Sunday, Jan 29th — Early
Sunday, Jan 29th — Late
Bye Week:
Bears
Bills
Broncos
Browns
Buccaneers
Cardinals
Chargers
Colts
Commanders
Cowboys
Dolphins
Falcons
Giants
Jaguars
Jets
Lions
Packers
Panthers
Patriots
Raiders
Rams
Ravens
Saints
Seahawks
Steelers
Texans
Titans
Vikings

The Scroll Reflection Edition. 16.21.

JUMP TO

    One Week Season

    Where Sharp DFS Players Hang Out


    Early Bets

    Why does Vegas set lines? What is their goal? Well, Vegas sets lines in an attempt to get exactly half of the action on each side of every line they post. In this case, they take the rake, guarantee a profit, and move on. So, does that mean Vegas lines are perfectly set? Furthermore, does it mean they are always perfectly set early in the week? No! Every week this season (starting Week 2), we’ll be jumping into early-week betting line inefficiencies to take advantage of before they move. This line movement can be caused by a number of factors, but the primary reasons for movements after initial line release are public sentiment and recency biases (shark money typically doesn’t come in until later in the week, when bettors have more complete information). With that, let’s jump in!

    If you are looking for referral codes to get those juicy sign-up bonuses (and free money that come with them), follow the link here for referral codes to various books partnered with OWS.

    +EV LINES (Week 16)::

    PITTSBURGH STEELERS (+7.5) @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (BET MGM, -110):

    Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill were both added to the COVID list early this week and reports from Kansas City suggest there are numerous additional players set to join them. The Steelers find themselves half a game back from the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC in what is likely Ben Roethlisberger’s final season, adding a bit of desperation factor into a road matchup with the Chiefs. Considering the high-profile additions to the COVID list and tight AFC playoff picture, I expect this line to move in favor of the Steelers as the week progresses, providing us with a solid +EV situation early in the week.

    LOS ANGELES CHARGERS @ HOUSTON TEXANS (+9.5; BET MGM, -110):

    This one involves a little bit of Game Theory and reading between the lines (stay with me here). Kansas City is this week’s hotbed of COVID list additions, with double-digit players testing positive through Monday and Tuesday, and more additions likely as the week progresses. Who did the Chiefs play on Thursday of last week? Yeah, the Chargers. In addition to being more contagious, the Omicron COVID variant is said to carry a “reduced incubation period,” meaning it is likely we see members of the Chargers test positive over the coming days leading to their Sunday battle with the Texans. This simply provides us with “additional outs” on the side of the Texans with the points, giving us a solid +EV bet early in the week.

    DETROIT LIONS @ ATLANTA FALCONS (Under 42; BET MGM, -110):

    With Jared Goff on the COVID list, it is likely we see Tim Boyle start for the Lions this week against the Falcons. In his only start of the season, the Lions managed only 10 points, a dip to their already-modest scoring average this season of 17.4 points per game. The Falcons average only 18.4 points per game. We should expect a run-heavy approach from both teams here, with Jamaal Williams back from the COVID list and D’Andre Swift ready to resume practicing with his shoulder injury, and the Lions so clearly best attacked on the ground. Everything sets up for a low-scoring, grind-it-out style of game and we get early-week added value for the uncertainty surrounding the Lions quarterback situation.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS::

    LOS ANGELES RAMS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (Over 49.5; BET MGM, -110):

    The Rams suddenly find themselves just one game back of the NFC lead and tied with the Cardinals atop the NFC West with only three games to play, while the Vikings have played themselves into the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC. To say this game is close to a must-win for both sides would be an understatement. We know the Vikings typically play to their opponent, and a game against the up-tempo and high-octane offense of the Rams is likely to lead to increased aggression sooner rather than later here. Expect points to be put up on the scoreboard.

    Wired to Waivers

    How do you consistently beat opponents in dynasty and season-long settings when you all start with the same amount of FAAB (Free Agent Auction Bidding) dollars, a rotating waiver priority, or a standings-based waiver system? Are some people just luckier than others in nabbing their guy? How do some managers seem to have triple the FAAB budget? If you’ve played dynasty or season-long fantasy football, you’ve probably found yourself wondering these same questions at one point or the other.

