Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Above The Field Week 2


Moth To A Flame

We’re baaaaack!

…and NFL DFS is picking up right where we left off. Those who built Week 1 lineups that exploited the ever-tumbling dice of variance found themselves at the top of the leaderboards.

If you played to a scenario where Detroit Lions RBs D’Andre Swift (.74% owned) and Jamaal Williams (.69% owned) would each outscore Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, James Robinson, Antonio Gibson and almost everyone else…Congrats! No need to save the receipt on that crystal ball you ordered last week.

The point is that no one knows what the hell these spectacularly flawed human beings are going to do on any given Sunday. Plan accordingly and try not to break any furniture.

One hotshot DFS reg that flirted with a win in the $100 Milly this week was hishboo. He max-entered this contest with a cool $15k and damn near took it down. With 40 lineups finishing over the pay line and one gem in 5th place, hishboo made his investment back easily and gave himself a real chance at Millionaire Maker-binking glory.

He managed all of this despite playing the highest-owned Atlanta Falcons DST (0 points) in a whopping 54% of his lineups. With such a variant position, I often intend to fade the chalk and limit my pool to only defenses with a low projected ownership. Yet, when the shit hits the fan, I often have a crisis of the testicular nature and gravitate to the “surest thing”.

His best lineup featured the had-to-have-it Patrick Mahomes/Tyreek Hill stack and a clever contrarian secondary stack in the form of Deebo Samuel and Lions rookie Amon St. Brown. He didn’t choose to bring it back with a Browns player. Not sure if that was a result of Odell Beckham’s late scratch or just the lack of sex appeal on the Browns roster as a whole.
With a cumulative ownership of 87.2%, this lineup falls nicely into the low end of that 75-125 range we shoot for. In fact, upon examining all 150 of hishboo’s lineups, none were above 125% in total ownership. Clearly, a conscious decision. In such a low scoring week, one didn’t have to have a little fire emoji next to each player to achieve success. Don’t need to be perfect. Just better than everyone else.
Looking at the rest of hishboo’s allocations, the QB dispersion was pretty vast. I went in that direction this week as well. With so much uncertainty in Week 1, I wanted a piece of a lot of scenarios rather than hammering two or three.
Only one stand taken at RB, and it was a common theme among the professional DFS wizards. With Wayne Gallman being announced inactive prior to lock, Mike Davis’ workload appeared as close to foolproof as anything. He ceded some snaps to Cordarrelle Patterson but still got 18 touches. The Falcons were inefficient as a team and never penetrated the end zone.
I probably sounded like a broken record in this space last year but I’ll continue to remind everyone: you can take a big stand on multiple players, be wrong, and still be wildly successful. Shoot. Your. Shot. 
I like the approach to the suspected chalk at WR. hishboo opted to get above the field on the players in which he felt most confident. He loaded up on Marvin Jones, Tee Higgins & Calvin Ridley while tapping the breaks a little on the highest owned WR on the slate, Marquez Callaway.

Interesting usage at the Tight End position. One could likely attribute hishboo’s positive ROI to his fade of Kyle Pitts. Turns out playing a highly owned rookie in his first NFL game wasn’t the move. In fact, I’m sure that hishboo’s previously mentioned heavy reliance on Mike Davis was a conscious attempt to leverage the Pitts lineups as not many rosters in MME will feature two players from the same team without their quarterback.

Went for it a little bit with Anthony Firkser, huh? He wasn’t alone. Many of the pros had him popping in their projections. He could have easily been productive had that Titans offense ever found its rhythm. The Firk-Daddy made his way into 27 lineups, only 6 of which were paired with Ryan Tannehill.

In terms of stack sizes, it’s important to note that the sharps don’t all strictly adhere to the widely publicized formula of using 4-stacks with QB/WR/WR/OPP in big-field tournaments. Hishboo’s QB stack sizes looked like this:

5 Players – 2.6%

4 Players – 28.7%

3 Players* – 48%

2 Players – 20.7%

Naked – 0%

*the 3-stacks were split evenly between QB/Pass Catcher/Pass Catcher (No bring back) and QB/WR/OPP


In last week’s article, I presented an idea, developed last season, that has become a staple of my weekly approach. Here’s how I implemented it in Week 1:

Q: Knowing how the early games were concluding, how would you have swapped off of these rosters?

If you answered, “swap off the chalk and try to vault past those Callaway rosters en route to the pay line” –  you answered correctly. 

Sadly, neither of these lineups starting off particularly strong so I was left adjusting all 12 of them with the Callaway being the obvious casualty in each.

One such switch resulted in a potentially nice secondary stack in the form of Sterling Shepard and Jerry Jeudy.  This game had a low expected total (and Vegas turned out to be pretty accurate from that standpoint) but if you can find gems from these games they’ll usually come with low ownership. Such was the case for Shepard (1.21%) and Juedy (6.27%), making them the perfect pivot on rosters that had some catching up to do. Shepard smashed but sadly Jeudy’s ankle ended up bending in directions that only Gumby could withstand, landing his rosters in the same pile as those of my favorite RB play, Mr. Raheem Mostert. RIP.

I’ll employ this strategy again in Week 2 and pass along any observations.

Until then, fly straight and try not to go into the light.