Thursday, Sep 23rd

The Scroll Reflection Edition. 2.21.

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    Early Bets

    Published Monday Morning

    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!

    +EV LINES:

    NYG @ WFT U 42.5:

    We should be well aware by now the struggles of the Giants’ offensive line (covered in-depth in the offseason primer). The Giants surrendered the league’s sixth highest adjusted sack rate in 2020, didn’t address their offensive line woes until after 53-man cuts this offseason, and just surrendered two sacks to the equally potent defensive line of the Broncos. Why are sacks and offensive/defensive line mismatches so important to an under, you ask? Sacks obviously disrupt drives, but the larger point here is what pressure in the backfield does to Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones’ passer rating when under pressure over the previous two season sits at a lowly 73.3. WFT forced pressure at the eighth highest rate in 2020 and are healthy along the defensive line. On the other side of the ball, Ryan Fitzpatrick was forced from Week 1 with what is being called a hip subluxation, which is a partially dislodged/dislocated joint and socket issue in the hip. Repeated force on the injury can lead to a full dislocation, which typically brings a two-to-three-month recovery window in athletes; it is highly unlikely Fitzmagic plays in Week 2. This means Washington will be starting backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke for their Week 2 game against the Giants. Oh, and both teams are on a short week with this game playing on Thursday night. We should see this line move 1.5 to 2.0 points lower before Thursday’s first kick, making it a sharp early week bet. Scoop up that expected value before the line moves!

    BUF -3.5:

    Buffalo is coming off a brutal loss to the Steelers, a game that saw them lead for the better part of three quarters. Miami’s defense relies on heavy 3-4 amorphous cover-0 and cover-1 defensive alignments. Put more simply, they run sub-packages almost 75% of the time with heavy man-coverage elements. Although their secondary is one of the top three in the league, man coverage on Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, and Cole Beasley is a tough ask. Diggs is one of the purest route runners in the league, Sanders, even at the age of 34, has created a top five separation value within the first five yards of the line of scrimmage over the previous three seasons (his burst and route acumen create separation in close), and Beasley carries a high football IQ capable of settling behind linebacker coverage and underneath safety help. Coming off a loss on opening weekend, I expect Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to view this as a statement game, with likely 35-40 pass attempts dialed up for quarterback Josh Allen. As for the Dolphins, due to their offensive line woes, I expect them to look to attack this game through the air, which should mean this game turns into a pass-off. Of note, this line is currently set at one of the “magic numbers” in wagering (3.5), meaning it is highly unlikely we see the line move in favor of the Dolphins as the week progresses. In other words, the line is either going to remain the same or move in favor of the Bills as we get further into the week. This is a situation where there is a positive correlation to expected value early on.

    PIT -6.5:

    Another line currently set at a “magic number” in wagering (6.5). The expected value in this one comes from the fact that the Raiders have yet to play their Week 1 game (play on MNF). The line for the Week 1 BAL @ LV game currently resides at 3.5 (yup, another magic number) primarily due to the injuries at corner and running back that the Ravens have experienced this offseason. But what happens if the Ravens come out and win by a touchdown or more on Monday night? You guessed it, the line for the Raiders’ Week 2 matchup will move. It takes a good bit of action to move a line past one of the magic numbers, but I’m currently all over BAL -3.5 for Week 1 and I expect the outcome of that game to move this Week 2 line to PIT -7.5 early Tuesday morning. Take the expected value now before that happens.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS::

    SF -3.0 / NO -3.0 / KC -2.5: All three of these lines for Week 2 fall just below one of the “magic numbers,” meaning it wouldn’t take much action to move each to -3.5. The matchups are almost irrelevant; as in, if we took every favorite residing at an early week line of 2.5-3.0 over the course of the season, we would come out on top as far as expected value goes when all is said and done. Majority of the time, these early week lines find themselves moving to the “magic number.” Book the half point or full point and move on.


