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NFL DFS Week 12 WOAT: DraftKings Weekly Ownership and Trends
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This will be a weekly series discussing DraftKings Weekly Ownership and Trends (WOAT) in Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) tournaments that we can use to better ourselves as DFS players. If pricing were perfectly efficient, some DFS players could beat GPPs on ownership alone. Vince Lombardi once said ownership isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

Shout out to my friends at The Fantasy Fanatics for access to their NFL Ownership tools which I leveraged for most of this analysis. You can access all ownership data in their premium tools.

Week 12 Look Back

Week 12 was a weird week for ownership with so many great players playing the Thanksgiving slate leaving fewer plays on Saturday and I felt as good about my guys heading into the main slate as I do after doing a season long draft in July. Last week we took a break from the WOAT and I focused in on ownership and its predictive impact as part of my premium article on DailyRoto, so I was looking forward to putting some of those lessons to the test.

Quarterback continues to see spread ownership in GPPs, but the most popular cash game QBs were clearly Derek Carr (38%), Carson Palmer (22%), and Russell Wilson (17%), with Cam Newton and Drew Brees following close behind in GPPs. The popular QB plays generally delivered with Palmer flirting with 300 yards and tossing a pair of TDs, while Carr achieved the bonus. If you were a Russ Wilson owner I won’t make you relieve the 3 turnover game but hey, 8 for 80 rushing might be a nice sign of things to come!

A bit like a broken record, running back has the most compressed ownership and specifically was compressed on David Johnson who hit 75% in cash games and cleared a 100 yard receiving bonus with a touchdown to boot. It truly has been a season where workhorses like David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, and Zeke Elliott have been the most predictive on a week-to-week basis. The question looming is at what price it forces you off them and how much value emerges during a week to make it work. Other popular cash RBs last week were Thomas Rawls, Melvin Gordon, Jay Ajayi and Rashad Jennings who each went off close to 30% in cash games and were pretty simple functions of vegas odds and on paper DvP matchup.

Wide receiver, my favorite spot to be contrarian when I don’t lose sight of it, was teed off by Tyler Boyd, Devante Parker, Larry Fitzgerald, Doug Baldwin and Amari Cooper all above 20% in cash games. With zero TDs between them, how do you feel the market is performing at identifying wide receiver value? Tight end meanwhile continued our season long trend of paying down at the position with Fiedorowicz, Tye and Barnidge leading the call – a woefully underwhelming cast of characters.


So what can we take away from this?

  1. With QB pricing, expect to see cash game ownership flock to Rodgers and Russell Wilson as one bad game shouldn’t be enough to push people off of picking on the Panthers pass defense. That said we know this will be a widely distributed position in general in tournaments as people target different stacks.
  2. At running back we’ll undoubtedly continue to see continued ownership on David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell even at $9000+ (!!!!) price tags. The market has been pretty good at predicting running backs but one has to wonder if the salary cap value is there at such a steep tournament price. Meanwhile Jeremy Hill will probably be a plug and play for many at $4300 after catching pass game work last week, and at low ownership the DraftKings algorithm didn’t kick up his price too much.
  3. If people start with at least one of DJ/Bell, possible both, and grab someone like Hill alongside, that will leave mid-range value receivers in demand so I would expect some point chasing of Tyreek Hill, Doug Baldwin following Russ Wilson’s ownership, and probably the same to be said for Rodgers and Adams, and folks firing it right back up again with Julian Edelman. Hey, no judgement here if these are your favorite plays! But how often has the market pegged top wideouts?
  4. Tight end time, go cheap! Eric Ebron’s price looks nice, maybe Zach Ertz? Cameron Brate? Or of course Vernon Davis if Jordan Reed doesn’t go. Vernon Davis chalk week? What a time to be alive!

Ownership – Key Stacks

With stacking being the most popular GPP strategy, the way people approach stacks is always interesting to me. What are the most popular stacks? Are there sharp and square stacks? Again, leveraging The Fantasy Fanatics we can take a look at in-depth granular ownership data on how people are approaching their stacks…

Rack’em and stack’em, boys. Fitting with trends, people are targeting high team total games to stack and Arizona, Oakland, Carolina and Seattle were the most popular choices with a sprinkle of New Orleans Saints. Carr/Cooper was the highest owned at 10.35% while Carr/Cooper and Crabtree (my personal preference) was owned by just 1.3% in the Wildcat. Carson Palmer meanwhile was stacked up with Larry Fitzgerald and pass catching RB David Johnson, which was one of the sharp stacks of the week despite Fitz ghosting on the 2nd half. In other games, the only Panthers stack to hit 5%+ was Cam + Greg Olsen, while Cam + Greg + Kelvin as close behind for the Panthers backers. For Seahawks backers it was Russ + Jimmy Graham and Russ + Graham and Doug Baldwin, and of course the trifecta all followed suit. We continue to see triple stacks 3x more popular at higher stakes than at low stakes, so if you are a low stakes player who doesn’t give this format merit…. what are you thinking?!?!


If we are somewhat accurate at predicting QB performance, but realize the market is whiffing as often as hitting on wide receivers, what can we do with that? Well for starters let us say that Rodgers is a great play and Adams is the popular weapon after a breakout game of 100+ yards and 2 TDs, it seems like a good stack to target. Of course Adams also broke out for 42 yards at Washington and 41 yards vs Indianapolis, so a less owned stack could be capturing a 2 TD game from Nelson or less likely (but still possible) performance from Randall Cobb. Similarly if you are going to go with Big Ben you don’t have to go Antonio Brown — actually just kidding — you definitely do! But someone like Drew Brees can spread the ball around leaving lots of options, and while Michael Thomas looks #1 on paper, maybe you get a squeaky wheel game out of Brandin Cooks instead. Look, these aren’t things I necessarily expect to happen, but how often has the receiver position worked out like you, me and the market expected it to?

If you’re chasing down 10 leagues of seasonal playoff spots this week, great. You probably still own a blackberry too. But don’t worry, we’ll be here for you long after season long leagues have left you behind!

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