DraftKings Week 3 WOAT: Weekly Ownership and Trends
This will be a weekly series discussing DraftKings Weekly Ownership and Trends (WOAT) in Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) tournaments that we can use to better ourselves as DFS players. If pricing were perfectly efficient, some DFS players could beat GPPs on ownership alone. Vince Lombardi once said ownership isn't everything, it's the only thing.
Ownership projections are a baseline for so many decisions I make on a weekly basis. They help low owned pivot plays at certain positions, to flagging chalk value that I may have overlooked that could smash me in cash games. They help break ties on my weekly decisions. One of my favorite things to look at is sharp vs. square plays on a weekly basis, by comparing the ownership of key players in high dollar GPPs versus large field public GPPs like the Millionaire Maker. In this week's DraftKings Week 3 ownership column we will focus on the sharp versus square divide from last week and how we can leverage it moving forward.
The biggest sharp and square divide centered around Melvin Gordon in week 2 with a home matchup versus the Miami Dolphins. DailyRoto was pro-Melvin driven by his insane volume, 3-down skillset and work in in the red zone, and we weren't alone in this take. Gordon went off at 29% owned in the large field $333 wildcat, versus a paltry 18% ownership in the Millionaire Maker. While Gordon wasn't found on the winning roster he was on several elite finishers' rosters after delivering a respectable 20.8 fantasy point performance. Score one for the sharps.
The sharps also won at the RB position narrowly with Ty Montgomery at 5% higher ownership in high-stakes formats though he was still public chalk. Ty Money smashed value scampering to a 29 point outing on DK and rewarding our cover boy. Two other interesting cases were Zeke Elliott and Le'veon Bell who were both higher owned in high-stakes than they were in lower formats. The most logical explanation for this is that their volume is so secure on a weekly basis that high-stakes regs were willing to look past either disappointing Week 1 performances or their tough matchups. With less than 20 points between them, it is safe to say the public won that battle.
The 3 highest public RBs were Marshawn Lynch, Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette who were coming in hot off of Week 1 performances. While DFS games, in general, have a more informed audience than previous years, one public tendency is to chase points from the prior week and we see a little bit of that here. Lynch's volume was not secure, while Fournette had the role but a grinding matchup with a low team total. Kareem Hunt at 19% owned in the Milly Maker and 13% in the Wildcat was a big victory for the public. The 1st half sharp fade looked good on paper but the dynamic back made people pay with big plays in the 2nd half.
At wide receiver, the biggest thing I noticed is that the public is more drawn to name value while the sharps are willing to look past that and focus on a player's role. This is proven clearly by the higher sharp ownership of JJ Nelson and Marqise Lee whose prices offered lineups a ton of flexibility and each player was entering with an expanded role. Nelson (20% / 12%) and Lee (12% / 5%) both entered Week 2 in situations where they would see a lion's share of snaps and targets but are not known fantasy commodities. Nelson absolutely smashed value producing a 26 DK point performance while Lee offered up a serviceable 15 points at his discounted price. This should be a lesson for everyone not to get squeamish at a player's name and focus purely on his opportunity and game situation.
And the public? Well they chased Tyreke Hill's monster night to a low 9 point outcome and didn't pivot off of Adam Thielen even when Sam Bradford was ruled out. They paid up for name value like Brandin Cooks and Antonio Brown. Wide receiver was a big place where sharps separated themselves in Week 2 GPPs.
The public plays can certainly pay off, but it is worth noting when you are on the wrong side of a sharp / square divide. Personally, I was underweight on JJ Nelson compared to Marqise Lee and it proved costly. While Brady-Gronk-Hogan stacks were enough to vault me into the 1% of many formats, it seemed I was a Marqise Lee to Nelson pivot away from hitting the nuts.
So who are the sharp plays for Week 3?
At Quarterback I expect the higher stakes games to pay down more at QB this week with tougher matchups on paper and lower game totals for Brady, Rodgers and co. Guys like Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton will offer a good opportunity to do just that, and I also think high stakes regs will be more willing to look past the slow start from Kirk Cousins than the public will.
At the RB position, the sharps and public will continue to pound Ty Montgomery, despite an inflated price. He may not hit 40% ownership again but he's a sure bet to be owned across all formats. Meanwhile, I expect a decent sharp/square divide on Le'veon Bell who is fresh off of two disappointing weeks. The public and season-long drafters are surely frustrated, while high stakes players have an enormous sample size and will want to play the Bell at his discounted price. Bell's opportunities have still been there to produce and I think it will take some change in that regard to get the sharps to look past.
Davante Adams headlines the wide receiver position with Jordy Nelson leaving the Sunday Night game early and Randall Cobb limited in practice. This is a clear situation where if either receiver can't go this weekend Adams' target volume increases immediately. Off of a big primetime performance (24 DK points) that was almost even bigger, Adams is in a workload situation with a talented QB that will be locked in all formats but especially by high stakes regulars.
If you are looking for this week's JJ Nelson or Marqise Lee then you should look no further than Cleveland Browns wideout Rashard Higgins. Who? Yes, I asked myself the same thing many times, and in previous years with the likes of Cameron Meredith. All you need to know is that he'll be highly owned by sharps and his nickname is Hollywood Higgins.
For our thoughts be sure to check out our premium strategy article, projections and ownership projections from the Unsourced Fantasy Collective.
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