FanDuel Ownership
FanDuel Ownership

As you guys know by now I hate Thursday night NFL games, but every week I put a $1 entry in the Fan Duel Dive so I can get a feel for Fan Duel ownership levels. I use the dive because it has the exact same number of entrants as the Sunday Millions and winning that is truly what we would all like. As always these numbers are meant to be a guide. Just because a player is highly owned doesn’t mean he is a fade and that also works for low owned guys who you do not automatically need to play. Due to the high ownership percentage of the guys playing tonight, all these numbers should be about 20% higher on Sunday since the Giants and Skins are no longer in the player pool. I want to send my condolences out to those of you who rostered Cousins (22.5%) and his receivers. There will be new games in the Lobby for you to pick up before Sunday, so don’t dwell on it too long. If you had the good fortune of rostering the Giants last night, then hopefully you avoid injuries and should wind up with some cash. Remember that injury news can also sway these percentages as guys like Cam Newton (0.4%) and Brandon Marshall (1.5%) could be higher or lower owned depending on the injury reports to come. People avoided Knile Davis and Jamaal Charles, but if we get some more clarity before Sunday that could move the needle as well. I was going to cross reference the ownership rates with the bomb to give a clearer picture, but something was up with the Fan Duel servers again as I got this error message:

 

FanDuel down
FanDuel down

 

 

Unfortunately we will have to settle for just looking at the Dive which I had already recorded before the outage.

 

HIGH OWNED GUYS

 

QB

 

Phillip Rivers 16.1%

Matt Ryan 8%

Andrew Luck 7%

Ben Roethlisberger 5.7%

 

RB

 

LeVeon Bell 26.3%

Donald Brown 24.3%

Ahmad Bradshaw 16.7%

Demarco Murray 16.3%

Lamar Miller 14.3%

Darren Sproles 7%

Matt Forte 6.8%

 

WR

 

Antonio Brown 29%

Julio Jones 21.6%

Steve Smith 17.5%

Julian Edelman 15.6%

Kelvin Benjamin 12.6%

Brandin Cooks 11.7%

Calvin Johnson 11.5%

Jordy Nelson 9.6%

Michael Crabtree 9.3%

Dez Bryant 9.2%

Jeremy Maclin 8.6%

Alshon Jeffries 7.7%

 

TE

 

Martellus Bennett 15.8%

Jimmy Graham 15.4%

Antonio Gates 14.8%

 

Defense

 

Pittsburgh 18.9%

Atlanta 10.3%

 

Analysis

 

First thing I notice is that the San Diego Chargers are this week’s GP darlings. They are expected to put up about 30 points against Jacksonville and win by about 2 TDs. That means Vegas expects four TDs and based on the Ownership levels the DFS community thinks a lot of that damage is going to be done through the air, especially to Antonio Gates. I can’t knock the rivers pick, because on paper they should beat Jacksonville up through the air, but I do not like the Antonio pick and will be fading him. The other Charger WRs are either small or skinny, neither of which is a preferred trait for a red zone target. That leaves reliable OLD Antonio Gates. The problem with that is Ladarius Green got way more targets last weekend. He also had a few red zone chances, one of which I remember vividly being thrown just out of reach by Rivers. Teams are keying on Gates down near the Red Zone, which is why they had to go with that quick slant to Royal last week to score. I think Gates is an easy fade, but I can’t knock the Rivers pick. Donald Brown I like, but at 24.3% ownership that is crazy. If he is that highly owned I fade him and look for another cheap play. LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown both being highly owned is interesting. Normally I never take a WR/RB on the same team and I can not see doing it here. Most people landed on one side of the fence or the other. Those with Ben were pairing him heavily with Antonio Brown. I like them all at this level, but with Ben/Antonio I feel like there is too much points chasing. Bell has been a beast and I think the Steelers take control of this game early which only bolsters my opinion of Bell as the game flow suggests heavy run for the Steelers. Bell is one of those guys where I do not think fading him is much of an option this week. He has a chance for a very big game and I will swallow the chalk on my RB1 in a lot of spots. Ahmad Bradshaw and Lamar Miller are the other popular cheap options and again here I am going to side with Bradshaw. They have a good match up, his price is reasonable yet elevated from last week, and he is the leader in RB snaps on the Colts. He has scored right around 15-18 points every game so far and there is little reason to think otherwise.

 

Wide Receiver Highly Owned

 

At WR the points chasing is obvious. Antonio Browns ownership more than tripled, while Kelvin Benjamin, Steve Smith, and Julio Jones all had huge bumps up as well. Julio and Antonio were spectacular last week and Benjamin salvaged his day with a pair of scores late. Ultimately, I find it interesting that people quickly fell out of love with Megatron and Jordy after last week. That GB line is 5 points higher than the Detroit O/U so that leans me towards Jordy, but the Jets do not have anyone on their roster that can remotely play a jump ball with Calvin, so let’s not write him off either. The GB/Chi game has an O/U that just climbed up to over 50 points. Apparently a lot of people are expecting a shootout. Last point I want to make is that the Pittsburgh D makes a lot of sense. TB is starting a new QB after realizing that they overpaid for a guy who had the luxury of Alshon Jeffries and Brandon Marshall last year. The running game is also a question with Doug Martin probably coming back and Bobby Rainey likely more talented sitting behind him. Interested to see how that works itself out going forward. Stacking Pitt D and LeVeon was very popular so just keep that in mind if you are thinking of playing them, or Ben and Antonio for that matter.

