Herein is another edition of “Fantasy Draft Dominator” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on FantasyDraft and make recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments. FantasyDraft is one of the few sites in the industry that allows you to see Ownership Percentage after roster lock but before the player’s game kicks off. To leverage this unique opportunity, we have compiled Ownership Percentages from the biggest Thursday GPP to help lend insight into both tournament and cash-game strategy for the Sunday Contests.
Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. Cash game players are the top overall values of the week and can be used without regard to expected ownership percentage. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games. Expected ownership levels is also a major consideration in determining the top GPP options. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he will fall into both categories.
FantasyDraft Dominator will be posted each Friday morning, but will also be updated throughout the week as new information becomes available. Should you have any questions or players you want to discuss, hit me up on twitter (@hindery).
CASH GAME CONSIDERATIONS
The bargain options at tight end and a potential bargain must-play at running back (Charcandrick West is Spencer Ware is out) combine to make paying up at quarterback easily achievable. Aaron Rodgers ($14,700) is the obvious top play with the new-look Packers offense throwing almost every down and facing an awful Colts defense. Dak Prescott ($11,400) is a strong bargain option paired with Ezekiel Elliott, as it allows you to essentially lock up all of the scoring in what looks like an easy matchup against the Browns struggling defense. If you can’t quite make the salary for Rodgers, Drew Brees ($13,600) is a nice fallback option in what should be a high-paced game in San Francisco against a bad defense.
Aaron Rodgers (Cash and GPP; $14,700) Rodgers will likely be the highest owned quarterback this week in both cash games and GPPs. The Packers are heavy favorites playing at home against a bad Colts pass defense that ranks 31st, allowing 288 net passing yards per game. Indianapolis could be without top coverman Vontae Davis and Safety Mike Adams, which would further stress an already poor coverage unit. Green Bay’s implied team total of 30.8 is the week’s highest (and one of the highest of the entire season). Green Bay’s offense has righted the ship in recent weeks by essentially abandoning the run game (Rodgers led the team in rushing attempts (6) and yards (60) last week), spreading teams out and throwing most downs. The Packers ran 53.5% of their plays last week with at least four wide receivers on the field. Rodgers has averaged just over 45 passing attempts per game over his last four and the spread, pass-heavy attack has been tough for opponents to deal with as Rodgers has seven touchdown passes over the past two weeks.
Dak Prescott (Cash and GPP; $11,400) Prescott is the consensus top H-Value play in the Footballguys Interactive Value Chart. While backfield-mate Ezekiel Elliott will be the highest-owned player on the slate (expect GPP ownership of over 60%), Prescott is equally well-positioned to have a big game. He is coming off of a huge 28.3 point performance against a very good Eagles defense and gets to face arguably the worst pass defense in the league. Cleveland has allowed 19 touchdown passes against this season and only the struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick failed to pass for at least two scores against them. Prescott has been very efficient as a passer, with 7.9 Adjusted Yards per attempt (3rd in the league). While he projects to have a solid floor as a passer this week, it is his rushing ability that provides much of his upside. After scoring 41 touchdowns on the ground in college, Prescott has already found the end zone as a runner four times in seven games this season. In fact, Ezekiel Elliott has only scored once more on the ground than Prescott has. With all the focus on Elliott this weekend, Prescott punching in a goal line carry or two could tilt tournaments heavily towards Prescott owners, making him a nice leverage play.
Andrew Luck (Cash and GPP; $12,600) Luck is surprisingly floating a bit under the radar despite favorably pricing this weekend in his matchup against the Packers. The game has obvious shootout potential with a game total of 54 points, but Rodgers’ ownership was more than five times that of Luck in Thursday tournaments despite the large gap in price. Indianapolis is likely to get gashed through the air by Rodgers, which could force Luck to play from behind, which is a scary proposition for opposing defenses. Green Bay will be without a number of top cornerbacks in this matchup and will have a tough time covering all of the Colts weapons (assuming T.Y. Hilton is healthy enough to play). At expected low ownership, Luck is an excellent tournament play with massive upside and his mid-priced salary also makes him an attractive option for cash games.
|Running Back||Own %|
|Melvin Gordon III||24%|
Cash Game Considerations
It is likely to be a chalky week at running back again. Ezekiel Elliott ($14,900) will see cash-game ownership of over 75% in a dream matchup against the Browns. If Spencer Ware scratches, Charcandrick West ($8,800) will also see sky-high ownership rates. Melvin Gordon III ($12,000) and Le’Veon Bell ($14,600) are both likely to see 25+ touches and heavy involvement in the passing game. Both are strong options despite facing tough run defenses.
