Chalk Talk: NFL DFS Player Ownership Report – DraftKings & FanDuel – Week 3 (9/26/21)

Chalk Talk: NFL DFS Player Ownership Report – DraftKings & FanDuel – Week 3 (9/26/21)

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. It should be noted that ownership projections are still projections and this article is based solely on my personal opinions.

Quarterback Projected Ownership DK Projected Ownership FD
Josh Allen 8.2% 8.2%
Patrick Mahomes 6% 11.3%

Verdict: Neutral – While we all know that ownership can change before Sunday’s games kick off, I am a little surprised to not see Kyler Murray’s name make up the highest projected owned quarterback on either site. Then again, Murray is a very expensive this weekend and Mahomes and the Cheifs actually carry a higher team total than the Cardinals. All that being said, Josh Allen comes in as the fifth-highest priced on each site, but still at a discount on DraftKings as $7,000 is his second-lowest price in his last 12 starts. I still view the Washington defense as a bit of a sneaky strong play, but I am not entirely sold on the offense yet which could lead to the ball in Buffalo’s hand a bit more. The tough part about the early season middle of the pack teams is we have to figure out if they are going to be a team to fall below their median, stay at it, or rise above it. Truthfully, I don’t know how to rank the Washington Football Team in that vein yet. But, going based on early-season results, the WFT defense hasn’t been that great, allowing over 400 yards of total offense per game and 24.5 points. The defensive line of the WFT still worries me and Allen will need to get in space to utilize his legs. I will be slightly higher than the 8.2% projected ownership, but I don’t see myself eclipsing 15-20%.

I firmly believe the 6% ownership projection on Mahomes will rise from the time I am typing this on early Saturday morning to when Sunday rolls around. However, if we are ever able to get a 6% Mahomes then I would recommend always getting some exposure over that number as we all know what Mahomes can do on any given week. That being said, the Chargers pass defense has been very strong again this year and through two games is only allowed 177 yards through the air. While this number will obviously rise as the year goes on it has been an impressive start for the LA secondary. Despite that though, the Chiefs still carry a 30.75 team total and with their running game looking uninspiring to start the year, Mahomes arm should be leaned on here.

Running Back Projected Ownership DK Projected Ownership FD
Derrick Henry 19.3% 21.7%

Verdict: Hot There was quite a bit of over-reaction after Derrick Henry’s 58-yard week one performance against Arizona. While Henry got off to a bit of a slow start against the Seahawks as well that quickly changed as the bruising back ended with 185 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries. For added measure, Henry also added six receptions for 55 yards. While this high workload shouldn’t be expected weekly, we are talking about a guy who has run for 3,887 yards over the last two seasons. This week the Titans draw a Colts defense that ranks middle of the pack in rush and pass defense, but 23rd in points per game, allowing 27.5 through two weeks. The game script here favors the Titans and if the Colts are without Carson Wentz it will favor them even more. The running back position this week isn’t that well defined, so I like Henry as not only the safest bet but the highest ceiling.

Wide Receiver Projected Ownership DK Projected Ownership FD
Cooper Kupp 21.6% 16.7%
Tyreek Hill 12.4% 19.3%

Verdict: Hot/Neutral – Chalk Cooper Kupp here probably comes as no surprise as the Rams wideout has 16 catches on 21 targets and three touchdowns through the first two games and is averaging a cool 33.3 DraftKings points. While Kupp has built an early report with Matt Stafford, we can’t forget about Robert Woods in this offense either. This isn’t saying to not play Kupp or anything, it just feels like Woods is in a higher leverage spot based around ownership as Woods saw nine targets last game as well. Kupp is currently the second-projected highest owned on FanDuel and while FanDuel is a bit more of a touchdown dependant site, Kupp still ranks in the top-10 on the slate for finding the end zone. I think the 25-30% range for Kupp is where I will be, which makes this a fringe hot play for me.

It is hard to discuss week-to-week the Tyreek Hill play because it is always one that can make a massive impact on a slate or one that can also kill it. While it is more of the first example, Hill only saw four targets last week in the Cheifs loss to the Ravens which was 0.7x value on his $8,400 salary. While this is of course an outlier, the Charger’s passing defense has been relatively strong to start the season. The Ravens succeeded last week by constantly double-teaming hill and I am not sure the Chargers can get the same luxury. Hill has had double-digit targets in nine of his last 12 games dating back to last season and his big-play potential leaves the door open for him weekly. The ownership number would be higher on DraftKings this weekend if it was not for his large $8,400 price tag. Due to the price tag and a lack of strong value (currently), I think Hill ends up in the 15-20% range.

Tight End Projected Ownership DK Projected Ownership FD
Darren Waller 11.5% 15.8%
Travis Kelce 11.4% 17.8%

Verdict: Hot We have a pretty large gap between the top-two TE studs on the slate and the next group of guys. On DraftKings, it is a little tighter due to the high prices of Waller and Kelce, but on FanDuel there is a 6% gap between Waller at 15.8% and Andrews at 9.4%. Outside of the two names listed above, TJ Hockenson has been the only other consistent option through the first two weeks. Kelce has 13 catches on 15 targets for 185 and three touchdowns, while Waller has 26 targets and 15 catches through two games. Tyler Higbee remains in the conversation, though his one-target performance last week against the Colts was a bit worrisome. When it boils down to it, the tight end spot is going to be higher variance outside of a handful of guys. We are weekly going to get the sub $5,000 guy who hits (IE: Fant, Doyle, Pitts, etc) but when looking at overall consistency and ceiling, the Waller’s and Kelce’s are reigning supreme. This has challenged my person belief a bit as I was also “punt TE” guy, but the gap between 4-6 fantasy floor and 12-18 seems pretty large right now. I think Hockenson is in play here for his volume, as well as Fant, but if it comes down to breaking the slate open, then the odds are on Waller and Kelce. I don’t want this to sound like a broken record week-to-week, but it will likely be Waller and Kelce all season and until another tight end challenges their target share, it will continue to be Waller and Kelce teams winning money.

Defense Projected Ownership DK Projected Ownership FD
Tennessee Titans 10.8% 2.8%
Denver Broncos 6.1% 11.9%

Verdict: HotThere is a wide gap on the projected ownership on the Titans between DK and FD and that is because the Titans are the sixth cheapest option on DraftKings, while on FanDuel they are the fifth most expensive one. This play rises depending on the status of Carson Wentz, but even so we get a home game for the Titans here. I love this play on DraftKings solely for the price and the upside it could bring. Obviously the Titans’ defense hasn’t been great to open the year, but they also drew the Cardinals and Seahawks who can put up points in bunches.

The Broncos will cost you as they are the most expensive option on each site this week, but a home matchup against the Jets is pretty juicy. The Broncos have had an easy start to the season, playing the Giants, Jags, and now Jets to open their season. The Jets have only managed around 300 yards of total offense on average through two games and playing in Denver likely isn’t going to boost them at all.

About James Smizek

James is a Daily Fantasy Sports Veteran dating all the way back to his days of writing content on for contest tickets. James specializes in College Football - qualifying for the CFB World Championship in 2018, though you can find his content for NFL, NBA, MLB, and NASCAR on FantasyCruncher. James also picked up some new tricks during the Covid/sports shutdown, carving out a niche in League of Legends, Rocket League, and Call of Duty eSports. A winner of multiple large field GPP's, James hopes his knowledge can help you take down the next one. James currently resides in Wisconsin and is a huge Wisconsin sports fan. If you have any questions you can reach out to him @iKezims on Twitter.

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