Deeper, Cheaper, and More Contrarian: Week 7
Welcome to Week 7. This is the first week of the year showing parity at QB. No QB is more than 22% owned (Matt Ryan). … This forces us to go very deep if we want to treat the position with a contrarian approach in Week 7 Fantasy Aces GPP contests. Running back and wide receiver have some clear-cut chalk that might give an edge if/when some of that chalk whiffs.
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By my estimation, there are only two good options to go full contrarian at quarterback this week, both only 1% owned.
Joe Flacco – $5850, 1%
The price is quite a bargain here, and the match-up at the New York Jets is one to behold. Flacco is averaging 44 attempts per game this year, yet has only thrown for five touchdowns in six games. The time is now for positive regression in that category, in addition to what will be his third outing of the year of 300+ passing yards. So long as he’s active, Flacco is the contrarian quarterback of the week.
Stack with Mike Wallace.
Andrew Luck – $7000, 1%
I’m at a loss as to why he’s flying under the radar, outside of the steep price tag. Luck has had 300+ all-purpose yards in three of six games, including the last two. The match-up isn’t prohibitive, so get him in a handful of lineups.
Stack with TY Hilton.
Parsing through Parity
While the above are fine deep, contrarian options, there may be reason to chase points over contrarianism this week. As mentioned before, there’s parity this week. Eleven QBs have at least 11% ownership. This is reason to take shots at who you see as the probable highest scoring player of the week, regardless of price or ownership. That said, there’s one game I have circled that could be quite the high scoring affair, between two pass-first teams. The Oakland at Jacksonville game opened with the second-highest total of the week (50), but has since dropped 2.5 points, and this public perception is reflected in the ownership percentages of both quarterbacks:
Blake Bortles – $6450, 12%
After last week’s clunker, 12% seems irresponsibly low for this super juicy home match-up. The Raiders’ secondary allows the most fantasy points to wide receivers, so Bortles’ stud wide receiver and other pass catchers are going to run free on the Oakland all day. Take advantage of the favorable price and ownership.
Stack with Allen Robinson. Options for a double stack are Julius Thomas, Marquise Lee, and Allen Hurns.
Derek Carr – $6550, 4%
For the third time this year, Carr is coming off a one-touchdown performance. The previous two times he responded with a three-TD and four-TD performance, showing an ability to avoid stringing bad games in succession. Also priced favorably with an even more useful ownership percentage, Carr is worth a long look.
Stack with Michael Crabtree and/or Amari Cooper.
Running back has some serious chalk this week. There are some super strong paper plays and values, but the ownership percentages are so high, they’re nearly untouchable in GPPs. Jacquizz Rodgers ($4000, 55%), DeMarco Murray ($5800, 50%), and Mike Gillislee ($3500, 38%) are all so overexposed, I’ll be finding ways to avoid.
Before diving into the pricier contrarian options, I want to discuss my pivot off of Rodgers and Gillislee, who happens to be even cheaper…
Mike Davis ($3000, 6%)
A favorite of mine since his days at South Carolina, Davis will get a chance to carry the mail for Chip Kelly with Carlos Hyde out this week. While the match-up isn’t as nice as his more highly-owned counterparts, he’s a superior talent and runner. Take the discount if you’re looking for a dirt cheap running and don’t want half the field pacing you.
Giovani Bernard – $4800, 2%
He saw the bulk of the work last week against the Patriots, including goal line carries. The match-up softens this week, with Cleveland coming to town for a huge chance to parlay Bernard’s high-value touches into contrarian gold.
Mark Ingram – $4800, 2%
With exact pricing and ownership to Gio, the workload is more attractive, but the match-up is less so. The last time he saw fewer than 18 touches was Week 2. Ingram is more often than not going to provide a solid floor with an always built-in ceiling.
Lamar Miller – $5600, 3%
The Denver match-up may seem daunting, but they rank in the bottom third of the league in fantasy points allowed to running backs, and Miller bolsters the workload we salivate over. With 22+ touches in five of six games this year, he’s in the RB1 conversation every single week, despite a slow start.
Le’Veon Bell – $6250, 6%
The ownership seems low considering how he should be the focal point of the offense sans Ben Roethlisberger. Bell should see all the carries and catches he can handle with the reigns reeled in on Landry Jones, assuming the game stays close (and possibly even if it doesn’t).
Anquan Boldin – $4000, 1%
Dirt cheap and near unowned, I’m a fan of rolling out the Detroit WR who won’t see Josh Norman this week. Boldin has scored in three of six games and has the most favorable individual match-up among Detroit wideouts.
Kendall Wright – $4200, 1%
Also super cheap and criminally under-owned, Wright’s usage is a head-scratcher after his recent monster line. After weeks of failed Tajae Sharpe experimentation, the Titans gave Wright a shot last week. He turned 9 targets into an 8/133/1 line that could become more of a norm than an exception.
Michael Crabtree – $4850, 2%
He seems forgotten after his torrid start, but Crabtree hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s averaging nearly 11 targets per game in road games and is in a nice under-the-radar bounce-back spot.
There are also three pricier options who are under-owned and I believe return top-10 scoring this week:
Allen Robinson – $5400, 18% (My favorite of the week)
Brandon Marshall – $5250, 6%
TY Hilton – $5000, 9%
Charles Clay – $4150, 2%
Buffalo’s skill positions are among the most injury-riddled in the league, and it appears both Robert Woods and LeSean McCoy will sit out Sunday. This should lead to a spike in usage for Clay, who’s already caught five balls in each of the Bills’ last three games. The price is also very attractive here.
Travis Kelce – $4900, 5%
Reasonable price, nice match-up, and low ownership for one of the elite talents at the position.
Martellus Bennett – $4600, 1%
He carries Gronk-ian ceiling without the price tag and has been totally avoided. Worth throwing into at least a handful of lineups.
In order of value and preference:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $2600, 4%
Miami Dolphins – $2500, 3%
Houston Texans – $2750, 1%
Philadelphia Eagles – $2900, 2%
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