The TFA Contrary-Ten: Week 3 Edition
Week three of the TFA Contrary-Ten is here! Thank goodness, because my calls last week stunk outside of Latavius Murray and Jacob Tamme (Adrian Peterson and Coby Fleener – ugh). Week three is a great time. We can start dissecting trends and what we want to choose to believe as fact or fiction. A number of my players this week I have in as bounce-back or breakout candidates. Forewarning: I have two rookies featured here so brace yourselves this week. The NFL is a crazy, unpredictable game. This week will be no different with all the injuries that have taken place. Time to take advantage of certain situations on DraftKings.
Week three will be a time when a lot of people feel they know how the season is going, especially in terms of fantasy. Truth of the matter is we’re dealing with a small sample size. I can’t sit here and I say I know exactly how the week is going to go, because I don’t. What I try to do every week is find players in good situations or players that people have pushed aside maybe for the wrong reasons, and use those to my advantage in Daily Fantasy. The name of the game here is taking down the top tournaments on DraftKings. New this week is I’ve included the ownership from the Thursday-Monday slate on Fantasy Aces to help give an idea of where ownership of a player might lean for Sunday. Also new, is I’ll start including honorable mentions. Ten contrarian plays are a part of my core, but some weeks there’s going to be just too many good spots. OK, let’s get into week three!
DraftKings Price: $7700
Have we all forgotten that in any given game Rodgers can single-handedly win his team the game? Have we forgotten that this is a former MVP and Super Bowl MVP of the league? I hope not. The “hate” for this guy is at an all time high this week. Now is the time to jump on the train. Rodgers is going up against the division rival Detroit Lions in a game that has an over/under of 47. The Packers are favored by a touchdown at home. Rodgers’ stats haven’t looked great in a while. This actually goes back to 2015. He hasn’t passed for 300 yards since last November in a home game versus Detroit. The last time he had more than two touchdowns in a game was a couple weeks later in…a road game versus Detroit. See a trend here? We can classify those games as slugfests with each team splitting wins. The Packers own a +2 in point differential in those games. Rodgers threw a combined 97 times in these matchups (disclaimer: Eddie Lacy missed the week 10 game and then only rushed 5 times in week 13). Word on the street (i.e. coach speak) from the Packers brass this week has been they want to get Lacy more involved (more on that later). I think that’ll further help move the offense and put them in more scoring situations. I really expect this game to far surpass it’s over/under and go under the radar as a shootout. Look for Rodgers to throw for 300 yards and get three scores.
Fantasy Aces ownership from Thursday: 5 percent
DraftKings Price: $5700
If you’ve been waiting for the Dak Prescott breakout game, look no further. As a Bears homer it pained me to get to this point, but this game will get out of hand quickly. I expect to see preseason Dak take off in this game and not look back. Much has been made about Dez not being involved in the offense this year. No one knows how to make out the Dallas running game with Alfred Morris still getting significant carries. This is a perfect spot for Dallas to “right the ship.” A-hoy, Captain Dak! The Bears will be rolling out the B-squad on Sunday night as every defensive player for them seems to be banged up. If you want a piece of this offense for a low price, here it is. Dak can get you scores through the air and on the ground. Double threats are great for fantasy. Since he is playing the Sunday Night game I know his ownership is sure to be down, down, down. Don’t overthink this one. This honestly may be the last week in awhile we can get Dak under a $6,000 price tag.
