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    Episode 1: Buying Fear (JM)

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    BB+ Oracle, 9/2

    Welcome to The Oracle! :: The Greatest “Cheat Sheet” In Best Ball!

    Each week in The Oracle, OWS team members will take on the key strategy questions surrounding Best Ball tourneys :: sharing their thoughts on how they plan to approach these critical elements from a roster-construction, game theory, and leverage perspective.

    Best Ball Topics

    1. Changing Scenery

    2. Mistakes Made/Lessons Learned

    3. Switching Gears: DFS is back!


    1. Changing Scenery

    The Question ::

    At this point, every NFL team has had to trim their rosters down to 53 players whether by cuts, trades, IR/PUP moves, etc. These roster changes can often have a big impact on many players, not just the specific players involved in the moves. What are the notable movements (or in some cases a team not making a move) that you’ve seen that may have altered how you view the situations of them or players on the teams they left or joined?

    Here are a few of situations I’m thinking of, but feel free to use others instead:

    • Marlon Mack cut by Texans (re-signed to practice squad)
    • Kenyan Drake signing with Ravens
    • Ronald Jones makes the Chiefs
    • 49ers bringing back Jimmy G
    The Answers ::
    Hilow >>

    Sony Michel to the Chargers, Tyler Johnson to the Texans, Kenyan Drake to the Ravens, and Jimmy Garoppolo restructuring his deal are the big ones from my perspective. Michel could immediately step into the “1B” or “2” running back spot in Los Angeles, which is likely the top “last minute move that carries enough fantasy pull to matter” spot.

    Tyler Johnson, Kenyan Drake, and Jimmy G are more nods to what else is going on with the respective teams that either snagged them or retained them. Johnson joining the Texans feels more like a direct replacement of rookie John Metchie, which should be the WR3 spot/downfield threat for a team that could produce secondary spike weeks throughout the season. Kenyan Drake heading to Baltimore mostly brings the status of Gus Edwards further into question. To me, the team is likelier to start the season more pass-heavy that we otherwise would have expected, but that should settle back towards historical norms under Harbaugh. Notable for early season DFS, less notable for BB. As for Jimmy G, this was always the move that made the most sense to me, so nothing really to freak out about just yet. As in, it was never really the percentage solution that Garoppolo would be dealt prior to the year starting. On his new deal, he can now safely hold Lance’s clipboard while allowing other teams the opportunity to assess their current situations at QB prior to a potential deal coming down the pipe.

    MJohnson >>

    Tyler Johnson, the former Bucs WR, signing with the Texans makes him someone I’m interested in as a last round flyer – particularly on Draftkings with their full-PPR scoring and extra roster spots. The Texans receivers are very weak outside of Nico Collins and Brandin Cooks, and Johnson is coming from a situation with perhaps the best receiver room in the NFL (and perhaps one of the best ever). It would not be surprising to see him move into the #3 WR role in a couple of weeks and become a preferred target of Davis Mills if something happens to one of Cooks or Collins.

    This may seem like a stretch, but the Raiders cutting their 2021 1st-round pick, OT Alex Leatherwood, caught my eye. While it may seem like a weird thing for me to focus on the status of an offensive lineman when evaluating fantasy football, this particular situation feels relevant. The Raiders’ new regime already cut Kenyan Drake and has now also cut a very high draft capital player who wasn’t meeting expectations. This raises even more red flags for me about Josh Jacobs. I think the Raiders are just going to be looking for reasons to phase him out and/or trade him during the season, and this makes me much more bullish on Zamir White as well.

    Another Raiders move, cutting Keelan Cole, caught my eye. Cole was expected to be the #3 WR coming into camp but didn’t make the team at all. Mack Hollins appears to be the new #3 and could have some spike weeks and provide value as a unique piece as a last round pick.

    Xandamere >>

    Sony Michel signing with the Chargers is a big one to me. Michel is a “just a guy” back, but he immediately vaults to the RB2 role on one of the league’s best offenses. He’s currently going undrafted in many leagues and this feels like a fantastic opportunity to scoop a guy up who could be a real difference-maker and isn’t even rostered in a bunch of drafts that have already finished. 

    Agree on Ty Johnson, love that dude.


    2. Mistakes Made/Lessons Learned

    The Question ::

    As the start of the NFL season approaches, that also means the end of our season-long best ball drafting. We often talk about how “each season is the equivalent of one regular season DFS slate” in terms of sample size, but the difference here is that we have to wait half a year before we can take what we learned from this “slate” and apply it to the next one. We are also always talking about “process over results”, so as the Best Ball lineups prepare to lock, what are some things that you have regrets over or wish you had done differently this Best Ball season and how will you try to learn or change your approach for next season?

    The Answers ::

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    BB Contest Selection 2

    By :: Alex Pendergrass

    Welcome to the second installment of this series which is designed to help you make more informed decisions in your Best Ball contest selection. 

    Below is an overview of the various Best Ball contests being offered (as of September 3rd, 2022):

    Rake

    Let’s begin by taking a look at the rake situation. The three big providers (DraftKings, Underdog, & Drafters, in terms of offering the largest top prizes) each have a flagship tournament. DraftKings has their $3.5M Milly Maker ($5 entry fee), Underdog has Best Ball Mania III ($25 entry), and Drafters have the Drafters Million Championship ($20 entry). DraftKings & Underdog utilize a playoff format structure, whereas Drafters use cumulative scoring. 

    The Drafters contest offers the lowest rake at 9.1%. That means more of the prize money is paid out to the field, which effectively means more expected value for your entry. We’ll get to the overlay outlook soon, but it’s easy to see how that makes the Drafters flagship tournament even more attractive.

    DRAFTERS: Receive 100% first deposit match up to $100 with code OWS

    In terms of favorable rake, special notice must be given to FFPC. The scoring structure is radically different (PPR and 1.5 PPR for TEs). If your bankroll can support multiple $125 entries, at only 3.53% rake and a $200,000 top prize, you should be entering this contest.

