The top contrarian plays for Week 3 in DFS
Don't follow the crowd. Scott Barrett identifies some less-popular candidates that let you go off the beaten path in Week 3 in DFS.
The top contrarian plays for Week 3 in DFS
“Doing what everyone else is doing at the moment, and therefore what you have an almost irresistible urge to do, is often the wrong thing to do at all.” – Philip Fisher
One of my oldest and dearest friends is named “Alex.” His parents were always the cool parents. You know, the ones who let you stay up all night eating candy and watching R-rated movies in middle school. In high school they were equally cool, offering to chauffeur us at any time of the night no questions asked. In college, they bought a lake house and encouraged Alex to throw parties there whenever he wanted. (Seriously, how cool is that?) The problem was, Alex was very much the opposite of his parents. Always the most uptight and neurotic of my friends, I would desperately encourage Alex to throw a party at his lake house, but he always resisted. Finally, in our junior year of college, he relented.
I drove down with two friends from high school and had a blast. Everything seemed to be going off without a hitch. That is, until six in the morning when Alex woke me up in a fit of rage.
“Scott, your friend John peed on my TV in the middle of the night… You have to kick your friends out… Now!”
This really didn’t come as too much of a surprise to me. This had been John’s MO since high school. He would get drunk, wake up in the middle of the night, and pee on something he must have thought was a urinal in his half-drunken half-awake stupor. For some reason, it almost always ended up being the most expensive thing in his house. In high school, the first time he did this was on friend’s mother’s priceless antique saddles.
“Ughhhh. Okay,” I grumbled.
I could have stayed at the party and kicked my friends out, but I felt bad so I decided to leave with them. I fell asleep briefly in the backseat, without a seatbelt on, but soon awoke to the driver (Ray) cursing loudly as we drifted off a dirt road at a blazing fast speed into a bunch of trees.
We landed in a ditch. My hands were bleeding badly and the entire right side of my body felt crumpled like the front of Ray’s car. John was pinned dangly from his seatbelt and couldn’t move. We were miles from cell phone reception.
About an hour later a motorcyclist spots the wreck, drives to cell phone reception, and notifies the authorities.
The police arrive with the ambulance and ask us, “What happened here?”
John shouts from the car, “I peed on a television.”
It was painful to laugh, but Ray and I did for the entirety of that ride to the hospital. John would meet us later, as the fire department had to remove the roof of Ray’s car to get him out of the wreck. All of us ended up being fine, but I was bed-ridden for several weeks.
This also happened to be the week my family happened to babysit my little niece and nephew. In my bedridden state, I was helpless. Those two took complete and total advantage of me. I think I watched a total of 70 hours of The Wiggles and read Doctor Seuss’ entire bibliography five times through. Delirious, I too began speaking in nonsensical rhymes.
Just like how my niece and nephew took advantage of my injuries, we’re going to take full advantage of the many injuries that occurred earlier this week. (Whoa, what a segue.)
The following players are all doubtful or ruled out for this week’s game: Jonathan Stewart, Danny Woodhead, Ameer Abdullah, Ka’Deem Carey, Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, Corey Coleman, Virgil Green, Donte Moncrief, Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, Zach Ertz, Antonio Gates, Danny Woodhead, Thomas Rawls and Doug Martin.
All of these injuries are going to create a lot of value as well as present us with some underowned guys the rest of the field will be neglecting. The chalk this week will likely be: Allen Robinson, Melvin Gordon, Charles Sims, Theo Riddick, Travis Benjamin and Jordan Reed.
See below for a list of some strategic pivots off of the chalk or some strong plays likely to be lesser owned.
The ownership percentages next to each players’ names is taken from Fantasy Aces’ $3 Quick Slant Thursday-Monday GPP, which has had a 0.775 correlation (excluding quarterbacks and defense) to DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker through two weeks. A 0.775 correlation isn’t perfect, but it’s strong enough to reference as the basis for our research.
If you’re unfamiliar with this column, you can read the primer here.
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 week just by 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.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (5% owned)
I swear, I’m not just writing this to get us back in Rodgers’ good graces. Rodgers has no doubt struggled thus far, grading out as our worst overall quarterback — yes, worse than Blaine Gabbert. Still a quarterback of Rodgers’ caliber (arguably the greatest statistical quarterback of all time) is almost always a contrarian steal when his ownership dips this low. It also doesn’t hurt that he has Vegas’ second-highest implied point total of the week and is up against a soft pass defense in the Detroit Lions.