FanDuel Week 5 Values & Top Plays

FanDuel Week 5 Values & Top Plays

By Chris Raybon (Senior Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Oct 2, 2014

Chris Raybon's picture

Chris Raybon is the Senior Daily Fantasy Editor at 4for4 Fantasy Football.

Follow Chris Raybon on Twitter: @ChrisRaybon.

The Value of Going Contrarian

Week 4 provided a great example of the benefits of a contrarian strategy in tournaments, particularly the strategy of pivoting from a highly-owned player to a low-owned player at a similar price point. Going into the week, it was obvious Donald Brown would be highly owned as San Diego’s feature back against the Jaguars. Brown cost $6,300, the same as two other RBs that didn’t garner nearly as much hype, Matt Asiata and Fred Jackson. Let’s see how it all turned out, using last week’s NFL Sunday Million tournament as a backdrop.

Ownership in FanDuel Week 4 Sunday Million Tournament


Ownership %

FanDuel Points

Matt Asiata


4.9 %


Fred Jackson


3.1 %


Donald Brown


40.0 %


By pivoting to Asiata, you would have gained 22.1 points, and even pivoting to Jackson would have gained you 4.1 points. The winner of the Sunday Million, hubcap27, had Asiata in his lineup. (In case you're curious, the rest of his lineup was Rivers, Murray, Smith Sr., Benjamin, Nelson, Kelce, Novak, Lions.)

To be clear, process should be emphasized over results, and Brown was still the soundest play of the bunch based on opportunity and matchup, regardless of what actually transpired on Sunday.

The thing is, Brown’s tournament ownership percentage was over eight times more than Asiata’s and over 10 times more than Jackson’s. In tournaments, you’re aiming for 3x value, which is roughly 19 points at a $6.3k salary. While Brown appeared to be the most likely player of the three to reach 19 points, he certainly wasn’t 8-10 times more likely to do so as the other RBs. Even if you projected Brown for another 30 touches, that would put him somewhere in the ballpark of twice, or three times at most, as likely to reach a certain threshold as Jackson and Asiata, who tend to stay closer to 15 touches.

Especially when there’s a lot of great values or obvious plays, pivoting at just one position to a lesser owned player could greatly increase your chances of taking down a large GPP. For example, last week many lineups had a core containing a few of Donald Brown, Lamar MIller, Antonio Brown, Steve Smith, and Jimmy Graham. Getting Asiata’s large point advantage at the same price as Brown allows you gain an advantage on the field while simultaneously keeping the other great but highly-owned plays in your lineup.

It may be uncomfortable to pivot from the optimal value play in terms of projected points, but this is how you win GPPs. Remember, the value you’re losing in projected points, you’re gaining back in the form of low ownership percentage (differential). If you think there are two-to-one odds that player X outscores player Y, but you project that player X will be owned fives times as much as player Y, an inefficiency in player Y’s ownership exists that you must exploit to give yourself the most upside to win a GPP.

Going back to last week’s example, if Donald Brown at 40 percent ownership puts up the 29.5 instead of Asiata, his owners would only have an advantage on 60 percent of the field. Contrast that with an advantage on over 90 percent of the field if Asiata or Jackson were to do it instead, and the value of a well-placed contrarian pick should become quite clear.

Let's move on to this week's top plays and values.

Editor's Note: You can get a free year of 4for4 by opening a new account and depositing at DraftKings, DraftDay or FanDuel. Details here.


QB Drew Brees vs. TB $9,100

Drew Brees Home/Road Splits, 2013-14

Comp %



Pass TD/G














As you can see in the table above, home cooking is like steroids to Drew Brees. Thanks to starting the season with three road games in the first four weeks, Brees’ price doesn’t reflect how elite he is in the Superdome. Because the FanDuel salary algorithm takes into account a player’s entire recent body of work, Brees is likely to be +EV at home and -EV on the road all season.

This week Brees takes on a Bucs defense that has allowed 282 yards and  two TDs per game to opposing QBs, with only one interception through four games. Brees is a safe cash game option, but with other cheaper QBs also likely to hit 2x value this week, I actually like Brees more as a tournament play. To hit 3x tournament value, he needs 27 points, a mark he’s hit in six of his last nine home games.


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