Thursday, Dec 8th
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Above The Field :: Week 2

Each week this NFL season, top MME player // Milly Maker winner SonicLibrarian will help you orient your GPP mind in Above The Field.

Week 2 :: Surviving Quads On The River


July 2014 – WSOP Main Event

One level from the money bubble and I’ve managed to get my opponent to put all of his chips in on the turn with his set of jacks against my set of queens. As we turned them over I told him “sorry man, that’s just a cooler. Nothing you can do.” But as the dealer buried the burn card and began to peel the river, a horrible feeling came over me – and as he placed the fourth jack on the board my fear was realized. The only card in the deck that could beat me did just that. A 2% hit that sent me to the rail and made him among the biggest stacks in the room. The pain from that hand stung deeply and lingered for…well…I’ll let you know when it ends. 

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“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything” 

  • Tyler Durden

A funny thing happens when you take the worst possible beat – you eventually realize that it can only go up from here. You’ve experienced the worst and here you are. You are surviving, and if that didn’t kill you, it must have made you stronger. 

This leads us to Week 1’s $5 Millionaire Maker finish on Draft Kings. “chumleigh54” has a 3-point lead over “tossboss” with 27 seconds left. tossboss has Alvin Kamara and the Saints have a 4th down on Tampa’s 2-yard line. They decide to go for it and Kamara runs it into the end zone. Winner, winner, chicken dinner for tossboss. One of his 150 entries made it all the way to the top and the miracle happened on the final play…or did it?

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Upon further review, the bottom of Kamara’s cleat made contact with the sideline a fraction of a second before the ball crossed the plane. Impossible to be any closer and yet, chumleigh54 survives and tossboss is left to ponder the random absurdity of events in our universe. I mean, I took only a 20% loss and was one more airing of that “Idina-Menzel-squealing-about-taxidermy” commercial away from throwing my remote through the TV. I can’t imagine the tilt of losing this much…this way.     

*also worth noting, do not google “tossboss” without first activating SafeSearch. There are images I’d prefer weren’t forever scorched into my retina. 

Don’t get me wrong, 200K is a lovely consolation and tossboss can also take solace in the fact that he played really well. But knowing that he took a goose egg in the TE position and almost won a tournament with 1.2 million entrants is so very 2020.

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With that, let’s take a deeper look into chumleigh54’s winning build and some of the others in the top 10. 

A classic 4-stack with Aaron Rodgers, 2 Packer receivers, and the obvious bring-back in Adam Thielen. chumleigh54 augmented that with more correlation in the form of a secondary stack in the TE and Flex positions, using 2 pieces of a potential Seattle/Atlanta shootout.

I wrote about Aaron Rodgers and the virtues of betting on low-owned HOF talent in my DFS Tournament Training Guide, and in Week 1 of 2020, lightning struck again. Rodgers put up 33.76 at 2% ownership in what may end up being his best output of the season. 

The rest of chumleigh54’s lineup followed the formula we laid out in the training guide almost to the letter.

1. Spend and eat the chalk at RB1 and WR1 (Josh Jacobs, Davante Adams)

2. Cumulative ownership of between 75% and 125% (87.9%)

3. At least one player under 5% ownership (3, with Rodgers, Lazard, Olsen)

Just a beautiful work of art by chumleigh54 and certainly worthy of a 7-figure score. I’ll be keeping my eye on his work going forward. 

QB Diversity at the Top

One thing that jumped out to me when examining the $5 Milly results was the presence of five different Quarterbacks in the top 10 lineups and SEVEN(!) in the top 13. Proof that you can get to an effective score in a variety of ways, especially at QB.

Conversely, WR is more apt to post a slate-breaking score. This week it was “No Davante = No Chance.” 

Game Stack (No QB)

One concept some of us have been toying with recently is the game stack without actually using the QB. Whaaaaat? Seriously. The idea is to get the biggest 2-3 pieces from a high scoring game that utilizes a pocket QB and then replace him with a running QB to try and capture a higher ceiling (and floor) (Note from JM: Thank you!!!!!!!! I’ve been saying this for years, and people look at me like I’m crazy if I say you can have two pass catchers from an offense without his QB. In fact, right before reading this, I made a note to mention that in the Player Grid this week in regards to the Bucs!). The most common subject of this approach last year was Lamar Jackson. Target a game where both sides may have a smaller concentration of upside pieces, and therefore may reach their ceiling without their signal-caller necessarily finishing at the top at his position. This year a good example may be the Tennessee Titans or the Minnesota Vikings. Perhaps we think Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen can post tournament-winning scores but Kirk Cousins’ production while utilizing weapons outside of those two players will be minimal. Replacing Cousins with a potentially more productive QB could be the key to maximizing upside.  

Not sure if the motivation was similar in this case, but our 5th place finisher, “Aceboogie33rd” went with a variation of that concept with a Seattle/Atlanta game stack for his lone $5 entry. He was $600 shy of getting to Russell Wilson however, so he played a different running QB with upside in Kyler Murray. 

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Or maybe he was drunk at a family BBQ and just stuffed his favorite players into a lineup. Unorthodox for sure, but it got the job done. He tallied $30,000 for his efforts and will have a nice bankroll if he chooses to increase his MME volume going forward.

Hopefully, you had a profitable and enjoyable opening week of the season, but if you didn’t, look at the bright side – you’ve got 16 weeks ahead! Still plenty of opportunities to make good decisions. It’s not possible to function optimally whilst looking backwards though, so it’s time to center yourself, define your intentions for Week 2, and shoot your shot!

This Sunday might be your turn to make quads on the river or fade Kamara’s cleat at the goal line. It’ll be fun to watch it unfold.

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