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    Process|Review

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

    This Week:

    • FanDuel
    • SuperDraft
    • DraftKings
    • Slate/Strategy Explorations
    • & More

    Maximize Your Builds With OWS + FantasyLabs

    Process Points

    What I Learned This Week: Consider Ripple Effects 

    The late-breaking news that Trey Sermon was inactive changed a lot of things for the slate. Upon hearing the news, I (like most others) went into adjustment mode and added exposure to Raheem Mostert. He was in a great matchup and game environment against the Lions and was very reasonably priced for what was now set up to be a heavy workload (the only knock on him to begin with was the expected sharing of the backfield with Sermon). Mostert ended up hurting his knee on his second carry and leaving the game with two carries for 20 yards…but, honestly, I’m still okay with my decision to add him to my player pool and use him somewhat heavily. While he did end up with fairly heavy ownership (20-35% depending on the contest), he “checked all the boxes” for someone that I would be okay with taking on at heavy ownership. Injuries happen in the NFL and trying to predict them is a fool’s errand — regretting a play because of an injury is a results-based way of thinking. The 49ers smashed, scoring 41 points, and their backfield accounted for 30.2 DK fantasy points. Had Mostert played the entire game, he likely would have accounted for the majority of those points and been a more than fine play. All that being said, I can live with playing Mostert — so just move on to Week 2 and chalk it up to variance, right? Wrong. 

    What I failed to recognize and adjust to in my lineups that cost me this week was how the Mostert news and reaction would change the ownership of other players on the slate. Usually, when there is late-breaking news like this, it is a noteworthy player being ruled out and their cheap backup gains a lot of ownership at the last minute. In that case, the ownership is taken away from other players somewhat evenly across the position and then causes the top-end players at other positions to add a little ownership as well because the field now has more salary to work with. This situation was different because Mostert’s pricing was such that his momentum was going to come at the expense of a very specific segment of the RB player pool.

    Najee Harris and Joe Mixon were plays I thought were clearly under-priced for weeks leading up to Week 1. However, their projected ownership and some strategy/roster construction thoughts had me somewhat limiting my exposure to them and mixing in some other RBs in similar or slightly worse situations (CEH, Aaron Jones, Gibson). When making my decisions for the week, I was focused on the late-week ownership projections as I built my rosters. Harris and Mixon were players I expected to end up with 18-25% ownership in the main contests for the week (possibly higher in the high stakes stuff), so that weighed into how I approached them. I was heavy on Kyle Pitts and Alvin Kamara while also having a decent amount of Elijah Moore. Because of this, I was focusing on making sure the rest of the lineups were not taking on too much ownership or having similarly structured rosters to the majority of the field. However, what I failed to account for was how the Mostert ownership flood would take away ownership from them. On Saturday when I was making my lineups, if I had known Harris would be 10-12% owned and Mixon around 15%, I would have had a VERY healthy amount of both (and likely cut out the other RBs in that price range listed above altogether). When I went through my “Checking the Boxes” process for figuring out my player pool, the highest rated RBs were: Kamara, Chubb, Najee, CMC, and Mixon. Most of my Chubb exposure was on the afternoon slate and the other four players were what I expected to be the top four RBs in terms of ownership — which is why I mixed in those other RBs (when doing so I tried to make sure they were correlated to another piece of my lineup as well). 

    As I said earlier, I am good with the decision to play Mostert, but his addition to the player pool should have been accompanied by me removing all of the other RBs from my rosters except Kamara, Najee, CMC, and Mixon. Their respective ownerships coming down so much eliminated the only reason I had for “getting fancy” and playing other guys at those spots. You should also note that I am referring to not having more Najee exposure as a mistake, even though he “failed” in this spot. He saw 100% of the RB touches in a game against a high-powered offense and was underpriced for that role. Regardless of the outcome, I want a lot of exposure to a situation like that at roughly 10% ownership.

    SE/3-Max/5-Max Yearlong Strategy and Weekly Review

    As outlined in my +EV Primer course (you can find in the Marketplace — either by itself or in the bundle with my “Checking The Boxes” 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. Sometimes DK changes up their tournaments, but most weeks there are five tournaments in that range resulting in 11 total entries: $20 5-max, $27 SE, $50 SE, $100 SE, $150 3-max. That is a $727 weekly investment or roughly $13,000 over the course of an 18-week season. 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.

    I build a player pool and build these 11 lineups together in a “Roster Block” that works together. The theory behind this is that in these limited entry tournaments, most players are making smaller (1, 3, or 5 lineup) roster blocks that limit how creative they get and ultimately limit their ability to get to the top of the leaderboard. A large portion of the field in these tournaments build their rosters closer to a cash game lineup than a GPP lineup because of the limited entries — despite the fact that all of these tournaments still have 4,000+ entries in them. By building the rosters together across these contests, I have a tangible edge in how my rosters are built relative to the field. 

