New members: Every Thursday morning, we send out the Angles email — in which we take a critical, “overview” look at the slate ahead.
Total Main Slate Games: 11
It must be Week 11.
On Tuesday morning, I “opened this slate,” and my initial reaction was, “How do you even build rosters on a slate like this?”
On the surface, this slate shouldn’t be too terribly difficult. We’re missing some good offenses (the Chiefs, 49ers, and Cardinals are in island games; the Seahawks, Dolphins, and — if they count — Buccaneers are on bye), but we have access this week to the Bills, Bengals, Ravens, Bears, Eagles, Vikings, and others, which provides us with a strong list of elite quarterbacks and pass catchers to choose from. We also have a handful of viable high-priced running backs, and we have some fun wrinkles thrown our way (for example: the team with the second highest Vegas-implied team total — behind only the Ravens — is the Atlanta Falcons; meanwhile, the Bills are implied for only 24.75 at home against the Browns, Justin Fields’ Bears are three point underdogs on the road at Atlanta, and Atlanta is implied to outscore the Eagles by 1.5 points). All good things. Nothing too ugly.
But most of us focus primarily on DraftKings, and while it’s fun that we have a lot of elite quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers…well, we also have “a lot of elite quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers,” while the lower tiers of pricing can be best described as “full of uncertainty.” On my initial practice builds, I found myself rostering WAY too many players in the $4k to $5k range in order to carve a path to the perceived certainty of a couple higher-priced options.
“How do you even build rosters on a slate like this?”
And then, it hit me.
I stamped this into the top of my Week 11 notes.
My motto for the week.
(Say it with me. “Ignore floor! Ignore floor! Ignore floor!”)
If it were possible to get a one-week tattoo, I’d stamp this message onto my lineup-building fingers. “Ignore floor!” I want this to be the foundational focus of every roster I build.
And it’s funny, in a sense. As we talk about all the time, ceiling is all that matters in tourneys. But we know our nature is to gravitate toward certainty; and as much as we might chastise the DFS public for flocking to players on their tournament builds who have “safer median projections but lower ceilings,” we can still find ourselves doing the same thing on our own rosters. Sometimes, it takes a week like this to remind us, in a more immediate manner, just how valuable it can be to build with a “ceiling only” mindset.