Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
Bye Week:
Bears
Bengals
Bills
Broncos
Browns
Buccaneers
Cardinals
Chargers
Colts
Commanders
Cowboys
Dolphins
Eagles
Falcons
Giants
Jaguars
Jets
Lions
Packers
Panthers
Patriots
Raiders
Rams
Ravens
Saints
Seahawks
Steelers
Texans
Titans
Vikings

The Oracle 5.23

The Greatest “Cheat Sheet” In DFS

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.

Week 5 Topics

1. Unique Slate

2. Bounce Back SZN

3. The Gem That Unlocks The Slate

4. Floating Plays

5. “That was so obvious, how did I not see it?”


1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

The Question ::

I feel like this week if I ask “what makes this slate particularly unique?” we are likely to have pretty similar answers about this being the first bye week, two high total games in the afternoon slate, and only having 10 games on the slate rather than the 12 or 13 that we’ve had the first four weeks. With that in mind, I will make this question a bit more direct this week::  

How does your play or approach differ when evaluating players and game environments on a smaller slate like this? Taking that a step further, is there anything that stands out to you in terms of how the field approaches a smaller slate that provides an opportunity for us to find an edge?

The Answers ::
JM >>

I’m probably a bit unique among “sharp DFS players” in that I “focus more on me than on the competition.” I say that to say, I don’t necessarily have thoughts off the top of my mind regarding “how the field approaches a smaller slate,” but I do know that I tend to have my highest ROI, over time, on slates of 10 to 11 games than on slates of 13 games.

So for me, then — in the context of this question — becomes, “Why is that the case?”

Broadly speaking, I tend to be pretty good at stacking all the games and players on a slate against one another and getting a good sense of what the TRUE ‘top plays’ or ‘top spots’ are; so at a very simple core, having fewer games makes it easier for me to do this, as there is less to trip me up.

Expanding this to ‘why this might be an edge against what the field is doing?’ — I would say that because chalk tends to develop regardless of slate size, and regardless of what a slate provides, a smaller slate makes it a bit easier to separate the “sharp chalk” from “the chalk that is really only chalk because of what this slate provides.”

As we know, every slate is unique in its own way. But these seem like elements that are pretty common among smaller-sized slates.

Xandamere >>

First off, recognize that the smaller the slate, the more valuable raw points are. This means that someone like Justin Jefferson scoring 30 or 33, which isn’t really a GREAT score based on his salary, is much more likely to be optimal (even necessary) than on a larger slate. 

Two, the smaller the slate, the chalkier the chalk becomes. A chalk play that is 25% on a 12 or 13-game slate might be 30-33% on a 10 game slate because there just aren’t as many guys to choose from. 

So with that in mind, my overall approach is simple: embrace positions where I think I can get a lot of raw points, even if the scores I’m hoping for might be elite from a salary-multiplier perspective, and second, the fewer games on the slate, the more important it is to think about lineup differentiation (which, of course, peaks in Showdown, where differentiation is just SO critically important). 

Hilow >>

I made the decision to shift the bulk of my play to MME this week. I simply love this slate too much and didn’t want to restrict my play to five to nine rosters (I’ve also been flirting with large scores for the previous year and a half without hitting the right nine players on a single roster). It made sense for me to then shift to a heavier emphasis on MME play on a slate likely deemed “ugly” by the field. There are a lot of interesting angles to play this week, which I will break down in great detail in the End Around and X and I will jam about on The Slate podcast Saturday morning.

Mike >>

The smaller slates during the bye weeks have been where I have historically been the most successful. I think the reasoning for that is that the naturally condensed overall player pool makes it easier for me to create a tight player pool for myself and take more “directed shots” and stay disciplined to my process. As Xandamere brought up, the smaller slate also creates two different dynamics in that it makes “raw points” more valuable and condenses the chalk to a smaller pool of players while allowing some players to get into some very high ownership levels – whether they deserve to or not. Being aware of those factors allows us to adjust our mindsets and approach the slate in the correct way while our opponents do not. 


2. Bounce Back SZN

The Question ::

There are five teams on this slate who entered the season with relatively high offensive expectations and hype but have significantly disappointed in the first four weeks. Those teams are::

  • Bengals
  • Steelers
  • Giants
  • Saints
  • Panthers

I didn’t include the Jets because obviously the injury to Aaron Rodgers changed their outlook significantly. The Bengals have a great matchup this week and look like they will be a condensed offense with Tee Higgins battling a rib injury. Of the remaining four teams, are there any who you think are ready to bounce back this week? If not, are there any in that group who you have more confidence in to figure things out in the near future?

The Answers ::

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Thanks for hanging out with us in The Oracle this week

We’ll see you at the top of the leaderboards this weekend!