As you all know by now I play one game of Thursday start football on Fan Duel each week to check ownership percentages and see where most of the players are landing. This week it is the $2 snap. I was feeling a need for more data points as we will discuss in a minute, so I also cross referenced those ownership rates with the $25 buy in NFL Bomb tonight to see how people were thinking. Unless you have been living under a rock you know that there is a ton of money to be won playing Daily Fantasy Football this weekend. DraftKings is hosting a $2.2 million dollar Tournament with a cool Million to first place and Fan Duel is following that up with a bump in their prize pool up to $1.5 Million. If ever there was a week you wanted to use these Thursday numbers to gain an edge, this is it. A word of caution though before we proceed. If you are playing on Fan Duel this weekend, then these numbers are fine to use, but for those of you who wanted to use them to translate to the Millionaire maker, it’s going to require a lot more outside the box thinking. If this is not your first week of playing DFS, then you noticed how soft the pricing is over on DraftKings this week. We all understand the reasons and I don’t want to get into that here, but keep in mind that there is a huge difference in pricing between the sites this week and that will lead to much different ownership rates on a lot of these guys in the millionaire. After we go through some of the numbers I will explain how you can still use them to your advantage.
High Owned Guys
Eli Manning 13.2% Snap 15.2% Bomb
Ben Roethlisberger 10% Snap 9.7% Bomb
Drew Brees 7.4% Snap 10.4% Bomb
Philip Rivers 7% Snap
Rashad Jennings 27% Snap 35.2% Bomb
Le’Veon Bell 21.6% Snap 23% Bomb
DeMarco Murray 16.2% Snap 16.1% Bomb
Antonio Brown 23.6% Snap 25% Bomb
Steve Smith Sr. 17% Snap
Kelvin Benjamin 12% Snap 14.6% Bomb
Brian Quick 9.9% Snap 10.9% Bomb
Jeremy Maclin 8.9% Snap
Keenan Allen 8.8% Snap 10.8% Bomb
Travis Kelce 16.9% Snap 18.6% Bomb
Larry Donnell 17.1% Snap 15% Bomb
This week I shortened the list to only the top owned guys. Let’s start the discussion with the QBs. For starters, Eli ownership is based both on price and performance chasing. He was cheap, has a decent match up although I do like the corners on Atlanta. He is the perfect player to start with today, because this week’s theme is going to be comparative pricing. If you want to know why Eli is the top owned QB, then look at his price and your potential alternatives. The five QB cluster from $7500 down to $7000 really only has one viable candidate. Flacco is right above Eli at $7500, with Geno and Alex Smith as well as Austin Davis right behind him. In that group of five, Eli is probably your best bet this week. Same goes for his TE. Donell is $6200 with a banged up Delanie Walker in front of him price wise and Jordan Cameron, Vernon Davis, and Jason Witten behind. Which of those guys has more upside then Larry Donnell?
The next two QBs we can look at are Eli’s fellow draft classmates in Big Ben and Phillip Rivers. Big Ben has a plum match up with Jacksonville and his top WR Antonio Brown is also in a sweet spot. Jax has been getting ripped through the air and my only concern here is if the game gets out of hand. Brown has been nothing short of remarkable so far, and Big Ben is having a sneaky good year. Of the guys in his price range (Wilson, Brady, Foles, Kap) he seems to be the best bet. Rivers on the other hand has been awesome this season. His production has been so good Fan Duel has him priced up with Brees and Stafford in top 5 Elite QB territory. His match up this week doesn’t hurt either against a horrid Jets secondary, and it’s no surprise people are rostering and handcuffing him to his best WR in Keenan Allen. The Other top QB is Drew Brees who heads back home where his numbers are video game like. Surprisingly none of his pass catchers are over 10% owned this week.
