DraftKings Week 4 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. Pricing can do strange things to a man, to say the least. I learned that lesson last week as DraftKings cranked up the sharp dial on their Week 3 pricing. This lead to some strange things and uneasy chalk. In this week's WOAT we will discuss how sharper pricing impacts ownership and what it could mean.
Week 3 Chalk
The Week 3 chalk was lead off by Ty Montgomery (30%), who checked in at a very reasonable $6900 coming off of a big primetime performance, and both him and Le'veon Bell (26%) pass the sniff test as guys heading into the season that we would have been comfortable playing at high ownership, but from there things quickly slipped out of control. The next names up on that list included DailyRoto cover boy Zach Ertz who has been strong all year but also included Rashard Higgins, Jack Doyle, Isaiah Crowell, CJ Anderson, Jared Cook, Eric Ebron and Jermaine Kearse, all coming in above 10% ownership and in the 25 highest owned players. If I had typed up that sentence in the preseason there isn't a single player you would have been scared about fading. Reading that sentence again, there probably still isn't a single player you are scared about fading this week with the exception of Ertz.
The interesting thing is that even with sharp pricing, ownership tended to land the same. 62 players checked in above 5% ownership in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker while we had 59 players above that the week prior. Similarly, 26 checked in above 10% compared to 27 the week before. Despite pricing changes the market as a whole behaved pretty uniformly. This is important to me -- despite sharper or more efficient pricing, DFS players behaved pretty similarly in congregating around the chalky players. To me, this outlines the value of taking a more contrarian approach on DraftKings versus a slightly more chalky approach on a softer pricing format like Fanduel.
So what are we looking at for DraftKings Week 4 pricing and ownership?
On DraftKings it definitely seems like the sharp dial is still cranked up a notch while Fanduel is priced soft as ever. Ultimately when the ownership projections come out this is going to lead me to playing a slightly more chalky lineup on Fanduel and trying to pivot a bit more on the efficiently priced DraftKings setup. The other nuance we have to combat this week is the shrinking slate size. With DraftKings remove the Sunday Night Football game, another London game, and TNF we are left with just a 12-game main slate to attack which will in itself compress ownership. The majority of the tight-end ownership will be soaked up by just a few players. Zach Ertz and Rob Gronkowski will capture all of the "spend up $" while Jared Cook, Charles Clay and possible Evan Engram should garner the "spend down $." These are truths, how you handle them is up to you.
The other spend down position has to be at quarterback. Sure some may chase another elite Tom Brady game but I don't expect many to clammer to roster the likes of Matt Ryan or Carson Wentz as the 3rd most expensive on the board. This should lead construction to the likes of Carson Palmer or Trevor Siemian, but hey at least we know QB ownership gets spread out a bunch. The sharper pricing will also force more ownership to mid-range wide receivers with Larry Fitzgerald an easy place to start that conversation, along with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders who align with our QB chalk above. Because you can start multiple wide receivers I expect each of these players to carry double-digit ownership. If paying up, Keenan Allan, AJ Green and Odell Beckham Jr. offer attractive spots to do so, which in turn means I am forecasting low ownership for guys like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Mike Evans. Intertwined with this, of course, is the running back position where I don't expact to see a ton of chalk but wouldn't be surprised to see Dalvin Cook slide into last week's Ty Montgomery role as the heavily owned RB, with CJ Anderson and Christian McCaffrey also in consideration.
That is it for the DraftKings Week 4 Ownership article this week. 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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