Fantasy Aces ownership from Thursday: 15 percent
DraftKings Price: $6300
If you don’t want to pay up on a hefty price tag, but want a running back in a good spot with high upside, look no further than Demarco Murray. I think Murray’s getting overlooked here due to; 1) Derrick Henry and 2) he’s been pretty meh in the rushing game. His rushing stats are padded by a 67-yard run he broke off last week against Detroit. My appeal here with Murray is Delanie Walker is banged up – his status for Sunday is in question. If Walker were to miss, I think Murray’s usage spikes. They have clearly established that they want Murray involved in the passing game with a healthy offensive corps. He’s got 12 receptions on 14 targets for the year and he led the team in receptions in week two. His only scores this year have come through the air (and in the red zone). Murray could potentially go off in this spot against Oakland. We’ve seen big games out of him before, and in both mediocre games this season he still managed over 20 DraftKings points. This week make it three, and dare I say he gets over 30…
DraftKings Price: $6100
Eddie Lacy has played in five career games versus the Detroit Lions. He has never scored a touchdown. Not one. Against their other divisional opponents, he has 12 touchdowns. Now hear me out. I’m aware that’s not a good number, but can we take that as gospel? I mean, five career games is a pretty small sample size. So I dove into these five games:
10/6/13 – 23 rushes for 99 yards, 1 catch for -2 yards – Packers offense was stalled out. The lone TD came on an 83-yard pass to James Jones. Crosby kicked four field goals. (HOME)
11/28/13 – 10 rushes for 16 yards, 2 caches for 23 yards – Rodgers missed the game so Matt Flynn played…horribly. Lions won big 40-10 with Packers putting up 126 total yards on offense. (ROAD)
9/21/14 – 11 rushes for 36 yards, 1 catch for 9 yards – Another Packers loss, this was a rough game for him as he had a fumble returned for a TD and accounted for a safety. (ROAD)
12/28/14 – 26 rushes for 100 yards, 3 catches for 26 yards – Packers win at home and Lacy is great despite a fumble. Had a TD vultured by Rodgers but his usage was through the roof. (HOME)
12/3/15 – 5 rushes for 4 yards, 1 catch for -3 yards – This game was an ugly Thursday night win for Green Bay as they won the game on a hail mary pass from Rodgers to Rodgers. Lacy was benched in this game for Starks, but Starks didn’t do great either. This can be chalked up as a game in the “year to forget” for Lacy who disappointed numerous times in ’15. (ROAD)
It’s important to note that while he has struggled against Detroit over the years. He plays SIGNIFICANTLY better against them at home. In two home games he has 49 rushes for 199 yards. Those are the numbers that are telling me to play Lacy in this spot. Packers coaches have come out this week saying that Lacy needs to be more involved in offense. Well, here you go, Eddie. Time to shine.
Fantasy Aces ownership from Thursday: 4 percent
DraftKings Price: $5,000
This is an ugly pick, I admit it. Most of these plays are to propel your lineup in GPPs to help you rake in the big bucks. This is a play that I’m on as a safe play with decent upside. Here me out. The Colts are a mess right now. Donte Moncrief is out for the next month and a half it seems and their wide receiver depth after Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton is atrocious. The Colts game versus San Diego is the highest projected scoring game on the Sunday slate with a 52 over/under. This is a game I want a piece of on Sunday. Now one thing to monitor is Andrew Luck’s status with a sore shoulder. He was a full participant in practice on Friday so he should be fine. Gore is only in play in my opinion if Luck is a go. If Luck’s in, Gore could potentially get 50-60 yards but two touchdowns. The redzone touches are up for grabs. With Luck’s limited passing options, Gore should see more looks. The Chargers defense can be exploited, and running backs have been doing so through the air in game scripts where opposing teams are playing from behind. Spencer Ware went bananas in that positive script versus the Colts in week one and despite the numbers, Yeldon had eight catches. They went for 10 yards, but for 1-point PPR on DraftKings those stats can’t be ignored.
Fantasy Aces ownership from Thursday: 9 percent
Honorable mention(s): CJ Anderson ($7300 on DraftKings) & Spencer Ware ($5700 on DraftKings)
DraftKings Price: $9600
Brown is once again the highest priced wide receiver on the board and back on the road vs Philadelphia. Last week, everyone was all-in on paying up for receiver and with most being left disappointed for doing so. I can see Brown’s ownership dropping as a result. Brown is the best receiver in football and always makes it onto at least one of my tournament lineups. In any week, he can be the highest scoring player on DraftKings of any position. Remember week one in Washington? Yeah, I do. I’m not going to let this matchup with Philadelphia phase me. Their defense has looked good in the post-Chip Kelly era, but Brown is matchup proof. Oh, and the Eagles are forced to roll out defensive backs Nolan Carroll and Jalen Mills with Leodis McKelvin out. The Steelers have a chance to go 3-0 before getting Le’Veon back. I mentioned last week in my write-up that this team wants to legitimately score 30 points again. I need exposure to this offense every chance I can get and with most people locking in DeAngelo Williams (can’t blame them) give me Brown at significantly lower ownership. Philadelphia has already allowed three plays over 40 yards on the year and a 30-yard play last week to Eddie Royal. Brown = $$$.
Fantasy Aces ownership from Thursday: 11 percent
Odell Beckham Jr.