    On Underdog, the time has sadly passed to enjoy their lowest rake contests. They released four separate Pomeranian contests with < 1% rake and only $3 entry fees, but there will be no others before the season kicks off. However, The Puppy 4 launches on Monday the 5th. With a $500,000 prize pool, $75,000 to first, and only a $5 entry fee, the final Puppy contest of the year should be able to scratch the low-cost itch on Underdog during this last week of drafting season.

    Underdog: Receive 100% first deposit match up to $100 with code OWS

    Overlay

    With less than six days until the season begins, the rate of entry has skyrocketed. Many of the contests I had my eye on for finishing with decent amounts of overlay have already been filled. The Drafters Million Championship fill pace has picked up, but it will still end up providing by far the most amount of overlay. Right now there is over 40% overlay with less than six days until kickoff. Continue attacking this contest to benefit from its favorable rake and all but guaranteed sizeable overlay.

    DraftKings Outlook

    Last week, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised if the DraftKings $3.5MM contest fell to 10% or lower by this weekend. I underestimated the demand. This contest will most likely sell out today. If you want to enter the only contest where you can turn a cup of coffee into a million bucks, do it now! The flagship contest on Underdog, Best Ball Mania III, is down to 10% overlay remaining. Unfortunately, drafters will not benefit from overlay, but you can still turn $25 into $2mm.

    Last time, I thought the higher-cost entry fee tournaments on DraftKings would overlay. Demand was stronger than I thought. The $200 single-entry tournament sold out. And then they launched a $100, 3-max entry tournament which also sold out before this update. That said, the $1M Playmaker still has < 40% overlay with less than a week to go. This is the contest to target if your bankroll supports it.

    Hopefully, these updates have helped you make smart choices about the contests you enter. Good luck with your final drafts this week. Let’s see the OWS flag flying all over the top of the Best Ball leaderboards at the end of the season!

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    BB+ Oracle, 8/26

    Welcome to The Oracle! :: The Greatest “Cheat Sheet” In Best Ball!

    Each week in The Oracle, OWS team members will take on the key strategy questions surrounding Best Ball tourneys :: sharing their thoughts on how they plan to approach these critical elements from a roster-construction, game theory, and leverage perspective.

    Best Ball Topics

    1. Major Regrets

    2. Different Than The Pack

    3. Thanks, But No Thanks

    4. How to Maximize Your Expected Value (EV) Part 2


    1. Major Regrets

    The Question ::

    With only a couple of weeks left until the season and teams unlikely to play their starters much (if at all) in this last week of preseason, we are rapidly approaching the end of the line for season long best ball drafts. As such, with our high volume of entries to this point, most of our player exposures and overall stances are pretty set in stone. That being said, who are the two or three players you have very little of that you are the most afraid of “sticking it to you” by having a monster season you miss out on that puts your rosters at a disadvantage?

    The Answers ::
    Hilow >>

    Derrick Henry/Jonathan Taylor: I took two very polarized stands in the first round, the first of which was Jonathon Taylor and the second of which was Derrick Henry. Both offenses outperform expectations in 2021 and there is a case to be made that their respective volume takes a hit in 2022. Both offer solid per game ceiling potential byt the floor is scary low on a per week basis. I leveraged those stances by going hard on each pass offense. 
    Ja’Marr Chase: Chase was a guy I was comfortable taking after the top four players were off the board but he was also a guy I wasn’t going out of my way to target. The Bengals pass offense was also a situation that outperformed expectation last season and they upgraded their OL to a point where I expect a heavier emphasis on the run game. It is also highly unlikely that Chase scores four touchdowns of 80 yards again. On a per cost basis I much preferred Tee Higins.

    MJohnson >>

    1 – Trey Lance: For whatever reason, I just rarely end up pulling the trigger on Lance. The main reason mostly has to do with really liking some of the other QBs going at the same time or after him and those QBs (Dak, Russ, Brady, Stafford) having WRs that I am heavily exposed to that become natural stacking partners. I also don’t really have much exposure to the SF pass catchers for a variety of reasons….Deebo I haven’t wanted to chase his big year and now having a different look to the offense, Kittle I took more of early in the summer but have cooled on over the last month, and I love Aiyuk as a player but worry about him as the third option in a potentially very low volume passing offense. That all being said, Lance’s skillset is one which could be a QB1 type of player and if any of those receiving options (especially Kittle or Aiyuk) becomes his “go-to guy” they would also smash alongside him.

    2 – Austin Ekeler: Man, this one hurts. Again, unintentionally I just don’t have much of him. After the first 5 players are gone, I have gone different directions most of the time. When I’m near the back of the first round, Ekeler is usually gone before I pick….when I pick in the 5-7 range, I’ve been taking Chase, Cook, Kelce, or Diggs usually before him. His backups look shaky at best and this is such a strong offense, he’s a guy who could really make me pay but luckily the fact he’s going in the first round makes it less likely it totally crushes me.
    3 – James Conner: I just don’t really trust Conner for a full season, but man he’s affordable for the clear best RB on an explosive team and a guy who scored so many TD’s last year. As with Lance, a lot of this comes down to how I usually build in his ADP range, and there are a few WR’s plus Pitts who I take on the clock at that time. That being said, if he plays a full year he could score 20 TD’s and it wouldn’t be a shock at all.

    Xandamere >>

    1 – Derrick Henry: I generally prioritize pass-catching backs who have more ways to score points than just ground yardage and touchdowns. I have Henry around RB8 or so, but I never get him at that spot, but we all know what he can do if he stays healthy. This is one of those “you can’t be overweight on everyone” spots and I recognize it could absolutely bury me.

    2 – The 49ers offense (except Trey Lance): The overall ADP of the 49ers offense feels way too high for a team that spreads the ball around a lot (both on the ground and in the air), is playing with a rookie QB who is going to run a lot (and thus hog a lot of overall team production for himself), and is likely to play a run-heavy style of attack. The combined ADPs of Deebo, Kittle, and Aiyuk make me think it’s highly unlikely that more than one of them (at most) returns value, while Eli Mitchell is being drafted higher than I’m comfortable with for a guy who likely isn’t really a bellcow. I have a lot of Lance, but I’m staying away from the other 49ers.
    3 – Elite wide receivers overall: With so much focus around zero-RB and hyperfragile RB builds, my big stand this season is going in the other direction. There are so few true bellcow running backs left in the NFL that I’m trying to get 2-3 of them on every roster. Obviously there’s tons of injury risk in this approach, but I feel like it’s a pretty simple way to differentiate from the masses and try to grab multiple 200+ fantasy point scores at the RB position that most other rosters will be lacking. Because of this and my penchant to try to snag an elite tight end, this leaves me underexposed to the round 1-2 WRs.


