Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Above The Field. 6.21.

The Squirrely Nature of Shootouts

Congrats to Milly Winner nkoerner25 for landing one of his two (TWO!) lineups atop all others. A beautiful double-stack (no bring-back) featuring the greatest living human being, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.

In The Scroll leading up to this week, I mentioned that I’d be running half of my Brady lineups without a bring-back from the Dolphins. The logic is that Miami didn’t need to keep pace in this game for the Buccaneers to rack up points. Brady and company are in full scorched-earth mode, leaving the pedal to the metal for 60 minutes with little regard for the scoreboard…or the opponent.

This winning lineup featured four players with ownership at 6.4% or lower and a cumulative ownership totaling 115.9%. This year’s winning scores have had significantly less ownership, but the chalk smashed this week, so the cumulative numbers were buoyed somewhat.

In case you’re curious, nkoerner25’s other lineup was a Trevor Lawrence double stack that finished in 96,748th place. That 2nd lineup didn’t put too much of a dent in his overall ROI, though. I think he compensated nicely.

Live it up, brother!

“youdacao” is the man.

If you’ve been studying tournament results long enough, you’ve seen youdacao’s name plenty. He’s a Finance/Economics guy that started playing DFS in 2015 and has been wreaking havoc on leaderboards since. In Week 5’s Millionaire Maker, Youda landed 78 of his 150 lineups above the cash line with nine in the top 1,003, including 22nd and 46th place.

How did he do it? Let’s look under the hood a little.

He invested significant ownership capital in four QBs. Two of them got there, and two fell short. Imagine the glee when that Chargers/Browns game just kept going berserk like a meth-fueled attack squirrel (google that shit, it’s real).

As important as who Youda played is who he didn’t play. Fading the 49ers/Cardinals QBs entirely and tossing in only three Daniel Jones rosters put him a cumulative 28.3% below the field on three QBs that died a miserable death on Sunday.

Looking only at the 22 Justin Herbert lineups, 3-stacks were used exclusively, yet the three players varied in interesting ways. This leads me to believe that Youda likely made a rule that forced at least one Chargers player with Herbert and then threw all of the players from this game into a pool and said… “use exactly two.”

I haven’t approached it in exactly this manner before, but I like it. It gives you a blend of pieces from a game and provides room for the projections to breathe a little. If you don’t love the pieces on the other side of a game stack…don’t play one! No need to force one in there just because someone taught you to!

I love the decisions youdacao made at RB.

Trimming his pool down to 12 probably wasn’t easy this week, with so many viable options available. FOMO is a thing that remains a leak in many DFS players’ games, myself included.

Getting significantly above the field on the cheap RB chalk (Alexander Mattison) while executing a semi-fade on the expensive chalk (Derrick Henry) was an elegantly aggressive way to handle them. Taking a bold stand on some lessor-owned RBs in D’Andre Swift, James Robinson, and Josh Jacobs was an adept way to gain a potential advantage on the field as well. I loved Saquon Barkley this week and rostered him in about 24% of my lineups, but Youda managed to dodge that injury bullet, getting under the field by about 40%.

A peek at youdacao’s WR allocations provides further insight into how all of these puzzle pieces fit together.

To achieve 78% of Davante Adams, an expensive WR, concessions had to be made elsewhere. I believe the difference between good and great players is that guys like Youda can finesse these concessions while increasing leverage elsewhere. The semi-fade of Derrick Henry is one example, and his utilization of the low-owned, inexpensive RB’s is another. The puzzle pieces fit together perfectly then, to stack the shit out of Joe Burrow, who had a talented set of three reasonable-priced receivers and a built-in bring-back in the form of Adams. Worth noting here is that the stack sizes were not treated the same here as with the Justin Herbert stacks. In this case, the Bengals receivers were used solo, in groups of two, and in one case all three Bengals WRs were crammed in there.

Here’s a look at how youdacao rounded out his allocations at TE and DST.

I’ve been putting plenty of thought lately into how to approach the highly variant position of DST. Xandamere and Hilow have discussed fading the highest owned defenses in tournaments simply because the degree of variance is so great. Why jump on with everyone else’s guess when you can roster a lessor-owned defense that has just as much chance of a ball being tipped and returned for a score? Makes sense. I’m guessing those guys would agree that this only really matters when a defense is getting really chalky. The other side of the coin is to just roster the cheapest defenses regardless of ownership because since we don’t know what the hell is gonna happen anyway, why not just spend the money elsewhere? At 13.32% and below, I think Week 5 became a “do whatever the hell you want” situation at DST. The possible exception being the WFT defense, and I’m fine with youdacao’s approach of going almost 2x the field on the very affordable yet disappointing group.

The biggest surprise this week was that the Patriots DST was owned 6.56% despite costing a ridiculous $4900. I hope DraftKings’ little experiment is over. That’s just silly.

Not quite as silly as this squirrel situation, though.

Good luck in Week 6, Ladies and Gents. Let’s tilt our faces off in the gameday-chat channel on Sunday.