Knowing the expected ownership rates heading into a weekend of FanDuel contests is a powerful tool. Knowledge is power. There will be heavily used players and underrated options from which to pick and choose quality lineups. Cash games are the perfect place for using a bevy of highly owned options and playing it safe. The cash line is simply finishing above the average score (typically in 110-120 point range). In a tournament field (GPP), finishing in the money takes more risk and variance to achieve a high mark worthy of cashing. There is no prize difference between finishing middle of the pack or dead last in GPP contests. Here are the strategies centered around player ownership for FanDuel this week:
*Collected ownership data from Thursday Night locking contests*
CONSENSUS PLAYS OF WEEK
Carson Palmer is in his own tier of ownership at 19%. The game script should be positive against San Francisco, allowed 311 yards and two scores to Palmer back in Week 3, a comfortable Arizona victory.
Thomas Rawls and Doug Martin are the slam dunk high-ownership running back plays. Both eclipsed the 25% mark and are coming off highly productive games in Week 11. Of the two, the Colts (Doug Martin) are the much better matchup of the two, giving up huge games to Mark Ingram II and T.J. Yeldon of note. Devonta Freeman was ripping the Colts (3-43-0) before his early exit last week.
It is DeAndre Hopkins' world and the rest of the receivers are just living in it at nearly 50% on the week. In addition to his typical high-floor and ceiling expectations, Hopkins gets the enviable matchup with the Saints, who have allowed the second-most touchdowns to wide receivers in the NFL. Even Jamison Crowder, Dorial Green-Beckham, Josh Huff, and Terrance Williams have logged quality games against New Orleans this season. Odell Beckham and Larry Fitzgerald also logged at least 25% ownership; Both have top half matchups.
Delanie Walker leads the tight end pack at more than 21%. The second tier consists of Gary Barnidge and Tyler Eifert in the mid-teens. For Walker, Oakland has allowed an NFL-high 10 touchdowns to tight ends, including to Rhett Ellison, Jesse James, and Ladarius Green off the TE1 grid. Barnidge has a stingy matchup with Baltimore (44 yards per game, two total scores to tight ends).
The Cardinals and Stephen Gostkowski are the popular plays on defense and special teams. Blaine Gabbert has surprised in recent weeks for the 49ers, but San Francisco remains a limited offense likely playing from behind. The Patriots are a prime candidate to stall on a few more drives for field goals with an offense running on injury fumes against a top defense.
AGAINST THE GRAIN
Russell Wilson is a top value play by Footballguys projections for Week 12, yet sports just 1% early ownership. The only demerit for Wilson against Pittsburgh is pinning a stack partner in the passing game. Ryan Fitzpatrick is another low-owned quarterback with a positive matchup with Miami. The Dolphins allowed 252 total yards to Fitzpatrick in Miami in Week 4. Now the Jets get them at home.
Spencer Ware is a high-volume (low early ownership) option with Charcandrick West up in the air and, as of midday Saturday as a 'Doubtful' tag to his Week 12 availability. Yet to practice with a nagging hamstring, Ware would be the bell cow against Buffalo. Tevin Coleman fits the bill as well with Devonta Freeman ruled out recovering from a concussion. Coleman has been limited in his red zone and passing game involvement to-date in his rookie season.
*Saturday Update: Charcandrick West is now OUT, further boosting Ware's appeal as a low-cost, high volume play*
Donte Moncrief and a pair of Seattle options, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, are notable receivers with 1.5% ownership or less. The Steelers are a top-5 matchup, allowing six different wide receivers to surpass 60 yards in the past two games. All three are below $6,000 as affordable WR3 plays in tournaments.
The Seahawks have been an optimistic matchup for tight ends and Heath Miller is up in Week 12. Miller had 1.8% ownership on Thursday. Vance McDonald had a strong day last week against Seattle (4-65-1), Jermaine Gresham found the end zone in Week 10 of recent note.
The Chargers have struggled (being kind) on offense of late. The Jaguars have multiple sacks in eight games this season and the Chargers have a similar track record of allowing pressure. Jacksonville was 1.6% owned early in the week.
EXAMPLE GPP ROSTER 1
|WR||Odell Beckham Jr||9100||27.3|
McCown, Benjamin, and Barnidge form a high-upside stack against struggling Baltimore. This week is a prime chance to use T.J. Yeldon. Odell Beckham and Adrian Peterson are possible with savings across the board at other positions.
EXAMPLE GPP ROSTER 2
|DST||Kansas City Chiefs||4500||15.5|
This is a top stack by Footballguys projections with Hoyer-Hopkins. Gronkowski is minimally-owned compared to typical weeks and with Denver's ability to lock down wide receivers (and New England limited already at the position), Gronkowski is their best chance through the air more than the average week.
CASH GAMES: GO WITH THE HERD
|DST||Kansas City Chiefs||4500||15.5|
The top receivers are tough to all fit, but shifting from Beckham to Benjamin keeps Hopkins and Fitzgerald within the cap. Rawls and Martin are easy choices with their ownership and salary combinations.