8 contrarian DFS picks for Week 17
“Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion…” – Soren Kierkegaard
With a heavy heart we must wave farewell to the 2015 regular season. By all accounts it was a very successful year for the contrarian. The chalk seemed to crash-and-burn at a rate even higher than most contrarian drafters would have hoped. Some of our readers won thousands of dollars in just a single week by employing the strategy. We went on a ridiculous run during the bye-week gauntlet nailing the top low-owned plays left and right. Just last week, by fading the entirety of the highly-owned Pittsburgh passing attack and rostering DeAngelo Williams it was almost impossible not to cash in tournaments.
Week 17 is probably my favorite week of the season. Although there is no Thursday game to give us a safe approximation of ownership for the Sunday slate, there is still a significant advantage to be gained if we stay on top of beat reports well into Sunday. Every year, in Week 17, DFS players poorly judge which teams will rest players and which teams will not.
For instance, Washington has locked up their No. 4 seed regardless of Sunday’s outcome. If news comes out confirming Washington will bench their starters, guys like Rashad Ross and Pierre Thomas (or even Darren McFadden up against a second-string inexperienced defense) become intriguing values. On the opposite side of the spectrum, contrary to what might be public opinion, Carolina still needs a win to lock up the No. 1 seed. This could lead to a lower-than-typical ownership for guys like Cam Newton and Greg Olsen.
This week, I’m projecting the following players to both be low-owned and attractive high-upside targets for this week’s slate of GPPs.
Notes: This week it’s looking like the majority of GPP players are grabbing cheap running back values (guys like Tre Mason) and paying up for the top-four wide receivers (Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, and Odell Beckham Jr.). While all four wide receivers are in great spots, they’ll also be very highly-owned, so we will continue to zig when others are zagging. This gives us a unique roster construction and an edge over a large majority of the field if many of those top wide receivers disappoint this week. While not necessarily in the sub-five-percent ownership range we typically look for, paying up for other positions is a recommended contrarian strategy this week (guys like Devonta Freeman, Cam Newton, and Rob Gronkowski). The second-tier of wide receivers should go under-owned as well (Brandon Marshall, Allen Robinson, and A.J. Green).