    The reason some managers seem to assemble stacked rosters is twofold: they draft for ceiling and fill in the gaps through waivers, and they are early to the party on “hidden gems” off the wire. That last point is the whole reason we are here. In order to consistently beat dynasty and season-long fantasy football, you have to not only be aggressive on the waiver wire, but you have to know where to look to find the players your opponents will be looking for NEXT WEEK. Successful waivers do not involve simply scooping as many replacement running backs as possible after an injury occurs. It takes knowledge, planning, foresight, and a little bit of gusto. You don’t need another talking head to tell you to grab Devontae Booker after Saquon Barkley was injured, or to grab Chuba Hubbard after Christian McCaffrey went down, or to grab Elijah Mitchell after the 49ers lost three running backs. So, that is exactly what we will be doing in this piece for the remainder of the season. We’ll scour the league to find the players in the best position to be difference-makers should one thing work in their favor, and we’ll do so weeks before our competition. Your opponents can’t blow their waiver priority or FAAB budget on players already on your roster!

    Oh, and since there are enough analysts in the industry telling you who the obvious pickups are, we won’t waste our time with those players here (which isn’t to say they aren’t worth an addition, it simply means those are typically the players you should expect to spend significant FAAB, or waiver priority, in order to acquire them). With that quick introduction into what we will be doing in this space for the rest of the season out of the way, let’s dig in!

    STASHING UPSIDE:

    When we get to Week 16, redraft and dynasty managers alike are making that final push in the playoffs, but something that gets lost in the shuffle of a busy schedule is the habit of stashing upside for the following year in dynasty. Finding those gems now that could see increased roles through offseason roster moves could prove to be difference-makers by providing additional trade bait, roster depth, and hidden upside. We’ll go over a few such possibilities below!

    COVID MADNESS:

    Managers who are able to keep up with the multitude of COVID list additions for the remainder of the season better than their league-mates are going to have a significant advantage for the championship push. As I mentioned on Twitter earlier this week, over 100 players were added to the COVID list last week, with 47 new cases popping up on Monday, more on Tuesday, and likely even more set to come through the rest of this week. The NFL is in a stretch of the season where postponing games is difficult to do (for a number of reasons), meaning we’re likely to see teams playing extremely shorthanded over the remaining three weeks of the regular season. Keep an eye on news around the league and turn notifications on to stay ahead of the curve!

    FORWARD-THINKING WAIVERS (Week 16)::

    ANTONIO BROWN / TYLER JOHNSON / RONALD JONES II (TAMPA BAY buccaneers):

    Absolute priority waiver additions should they be available on your wire still. Not only are Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette (likely to be placed on IR) done for the season, but they’re also unrestricted free agents this offseason, adding to the chances that AB, Johnson, and Jones carry increased value through the offseason. Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette are currently week-to-week with hamstring injuries, the latter of whom is likely to land on IR, and, when paired with Godwin’s absence, could leave gaping holes in this offense beset by a rash of injuries late in the season. Brown provides the likeliest path to offseason value but comes with significant off-the-field baggage, while AB and Jones are likeliest to help you win your fantasy championship this year. Consider Johnson an upside stash that is less likely to help you this year, but who could see his offseason value skyrocket should Tom Brady come back for another year and/or the team move on from perennial headache Antonio Brown, who is also an unrestricted free agent.

    JAYLEN GUYTON / JOSHUA PALMER (WR, LOS ANGELES CHARGERS):

    Mike Williams is an unrestricted free agent in 2022 and there have been swirling rumors that he will not be back with the team next year. Guyton is the player most likely to assume Williams’ downfield role, while Palmer is the player most likely to step into a prototypical “X” wide receiver role in a Joe Lombardi offense, giving significant upside to each wide receiver that is tied to one of the league’s best young quarterbacks.

    BYRON PRINGLE / NOAH GRAY (WR/TE, KANSAS CITY chiefs):

    Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill both landed on the league’s COVID list this week, possibly removing two members of one of the league’s best offenses for a home tilt against the floundering Steelers. If you have the space, both make interesting speculative upside adds for your semi-final matchups.

