Hilow is a game theory expert and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max
The first thing we need to mention is the late-week placement of Amari Cooper on the COVID list, which fundamentally alters how we should be viewing the game with the top expected game environment on the slate. We’ll discuss this situation further both in the leverage section as well as on the Saturday pod.
Other than that quick reminder, I’d once again like to leave this section rather sparse to allow me to really dig into some Game Theory discussions later on. Xandamere and I will take an in-depth look at the macro slate view on the Saturday podcast.
Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. As I so brazenly declared in the Oracle, Dillon is hands down the top play on paper on the entire slate. It’s almost the exact on-paper play as D’Ernest Johnson from Week 10, in that we have a player stepping into a featured role with zero-depth behind him. I expect a heavy snap rate and opportunity share in a positive environment.
Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Similar play to Dillon with additional paths to failure, making him not quite as strong of a play. That said, he still remains one of the top expected point-per-dollar plays on the slate.
Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Right tackle Ryan Ramczyk joins left tackle Terron Armstead as members of this offensive line that will be out this week. Tony Jones, Jr. is also expected to return this week from an extended absence so I don’t think we’re going to see the same 85% snap rate we saw from Ingram last week here. He goes from all-in in single entry and three-max last week to a borderline full fade this week for me.
Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. For what seems like the 78th week in a row, Tee Higgins makes an appearance here. The matchup isn’t perfect against a Raiders team that has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, but the biggest bump comes in the form of expected game environment (more on this below). Seven to nine high-value targets are his likeliest range of outcomes with upside for more should the Raiders keep pace.
Expansive chalk. Of the five primary pass-catchers for the Cowboys this week (CeeDee Lamb, Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Dalton Schultz, and Ezekiel Elliott), Gallup actually sets up the worst as far as pure matchup goes, yet he is expected to garner the highest ownership. I personally have no issue with looking elsewhere in this price range (or avoiding it altogether) for either the same expected workload in a better spot (I’ll hit on one such player below) or a player with more expected volume.
Restrictive chalk. One of maybe three players that can go for 40+ points at a somewhat high frequency in this spot (Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, and Christian McCaffrey). Said another way, the ceiling of those three players is unmatched on this slate.
Restrictive chalk. This one is a little bit of foreshadowing, as his current ownership levels are much lower than I expect them to be, come Sunday morning. One of maybe three players that can go for 40+ points at a somewhat high frequency in this spot (Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, and Christian McCaffrey). Said another way, the ceiling of those three players is unmatched on this slate.
Restrictive chalk. This one is a little bit of foreshadowing, as his current ownership levels are much lower than I expect them to be, come Sunday morning. CeeDee carries the best individual matchup for the Cowboys in the best game environment on the slate. The absence of Amari Cooper provides a slight boost to his expected volume, which is typically the only major knock to his fantasy prospectus.
Expansive chalk. Man, I was excited to play Kmet after Allen Robinson was ruled out . . . until I saw his expected ownership. Honestly, though, that doesn’t really matter much to me because there are easy ways to generate the required leverage to not even have to worry about the 15-20% expected ownership on Kmet.
Restrictive chalk. This is simply a nod to the expected game environment in the Bengals / Raiders game. I do need to get something off my chest regarding this game environment though. The Raiders offense has looked entirely broken in the two games since He Who Must Not Be Named exited stage left, scoring only 16 and 14 points against the Giants and Chiefs, respectively. In order for this game environment to turn into what everyone is hoping it will, the Raiders are going to have to score some points. The loss of their primary downfield threat has left their offense entirely one-dimensional and predictably short-area focused. I also don’t think this game is going to be as “sneaky” as everyone is currently hoping it will be, furthering my hesitation for both sides here. Finally, the notable players in this game are mostly priced for the expectation of a shootout-style game environment, so if it isn’t there, lineups will be sunk (the lone exception to that is Tee Higgins, who carries an “okay” volume expectation in most game scenarios, and is priced at a level that won’t kill you if the game environment isn’t what most are expecting).
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