Monday, August 31, 2015

Wisdom of the Crowd and Week 1 Pricing

Sometimes, the wisdom of the crowd is just that: The wisdom of the crowd.

Other times, following the crowd -- especially in GPPs -- is the quickest way to kill your week.
And when it comes to Week 1 -- and especially because of the pricing that came out before training camp battles were won and lost and injuries knocked out some big names -- the wisdom of the crowd is going to have a strong pull.

If you’re playing cash, sure, fine, go with the crowd. But if you’re a tournament player, you need to swerve. No two ways about it.

And for Week 1, I see a minefield out there of inexpensive players who are going to be widely owned. Generally speaking, these are players I’m staying from in order to differentiate my rosters.

QB: Sam Bradford at $7800. He’s the 17th-ranked FanDuel quarterback this week, and he could easily end up being the number one guy by the time the week is over.  I’m probably going to play a few lineups with him, but I do expect his ownership in GPPs to be in the high teens. At this price point, you can go Ryan Tannehill ($8,000) at Washington or Teddy Bridgewater ($7,200) at San Francisco and probably see ownership in the low single digits. You will give up some upside, but if Bradford turns in a good, not great, game, you’ll be fine.

RB: Alfred Blue ($5,800) against the Chiefs and Ameer Abdullah ($5,900) at San Diego. Blue is the clear lead back while Arian Foster is out, and Abdullah is the pre-season sizzle machine. While I expect both backs to be serviceable week 1, I think the better play in this price range are the less sexy Christopher Ivory at $6,400. He probably won’t see work on passing downs, but against the Browns, he could be in line for a 20-100-1 day, which I think will trump his slightly-lower priced rivals.

WR: I think Davante Adams at $5,500 will be the highest owned player Sunday. As such, he won’t find his way into any of my lineups. I’m willing to risk he’s not going to blow up. Give me Terrance Williams against the Giants at $5,300, give me Nelson Agholor against Atlanta for $5,500, give me Charles Johnson against the 49ers for $5,600, give me John Brown against the Saints for $6,000. I think all of them offer the same or more upside than Adams and at a fraction of the ownership.

TE: I feel like Travis Kelce at $6,000 will be the hot pick, and he very well might explode. I’ll have some exposure to him, but at a notch below, Greg Olsen at $5,900 against the Jags feels like the safer play.

K and DEF: Man, do I wish I didn’t have to deal with kickers and defense. I hate it. My tips include: Try to match them together if you can, even better if you can match them with a RB, even better if you can match them against lousy opposing offense.


  1. What is the theory behind matching a DEF, K and RB? They should be mutually exclusive so what is the advantage?

    1. The theory is that a good defense creates a positive game script for the offense. So when teams have a lead, particularly in the fourth quarter, they'll ride their running backs to victory.
      If we can identify a one-sided game, where we think the defense is a good play, then we can also identify a positive correlation between that team defense and running back.

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