    Looking back at 2020 results, the difference in the average score of the 1st place lineup in the $9 slant (150-max, 40-60k entries) was just over 10 points higher than the 1st place lineup of the $150 PowerSweep (3-max, 4k entries) and $100 Spy (SE, 5k entries). This means that the score we need to WIN these tournaments is not drastically different from what we need to win the larger (non-milly maker) tournaments…so why should our approach or lineups look that much different? Another benefit to this approach is that these tournaments have better payout structures at the top. Because of the way most of the field builds lineups, if we don’t hit it just right to take 1st place, there are fewer lineups to compete with at the top and it will still be a fairly significant score (as opposed to the top-heavy tournaments where 1st place often pays 100x what 10th place pays). 

    Lineup Reviews 

    Each week I will review the best and worst of my 11 lineups from my “Roster Block”

    Best Lineup ($200k Hard Count, 5-Max, $20)

    The “story” I was telling: Josh Allen double stack and brought back with opposing pass catcher. The Bills showed last season and into the pre-season that they intend to throw, throw, throw. The story here was that they would do just that “successfully” and force the Steelers to respond in kind — with Diontae as the most likely PIT WR to benefit from heavy volume.  The game stack did not have extreme ownership, but when building the lineup, we want the story it tells to be one that would result in a top-end finish…that is how I arrived at my two leverage points for the lineup: CEH and ARI D. Along with Allen, Kyler Murray and Patrick Mahomes were the top QB options on the slate. For this lineup to separate itself, it would likely take my game stack smashing AND those other two games “failing” relative to expectations. The story here was that CEH put up a lot of yards and 2+ TDs (taking away from Mahomes’ ceiling) and that ARI D limited Kyler from matching Allen (their defensive success actually did keep Kyler from having a truly “nuclear” game as Arizona took the foot off the gas and Murray only had one 2nd half rush and failed to get the 300-yard passing bonus). Kamara and Pitts were conviction plays that I had a ton of for their talent and roles in good game environments. I could easily afford to have them in the lineup with all of the other leverage points I just outlined. Waddle was a play I was on as a pivot off of the other 3k WRs and a situation where I wanted to “be ahead of the field on an elite talent.”

    Worst Lineup ($600k Power Sweep, 3-max, $150):

    The “story” I was telling: Same idea as the first lineup with the Josh Allen double stack, this time with Najee as the PIT benefactor and taking the TDs. Again, CEH provided leverage off the KC passing game. Green Bay D was leverage off Kamara and the other high-owned offensive pieces in that game. Rondale/AJ Brown mini-correlation that allowed me to tap into BOTH the Arizona and Buffalo games in the same lineup.

    Week 1 Results:

    I didn’t cash in any of my 11 lineups (sigh), but after reviewing the lineups, I feel better about it and am confident going forward. The “stories” my lineups told made sense and were realistic ways for me to get to 1st place. As noted in the first section there are definitely some areas I can improve in and tighten up (not going to review all 11 lineups but my player pool did end up a little bigger than I like), but no need to panic at this point.  We’re on to Week 2!!

    Week 1 Investment: $702

    Week 1 Winnings: $0

    Yearly Projected Investment:  $13,086 ($727 x 18)

    Yearly Winnings: $0

    Bottom-Up Breakdown

    Week 1 Review

    Each week I will review the Bottom-Up Build contest, looking at how the winner got to the top of the leaderboard. The purpose of the Bottom-Up Build is to put players in that you would feel comfortable rostering in a regular contest (price considered floor and high ceiling) so that when you’re building for these other contests, you’re not struggling with the last couple spots and jamming someone in that you are uncomfortable with.

    Overview

    Rules :: Max $44k Salary (exceeding $44k salary will disqualify entry)
    Total Entries :: 306
    Prizes (Edge Points) :: 1st = 100 Edge // 2nd = 50 // 3rd = 25
    Highest Owned Player :: Kyle Pitts-68% across both contests.
    See All The Entries :: Contest Link 1 // Contest Link 2

    Winners:

    1st :: Sgmain18
    2nd :: Eagles1985

    3rd: Black-eyed_God

    *Top 3 all came from the first contest that filled. 

    Analysis

    • The top three rosters all included at least a double stack and a bring back from the opposing offense which shows the importance of adding correlation into you rosters.
    • Sgmain18 and Black-Eyed-God built stacks around the Eagles // Falcons game, both rostering Jalen Hurts, Devonta Smith, and running it back with Kyle Pitts.
    • The top three lineups all rostered Devonta Smith and Corey Davis
    • The top two rosters used WRs in the $3.7k to 5.7k range. Going into the week, we knew most lineups would include $3k WRs, especially in the Bottom-Up.
    • The winner of the $150k Wildcat (2003 entries) also built around the Eagles, rostering three offensive players (Hurts, Smith, Goedert) as well as the Eagles D.

