The top contrarian plays for Week 15 in DFS

Go against the grain for DFS glory. Mike Tagliere has suggestions for low-owned players to capitalize on this week.

| 6 months ago
(Jonathan Bachman, Getty Images)

(Jonathan Bachman, Getty Images)

The top contrarian plays for Week 15 in DFS

“You laugh at me because I’m different. I laugh at you because you’re all the same.” – Jonathan Davis

This is likely nothing close to the quote you get from Scott every week, but it’s a quote that I always appreciated. It’s actually really fitting for an article like this, so I thought, what the heck. Anyways, on to the reason you’re actually here, the players.

Each week, in this space, you find the top contrarian players for tournaments. A “contrarian” is defined as a person who opposes or rejects popular opinion. What that means in our terms is that you’d be rejecting the popular highest-owned options and favoring the lesser-owned ones.

Why do we want to do this? Because you need to differentiate yourself from the field in order to win big tournaments. Investing in all the highest-owned played might get you in the money, but the ones who win the big money are the ones whose lineups stand out. Does that mean every player here is going to pan out? No. If they were all guarantees, they wouldn’t be contrarian plays. But this is high-risk, high-reward. We aren’t searching for a finish in the top 20 percent; we are searching for a finish in the top 3, because that is where money is made in tournaments. So put away David Johnson against the Saints or Le’Veon Bell against the Bengals, and let’s get into some players you should pivot to.

How do we know they’re contrarian? We take a look at Fantasy Aces’ Week 15 ownership percentages from the $3 Quick Slant Thursday-Monday GPP contest provided to us by Here are a few of the players who are projected to be the chalk (most highly owned): David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, Kirk Cousins, LeSean McCoy, Bilal Powell, Antonio Gates, and… Sam Bradford (I was surprised by this).

So we’ll be fading the above players in 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 10 percent owned) this week.


Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (3% owned)

It’s odd that you’d ever see a week where Newton is just three percent owned, but here we are, in Week 15. Before I started my research this week, I stated that there was no way I could trust Newton with fantasy teams, that he’d been playing too poorly. Then I started the research process and came away thinking that Newton is a great contrarian play. The Redskins defense has a solid secondary anchored by Josh Norman, but their weakness comes against the run, where they have allowed 17 rushing touchdowns, including three of them to quarterbacks. They have allowed nearly 4.5 yards per carry to running backs as well, and while Newton isn’t a running back, it’s wise for them to use him in that way if they truly want to win this week.

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