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Week 5: Projecting DFS Ownership Percentages

Cash in on DraftKings and FanDuel with Fantasy Football Expert Armando Marsal's projected ownership guide! This could separate the winners from the losers.

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Ownership percentage is one of the things that we must take into consideration when creating out tournaments lineups. The reality is that you want to create a unique lineup so that you can differentiate yourself from the majority of the players and put yourself in the best possible position to win a big tournament.

Projecting ownership is never easy, but you can give yourself an idea of who may or may not be a popular play each week by seeing who most analyst or writers are talking about. Twitter is another good source to gauge this information. Lastly, listening to podcasts can also give you an idea on the direction most people are headed. While none of the resources will give you an exact number, they certainly will paint the picture of where the crowd is headed.

Below I’ll go over some of the highest owned players for this week based off of Fantasy Aces $3 Quick Slant that began on Thursday night and leads up until Monday. This tournament had 792 entrants. We will use this information to project potential ownership for this weekend’s slate.

Quarterbacks

High Ownership - Chalk

Player

Ownership Percentage

Ben Roethlisberger

33%

Derek Carr

21%

Brian Hoyer

19%

Tom Brady

15%

Drew Stanton

15%

Five quarterbacks had an ownership of greater than 15 percent and nobody on this list surprises me aside from Drew Stanton. He played on Thursday, however, so we will not have to worry about his ownership this weekend. To no one’s surprise, Ben Roethlisberger was the highest owned quarterback in this tournament, and that will likely be the case across the industry this weekend. Last week, he threw for 300 yards and five touchdowns in Week 4. This was his third multiple touchdown game of the season and his second 300 passing yards game. The matchup is also one that favors him as the Jets are surrendering over 300 passing yards per game and have given up eight touchdowns. There is a reason he is popular this week.

Derek Carr faces off against the Chargers in the game with the highest implied point total. This is also a favorable matchup as the Chargers allow over 300 passing yards per game. Not to mention, his price on most sites is reasonable, which generates interest. I am uncertain if he will be the second highest owned quarterback this weekend, but I do think he will be a top five when taking ownership into consideration.

Brian Hoyer has been impressive in his two starts for the Bears and remains at a very low price. He also has a favorable matchup against the Colts who have given up 1,139 passing and five touchdowns. This game has a projected point total of 48 points, making it one of the highest of the slate. Just like he was on Thursday night’s slate, he will be popular this weekend.

Tom Brady returns from his four-game suspension and faces the Browns in his first start, so of course, he is going to be popular. In fact, I would not be surprised if his ownership percentage surpasses 15 percent. This is a great spot for him against a bad defense, and according to Vegas, the Patriots are projected to score the most point this week. Without a doubt, Brady will be one of the highest owned quarterbacks this weekend.

Lower Ownership

Player

Ownership Percentage

Aaron Rodgers

9%

Philip Rivers

8%

Andrew Luck

4%

Ryan Tannehill

3%

As I expected, Aaron Rodgers was less owned than he should be given the situation and that is because those who are paying up for at quarterback are leaning towards Big Ben and Brady. I think that will be the case this weekend as well, making Rodgers an intriguing tournament play. He provides plenty of upside, and this is a matchup that he can succeed in.

Philip Rivers at eight percent was surprising to me at first, to be honest, but then again there has not been much buzz around him this week. I have him projected in the 10-12 percent range in bigger tournaments, but after seeing these percentages from the tournament on Aces, I would not be utterly shocked if he was sub 10 percent owned this weekend. It is worth noting that this game has the highest projected total of the slate and the Raiders have been one of the worst defenses against the pass all season. Rivers could be going overlooked here due to some of the other options.

Who would have ever thought that Andrew Luck at home against the Bears in a game that Indy is projected to score 26.75 points would be this low owned? That is exactly what is happening and much like he was on the Thursday slate, chances are he will be very low owned this weekend.

Ryan Tannehill is not a great NFL quarterback, but sometimes that gets mixed up with fantasy. On a site like DraftKings where he is $5,700, I would bump up his ownership to 5-7 percent simply because the price is just too low and the matchup is not terrible. He has topped 24 fantasy points twice this season and the Dolphins have been unable to move the ball on the ground, relying more on Tannehill than anything else. Not to mention, there was a hurricane close to the state of Florida on Thursday, which could have caused some people to be cautious with Tannehill.

Running Backs

High Ownership – Chalk

Player

Ownership Percentage

Jordan Howard

40%

David Johnson

26%

Jerick McKinnon

24%

DeAndre Washington

23%

Melvin Gordon

19%

Aside from David Johnson who played on Thursday night, everyone on this list should be fan favorites this weekend as well. Jordan Howard comes at a reasonable price on most sites in a very good matchup. He started last week for the injured Jeremy Langford and ran for 111 yards on 23 carries and caught three of his four targets for 21 yards. He also played in 91 percent of the offensive snaps despite leaving the game briefly with what appeared to be a leg injury, before quickly returning. The Colts are allowing 157.5 total yards per game to running backs and have surrendered six total touchdowns. There are enough pros in rostering him this week.

Jerick McKinnon is coming off of a solid performance against the Giants and now faces a Texans team that has surrendered over 100 rushing yards in each of their last three games. McKinnon should receive the bulk of the work and also catches passes out of the backfield. He is too cheap on most sites and rostering him provides the salary relief to fit in some of the more expensive elite plays of this week. He will be very popular this weekend.