    Putting It Together

    JM often mentions that we should look to identify a game environment that’s being overlooked by the field and build around it. For instance, if I identified the Eagles // Falcons game as one that is being overlooked, I might lock in a stack from that game and a player on the opposing offense first. Then, I can fill out my roster with other cheaper plays that have a solid floor. If entering this same lineup into a tournament contest, you can go back and swap players who you think can get you 30+ DK pts. This will get you to start building from the bottom-up vs the top-down. When building top-down, or locking in the expensive players I know I want to get to first, I often get stuck in a salary range that I’m uncomfortable with.

    Week 2 :: Bottom Up Tourney

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

    RULES
    1. (NEW RULE) Must be using an OWS Avatar to be eligible to win (can be found on your profile page, or at the top of this week’s NFL Edge!)
    2. Single Entry
    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

    If you profited off Sunday’s main slate in Week 1, you should pat yourself on the back. If you lost all your entry fees in Week 1, you should also pat yourself on the back. Chances are you made some excellent decisions on your rosters Sunday, but also some poor ones. I’m willing to guess, however, that if you’re an OWS member and you’re reading all the great work on the NFL Edge each week, as well as the rich content on The Scroll, your time will come this season. 

    Just by being here (I truly believe this), working on sharpening YOUR process, and deepening your thoughts, you’ll catch this variance train eventually and hit for a massive day. Learn every week. Build rosters that can tell a story. Guess less, correlate more! 

    Let’s get right back at it today with some hindsight. Instead of listening to your annoying friends who will tell you they predicted X, Y, and Z, I’ll try to apply some logic here as to what happened this weekend and whether it’s sustainable or random. Let’s go!

    Falcons Flop 

    Which of these opposing statements is more accurate? 

    The Titans are worse because they lost their offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith.

    The Falcons are worse because they gained a new head coach, Arthur Smith.

    These statements should not correlate. But who is the real Arthur Smith? He may become a great head coach, and this first game was simply a rusty start with a new playbook for the Falcons. It’s also possible the Titans got into an uncomfortable game script and had to get away from what they do best. But both teams were horrendous Sunday, and we now have to sort out what to do moving forward. 

    In Tennessee, they should be fine. Arizona’s defensive front completely overmatched their offensive line, and they struggled when they got away from Derrick Henry.

    As for Atlanta, only six points against the Eagles porous secondary is cause for concern. Matt Ryan did not attempt a pass longer than 20 yards in the air. He did not orchestrate a drive longer than 22 yards after the first quarter. Calvin Ridley disappointed. Kyle Pitts disappointed. And unfortunately, a good chunk of my lineups disappointed.

    Coming into this game, given the notoriously pass-funnel Eagles defense (13th DVOA vs. run, 24th DVOA vs. pass in 2020), we expected Ryan to throw the ball often. Well, it turns out the Falcons offensive line had other ideas. This still turned out to be an offense heavily skewing toward three players: Mike Davis (15 carries, six targets), Ridley and Pitts (eight targets each) but the results were not there. Note moving forward: Watch Ryan’s arm strength. We’ve seen aging QBs sometimes look washed and bounce back, while others don’t. It’s only Week 1, but this could still be a potent offense. They simply can’t be this predictable on offense with a paltry 4.7 yards per pass attempt. 

    Deebo Samuel 

    When looking into the expected SF blowout of Detroit, the simple fact (as Hilow nailed in the Edge writeup) was that any SF offensive player could hit. Still, between George Kittle, Raheem Mostert, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel, they would need extreme efficiency to do so. Then Aiyuk’s benching/injury/getting cut out of the game plan happened, and Deebo took over. If Aiyuk had been ruled out prior to kickoff, Deebo ownership would have skyrocketed. We essentially got a healthy Deebo with a benched Aiyuk, and given the lack of talent on the Detroit defense, a near-200 yard performance followed. Note moving forward: We don’t have to chase this one. Unless you’re Sonic! Deebo is a WR1 when healthy, and Kyle Shanahan will scheme him the ball, but this was cause-and-effect. It was a perfect situation for Samuel, and he capitalized. This will continue to be a talented team that will spread the touches around. 

