Monday, Nov 28th

Above The Field. 15.21.

Episodes of Variance

We can study all we want. Log countless hours in front of the screen, crunching numbers, and mining for edges. We can improve our roster construction game and pay for the best projections. But once that weirdly shaped ball of polyurethane and leather is put in play, all hell breaks loose, and we are hopeless to control it. 

Variance is a fickle mistress, and at one time or another, we’ve all felt her wrath. dmalk is the most recent victim. An unpredictable event at approximately 1:40 EST altered the course of their quest for a million dollars that culminated some six hours later. 

You see, dmalk rostered Kareem Hunt in his 64th lineup out of 150. A seemingly innocuous decision by his/her/their hand or the optimizer’s settings. But after a decent first quarter in Cleveland, Hunt was struck in the leg by a Ravens defender and knocked out of the game. This likely didn’t make any impression on dmalk at the time, having rostered Hunt in just 6% of their lineups, but the sting from that event will linger forever after in the form of a $997,052.63 difference in the ol’ bank account. 

It’s a brutal feeling to get this close and not finish the deal. Put yourself in dmalk’s shoes. I mean, just 4.5 more points from Hunt, and you get there. Two catches for 26 yards, and your life is completely different. 

Then, just as you are beginning to cope, you scroll through Twitter and come upon this:

Oh, man. 

But hey, 30k is a nice little consolation prize, and bankroll won’t be an issue for the near future. Could be worse!

Here’s how dmalk’s allocations looked this week. 

Nothing too crazy at QB. Mostly the high-ceiling, optimizer-friendly guys along with Teddy Bridgewater, whom I also took some stabs at this week. Variance could have played in our favor at least 1.49% of the time, resulting in multiple passing TDs to his best-stacking partners…but the first three TDs came on the ground, and the two 2nd-half passing scores were not enough to matter.  

On a week where RB was so thin in terms of certainty, I like the decision to overweight guys that should have three-down roles and goal-line touches. Don’t love the 26% Jeff Wilson once Deebo Samuel was cleared to play. Deebo is the 49ers best RB and caps the ceiling of backup talents like Wilson. Eli Mitchell may be an exception, though. The 49ers staff adores him. 

Like me, dmalk didn’t find a path to Rashad Penny this week. I wonder if they feel a similar sense of shame that I’m currently experiencing. 

A relatively conservative approach at WR that mostly reflects the QB stacks. Brandon Aiyuk, Brandin Cooks, and Tee Higgins were all sharp plays at low ownership. Despite the fact that dmalk didn’t stick his neck out and lock any players, some astute and calculated overweight moves were made.

dmalk was not particularly interested in paying up at tight end this week. This is mostly a product of spending at the QB position. Those stud QB stacks do not come cheap. TE is such a shit show most weeks anyway, so I see no harm in punting that position. It all works fine until someone like George Kittle comes along and breaks the slate. I’m sure dmalk was happy to have matched the field on that one.

I’m scratching my head a little bit on the Dawson Knox fade, but it looks like Manny Sanders and Cole Beasley were the stack partners of choice. Even Stefon Diggs was only in four of the Josh Allen stacks. 

The choices at DST were straightforward as well. I’m not particularly interested in dissecting this position. I almost wish it wasn’t part of NFL DFS at all. In a large field tournament like the Milly, you can be essentially eliminated from contention if a defense in which you do not have shares randomly puts up 20+ points. These points are often a result of a muffed punt or a tipped pass. Complete randomness. Whatever. Bleh.

The recording studio is summoning me. I must continue to churn out music for TV consumption. I’ll see you all in The Oracle and my Player Pool later in the week. 

Be sure to review your work from Week 14 and try to avoid repeating any mistakes you may have made. Our quest for perfection in an imperfect world is a perpetual one. 

I’m going to do my best to avoid rostering guys that get injured in the first quarter. That’s a huge leak in my game!

May variance fall in our favor this week, OWS fam. LFG!