Welcome back for the second installment of Deeper, Cheaper, and More Contrarian, my TwoQBs fam. Week One certainly wasn’t everything I hoped and dreamed of. … To quote Eric Church, I had some hits and a few big misses. Far too much chalk hit for my approach to be successful last week, but such is GPP life. There are inevitably a few weeks a year in which that will happen and, for some reason, Week One always seems to have what turns out to be odd retrospective outliers. Fret not, Week Two is here and simply put, the masses got the chalk wrong this week.
*This week’s ownership percentages are taken from the Week 2 Fantasy Aces $3 Quick Slant Thur-Mon GPP.
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Marcus Mariota – $6,000, 10%
While the 10% ownership isn’t ideal, it’s low enough to allow the matchup to dictate that Mariota is the top value, yet somewhat contrarian GPP play of the week at QB. Detroit is fresh off of being carved up by Andrew Luck to the tune of 385 yards and four passing touchdowns in addition to 21 rushing yards on just three attempts. Mariota himself was able to put together a respectable 271 yard, two touchdown passing game (4/19/0 rushing) against Minnesota, which is a markedly better unit than the upcoming Lions. This is a dark horse for being the highest-scoring game of the week, and Mariota will be my most-owned quarterback.
Recommended Stack: Tajae Sharpe ($3,950 – 25%) or Delanie Walker ($4,650 – 12%)
Drew Brees – $7,750, 6%
Okay, yes, there’s nothing at all cheap about this play, but just 6% ownership keeps it contrarian, which is a bit mind-boggling for a player who walks into almost any given week with as good a shot as any signal caller to finish the week as the overall QB1. Clearly Brees’ track record of statistical drop off away from Dome Sweet Dome is playing into the decision making of the masses, but I’m more than willing to ante up for Breesus. Last year’s matchup between these two teams was the third-highest scoring game in NFL history and neither defense has made improvements to make me believe this won’t be a high scoring affair once again. Prior to Thursday night’s percentages being released, I was operating under the assumption Brees would be the week’s highest owned quarterback and that he would have no place in my lineups because of it. I was floored to see him at only 6% and was pleasantly surprised to see Eli Manning was the week’s highest owned quarterback by a very large margin at 42%, making Eli the easy fade. If you’re going to open up the billfold for a quarterback this week, look no further than Brees.
Recommended Stack: Coby Fleener ($4,400 – 2%), Michael Thomas ($4,300 – 1%), Brandin Cooks ($5,600 – 7%), Willie Snead ($4,700 – 11%). That’s my recommended order. Choose a max of two. Naked Brees is also an option.
Carson Palmer – $6,950, 5%
Another shocker here, with Palmer coming in at only 5%. With Arizona once again at home coming off a home loss, I expect to see the pedal to the metal and a full throttle pace with no mercy shown to a Tampa Bay defensive unit fresh off allowing 334 yards and two passing touchdowns to the overrated and often incapable Matt Ryan. Palmer himself seemed to knock off some of the preseason rust last week with 271 yards and two touchdowns against a far more stout New England defense, while fighting against an unexpected and poor game script. The price here isn’t ideal, but he’s another candidate to be the week’s QB1. At only 5% ownership, this could turn into GPP gold.
Recommended Stack: Larry Fitzgerald ($5,150 – 4%) or Michael Floyd ($4,650 – 4%).
Carson Wentz – $6,000, 4%
Of the two Carsons, the younger one brings more value than the veteran, if not the same theoretical ceiling. Wentz put up 278 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL debut against the Browns last week, in a game that simply wasn’t very competitive. Going on the road to Chicago on Monday night should bring a more competitive game against a front-loaded defense that has a Swiss cheese secondary, which is likely to bring a pass happy game plan. (The Chicago defense might be carrying a different narrative into Week Two had Nuk Hopkins not uncharacteristically dropped a 30+ yard touchdown last week. These things happen, but it’s important to not rely only on box scores for scouting purposes). Look for Ryan Mathews to take a back seat to the passing game this week.
Recommended Stack: Jordan Matthews ($5,000 – 11%).
Other QBs on the radar for Week Two:
Ryan Tannehill – $5,850, 1%
The more-contrarian-than-you-need-to-be play of the week, Tannehill’s stat line was negatively altered by egregious Kenny Stills drops in Week One, in a game where he played better than the box score would suggest at Seattle. He should be in line for all the volume you want at New England this week.
Recommended Stack: Kenny Stills ($3,500 – 1% or Jarvis Landry ($4,800 – 3%).
Jameis Winston – $6,400, 3%
The reciprocity play to Carson Palmer, Jameis used a plethora of pass catchers en route to a four touchdown performance in Week One. The game script on Sunday could make Jameis the garbage time hero of the week.
Recommended Stack: None. Naked Winston or bust.