    COURTLAND SUTTON (WR, Denver broncos):

    Game-managing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater left last week’s game following a scary hit to the head, an injury that is highly likely to lead to his absence for at least Week 16. In that game, with Drew Lock at quarterback, Sutton saw his most targets since all the way back in Week 6. The matchup against the Raiders this week tilts expected production to the backfield, but those managers in a strap for production could do worse than the team’s alpha wide receiver on the road in Las Vegas.

    Process|Review

    In this weekly video, Xandamere reviews his roster-builds & process.


    Maximize Your Builds With OWS + FantasyLabs


    Week 15 Review

    Process Points

    Lesson of the Week: Your Silent Partner

    I’ll have some more traditional “lessons” in my lineup reviews below, but for this part of the article this week, I wanted to touch on something that hopefully all of you will need to consider now or in the future. As you read the great content on OWS and become sharper by the week, eventually, you are likely to have variance swing in your favor and have your EV realized. If/when this happens, there are a lot of things you need to think about and consider. In Sonic’s Marketplace course, one of the things he talks about is “visualizing yourself winning” and what you will do in that situation. That is such great advice, and there are also some strategic and financial things you should be aware of in those situations.

    What I am talking about is your “silent partner,” and by that, I mean the government that will tax your winnings. At the end of every year, each website will run the numbers and send a 1099-MISC to any user who profited at least $600 from January 1st to December 31st. The amount of that document will be reported to the IRS and paired up with the information they have on file for you (this is why they require identity verification before withdrawals). The amount of the 1099-MISC will be added to your income for the year and taxed accordingly. Along with that information, there are some things to consider:

    • Track your play – I keep a spreadsheet throughout the year documenting where I am at on each site. This helps me keep track of roughly how much additional money I will need to come up with for taxes the next year.
    • Plan Ahead!! – If you win a substantial amount of money, make sure you put a good chunk of it somewhere and don’t touch it. I suggest 40 to 50% just to be safe. While most of us won’t actually get taxed at that rate, I’d rather have too much set aside than not enough.
    • Losses don’t carry over – Remember, the taxes are calculated based on the calendar year. You can’t use losses from previous years to reduce the amount of winnings from the current year. This is another reason why bankroll management is so important. If you are too aggressive and have a bad year or two, you could finally hit something big and, after taxes, still be down. Also, if you have a losing year in the future, you don’t get any credit for the money you paid in the year before. This is a big deal. Let’s say you won $10,000 one year and your tax rate ended up around 30%, so you paid $3,000 in taxes on your winnings for that year. If you lost $4,000 each of the following two years, you would be up $2,000 over the 3-year span but actually, be $1,000 in the hole. This brings me to my next point, and something important to consider, especially this coming week…..
    • Playing at a discount – Once you have won a substantial amount of money and are going to get taxed on it, you essentially have a “silent partner” on that site for the rest of the year. What I mean by that is, from the example above, if you are up $10,000 on the year and fall into a 30% tax bracket – anything you win or lose the rest of the year, the government has 30% of the action on. If you lose $1,000 in Week 16, that means you will pay $300 less in taxes. So basically, the loss is really only costing you $700 (a 30% discount). The reason this is so important is that after Week 16, the next NFL slate is in January 2022 and will no longer have any effect on what you owe for this year’s taxes. There are some really good Week 16 GPP tournaments on both sites. I will have more money on the line than a usual week because these tournaments have such massive (potentially life-changing) money on the line, and I am essentially getting shots at that life-changing money at a huge discount that will expire after this week – and there’s no guarantee I will ever get that chance again.
    • NOTE: The above analysis is not me endorsing being fiscally irresponsible or unnecessarily risky. What I am saying is that it is a calculated risk because of the math and probabilities involved. When I can get 30-40% off the entry fee for a tournament that can improve the lives of everyone around me, that is a unique opportunity that I am willing to leverage and take on some additional risk that I know won’t ruin me. 
    • Those who are down on the year – Those huge tournaments referenced above….be really careful chasing them if you are down on the year. Yes, obviously there is upside if you win big – and if you are down on the year thus far, the amount you are down will offset some of your winnings for this week. However, we all know how hard winning GPP’s in any given week can be, and if you are aggressively entering those big/expensive tournaments this week and don’t win (the likeliest scenario), it doesn’t help your tax liability if you win big next calendar year. You have a full year of GPP’s ahead of you in 2022, as opposed to one last hurrah for 2021. The odds are that if you are going to win one, it’s going to be in that much larger time horizon than in this specific week. With that in mind, for those who are down, I would recommend playing, at most, your usual amount this week and would even say you may be better off lowering your level of play this week and using it as more of a “research and absorb” type of week. You can put yourself ahead of the game for Week 17 by thinking ahead and having a grasp on that slate ahead of time rather than just starting to figure it out next Monday like everyone else. Then you’d have a “silent partner” for the rest of 2022 if you hit something big in January. This is what happened to me last year, as I was down a decent amount on the 2020 season until my $200k win in Week 17, which was on January 3rd, 2021. Since then, I have known that I have been playing with a 30-40% “silent partner.”

