A few days ago, I made my debut on DFS Report with a look at NFL Week 12 Social Buzz for Fanduel. For the first time, there’s a new data point to help make lineup decisions with: social buzz from “DFS Twitter.”
What is DFS Twitter? It’s a loosely defined bunch of fantasy writers who dabble in daily games and semi-celebrity high-stakes players. I’m tracking about 350 of them, and they’re on my list because either they wield influence over tens of thousands of more general fantasy followers or are a leader for smaller, more degenerate followings of DFS grinders. Both of them matter; they’re either tastemakers or reflecting the zeitgeist that they’re picking up.
The point is to help DFS players quantify, without bias, which lineup options are getting hyped or ignored. For the purpose of this column, I’m focusing only on “chalk” plays, which is determined by measuring their price vs. their industry-wide weekly projection at Fantasypros. There are about 10-15 chalk plays at each position (except TE) who have generally similar dollars to projected points ratios.
In GPPs, I’ve found that players around the perimeter of the chart (especially bottom left corner) are often the best chances for getting an edge on the competition. In 50/50s, it’s nice to get a feel for who the crowd is most hyped up for, especially closer to the cheap (left) part of the chart.
TRIGGER WARNING FOR JOSH GORDON TRUTHERS: Gordon doesn’t come up as a chalk play because he’s not projected to score enough points by the industry to make value. He’s just outside the top-15 zone… don’t worry though, he’s got 30% of the total WR buzz.
Blake Bortles and Drew Stanton are super cheap sleepers that you can get a lot of value from… beware that they’re both on the bottom end of the chalk play spectrum. They just need 13-14 points to make value. Matt Ryan is right there too, and after several quiet weeks isn’t getting talked about much.
Colin Kapernick is the top chalk play of the week, but isn’t getting talked about as much as McCown, Sanchize, and other higher priced guys. Despite what this data says, my prediction is that he’ll be heavily owned in GPPs.
McCown and Sanchize will be owned by a good amount of people, and are in the top third of chalk plays.
Among the cheap RBs, McKinnon, Crowell and T-Rich are being talked about the most. I’d expect them to rightfully be in lots of lineups… T-Rich the least.
Steven Jackson, Rashad Jennings, CJ Anderson and Forsett all are in the same ballpark of price and aren’t getting talked about much at all. Would love to pick two of those in a GPP and spend on QB and WR.
If you’re going to splurge on RB, Demarco Murray and Forte are getting talked about the least, although Murray is considered the top chalk play (even at his high price). So I’d expect Forte to be owned a little less than Demarco.
Shady McCoy, with rebound narrative at his back, is challenging Marshawn Lynch for most buzz this week at RB. A lot of Lynch’s chatter is based on his recent fine and injury/contract talk, so I’d fully expect McCoy to out-own him. #analysis
This week’s WR chart is a lot messier than last week, where it was clear that Mike Evans, Roddy White and Kelvin Benjamin were top differentiators at the position
Mal Floyd is not being talked about and is in that meaty part of the chart, bottom left, where he combines great price and no buzz. Rivaling him at a slightly higher price are Vincent Jackson and Anquan Boldin (Kap/Quan stack for the win!).
If I’m going to spend big on a WR in GPP, I’d pick from the group of Alshon, Marshall, and A.J. Green, who are all near the bottom of the barrel in buzz but have similar projections to much more popular players.
Of all the mega expensive chalk play receivers, T.Y. Hilton and Jordy are the least hyped, so I’d want to save up for them.
Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and Julio Jones are all rightfully being touted, and Mike Evans is coming off an incandescent game as a 21 year old rookie so he’s at the top of the charts.
Delanie Walker, Larry Donnell and Jason Witten are all in that meaty part of the chart. I’d be totally comfortable picking one as my TE in GPP play on Sunday. Just check if Walker is playing. If you have money left over from other positions, Antonio Gates is a little more expensive but similarly chalky/not hyped play.
Fleener has the best projection/price ratio of any TE this week, so he’s rightfully got the hype on his side. This might be a Jeremy Hill Week 10 situation where everyone is on him in all formats because he’s overwhelmingly the best play at a dirt-cheap price. It’ll be fun to watch the spectacle and showercrys unfold on Twitter.
Owen Daniels is one of the lower-end chalk plays but he’s getting more hype than Donnell/Witten for some reason.
At the luxury TE tier, Graham is considered a slightly better play than Gronk and is cheaper, but Gronk has more buzz.
Good luck everyone! Enjoy the games.