    Houston / Jacksonville

    Fifty-eight total offensive points between these two teams. You had that, right? I did not, but before this game, we mentioned in the NFL Edge (credit to JM) that the 5% outcome here is a shootout. And in the case of a shootout, we had talented skill players in Jacksonville with an unknown at QB, along with at least Brandin Cooks from Houston. My first reaction to reading JM’s comment on a low-probability shootout was the blueprint laid down from Week 16, 2020. We had the Bengals and the Texans, Deshaun Watson vs. Brandon Allen, and a four-player stack that won someone $1M that week. When two bad defenses collide, sometimes you can get those under-owned shootouts.

    The setup for a game stack (3, 4, or 5 man) was there with Lawrence plus two pass catchers and Cooks. I noted this as well in the OWS Collective on this game that I could go that route…and then I did not, and it’s likely you did not either. A combination of Trevor Lawrence ($6,200/25.08), D.J. Chark ($5,800/17.6), Marvin Jones Jr. ($3,600/18.7), and Cooks ($5,300/21.2) would have cost only $20.9K and produced 82.58 DK points. That’s a four-player player block that puts you on pace for about 186 points. Note moving forward: If you have a conviction on an edge, exploit it. Bad offense sometimes beats bad defense.

    Concentrated Offenses 

    For a few seasons now, the Titans and the Vikings have been giving DFS players the keys to the corvette (i.e. guaranteed points). The Vikings effectively eliminated TEs (until late last season with Irv Smith Jr.). The Titans had their Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown goodness (I see you too, Corey Davis), which assured many points for paying those salaries most weeks.

    Enter Week 1 of the NFL season, and we have some new faces at the party. By some measures, the Kansas City Chiefs were already there based on the last two seasons. I speak for many by saying the Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Patrick Mahomes trifecta has won many people a lot of money lately. In 2019, we typically still had a featured running back with LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams, and even parts of last season, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was an excellent chess piece for Andy Reid. Importantly, we also had an effective Sammy Watkins. That changes this season. Playing from behind against Cleveland Sunday, Mahomes distributed 15 targets to Tyreek and seven targets plus two touchdowns to Kelce. It seems those three could elevate to a new level. Tyreek, in particular, looks poised to be the top WR in fantasy potentially, and Mahomes did not show much interest Sunday in Mecole Hardman or any other Chiefs WR. Note moving forward: Losing Watkins and relying on Hardman as a WR2 should put Tyreek in a tier of his own moving forward.

    The Dallas Cowboys found themselves in a passing game script Thursday night. Zeke Elliott was ineffective, but we should’ve seen that coming as Tampa Bay ranked #1 DVOA in 2020 against RBs and returned all starters. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb were the beneficiaries (16, 15 targets), and Michael Gallup was getting there too but is now out for an extended time. The Cowboys have no reason to change what they do best, which is to throw the football. Note moving forward: If forced into negative game scripts against a tough run defense, the Cowboys will throw it. And now, with Gallup out, this becomes an even more condensed target tree. If you’re playing Dak, it’s going to be a no-brainer to pair him with Cooper and Lamb. And I haven’t even mentioned how bad the Cowboys defense is. 

    And then there’s the Detroit Lions. Stay with me here. I talked in Willing to Lose about how D’Andre Swift is their most talented offensive player, how he should be game script immune, and how the Lions will have no choice but to throw the ball. But I did not see them running 92 offensive plays and throwing 57 times! Jamaal Williams got his share (though he only played 35% of the snaps), but 11 targets to Swift and 10 targets to T.J. Hockenson spells a very positive trend moving forward. The lack of talent and experience in this WR room is no secret. Considering how notoriously shallow Jared Goff’s aDoT is (7.5 yards per attempt in his career), along with expected second or third-tier pricing on these guys, I expect a Swift / Hockenson player block to be firmly in play for bottom-up builds in the future. Note moving forward: We can play two Lions on the same roster for the guaranteed volume unless their prices get prohibitive. 

    Above The Field

    Moth To A Flame

    We’re baaaaack!

    …and NFL DFS is picking up right where we left off. Those who built Week 1 lineups that exploited the ever-tumbling dice of variance found themselves at the top of the leaderboards.

    If you played to a scenario where Detroit Lions RBs D’Andre Swift (.74% owned) and Jamaal Williams (.69% owned) would each outscore Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, James Robinson, Antonio Gibson and almost everyone else…Congrats! No need to save the receipt on that crystal ball you ordered last week.

    The point is that no one knows what the hell these spectacularly flawed human beings are going to do on any given Sunday. Plan accordingly and try not to break any furniture.

    One hotshot DFS reg that flirted with a win in the $100 Milly this week was hishboo. He max-entered this contest with a cool $15k and damn near took it down. With 40 lineups finishing over the pay line and one gem in 5th place, hishboo made his investment back easily and gave himself a real chance at Millionaire Maker-binking glory.

