Projecting Ownership Percentage: FanDuel Week 2

Using ownership rates to build winning tournament and cash game lineups at FanDuel

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, representing expected weekend data*

Consensus Plays of Week

Drew Brees leads the quarterback ownership at 25%. The Saints are looking to rebound after a tough loss in Arizona and return home against a Tampa Bay defense who was torched by Tennessee in Week 1. Brees is pricey at $8,900, but a high floor option.

Carlos Hyde enjoys a static price for Week 2 following his Monday Night explosion against Minnesota.  At 33% ownership, Hyde gets a Steelers defense who struggled with Dion Lewis to open the season.

Chris Ivory ran hot in Week 1 and, when healthy, is one of the stronger interior backs in the NFL. The Colts were soundly defeated by Buffalo in Week 1, however, the Jets are on the road as a solid underdog.

Julio Jones had a quality game's worth of production in the opening 30 minutes against the Eagles. Atlanta is now in a high over-under game against the Giants for Week 2. The Falcons running game is a work in progress, as is the Giants secondary. Jones' ownership (37%) and floor match his elite salary at $8,800.

Antonio Brown, like Julio Jones, is a high-floor option with a premium price tag. The Steelers have another game without LeVeon Bell or Martavis Bryant making Brown and Heath Miller strong options.

Jordan Matthews, like Carlos Hyde, benefits from a Monday Night price lock. Matthews (26% owned) was easily the go-to receiver for Sam Bradford and now the Eagles have the highest over-under total total of Week 2.

Brandin Cooks, 15%, is a highly-owned stack with Drew Brees for Week 2 along with Bradford-Matthews. Cooks has rebound appeal against Tampa Bay after drawing Patrick Peterson in Week 1.

Jason Witten, like Terrance Williams, is a natural benefactor with Dez Bryant out of the Dallas passing game. At 15% Witten is atop the tight end ownership and at an affordable $6,000 price point.

Josh Brown is the projected top-owned kicker. The Giants are in one of the top-scoring matchups of the weekend against Atlanta and a bounce back from Eli Manning and the passing game is expected.

St. Louis Rams are a highly-owned defense (17%) drawing Washington and Kirk Cousins, one of the best matchups to exploit. The Miami Dolphins are a close second at the position with a juicy matchup against Jacksonville for $200 more if the salary cap allows.

Against the Grain

Eli Manning, despite the strong matchup against Atlanta, is sparsely owned in early data. A Manning-Odell Beckham Jr Jr. stack creates uniqueness for tournaments and banks on regression from the tandem after a forgettable Week 1.

Matt Ryan. While Julio Jones is heavily-owned, Ryan is not by the early numbers. A Ryan-Jones stack is easily complimented by Roddy White for a high-upside lineup variation against the depleted Giants secondary in a projected shootout. 

Frank Gore. The Colts are another offense coming off a down Week 1. Gore looked good on tape and did not see any red zone work of note. The Colts are now at home against a Jets team unlikely to challenge the Colts on offense. The positive game script would give strong odds of a Frank Gore bounce back.

DeMarco Murray. At less than 10% ownership, Murray is a strong play in Week 2 in the highest team total by Vegas. His efficiency on the ground was down in Week 1, but if the Eagles are playing with a lead more than their big early deficit in Atlanta, expect Murray to benefit.

A.J. Green nearly had a big performance in Week 1 against Oakland, keeping his buzz for Week 2 on simmer. At 5% early ownership, Green faces a strong opposition offense in San Diego as Cincinnati is much more likely to need home passing production this week.

Roddy White at less than 5% owned through Thursday is sparsely-owned stack with Matt Ryan instead of Julio Jones. White had a quality game in Week 1, but was held out of the end zone.

Davante Adams is being ignored compared to James Jones. Aaron Rodgers spreads the ball around and an 'Adams' game is coming. The tough matchup against Seattle is keeping Green Bay ownership low this week.

Donte Moncrief has surprisingly low ownership at less than 10% despite $6,000 price point, outplaying Andre Johnson in Week 1, and drawing the Jets' questionable secondary.

Heath Miller has signfiicantly lower ownership than Jason Witten and is $600 less. Both are in similar circumstances with quality quarterbacks at less than 100% capacity in the passing game. Miller is a high-floor option and a contrarian play to Witten and Week 1 standout Tyler Eifert.

Cody Parkey and Adam Vinatieri are both on the costly side at kicker ($5,000), but come with top projected team totals in likely wins for Week 2.

The Saints are a quality blend of lower ownership (6% in early locks), matchup (hello, Jameis Winston on the road), and salary at $4,500.

Example GPP Roster 1

Pos Player Price Own
QB Matt Ryan 8700 3%
RB Mark Ingram II 8000 9%
RB DeMarco Murray 8300 6%
WR Donte Moncrief 6000 6%
WR Jordan Matthews 7000 18%
WR Roddy White 7400 2%
TE Heath Miller 5400 3%
K Josh Brown 4500 14%
DST New Orleans Saints 4500 6%
    59800 7%

This is an example of the Matt Ryan-Roddy White stack. Incorporating Julio Jones into a triple stack is possible, but requires downgrading running back from Murray-Ingram (two of the best Vegas total combinations) for Lamar Miller and Frank Gore. Consider these changes as a variation on this lineup. While Jordan Matthews and Josh Brown are chalk selections by early ownership, there are plenty of low-ownership players to create a unique lineup for big tournaments.

Example GPP Roster 2

Pos Player Price Own
QB Eli Manning 8000 2%
RB Frank Gore 7000 1%
RB Mark Ingram II 8000 9%
WR Odell Beckham Jr Jr 8700 8%
WR Jordan Matthews 7000 18%
WR Donte Moncrief 6000 6%
TE Jason Witten 6000 15%
K Zach Hocker 4500 9%
DST New Orleans Saints 4500 6%
    59700 8%

This represents an option with the Eli Manning-Odell Beckham Jr Jr. stack. Jordan Matthews and Jason Witten represent chalk selections. Another variation is using James Jones instead of increase variance (or going with Davante Adams by swapping Witten to Heath Miller).

Cash Games: Go with the Herd

Pos Player Price Own
QB Drew Brees 8900 25%
RB Carlos Hyde 7000 33%
RB Chris Ivory 6900 19%
WR Julio Jones 8800 37%
WR Jordan Matthews 7000 18%
WR James Jones 5400 13%
TE Jason Witten 6000 15%
K Josh Brown 4500 14%
DST St. Louis Rams 4900 17%
    59400 21%

This represents the most-owned lineup for Week 2 by early ownership data. A variation includes swapping Donte Moncrief for James Jones or Ameer Abdullah/Bishop Sankey for Chris Ivory. Using the Dolphins over the Rams (both above 15% ownership) is another variation.