Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
Bye Week:
Bears
Bengals
Bills
Broncos
Browns
Buccaneers
Cardinals
Chargers
Colts
Commanders
Cowboys
Dolphins
Eagles
Falcons
Giants
Jaguars
Jets
Lions
Packers
Panthers
Patriots
Raiders
Rams
Ravens
Saints
Seahawks
Steelers
Texans
Titans
Vikings

End Around 11.23

Hilow is a game theory expert (courses at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Northwestern) and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max

MACRO SLATE VIEW::

From a macro perspective, this slate brings us back to the range of low game totals, wide spreads on games with high game totals, lack of projectable value, and spread ownership. The field is also telling us with a high degree of certainty that the Cardinals are no longer a dumpster-fire team after seeing Kyler Murray play one game, with four of the top six, and five of the top ten players in expected ownership coming from the Texans-Cardinals game. While that game does fall within the top three or four expected game environments, there are significant uncertainties that the field seems to be largely overlooking. But when you combine the lack of projectable value with the relatively low salaries, solid game total, and low spread found in that game, we get a situation where the field seems to be over-hyping that spot. Optimal theory would dictate shifting to a more team-based and individual-based process as we hunt for the top range of outcomes plays on the slate, with the understanding that 30+ fantasy point outings are likely to be few and far between. Finally, and as you’ll shortly see, there are fewer players expected to garner 20 percent ownership or more on this slate when compared to previous weeks. With that, let’s dive in!

RESTRICTIVE CHALK VS EXPANSIVE CHALK::

Quick explanation :: Restrictive chalk is an expected highly owned piece that restricts the maneuverability of the remainder of your roster while expansive chalk is an expected highly owned piece that allows for higher amounts of maneuverability on the remainder of your roster. Classifying various forms of chalk as either restrictive or expansive allows us to visualize what it means for roster construction on a given slate and how restrictive a certain player might be – meaning more of the field will look similar from a roster construction standpoint with that piece.

TREY MCBRIDE

EXPANSIVE CHALK. Trey McBride is expected to garner the top overall ownership on the slate for the third consecutive week. He has held one of the most valuable tight ends roles in the absence of Zach Ertz, seeing 28 targets and putting up 248 yards on 21 receptions and scoring once across three starts. The matchup is a solid one against the zone-heavy Texans defense. McBride has also been the team’s most valuable pass-catcher against zone coverage this season from an underlying metrics standpoint. On the other hand, we must realize this is still a second-year tight end seeing only his second NFL action with his current starting quarterback, and Kyler Murray has historically held miniscule tight end target rates throughout his career.

DEVIN SINGLETARY

NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Singletary has held an elite role in the absence of Dameon Pierce, playing 75 percent of the offensive snaps or more in both games since Week 9. I talked a lot about the return to health of Laremy Tunsil this week and how that has opened up the run game for Bobby Slowik and the Texans. Even so, Singletary now has four career games with more than 100 yards rushing across five professional seasons and will need 100 yards and multiple touchdowns to sink you for not playing him at massive ownership.

TANK DELL

NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Dell leads the Texans in most predictive receiving metrics this season, falling just short of Nico Collins in only fantasy points per route run against zone coverage. For all intents and purposes, Dell is the WR1 on this team. That said, the Texans have held all pass-catchers to sub-elite snap and route participation rates this season, leaving Dell in a route on just 77.7 percent of the team’s pass plays this season. A solid 13.8 aDOT and elite efficiency have made up for the modest route rates to this point in the season. Consider Dell a fine play at salary, albeit coming with some interesting potential leverage angles considering the high expected ownership.

BRIAN ROBINSON

NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Fun fact, Brian Robinson is the only running back to have multiple RB1 overall finishes this season. That surprised me in my research this week. Antonio Gibson is now out for the Commanders for a matchup against the struggling Giants defense. The idea here is that some of Gibson’s receiving usage will trickle down to Robinson, which would reduce the requirement to score multiple touchdowns to return a viable GPP score. Consider Robinson an extremely solid on-paper play this week.

EVAN ENGRAM

EXPANSIVE CHALK. Evan Engram has one of the most consistent roles amongst tight ends in the league, seeing seven to 10 targets in all but one game this season. That said, he has a miniscule 8.7 percent red zone target share and faces off against a Tennessee defense allowing just 7.9 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends while being the only team in the league yet to allow a receiving touchdown to the position.

RONDALE MOORE

EXPANSIVE CHALK. We really want to play a slot wide receiver with a 67.0 percent snap rate, 84.3 percent route participation rate, and 3.3 aDOT at 20 percent ownership this week? Moore has a laughably low 0.64 yards per route run this year, which ranks 97th in the league. Moore’s inflated expected ownership is telling of the lack of projectable value this week.

CHALK BUILD::

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