Each week this NFL season, top MME player // Milly Maker winner SonicLibrarian will help you orient your GPP mind in Above The Field. And If you haven’t checked out his Marketplace Course “DFS Tournament Mastermind Training” the first 4 Lessons are Free.
Last week in this space I aired out some heavy feelings to you guys, both of a DFS and personal nature. The hope was for a cathartic benefit for myself whilst providing some perspective to which a lot of our community could relate. It was one of those situations where I stared at the send button for a while before clicking and releasing the article in fear that I’d stuck my neck out a bit too far. The One Week Season family quelled my anxieties quickly and generously. Your notes on Discord and Twitter were overwhelming and timelier than I could even explain.
Anytime you put yourself in a vulnerable place and are rewarded by the kindness of strangers, friends and colleagues, it provides renewed hope for humanity – and after a year that has tested the faith in all of us, it was especially welcomed.
Coincidentally (or is there such a thing?), my personal tournament fortunes turned around immediately. I had an honest-to-goodness sweat and managed my best Millionaire Maker finish since my Deebo-led triumph almost exactly a year ago. It sounds weird to frame it like this but finishing in 13th place out of a ridiculous 294,117 entries was not only thrilling and rewarding but it was also…healing. I fell $995k short of my goal but I was left with a renewed sense that anything really is possible, even winning the Milly a 2nd time – and when faced with the challenges and heartaches that life will inevitably throw at me, I’ll make like Ringo and “get by with a little help from my friends.”
The first thing I said to Mrs. Sonic after the games was “Hey, I actually get to review one of my own lineups in my article!”.
Away we go.
This lineup used every penny of the salary cap and had a cumulative ownership of 100.4%.
The Bengals DST was the only sub-5% addition to this roster but there were 4 other players that came in below 10% owned. I wish I had randomly selected the Falcons DST instead. The extra 19 points would have come in handy.
I only rostered Kyle Rudolph in lineups that didn’t have the chalky Dalvin Cook or Justin Jefferson. If I was going to use a mostly TD-dependent punt play that was actually coming with some ownership of his own, I wanted to at least get some leverage benefit out of the transaction.
My lone non-fire emoji player was Chris Godwin. Like many, I alternated my bring-back on Patrick Mahomes stacks between all 4 of Tampa Bay’s pass-catching threats and added a handful without a Buccaneer at all. Godwin finished 3 yards from the bonus. One more 3-yard catch would have resulted in a 4th place finish and an additional $20K for yours truly. I ain’t complaining though. I’ve been on the other side of that variance before, and I will be again.
Austin Ekeler was a George Costanza-style “do the opposite of what Ian Rappaport says” play that all of us at OWS were salivating over. His 8.6% ownership was indication that not enough people are reading JM and Hilow each week and thus, confirmation that an edge still exists in DFS. I paired Ekeler with Gabriel Davis to form a secondary stack in 15 of my lineups this week including this one. Inexpensive, low-owned with a nice potential to hit ceiling. Yes, please.
Speaking of edges, Derrick Henry proved that one still exists in large-field tournaments as well. Despite his lower floor due to a lack of involvement as a pass catcher, King Henry is one of those players that can break a slate on any given Sunday. In Week 12, Dalvin Cook was mega-chalk, pulling ownership numbers away from the other high-priced running backs like a collapsing star creating a black hole. Henry’s ownership projection was hovering in the 7%-8% range all week. The leverage he provided against Cook’s 40% ownership was juicy enough by itself if you consider that he’d outscore Dalvin more often than the ownership discrepancy would indicate. Throw in the $1600 discount, allowing your roster to avoid a 2nd or 3rd cheapo “value” player and we’re approaching no-brainer territory. I feel like a donkey for only having 19.3% in the Milly! I knew I loved the play but also wanted plenty of Cook because he was coming into Week 12…en fuego.
I ended up matching the field on the chalky RBs and 3x-ing the field on Henry and Ekeler.
As jonnythrowsdarts, drama and I discussed in Discord on Tuesday, much of my ownership wasn’t a conscious choice but rather a byproduct of hand-building 75 of my lineups with a focus on ownership and leverage within each lineup and little regard for total ownership across all of my lineups. There is certainly validity to “overweighting” the field on certain players to gain an advantage against the competition, just don’t forget the goal in MME…finishing in 1st place.
Overall ownership percentages don’t win tournaments. ONE great lineup does.
Sweating multiple lineups with a chance to win a million dollars certainly is one of the finer pleasures life can offer.
GreyPoupon had himself a week, cashing with 100 of his 150 entries. He landed 13 in the top 692 including 6th, 24th and 34th.
The key to GreyPoupon’s success was his uncanny wide receiver choices.
I mean, dude…holy shit.
With WR allocations like that it’s obviously possible to overcome an over-commitment to the failed Brian Hill chalk. Going above the field on Henry and James Robinson, ensuring that they’d appear in at least some lineups without Hill proved beneficial.
One notable thing about GreyPoupon is Week 12 was his willingness to embrace the chalk. Almost a third of his lineups had a cumulative ownership of 150% or higher with a peak of 187.1%. This may have been at least partially a result of the breaking news that the Denver Broncos were starting a practice squad receiver at QB. The New Orleans Saints DST ownership rose at least 20 percentage points after that and many chose to “damn the ownership and jam them in”.
Having a bunch of chalk in your lineups is absolutely fine as long as you find some way to incorporate differentiation. GreyPoupon accomplished this in almost half of his lineups by playing 46% of a 3%-owned Jarvis Landry.
One point that has become a theme of this article involves taking a stand on a player you feel great about. Even if it fails, you may still be just fine. As mentioned above, GreyPoupon absolutely smashed despite having a whopping 64% of Brian Hill who mustered a measly 5.5 DK points.
It only takes 1 lineup to change your life. Build accordingly.
Good luck this week, fam. Thanks for reading and learning along with me.
An excellent, highly-recommended read!
Sonic’s DFS Q&A. This is awesome stuff if you’re looking to keep improving your DFS game!