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 that is made. As Hilow and I discussed on his pod recently, these “if-then” statements can be extremely valuable thought exercises and help us see things in a different light than our competition.
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.” Everyone understands team stacks, and most of the industry is focusing on late-season correlations and balancing exposures, but very few are actively trying to leverage the decisions made for a particular roster with their later-round picks by using these indirect correlations.
Contest: Underdog Puppy 3
Draft Date: August 9th
Round 1, 1.10: Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN – There isn’t a lot to say about Dalvin Cook that most people don’t already know. A high-profile back on a great offense at slightly below ADP, not hard to sell it. The important part is understanding what this selection means for how I will attack the rest of the draft.
Round 2, 2.03: Javonte Williams, RB, DEN – On the surface, this might just look like a “reach” or someone “getting his guy,” but for me, it is much deeper than that. Dalvin Cook was my first-round pick and his ADP has been in the late first round the entire draft season. Javonte Williams has an ADP of 23 (around the 2nd/3rd round turn), which has been consistent all summer as well. This means the rate of these players being on a team together is going to be extremely low. How is that relevant? Well, first of all, let’s ask what the difference is between Williams and the other RBs who would usually be picked in this spot: Joe Mixon, D’Andre Swift, Aaron Jones, and Saquon Barkley. Mixon, Swift, and Jones are all likely to be splitting backfield work like Williams. Swift and Barkley are on much less potent offenses. To me, Williams is the same type of RB, and while those other RBs have higher ADPs for a reason, the unique player combination is worth sacrificing a little bit of “value” in a large tournament like this. More to come on this “story” at the end of the article.
Round 3: Mike Williams, WR, LAC – I was thrilled to see Williams fall to 3.10 (a few spots after his ADP) in this draft as I was able to get some value at the WR position which I hadn’t addressed yet and also continue my “story” of unique player combinations. Williams’ ADP has hovered in the early-3rd round range for basically the entire draft season, which means that he is likely on a good amount of teams with Javonte but on those teams it is *extremely* unlikely that the team took Dalvin that early in the first round.
Round 4: Courtland Sutton, WR, DEN – I loved adding Sutton as my WR2 on this roster with Javonte already on board. Denver has an appetizing playoff (Weeks 15-17) schedule with the high-powered offenses of ARI, LAR, and KC on tap. Again, Sutton is a player whose ADP has stayed pretty consistent throughout the draft season around the 3rd/4th round turn. This makes the pairing of the DEN RB1 and WR1 a very unique combination, in addition to the other unique pairings this roster has already accumulated.
Round 5: George Kittle, TE, SF – At this point in the draft, my “story” is unique enough that I can start to look at value and think about roster composition. Kittle fell to me at the end of the 5th round as the last of the “Big 5” tight ends. His upside at his position dwarfed anyone else who was on the board for me at this time, so I pulled the trigger and took the TE position off my radar until the last rounds of the draft.
Round 6: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, DET –