    Hopefully, some of you reading this already have a “silent partner” for this year, and for those of you who don’t, hopefully, this is some evergreen material for you to consider when that EV is inevitably realized. Being prepared for success and understanding what it means in the short and long term is critical to maximizing your expected value and avoiding any unnecessary headaches down the road.

    Lineup Reviews 

    As outlined in my +EV Primer course (you can find in the Marketplace – either by itself or in the bundle with my player pool course), one of my approaches that keeps me from getting too high or low week-to-week is playing consistent contests and approaching them from a season-long perspective and using that to evaluate my play and ROI. This season, in this article, I will be tracking my progress on a weekly basis as I play the Single Entry (SE), 3-max, and 5-max tournaments in the $20 to $150 price range on DraftKings main slate for all 18 weeks. Rather than sweating or worrying about my ROI every week and “hoping to cash,” – my goal for the season is to maximize profit relative to that long-term investment total. The results of a given week are irrelevant.  

    Each week I will review the best and worst of my 11 lineups from my “Roster Block” of SE/3-Max/5-Max. Below are this week’s results and you can find more information about my process/theory for this in my Week 1 Process Points article

    Best Lineup ($200k Three-Point Stance, 5-Max, $33):

    The “story” I was telling: This was the only lineup in my “roster block” that used Tyler Huntley at QB, something I was very disappointed in myself about. I was very high on Huntley this week and talked him up in my Sunday GPP Thoughts that I shared in the IC Discord. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my own advice enough, and rightfully I paid for it. This lineup happened to have Bateman as Huntley’s stacking partner as he was the cheapest BAL pass catcher and had a big game the week before with Huntley. I’m very high on Bateman as a prospect, so I saw this as an opportunity to “be early” on him, and I included Davante Adams for the game stack. Another reason that I ended up with Bateman instead of Mark Andrews (I never considered Marquise Brown) was that I was very high on Kyle Pitts this week and had the Pitts-Wilson correlation from that ATL/SF game. Devin Singletary is a play I was happy with as he was leverage off a popular Bills passing game, and he had a huge workload. It would have been much better if not for Gabriel Davis having two late touchdowns. The lineup was unique enough that I didn’t mind eating some Devante Parker chalk, and then I had money left to pay up at RB and DEF, which led me to Joe Mixon and Dallas.

    Worst Lineup ($200k Three-Point Stance, 5-Max, $33):

    The “story” I was telling: This lineup was betting on the Dolphins having a big game, but Devante Parker not scoring the TDs. As JM has explored, the loss of Jaylen Waddle was not likely to significantly change Parker’s role. Albert Wilson had seen eight targets the week before and felt like the most likely person to assume those short targets that Waddle usually gets. At $3,400 and under 1% owned, he seemed like a great way to play Tua, and I also included Gesicki as the most likely player to be catching touchdowns if Parker wasn’t. On the other side, I used Keelan Cole, who was very cheap, low owned, and coming off a six target game. Unfortunately, while the game played out well on the scoreboard, it went the wrong way for me with how the points were scored. The Jets led early, which hurt Cole’s usage, and of the seven touchdowns scored in the game, four were rushing, and one was defensive. The stack was so cheap and low-owned that the rest of the lineup I was able to fill with high-end players without worrying about ownership. 