Of the pass catchers that are highly owned this week, they all make some sense. Brian Quick has a good match up and a lot of people are expecting points for them vs. the Eagles. Jeremy Maclin had a down game, but the offense was not on the field the whole second quarter due to three Defensive and Special teams scores, so his 16 targets seem even more insane under those lights. After watching the game rewind, you can see that a lot of those targets were of the over the 15 yard variety. While they did not connect much against the 49ers, one long TD is a huge boost in a GPP. The other really popular play due to price, targets, and recent production is Steve Smith Sr. The “OLD MAN” has found his fountain of youth in Baltimore and his price is too low to ignore. The last man is the one I find most interesting. Kelvin Benjamin is priced up on FanDuel around the mid range and was 12% owned in the snap. What do you think his ownership is going to be at the bargain basement $4800 he is sitting at on DraftKings if he gets a 12% ownership rate at $7100 on FanDuel? You figure people are expecting him to get 6 catches for 120 and a score at that price to pay off on FanDuel. If he does that on DraftKings he gets you 24 DK points for $4800 or 5 points per $1000 of cost. That’s Millionaire Maker winning kind of upside.
The Three Running Backs listed are also an interesting case study. Demarco is priced above LeVeon here and on DraftKings. LeVeon will most likely be the higher owned of the two in both big tourney’s this weekend. Demarco is not exactly flying under the radar at 16%, but he is on a third less rosters then LeVeon and they have the exact same upside in my opinion. DeMarco may have a higher ceiling too, because that Dallas Offense is run heavy while Pitt tends to be more balanced. LeVeon Bell contributes to the passing game in Pitt and that is why I can make a stronger case for him on DraftKings, but I will go with DeMarco more than I have been because he seems to be the guy whose ownership is a tad low. This brings us to our next opportunity. Rashad Jennings has a plum match up against a bad rush defense in Atlanta this weekend. He is $7200 on FanDuel and 35% owned in the Bomb. At a cheap $5500 on DK, what do you think he is going to be in the millions?
Low Owned Guys
Nick Foles 4.2%
Peyton Manning 3.4%
Matt Stafford 2.8%
Andy Dalton 2.8%
Mike Glennon 2.6%
Blake Bortles 2.6%
Gio Bernard 8.9%
Marshawn Lynch 6.9%
LeSean McCoy 6%
Reggie Bush 5%
Chris Ivory 4.3%
Andre Hawkins 6.8% Snap 10% Bomb
Julio Jones 6.1%
Emanuel Sanders 5.8%
Alshon Jefferies 5.2%
Vincent Jackson 3.9%
Calvin Johnson 2.7%
Reggie Wayne 2.7%
Demaryius Thomas 2.6%
Jimmy Graham 7.8%
Heath Miller 7.2%
Antonio Gates 7%
Greg Olsen 5.8%
Delanie Walker 5.6%
Julius Thomas 3.1%
San Diego 3.6%
Stafford to Calvin at under 2.8% owned each, Peyton to Demaryus at under 3.5% owned each are two of the best pass combos in the league. Yes they are expensive, but those ownership levels on guys with huge ceilings are what wins GPPs. With Mike Evans out I also really like the Glennon and VJax combo which is also a pair that is owned under at 4%. It also has the upside of being much cheaper than the other two combos and allows you to pay up for RB, TE, or WR with relative ease. I do not think it has the same ceiling as the first two do, but it’s still a play you need to consider based on the value it offers.
Running Back Analysis
RB to me poses some interesting questions as well. Gio is not much cheaper on FD then the top guys, but on DK he is a 10% discount to Demarco and only $6700. I think his ownership is higher on DraftKings and so is the floor given the PPR scoring. He is not ignored at 9% but offers less ownership and a lower price than some top options opening up the rest of your roster to some more pricey plays. Chris Ivory is a guy I know will be higher owned on DraftKings. He is near min salary over there and given his new role, I think he is a steal. On FanDuel I don’t think he offers enough value to warrant taking him when you could pay up a little more for the Rashad Jennings upside. Marshawn Lynch has the highest floor of those guys on the list in my opinion. He is good for 80-120 yards and a TD at a minimum. I should really have more of this guy more often, but for some reason I never do. I think Seattle controls this game and beast mode gets a nice workload and finds pay dirt. I will probably use him more on FanDuel as he really does not catch many passes to make him DraftKings material at his price. McCoy and Bush have not been great, but you would not be getting the ownership or price discounts if they had. Bush should see more work with Bell out and McCoy is just being ignored right now. Both are worth a flyer as we all know what kind of crazy upside potential and break away ability they have.
