The top contrarian plays for Week 1 in DFS
“The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd, but to think for yourself.” – Peter Thiel
We have endured that foul savage beast of winter, the rancid and suffocating aromas of spring, and now finally passed those last long deadening days of summer. God only knows what I have done to exist in that eternal interval of wait. I vaguely remember white sands and cool salty waters licking my knees. Truly a most wretched vision that haunts me still. Yestermorn, I made my final goodbyes to my wife and told her I loved her. It will be close to 11 fortnights before I see her or the children again. But, alas, now is the time for rejoicement as the day of our salvation has come upon us, for …
Football is finally back.
If you followed this column last season, you already know the deal. Each week I’ll discuss my DFS tournament strategy and recommend two under-owned players at each position. If you’re unfamiliar with me, this column, or my strategy, luckily, I wrote a primer earlier this week.
Unfortunately, there is one significant change since this was written. On Thursday we found out that FanDuel is no longer releasing ownership for players until game time. There has been no official release by the company on the changes, but I did spend thirty minutes Friday night talking to one of their representative who confirmed it. Going forward we’ll have to project ownership ourselves. In future weeks I may reference other sites that still report ownership like Fantasy Aces (once I check correlation), but this week I’m left mostly just with good old-fashioned intuition.
This week’s chalk is the following (in order): Dak Prescott, Christine Michael, Martellus Bennett, Marvin Jones and Spencer Ware.
In Week 1 there is always a lot of chalk due to pricing being released so early. In addition to the above names, Jordan Reed and all of the highest-priced wide receivers will all be considerably chalky given the loose pricing and newly found value plays.
I will not be fading every player on this list in GPPs, but I will be fading the majority of them in most of my GPP lineups. In my cash lineups, I’ll probably be playing 3-4 of the above names in my main lineup. In GPPs I’ll want to buck the crowd and play some of the following projected low-owned options.
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 quarterback by just 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.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Everyone loves Prescott because he’s only $5,000, he’s up against a bad pass defense (or rather, the Giants were that last year), and he can score you fantasy points from the ground. You know who is also $5,000, up against a bad pass defense, and can score you fantasy points from the ground? Wentz seems to satisfy every condition every condition that has left DFS players drooling over with Prescott. One key distinction between them? Wentz was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, while Prescott went No. 135. I can’t help but wonder if we’re all falling victim to preseason-hype.