DraftKings Price: $9100
The two highest priced wide receivers made it in, you say? Well yes, they do. I’m preparing myself for Sunday when I see OBJ’s tournament ownership in the milli-maker. I haven’t decided if he makes my mill-maker lineup just yet, because, well, Brown is a lock. If I can find the right plays though, this is a clear YOLO spot. Look, let’s get one thing straight – Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard are not OBJ. This notion that them being around hurts OBJ is a fallacy. If anything, it helps for his upside going forward now that he has competent help on the field with him. Teams are going to have to respect those guys leaving OBJ with one-on-one coverage. No defensive coordinator loves that idea. Shout out to Cynthia Frelund from NFL.com for this stat: all three of the Giant’s wide receivers have played in at least 91 percent of their offensive snaps. Even then, OBJ still leads the team in targets and is only one yard behind Sterling Shepard. The passing situation is in an all-around better situation with these weapons and eventually we’ll see OBJ start to benefit.
It can’t go without saying that this is shaping up for an OBJ-Norman rematch battle from last year. These two do not like each other and I know this game has been on both of their radars since Norman signed with Washington in the offseason. In DFS, I love finding narratives to go after. This week will be no different. Last year, Beckham put up 6-76-1 on nine targets, but also had three penalties called against him. This matchup will be chippy, but this could be the OBJ game to kick off his year. I project to get his first score and over 100 yards receiving which will get you a 3-point bonus on DraftKings.
Fantasy Aces ownership from Thursday: 2 percent
DraftKings Price: $6800
This is a tough one for me. I was on T.Y. Hilton last week and he’s the first player to be mentioned in back-to-back weeks on this article. I thought for sure the game versus Denver would lead to the Colts having to pass a lot and it did. Luck threw 41 times. The problem was that he just completed 21 of them. It was a little of a chase. This week really is no different. Jason Verrett has been shutting down No. 1 receivers all year on the outside. This is something to note because Hilton plays a majority of his snaps out of the slot (62 percent according to Pro Football Focus). This is a scenario I’m banking on – for the Colts to take advantage of. Lining up Hilton in prime spots away from Verrett. Like I said above with Gore, Indianapolis is running out of options for Andrew Luck. With Moncrief out, I don’t see how Hilton doesn’t receive 12-15 targets. Hilton is already tied for fourth in the league in targets with 23 on the year. In a game that has a very good chance to be a shootout, why not take Luck’s number one option?
Fantasy Aces ownership from Thursday: 7 percent
DraftKings Price: $4200
Expect low ownership for Lockett this week. I’m fairly certain of that. I’m also fairly certain there will be a home game this year when Lockett returns a kick to the house on special teams. Playing Lockett gives you the chance to stack him with the Seattle Seahawks defense and go for the “double dip.” The “double dip” is a term used in the daily fantasy community that allows you to get points for two players off of one play. The double dip is great, and at home versus the 49ers I don’t mind chasing it. Lockett is third on the team in targets, but leading the team in receiving yards and average yards per reception. Plus, a Lockett-Seattle D stack is only going to cost you around $8300 – a mere 16.6 of your DraftKings budget. Lockett is one of my favorite tournament plays this week.
Fantasy Aces ownership from Thursday: 1 percent
Honorable mention(s): Dez Bryant ($8400 on DraftKings) & Golden Tate ($5900)
DraftKings Price: $2500
Burton was a preseason stud and if you played preseason DFS this isn’t a new name to you. Burton broke out last week versus Chicago with Zach Ertz being out. Many saw Brent Celek as the player the passing offense would lean on. That was wrong. Carson Wentz and Burton have something special. Tight ends are a rookie quarterbacks best friend. Philadelphia is going to have pass in their game on Sunday against Pittsburgh. That is a good reason to like Burton at his price. Burton had 5-49-1 last week against the Bears. Since Burton’s price was locked in on DraftKings due to him playing on Monday night, I just can’t see myself passing up on this spot here. Burton won’t have to worry about Celek this week. The athletic third tight end for the Eagles is clearly the favorite here to dominate the snap share. Again, he’s MINIMUM price. A 5-50 would be 4x value and I see him with 7-80-1 upside. That’s nearly 8x value.
Fantasy Aces ownership from Thursday: 11 percent
Honorable Mention(s): Jared Cook ($2900 on DraftKings)