Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Above The Field :: Week 4

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

Week 4 :: Don’t Lett Up

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ (George Santayana-1905)





It’s Monday morning as I begin this article, and I bet “old ball coach” Pete Carroll is in the film room right now with DK Metcalf. The door is bolted and there is security at every exit. Metcalf made a blunder of the inexcusable variety. One that could easily have been prevented. The usually jovial and giddy coach is surely exchanging his gum-smacking positivity for some extremely tough love.

Our universe has a prolific talent for putting us in position to make mistakes. Even with the best intentions, we’ll be on the wrong side of these outcomes fairly often. That’s OK. We’re human. Repeating errors, however, is far less acceptable. Once we’ve been exposed to data that shows us the right way, there’s no excuse for doing it the wrong way. Bill Belichick always said that he welcomes first-time mistakes because it provides the necessary experience for improvement. Committing the same blunder a second time is a sure way to find yourself out of the NFL, or worse…on the roster of the New York Jets.

Leading up to Week 4, I’m taking a hard look at a misstep I made this weekend. Now keep in mind, I’m a really odd person and my process is likely different than yours. What we do have in common is that we’ll be looking to take advantage of our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses.

I depend on intuition and experience to guide me through decisions every week. My weakness is time management. I’m always looking for ways to minimize the negative effects this trait may have on my game. This last week I did not allocate my time wisely enough to leave room for stepping back and observing things from a wide or more global perspective. When I get hits of intuition that come via meditation or dreams or whatever, the only edge I really have depends on being able to translate and act upon them.

I had a dream on Saturday night that I was sitting in the end zone and Tyler Lockett caught a long touchdown and actually gave me a low five on his way back to the sideline. Now, for me, that’s clear indication that my subconscious is telling me to play a lot of Lockett. But I was so exhausted from staying up until 4am playing with new optimizer (loving Fantasy Labs BTW) and tweaking things longer than expected that I slept in and failed to leave myself enough time to rethink my lineups before 10am lock. I was able to make some tweaks before the Seahawks game began but it was not nearly enough. I failed to allocate enough time to factor potential new information into my perspective of the slate as a whole. A rather big process mistake on my part.

My adjustment will be to treat NFL weekends as if I live back in New Hampshire. Get up at 9am eastern time and give myself 4 hours to digest all of that work I did on Saturday and think through it all with a fresh mindset. I don’t know if I’ll have such an obvious dream again on a Saturday night, but if I do, I’ll be ready.

What unique skills or talents do you possess that you like to incorporate into your DFS game? What are your weaknesses? Take a non-ego approach to evaluating your Week 3 performance and find something to cultivate and something to improve upon. 

We’ll be sure to learn from history. I assume Mr. Metcalf will as well.

The Week 3 MILLY

Shout out to “clothsofheaven” for his victory; but per usual, we’ll dig a bit deeper and take a look at the approach of someone who max-entered and finished with multiple rosters towards the top. “RaisinBranMan” played 150 lineups and managed 50 cashes including finishes of 5th, 27th and 148th. Centering his allocations around the Seattle Seahawks/Dallas Cowboys game, he also felt good about Josh Allen and Cam Newton. One thing I found interesting was his stacking decisions. He ran traditional stacks of 3 players with one pass catcher and a bring-back in 108 (72%) of his lineups and double stacks, or “4’s”, in only 4 lineups. Not completely uncommon in and of itself but…it was kind of odd that his only 4 stacks were with Cam and Kyler Murray: two quarterbacks that I would prefer to run as a single or “skinny stack” due to fact that their rushing ability usually accounts for a large portion of their fantasy production, often limiting the amount of receptions and red zone targets for their teammates. Not that it’s bad to run double stacks with these QBs (I personally like a blend of 3’s and 4’s with a few nakeds when rostering these guys), just noteworthy that he chose to 4-stack these QBs and not Prescott. Also, worth noting is that RaisinBranMan ran his QB naked (sans teammates or opponents) in a whopping 38 (25.3%) of his lineups, including 20 with Dak Prescott, whom I’d assume would rarely post tournament-winning numbers without propping up at least one of his pass catchers. I’d go with a “bold strategy, Cotton” line here but RaisinBranMan was successful this week and he managed to do so in a unique way, so I applaud him for it!

Due to the preference of pricier options at QB/WR, his RB numbers looked more like what you’d traditionally see at WR. Utilizing 23 different backs with none owned at a rate higher than Devin Singletary, who appeared in just 18%. RBM certainly cast among the widest of nets I can remember seeing at the RB position.

Choosing to focus his aggression at WR instead, RaisinBranMan went hard after the 4 top pass catchers in the Seattle/Dallas game while intuitively managing to near-fade Ceedee Lamb (2%) and completely discard Dalton Schultz and Seattle tight ends except a lone lineup with Will Dissly.

I love the aggressive approach to the Patriots pass catchers. It didn’t work out in this case but had New England been able to exploit the Raiders pass defense with Harry and Byrd, RBM is in great shape being so far above the field. Interesting that he only rostered Julian Edelman in 4% of lineups. A very specific shot taken here. I don’t hate it in this wacky world of massive field MME GPP.

Reviewing RBM’s tight end allocations affords me opportunity to further emphasize the point: you can take a big swing and a miss on a player (or 2, or 3…)  and live to tell about it.  RaisinBranMan poured milk on the “Belichick will silence your #1 option” narrative and suffered a 2.9 score from Darren Waller at 7.5x the field.

Good luck in Week 4, folks. Until next time, be disciplined in your process, inject your own uniqueness into your lineups, and try to be on the right side of history.