    2. Different Than The Pack

    The Question ::

    There is a rapidly growing amount of content around the industry for Best Ball right now and a lot of perceived certainty in terms of “optimal” strategies and thought processes. What is one way that you think you have “atypical thinking” and stray far from commonly held beliefs?

    The Answers ::

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    BB+ Oracle, 8/19

    Welcome to The Oracle! :: The Greatest “Cheat Sheet” In Best Ball!

    Each week in The Oracle, OWS team members will take on the key strategy questions surrounding Best Ball tourneys :: sharing their thoughts on how they plan to approach these critical elements from a roster-construction, game theory, and leverage perspective.

    Best Ball Topics

    1. Market Watch: Risers and Fallers

    2. Does handcuffing work?

    3. How to Maximize Expected Value (EV)


    1. Market Watch: Risers and Fallers

    The Question ::

    We have one full week of preseason games under our belts and plenty of new information and data coming from those games, camp reports, coaches comments, missed practices/injuries, and so on. All of this action has led to some drastic ADP movement, in both directions, for many players over the last few days. Which players do you agree with the market movement on and which do you think are the biggest overreactions?

    The Answers ::
    Hilow >>

    I can’t start the answer to this question on anyone but Isiah Pacheco, who, if you haven’t been paying attention at home, has rocketed up draft boards faster than a 13 year-old boy’s libido while watching Cinemax. The dude went in the fifth round of FFPC Main Event drafts this week, for Pete’s sake! This has come in complete disregard to camp reports of CEH seeing most of the work with the ones, his athletic profile (or lack thereof) and draft grades, camp videos showing plodding feet and limited agility, and the fact that he’s a rookie running back selected in the seventh (!!!) round. Hard pass (and I’m eating the fall in ADP for his running mate in CEH, while we’re speaking to the Chiefs backfield).

    Treylon Burks has fallen all the way to the 115-120 ADP range across all major Best Ball sites amidst public shaming from his head coach. Look, I get it, he is not the most polished route runner of the class – but at the same time, he can be built into a WR5 or WR6 role on Best Ball rosters now for the absolute late season smash potential that he possesses. Nom noms.

    In a somewhat more unheralded answer here, Rashaad Penny has experienced a little roller coaster in ADP over the previous week. First, reports of groin tightness saw his ADP slip almost seven spots across the majors. Then, Ken(neth) Walker was reported to have a sports hernia – then he wasn’t – then he had surgery, but it wasn’t for a sports hernia. Good God, man. All I know is that Pete Carroll once said Chris Carson had a neck stinger, which turned out to be a broken frickin neck. Then he said the team wasn’t interested in trading Russ – we all know what happened less than two weeks later. Now we have this report of surgery and a downplayed reaction. Color me skeptical, and give me some “discounted” Penny in the process (“discounted” because he’s still up about 15 spots in ADP from early drafts, but people were primarily drafting him poorly then so here we are).

    Dameon Pierce is someone I have been out on since the beginning. I literally do not care if he emerges as the lead back in Houston. When I started this theoretical journey this offseason, I shifted the way I was viewing “backup” running backs and wanted to focus on the team instead of the player. The combination of Lovie Smith (defensive-minded coach, primarily of the DC variety) and Pep Hamilton (primarily involved with QBs and pass games throughout his coaching career) come together to form an offensive tandem I don’t expect to utilize one primary running back, and the team boasts a bottom 10 run-blocking offensive line heading into the season and a poor defense. That doesn’t sound like a situation that could see a league-winner emerge and I won’t be chasing the meteoric rise.

    Romeo Doubs – see my notes in the Top 300s (they aren’t pleasant).

    MJohnson >>

    Rhamondre Stevenson is creeping up draft boards (and has been for a while) and I agree with this movement as it’s hard to see a bear case where he doesn’t pay off his current ADP even though it has risen to the middle of the 8th round. He will definitely get some early down work and appears to have the inside track on pass down usage. Frankly, there are some RBs going in the 3rd or 4th rounds that you could make similar statements about. I also agree with Treylon Burks dropping to an ADP near 100 (don’t tell Hilow!). Burks is a physical freak, but has a ways to go with the technical aspects of being an NFL receiver and isn’t exactly on a creative or pass happy offensive team. I’ll definitely be taking some shots on him now in the 10th round if he gets there, but he just has too many red flags at this point to justify where he was previously going.

    Antonio Gibson and Romeo Doubs are the biggest overreactions for me. Doubs has been going as high as the 10th round in drafts I’ve been in this week and Gibson is dropping as far as the 9th or 10th, with an ADP approaching the 90’s. 

    Gibson has made headlines for playing with the third team in practice, but JM had a really good take on Gibson in “Deeper Context” and going even a step further, let’s look at this from a logistics/EV perspective. If Washington was actually maybe considering being done with him they wouldn’t go about it by publicly demoting him like that…..he is a young player who has been productive, they’d try to keep his value up and quietly shop him for a 3rd or 4th round pick. The more logical explanation is this is an example of some “tough love” and sending a message. They likely know he is by far their best option at the position and it is much easier to bench a guy or play these mind games in mid-August than it is when the games actually count. 

    As for Doubs, I can see the talent and the need for receivers that Green Bay has, but Aaron Rodgers also just publicly called out the young receivers for poor play and focus which should remind us all to tread carefully on expecting #12 to accept a 4th round rookie into his circle of trust.

    Xandamere >>

    I agree with the market movement on Dameon Pierce and Treylon Burks. Pierce’s ADP has risen modestly, and yes, I’m generally against drafting ADP risers because other rosters have him at a “cheaper” price, but at the end of the day this is a guy who could easily emerge as a 3-down bellcow RB (albeit for a mediocre offense) and is still being drafted around the 8th-9th round. For me, the upside there outweighs there being rosters out there with Pierce at a cheaper price, and the ADP has only risen a relatively small amount so far (if Pierce gets named the starter and his ADP shoots up to the 3rd-5th round, I’d shy away). 

