The top contrarian plays for the Divisional Round in DFS
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie-The-Pooh, A.A. Milne
Last week, my partner and I entered 100 lineups into the DraftKings $3 Play Action. Our best lineup finished in 14th place and won us $1,500. The lineup had Eli Rogers on it. I did not like Rogers at his high projected ownership (it ended up with 21.4 percent) and thought Kenny Stills was the far better place at a better price. The lineup also had Randall Cobb, who I did not think was a strong play going up against New York’s nickel cornerback Dominique Rodger-Cromartie – our third-highest-graded cornerback this regular season. Although I was not a fan of Rogers, he was crucial to our success.
We had roughly 8-percent exposure to Rogers (well below the field) and instead went overweight on Stills. When we looked at Rogers’ miserable 2.9 DraftKings fantasy point performance on Sunday afternoon, we knew we had to get creative and employ DraftKings’ late-swap feature to our advantage. So, we removed Odell Beckham Jr. and some of the more obvious plays and threw in riskier lower-owned guys we didn’t like as much – like Cobb.
Heading into the final game, we had minimal exposure to Rodgers, Cobb and Adams, but it was still enough for a big win. I still contend Cobb was not a good play unless you knew Rodgers-Cromartie and Jordy Nelson would combine to play only 18 snaps in the game, and I’m honestly not sure whether or not we got lucky. Before Sunday night’s game we were due to win about four times our initial deposit. After Sunday night’s game, we had very few lineups that ended up cashing, but the best one was good enough to result in a massive profit for us.
Utilizing late-swap to your advantage is one of the most important components of DFS strategy, and is even more important on short slates. I regret not writing more about it last week. Lineups lock on FanDuel, but you must stay on top of your lineups on DraftKings to give yourself the biggest edge possible. If you have any tournament lineups that, after a bad game or two, seem unlikely to cash, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding exposure to some “riskier” lower-owned guys.
This will be my final edition of this article this season. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it, and I hope you’ve profited alongside me this year.
Here are some the “contrarian” players I’m considering this week:
LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots
Houston allowed Blount to run wild for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in a 27-0 beatdown in Week 3. Looking at New England’s spread of -16, this week is shaping up to be the ultimate #BlountGame.
Much will be made of Dion Lewis’ increased role in the running game. Over the last three weeks, Blount has only out-carried him 51 to 45. While 17 carries per game on one of the NFL’s most potent offenses is still nothing to scoff at, the timeshare might be somewhat concerning if Blount didn’t also dominate carries at the goal line (14 carries inside the 10-yard line compared to Lewis’ four.) While Lewis is still a strong play in his own right (especially at only $3,900 on DraftKings), I don’t think he sniffs Blount’s upside, given projected gamescript. Blount is also shaking up to be the likely lower-owned of the two running backs. Blount has missed practice every day this week (as of Thursday) dealing with an illness. If Blount is ruled inactive, Lewis is the easy pivot. If Blount is active, as we’ve seen from running backs all season, his ownership will be depressed due to the uncertainty heading into the game.