Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Late Swap (Divisional Round)

StatATL is an OWS Fam grad who had multiple tournament wins last season that included a large field showdown for MNF and a $50,000 SE win. This season Billy has been hammering short slates and utilizing late swap. In this article, he’ll help you take advantage of late swap.

Need more late swap education? Read this free educational article on Late Swap

Quick overall thoughts:

Pricing again feels loose compared to many weeks of the regular season as the playoffs tend to draw many casual players to DFS.

The best on paper play at RB is McCaffrey and he is priced down at $8,000, his lowest price of the season in a win-or-go-home game. Dallas has given up several big games when playing against dynamic dual-threat RBs this season – (125 total yards or more and a TD to Barkley, Aaron Jones, and Etienne).

To Kelce or not to Kelce?? One of the main decision points appears to be around the KC TE. He’s in a great spot, as the Chiefs have the highest implied team total (at 31), however, Kelce’s DK salary is $2k more than the next TE (Kittle). The Chiefs lead the league in pass rate over expectation (PROE) and the Jaguars are one of the worst teams in the league against the TE. We all know who Mahomes’ favorite target is so this decision will likely shape your roster. Current projections have Kelce around 30% ownership.

Let’s Dive in:

What I like best about this weekend’s slate is that the highest-owned game is first. Why this is so advantageous is that we get a ton of information early on and can make adjustments based on how the KC/JAX game plays out. As we’ve spoken about on these short three and four game slates with staggered starts, such as Thanksgiving, one of the biggest edges is the fact that a vast majority of the field does not leverage late swap. The edge will be slightly mitigated this week as there is close to a full day break between the Saturday and Sunday games, which will allow most people to check their rosters, however, I think most people still won’t make any swaps unless they hit both Saturday games hard.

On a small slate, like this upcoming four gamer, one of the biggest mistakes our competition will make in terms of roster construction will be thinking about certainty or safety (what’s likeliest to happen) first and building around that. It’s essential to remember that on a one-week sample size, things will likely play out differently, and embracing uncertainty is advantageous.

Late Swap / Roster Construction Theory:
  • Last week, all six game environments met or exceeded their Vegas totals. That one-week sample size truly was an anomaly. My advice would be to focus on two games on each roster. I think a common mistake is trying to get skill position players from each game on every roster, and while it is viable, I believe the percentage of rosters built that way far exceeds the likelihood of that construction being optimal and is such a tough needle to thread in that you will identify who the hard to have it piece is from each game.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently within 1 point of the lowest Vegas implied team total on the slate. However, their 4 primarily skill position players are far and away the highest owned of any team’s skill position players. If you completely fade the Jags on a roster and they put up a completely dud game at Arrowhead, around 80%-90% of the field will likely be dead for first place.
  • Most people will not build a full game stack, however, a QB, RB, WR (or two WR) from one team with a bring-back (or two) is generally an underplayed strategy on short slates. I especially like this strategy if building Joe Burrow or Jalen Hurts stacks.
  • Remember that once the slate progresses, salary matters less and less, and decisions should be made based on current standing – If you’re ahead block popular plays, if behind swap to lower-owned plays to try and make up ground. If possible, I’d recommend having at least two skill position players from the final game to allow for late swap.
  • From a 10,000 foot view, a majority of rosters will follow the same construction:
    • A pay-up QB (60% of rosters will likely begin with Allen, Hurts, or Mahomes at $7,600-$8,000)
    • A pay-up RB option (60% will likely have one of CMC or Barkley at $7,900/$8,000)
    • A pay-up WR (Half the field will have one of Diggs or Chase at $7,700/$7,800)
    • A mid-range Jags WR (Zay Jones and Christian Kirk are currently projected at 50% ownership combined)
    • Pay up TE, aka, Travis Kelce
    • Mid-range Defense. Bills Def currently projected for 25% ownership at $2,900

Historically, on short slates, DST ownership tends to congregate even more so than usual. As most readers know, DST scoring can be difficult to predict. Personally, I am a fan of avoiding the highest-owned defense, especially a short slate. Based on early sentiments, the Bills project to be the highest owned by a wide margin. With this in mind, I will spread out my ownership on the other DSTs in hopes that one outscores Buffalo, giving me a leg up on a large portion of the field. For example, the Chiefs DST currently projects for around 1/3 the ownership of the Bills and will be at home as two-score favorites against a Trevor Lawrence-led JAX team making his first ever road playoff start. If you want to lay me 3 to 1 odds that the Bills outscore the Chiefs this weekend, feel free to send me a DM on the discord.

I hope to see you and your OWS avatar at the top of a leaderboard come Sunday evening!