    For Burks, he played into the 4th quarter of a preseason game, which screams that the team doesn’t view him as ready for a starting role. So, it makes sense that his ADP has dropped….but I’m still drafting him. In this case, the ADP discount, to me, reflects the additional risk in his profile. So why am I not shying away? Because Burks’ upside of being the Titans’ WR1 is still intact. He could still be that guy. He may not be, and that’s why his ADP is where it is, but in tournaments I’m totally fine embracing volatility and taking the new discount.

    The ADP risers I’m wary of are Romeo Doubs, George Pickens, and Isiah Pacheco. All three of those guys have shot way up with no real concrete information to support it, and all are guys who were already being drafted as late-round picks, so once again we run into the “other rosters have these guys at a discount” problem. Doubs is a rookie and we’ve always seen Aaron Rodgers shy away from heavily utilizing rookies. Pickens seems plenty talented but has a dubious quarterback situation and still has Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool in front of him. Pacheco has looked good in preseason but his pass protection, always a big hurdle for rookie RBs, remains a work in progress and he’s still looking slotted for, at best, the RB2 slot in a pass-heavy offense. I’d be more open to drafting these guys in a tournament that was posted recently, where you aren’t competing against rosters that picked these guys multiple rounds behind where they’re being drafted today, but in “older” tourneys I’m shying away.

    JM >>

    In my answer to the first question of last week’s Oracle, I dove into the camp battles I truly care about (the battles in which someone has a path to a genuine, large-scale role), which ties in nicely with what Xandamere answered above. When players soar up draft boards due to preseason hype that is taken out of context of the actual role/production-potential available to them, we generally want to avoid. I do think that there is enough opportunity across 17 weeks for a player like Doubs or Pacheco to emerge as a legitimate contributor that I don’t hate the idea of going there even as they’re rising; but what happens most often in these situations (which X defined, above, as guys who “have shot way up with no real concrete information to support it”) is that we end up drafting non-contributors. Think Darwin Thompson, Tajae Sharpe, Marquez Callaway (as just a small sample of available examples). All of those guys began to feel like “can’t miss” // “must-draft” guys in their respectively-hyped years (and began to feel like screaming values in Week 1 DFS), only to faceplant to one extent or another. It’s easy to make the positive case for Doubs (for example), but we want to also consider the negative case. Taking the Doubs example: Christian Watson was hurt, and Doubs stepped up with tremendous practice showings that opened eyes. He’s also a fourth-round rookie who is currently behind Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins, and potentially Christian Watson on the depth chart, on a team that will also rely on running backs and Robert Tonyan. To be clear: this is not an expression of anti-Doubs sentiment; it’s simply a presentation of the facts. “Hype” is an emotional reaction to in-the-moment news. When we can separate our decision-making processes from that emotion and look at the full scope of known information, we can make better logical assessments.

    In general, my answers to these Oracle questions have been a bit more “big-picture // how-to-think-through-these-things-yourself” than “here’s my concrete answer to this specific question.” Part of this is because I finished my drafting in early August and don’t want to pretend to have strong takes where I don’t; but a bigger part of this is the simple fact that the news cycle is constant, and ADP is always changing — and what you really need is the ability to assess these situations on your own! Hopefully, this helps you feel more confident in doing exactly that.


    2. Does handcuffing work?

    The Question ::

    Handcuffing is a strategy that is often discussed in the fantasy football industry and something that is a hotly debated topic in season long fantasy football. For best ball, mathematically it is likely “optimal” to not handcuff, as you are using extra roster spots on a position that theoretically limits your upside (if one of the two players has a monster game/season, it is likely that the other player is being hurt by it). However, as we know things are never as simple as a math equation in large field tournaments and, just like in DFS, there is often a benefit to “zigging when others are zagging”. All of that being said, what are your thoughts on handcuffing? Are you open to it at all or completely in the “trust the math” camp? If you are open to it, are there specific teams/situations, contests, or sites that you think it is most optimal to handcuff?

    The Answers ::

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    Storyboard Draft 4: Leverage at the Turn

    By :: MJohnson86

    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 a few weeks ago, 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 Best Ball Mania 3
    Draft Date: August 14th
    Pick: 12th

    Picks 1.12 and 2.01: Ceedee Lamb, WR, DAL and Saquon Barkley, RB, NYG –

    • Key players passed on: Travis Kelce, Joe Mixon, Aaron Jones, D’Andre Swift
    • Potential leverage spots: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Joe Burrow, Chris Evans, AJ Dillon, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jamaal Williams
    • Lamb Playoff matchups: JAX, PHI, TEN
    • Barkley Playoff matchups: WAS, MIN, IND

    Picks 3.12 and 4.01: Kyle Pitts, TE, ATL and JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, KC – Both of these picks provide leverage and build on the story I told by passing on Travis Kelce with my first two picks. If Pitts has a monster year and tops the position, Kelce was likely down from his career path of huge years. In the scenario where that happens, Patrick Mahomes’ passes have to go somewhere and JuJu appears locked in as the top wide receiver for the Chiefs at this point.  

    • Key players passed on: James Conner, Allen Robinson, Ezekiel Elliott, Darren Waller
    • Potential leverage spots: Kyler Murray/Darrel Williams, Van Jefferson/Tyler Higbee, Tony Pollard, Josh Jacobs/Keelan Cole/Foster Moreau
    • Pitts Playoff matchups: NO, BAL, ARI
    • JuJu Playoff matchups: HOU, SEA, DEN

    Picks 5.12 and 6.01: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, DET and Kyler Murray, QB, ARI – I am a big fan of St. Brown, something I’ve talked about in several prior articles as well, and adding him here as my WR3 feels great in a vacuum but also as leverage off the decision to pass on D’Andre Swift to start the draft. Getting Kyler as my QB1 serves multiple purposes, as it plays off the story of both of my selections at the 3/4 turn by correlating with Pitts in Week 17 and leveraging the decision to pass on James Conner.

