantasy Analyst and one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.

  • Mike Symonds

    plEASE help ! tHOSE OF US WITH fANTASY gOLD ARE UNABLE TO READ THE ARTICLES………..What do we need to do ? Thanks

    • Pete McHugh

      I’m with Mike! All we want to do is read the articles we paid to see!! Why is that so difficult?

      • Mike Symonds

        Ok cool. I just signed up for the DFS Pro. 30 bucks monthly but I am in

        • Mike Symonds

          And I have full access.

  • Joshua Poindexter

    This is crazy. Are we able to cancel the membership? I’m not seeing anything of value with the gold membership. That’s quite a bit of money for just CB/WR match ups.

  • Daniel Kelley

    Hey guys, sorry for the confusion. Fantasy Gold and DFS Pro are separate products this year. You’ll need a subscription to DFS Pro to read our DFS-specific content, or you can get everything with an All-Access subscription.

    • Joshua Poindexter

      Ok, so how do I cancel the $40 for Gold. It is absolutely not worth it.

      • Steven Hill

        Dan says you’re phuucked.

      • chris

        yeah I wont be back either. If you were honest i would have payed more
        for the same gold package I had last year. Also Mike Clay (Inventor of
        nerdy stuff like OTD, aDOT and Tamme Index) was your best NFL Analyst
        last year. Roto grinders has better research tools for free and their
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    • Joshua Poindexter

      Can you tell me how to cancel the $40 I spent for Gold. It is not what was advertised. There is no written content.

  • Pablo Cazarez

    I am disappointed as well, I liked the product last year. I subscribe to Footballguys and can read the regular content as well as the DFS. I thought I was getting the same on this website. I will not be back next year.

    • Bpaq7

      Football guys is changing too.

  • Joshua Poindexter

    Dominate your fantasy leagues with PFF Fantasy Gold
    One year of access to written content, the Draft Master and League Manager tools, Staff Rankings and Projections, Custom Rankings Tool, WR vs. CB Matchup Chart, Exclusive PFF Fantasy Stats Page, Fantasy Depth Charts, and the Handcuff Index.

    This is what they advertise for Gold, written content. Did we get screwed?

    • Bpaq7

      It doesn’t say all written content. What did you think dfs pro was? I get you want more stuff and cheaper but the information is there. I got the all-access which is a fairly good deal.

      • Joshua Poindexter

        For the same price as last year all written content was included. Why would we have expected less for the same price this year? I mean I and many others weren’t studying the wording.

      • belmarphil

        I dont think anyone was under the impression that they would receive all written content. I want transparency as a consumer. If I pucrchased this product last year then I’m expecting access to the same info, or I want to be advised of the changes. Last year it was great value. This year it sucks.

  • matt dolce

    I bought PFF Gold for the sole reason of reading these articles, if I can’t read these how can i get my money back? (one year access to written content) this is very misleading and somewhat fraudulent if PFF doesn’t let us have access to written content….at least give us our money back

    • Minyang16

      Hey Matt thought same thing ,have to go to account dash board then pick item… seems like when logged in and trying to access it shows sample ,while asking for payment to access… seems like a programing bug that I’m surprised has not been addressed yet….also I’m hating logging in multiple times in a session :(

  • Woodstock

    I made a mistake. I trusted you people. Congrats to you all for yanking some chump change out of me. Won’t be back for 2017. jerks

  • PSSE

    Why would DFS be separate? 40 a year wasn’t enough? Unreal

  • belmarphil

    Very disappointed in the new membership. Last year we had access to the lineup optimizer tool and access to these articles. You guys are what we call in Italian a bunch of gavones.

  • Bryan Lile

    On the PFF homepage, can’t read it with PFF Gold…

  • KK

    Gold is free with Fanduel deposit…. is this some kind of joke? It’s like selling someone on free breakfast but only serving them pieces of stale toast..

  • J Sizzle

    Are the honoring refunds? This is ridiculous.

  • Joshua Poindexter

    We just have to report them if they don’t issue refunds.

  • joe

    has anyone asked for a refund yet?