The top contrarian plays for Week 10 in DFS

Go against the grain with these DFS plays for Week 10, says Scott Barrett.

| 4 weeks ago
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The top contrarian plays for Week 10 in DFS


“Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion…” – Soren Kierkegaard

During the summer I take very good care of myself. I go the gym every day, cook myself healthy meals, and always make sure I get a full eight hours of sleep every night.

During the football season, conversely, I’m a disgusting sloth-like blob of fleshy sadness. Most of my meals are drive-thru. I don’t have time to work out. The only thing close to exercise I get is literally sweating DFS lineups on Sunday night. My social life is nonexistent. 90 percent of my human contact on a day-to-day basis is getting in fights with twitter trolls. The rest of my time is spent staring at spreadsheets. If you’ve wondered how long a man can live without a life, it’s at least ten weeks.

Similar to NFL players, I’ve noticed how my body wears down as the season stretches on. Except my blows to the body are in the form of unhealthy food and sleep deprivation, not repeated hits by linebackers. If players get a bye week, it’s only fair that fantasy football writers get one too. Please write to your local NFL commissioner, for my sake.

Thanks for letting me vent. Anyway, last week went pretty well. We recommended Jimmy Graham who had the highest-scoring tight end week of the season. Even better, many of the most highly owned plays went bust last week, specifically Charcandrick West and Le’Veon Bell.

This week’s highest-owned player will undoubtedly be David Johnson, seeing as how he’s leading all running backs in fantasy points per game, playing at home, favored by 14, and up against a San Francisco defense yielding the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. In fact, San Francisco has been so bad this year, they’ve given up three of the top-15 fantasy running back games this season. No other defense appears even twice on that list.

I wish the quote I led into this article with was more fitting, but in this case, the majority really is correct. On paper, Johnson is one of the best plays of the week. Still, his ownership percentage will likely be around 50 percent, and he’s the highest-priced running back on both FanDuel and DraftKings. In larger-entry, top-heavy tournaments there’s more of an argument to fade Johnson (or at least reduce ownership). Perhaps Johnson gets hurt, all of Arizona’s offensive scoring comes through the air, Johnson somehow just plays poorly, or we see something like Week 2 when Johnson saw just four of the team’s 21 running back carries after the first quarter in a blowout against Tampa Bay. If any of these scenarios occur, and we faded Johnson, we will have immediately gained a significant advantage on at least half the field.

It’s undoubtedly a terrific matchup for one of fantasy’s safest players, but seeing how he’s likely to wind up on so many rosters, the benefit of fading him in larger owned tournament is now arguably more worthwhile than it is to play him. Since this game is at 4:25 PM (EST), I’ll play it by ear. On lineups where I’m comfortably ahead and feel the need to take a safer approach, I’ll play him. On lineups where I’m farther out, I’ll fade Jonson and be more aggressive.

Looking at Fantasy Aces’ Week 10 ownership percentages from the $3 Quick Slant Thursday-Monday GPP contest provided to us by TwoQBs.com, this week, the following players are projected to be the chalk (most highly owned): Marcus Mariota, David Johnson, Melvin Gordon, J.J. Nelson, Alshon Jeffery and Mike Evans.

As is typical, we’ll be fading the above players on the majority of our lineups and will instead be looking at the following leverage plays (players who would benefit the most if the chalk underperforms) and contrarian plays (players under 7.5 percent owned) this week.

Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (3%)

In terms of raw fantasy points, the Patriots have just been average against opposing quarterbacks, ranking 15th in fantasy points per game allowed. Still, they rank just 21st in sacks per game and have our 28th-graded pass rush. This is good news for Wilson, who has been pressured on 37.8 percent of his dropbacks (fifth-most). This week will also be New England’s first game without star linebacker Jamie Collins.

Here’s how quarterbacks fared against the Patriots thus far:

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