    • Key players passed on: Jalen Hurts, Rashod Bateman, Adam Thielen
    • Potential leverage spots: Miles Sanders/Kenneth Gainwell, Devin Duvernay, KJ Osborn/Irv Smith
    • St. Brown Playoff matchups: NYJ, CAR, CHI
    • Kyler Playoff matchups: DEN, TB, ATL

    Picks 7.12 and 8.01: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KC and Josh Jacobs, RB, LVR

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    Storyboard Draft 3: A Major Bet

    By :: LEX MIRAGLIA

    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. As Hilow and Mike discussed on his pod a few weeks ago, 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: Puppy 3
    Draft Date: August 7th
    Pick: 7th

    Round 1, 1.07: Stefon Diggs, WR, BUF – As Mike Johnson recently stated, “Any player with a first-round ADP has a ton to like about their season. The important part is understanding what this selection means for how I will attack the rest of the draft.” This pick is a major bet on a resurgent Diggs season and underperformances of the aging studs around him.

    • Key players passed on: Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, Davante Adams, Travis Kelce
    • Potential leverage spots: Isaiah Spiller, Hassan Haskins/Treylon Burks, Darren Waller
    • Playoff matchups: MIA, CHI, CIN

    Round 2, 2.06: Saquon Barkley, RB, NYG – After a run on RBs to start the 2nd round, my main decision point here came down to two of the three elite RBs left, Saquon & Aaron Jones (Kamara had already jumped a full round-up by this point in the Puppy 3). I went with the younger player with higher expected usage.

    • Key players passed on: Aaron Jones, Mark Andrews, Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill
    • Potential leverage spots: AJ Dillon, Rashod Bateman, TB WRs, Jaylen Waddle
    • Playoff matchups: WAS, MIN, IND

    Round 3: Josh Allen, QB, BUF – At this point, nearly identical to Mike Johnson’s Storyboard draft, taking Stefon Diggs 1.07 & Allen 3.06 is first taking the stance that Diggs will return to top-3 WR form in the post-Sanders/Beasley BUF era, and second that Allen will remain a top-3 QB for Diggs to have that happen. I generally prefer to wait on QB a little longer with how much upside some of them currently offer at respective ADPs, but this allowed me to lock up the QB1 of my “story” while only sacrificing one player I was especially upset to lose out on at the spot (Kyle Pitts).

    • Key players passed on: Kyle Pitts, James Conner, DJ Moore, Courtland Sutton
    • Potential leverage spots: Drake London/No-ATL, Darrel Williams/Deandre Hopkins  
    • Playoff matchups: MIA, CHI, CIN

    Round 4: Gabe Davis, WR, BUF – Taking Davis here as the double-stack with Diggs/Allen is a bet on Diggs & Davis absorbing most of the volume left over from the Sanders & Beasley departures. This furthers my bet on Allen as QB1, gives me access to the two highest volume players on what I’m betting on as a top league offense, and provides me with multiple avenues to success in the playoffs in the event that each has big games (a la Chase & Higgins of 2021). Players available that closely followed my pick all have ongoing concerns and lack clear leverage points within my current story.

    Round 5: Rashod Bateman, WR, BAL – Earlier, I passed on Mark Andrews when selecting Barkley, and this selection says that Bateman is the biggest beneficiary of the Marquise Brown departure and lack of proven receiving talent around him. Andrews averaged nearly 30 yds/g more with Tyler Huntley than Lamar Jackson, and Brown was one of the more productive NFL receivers to start 2021 while Bateman was out. Chris Godwin still has injury performance/timetable concerns, and like Bateman, Michael Thomas also plays in a run-heavy offense except with more receiving talent around him. Bateman’s ADP has also been more stagnant than some of those around him, as selecting Thomas there would lose value against other Puppy 3 rosters who were able to draft him much later. This story is betting on Rashod Bateman taking a big second-year leap to become one of the most productive fantasy receivers in football.

    Round 6: Adam Thielen, WR, MIN – Thanks to a consistently secure red zone role, Thielen has provided a good balance between floor and ceiling in his Vikings career. Compared to the other receivers in this range, his offense projects as the most productive through the air and potentially the highest volume under the new HC. With the potential of some of Diggs’s or Davis’s biggest weeks to come at the expense of the other, Thielen’s steadiness mixed with spiked week potential fits in nicely. The next team already had Dalvin Cook, so it prevented them from locking up two-thirds of this offense’s big 3. Thielen provides even more indirect leverage given that Diggs & Barkley have similar ADPs to Jefferson & Cook at the same positions. MIN also faces Barkley’s Giants in W16 to provide some extra correlation.

    Round 7: Deandre Hopkins, WR, ARI – Knowing Hopkins carries a six-game ban to start the year obviously means his overall ceiling is capped, but compared to the other players available here, his amount of projected “usable” weeks falls in the same range. This roster’s current WR depth is more prepared to handle an absence from Hopkins early on. After I passed on Conner for Allen in R3, the team drafting next ended up taking both Conner & Marquise Brown, so taking Hopkins also prevented them from acquiring all three of ARI’s top skill players. Not being the biggest fan of the highest RBs on the board, I felt more confident about the RB options I would potentially have with my next pick. With Bateman & Hopkins more likely to find themselves on Lamar & Kyler rosters, this adds another unique combination to a Josh Allen team.

    Round 8: Chase Edmonds, RB, MIA –

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    BB+ Oracle, 8/12

    Welcome to The Oracle! :: The Greatest “Cheat Sheet” In Best Ball!

    Each week in The Oracle, OWS team members will take on the key strategy questions surrounding Best Ball tourneys :: sharing their thoughts on how they plan to approach these critical elements from a roster-construction, game theory, and leverage perspective.

    Best Ball Topics

    1. Where Are Your Eyes Glued?

    2. Do You Have An Open Mind?

    3. Weighing Injuries


    1. Eyes Glued

    The Question ::

    As the first full weekend of preseason games is upon us, what are the things you are looking to learn from these games about teams and players? Are there any specific situations you have your eye on at this point and will be watching closely?

