The top contrarian plays for Week 6 in DFS
“Trust the process. Your time is coming. Just do the work and the results will handle themselves.” – Tony Gaskins
Last week I was riding high. It was the second time this season I correctly called the overall No. 1 highest scoring player at a contrarian ownership level. Following Monday night’s game, I was miserable. Last week, all of my recommendations stunk. All of them.
There’s a common mantra among successful DFS players that you’ll hear me repeat sometimes – “trust the process.” Football is a naturally volatile sport and sometimes we just get unlucky, or caught on the negative side of variance. If the process is sound, we’ll find success eventually. It’s important not to overreact to just one or several down weeks. However, this is only valid when the process is sound. So after every down week, I like to look back over my recommendations and see if there’s anywhere we can improve. In part due to this, as well as a well-deserved act of self-flagellation, that’s what I hope to accomplish in this introduction.
Quarterbacks – This was bad. This was really bad. I stand by my arguments in the article, but likely shouldn’t have bet so hard against what Vegas knew would be a low-scoring contest. Both quarterbacks (Jameis Winston and Derek Anderson) played bad and leaned far more heavily on their running backs than the matchup suggested they should. I also likely shouldn’t have been so confident on a back-up quarterback making his first start since 2013.
Running backs – Devonta Freeman finished as PPR’s No. 8 running back last week. At his price, that was the lone bright spot in last week’s article. His 26 touches were seven more than he had seen in any game prior, so my reasoning was sound there as well. Lamar Miller was an awful call. I argued he was somewhat matchup-proof due to recent usage and was due for some positive touchdown regression. What I didn’t envision was that the Texans would get so thoroughly blown out that they’d rest him for the final quarters of the game.
Wide receivers – I actually moved off of both of these guys on Sunday morning. I’ll make more of a concerted effort to tweet out when I change my stance on plays I recommended going forward. You can find me on twitter here: @ScottBarrettDFB. The heart of my argument for both wide receivers was based on the cornerbacks both wide receivers would likely run the majority of their routes against. Though both cornerbacks practiced the entire week (Damarious Randall and Shareece Wright), both were ruled surprise inactives late Sunday morning. I’m not saying Green Bay and Baltimore front office guys read my articles every week to look for mismatches in their secondary… I’m just saying it’s mighty suspicious.
Tight ends – Richard Rodgers had a poor game, and I think this was too risky of a recommendation on my part. The Giants have notoriously struggled against slot receivers. They were also without cornerback Eli Apple and safety Nate Berhe. They didn’t need to attack the Giants via their tight end. Nelson and Cobb were more than enough to get the job done. Cameron Brate, I still contend, was a strong play. Everything on paper added up to it. Brate had 16 targets over his prior two games (and many more positives going for him as well), but only saw three targets last week. At his price and projected ownership, I’d make that recommendation every week.
Whatever. Week 5 is over. We’re on to Cincinnati.
Looking at Fantasy Aces’ Week 6 ownership percentages from the $3 Quick Slant Thursday-Monday GPP contest provided to us by TwoQBs.com, this week, the following players are projected to be the chalk (most highly owned): Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Le’Veon Bell, Lesean McCoy, Cameron Meredith, Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker
As is typical, we’ll be fading the above players on the majority of our lineups and we will instead be looking at the following leverage plays (players who would benefit the most if the chalk underperforms) and contrarian plays (players under 7.5 percent owned) this week:
Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions (4%)
The Rams currently have three starting defensive lineman ruled questionable for this week’s game. All of Michael Brockers (DT), William Hayes (DE) and Robert Quinn (DE) turned in their first practices of the week (all limited) on Friday. The Rams will also be without their highest-graded cornerback (Trumaine Johnson) this week, after releasing former starting cornerback Coty Sensabaugh just two weeks ago. Stafford is currently our sixth-highest-graded quarterback and ranks ninth in fantasy points per game. After posting two of the 16-highest-scoring games this season, we know he has GPP upside as well.