Fade the DFS crowd with Tyrod Taylor in Week 9
“Where there is a crowd, run the other way and you’ll be right.” – Charles Bukowski
Last week was weird. If you read my article and took my advice, “I’m sorry” and “You’re welcome.” It was, perhaps, both my luckiest and unluckiest week of the season. In last week’s article, I recommended playing Le’Veon Bell and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick hurt his hand on the opening drive of the game and Bell played just slightly over one quarter before exiting — neither player would return. However, I also wrote up Drew Brees (only 3.2 percent owned in the Milly Maker) and Odell Beckham Jr. (only 6.6 percent owned in the Milly Maker) and mentioned how I thought the game would be a shootout. The final score was 52-49 and Brees and Beckham Jr. were far and away the leading fantasy scorers of the week. If you had listened on the former two calls, chances are you had a monster fantasy week. If you didn’t, you likely didn’t get very far in the bigger tournaments.
Last week, outside of Todd Gurley and Julio Jones, the chalk mostly disappointed, while those who went “contrarian” in tournaments were much more successful. Looking at Fan Duel’s Thursday ownership percentages, this week’s chalk seems to be everyone who went off last week (Brees, Beckham Jr., Jones, Alshon Jeffery, Benjamin Watson), almost all of the Patriots (Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Dion Lewis, Rob Gronkowski), and some of the more obvious value plays (DeAngelo Williams, Mark Ingram). Let’s jump right into it this week with the “who” and “why” of our favorite contrarian plays of the week.
Note: If you’re new to the article, we’re looking at players with ownership percentages projected to be around 5 percent and below. The number next to each player’s name is their ownership percentage from FanDuel’s $2 Thu NFL Snap. While a contrarian strategy is the author’s preferred method for taking down DFS tournaments, it is not a necessary strategy for cash games.
Tyrod Taylor (2.6%) – There is always an inherent risk in targeting a player coming off of an injury, but injuries can also create situations where, if too much of the DFS community begins sleeping on a guy, the reward can completely outweigh the risk. That seems to be the case here with Taylor coming in at a surprisingly low 2.6 ownership percentage despite practicing in full early in the week. Taylor is currently the QB4 on a fantasy points per game basis and ranks first in fantasy points per drop back, and yet, DFS owners seem to suggest that he has a less than three percent chance of finishing as one of the top value plays at the position this week.
The Dolphins are currently giving up the 14th most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and will be without their second highest graded defensive player (Cameron Wake) for the first full game this season. The last time these two teams squared off, in Week 3, Taylor threw 29 times for 277 yards and three touchdowns, while finishing as the QB4 for fantasy. All of Taylor’s primary stacking options were also disturbingly low owned in Thursday’s slate: Charles Clay (1.6%), Sammy Watkins (0.5%), and Robert Woods (1.5%).