Ezekiel Elliott (Cash and GPP; $14,900) Elliott is the most obvious play on the slate this weekend. The ultra-talented rookie returns to Ohio (where he played his college ball) in an incredibly favorable matchup. The Browns were gashed by the Jets mediocre rushing attack for 171 yards and 3 scores last week and are allowing 144 rushing yards per game overall (2nd most in the league). As Footballguys offensive line analyst Matt Bitonti noted, this is the first time that his top-rated offensive line faces his lowest ranked defensive front-seven. It is an obvious mismatch. Despite rough matchups against top run defenses (Green Bay and Philadelphia) the past two outings, Elliott put up 322 yards of total offense on 28 touches per game.
Melvin Gordon III (Cash and GPP; $12,000) While all the focus is on Elliott, Gordon is arguably the best play of the weekend at the running back position. The Chargers have been decimated by injuries to their offensive weapons and Gordon has had to pick up a huge amount of the slack. He has played a whopping 65 snaps in each of the past two weeks. The injuries at wide receiver and tight end (and the injury to Danny Woodhead) have forced Gordon to step up as a receiver. He has 7 targets in each of the past two games and racked up an impressive 10 catches, 97 yards and a receiving touchdown over the past two games. He has also been a workhorse carrying the ball as well, with 27, 22 and 23 carries over the past three weeks. Gordon has seen at least 29 combined targets and carries in each of his last three outings. For just $12,000 it is tough to pass on that type of expected workload despite a mediocre matchup. While Tennessee’s run defense has been stingy, running backs have found some fantasy success against them in recent weeks with each of the last three opponent backs catching at least 5 passes for 40+ yards. Plus, the Chargers are home favorites with a healthy implied team total of 25.8 points.
Theo Riddick (Cash and GPP; $9,800) There will not be a lower-owned value play in tournaments this weekend than Theo Riddick. The Vikings defense is excellent and the Lions implied team total of just 17.5 points is unattractive, so the low ownership is somewhat understandable. But the game script and matchups are favorable for Riddick and his heavy involvement as a receiver gives arguably the highest floors of any sub-$10k option. David Dodds, Maurile Tremblay and Sigmund Bloom each project Riddick for at least 5 catches and 40 receiving yards. If the Vikings defense is vulnerable anywhere, it is to pass-catching backs. Last week Jordan Howard and Jeremy Langford put up 60 receiving yards out of the backfield. The Eagles backs had 50 receiving yards in Week 7. The Giants backs had a whopping 115 receiving yards. The Titans backs had 76 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Charcandrick West (Cash and GPP; $8,800) If Spencer Ware ends up inactive (as of Friday morning, he has still not practiced this week), West is a must-play in both cash games and tournaments. Kansas City are 7.5-point home favorites against a reeling Jaguars squad that gave up 42.5 fantasy points to Tennessee’s top two backs last week. West could see a monster workload with Ware out. Jamaal Charles is on injured reserve and fourth-string back Knile Davis was recently traded to Green Bay. The only other back on the roster currently is Bishop Sankey who was just signed off of the Patriots practice squad a few days ago. Expect ownership in all formats of over 50% if Ware is rule out. But even if Ware is cleared form concussion protocol, West makes a strong GPP play because Ware may not see his normal workload even if he is active on gameday.
|Wide Receiver||Own %|
|Willie Snead IV||3%|
|Odell Beckham Jr Jr||2%|
|Marvin Jones Jr||1%|
Cash Game Considerations
Antonio Brown ($16,700) is back in play due to the expected return of Ben Roethlisberger. If you can fit his salary in, he is the top option from a pure points perspective. Jarvis Landry ($13,300) is an alternative WR1 option who should also see double-digit targets. He doesn’t have the same touchdown upside as Brown, but the cap savings are significant. In the middle tier, it makes sense to target the potential shootouts (New Orleans at San Francisco and Indianapolis at Green Bay). Michael Thomas ($10,400) is the receiver to target in New Orleans. Donte Moncrief ($10,900) looks like the surest bet for a heavy workload in the Indy-GB matchup with T.Y. Hilton ailing and the targets tough to predict for the Packers with so many options at Aaron Rodgers’ disposal assuming both Randall Cobb ($12,300) and Ty Montgomery ($11,000) return to the lineup. The Green Bay receivers make more sense in GPPs than cash this week.
Donte Moncrief (Cash and GPP; $10,900) Moncrief narrowly missed having a monster fantasy game in his Week 8 return from injury. He ended up with a modest 4-41-1 line, but had a 45-yard touchdown reception called back by penalty and narrowly missed another deep ball. He is in a strong spot this week with T.Y. Hilton expected to play, but not 100% due to a hamstring injury. The Falcons were in a similar spot against this same Green Bay defense last week with superstar receiver Julio Jones not quite healthy. Their secondary receivers, Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel, combined for 12 catches, 152 yards and 2 touchdowns. With Green Bay expected to score early and often, Indianapolis will have to throw a bunch to stay in the game and Moncrief may be the top target for Andrew Luck. He makes for an outstanding play in GPPs and is a solid option in cash games as well due to his bargain salary.
