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Each week in The Oracle, OWS team members will take on the key strategy questions from that week’s slate :: sharing their thoughts on how they plan to approach these critical elements from a roster-construction, game theory, and leverage perspective.
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A weekly staple of The Oracle :: In no more than two or three sentences, tell us what makes this slate particularly unique.
Two things stand out to me here:
1) The Cowboys and Chiefs are playing one another. It seems like we’ve actually had a pretty lengthy stretch without a game like this (two explosive offenses squaring off in a game with a total north of 55) — which isn’t a game that is “guaranteed to be featured on every tourney-winning roster this week,” but it is a game that has the highest probability of powering tourney winners. As we’ll explore throughout The Oracle, there are plenty of different ways to attack this slate; but no matter how you’re attacking this slate, you have to keep this game in mind.
2) While we don’t have any ultra-cheap workhorse running backs, we do have two running backs in A.J. Dillon and James Conner who should see nearly all of their team’s running back touches, at a price tag much lower than we would normally have for a player who should see nearly all of their team’s running back touches. If volume is king at RB, then these two guys are wearing the crowns — especially once their price tags are considered.
While none of this should box us into any “one particular approach,” this does give us a starting point for understanding the slate — with two key spots that need to be accounted for as we build our rosters this week.
This is a week in which there is a lot of clarity around the best plays, or at least perceived clarity. Let’s look at why:
Put all of those things together and it feels like this is a week where we can have a pretty high degree of confidence where the field is going. Those are my favorite weeks, because the easier it is to identify what chalk builds are going to look like, the easier it is to find ways to be different without having to dip far down into “bad plays.”
From an MME perspective, the thing that stands out to me is the amount of high-ceiling wide receivers and high volume (and therefore high-floor) running backs that are currently projected for low ownership. I feel like I’ll be starting my portfolio with whopping amounts of Tee Higgins, Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, AJ Dillon, Christian McCaffrey and James Connor…and then slowly taking shares away from these “perceived certainties” and allocating some of their shares to players like Justin Jefferson, Marquise Brown, Rashad Bateman, Joe Mixon and Jonathan Taylor as the weekend progresses.
Super interesting slate (I don’t know if I’ll ever let that bit go, so apologies on the front end). Digging through this slate, there are certain spots where we can be fairly certain will garner significant attention from the field. We also have another relatively stacked running back position with many plays in above average spots, and relative dearth of available floor plays at the wide receiver position (compared to running back), meaning another week where running back is the priority amongst the field. Decisions will also have to be made this week because pricing is #tight. Finally, I expect a good chunk of the field to force a sub-optimal play from the Dallas / Kansas City game (as in, entering the brain trust to find cheap exposure to that game).
Week 11 is Week 2, in my mind. This was my first thought of the week.
Mostly based on the high game total late window games, combined with one clear and obvious best spot (Cowboys/Chiefs this week, Cowboys/Chargers in Week 2). I know we all remember how Week 2 turned out, with the obvious spot disappointing, but I am very much approaching my lineups this week with this thought in mind. Also in Week 2, we had three of the four late games hit the over, and dominate winning lineups so that is pushing me toward making sure I have some exposure to Cowboys/Chiefs but also the other high total late games.
1) Inflation is real….by that I mean that there are a lot of players whose prices are rising to levels where we have to consider more than just “can they have a big game?” There are 18 combined running backs and wide receivers priced at $7k or higher, meaning they would need 28 or more DK points to justify their cost in GPP’s. With this high number of upper tier players, it is likely that we have a few who hit those 30+ point games and not having the right ones will make winning very difficult.
2) There are only four games on the slate with totals of 48 or higher and three of those games are in the late window. Late swap and “seeing how the early games/chalk turn out” will be very +EV this week. There are a lot of interesting situations and ownership considerations to be made based on this reality. While late swap is not used by as much of the field as it should be, there will still likely be some tangible differences in ownerships of players in the late window based on people making adjustments after early games.
What stands out to me is we have another Cowboys game with the highest total on the slate starting at the latest time a game can start for the week. That would lead me to believe a lot of late-swap tension will be built around that game and there are only two other games to work with if moving off of the DAL/KC game in a late-swap differentiation move. Some moves that could occur are Zeke to Mixon which has a difference of $100. Lamb to Chase is $400, Kelce to Waller is $1000, or if you had Kelce in the Flex, then Kelce to Metcalf is only $300 difference (or Kelce to Chase for $100). If we’ll remember the last time this scenario happened, it was Cowboys/Chargers and the game disappointed. Both of the other games are interesting enough that if your strategy is to build with the idea we might want to late-swap out of the DAL/KC game, we have some solid options, as we did in Week 2 and both the Arizona and the Seattle games went over 63 points. Those teams play each other this week. Also, the Bengals are coming out of their bye and facing a team struggling to hold it together through a tumultuous season.
Game Environments, Week 11:
Chiefs game totals on the year:
Cowboys game totals on the year:
36 < (Cooper Rush)
It’s likely that “Cowboys at Chiefs” will be looked at differently than any other game on the slate. The Over/Under is 56.0 (as of this writeup), these teams have combined for nine games (in 19 tries) that have gone over that lofty total, and each team is capable of putting up points quickly enough that a “top game of the year” is within the reasonable range of outcomes.
Also within the reasonable range of outcomes, however, is a game that finishes slightly below, or even eight to 10 points below, that lofty Over/Under — and with players from this game generally priced for this game’s median outcome, there are certainly plenty of ways to handle this game, beyond the obvious (full stacks), including “hope to guess right on an individual play” exposure (due to the ways in which each of these teams uses its weapons, a “had to have it” game from one player likely means no other player on his team posts a “had to have it” score), and “fade this game altogether” builds (if this game finishes below its Over/Under, it wouldn’t be outlandish to find that all players from this game disappointed against their price tags; this would come together if the production in this type of game were to still flow through the highest-priced guys — leaving these “highest-priced guys” below where they need to be, while simultaneously blocking the lower-priced guys from smashing their price tags).
With all this in mind, then, there are still a LOT of ways to attack this slate, even with this Cowboys/Chiefs game hanging out on the horizon.
Are there any unique angles you see around that Cowboys/Chiefs game in particular, and/or around other ways to attack this slate from a game-environment perspective?
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