    The Answers ::
    Hilow >>

    I think the thing we need to keep in mind the most is that every situation is different and must be combined with other contextual clues surrounding each individual situation. As in, each NFL team has their own unique combination of NFL experience, coaches, front office personnel, and ownership. With that comes different viewpoints on preseason usage. All of that to say – we are bound to see some players gain steam based on borderline meaningless preseason usage and we are bound to see some players fall based on these same borderline meaningless notions.

    The bigger underlying theories associated with these movements have to do with recency bias, human psychology, and the human desire and comfortability within the realms of the known, which then provide us (as sharp-thinking players) potential opportunities to generate some leverage during a time when the field is highly likely to be overreacting to what they see over the next few weeks. So I guess my answer is “Nothing and everything all at once, but with the very important caveat of looking at preseason through the lens of leverage instead of thinking it will translate to the regular season.”

    Xandamere >>

    The challenge with adapting to preseason is that we need to consider the overall draft board that people have been working with all offseason and the context of the tournament you’re entering.

    For example, last year Cam Akers was a first round pick and got hurt, which led to Darrell Henderson shooting way up draft boards (I think he ended up with an ADP in the late 3rd/early 4th rounds). But, the problem is that Henderson was already being drafted before the Akers news, and so if you’re entering a large tournament that’s been posted for months and months, you would be competing with rosters that drafted Henderson very, very late. In that situation, my perspective was that I was just going to avoid Henderson entirely. Yes, he could bury me, but if he had an absolutely massive season, there would be a lot of rosters I’d be competing with in the later rounds who had Henderson in very late rounds vs. my rosters with him in the 3rd/4th round – I would be at a massive disadvantage compared to those rosters. 

    So what do I look for? I look for areas in which a player who is going undrafted all of a sudden seems to seize on opportunity and rise up, or, I look to tournaments that started drafting later (i.e. there aren’t a whole bunch of rosters in that tournament with the New Hotness that they got at a massive late-round discount). The latter obviously just depends on your tournament selection, but some examples of guys who are going (largely) undrafted currently are guys like D’Ernest Johnson, Eno Benjamin, Noah Brown, Devin Duvernay…those are the kind of guys I look for opportunity on in preseason. 

    Honorable mention here as well to Ty Montgomery and Taysom Hill. TyMont has WR eligibility but seems likely to play a fair bit of RB for the Patriots, which makes him a really interesting last round dart throw. Taysom still, inexplicably, has TE eligibility on Underdog (unsure about elsewhere), which just gives enormous upside – if he plays even a couple of full games at QB, he can put up some massive spike weeks for the TE position. 

    JM >>

    While I definitely believe preseason matters (i.e., there are players who will win “early-season roles that could grow bigger throughout the year”), my nine years in the DFS content space have seen my Augusts populated with either heavy MLB content loads (during the RG days) or heavy admin/season-prep loads for OWS. As such, I’ve watched a grand total of zero preseason games over the last nine seasons — and honestly, I haven’t once felt like my preparation by NFL kickoff has suffered as a result. I also aim to finish my Best Ball drafts before preseason games kick off — which means that when we put it all together, my answer to the actual question would not be helpful at all.

    But this does open a pair of discussions that I think are important.

    1) I typically aim to finish my Best Ball drafts before preseason games kick off because — generally speaking — you catch training camp whispers about a lot of the players who are going to eventually win roles in the preseason. By drafting early (and paying close attention to all 32 training camps), I can catch some of these risers before they rise (e.g., Rhamondre Stevenson last season; I had a good 20% exposure in the 17th/18th rounds before he’d seen a preseason snap and began rising up draft boards).

    2) With that said, preseason games are about to be in full swing; and if you’re reading this, you still have drafts ahead of you. So here’s my note of caution:

    Every year, there are players who gain steam because of their preseason performances (or even their training camp performances), but a deeper look at those players reveals that their “ascendent play” is essentially “positioning them to win a roster spot,” or “positioning them to compete for some early-season snaps.” Context matters when it comes to training camp and preseason reports and performances, and when a player is performing “above expectations,” we still need to know what those “expectations” were. While I don’t watch preseason games, I follow the news closely (just as I do with everything else in July/August), and the only time I adjust my thinking on a player is if that player is in a situation where a role is genuinely up for grabs. If Equanimeous St. Brown were to flash throughout the preseason for a Bears team that legitimately has no idea, at this point, who their number two wide receiver will be, that would be noteworthy to me. If Raheem Mostert were to ball out for a Dolphins backfield in which Chase Edmonds is the presumed starter but nothing is set in stone, I would consider this noteworthy. With that in mind, here is a list of “not yet fully settled” roster situations:

