Thursday, Sep 8th
Monday, Sep 12th

Above the Field 🌤️ Week 17

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.

Week 17 :: The World of Indescribable Variance

If I told you a famous DFS player with 150 lineups in the Week 16 Millionaire Maker had the following allocations, how would you guess he fared? 

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Do you think he:

A. Lost his ass

B. Took a small hit but survived

C. Came 7.6 points from winning $1,000,000

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Thanks to the lineup below, our mystery guest, ChipotleAddict managed $7900 in winnings and had a realistic sweat for 1st place. 

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Ok, I kinda made the quiz obvious but this is sick as hell, right?

It. Only. Takes. ONE.

Jeez, Chipotle. Run better, man. 

This is sort of the equivalent of the poker pro sucking out after getting it all in with his JJ against the amateur’s AA. The rec gets felted, knocks the table and says something like “So that’s how professionals win all the money, huh?”

ChipotleAddict is no donkey and his exploits in the DFS space are legendary…but he definitely sucked out a bit here. I mean, dude had SIX non-Melvin Gordon lineups and one of them finished in 9th place out of 176,500. WTF? 

Think about it though, simply playing 96% of Gordon rather than locking him completely, left himself 6 lineups that would have a chance at success in the event Gordon failed. I mean, the Milly winner only submitted one lineup, so a wizard like ChipotleAddict with 6 shots at it has to make some sense…right? 

Shit. I don’t even know anymore. This game is absurd. 

This does give me a chance to further hammer a point I’ve made numerous times in this space. 

1. If you take a stand on a player that smashes, you position yourself for a potential year-making day. That magical day that pays for all of the losing weeks endured on this road to tournament success.

2. You can take a stand that fails miserably and still have a chance at all the monies. 

The truth is, it is extremely hard to make these decisions. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is scary. Your guy tears his scrotum on the 3rd play of the game and you might as well take the wifey up on her plans to go “antiquing” or some shit. 

But as we learned above, there is still hope if you leave yourself an out. Just because you’re all in with JJ vs AA, doesn’t mean you should grab your backpack and walk away from the table.

I haven’t taken nearly enough stands on players this year. In my defense, I’ve hand-built lineups more than ever this NFL season and that has led me to a “make great lineups” approach to MME, as opposed to a “leverage the field with my player allocations” philosophy. Both are viable, but analysis of my past tournament successes overwhelmingly pointed to my hand-made lineups. Perhaps I’m just not using the optimizers…umm…optimally? Doubtful. I’ve gotten pretty good at making them do what I ask. There will always be an attraction to certain methods due to personality types. Being a control freak, I feel uncomfortable delegating tasks to a machine, like I’m sacrificing at least some EV. The numbers, however small in sample size, bear that out. 

Anyway, since ChipotleAddict is our subject du jour, let’s take a deeper look into his Week 16 lineup construction. Looking from a “QB-down” perspective, we’ll start with Jalen Hurts. 

He ran 65 Hurts lineups and each of them included Dallas Goedart and no other Eagles. He went double tight end with Travis Kelce on 19 of those rosters. He ran it back with one Cowboys receiver 54 times, rotating between Amari Cooper (41.5%), CeeDee Lamb (32.3%) and Michael Gallup (15.4%). He opted not to bring it back with a Cowboy nine times and used two Cowboys receivers twice. 

The best of the bunch climbed all the way up to 262nd place and looked like this:

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Appropriately, a different approach was taken with ChipotleAddict’s Russell Wilson stacks. Of his 33 Russ stacks, 16 were of the classic “4” variety with D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and a LA Rams player coming back. Rams were varied nicely with sprinklings of Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Darrell Henderson and Tyler Higbee. Eight more lineups were 5’s that featured the two Seahawks receivers and two Rams. One massive game stack featured the above with Chris Carson thrown in for good measure. This ended up among the worst scores in the tournament, tallying 77.2 points, good for 175,776th place. Did Chipotle care? We think not.

The gamble here was on Lockett who was locked (sorry) into every one of the “hopefully Russ finally cooks again…today at low ownership” rosters. 

The Andy Dalton rosters also featured a variety of different stack sizes. Of the 11 lineups, four were QB/2WR, three were QB/2WR/OPP, three more were QB/3WR and his best lineup (pictured above) was the full Dallas onslaught with Miles Sanders coming back. 

Pretty interesting. I don’t think I’ve run any QB/3WR lineups this year. The three Cowboys wideouts all projected well but one would assume that in the great range of outcomes, not all would post a tournament-winning score simultaneously. Never underestimate the power of the Ginger Rifle, or the ineptitude of the Eagles secondary. 

I’m always curious as to how the sharps handle Lamar Jackson. In Week 16, ChipotleAddict ran nine Lamar lineups and his stacks followed the “variation” game plan.

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Darius Slayton (big play upside, downfield threat) was the NY Giants receiver used as bring-back in four of the five lineups while Sterling Shepard (lower aDOT, possession guy) filled the fifth. Daniel Jones was unable to connect with Slayton but Shepard smashed, landing that particular lineup in 1,607th place for a nice little $100 score. 

More Gratitude!

Well, it’s about time for Above the Field to sign off for 2020. I’d like to once again extend my thanks to all of you who took the time to read my musings each week. My connection with the One Week Season fam was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal 2020. If you have a moment, please go back to last week’s article and let us know more about who you are in the comments section. I loved reading about those of you that have shared so far. We have some interesting degens in here! 

Tonight, I’m gonna burn some sage (amongst other herbs), chant incantations, do some bizarre dances, and give Mrs. Sonic the ol’ pickle tickle to take this year out in style. Be warned, universe…the OWS crew is gonna crush in 2021.

LFG!

Get Inside Of Sonic’s DFS Mind

An excellent, highly-recommended read!

Sonic’s DFS Q&A. This is awesome stuff if you’re looking to keep improving your DFS game!