Welcome to this week’s NFL DFS slate recap, your weekly breakdown of the past Sunday’s ownership numbers and player performances. Week 4 was a notable one, setting a new high for the most owned individual player of the season. There were also a few popular players who were extremely disappointing, as well as a bunch of low-owned guys who had great games.
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Comparing Two Contests
To reiterate from last week, the analysis here focuses on two of the largest contests that take place each week on DraftKings: the $333 Wildcat, and the $3 Play-Action. The Millionaire Maker contests are actually larger than these two, but given the nature of the prize pool in those contests, it seems more useful to focus on these instead. These are also two contests that have a large enough difference in entry fees to illustrate the differences in how low-stakes and high-stakes players are playing.
Pictured above are the largest differences in ownership between the two contests, with the 10 biggest gaps in each direction. In the $1M Wildcat ($333) Alvin Kamara made his way into more than half of the total lineups at 62.5%, which was substantially higher than his ownership in the $1.6M Play-Action ($3) at 46.2%. Kamara became the sole focal point of the Saints’ offense when Michael Thomas got hurt in Week 1, but the Saints weren’t actually on either of the main slates in Week 2 and Week 3 so this was the first chance for regular tournament players to get to use Kamara in his enhanced role. Kamara had a down week and he still managed to top 20 DKFP.
On the other side, James Robinson had the largest drop off in ownership going from low stakes to high stakes and the main reason for this was likely just his price. Robinson was extremely cheap for the first few weeks of the season, but strong fantasy production caused a spike in his cost and many of the lower-stakes players felt that he was still worth plugging in even at $6,500. Robinson was appealing for his strong matchup against the Bengals, but higher-stakes players clearly felt that there were better choices for less money, most notably Ronald Jones ($4,700) and Mike Davis ($5,700). Both Jones and Davis wound up outscoring Robinson on Sunday.
Several players had big games at low ownership in Week 4 and pictured above are the top-performing skill-position players who were under 5% owned in The Wildcat. DJ Chark, Mike Evans and Allen Robinson are all players who have been popular in other circumstances and aren’t big surprises to appear atop this list, so perhaps what’s more notable is that the fourth- and fifth-highest scoring sub-5% owned players both play for the Washington Football Team. Surely considering the tough matchup against the Ravens, there weren’t many people expecting big things from Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson this week, as they only had 1.5% ownership combined in The Wildcat. McLaurin and Gibson both did very well especially for their prices and wound up being two of the best GPP plays of the Week 4 slate.
Under 10, Over 10
For “Under 10, Over 10” you’ll find a complete list of the skill players who were at least 10% owned in the Wildcat but scored less than 10 fantasy points. There were actually two zeroes this week, with two of the more popular players of the week both getting shut out. Brandin Cooks and Adam Trautman are actually two of the guys who had the largest jump in ownership at higher stakes (see above) so the larger-entry players were hit even harder by these duds. Deshaun Watson and the Texans struggled in Week 4 in a losing effort to the Vikings and Cooks wasn’t able to haul in any of his three targets. Trautman’s poor game was very different, as the Saints scored 35 points to beat the Lions but Trautman didn’t even register a target. The Saints went with an extremely ground-heavy approach and there just wasn’t much to go around for most of their pass catchers
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.