Friday, September 11, 2015

The 'Searching for Uniqueness' Teams for Week 1

In FanDuel cash games I like to go along with the crowd. Ownership rates and quality projections-value scores shape my subset of weekly plays from which to construct lineups. In large contests where simply finishing above average does little good, however, a DFS player needs to be different in some way.

Using the ownership rates from Thursday night-locking contests at FanDuel for Week 1, here are two lineups constructed from the LEAST owned players:

Primary Combination of Least-Owned Players

Player Cost Own
QB Ryan Tannehill 8000 1.6
RB Bishop Sankey 6300 0.9
RB Joique Bell 6500 0.6
WR Alshon Jeffery 8400 0.2
WR Kenny Stills 5400 0.9
WR Vincent Jackson 7200 2.1
TE Crockett Gillmore 4700 0.2
K Josh Brown 4500 0.9
DST Tennessee Titans 4500 1.0
55500 0.9

This is the primary lineup with a soft threshold of 2% or less ownership. Vincent Jackson creeps above that in the data, but could be an auto-play if Mike Evans is limited or out come Sunday (monitor his status-hamstring). 

The Ryan Tannehill-Kenny Stills stack is sparsely owned despite the quality matchup against Washington and Tannehill's season-long appeal from fantasy owners. Jarvis Landry gets plenty of love as the go-to target in Miami (at least until DeVante Parker gets fully integrated into the depth chart), but Stills should be in the running for a touchdown and 5+ targets (along with Jordan Cameron) this week.

Joique Bell and Bishop Sankey have seen their stock beaten down over the offseason. Bell, when active, is a value play for goal line opportunitites and between-the-tackles work in Detroit. Ameer Abdullah has the shine for Week 1, but monitor the pre-game reports for Joique Bell against San Diego.

Alshon Jeffery, like Vincent Jackson, is a 'monitor leading up to game time' proposition. If active and reports check out, Jeffery could be in line for 12+ targets against the favored Packers. Jackson's workload could be similar or better with limited competition for targets.

Crockett Gillmore has touchdown appeal, plus the entire Baltimore passing game depth chart is up in the air opening the season. Like Jeffery, Crockett and the Ravens could see a pass-heavy game script in the second half against Denver. Gillmore has already been declared the starter over Day 2 rookie Maxx Williams to open the season.

Josh Brown is attached to a strong offense (Giants) in a high over-under matchup with Dallas. Finding uniqueness at kicker with a positive matchup and minimal cost is an easy way to differeniate a lineup in tournaments.

While the highly-owned Jets and Dolphins are certainly outstanding plays at a similar cost, the Titans face a rookie quarterback (Jameis Winston) potentially without Mike Evans in the lineup. Tennessee deserves some exposure in tournaments, especially with the low early ownership.

Secondary Combination of Least-Owned Players

Player Cost Own
QB Eli Manning 8300 1.6
RB T.J. Yeldon 7000 1.8
RB Danny Woodhead 6000 1.2
WR Keenan Allen 7900 1.8
WR Marques Colston 5500 2.1
WR Vincent Jackson 7200 2.1
TE Benjamin Watson 4600 0.5
K Andrew Franks 4500 1.4
DST Indianapolis Colts 4300 1.4
55300 1.5
New names on this list include:

Eli Manning: projected shootout with the Cowboys

T.J. Yeldon: Underrated due to sparse play in the preseason, but chance at bellcow volume and exclusive goal line opportunities

Danny Woodhead: Returning from injury, primary pass-catching and even red zone option in San Diego.

Keenan Allen: Ladarius Green potentially out (check status) and No.1 option.

Marques Colston: Far cheaper than Brandin Cooks. Stable option over the years with Drew Brees.

Benjamin Watson: Good athlete, hedge against Josh Hill.

Andrew Franks: Not a well-known name as new starting kicker in 2015, gets quality offense (Miami) and choice matchup against Washington.

Colts: Price is right at $4,300 and the Bills are not scaring anyone through the air. Tyrod Taylor a wildcard if Buffalo keeps it close to the vest and run-heavy.

Blending together high-projected scorers with strong ownership rates (consensus plays) with a low-owned player or two creates enough lineup uniqueness to perform well in tournements and larger contests. Know the early ownership trends and fast-track your way to a well-constructed blend of lineups for Sunday DFS play.

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