If you’ve played daily fantasy sports for a while, you realize by now the importance of being contrarian, especially in large-field tournaments. Being able to recognize which players are going to be owned by the majority of the field — and to find players who you think have a similar point projection but will come at much lower ownership — can help separate you from your opponents.
The purpose of this article will be to identify some players who will be the chalk at each position and how you can pivot off of them with high-upside options who could go overlooked.
Let’s take a look at a few players who could smash the Sunday slate in Week 9.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings – £7,800
The quarterback position is looking to be very strong this week with Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Jameis Winston all in a spot to post big fantasy numbers. But what about Kirk Cousins?
Last week Cousins threw for 285 and no touchdowns against Washington, as he didn’t have to do a whole lot for the Minnesota Vikings to win that game. Before that one, Cousins had posted 10 touchdowns in the three games leading up to it, along with 300 yards or more in each game. He totalled at least 20 points in each of those games, a nice turnaround from where he was at the start of the year. His price is certainly elevated this week, but we shouldn’t see ownership go in his direction due to the quarterbacks listed above being in good spots.
The Vikings have also listed Adam Thielen as questionable, and it would decrease the overall potential for the offence if he were to miss. If he does sit, it should keep Cousins’ ownership even lower, which is a good thing. We want the low ownership since this is still a great matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs, who are allowing 19.9 points per game to opposing quarterbacks. To recap, we have a quarterback who is playing very well as of late and should already be at lower ownership, which could go even lower if Thielen is out, and he is in a good matchup.
Frank Gore is 134 rushing yards away from catching Barry Sanders for the third-most rushing yards in NFL history. 👀https://t.co/WsypyVmcLH
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) October 26, 2019
Frank Gore, RB, Buffalo Bills – £6,200
The Buffalo Bills are 11-point home favourites against Washington, who are starting rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
A large home favourite is normally the spot where you want to target a running back since they should be in control of the game and will look to control the clock and feed said running back. The issue for the Bills is that there they have a split backfield, which makes things a bit murky when looking at who to play.
Last week, Devin Singletary out-scored Frank Gore, 12.9 points to 3.4. That isn’t good at first glance, so we need to dig deeper. Gore out-touched Singletary 9-7 in that game, so where did the points for Singletary come from? Well, he plays a role in the passing game — six targets and four receptions — and Gore does not. Singletary caught a 28-yard touchdown pass, but — and a big but — if you remove that one play, Singletary would have five targets, three receptions for two yards.
Of course, Gore wasn’t productive last week, but if the Bills get ahead big on Washington, Gore could see a very positive game script, making him a nice pivot play. We have him projected for 15.18 rushing attempts this week, compared to Singletary’s 6.91 attempts. They are only £100 apart in price, and Gore is the option I’m going with.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Oakland Raiders – £5,400
With a 50.5 over/under, the Detroit Lions-Oakland Raiders game is shaping up to be a fantasy goldmine.
Last week the Raiders had wide receiver Tyrell Williams return and post 91 yards and a touchdown. Breakout tight end Darren Waller had eight targets — only 11 yards — and one touchdown. Lastly, Hunter Renfrow had the best game of his season, with four targets, four receptions, 88 yards and a touchdown. That is solid production from Renfrow, and we still find his price in the low-£5,000 range.
Waller controls a 26% of the total target share, and Williams — who missed two games — still has a 19% share of the targets, with Renfrow coming in at 14%. There is no doubt that Waller and Williams have been more consistent options within the offence, but to find low ownership in a high-scoring game, Renfrow comes into play.
Renfrow also holds an average depth of target (aDOT) sitting at 6.2 yards, which lines up with quarterback Derek Carr, who has an aDOT of 6.8 on his throws. They fit together nicely, and if the ownership for the Raiders is going towards Waller, Williams, and even Josh Jacobs, Renfrow makes for an enticing pivot this week.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles – £5,000
Dallas Goedert is making a case to be the tight end to use from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Over the past six games, Goedert has played on 69% of the snaps or more times, which is still second to Zach Ertz. But over those six games, Goedert has out-scored Ertz three times, so they are split in being the top-scoring tight end for the Eagles of late. Are they doing tight end by committee in Philadelphia? That might be a question for a different day, but Goedert is taking production away from Ertz, out-scoring him in some weeks, and is £1,000 cheaper.
Tight end is a wasteland this week outside of the top tier, which is normal, and dropping down can leave you lacking production. That is not the case with Goedert, who is playing a consistent amount of snaps, outscoring his more expensive team, and will do so all at lower ownership this week.