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Welcome back OWS fam! Before jumping into the Week 1 Late Swap considerations, let’s quickly look at what Late Swap is, as well as reviewing what to consider from a theory perspective.
Fundamentally, late swap is the ability to make changes to your initial roster after lock (the start of the contest) as more information becomes available. Once a contest locks, no more rosters can be submitted, but players whose games haven’t started yet can be changed. While simplistic in definition, properly taking advantage of late swap is one of the largest and most underutilized edges in all of DFS but perfecting the concept is more of an art than a science. In this article we will discuss late swap strategies and theory for larger tournaments, and when to consider utilizing them. Before we dive in, here are a few basics to be conscious of:
– From the roster construction side, always ensure the latest playing WR/RB (or TE if rostering two) is in the flex spot as this will allow you the most flexibility when considering changes.
– Make sure you are up to date on the latest injury news and inactives. In the NFL, teams are required to publish this information 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
So, when do we consider if we want to utilize a late swap? For me personally, I will begin looking around 3:05-3:10 pm EST, which generally correlates with the start of the 4th quarter for the early (1 pm) games. By this time, the inactives for the late games are out as well. I would recommend going through each roster individually, taking into account the following:
The first thing to gauge is how the field is doing overall while getting a feel for how the early games are playing out as a whole. My preparation for this usually takes place within the first 30 minutes of lock (1:30 pm). I open any large field GPP and note who the ~5 highest owned at each position are. This exercise allows me to get a feel for the game environments and players, and I’ll ask myself these questions:
o How did the highest-owned plays fare?
o Did the chalk stack from the early games hit?
o How owned are the 2-3 highest-scoring players? Did I roster any?
o Did I play a game stack from the early games?
o Are the guys I rostered on pace for 4x? I generally determine this by taking the total salary of the players already in action and multiplying it by 3, as there is still the 4th quarter or 25% of their respective games remaining.
o How did any lower-owned guys, mini correlations and one-offs I played do?
After review and evaluation, the main question is, did you likely perform better than most of the field?
If yes, you want to consider pivoting off a lower-owned play in the late games to a chalky one to block a majority of people from catching you who will be playing a player or environment that is “likely to hit”.
If No, aka you determine your roster is likely behind after evaluation, this is also a time to consider a late swap. An example of this is when a highly owned game environment does become a high-scoring affair or when a very popular one-off hits, and you faded the spot/player on this particular roster. In a situation like this, one of the best ways to try to catch up is the pivot to a lower-owned stack in the late games or to a direct leverage/pivot off what will likely be a highly-owned play.
In my mind, two of the three most intriguing games of the slate are part of the late window in week one (Broncos vs. Raiders and Dolphins vs. Chargers). These games make late swap considerations just as exciting as ever. We also have some key injury news around the status of Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy, which if it doesn’t come until after lock, could be very beneficial from a game theory perspective.
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