    Week 15 Results: One of ten lineups cashed this week. My biggest mistakes were: 

    • Not playing enough Huntley/Rodgers in a game that I was very high on and that I had laid out the strategy angles of being a late-game for very clearly.
    • While the lineups like the MIA/NYJ stack above may have made some sense “in a vacuum,” they really didn’t make much sense for this specific week/slate. I really wasn’t very high on any of the high-priced players outside of Davante Adams, and they all had clear paths to downside. On a week where there were a bunch of studs with a lot of certainty around them, building like that would make a ton of sense as you can get that certainty while only needing one thing (that unique stack) to hit in order to really set yourself apart. I really wasn’t very high on Joe Mixon in a tough road matchup and game projected to be low scoring, but I landed on him in five of my ten lineups just because how I built the rest of my lineups (a lot of them around MIA/NYJ or HOU/JAX) led me there. The same can be said about the Najee/Julio pairing. The game had a total of 42, the Titans are a run-first team, Julio has injury concerns weekly, and Pittsburgh will hide Ben if they can. A lot of the plays I made this week could be considered sharp from various angles, but in Week 15, I ended up going to some pretty thin places – in many cases, against my own advice.

    Week 15 Investment: $765

    Week 15 Winnings: $65

    Estimated Yearly Investment:  $14,000 

    Yearly Winnings: $5,365

    Bottom-Up Breakdown

    Dwprix breaks down the top lineups in the OWS Bottom-Up Build challenge.

    Week 15 Review

    Each week, I’ll review the Bottom-Up Build contest. I’ll look at how the winners got to the top of the leaderboard, the game environments used, and how we can use this tournament to become better players. The purpose of the Bottom-Up Build is to roster players that you would feel comfortable rostering in a regular contest (solid price considered floor and high ceiling) so when you’re building for other contests, you don’t find yourself struggling with the last couple spots and jamming in someone that you’re not comfortable with. Studying these players may also put you on a game environment that others may be overlooking.

    Overview

    Rules :: Max $44k Salary (exceeding $44k salary will disqualify entry); must use OWS avatar to be eligible for prizes

    Total Entries :: 113

    Prizes (Edge Points) :: 1st = 100 Edge // 2nd = 50 // 3rd = 25

    Highest Owned Player :: James Robinson – 62.8% ($5,400)

    Highest Owned Stack :: Tua Tagovailoa (23.9%) + DeVante Parker (38.1%) = 22.1% Combined

    See All The Entries :: Contest Link

    Winners:

    1st Place: jman805

    2nd Place: pwrfade

    3rd Place: fab50405

    Analysis

    Congrats to first place finisher, Jman805. Both the first and second place lineups played a Davis Mills/Brandon Cooks stack. The Texans/Jaguars game had a total of only 40 with the Jaguars favored by six. This should mean that the Texans were likely going to be trailing and needing to throw while the Jaguars would likely be ahead and could kill the clock with the run game. The way the game actually went was the Texans and Mills played well, and Mills connected with Cooks for both of his passing TDs. The Texans and Tyrod Taylor started the season with a 37-21 win over the Jags. One could have argued that their Week 15 matchup would be closer than the Vegas spread indicated since it was a division game and the Jags were favored even though they lost to the Texans earlier in the season. All of the top three finishers rostered James Robinson who was only $5.4k, a home favorite, and expected to get the majority of the RB work with Carlos Hyde out. He was the highest owned player in the Bottom-Up and the majority of other GPPs. Second place finisher, Pwrfade, also rostered Jags WR Laquon Treadwell ($3.3k), who has now seen 9, 6, 5, and 8 targets over his last four. This game environment was heavily owned in the Bottom-Up (Robinson-62.8%, Treadwell-21.2%, Cooks-32.7%, Mills-15.1%, Nico Collins-14.2%, James O’Shaughnessy-9.73%) for having a total of just 40 but there was plenty of value to be had. 

