Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
Bye Week:

Missed Opportunities. 7.21.

Larejo123 takes a look at some of the overlooked plays and “missed opportunities” from the week behind us, identifying the thought processes and approaches that could have led us to those plays.

Get rich quick schemes sell. Everywhere you look, content that provides any direction on how to earn life-changing money quickly is going to be a success. Everyone wants the secret sauce. Minimal effort, maximum rewards, where do I sign up? DFS can be a change-your-life overnight game but the odds are very slim. These large field tournaments that many of us play are almost exactly like playing the lottery every week. So why do we play them? Well, I do because I like my odds better than a completely random game of chance. DFS is a game of skill. Sure, there is a ton of luck involved, but there will always be an element of skill to complement the luck needed.

I’ll probably talk every week in this space about what it takes to win one of these large field tournaments, yet the reality is I’ll most likely not be able to guide you exactly to your victory. Sometimes, you’ll make some money following the content you read, and sometimes you’ll make money doing the exact opposite of what is recommended. Either way, it’s critical to not feel helpless. If you’re losing money each week and only playing massive tournaments, that’s what should happen! If you’re barely cashing here and there, but slowly bleeding bankroll, you might be close! Some tweaks in your process and a little more luck, and you’ll run into a win one of these slates. 

In order to properly reflect, however, I think it’s important to bring back the elements I’ve learned this season and written about so far. We have to pull them forward, otherwise, we consume them and move on, and most likely we lose sight of them. I’m going to synthesize some of these, as reflected in the previous Missed Opportunities. Some can be lumped together. I don’t want you to take these all as directives to mold into your process, but rather precepts for building a foundation for a GPP-winning thought process.

  1. Opening Vegas range for low-owned game environments: 45.5-50.5. I’ve extended this a bit beyond the original 46-49 because we’ve seen some 50’s blow up. There’s something about the number 51 which draws my eyes for game stacking. Working against that would mean looking slightly under 51. Recent examples include Minnesota/Arizona (50.5, Week 2), Washington/Atlanta (48, Week 4), Browns/Chargers (46, Week 5), and Cowboys/Patriots (50.5, Week 6).
  2. Fade the Public: When the masses are flocking toward a play, go the other way. Three weeks ago, we had the high-total Chiefs, with the perfect on-paper matchup for Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill ended up winning the slate. Last week, we had a perfect setup for Alexander Mattison and he smashed. And then this week, Kareem Hunt was the chalk play but it was Donovan Peoples-Jones who ended up on the Milly-winning roster. Give it more thought than the public perception. This is where reviewing Hilow’s End Around comes in handy. What kind of chalk are we dealing with?
  3. Good offense beats good defense, and bad offense beats bad defense: Just keep this one stored in your mind. Week 5 with Browns/Chargers (89 points) is a great example of the first, while Week 1 with Houston and Jacksonville (58 points), and Week 4 with Washington and Atlanta (64 points) show the latter.
  4. WR narratives: With WRs, if they are on the field a lot and have speed, they have upside. We label skill position players frequently. We label them as high floor, low ceiling, all or nothing, but we have to fight these narratives. Who is on the field? Who has a solid aDOT? Who has not produced lately? Who has not shown a ceiling lately, but could? Adam Theilen in Week 6. Robert Woods in Week 5. Mike Williams in Week 3. Courtland Sutton and Julio Jones in Week 2.
  5. Paying up at defense: This has worked often this season. I won’t go through the game logs but specifically on DK, where defensive pricing is usually tighter, there’s a strong psychological urge to pay down at defense. Even those who plan to pay up, the longer they look at their rosters, the more likely they come off that expensive defense. Rams in Week 6. Bills in Week 4. Broncos in Week 3.

Bring these precepts with you as you move forward. What else did I learn in Week 6?

Donovan Peoples-Jones

I stared and stared and stared at the $3K-3.9K range of WR on DraftKings many times last week. For some reason, most of my builds landed me in this range for punt WR and I was fine with that. I figured I would take my shots and see if I could catch lightning in a bottle. So who did I play? Van Jefferson, Bryan Edwards, and I thought about DeSean Jackson. I never considered DPJ. He had played around 60-70% of the Browns’ snaps and had a respectable output in the Browns shootout against the Chargers the prior week (5/70). If this were Week 1, and Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry were out, there would have been a whole bunch of articles touting DPJ as a sleeper ready for a larger role. However, Landry had been out for three games, and Peoples-Jones had produced no more than five catches, even going catch-less in Week 4. While the Browns were running out of options, there were some slim indicators leading to DPJ. However, this is not one I’ll harp on going forward, as any WR who plays 35% of the special teams snaps should not be on the Milly-maker winning lineup. But here we are!

Next week’s possible DPJ’s: Rashod Bateman vs. CIN, Quez Watkins at LV, Nico Collins at ARI

Cowboys at Patriots

I ignored this game all week. And that was far too common a thought. The game had a high-ish total, sitting at the top end of that Vegas range I talked about earlier, but with the Patriots involved, and the game being played in New England, the total seemed high. All the chatter about the Cowboys running the ball more, along with the likelihood they would be met in this contest by a team with a similar strategy, the general feel of this game was to hit the under. But the line moved up from its opening number and stayed there. This should have caught my attention more. While there were a few fluky touchdowns and an overtime TD which inflated the final score, trusting Dak Prescott to come through should have been a play we more considered; along with the always level-headed strategy of what Bill Belichick will focus on stopping vs. what he will ignore and let his team lose by (the less likely play). 

CeeDee Lamb, who has been looking more and more like the Cowboys #1 WR, along with Prescott, was a great stack this week. Taking a different angle than the public on this game environment was an even better way to ensure you could see some notable box scores emerging. When in doubt, trust the Vegas lines.

Vegas-range for low-owned games in Week 7: Washington/Green Bay, Atlanta/Miami, Philadelphia/Las Vegas