    • Bills backfield (mostly settled, but Cook could still play himself out of an early role — especially if he struggles in pass protection — and Moss still has opportunity to play himself into a role)
    • Dolphins backfield (once the season gets underway, “MIA RB” will have holes to run through with defenses having to respect the team’s speed on the outside, and with an offense that will include plenty of misdirection, bootlegs, etc.; who will take advantage?)
    • Broncos WR3 gig (someone could still come out of nowhere to seize that role over Hamler)
    • KC backfield (however, this is likelier to be decided throughout the season than in preseason; of note, the Isaih Pacheco hype is likely to eventually get out of control, as he’s still being viewed by beat writers as “securing his spot on the roster”; that said, this backfield is in flux enough that while I would be stunned if Pacheco plays himself into a lead role by the start of the season, he certainly could develop into the leader of the backfield by the end of the season; ideally, the time to draft him is before he shows up with a string of big preseason outings — in other words, drafting him before it feels totally comfortable to do so)
    • Raiders WR3 (an under-the-radar battle; it’s so under the radar, in fact, that Keelan Cole is still listed on Underdog as a member of the Jets, even though he currently has the inside track for the WR3 spot with Las Vegas; anyone who is “on the field a lot for an offense that will score a lot of touchdowns” has value — especially in Best Ball, and extra-especially if no one else is drafting that player)
    • Chargers backfield (a potentially big one, as the Chargers not only want to find one guy they can stick with as their number two, but they would also love to lighten Ekeler’s workload a bit if they can find someone capable of keeping the offense on track; beat writers are convinced that Isaiah Spiller is going to prove himself to be “the guy,” but it hasn’t yet been decided on the field)
    • Ravens WR2 (almost certainly James Proche — who I have a decent amount of in the 18th round, and who has gone largely undrafted to date; but if Proche were to sit out some games with the first team offense, this would be a strong indicator that he’s definitely secured this role, or if Proche were to post some strong preseason outings, this would help him secure this role (Note: Proche got injured in the first preseason game, after I wrote this up; he’s expected to miss a week or two; beat writers are pretty convinced Proche has the #2 job locked down, so while they could be wrong, or while this could change, the window for Proche going undrafted in most drafts will remain open, thus increasing the edge gained if Proche shows up with a solid season); Proche has been a practice standout the last two years, and he’s been consistently connecting on deep balls in training camp this year, but the WR2 role is still quite a ways away from “definitely being his”)
    • Cowboys early-season WR3 (should be Noah Brown, but that’s not yet carved in stone; while Gallup should only miss a game or two, an in-season injury to Lamb, Gallup, or Tolbert would also make this a valuable role: “on the field all the time for an offense that will score a lot of touchdowns”)
    • Cardinals RB2 (the role likely belongs to Darrel Williams, but Eno Benjamin could have something to say about that; I have more Williams than Benjamin on my rosters, but I do have a bit of Benjamin just in case)
    • Seattle backfield (is Kenneth Walker ready with regards to pass protection and pass catching? — if so, Pete Carroll will likely be willing to ride the hot hand in the early season until one guy firmly takes hold of this role; if not, then Rashaad Penny is undervalued, even in a lower-tier offense)
    • Bears WR2 (not particularly fantasy-relevant as the number four option on a bad offense, but anyone who is going undrafted in most leagues and is on the field all the time has a chance to produce a spiked week on a week when it would matter — i.e., they wouldn’t be a player who gets you to the playoffs, but if you’re in the playoffs and this guy spikes, you’ll be one of the only people benefitting)
    • Packers WRs? (is the Doubs hype more of the “he’s going to be involved to some extent” variety, or more of the “he’s going to be something of a surprise focal point” variety? We may not get this question answered in training camp and preseason, but we can get a feel for things)

    If I didn’t list a situation, I either feel it’s more settled than the public generally thinks, or I feel it’s not particularly relevant to what it would take to build a Best Ball champion lineup.


    2. Open Minds

    The Question ::

    Average draft positions (ADP’s) of players will obviously be changing as training camps get rolling, preseason games start, and injuries happen. Over the first couple weeks of practices we have already seen some big risers and fallers. Are there any players that you were “in” on previously but are now going at a point in drafts that they no longer interest you? On the flip side, are there any players you’ve been low on but are now warming up to as their stock continues to drop?

    The Answers ::

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    Storyboard Draft 2: Unique Combos

    By :: MJOHNSON86

    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
    Pick: 10th

    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.

    • Key players passed on: Davante Adams, Najee Harris, Ceedee Lamb
    • Potential leverage spots: Darren Waller/Hunter Renfrow, Diontae Johnson, Dalton Schultz/Tony Pollard
    • Playoff matchups: IND, NYG, GB

    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

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    Storyboard Draft 1

    By :: MJOHNSON86

    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 a few weeks ago, 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: Best Ball Mania 3
    Draft Date: July 27th
    Pick: 6th

    Round 1, 1.06: Stefon Diggs, WR, BUF – I could go on and on about why I love Diggs this year, but that’s not the important part. Any player with a first-round ADP has a ton to like about their season. The important part is understanding what this selection means for how I will attack the rest of the draft.

    • Key players passed on: Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Travis Kelce
    • Potential leverage spots: Isaiah Spiller, Hassan Haskins/Treylon Burks, Adam Thielen/Alexander Mattison
    • Playoff matchups: MIA, CHI, CIN

    Round 2, 2.07: Aaron Jones, RB, GB – Jones was easily the top RB left on the board for me at this pick. 

    • Key players passed on: Deebo Samuel, Mark Andrews, and Tyreek Hill
    • Potential leverage spots: Aaron Rodgers, Kittle/Aiyuk, Waddle/no-Tua
    • Playoff matchups: LAR, MIA, MIN

    Round 3: Josh Allen, QB, BUF – When I selected Diggs at 1.06, I was effectively making a stance that Buffalo will continue as a top passing offense in the league and Diggs will return to his 2020 form with a monster, top-3 WR season. If that happens for Diggs, Allen is basically a lock to remain a top-3 QB as well. In many drafts, I like waiting until the 6th-10th round range to take my first QB, but in this “story,” locking up the odds on favorite for QB1 at pick 30 seemed prudent. 

    • Key players passed on: Deebo Samuel, Mark Andrews, and Tyreek Hill
    • Potential leverage spots: Aaron Rodgers, Kittle/Aiyuk, Waddle/no-Tua
    • Playoff matchups: LAR, MIA, MIN

    Round 4: Jaylen Waddle, WR, MIA – Waddle correlates with my first two picks during the playoffs, as Miami plays Buffalo in Week 15 and Green Bay in Week 16. Waddle also provides leverage off my decision to pass on Tyreek Hill in Round 2. It’s notable that I passed on Gabriel Davis at this pick. This was a calculated decision as I felt that if Diggs proves himself worthy of the 1.06 pick, then Davis likely will struggle to pay off fourth-round draft capital.

    Round 5: George Kittle, TE, SF – This pick is where things really get fun. Taking Kittle here means I have taken care of both “onesie” positions through five rounds with elite options, which gives me great flexibility in my roster positions going forward. From a leverage perspective, Kittle helps me in a variety of ways based on picks I’d already made. The most obvious angle being that I passed on Deebo in the 2nd round and if Deebo is disappointing this year it likely would benefit Kittle. The second and less direct leverage this provides is based on the fact that with each of my first two picks I passed on Kelce and Andrews. I have already effectively made a bet that those two players will not have “had to have it” type seasons at the position, in which case, Kittle is as good of a bet as any to be the TE1 (or match the top options for a much cheaper price). Finally, one person in this league had already taken both Mark Andrews and Darren Waller – this means that having one of the few remaining “elite” TE options will be even more of an advantage in this league than normal.