 

Low Owned Guys  

 

 

QB

 

Matt Stafford 3.7%

Tony Romo 3.4%

Teddy Bridgewater 3.4%

Colin Kaepernick 3.2%

Nick Foles 2.3%

Blake Bortles 2.3%

 

RB

 

Khiry Robinson 5.1%

Pierre Thomas 4.1%

Matt Assiata 3.8%

Eddie Lacy 3.6%

Fred Jackson 3.1%

Reggie Bush 2.7%

Chris Ivory 2.6%

Frank Gore 2.4%

 

WR

 

Keenan Allen 6.5%

Golden Tate 6.1%

DeAndre Hopkins 5.8%

Cordarelle Patterson 4.8%

Eddie Royal 4.2%

Malcolm Floyd 3.7%

Jeremy Kerley 3.3%

TY Hilton 1.7%

Brandon Marshall 1.5%

Cecil Shorts 1.5%

Allen Robinson 1.4%

 

TE 

 

 

Gronk 2.9%

Zac Ertz 2.6%

Delanie Walker 2.4%

Vernon Davis 1.3%

 

Analysis

 

I am a big New York Jets fan and I can not believe how much people are sleeping on Stafford. The Jets are tough against the run and can not stop the pass at all. Dee Milliner is expected to miss another week as well. When the Lions OC sits down to make a game plan, it is going to be pass heavy. At least it should be. Stafford at only 3% ownership is a steal. He is pricey and so is Megatron, but the match up this week is way better than last week and they were 10% and 27% owned then. If you liked them or faded them last week, it should not affect what you due for Sunday. I like them a lot here, especially paired together.

If you are looking for off the board running backs with good floors I think you have to look at Assiata and Lacy. The Vikings have no one else to give the ball too, so it’s mostly a supply/volume thing there. I don’t see a ton of upside, but he should get some Fan Duel points. As for Lacy, the narrative is that he saw three of the best run defenses so far this year and the rest of the schedule is much softer. His price is really down and this guy was a stud last year so there’s a chance he picks it up. I’m not sure where I land on this, but at under 4% he is worthy of a second look. I would not really trust any of the other guys there personally.

 

Wide Receivers Low Ownership

 

As for WR, there’s a few things that are interesting. For starters everyone loves Rivers, but they are pairing him with five different pass catches. Gates, Green, Royal, Floyd, and Allen are all seeing a decent amount of rosters. Many took Gates and Rivers, but there is a bunch on Rivers with Allen, Royal, and Floyd too. I can’t stand when I have a QB and no idea who is likely to be on the other end of his TDs. Any one of them could be a good play or they could all be bad plays if he spreads the wealth equally. Ultimately when I can make a case for three guys it usually means I can not make a GOOD case for any one of them and that equals pass for me. Tate gets a weak Jets secondary so he has upside. Hopkins looked real good last week, but he is getting a little too much love for my liking. I would take Andre Johnson at lower ownership if I wanted one of them, but not sure that I really do. Cordarelle should be getting more touches, but he has not been so I don’t know if I love him, but he has crazy GPP upside. Kerley might be Jets best pass catching option which is both sad and opportune. Hilton could be a sneaky play, but he could also go for like 4 catches for 33 yards, so buyer beware. Also be sure to monitor his ankle before locking him into any rosters.

I saved talking QB for last, because it is very interesting to me. Second Highest O/U game this week is Philly and San Fran, yet both Foles and Kaep are on the low owned list. I guess people did not realize the same thing happened last week and that #2 O/U game won people all the money. Cousins proved how easy it is to carve up the Philly D with his horrid performance last night, so I really like Kaepernick. Pair him with Crabtree or Vernon Davis (also low owned) and you might have the recipe for some fantasy gold. I would not even fault someone who uses Boldin or Stevie Johnson as punts. Foles has not really had a big passing game yet, but because of that offense he throws for 300+ and 3 TDs pretty easily. I think he could have a good game against this banged up 49ers D that is missing a few pieces from the dominant force we saw in seasons past. Foles is riskier than Kaep, but could just as easily have the better game. My thought is that both should be owned more. The last QBs I want to touch on are the two rookies. Bortles and Bridgewater is the fun conversation to have right now, so let me throw in my two cents. Bridgewater was higher owned, but I like Bortles more. I watched the Game Rewind of both guys from last week and it was a small sample size, but I liked the way Bortles threw the ball. He has some zip on his passes and like Peyton Manning he throws down at the Receiver most of the time. He does it with such zip and accuracy that he can fit it in tight windows. He looked very solid last week and I like his low priced WRs that you can stack him with. Shorts is the PPR guy, Robinson is the future and Hurns is a big play threat. Both are so cheap and provide much needed salary cap relief, but if you are only asking me to pick one I would go Bortles, Plus his Girlfriend is smoking hot so he has that going for him too.

 

TAKEAWAY

 

After seeing these numbers I have to say I am surprised at the Rivers love and shocked by the indifference to Kap against the Eagles. I will roll out some Kap, some Foles, and some Stafford based on what I see here. I really want to find a low owned RB I can trust, but the low priced ones that look the best are all highly owned. If you can fade and pick right, you can really get a leg up on the 25% of owners on Donald Brown if you can find a cheap guy to top him or an expensive one that can out produce LeVeon. Frankly I think I will go with the herd here and try to win it elsewhere as the options are limited. Hope this information helps someone take down a GPP this weekend or maybe get to the Playboy mansion. I hear Fan Duel lets you bring a +1 there too, so if you wanted to repay the favor I can make myself available. Good luck this weekend guys, lot of money to go after.