NFL Divisional 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.
Wildcard Look Back and Divisional Look Ahead
As we enter the divisional round, the best way for us to get a gauge of the market is by looking at wildcard weekend and where the chips fell. With another similar 4-game slate spanning 2 days, we can leverage data from last weekend to guide our decision making this weekend.
The quarterback position featured 8 possible options last weekend, with ownership in the $27 GPP featuring Russell Wilson and Big Ben the highest owned at 27% and 22% respectively. They were followed up by Aaron Rodgers (15%), Eli Manning (15%), Matt Moore (9%), Matt Stafford (8%) and Brock Osweiler/Connor Cook at just 4% and 2%. The market has typically been good at identifying QB value, although Osweiler nearly ruined that wildcard weekend with a rushing touchdown on the cheap. The vegas lines themselves drive much of this ownership, although it is worth noting the way that pricing likely drove the ownership of Rodgers down and Wilson up, which we can leverage in the divisional round. Given that, we should expect the ownership of Big Ben, Alex Smith and Osweiler to be driven down by the team totals. Pricing will again deflect some ownership off of the highest priced QBs in Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, leaving Dak Prescott as your highest owned QB of the weekend, given pricing and team total dynamics. Matt Ryan should join Brady and Rodgers in the next tier. QB has been a fairly efficient position for the market identifying value on the whole, so it is up to you on how you want to handle the ownership, but at this point you shouldn't be caught by too many surprises.
DIVISIONAL ROUND PROJECTIONS | DST | KICKERS | TARGETS | CARRIES | RED ZONE | HISTORICAL | SNAPS | DEFENSE
At running back, as has been the case much of the season, the slate basically started with Le'veon Bell who was 62% owned in the $27 GPP and fairly consistent across most stakes. Because of that and expensive players at other positions, running back values Zach Zenner and Paul Perkins soaked up another 50% of the ownership. Lamar Miller (38%) and Jay Ajayi (22%) were also rostered fairly heavily. Running back continues to be an efficient market where eating the chalk has worked out more often than not on the season. The chalk this week should be Le'veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott at up around 50% each, and it is hard to imagine rosters not grabbing at least one of these 2 feature backs along with a small % grabbing both. Because of that we will likely see a little bit of ownership flex to Dion Lewis who represents savings at $3900 and possesses PPR upside, despite an unclear role. This will leave secondarily priced options like Devonta Freeman, Spencer Ware, Lamar Miller and Lagarrette Blount anywhere from 20% to 25% owned. Ty Montgomery and Tevin Coleman figure to be the least owned options with a secure path to playing time.
At the pass catching positions it was once again a position to pivot. Antonio Brown was half as owned as his RB counterpart and only the 4th highest WR on the slate, while popular value wide receivers Jarvis Landry, Sterling Shephard, Kenny Stills and Eli Rodgers produced mixed results. Finding value there was probably adequate in cash games but not to flirt with top GPP spots. In fact, it was 3% owned Randall Cobb who smashed value and was a requisite on most winning teams. Last week I called out that most people will "set it and forget it" with their lines and ignore late news, and this was proven by Cobb's low ownership, despite being declared active well in advance of the game. It was a dream situation where his owners were rewarded with the upper 1% of his range of outcomes at the lower 1% of his range of ownership. There aren't quite as many situations to monitor this weekend but one of those might be the New England Patriots crowded wide receiver depth chart. The DailyRoto projections currently have Edelman as the only positive value at wide receiver, but we are also spreading targets across him, Bennett, Hogan, Mitchell, Floyd and Amendola. Given that the NE Patriots are almost assured to dress special teams ace Matthew Slater, it is unlikely that they will dress five other wideouts. If they were to go more aggressive and only dress three, we'd expect one of them to emerge as a value. Randall Cobb should be the highest owned wide receiver off his performance at $5700, and other cheap options people chase will be Paul Richardson and Tyreek Hill. While I don't think it is wise to fade all of the Julio, Brown, Baldwin's of the world I think the value wide receivers is a perfect spot to give it a long look.
While the slates will keep rolling, this is your last chance to play a split Saturday / Sunday slate in the playoffs. As I said last week, don't forget that you can gain an advantage, albeit small, in both cash games and GPPs by leveraging late swap. As news breaks on Sunday morning many people will feel they are already ahead, on the perfect team, or drawing dead with their lineups. Those that are willing to invest the time and energy into optimizing on news can benefit. Similarly, by doing small things like putting Sunday players in the FLEX position, you can give yourself more flexibility. Be sure to check your teams Sunday morning to see where you may be drawing dead, playing with a lead or from behind.
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