    Round 6: Amari Cooper, WR, CLE – I like Cooper as a high-ceiling WR on rosters where I have already selected at least two WRs before him. Taking Cooper here is a bet on Deshaun Watson being available for at least half of the year, which makes Watson a definite target later in the draft. If Watson were to miss the whole season, Cooper can still have a decent season. Additionally, so much of this roster is relying on a big season from Allen/Diggs so I can take on more risk/variance at my QB2 spot. Additionally, Watson will likely be used mostly on 3-QB rosters or 2-QB rosters with the other QB having a bye after Week 9 (a lot of rumors saying 6-8 game suspension is likely with CLE having a Week 9 bye). This will likely lead to the duo of Allen (week 7 bye) and Watson having low combinatorial ownership.

    Round 7: Hunter Renfrow, WR, LV – Solid WR in what should be a good offense and he should have steady production with some potential for spike weeks. This fits well with my other WRs as Waddle and Cooper may be prone to down weeks due to their respective situations. I also already have some indirect leverage against Renfrow’s teammates as Davante Adams and Darren Waller have very similar ADPs to Diggs and Kittle at the same positions. 

    Round 8: Chase Edmonds, RB, MIA – Adding to the MIA bet, and the negative reports so far on Raheem Mostert’s knee. The market hasn’t adjusted much yet on a possible workhorse role for Edmonds, and I don’t want Tua to stack with Waddle due to already having Allen at QB and targeting Watson later, but taking Edmonds here gives me multiple options as correlations with my BUF and GB studs in Weeks 15 and 16.

    Round 9: Devin Singletary, RB, BUF – Hilow had some great info about the use of a QB-RB-WR stack in winning Milly Maker lineups in a tweet he sent last week, and based on the board, I liked adding Singletary to this roster with that in mind. 

    Round 10: Garrett Wilson, WR, NYJ – Some picks are just about making the right pick. No one stood out as fitting a particular “story” here, which is okay. I added a high-upside player and rookie WRs usually have stronger second halves of the season.

    Round 11: Isaiah Spiller, RB, LAC – Leverage off fading Ekeler in the first round. I also passed on Mike Williams in the third round so my story wasn’t that Ekeler fails and the WRs have monster years . . . it’s that Ekeler disappoints with the WRs also having seasons that don’t blow away expectations. That would likely mean Ekeler was injured or ceded a greater than expected workload to Spiller.

    Round 12: Jameson Williams, WR, DET – Another bet on a talented player who I am hoping “pops” at the right time late in the year.

    Round 13: Michael Carter, RB, NYJ – My RB5, Carter should have a passing down role with the potential for spike weeks from big plays or if Breece Hall misses any time.

    Round 14:  David Njoku, TE, CLE – High-upside and athletic TE, ADP fit at this pick (not a reach), and plan to stack him with Watson next round. He has the same bye week as Kittle which likely means low combinatorial ownership.

    Round 15: Deshaun Watson, QB, CLE – Brings together the CLE stack with Cooper/Njoku, finishes off QB position (only needed 2 roster spots).

    Round 16: Parris Campbell, WR, IND – A likely starter in Round 16 who also provides a bit of leverage on my decision to pass on Michael Pittman in the third round. My intent with this pick was to take Isaiah McKenzie but he was sniped right before my pick.

    Round 17: Will Fuller, WR, FA – Julio Jones just signed with the Bucs, and his ADP shot up (as expected). My feeling is that Fuller follows suit very soon so this was one of my last chances to get him on the cheap.

    Round 18: Jeff Wilson, RB, SF – I would usually go with a WR9 here rather than taking my RB6, but for this roster, I have already made a sizable bet on George Kittle having a healthy and productive season. Kittle is also a key to the SF run game, so if he has that kind of season, then having a piece of the SF backfield makes a lot of sense here. Wilson likely won’t be a regular contributor, but a three to five week stretch of heavy usage at the right time could be a leverage spot that puts me over the top.

    FINAL ROSTER:

    • QB: Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson
    • RB: Aaron Jones, Chase Edmonds, Devin Singletary, Isaiah Spiller, Michael Carter, Jeff Wilson
    • WR: Stefon Diggs, Jaylen Waddle, Amari Cooper, Hunter Renfrow, Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, Parris Campbell, Will Fuller
    • TE: George Kittle, David Njoku

    THE STORY: Here are the basics of the “story” I need in order for this roster to carry me to the promised land.

    • The Buffalo Bills are one of the top offenses in the league with Stefon Diggs having more big plays and better TD luck than he did in 2021.
    • Aaron Jones benefits from the loss of Davante Adams and has a monster season.
    • The new offense in Miami focuses on getting the ball to playmakers in space resulting in prominent roles and production for Jaylen Waddle and Chase Edmonds.
    • Deshaun Watson’s suspension is eight or fewer games and he makes the top CLE receiving options huge values.
    • George Kittle stays healthy and is a preferred target of Trey Lance while Travis Kelce hits an age wall and Mark Andrews suffers from Baltimore returning to a run-heavy offense.
    • Garrett Wilson and/or Jameson Williams continue the trend of first-round rookie WR’s having monster second halves of the season.
    • Austin Ekeler, Breece Hall, and/or James Cook miss chunks of time.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I loved how this roster came together and while having *all* of these things happen may be a long shot, none of them are outrageous reaches or outside a reasonable range of outcomes. First place for BBM3 is $2 million and this entry cost $25. I will gladly take 80,000 to 1 odds on a parlay of the above situations happening. I hope you are able to take some things away from an insight into my thought process and I’d love to hear feedback on Twitter or Discord with any thoughts. 

    Good luck OWS fam, see you in the lobby!!

    BB+ 2


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    Pro tip:

    All of our 2022 BB+ content is relevant throughout the entire drafting process (i.e., “newer” content is not necessarily “more relevant” content). With that in mind: If you are playing Best Ball this year (and given that you’re reading this, you probably are playing Best Ball this year…), you should spend time with ALL the content OWS is producing — including “earlier content” that can now be found in the BB+ 2 Scroll.