    Third-place finisher, Fab50405, built around the Ravens/Packers game, stacking Tyler Huntley and Mark Andrews with Alan Lazard as a run back. Anytime Huntley has played the majority of the game, Andrews has had a big day. He led the team in reception yards (73, 115, 136) and targets (10, 11, 13) leading to DK point totals of 15.3, 31.5, and 38.6 points with Huntley at QB. The top three lineups all had Mark Andrews who was the highest-scoring player on the slate (Huntley was second).

    Putting It Together

    Different strategies need to be taken into account for different types of contests and field sizes. In small fields like the Bottom-Up, rostering several players from the same game can really pay off. This is a viable strategy if you’re trying to capture all of the offense points from one side or hope the game blows up, rostering multiple players from both sides. In cash games, the majority of the time I’m trying to avoid rostering multiple players from the same team. if the total is low and the game fails, you likely have several duds in your lineups.

    I had a pretty much break-even week. I won all of my double-ups with a score of 130.5 and cashed three of seven SE 3 Max lineups. This was such a crazy week with all the COVID inactives that I didn’t feel as prepared as I usually do and relied on projections a little more than normal. I was definitely nervous going into the slate but escaped with a tiny 6.3% profit. The last week of the season I will share my season-long results (it hasn’t been great). I’ve had difficulty doing this throughout the season but hopefully we will get to a point next season where I’m confident enough to do so without it affecting my process and results.

    Tournament of Champions

    We are pumped to announce we will be having a Bottom-Up Build Tournament of Champions! The TOC will take place Week 18 and first place will win an OWS Inner Circle-For-Life ⭕️ membership with additional prizes to other qualifiers! All weekly first-place finishers will be eligible. Congrats to those who have already qualified: Sgmain18, Spastictoaster, Swench1919, Mikeall65, abright8, Andkristopher, Sklarma72, Aothomas42, Jaymz_10, Ericdc20, Ottoball, Sobe1, Bigdogkyle, Black-eyed_god, and Jman805.

    Week 16 :: Bottom-Up Tourney

    Every week, you can click here for the newest contest link for the upcoming Bottom-Up Tourney.

    Rules

    1. Must be using an OWS Avatar to be eligible to win. This can be found on your profile page, or at the top of this week’s NFL Edge!
    2. Single Entry // 200 Entries
    3. Max $44k Salary (exceeding $44k will automatically disqualify your entry)
    4. Prizes (Edge Points) :: 1st = 100 / 2nd = 50 // 3rd = 25
    5. Winners please email support@oneweekseason.com with your DK Screenname

    Missed Opportunities

    Larejo123 takes a look at some of the overlooked plays and “missed opportunities” from the week behind us, identifying the thought processes and approaches that could have led us to those plays.

    Are you ready for Week 16? I have amazing news for all of you. Whether you won or lost in Week 15 (shoutout to some of you who had massive takedowns), we are going to have a similar slate upcoming in Week 16. So as we reflect on Week 15, just take some solace (good or bad) in the fact that we get to do it all over again in a few more days. There will be many players (unfortunately) hitting the COVID-19 inactive list and we could see a few game postponements this week as well, and if we’re lucky, colder weather may limit game totals in some places just like it did on Monday night.

    So do yourself a favor, and sit on this week’s Sunday slate until at least Friday morning. Don’t look into plays, correlation, game environments, and more until then. I’d say by around Wednesday this week, we’ll start to see a similar piece of clay being formed, which we are asked to solve into a puzzle. Except for the second straight week, the clay may change colors, a huge part of it might be removed, and we might be told we must mold it into specific shapes. Be prepared for another week of uncertainty, and embrace it. If I’m taking one thing into next week, it’s that our OWS community is uniquely positioned to embrace uncertainty, and capitalize on late-breaking news, game postponements, and more, because we build like nobody’s watching, and we build for first place. I had my worst week to date this week but I’m as optimistic as ever. Because I know I’m learning, and I am seeing it pay off for others who are digesting information in a like manner to me, and they are building rosters with 200 points in mind, embracing risk and biased discomfort, and they are willing to lose. 

