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The Oracle 8.23

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 8 Topics

1. A Tradition Unlike Any Other

2. Tight End Frenzy

3. Narrowing Your Player Pool

4. Floating Plays

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


1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

The Question ::

A weekly staple of The Oracle, what makes this slate particularly unique?

The Answers ::
JM >>

There are probably a number of directions I could go with this answer, but here’s what stands out to me:

Week 8…and 13 games on the slate.

This might seem like “Just the way it is.” I.e., “Okay, sure, there are 13 games in the middle of the season, but it’s not like 13-game slates are unique. We have them at the beginning and end of the year each year, so what does it matter where on the calendar they fall?”

But there are not very many DFS players who are TRUE bubble players. Most rely on others — to some extent — for their research, and for thoughts and ideas and angles they can balance off their own. On top of that, most researchers and content providers in this space A) have routines that don’t expect there to be 13 games on a main slate in the middle of the season, and/or B) play more than one DFS sport, which has NBA at the forefront of their minds at this point in the year.

Again: this is not the only unique component of this slate, and I’m sure that X and Hilow and Mike will be covering different angles than this…but I do think this is an interesting angle to think about, as so much of the field’s thoughts tend to be shaped by the research and thinking that’s taking place under the surface on the research/content side of this space. Is this research and thinking going to be as sharp this week as normal? Are some thoughts and spots and angles going to go a bit overlooked? This is something to consider as you go through your own process/builds this week.

Xandamere >>

There’s no “big game,” that one game with the highest total that stands above the others and becomes a focal point for decision-making on the slate. The highest total game we have this week is just 47, and in addition, of the highest total teams on the slate (Miami, Kansas City, Baltimore, Dallas, and Philly are the teams with totals over 25), they all have at least a 6.5 point spread, so nothing really points to “this is likely to be a shootout” for any game on the slate. 

Because of this, I think people are going to struggle with how to approach the slate. While game stacks trying to find the one game that goes off are entirely viable (as always – and overstacks are even more viable this year, as we’ve touched on multiple times), another way in which we can take advantage of the field is just to…not have a bring back. All the teams mentioned above are capable of putting up fantasy-worthy scores without the other team pushing them (Baltimore and Philly a little less so, but even so we’ve still seen them hit without their opponent succeeding). Since most people get stuck on the “QB stack plus a bring back” rule, if the highest-scoring team on the slate wins in a blowout, we’re likely competing against fewer other rosters from that game as most stacks will have a bring back and will thus be dead.

Hilow >>

The most unique aspect of this slate is the fact that we’re coming off of multiple slates in a row with one primary game and teams on bye, which has really condensed ownership and roster constructions. In Week 8, we don’t have either of those pieces, which is likely to lead to a more spread out slate. I’ll be looking to really condense my core players and build around those pieces.

Mike >>

The most unique thing about this slate in my eyes is the fact that, on such a big slate with 13 games, there are no games with point totals over 47 while the four teams (MIA, KC, PHI, BAL) with the highest implied team totals are in game scripts that they theoretically should control. There has been a lot of discussion in the DFS industry about “bring backs” over the last year or so and whether or not they are optimal. There is also often a view by a lot of the field that teams that may blow out their opponent are not necessarily great targets because they could take their foot off the gas for a portion of the game. This week feels like a spot where one of those teams is going to score five offensive touchdowns and produce tournament winning scores while not bringing anyone from the opposing side with them. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a double stack involving the QB and two skill players from one of those teams at the top of the leaderboard and, for that matter, the defense could come along for the ride as well. 


2. Tight End Frenzy

The Question ::

The tight end position has had quite the swing of ups and downs this season. After several weeks of limited production, last week got interesting with Travis Kelce dropping 38 points and Darren Waller and Mark Andrews both scoring in the 20s at reasonable price tags. This week we have a plethora of options and as Sunday draws closer it feels like getting this position right is going to be extremely important as it’s highly unlikely that it’s just a week where “no tight ends really did that well, so it doesn’t make you or break you”. On this week’s slate we have::

  • Travis Kelce coming off a season-best game facing a team he torched two weeks ago, but at an $8,400 salary.
  • Mark Andrews, TJ Hockenson, George Kittle, and Darren Waller are all key cogs in their team’s offense and in good matchups. They are all priced between $5,200 and $6,400 – so high enough that they won’t have overwhelming ownership and low enough that if one of them has a spike week, you’re likely going to need them.
  • Dallas Goedert and Evan Engram are another tier down in the mid $4k range. Engram has seen at least seven targets in six straight games while Goedert has a terrific matchup and offensive environment.
  • Taysom Hill’s role continues to grow as a receiving tight end and we know he can break a slate.
  • Jake Ferguson and Trey McBride are cheap options who should get volume.

With all of that considered, how are you going about addressing this position, and do you have a preferred range and/or specific players you’re targeting this week?

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!