Hilow is a game theory expert and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max
The first aspect that needs to be understood entering Week 5 is how dynamic the state of the slate will be overnight Saturday and into Sunday, primarily due to the multitude of questionable players we have. All of Dalvin Cook, Giovani Bernard, Joe Mixon, Chase Edmonds, Courtland Sutton, DeVante Parker, George Kittle, and TJ Hockenson seem legitimately questionable or doubtful as of Friday night, and that list doesn’t even include the players listed as questionable but likely to play (like Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Antonio Gibson, D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams, and Melvin Gordon III). This makes projecting the chalk build a bit more tricky than a standard week and also makes individual pieces of chalk come with a great deal of asterisks, but we’ll do our best to capture and convey the salient points and thought processes here.
Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. The big picture with Fournette is that he is a much better play in a vacuum if Giovani Bernard misses this contest (his projection moves from five to seven targets with Gio out to two to three with Gio in), yet we can be all but sure the majority of people who are currently building rosters that include Fournette are not likely to pivot should Gio play. The leverage here actually comes in the form of an underweight or full fade position if Gio does end up playing.
Restrictive chalk. I talked a bit about how I’m viewing this crazy slate in the Oracle, in that “guaranteed points” gain additional emphasis for me this week. Derrick Henry is top of that list as far as guaranteed points go.
Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Same story as Fournette, in that James Robinson is a much better play in a vacuum without the presence of Carlos Hyde taking eight to 10 expected touches. Hyde’s injury designation was removed and he will play this week.
Restrictive chalk. Same story as Derrick Henry.
Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Is the field really going to be this slow to realize the changing dynamics of this offense? To spell that out a bit more, Dallas ranks first in the league in situation-neutral rush rates over the past three weeks (the three without Michael Gallup), meaning both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb will require additional volume in order to provide a GPP-worthy score. This makes both best utilized in game stacks or with a correlated pairing from the other side, yet most won’t build that way this week.
Expansive chalk. Evan Engram chalk week!?!? Sign me up for the full fade. Even better, I am absolutely salivating at the thought of the field being on a Dallas wide receiver with an Engram bring-back. At least bring it back with Kadarius Toney or Kenny Golladay, please. Okay, rant over. The optimal bring-back if playing Engram is Ezekiel Elliott, and the optimal bring-back if playing a Dallas wide receiver is Saquon Barkley. Evan Engram is not optimal, period.
Expansive chalk. Pay down at tight end week, got it.
Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. The top running back play on paper should Dalvin Cook miss.
Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Although not currently projected for ownership, I expect Fant to work his way into top-three-at-the-position ownership should Courtland Sutton miss this week, which would leave Fant as the primary pass-catcher against a pass-funnel defense.
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