    With that all in mind, as we turn the page to next week, I want to focus on a lesson in false confidence on reflecting on Week 15.

    Tyler Huntley + Late Swap

    The most obvious play of Week 15 came in at under 3% ownership in the DK Milly Maker. The most obvious play. Why was he unowned? Lamar Jackson was not ruled out officially until Sunday afternoon, while the Packers defense was expected to devour Huntley and the slow and sluggish Ravens offense. In his two starts prior to this week, Huntley was asked to throw the ball 38 and 36 times, respectively. For a backup QB on a “run-first” team, those are high totals. Right off the bat, we should have all recognized the trust the Ravens coaching staff has in him. He also posted a floor of 40 rushing yards in each of those starts. This gave him floor and ceiling. We talked him up all over the site last week, and in hindsight, we should have all locked him in (just like Taysom Hill vs. the Jets two weeks ago) and moved on.

    The other strategic advice we dished out on OWS in The Oracle was to react to Sunday news this week. It seems the mere fact that many did not play Huntley was out of pure laziness in not wanting to re-draft their entire lineups once the news officially broke that Lamar would be out. Let’s capitalize on this. Late-swap is an under-utilized strategy and one we have experts on at OWS. Trust them (don’t trust me on it, I’m an amateur there). When we get a near minimum starting QB with rushing upside ruled in, against a team he should be forced to keep up with (who also has slow linebackers, let’s be honest), it’s a lock button. But no, Larejo, you stay with Teddy Bridgewater there buddy, do your thing. My own false confidence came into play here when I felt I identified the Denver and Cincinnati game as the low-owned game of the week. Once I got there, I wouldn’t budge, but thinking the Bengals could travel west and put up loads of points, while also expecting Ja’Marr Chase to win constantly against an above-average corner in Patrick Surtain II was a false hope. I anchored too greatly on the game, overrated the offenses involved, and omitted the most obvious play on the slate.

    Amon-Ra St. Brown & Brandin Cooks

    Each week when I come back to highlight where I missed some opportunities, I look into which plays I wish I identified in Willing to Lose. A few weeks back, it was Dallas Goedert, a tight end in a great game environment (vs. Jets) going overlooked because he was priced similarly to the chalk tight end, Gronk. That same week, David Montgomery provided amazing leverage on the similar value RBs priced near him and outproduced all of them vs. the Cardinals. Last week, we had a guy in Rashaad Penny, whom if we could have identified with the coachspeak plus the matchup (vs. Texans), he came in at incredibly low ownership, and I believe led running backs in scoring on the slate. This week we had two guys: ASB and Cooks, who came in at low ownership and provided the slate-winning upside we needed.

    Onto ASB first. His target counts for the last two weeks: 12 and 12. He’d emerged as the defacto #1 WR in Detroit. The Lions implied team total: 17.5 points. As we’ve covered, they had topped 20 points just twice in 13 games this season. And as we know, their matchup was tough against the Arizona defense, which ranked 4th DVOA vs. the pass. Most teams’ best WR, however, does not play in the slot primarily. While this limits ASB’s aDOT, it increases his floor with receptions. The game script would largely not affect his role, as the Lions stink at running the ball, so his volume should have been locked in. All we needed was a touchdown to take a 5/50/0 to an 8/90/1 and we got it. 

    Cooks has been a killer all season. Credit to Hilow for being on this dude from the summer on, as he’s now posted six games above 20 DK points (and a 17 point game). There was a storm narrative coming this week with ALL the love on the Jacksonville side post-Urban Meyer. Would they get the fired coach boost? Ah, now that Urban is gone, all would be right in Jacksonville, right? We should have remembered this is the Jaguars. And while they were playing the Texans, we should have also remembered how good Davis Mills looked in one half against the Seahawks the week prior. He was clearly the better QB in the matchup against Trevor Lawrence, and at this point, with the Texans also getting points in the game, we should have been jumping at the chance to play the Texans defense along with their only reliable offensive player, Mr. Cooks.

