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
It’s interesting how quickly the perceived certainty left the building, as we swiftly left the realm of condensed roster constructions and now find ourselves in the land of bountiful unknowns. Here’s what we know this week with a high degree of certainty:
That about covers it all, no? But what other trends can we identify this week? For one, the field has absolutely no clue what to do with the tight end position. Secondly, quarterback ownership is spread out behind Derek Carr, indicating no true stance on the top game environments on the slate (outside of the Raiders). Finally, we can expect more of a “standard salary distribution” as the percentage solution from the field (more on this below in the Chalk Build section). That’s actually a good bit of information for us to add to our decision-making matrix, the majority of which the field will not be thinking through this week.
If you’re new to OWS (and, more specifically, the End Around), what we’re trying to do with this piece is to identify how the field is likeliest to be looking at a specific slate and how to find a different path to first place, not having to fight against a massive portion of the field to do so. I have developed this process through my journey with and studies in Game Theory, with very specific tenets driving these methodologies. If you’re curious to learn more about the theory behind the practice, or how I developed these processes, I urge you to explore the three different Game Theory courses I have written in the One Week Season Marketplace. This year’s offering, the DFS Game Theory Bible, builds upon the previous two and is, without a doubt, my definitive work in this field.
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.
Neither Restrictive Chalk nor Expansive Chalk. The quarterback of the team with the highest Vegas implied team total. Got it.
Restrictive Chalk. Finished Week 1 as the overall RB1 in fantasy land. Got it.
Neither Restrictive Chalk nor Expansive Chalk. Finished Week 1 with the second-highest net running back usage from an underlying metrics standpoint (saw 82% of the team’s rush attempts on an 81% snap rate and was in a route at a 78% clip). Got it.
Neither Restrictive Chalk nor Expansive Chalk. Finished Week 1 sixth in total running back usage from an underlying metrics standpoint (64% of the team’s rush attempts on a 76% snap rate and was in a route at a 76% clip, and that includes Rachaad White seeing seven of his eight total opportunities on the final two drives in a blowout). Got it.
Neither Restrictive Chalk nor Expansive Chalk. Saw 11 targets. Got it.
Restrictive Chalk. Saw 17 targets. Got it.
Expansive Chalk. Plays the first team to lose their starting quarterback this season. Got it.
I specifically left out all individual analysis for every piece of chalk except for raw box score numbers and running back utilization from Week 1. I guarantee you that is the majority of what the field is seeing heading into Week 2. What can you challenge with those chalk pieces? Where is the field assuming more certainty than is actually present? I want you all to answer those questions internally this week!