8 contrarian DFS picks for Week 10
“If all your friends jumped off of a bridge, would you do it too?” – My Mother
In elementary school, when I would ask for something and attempt to justify my request based on the fact that my friends’ parents had given in to the demands of their children, my mother would always posit the above question back to me. I always felt, at the time, it was a non-sequitur or an attempt to distract me from my demands, and that my mother really did want me to be the pariah of my fourth grade class for not having the newest Pokémon game. Looking back on it, I understand my mother was trying to teach me to think for myself and to not be afraid to go against the crowd. Did I really need to have this game or was I just worried about being left out? While the answer to this question is “Heck yes!” because Pokémon was/is awesome, and the answer to the first question is “Sometimes.”, because I did go bungee jumping in college with my roommates, my mother’s original point remains strong.
This week, will you be jumping off a proverbial bridge with the other ~35% of DFS GPP players who will be rostering DeAngelo Williams (despite the major price increase and the fact that the heart of the offense, Ben Roethlisburger, is unlikely to play) or will you join me in going contrarian? If Williams does struggle, that would put us at a strong advantage on over a third of the field.
We had a killer week last week, but here’s what we got wrong: Although Tyrod Taylor was hyper-efficient from a fantasy perspective, leading all quarterbacks with 0.94 fantasy points per dropback for the week, he only threw the ball 12 times and underwhelmed for our lineups. Austin Seferian-Jenkins did not play last week, as we expected might happen. Johnathan Stewart, although the volume was there (20 carries, a reception, and a goalline carry), the production was underwhelming.
Here’s what we got right: Cam Newton (1.1% owned in DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker) was the No. 1 fantasy quarterback. Blount (5.1% owned) led all running backs in carries, was second in rushing yardage, and added a touchdown as the cherry on top. Brandon LaFell (9.7% owned) put up over 5X value on DraftKings. Randall Cobb (5.2% owned) put together a solid 4-99-1 line in his best performance since Week 3. Delanie Walker (7.6% owned) was the No. 1 fantasy tight end, and was so essential that he found his way into each of the top-24 winning lineups in DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker.
This week, we hope to repeat our success with the following players:
Eli Manning (2.6%) – In a surprisingly chalky week for quarterbacks, Manning comes in at an oddly low ownership percentage of just 2.6 percent. Since Week 1, each lineup that has finished first in DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker has not had a quarterback with an ownership percentage above 7.0 percent. This week, there are seven quarterbacks with an ownership percentage of 8 percent. I’ll gladly stick to what appears to be a winning formula, this week, with the eighth-most owned quarterback in Manning.
Vegas projects this to be the highest scoring contest of the week, with the Patriots favored by seven points. While I’m not sure this game has the same potential to be the close high-scoring shootout we saw against New Orleans just two weeks ago, I do think Manning will spend the majority of his time throwing the ball trying to play catch-up. The Giants rank in the bottom-10 in team rushing yards per carry and will likely have to abandon that plan of attack early, as I suspect the Patriots (our third-highest graded offense) jumps out to a quick lead against the Giants’ struggling (fourth-lowest graded) defense. Good things happen, however, when Manning throws the ball a lot. The Patriots are giving up the sixth-most pass attempts per game (39.1). For the season, when Manning throws the ball 39 times or more, he averages 31.5 fantasy points per game as opposed to just 15.5 fantasy points per game the rest of the time. For his career against the Patriots (four games), Manning has never thrown for less than 250 yards and a touchdown in any game. Per game, he averages 263 yards, 2.25 touchdowns, and 0.75 interceptions against Belichick’s Patriots.