The top contrarian plays for Week 8 in DFS

Some weeks the chalk plays pay off, but when the contrarian plays hit, it's even better. Scott Barrett highlights some for Week 8.

| 8 months ago
(Justin Edmonds, Getty Images)

(Justin Edmonds, Getty Images)

The top contrarian plays for Week 8 in DFS

I’m not a tough guy. At the moment I have a thick beard that may give off that sort of appearance at times, but too many things about me would give me away. I own every “The Cure” and “The Smiths” album on vinyl. I signed up for boxing classes in high school, went once, got punched in the nose, literally cried, and never went again. I’ve written at least one very bad, emotional poem about every girl I’ve seriously dated. I’ve (unfortunately) showed it to at least half of them.

So, when people say mean things to me on Twitter, I get upset. I really shouldn’t. I’ve made enough money playing DFS over the past three seasons that random eggs on twitter with single-digit follower counts shouldn’t get to me, but they do. If I was a quarterback, if possible, I’d be even more rattled in the pocket than Blaine Gabbert.

Last week, the chalk killed. My friend Ben Gretch posted the following picture on his twitter account to illustrate just how well the chalk did:


Whenever the chalk goes off, some readers of this column never hesitate to trash me on Twitter. And then I get sad, because I’m a sensitive guy who doesn’t respond well to criticism. This season, the chalk has hit at a rate I don’t think I’ve ever seen since I first started playing DFS four years ago. Perhaps this is just variance. Perhaps the average DFS player (and the newfound wealth of knowledge available to them) is much better than in any year previous.

Either way, I continue to stand by my contrarian strategy. A chalk-heavy tournament lineup still has to compete against all of the other (many) chalk-heavy lineups. Although our weekly profitability will be much more inconsistent, we stand to earn a much greater profit when the chalk bombs. Oftentimes this will make up for weeks of losses when the chalk went off. Last year, that was often.

Last week, with the chalk hitting at such a high-rate, we didn’t do so well – even though we nailed Melvin Gordon as sub-10-percent-owned player who finished as fantasy’s top running back scorer. This week, hopefully, things tilt back to our favor.

Looking at Fantasy Aces’ Week 8 ownership percentages from the $3 Quick Slant Thursday-Monday GPP contest provided to us by, this week, the following players are projected to be the chalk (most highly owned): Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan, Devontae Booker, Devonta Freeman, Spencer Ware, Mike Evans, Julio Jones and Jack Doyle.

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:


Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans (11%)

Man, this feels gross. Osweiler is arguably the worst quarterback in the NFL. He is our worst-graded quarterback and ranks 31st in QB Rating this season. Still, he’s fifth in attempts and gets set to face off against our eighth-worst-graded secondary without their top corner Darius Slay (who ranks 10th-best among all corners in coverage). The Lions are currently giving up the most fantasy points per game to opposing passers.

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

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