Hilow is a game theory expert and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max
I’m consciously deciding to leave this section of the End Around rather sparse this week. Two reasons why that is the case: (1) Xandamere and I do an in-depth breakdown regarding the macro slate overview in the Saturday podcast, and (2) I am choosing to do a little more teaching on Game Theory this week as we hit the midpoint in the season, which has me typing way more words than I intended already. That said, the macro overview of this slate revolves around the multitude of viable options at the running back position (more so than we have seen in any week this season). We have four clear spots for expected fantasy production (Bucs, Colts, Bills, and Cowboys, in that order for me), a couple of game environment bets (Seahawks at Packers and Vikings at Chargers), a bunch of “floating play spots,” and a few games where GPP-worthy production is less likely to come from.
Restrictive chalk. As we explored in the writeup of this game, Dak carries a rock-solid floor (multiple pass touchdowns in all but one game this year, a Week 2 mystery slugfest against the Chargers). That said, the last two games Dallas has played under Dak were a blowout loss to the Broncos and a variant overtime win against the Patriots, where each team scored heaps in the final quarter of play. I highlight those two games because those were the only two games in which Dak attempted more than 32 passes (outside of the Week 1 game against the Bucs, and, as we know, the offensive identity of this team has changed since then), with three of the previous four games coming in at 27 attempts or below. That overtime victory over the Patriots also stands as the only game that Dak has surpassed 30 fantasy points, removing the Week 1 game against the Bucs. All of that to say, if Dak is hitting ceiling here, it is highly likely due to the Falcons pulling increased aerial aggression out of the Cowboys. So, if playing Dak, it should be done in a nod to the game environment (not likely to be the case).
Restrictive chalk. The Jets have surrendered the most opponent yards per game and the most opponent points per game in the league. The Bills rank third in the league in pass attempts per game. But (yup, here’s the but), the Bills have such a high pass attempt per game total because they run the second-most offensive plays from scrimmage per game. The reality is this offense is a lot more balanced than the field realizes or gives credit for, with a situation-neutral pass rate of 61%, a tick above the league average rate of 59%. Josh Allen can 100% “get there on the way up,” but (another but) Allen’s viability basically comes down to how successful you expect the Jets to be against the number one defense in the league. As in, in the Bills games against Texans and Dolphins, the ones where they shut out their opponent, Allen went for only 17.66 fantasy points and 21.02 fantasy points. In the three games in which Allen has surpassed 30 fantasy points, the Bills opponents scored 34, 20, and 21 points. Call me crazy, but I don’t expect the Jets to score 20+ points in this spot. Things to think about.
Expansive chalk. Matchup: check. Opportunity: double-check. Cost: triple-check. Talent: check. Johnson checks all the boxes for what we look for in a running back play. We’ll leave it at that.
Expansive chalk. Didja know, Tennessee has surrendered only 21.3 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields? Didja also know, Trevor Siemian is starting for the Saints? Didja also, also know, Tennessee’s defense is expected to garner the most ownership at the defense position? Something ain’t adding up here.
Restrictive chalk. The running back seeing the second most touches per game against a Lions team that bleeds fantasy points to opposing backfields. I get it. I also likely won’t be going here, personally. Najee has surpassed 100 yards rushing only once this season and has surpassed 25.2 fantasy points only once as well (his record-setting 19-target game). Call me crazy again, but at a price of $7,900, I’m fairly confident I can make that production up elsewhere.
Restrictive chalk. Sure, DA could get there on his unreal volume, but didja know, Adams has seen only 11 red zone targets this season? For comparison’s sake, D’Ernest Johnson has seen 12 red zone opportunities on 43 total opportunities. Wild, right? Furthermore, the combined pace of the Seattle / Green Bay game will be the slowest of the week. If betting on Adams, it better be in a nod to the game environment (as in, with a correlated bring-back or in a game stack).
Restrictive chalk. Similar thoughts to his teammate, Najee Harris, above. The matchup is juicy, but matchup is only a small part of what we need to evaluate when dissecting a game. The environment from a game against the visiting Lions is not one I will be going out of my way to attack. Diontae has gone over 100 yards just once this season as well and would require a return to insane volume to even hit 30 fantasy points, which at his price, you’re not too bummed to miss.
Restrictive chalk. See game writeup in the Edge.
Expansive chalk. $3,500 tight end, on a team that should be trailing, against an opponent that filters production to the middle of the field. Got it. Allow me to play Devil’s advocate for a minute. Dan Arnold has seen snap rates between 57% and 73% during his stay with the Jags, has an aDOT of 5.4, and has a 68.6% catch rate. Let me be clear, he is a solid on-paper play as a tight end in a route on 94% of his snaps that come on pass plays. There are simply more questions for me, personally, than I think the field is giving credit for here.
<< Unlock The Rest Of End Around>>