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 3.23

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 ::

The glaring truth about this slate is that we have one game that stands head and shoulders above the rest as far as the expected game environment goes: Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota Vikings. That piece of the pie is not going overlooked on this slate, I can promise you that much. Everywhere you look around the industry, new angles and stats pop up to hype this game up. But the two teams in this game are two of SEVEN that are projected to score around or more than four touchdowns on this slate, and we’re seeing very sparse ownership rates amongst the remaining five teams in that discussion. The seven teams with Vegas implied team totals approaching or surpassing four touchdowns are as follows:

  • Ravens – 26
  • Jaguars – 26.25
  • Chargers – 26.5
  • Dolphins – 27.25
  • Vikings – 27.5
  • Cowboys – 27.75
  • Chiefs – 30.25

Interpret that data from a different angle and we could say that there are two teams on this slate that are projected to be more effective offensively than both teams in the game with the highest game total (and most interest from the field). And yes, the fact that two teams from this list are playing each other, in a dome, adds to the percentage chance of the game going over its lofty game total, but it does not minimize the chances of another offense outscoring the Chargers and Vikings. There’s an extremely nuanced discussion to be had there, one that we will fully dive into on The Slate podcast on Saturday. But with that realization in the light of the entire slate, we have to realize that we have a slate with many different offenses that are expected to score points, which is likely to increase the score it will take to take down GPPs this weekend.

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.

MIKE WILLIAMS

NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. There aren’t a ton of negatives I can bring up regarding any of the primary skill position players in this game outside of the obligatory game theoretic potential to explore unique ways to play them. Mike Williams currently sports solid underlying metrics including a 25.7 percent team target market share, 27.3 targets per route run rate, 11.2 aDOT, and 35.5 percent slot snap rate. The Chargers have become one of the most concentrated offenses in the league, with primary production flowing through Williams, Keenan Allen, and Austin Ekeler. Joshua Kelley isn’t on the same level as a guy like Ekeler through the air, further condensing the expected flow of targets in this offense.

ZACK MOSS

EXPANSIVE CHALK. The workload should be there for Zack Moss after he saw an insane 98 percent snap rate and 100 percent of the team’s available running back opportunities in Week 2. The problem is he goes from a plus matchup against the porous run defense of the Texans to one of the tougher matchups on the ground against the stout run defense of the Ravens. The Colts carry a Vegas implied team total of just 18 points on the road and are currently instilled as eight-point underdogs. There are three things that I typically utilize to evaluate running backs: talent, matchup, and opportunity. Moss checks one (maybe one and a half) of those boxes this week.

JUSTIN JEFFERSON

RESTRICTIVE CHALK. There aren’t a ton of negatives I can bring up regarding any of the primary skill position players in this game outside of the obligatory game theoretic potential to explore unique ways to play them. Justin Jefferson is the top wide receiver in the NFL playing in the game with the highest game total to this point in the season. There isn’t additional analysis that needs to be had.

TONY POLLARD

RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Tony Pollard has provided everything that we wanted to see when we were drafting him in the second round of Best Ball drafts this offseason. He leads the league in weighted opportunities and red zone opportunities, and he ranks third amongst running backs in team target market share and second in targets. The game script has largely kept his workload in check through two weeks, but what if he runs into a more neutral game script? Talent – check. Opportunity – check. Matchup – check. He’s going to be popular, but there are some interesting ways to play him that the field will largely not be getting to this weekend.

JOSHUA KELLEY

EXPANSIVE CHALK. There aren’t a ton of negatives I can bring up regarding any of the primary skill position players in this game outside of the obligatory game theoretic potential to explore unique ways to play them. Joshua Kelley is not going to command the same level of pass game usage as a guy like Austin Ekeler, but he plays for one of the top offenses in the league in the highest game total of the season and carries legitimate paths to 100/2 on the ground. Talent – check. Opportunity – check. Matchup – check.

KEENAN ALLEN

RESTRICTIVE CHALK. There aren’t a ton of negatives I can bring up regarding any of the primary skill position players in this game outside of the obligatory game theoretic potential to explore unique ways to play them. Keenan Allen carries solid underlying metrics including a 27.1 percent team target market share, 25.7 percent targets per route run rate, 11.2 aDOT, and inflated-for-him 38.5 percent wide snap rate. The Chargers have become one of the most concentrated offenses in the league, with primary production flowing through Williams, Keenan Allen, and Austin Ekeler. Joshua Kelley isn’t on the same level as a guy like Ekeler through the air, further condensing the expected flow of targets in this offense.

BILLS D/ST

NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE. Chalk defense. You know what to do (explore other avenues).

TRAVIS ETIENNE

RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Etienne carries an elite rushing workload in a plus matchup. His 78.9 percent snap rate ranks fifth in the league, his 77.6 percent opportunity share ranks 10th, and he has run the fourth most routes amongst running backs (56). The problem is that he has seen only eight targets through two weeks, which is not enough receiving volume to reduce the need for 100 yards on the ground and multiple scores to provide a fantasy score you need at his salary for GPP play. Can he do that in this spot? Sure, he can. Is it the most likely outcome? Nope. And are there other backs on this slate that carry similar volume expectations for much less in salary? Yup!

CHALK BUILD::

<< SPECIAL >>

Inner Circle ONLY $29!!

Apply code OWS200 at checkout

*Includes access through the Super Bowl