Wide Receiver Analysis
Hawkins ownership difference between the Snap and the Bomb has me taking a second look. I originally backed off of him with the thought that an emerging Miles Austin and a returning Jordan Cameron and Ben Tate now meant more mouths to feed, but even on a Half PPR site like FanDuel the higher stakes players seem to really like him. He was like the sixth or seventh highest owned WR in the Bomb, ahead of a ton of guys being way more hyped. Price is definitely a factor, but I think he is even cheaper on DraftKings where those receptions get a full PPR and make him even more valuable. Not sure if I am on board yet, but it’s something to consider based on the data. Most of the Reggie Wayne is handcuffed to Andrew Luck, but the OLD MAN value of him and Smith Sr. could make you a millionaire. Depending on your budget, you have Julio Jones, Alshon Jefferies, and Emannuel Sanders. All three are TD threats with a chance to catch a lot of balls. Julio is the Rolls Royce, Alshon is the Land Rover, and Sanders is your Lincoln Aviator. The first is flashy and pricey, the middle is a luxury sedan at a smarter price point, and the third is the best value. Any and all of them make sense depending on your budget.
Tight End Analysis
Heath Miller and Antonio Gates are nice players who have had long distinguished careers. With that being said there’s no way they should be within 1% ownership of Jimmy Graham at any price point. Delanie Walker has had some huge games. I know the injury tags scares some guys away, but he can win you a GPP on a good day. Greg Olsen is really solid for a team that probably can not run this weekend. Think they may have to throw and his PPR upside is enormous in that case. The real shocker for me is the 3.1% on Julius Thomas. Did I miss some injury report somewhere? This guy has three TD upside and we have seen that already, so you know it is there. I think this is a recency bias situation as the last time we saw Denver they had to go up against the Seahawks D, and then have been off for a week. Like Peyton and Demaryus, you can have all 3 for under 3.5%. It’s out of sight out of mind with the Broncos this week so take advantage.
The last thing I wanted to mention were two Defenses I really like. Cincy has been stout and they get a NE team that was horrendous last week. Short turn around for NE and that offense is in turmoil. Maybe they right the ship at home, but I think Cincy follows the KC game plan and pounds Gio and stops the Pats. The better play though may be San Diego. I am a die hard Jets fan, but San Diego is going to throw all over them at home. When they do, Geno is going to have to try and answer. SD has a sneaky good defense this year and Geno is as bad as he was last year. Actually as a Jets fan I think I am just bitter. He is the 28th ranked QB this year up from 30th last season so he is making progress. Point being the Jets will run until the scoreboard dictates otherwise and when that happens earlier in the 3rd quarter then it’s Sack, Strip, and Pick 6 city.
Due to the extremely low prices across the board on DraftKings this week, these ownership percentages will not transfer well to the millions if you take them on at face value. What they are helpful with is seeing which guys people are on here and then checking the comparables at that price on DK. People really like a Benjamin or a Jennings here. With even softer prices on DK those ownership rates should go higher. The higher rates on these guys should also lead to some other plays being less owned, but those are probably going to some of the more expensive guys. It’s easier to pay up on DraftKings this week then ever before, so don’t be afraid to roster a stud or two you usually shy away from based on price. You may be surprised how many people are punting with some of these bottom barrel guys to fit in a third, fourth, or even fifth stud.