Thursday, Dec 1st
Monday, Dec 5th
Bye Week:
Cardinals
Panthers

Missed Opportunities. 8.21.

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.

One Week Season is going to have a Milly winner this season. Someone is going to take one down. I don’t know when it will be, but in the near future, there’s going to be a new millionaire who flies the OWS flag at the top of the leaderboards. Why do I feel this will happen? Well, for one, you have to start any article out with a bold statement otherwise nobody will keep reading. But second, the community we have here is second to none. I get smarter every time I read anything on OWS. I get smarter when I participate in any way in our Discord chats. I get smarter contributing to the Oracle each week. And I can already see that every time I visit the “Binks” channel in Discord, we have a new big winner. The third reason why I feel this will happen is that we’re all building each week, and when you build and compound your foundations, an apex is near. 

My goal this NFL DFS season is to help any member of this community get to their apex. The NFL season is akin to a roller coaster ride. And as we enter the third month of the season, I know you’ve had some ups and downs (as have I), and my hope for this article each week is that it can provide some consistency in your process. Welcome to Week 8 . . . your best week yet.

I am going to switch up the format for this week as I want to double down on the NFL DFS precepts we established last week. I’ll run through some missed opportunities from Week 7 but in the context of this formidable structure. And my goal is to continue to refine this as we go along, even looking back into Week 7 to see if there’s anything we need to add, edit, or remove.

Note: These concepts are described with the large-field tournament, mini-MME mindset

#1 – Fade the Public

Definition: When the masses are flocking toward a play, go the other way. In a DFS context, identifying where ownership should gather and consider a teammate for leverage.

What happened in Week 7? Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were in crush spots in Week 7, especially considering Antonio Brown’s absence. The problem was that Godwin was significantly underpriced on DK. This led to Godwin garnering over 30% ownership in most tournaments, good for second or third-highest, depending on the tournament. His teammate, Evans was priced up $600 higher, and carried about a third of the ownership en route to his 31 point DK day with three touchdowns. Now, Godwin himself produced a 28 point output so I am not here to tell you he was a bad play. I just want to reiterate the fact that his last catch of the day was 34 yards, which pushed him into the 100+ yard bonus, which turned him from 20 points and nothing special to a 28 point potential GPP-winner. I would like to be on the Evans side of this coin 10 out of 10 times. It’s hard to project but when chalk congregates, teammates go overlooked when they could be in similar matchups, especially when priced higher.

Where might we see this in Week 8? Tee Higgins vs. NYJ (Ja’Marr Chase). Calvin Ridley vs. CAR (Kyle Pitts). 

#2 – Paying Up at Defense

Definition: On DK, where defensive pricing is usually tighter, there’s a strong psychological urge to pay down at defense. Even for those who plan to pay up, the longer they look at their rosters, the more likely they come off that expensive defense. 

What happened in Week 7? The Arizona Cardinals were projected to be the highest owned defense we’ve seen this season at only $3,100. But, I spent all week trying to figure out how to get to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When writing Willing to Lose, I uncovered the fact that the Raiders home stadium has been playing like the Coors Field of the NFL for almost a season and a half (nobody is talking about this yet!). Despite this, Justin Fields could not even go in there and score more than nine points vs. Raiders. The Bucs were home, with Fields to play around with, and priced at $4,000 on DK. And yet, I only ended up with the Bucs on one of five of my builds while they coasted to a 21-point fantasy day. They should have been a lock button, but as I said before, the itch to upgrade the $3,500 WR to a $4,500, or the $6,000 RB to $7,000 RB will always be there. With how large these Vegas spreads are, and how much leverage we can gain, we should be considering paying up at defense in over half our lineups.

Where might we see this in Week 8? Rams vs. Texans. 

#3 – Opening Vegas range for low-owned game environments: 47-50 points

Definition: We can fight the psychology of the 51+ game totals, where ownership naturally starts to build, and focus our efforts on being long on the tier below: the tighter spread and slightly above average game total environments. When they hit, they’ll hit big. 

What happened in Week 7? We had three games with a touchdown or less spread in the 47-50 range: PHI/LV, WAS/GB, and ATL/MIA. What I loved as the week went on was seeing two of these three games start to evolve to become those lower-owned game environments (PHI/LV and ATL/MIA). Of these teams, the Falcons and Dolphins did their part, the Raiders did theirs, and the Packers did hold up their end, but neither the Eagles nor Football Team could keep pace and we were also stripped of many concentrated performances. From these games, however, we did crush the floating plays. Guys like Foster Moreau (once Darren Waller was ruled out), Tua and Mike Gesicki along with Kyle Pitts, and Terry McLaurin all significantly outpaced expectations. It won’t always be the game stacks within these games we have to target each week, as we can see in Week 7 it happened to be the floating plays as the angle. This will ping pong back and forth. Keep targeting these games.

Where might we see this in Week 8? Bills/Dolphins. Eagles/Lions. Pats/Chargers. Titans/Colts.

#4 – Wide Receiver narratives

Definition: 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?

What happened in Week 7? Well, we had almost the reverse of this narrative. The inverse of a truism is also true, right? Cooper Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase came to play earlier this season and their price tags were starting to reflect their outputs. The narrative for these two guys was a positive one. We had seen their ceilings lately. We had seen them crush tough matchups. But there started to be doubts of sustainability creeping in. This is way more true in the case of Chase, as his Ravens matchup kept people off him, whereas Kupp was still a top 10 owned player on this slate, due to his consistency with Stafford and matchup with the Lions. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting to yield different results. 

Where could we see this in Week 8? Stefon Diggs. Calvin Ridley.

#5 – Good offense beats good defense

Definition: Exactly what it sounds like. We didn’t have any instances of a bad offense beating a bad defense, though the Colts and 49ers game was a close one. 

What happened in Week 7? Saving the best for last, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens were coming off the drubbing of the Chargers and their recently high-powered offense so we had to expect they would stymie the Bengals, right? They owned Joe Burrow in their matchup last season, holding him to only three points. But do the Bengals have a good offense? We could argue yes, and could have argued this before Sunday. And do the Ravens have a good defense? Yes. Again, we could have mostly agreed on this statement too. I targeted this game and Joe Burrow last week in a few of my builds because of this precept and I hope it shows how these games can sometimes play out. Rules are geared toward giving the offense an advantage in the modern NFL, we need to keep that in mind.

Where could we see this in Week 8? Bucs at Saints.