    Crushing, again Mark Andrews

    Mark Andrews was the key cog in the late games. Along with the highly owned Jeff Wilson Jr., Andrews was another George Kittle experiment this week. He had just posted 31.5 DK points a week ago, he surely could not duplicate that performance. And just as Kittle did a week ago (37.1 after 42.6), he went for a similar score as the Packers could not cover him. The field is almost so sharp now that we know how rare it is to put up ceiling games, and therefore we conclude it probably wouldn’t happen again, as we don’t want to feel points-chasey. But maybe we do? This DFS game is about little edges we can gain. Earlier in the season, it looked like double-TE was one way to slightly differ our approaches from the field, and last week it seems going chasing points on actual good players may not be a bad strategy after all. Especially in the late game of the day, with a rookie QB who has shown he favors him (11 and 10 targets in Huntley’s two previous starts).

    Above The Field

    Bach in Black!

    It was quite an eventful week for the OWS fam. Our very own Xandamere took down the Monster on FanDuel for a cool 100K. I’m especially thrilled for him because he’s been on the wrong side of variance way more than his fair share. We also had a member of our Discord gameday-chat crew rise past 180,268 entries to tie for 2nd place in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker. Pro poker player David Bach, or as he known around here, “Gunslinger,” stacked a 2.6% owned Tyler Huntley with Mark Andrews and went on the ride of his life. I spoke with David today, and I’ll provide that below in podcast form for your consumption. 

    Here’s his gem of a lineup:

    Love the addition of Jeff Wilson Jr here. Some guys are bad plays when they are chalk and great plays when they aren’t. Wilson put up a snowflake for me recently in a lineup that finished 20th in this tournament when he was 30% owned. Not an awesome play in hindsight. But getting him at 12.8% in a game where the 49ers offensive line had a massive advantage in the trenches is a different story. The only thing in the way was Deebo Samuel’s recent role as RB1a. There was plenty to go around on this day, however. A nice little secondary stack with Brandin Cooks/James Robinson, but otherwise, there was no real reason to force any additional correlation. This was a week that featured some obvious chalk choices. The question was how you were going to handle the chalk. Gunslinger only entered three lineups (THREE!) and wasn’t shy about rostering some of the week’s most popular pieces. Putting Huntley in there along with my favorite play of the week, Amon-Ra St. Brown, helped differentiate a little. 

    This leads me to another point. We talked recently in this space about breaking rules and how each slate is its own unique puzzle. Sometimes adhering to historical data in too strict of a manner can actually stand between you and the top of the leaderboards. In Week 15, if you felt strongly that a few of the chalk pieces were good plays, there was trouble looming in your optimizer if some adjustments weren’t tended to. 

    The data unearthed by Adam Levitan, T.J. Hernandez, and others point to the majority of winning Milly lineups having cumulative ownership between 75% and 125%. 

    The easy setting to have in your Fantasy Labs template looks like this:

    But what if you really loved James Robinson, Davante Adams, and DeVante Parker? Ownership between them was projected at around 115%, so if you had neglected to adjust this setting for the uniqueness of this slate, you’d only have your three favorite plays together in lineups surrounded by completely obscure plays. An unnecessary amount of risk even when eating the chalkiest of the chalk. 

    As always, I look for answers in the data provided by DraftKings. What did the sharps do about capping cumulative ownership this week? I looked at all the usual suspects, and in most cases, the top of their total ownership columns looked like this:

    Perhaps this was a week to turn the Max Own% setting off all together and opt for something more like this:

    That would at least give you an array of tournament lineups instead of jamming a bunch of cash lineups in there. 

    Every slate is different, and there are multiple ways to win tournaments. Be flexible and be you. 

    Here’s the chat I had with David. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Thanks for bearing with my stutter, fam. 

    Who’s gonna bink and jump on the phone with me in Week 16?

    LFG!!

    Underowned UD

    Lex Miraglia takes a look under the hood of the Underdog Battle Royale tournament: identifying what works, what doesn’t, and what provides our best path to first place in this top-heavy, but ultra-soft tourney.

    Underowned Underdog Can Be Found In The Reflection Scroll Tuesday Nights

    Deconstructing The Slant

    In this weekly video, TodFromPA breaks down his ownership in The Slant against top players in DFS.