Welcome to Chalk Talk – an article dedicated to deep diving the slates projected highest owned players.
In this article, we are going to look at the projected most popular player at each position using Awesemo’s ownership projections and determine if the popular play is considered a hot, cold, or neutral option for this week.
As a note, if I am hot on a player it means I will likely have ownership over the projected amount. Cold means I will have ownership considerably lower than the projected amount, while neutral means I am around the projected amount.
FanDuel: Matthew Stafford (10.1%) | DraftKings: Matthew Stafford (10.1%)
Verdict: Neutral – Before we dive into the players, you are about to see a trend that we don’t get a lot in NFL DFS across both sites and that is the same player being chalk on each site. If you have read this article in the past, then these are usually broken up as chalk doesn’t carry between sites but at the time of writing this article (Thursday, 10/15) the chalk is pretty large and established at the RB/WR position with the QB/TE sharing the highest owned players as well, but at quite lower rates. For quarterback, we have Matt Stafford and the Detroit Lions. However, noted, 10% owned is not chalk at all, it is just the highest projected right now. In my DraftKings Core Plays article, I mentioned how no quarterback really stood out against the crowd this week and I expected spread out ownership and that does appear what we are getting here. The Lions have a near 29 point team total and Stafford will have his entire offense healthy for the first time this year. Jacksonville’s defense ranks in the bottom five in every defensive category. Stafford is a safe play here.
FanDuel: Alexander Mattison (37.4%) | DraftKings: Alexander Mattison (26.1%)
Verdict: Hot/Neutral – I knew we would see high numbers on FanDuel, but I was not expecting 26% on DraftKings at the price of $7,200. Mattison is filing in for the injured Dalvin Cook and I give both sites credit for pricing Mattison up correctly. The Vikings are said to be treating Mattison as the feature back this weekend and if that holds true then I don’t have any issue paying up for this play on DraftKings. At just $7,000 on FanDuel though I am ignoring ownership as I think it is a smash play against the Falcons. My worry here is just how hard they ride Mattison and if the Vikings mix in other guys like Mike Boone or dare I say, CJ Ham. The Falcons for as bad as they have been, have been better against the Run than the pass, though the 446 yards of total defense and the 32 points per game allowed kind of cancel out any real “success” that the rush defense has had. I think there is a little risk here on DraftKings as it is a wide chunk of salary, but if you get a price cheaper on FanDuel than the price on DraftKings, it is almost always going to fall as a good play.
FanDuel: Adam Thielen (34.1%) | DraftKings: Adam Thielen (25.6%)
Verdict: Hot – I covered the reasons I thought Adam Thielen was a great play this week in my Core Plays article for DraftKings but in short, Thielen has been targeted 23 times over the last two games and has turned that into 17 receptions for 194 yards and three touchdowns. With Cook being hurt, Thielen gets a slight bump here, though obviously we just covered Mattison above. The matchup against a bottom-feeding defense is just too good here and the only thing that should stop this play from finding value is if this game is PPD’d due to a potential COVID case on the Falcons. We will have to wait and see on that, but for now, I will be with the field on the Vikings offense and I do expect Thielen’s DraftKings ownership to climb from now to Sunday.
FanDuel: Jonnu Smith (14.1%) | DraftKings: Jonnu Smith (10.7%)
Verdict: Hot – Jonnu Smith was another guy I covered in my Core Plays article this week as he remains the most consistent option at tight end. With no Kelce, Waller, or Kittle on the Main Slate this week, Smith is now the highest average fantasy point player available (outside of the smaller Robert Tonyan clip). Smith has seen seven or more targets in four of his five games this season. Though Smith was a limited participant at practice on Thursday there is no real concern about him missing this game as the Titans just played on Tuesday night. Corey Davis will be out again this week, which still opens him up for his normal target share.
FanDuel: Indianapolis Colts (14.2%) | DraftKings: Miami Dolphins (14.4%)
Verdict: Neutral -The Colts have been the best fantasy defense in football so far this year – though their five opponents on the year have been JAX/MIN/NYJ/CHI/CLE – none of which are top tier offenses right now, with the Browns actually being the best. But a good defense should shunt a bad offense. The Colts get Joe Burrow and the Bengals this week and though the Colts fall into the higher-priced tier of defenses, they have proved they are worth it.
Verdict: Hot – The Dolphins (defensively and as a whole) have actually been a better team than many expected this year. The defense is fresh off a 12 points fantasy performance to the Niners and is averaging 6.6 fantasy points per game which seems low but is actually strong for a defense here. At just $2,900 and against the Jets I am not sure you can get a better matchup.