Welcome to The Oracle! :: 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 1 Topics
1. Davante Adams // Marquez Callaway
2. Christian McCaffrey
3. Kyle Pitts
4. Cheap WRs
1. Davante Adams // Marquez Callaway
The Question ::
Taking a combination of game total, “DFS field tendencies,” offseason narratives, etc., it’s safe to assume that “Davante Adams + Marquez Callaway” will be one of the more popular pairings on the slate.
This Is A Two-Part Question ::
- If playing this pairing, how would you look to offset this ownership?
- If looking to exploit a scenario in which this two-player combo disappoints for the field, is there a different way you might attack this game to gain direct leverage?
The Answers ::
- I’d look to offset heavy ownership on my Davante/Callaway stack by adding Jameis Winston to the roster, as Jameis is likely to be overlooked in a game environment everyone will be betting on, allowing you to potentially ride the updraft of this game while lowering the effective ownership of your high-owned combo.
- It’s hard to see Callaway “failing” at his price, but a blowup is by no means guaranteed. As Hilow laid out in the NFL Edge, this game environment as a whole could disappoint against the expectations of the field; and with that in mind, I wouldn’t mind ignoring this game on my tighter builds and rolling the dice that it lands on its (likely?) lower-end scenario. If focusing on this game, however, the most direct leverage with a relatively strong case to be made (something I’ll be playing around with for my tighter builds, and would almost certainly loop into some large-field play) is a scenario that says, “Lattimore slows down Davante // MVS hits for a big game instead, at much lower ownership.” A two-TD game from MVS could be slate-breaking, as it would simultaneously mean you’re getting a big, lower-owned score from an affordable player, while an expensive, popular player is falling shy of the production he needs.
- If I wanted to play these guys (hint: I actually don’t), I like JM’s idea of adding Jameis. You could also consider adding Tre’Quan Smith or Kamara to make it more of a “focused game environment” roster and hope that game really goes nuclear, vs. just the 2-receiver pairing in a roster that utilizes a different core game stack.
- Personally I am not heavily targeting this game. The two primary pieces I’m targeting for tournaments are Kamara and MVS. I would prefer that to the much, MUCH chalkier Adams/Callaway stack, at similar pricing but with an RB in there to not only give you 2v2 leverage but also give you an overall different roster construction to work with.
- I’d agree with JM here. Simply using Jameis should eliminate a large percentage of the Adams/Callaway rosters. Or you could bet that the Packers production is extremely narrow and add Aaron Jones to the equation, even in non GB-NO stacks.
- I’ve built a couple of rosters that utilize Aaron Rodgers with Marquez Valdez-Scandling and Robert Tonyan. MVS should be micro owned given all of value at WR and Tonyan’s price is right near the potentially chalky Kyle Pitts which will keep him in the single digits. Running it back with Kamara assumes that the Saints utilize their strength, the offensive line, and keep it on the ground in the red zone.
- Honestly, for me, Callaway is one of the easiest fades of the slate when looking at the range of outcomes compared to expected ownership.
- Alvin Kamara paired with Davante Adams is much more interesting to me from the perspective of having to score 240-260 points this week. It doesn’t take a large stretch of the imagination to picture a scenario where each is the top scoring raw fantasy producer at their respective position.
- I had just started my building process when I read the oracle questions of the week, and it was somewhat surprising to me to see the Adams/Callaway pairing being so highly owned. I’m not a fan of this stack, or either player individually at high ownership. I’ll likely fade both players, while admitting it will be hard for Callaway to “totally fail” at his price. If you want to use this game stack, I lean towards adding MVS (if playing an isolation piece from this game, it’d be MSV for me) for differentiation.
- You could play MVS/Tonyan as leverage pieces, but I think the best way to approach this game is to just stay away. The Saints lost one of the best to ever play QB, and the public doesn’t seem to be factoring in the loss of Brees to player projections properly.
- If I were to play these two together, I’d add a third WR from the Packers or Saints and Winston or Rodgers, to overstack the field. But I am not playing this pairing this week, I much prefer Aaron Jones and the Packers defense in this game.
- In this scenario, I would again rather play Jones + Packers defense to gain leverage on both players. I’ll add for those looking for reasons not to play Callaway this week, Marvin Jones Jr. is a direct replacement at a similar salary and he should be on the field every snap in a much easier matchup.
- If playing this pairing, I would also play Winston and Kamara, making it a discount grouping of the Brees-Kamara-MT stack that was profitable for years.
- There are 2 scenarios that I really like as leverage off of that player combination, assuming it is very popular. The first is playing Kamara and Aaron Jones. Jones is sub $7k in his first game without Jamaal Williams and Kamara has crushed without Michael Thomas in the lineup in the past (especially when Taysom wasn’t the QB). The other option I like is playing GB Defense at low ownership against Jameis, who is historically very turnover prone, in his first start.
- Since this is one of the higher ceiling games available it would make sense to double stack one team and have one or two bring-backs on the other side. If rostering Adams/Callaway I would look to leverage the game environment by adding Rodgers and Tonyan (Saints allowed 7.9 Targets per game to TEs last year – the 4th highest total) and bringing it back with Kamara or using Winston instead of Rodgers.
- This is the route I am most likely to take, fading both Adams and Callaway to gain leverage by stacking Rodgers (gets the Adams points) and Tonyan, then bringing back Kamara. I might use Aaron Jones as a one off to gain leverage against the GB passing game, but this would be light, if at all.
2. Christian McCaffrey
The Question ::
Christian McCaffrey can almost always be expected to garner massive ownership, and this week should be no different. While it’s possible to play McCaffrey and differentiate elsewhere on your roster, this game (Jets // Panthers) also presents some unique scenarios for directly considering strategy elements around McCaffrey while building. With that in mind, would you be likelier to:
A) Fade McCaffrey and try to gain direct leverage with a scenario in which the Panthers’ wideouts score the touchdowns instead (and if you’d do this, is there anything this would change for you in how you’d approach the Jets’ side of this game?)
B) Play McCaffrey and pair him with the Jets’ passing attack in order to build around a clear/obvious game scenario while effectively “lowering your CMC ownership with a lower-owned combo,” or
C) Offset this McCaffrey ownership by pairing him with a player from another game most people won’t have on their CMC rosters?
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Thanks for hanging out with us in The Oracle this week!
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