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Storyboard #3 (DK)

Written by Mike Johnson

Published – 5/26/24

Something that is often discussed in weekly DFS theory and strategy is the “story” your lineup tells. Basically, the idea is to think about what the recap of the day would have to be for each particular lineup to have been the “right” combination of players that gets you to a first place finish on that slate. I like to do something similar when drafting Best Ball rosters, thinking about the “story” that the roster is telling about how the NFL season will play out with each pick. 

At every selection in a draft, there are a variety of reasonable options available, and whatever choice you make also implies some things about the other players you passed on. Similar to price point or positional pivots on a regular DFS slate, we want to be aware of the scenario where your picks are “right.” While everyone understands team stacks and most of the industry is focusing on late season correlations and balancing exposures, very few are actively trying to leverage the decisions made for a particular roster with their later-round picks by using these indirect correlations. Below is a summary of a draft I did on May 26th in the Draftkings NFL Best Ball $15M Millionaire:

Picking from 6th slot

Pick 1.06 – Justin Jefferson, WR, MIN – This is maybe my favorite spot in the draft as I’m guaranteed one of the coveted top-5 WRs and I also get an earlier pick in the second round. I will gladly take Jefferson here as we know he has overall WR1 upside.

Pick 2.07 – Davante Adams, WR, LVR – Once again, a veteran WR who we know can be dominant at the position. He had an absolutely massive game in Week 17 last year. I’ll gladly take Adams in the middle of the second round every time.

Pick 3.06 – Deebo Samuel, WR, SF – Well, well, well. I love all three of Jefferson, Adams, and Samuel . . . but, the thing I like most about this start is how unique it should be. All three of these guys have top-5 WR upside, and all of them can nuke a given week. Based on early draft trends, it seems like it will be somewhat rare for all three of them to end up on a roster together (basically you need both Adams and Deebo to drop past where they are usually drafted).

Pick 4.07 – Tee Higgins, WR, CIN – This is where a “story” starts to come into focus. I took Justin Jefferson after Ja’Marr Chase, but those two present a decision point for many drafters. Pairing Higgins with Jefferson leans into the leverage on the idea that Jefferson separates from that tier or WRs. 

Pick 5.06 – Dalton Kincaid, TE, BUF – Kincaid might be the top receiving option for Josh Allen this season. Adding him to this lineup of WRs sets the tone for the story I’m telling. At this point, I start thinking about the remainder of my roster. This is DraftKings so the playoff weeks 15 to 17 make stacks extra valuable. Jefferson and Adams are unique in their huge weekly upside and have cheap associated QBs. I’ll be looking to take JJ McCarthy and Gardner Minshew late in this draft to lean into that “story.”

Pick 6.07 – Jayden Reed, WR, GB – Reed was electric last season and his role/skills separate him from the other Packers WRs. Considering he faces the Vikings in a dome in Week 17 and I have Jefferson and intend to add McCarthy, Reed is the perfect fit as WR5 on this roster.

Pick 7.06 – David Montgomery, RB, DET – Similar to the Tee Higgins pick, Montgomery fits in this “story” as a bet that Amon-Ra St. Brown (who I passed on to take Jefferson) doesn’t keep pace with the top WRs, either for the full season or on a one week basis when it counts. Also, Montgomery’s Lions face Deebo Samuel and the 49ers in Week 17, giving me a nice mini-correlation that I might be able to add to with Purdy, Goff, and/or Pearsall later. 

Pick 8.06 – Zack Moss, RB, CIN – Ja’Marr Chase isn’t the answer in this story. After this pick, I have both Tee Higgins and Zack Moss on this roster. Maybe in this story, Chase misses significant time or key weeks in the playoffs. In which case, I now have the WR1 and RB1 for the Bengals. 

Pick 9.07 – Brock Purdy, QB, SF – One of the main “stories” of this roster is clear. Elite WRs with a massive single-week ceiling, paired with their relatively cheap QBs who can be carried along for the ride. Purdy is perfect as he completes a SF // DET Week 17 game stack and should also be a steady contributor throughout the season to help this roster advance out of the initial round, whereas McCarthy and LVR QB may have some rough patches given their situations. 

Pick 10.06 – TJ Hockenson, TE, MIN – This is a perfect fit for this roster. Already having Kincaid makes this a luxury pick, as I won’t have to rely on Hockenson early in the year if he misses time or is slow to regain form coming back from a torn ACL. In the playoffs, I can now have an explosive Vikings stack that was substantially more expensive in 2023 than you can get it this year.

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