Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Above The Field. 16.21.

Bach in Black!

It was quite an eventful week for the OWS fam. Our very own Xandamere took down the Monster on FanDuel for a cool 100K. I’m especially thrilled for him because he’s been on the wrong side of variance way more than his fair share. We also had a member of our Discord gameday-chat crew rise past 180,268 entries to tie for 2nd place in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker. Pro poker player David Bach, or as he known around here, “Gunslinger,” stacked a 2.6% owned Tyler Huntley with Mark Andrews and went on the ride of his life. I spoke with David today, and I’ll provide that below in podcast form for your consumption. 

Here’s his gem of a lineup:

Love the addition of Jeff Wilson Jr here. Some guys are bad plays when they are chalk and great plays when they aren’t. Wilson put up a snowflake for me recently in a lineup that finished 20th in this tournament when he was 30% owned. Not an awesome play in hindsight. But getting him at 12.8% in a game where the 49ers offensive line had a massive advantage in the trenches is a different story. The only thing in the way was Deebo Samuel’s recent role as RB1a. There was plenty to go around on this day, however. A nice little secondary stack with Brandin Cooks/James Robinson, but otherwise, there was no real reason to force any additional correlation. This was a week that featured some obvious chalk choices. The question was how you were going to handle the chalk. Gunslinger only entered three lineups (THREE!) and wasn’t shy about rostering some of the week’s most popular pieces. Putting Huntley in there along with my favorite play of the week, Amon-Ra St. Brown, helped differentiate a little. 

This leads me to another point. We talked recently in this space about breaking rules and how each slate is its own unique puzzle. Sometimes adhering to historical data in too strict of a manner can actually stand between you and the top of the leaderboards. In Week 15, if you felt strongly that a few of the chalk pieces were good plays, there was trouble looming in your optimizer if some adjustments weren’t tended to. 

The data unearthed by Adam Levitan, T.J. Hernandez, and others point to the majority of winning Milly lineups having cumulative ownership between 75% and 125%. 

The easy setting to have in your Fantasy Labs template looks like this:

But what if you really loved James Robinson, Davante Adams, and DeVante Parker? Ownership between them was projected at around 115%, so if you had neglected to adjust this setting for the uniqueness of this slate, you’d only have your three favorite plays together in lineups surrounded by completely obscure plays. An unnecessary amount of risk even when eating the chalkiest of the chalk. 

As always, I look for answers in the data provided by DraftKings. What did the sharps do about capping cumulative ownership this week? I looked at all the usual suspects, and in most cases, the top of their total ownership columns looked like this:

Perhaps this was a week to turn the Max Own% setting off all together and opt for something more like this:

That would at least give you an array of tournament lineups instead of jamming a bunch of cash lineups in there. 

Every slate is different, and there are multiple ways to win tournaments. Be flexible and be you. 

Here’s the chat I had with David. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Thanks for bearing with my stutter, fam. 

Who’s gonna bink and jump on the phone with me in Week 16?