Deeper, Cheaper, and More Contrarian: Week 1

Deeper, Cheaper, and More Contrarian: Week 1

Each week I’ll highlight GPP players that are a combination of attractive, underpriced, and under-owned to help you building a GPP-winning lineup on Fantasy Aces. …  (I will wait until late Thursday night on as many weeks as possible to utilize Thursday night ownership percentages*). The goal is to not just to cash in Fantasy Aces’ GPPs, but to also pinpoint under-owned players who can help us reach the highest cash levels and take down tournaments. I’ll also discuss some over-owned players to potentially fade.

*This week’s ownership percentages are taken from the Week 1 $3 Quick Slant Thur-Mon GPP.


Brock Osweiler – $5,850, 8% owned

While the 8% ownership is slightly higher than ideal, the situation is just right. Making his first start for the QB-friendly Bill O’Brien, Osweiler faces a Chicago defense that projects to be quite burnable on the back-end, while likely to be stout against the run. He should look up his talented trio of receivers early and often, in addition to targeting capable pass catcher Lamar Miller, which is a staple of O’Brien’s offense. There is an outside shot this is the cheapest that Osweiler will be all year, so be sure to hitch a few lineups to this Week 1 value.

Recommended Stack: Deandre Hopkins (16%). Rookies Will Fuller (1%) and Braxton Miller (0%) are longshot contrarian gold options as well.

Robert Griffin III – $5,950, 3% owned

The 3% ownership here is exactly what we’re looking for in a cheap QB with mammoth upside this (and every) week. If the preseason is any indication, new coach Hue Jackson fully understands that RGIII’s biggest strength is the deep ball, and isn’t afraid to let him uncork bombs to his unproven, yet capable, deep threat Terrelle Pryor (1%). Also exciting is talent-rich rookie Corey Coleman’s (1%) first NFL game. Combined with RGIII’s ability to make plays with his legs, this situation has as much potential as any to bring home a GPP.

Recommended Stack: Pryor or Coleman.

A few other contrarian QBs to consider on Fantasy Aces in Week:

Joe Flacco – $6,000, 1% owned

The ownership percentage is the most attractive thing here in a mediocre matchup, but there should be plenty of passing volume.

Recommended Stack: No stack here. We need to get a better read on WR and TE usage in the Ravens offense before we feel comfortable stacking him with a pass-catcher, so naked Flacco would be the play here.

Blaine Gabbert – $5,000, 1% owned

Another option made more attractive by its contrarianism, the 49ers are likely to be left with little choice but to sling it against the Rams’ front-loaded defense.

Recommended Stack: Vance McDonald (3%), Torrey Smith (0%) and/or Jeremy Kerley (0%). Don’t use more than two in the same lineup.

Week 1 Quarterbacks to fade:

For GPP purposes, Dak Prescott’s 39% ownership makes him a fade. He’s still a fine cash option but there’s no comfortability sharing a player with nearly half the field. Other moderately high ownership fades are Matthew Stafford (26%), Derek Carr (21%) and Russell Wilson (16%).

Running Back

Ameer Abdullah – $4,350, 2% owned

Indy’s defense has been historically gouged by the run and there have been no personnel changes nor philosophy changes to believe 2016 will be any different. In a game that has as good a chance as any to be the highest scoring of the week, get on board the RB that will receive the most touches against Indy.

Rashad Jennings – $4,550, 3% owned

All indicators are Jennings has resumed the Giants’ feature back roll, including goal line work, and gets Dallas’ mediocre front. Affordable and criminally under-owned, you should have no hesitation rolling with Jennings.

Eddie Lacy – $4,950, 5% owned

No longer priced as an elite back, it would appear Lacy shed believers along with all the pounds this offseason. At 5% ownership, his price is far too low and he would appear to have as favorable a game script as any RB

Other RB options:

Latavius Murray – $4,950, 5% owned

Ryan Mathews – $4,900, 7% owned

Devonta Freeman – $5,550, 7% owned. Yes, he’s pricey, but the lack of ownership would make me remiss to not mention him.

Week 1 Running Backs to fade:

Spencer Ware’s 52% ownership makes him unattractive, but not a full fade. He’s in a unique situation where his price, game script and role could make him a necessary part of a winning lineup, even though I couldn’t endorse near 100% ownership.

Other high ownership fades include DeAngelo Williams at 35% and Lamar Miller at 31%.

Wide Receiver

In addition to the aforementioned receivers to stack with their respective quarterbacks above, there’s quite a list of very strong WR plays that are egregiously below what their ownership should be.

The following are players that are 1% and 2% owned that could be difference makers for little to moderate cost:

Tavon Austin – $4,450

Jarvis Landry – $4,800

Markus Wheaton – $4,100

The next group of players are elite or near elite players so they’re pricier, but all fall within 3-5% ownership and can be exploited:

Doug Baldwin –$4,900

Brandon Marshall –$5,400

Alshon Jeffrey –$5,000

Keenan Allen –$5,200

AJ Green –$ 5,700

Week 1 Wide Receivers to fade:

The high ownership wide receivers that are preferred fades are Antonio Brown at 34% and Julio Jones 26%. It needs to be noted that these two have the ability and situations to be the top scoring player of any given week and can never be full fades, however their ownership percentage makes anything short of top-5 positional numbers for the week a hindrance. Amari Cooper’s 23% ownership makes him a full fade, especially when considering the cheaper Michael Crabtree is only 6% owned.

Tight End

Tight end is an odd spot this week. Jordan Reed is the top owned tight end at 28% and rightfully so, as no other tight end brings his weekly ceiling to the table. After Reed, no single tight end is more owned than Jesse James’ 11%. In these instances, pricing values are what should be attacked. Here’s the preferred order:

Eric Ebron – $4,250, 1% owned

Vance McDonald – $3,500, 3% owned

Martellus Bennett – $4,200, 1% owned (moves to number one if Gronk sits)

Zach Ertz – $4,300, 7% owned


The Houston defense checks in at 8% ownership and are by far the top play of the week. They’re at home against a porous offensive line protecting Jay Cutler, who no longer has Adam Gase or Marc Trestman holding his hand, and the O-line is blocking for one of the worst graded running backs of 2015. The only disclaimer is this play and the Osweiler stacks could render each other mutually exclusive as winning plays, so it would be prudent to use a different DST with those stacks. Those recommended pivots are the Rams on Monday night or the Browns (admittedly putrid) unit against a rookie starter who carries full face plant in his possible range of outcomes.

Good luck this and every week and I’m eager to hear your success stories on Twitter!

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TJ Calkins

TJ Calkins owns a small business in steel manufacturing that you've never heard of and is sarcastic to a fault. Whether it's dynasty, DFS, best ball or redraft, he's always finding a way to get his fantasy football fix. You can find him on Twitter @tjcalkins

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