Michael Thomas (Cash and GPP, $10,400) The New Orleans-San Francisco matchup projects to be the fastest-paced and one of the highest scoring matchups on the slate. The Saints are favored and have a huge 28.8 implied team total. We will want to have some exposure to this game (especially the Saints offense) in tournaments and Thomas gives us the most bang for our buck. Thomas is emerging as the co-#1 receiver in New Orleans alongside Brandin Cooks. After torching Kansas City for 10 catches and 130 yards in Week 7, Thomas caught each of his six targets against the Seahawks last week despite being matched up against Richard Sherman for much of the game. San Francisco has given up some big games to opposing wideouts, so there is real GPP upside. The bargain price and Thomas’ surprisingly high floor (at least 12.3 fantasy points in each of the last five games) make him a strong cash game option as well.
Jarvis Landry (Cash; $13,300) Landry is a strong option for cash games with one of the highest floors on the slate. Landry is averaging 6.6 receptions and 82 yards per game. While his usage has been down slightly in recent weeks due to the emergence of Jay Ajayi in the running game, the matchup against the Jets should dictate that he gets back to seeing his usual 10+ targets per game. The Jets have a stingy run defense that forces teams to employ pass-heavy game plans. The Jets are awful against the pass, allowing a league-worst 289 net passing yards per game. While Landry’s floor is as high as any receiver’s on the slate, his upside is somewhat limited for GPPs. He has scored just five touchdowns over his last 23 games.
|Tight End||Own %|
Cash Game Considerations
There is some value at wide receiver and running back this week, so it is possible to pay up for Greg Olsen ($11,600) or Jimmy Graham ($10,600). But the better play is to load up at other positions and pay down at tight end. Kyle Rudolph ($7,800) will be the chalkiest option but Eric Ebron ($6,000) and Antonio Gates ($5,900) should also be heavily targeted and priced at extreme bargain rates.
Kyle Rudolph (Cash and GPP; $7,800) Rudolph has averaged 7.8 targets per game this season and seen over 20% of the targets for the Vikings. He also has caught 31% of Minnesota’s receiving touchdowns. There is a bit of uncertainty about how the Vikings offense will look with Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner stepping down and Tight Ends coach Pat Shurmur stepping up as the new play caller. While Shurmur’s offenses haven’t been as tight end-friendly as Turner’s, the matchup against Detroit is so favorable that Rudolph almost has to be a huge part of the game plan this week. The Lions have given up a league-high 8 touchdowns to opposing win receivers. Last week, the struggling Houston passing offense completed 10 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown to the tight end position. Rudolph looks like the top option in cash games and is a decent GPP option despite high expected ownership due to his touchdown upside.
Eric Ebron (GPP; $6,000) Ebron ranks as a top-3 option at the position in terms of H-Value, but can still be had at very low ownership due to fear of the Vikings defense. Ebron returned to action in Week 8 and was a huge part of the Lions game plan, catching 7-of-10 targets for 79 yards against the Texans stingy pass defense. Minnesota is a great defense but top notch cornerback play pushes targets away from opposing wide receivers and towards running backs and tight ends. The Vikings allowed 9 catches for 101 yards to the Bears tight ends last week. At a near-minimum salary, Ebron has major upside this week and makes for a great GPP play at low ownership.
|Kansas City Chiefs||32%|
|Green Bay Packers||5%|
|Los Angeles Rams||4%|
|New Orleans Saints||2%|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0%|
Cash Game Considerations
The Chiefs ($6,900) are the chalk this week at home against the struggling, turnover prone Jaguars offense. If roster construction forces you to pay down, the Rams ($4,600) are a decent option. The Los Angeles line should dominate the injury-riddled Panthers offensive line that could be without a pair of starters. Carolina is traveling cross country and the Rams have been tough at home.
Kansas City (Cash and GPP; $6,900) The obvious option has been the correct play often in recent weeks. The Chiefs are the obvious option this week. Kansas City’s aggressive scheme has forced at least two turnovers in each of the past three games. The Chiefs also rediscovered their pass rush with six sacks last week, as Dee Ford has begun to emerge as a force off the edge. The Jaguars are allowing 2.5 sacks per game and have turned the ball over 13 times in seven games. The Chiefs are favored by 7.5 points and if they can build an early lead will be able to pin their ears back and rush the passer with the Jaguars ground game almost non-existent.
More articles from Dan HinderySee all
More articles on: Daily FFSee all
10 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting DFS - Freeman
DFS Coverage: Super Bowl - Staff
DFS Coverage: Conference Championships - Staff