DeAndre Washington was amongst one of the highest owned running backs on Thursday night, and that was before Latavius Murray was officially ruled out. Now that Murray has been officially ruled out, and Washington is expected to start, chances are Washington will be one of the, if not the highest owned running backs this week. He is near minimum price on just about every site and has a great matchup. There is a good chance his ownership is north of 30 percent in some contests this weekend.

Melvin Gordon will continue to be a popular play until he cools off. He has scored at least one touchdown in every game this season and has yet another plus matchup.

Low Ownership

Player

Ownership Percentage

Le’Veon Bell

13%

Terrance West

9%

Frank Gore

5%

I am expecting Le’Veon Bell to be more popular this weekend because David Johnson is not on this slate and Bell is the best running back on the board. Granted his matchup is not ideal, but that does not take away from his role on the Steelers offense and his ability to be efficient regardless of matchup. I have him projected in the 15-20 percent range for the weekend slates.

It's hard to get a read on where the crowd is at with Terrance West. I mean, he is very economical across the industry and has one of the better matchups a running back can have, which is why this nine percent caught me off guard. Especially after the performance he had last week where he ran for 113 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries against the Raiders. Redskins are giving up 133 rushing yards and 45.8 receiving yards per game to running backs, and have also allowed seven touchdowns. I am expecting him to be a little more popular on sites like DraftKings where he is $4,800. Something like 12-15 percent sounds about right.

Frank Gore stood out to me because he has been relatively consistent and is in that awkward pricing which is likely why he did not get a ton of love. That will likely be the case once again over the weekend, making him an interesting tournament option. He has scored a touchdown in two consecutive games and has been more involved in the passing game. It would not shock me if he were sub-five percent owned in big field tournaments in the weekend slates.

Wide Receivers

High Ownership – Chalk

Player

Ownership Percentage

Antonio Brown

30%

Brandon Marshall

25%

Jordy Nelson

18%

Steve Smith

16%

Mike Evans

15%

There should not be any shockers on the list above. The top receivers in the best spots all were high owned. Antonio Brown is always a popular receiver, and it is likely going to be that way all season, even at his expensive price tag.

Steve Smith continues to play well, and his price remains affordable on most sites. His ownership in this tournament suggests that people are catching onto that and based on some things I heard/read, he will likely be popular this weekend too. After all, there are not many receivers in his price range with double-digit targets in each of the last two games.

On slates where Mike Evans is not in play, some of the other receivers on the above chart like Jordy Nelson and Brandon Marshall could see a higher ownership. In slates that Evans is available, I think his ownership is going to be greater than 15 percent due to the slates breakdown of games. For instance, slates like the afternoon games and Monday night game mixed, Evans will possibly be one of the most popular plays. At the end of the day, all of these receivers will be popular this week for the right reasons.

Low Ownership

Player

Ownership Percentage

Michael Crabtree

12%

Julian Edelman

10%

Jordan Matthews

8%

Jarvis Landry

6%

Sterling Shepard

3%

There are several receivers on this list that I think will go higher owned than they did in the Thursday night tournament. First off let’s start with Michael Crabtree who I think will be closer to the 20 percent range after his three touchdown performance last week. This matchup is one that favors Crabtree and Vegas projects this to be the highest scoring game of the slate.

Julian Edelman is one I have had trouble projecting the entire week. You would think that with Brady back under center and at Edelman’s price, he would generate more buzz, but that has not been the case. Then he pops up in the injury report and is considered questionable for this week, making it even tougher to gauge. Ten percent seems a bit low given the circumstances and matchup, but it also sounds about right considering he is dinged up. I have him projected at a wide range of 10-18 percent.

Sterling Shepard’s ownership appears too low to me. He remains cheap across the industry and heads to Lambeau to take on the Packers in what could become a shootout. Shepard has been more efficient than Beckham this season and has the most touchdowns of all Giants receivers. I have him projected in the 10-12 percent range.

Tight Ends

High Ownership – Chalk

Player

Ownership Percentage

Zach Ertz

17%

Greg Olsen

14%

Martellus Bennett

12%

Zach Miller

12%

Zach Ertz returns to action this week and has a phenomenal matchup against the Lions. Tight ends are averaging 64.25 receiving yards and eight receptions per game against Detroit. They have also scored six touchdowns which are the most scored against a defense by this position. Not to mention, he is much cheaper than what he was at the start of the season on just about every site. He will be the most popular play this weekend and rightfully so.

Greg Olsen is a model of consistency, and it shows in his ownership the last couple of weeks. People are rostering him because he offers a safe floor in a position that tends to be very volatile. I expect him to be one of the highest owned tight ends of this week once again.

Low Ownership

Player

Ownership Percentage

Kyle Rudolph

6%

Jordan Reed

6%

It amazes me how little Kyle Rudolph was owned in this contest. He is too cheap and has scored in three consecutive games. I do think that a lot of tight ends in his price range are getting more love and I can see why as this may not be the most appealing matchup for Rudolph, but his production and consistency thus far cannot be ignored. He should be closer to the 10 percent range if Stefon Diggs does not play as people will realize that he should see a boost in targets.

This ownership tells me that Jordan Reed is going overlooked this week. I believe he will be sub 10 percent owned this weekend, making him an intriguing tournament play.


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