Ben Roethlisberger – $6,700, 6%
Ben can never be ruled out when playing at home and he is very much on the radar at only 6% ownership.
Recommended Stack: Antonio Brown ($6,450 – 17% or Jesse James ($3,600 – 17%).
Week Two fades due to high ownership:
Eli Manning – 42%, Derek Carr – 20%, Matthew Stafford – 19%, Cam Newton – 16%
T.J. Yeldon – $4,800, 8%
Yeldon will once again operate as the Jaguars’ bell cow this week, in a dream matchup at San Diego, and he’s only 8% owned. San Diego is fresh off of being thrashed by Chiefs running backs, and more of the same is coming. I only have slight hesitation in recommending he be in 100% of lineups in all formats. This is the value play of the week and it isn’t particularly close.
LeGarrette Blount – $4,650, 7%
The 7% ownership here tells me that it’s gone completely under the radar that Blount received 22 carries in Week One. He parlayed that into 70 rushing yards and a touchdown against a formidable Cardinals defense on the road. Heading home against a soft Miami defense, a “Blount game” is on the way, fire him up.
Todd Gurley – $6,000, 1%
While Week One raised plenty of red flags and cause for concern about Gurley’s game scripts and the Rams offense as a whole, it’s somewhat mind-boggling to see him at only 1% ownership heading back home off of a loss. Betting on Gurley’s talent to carry the Rams to a favorable game script would be super contrarian play.
Conundrum of the week:
C.J. Anderson ($5,700, 31%) projects as my highest gross point RB scorer of the week, but he is very highly owned. This is a spot where I simply can’t fade chalk and will be using him aplenty. On the other hand, the even higher-owned DeAngelo Williams ($4,950, 43%) projects for fewer gross points, and I will be completely off of him.
Doug Baldwin – $5,200, 1%
In a word, this is just silly. Or stupid. Or fortunate (for us). Last week the Seattle offense was clearly not humming, yet Doug still posted an extremely useful 9/92/1. Enter a St. Louis defense that just allowed 7/61/0 to a slot receiver (Jeremy Kerley) that barely played half the snaps and isn’t in the same league as Doug in terms of ability. One percent ownership just may lead to me having him in 100% of my lineups.
Julio Jones – $6,250, 4%
This one is nearly as mind-boggling as Baldwin, but Julio’s at least 4x more owned. NFL DFS is a game where knee-jerk decisions are often the rule and not the exception, as apparently the DFS world has missed that the all-world Falcons receiver heads into a matchup with an Oakland defense that just allowed 6/143/2 to Brandin Cooks. I expect Oakland to win this game convincingly and this is a huge bounce back spot for Julio. He will eat aplenty. (I apologize for the pricier recommendations, but when a player like Julio is ignored in a matchup like this we have to pounce)
Slightly higher owned options that are more affordable and in good spots:
Michael Crabtree – $4,900, 5%, DeSean Jackson – $4,700, 5%, Travis Benjamin – $4,500, 8%
Super Cheap and Super Contrarian Options:
Kenny Stills – $3,500, 1%, Cole Beasley – $4,400, 1%, Steve Smith – $4,400, 1%
Chalk that I can’t help but use:
Tajae Sharpe is 25% owned, however his $3,950 salary makes him likely to offer a huge value return on his salary as Mariota’s top outside target.
A.J. Green is pricey at $6,450, but his palatable 17% ownership makes his gross point output a dart worth throwing.
The gut wrenching fade of the week:
Odell Beckham Jr. is both pricey at $6,350 and super highly-owned at 37%. I’ll spend my WR money on a more bankable spot.
Tight end, much like last week, has a very wide spread of ownership. No player is more than 17% owned (Jesse James), and it becomes a value chase. I’m totally fine with James at his $3,600 salary, despite being the top-owned tight end. There is certainly value in that price and ownership isn’t so egregious that we’re boxed out.
As far as lesser owned values go:
Coby Fleener – $4,400, 2%
He could be in line for a bounce back game against a Giants defense that has been awful against tight ends for years and the ownership doesn’t properly reflect the ceiling here.
Eric Ebron – $4,400, 4%
After playing 91% of the snaps last week, with a touchdown included, the community is still sleeping on the third year already-in-progress breakout. He will be a staple in this section until more people catch on.
Greg Olsen – $4,900, 9%
Old reliable clearly isn’t sexy enough for most, but comes with the best floor we can ask for and certainly isn’t egregiously priced or owned. In games he doesn’t score, Olsen might be a hindrance to lineups, but will be a nice value when he does.
I’m mixing and matching the following:
Carolina – $3,400, 12%
Seattle – $3,400, 7%
Oakland – $2,600, 3%
Philly – $2,900, 3%
As always, send me your questions or success stories on Twitter — @tjcalkins
If you’re new to the 2QB DFS scene and would like to give Fantasy Aces a shot you can use our referral code to sign-up.
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