Thursday, Dec 1st
Monday, Dec 5th
Bye Week:
Cardinals
Panthers

Above The Field. 4.21.

It only Takes One

An odd thing happened on the way to the top in the Milly this week.  My usual search for DFS players that max-entered and manipulated their pool in such a way as to position themselves with multiple lineups near the top…came up empty.

All of these players had successful weeks, but it came by getting one magical lineup right instead of a “leverage the field by playing X% of player Y.”

I took this as a sign from the universe to direct this week’s focus on individual roster construction rather than a 150-lineup portfolio as a whole. This fits in with my recent style of hand-building as many lineups as possible. With all of the correlation I’m trying to incorporate, I find it so torturous to run the optimizer 700 times to get the delicate balance to where I need it, especially since I like to stack at least one lineup from every game and have a secondary stack in each of those!

Maybe I’m just a control freak. I’ve been called that before – amongst a variety of other things. 

Week 3’s Millionaire Maker winner was a beautifully correlated gem turned in by wmm70116. Not sure about that screen name, but I’m guessing he’s a Star Wars nerd, and that’s the name of one of the malfunctioning droids that Luke and Uncle Owen told the Jawas to cram up their sandy cornholes. 

Hard to believe some of the ownership here, but this was a weird week in that way. Not a ton of obvious chalk for people to congregate to, so everything kind of leveled off. 

Classic QB/WR/WR/OPP 4-stack with a tight end coming back in the form of Logan Thomas. Wmm70116 only used Thomas in 4 of his 150 lineups, but that was enough to double the field and enough to land the 1.2% owned stud in his (or her) life-changing lineup. 

The use of the Justin Jefferson/D.K. Metcalf secondary correlation was excellent and one that I employed (unsuccessfully) across a large percentage of my rosters. It was pretty tilting to see this and Emmanuel Sanders in the winning lineup, which leads us nicely into…

Sonic’s MME Pool Review

Yay!

I wasn’t alone with this one. Assuming some ceiling regression from their WR counterparts, Tyler Lockett and Adam Thielen. 

Price jumped to $6200 for Week 4, and I expect this trend to continue. Get him while you can.

Justin Herbert and the coaching staff weren’t bullshitting us this preseason. Mike Williams will be a focal point going forward. Not on the main slate this week, though. ☹

I had shitloads of Ja’Marr Chase/Chase Claypool secondary stacks. This was a Saturday evening development for me. More on this pairing later.

I Run So Bad

This is borderline comical. Having so many skinny stacks with D’Andre Swift and watching Marquise Brown drop so many deep shots was definitely tilt-worthy.

This should have fallen in the positive category, but the lesson here is how I acted on my own information. The forward to my MME Player Pool from Saturday looked like this:

Welp. I specifically stated that I was banking on Emmanuel Sanders this week, and I specifically said that I was ending up with $4200 in salary reasonably often. 

So, tell me this, Sonic…WHY THE HELL DID YOU END UP WITH ONLY SIX ROSTERS WITH MANNY SANDERS?????

Deep breath. It’s OK. We’ll all learn from this. 

We spend so much time agonizing over hand-builds or tweaking settings on our optimizers that at some point we have to be finished. Done. Moving on to other things. Neglected family members, pets, chores await. We must tend to our proverbial garden. But we mustn’t forget to take a step back, remember our goals for this slate, and then take a final look at our rosters holistically. 

Set a reminder in your phone for one hour after you thought you were done with your lineups (or sometime well before lock). If you’re on the West Coast that might be Saturday night. East coasters will probably finish their lineups in the morning. Either way, ask yourself what players do I feel the best about this week? What is my current allocation for this player compared to their ownership projection?

This week I had a great feeling that there would be some positive regression for Manny Sanders. I mentioned him in the player pool but ended up with only 4%, which equaled the field. He produced as I thought he might, catching two touchdowns from Josh Allen, in whom I was heavily invested. But I didn’t give myself enough of a chance because I didn’t stop, take a deep breath and look at my lineups from afar.

“Do as I say, not as I do.” 

  • Some guy who fucked up and feels bad now.

The last lineup I’d like to look at comes courtesy of a tweet by @DfsFacts. This lineup would have won the Milly but was only entered in smaller contests. I snagged it because it leads me to another point I wanted to cover this week – Playing Multiple Skill Position Players Without Their Quarterback.

This exquisite lineup features a Justin Herbert skinny stack with no Chiefs coming back and a roster block from the Steelers/Bengals game. Rostering two players from the same team without their quarterback is a build I rarely employ with a non-rushing QB because in the back my mind, I’ll always be thinking “If I’m betting that two players from the same team are going to hit their ceiling, the passing QB should have a ceiling score as well.”

But there are exceptions to this rule, and they aren’t always fluky. It depends on a top-heavy roster with a concentrated distribution of touches.  

Resident brainiac Xandamere is known around these parts for his “always one Viking” rule, and it’s a sound one. The Vikings have had a narrow distribution of fantasy points for the last couple of seasons. Dalvin Cook rarely shares meaningful snaps with his backups, and the Jefferson/Thielen tandem devours a massive share of the team’s pass-catching production. It’s a good bet that at least one of these players will have a voluminous role with a good level of efficiency, if not two players, or even all three. Our potential edge comes in identifying situations that mirror the Vikings narrow distribution when they arise during the season. In Week 3, the planets aligned, and injuries to Tee Higgins and Dionte Johnson led to two additional teams landing in that Vikings mold – and they were playing each other!

One build I often employ is playing one of these roster blocks (of two players and a bring-back) and using a QB with rushing upside in place of the QB from the roster block. Using someone like Lamar Jackson in the QB slot is essentially saying, “multiple players from the Steelers/Bengals game are going to produce, but Lamar is still going to crush Ben Roethlisberger and his noodle arm.” This works best with a RB/WR combination because there is only so much pass production two WR/TE can share whilst both smashing and not bringing their QB up with them.

If Ben had some rushing ability, or his noodle was a little more “al dente,” I’d probably just roll with him. 

Given what we know about the Vikings, Bengals, and Steelers, we can make a rule in the Fantasy Labs optimizer that looks like this:

Then, if you’re getting too much WR/WR and you’d prefer to run your roster blocks in the WR/RB mold, you can add a negative correlation from your favorite WR to his teammate while enhancing the RB.
And just to make sure you’re getting a good dose of that juicy correlation:
I’m sure this is somewhat rudimentary to some of you, but as I learned this week, it’s easy to overlook the obvious moves sometimes. 


Good luck in Week 4, my friends. May your allocations be true, your correlations juicy, and your noodles facing north. 


Sonic