    He managed all of this despite playing the highest-owned Atlanta Falcons DST (0 points) in a whopping 54% of his lineups. With such a variant position, I often intend to fade the chalk and limit my pool to only defenses with a low projected ownership. Yet, when the shit hits the fan, I often have a crisis of the testicular nature and gravitate to the “surest thing”.

    His best lineup featured the had-to-have-it Patrick Mahomes/Tyreek Hill stack and a clever contrarian secondary stack in the form of Deebo Samuel and Lions rookie Amon St. Brown. He didn’t choose to bring it back with a Browns player. Not sure if that was a result of Odell Beckham’s late scratch or just the lack of sex appeal on the Browns roster as a whole.
    With a cumulative ownership of 87.2%, this lineup falls nicely into the low end of that 75-125 range we shoot for. In fact, upon examining all 150 of hishboo’s lineups, none were above 125% in total ownership. Clearly, a conscious decision. In such a low scoring week, one didn’t have to have a little fire emoji next to each player to achieve success. Don’t need to be perfect. Just better than everyone else.
     
    Looking at the rest of hishboo’s allocations, the QB dispersion was pretty vast. I went in that direction this week as well. With so much uncertainty in Week 1, I wanted a piece of a lot of scenarios rather than hammering two or three.
    Only one stand taken at RB, and it was a common theme among the professional DFS wizards. With Wayne Gallman being announced inactive prior to lock, Mike Davis’ workload appeared as close to foolproof as anything. He ceded some snaps to Cordarrelle Patterson but still got 18 touches. The Falcons were inefficient as a team and never penetrated the end zone.

    I probably sounded like a broken record in this space last year but I’ll continue to remind everyone: you can take a big stand on multiple players, be wrong, and still be wildly successful. Shoot. Your. Shot. 
     
    I like the approach to the suspected chalk at WR. hishboo opted to get above the field on the players in which he felt most confident. He loaded up on Marvin Jones, Tee Higgins & Calvin Ridley while tapping the breaks a little on the highest owned WR on the slate, Marquez Callaway.

    Interesting usage at the Tight End position. One could likely attribute hishboo’s positive ROI to his fade of Kyle Pitts. Turns out playing a highly owned rookie in his first NFL game wasn’t the move. In fact, I’m sure that hishboo’s previously mentioned heavy reliance on Mike Davis was a conscious attempt to leverage the Pitts lineups as not many rosters in MME will feature two players from the same team without their quarterback.

    Went for it a little bit with Anthony Firkser, huh? He wasn’t alone. Many of the pros had him popping in their projections. He could have easily been productive had that Titans offense ever found its rhythm. The Firk-Daddy made his way into 27 lineups, only 6 of which were paired with Ryan Tannehill.

    In terms of stack sizes, it’s important to note that the sharps don’t all strictly adhere to the widely publicized formula of using 4-stacks with QB/WR/WR/OPP in big-field tournaments. Hishboo’s QB stack sizes looked like this:

    5 Players – 2.6%

    4 Players – 28.7%

    3 Players* – 48%

    2 Players – 20.7%

    Naked – 0%

    *the 3-stacks were split evenly between QB/Pass Catcher/Pass Catcher (No bring back) and QB/WR/OPP

    LATE SWAP TEMPLATE O’ THE WEEK

    In last week’s article, I presented an idea, developed last season, that has become a staple of my weekly approach. Here’s how I implemented it in Week 1:

    Q: Knowing how the early games were concluding, how would you have swapped off of these rosters?

    If you answered, “swap off the chalk and try to vault past those Callaway rosters en route to the pay line” — you answered correctly. 

    Sadly, neither of these lineups starting off particularly strong so I was left adjusting all 12 of them with the Callaway being the obvious casualty in each.

    One such switch resulted in a potentially nice secondary stack in the form of Sterling Shepard and Jerry Jeudy.  This game had a low expected total (and Vegas turned out to be pretty accurate from that standpoint) but if you can find gems from these games they’ll usually come with low ownership. Such was the case for Shepard (1.21%) and Juedy (6.27%), making them the perfect pivot on rosters that had some catching up to do. Shepard smashed but sadly Jeudy’s ankle ended up bending in directions that only Gumby could withstand, landing his rosters in the same pile as those of my favorite RB play, Mr. Raheem Mostert. RIP.

    I’ll employ this strategy again in Week 2 and pass along any observations.

    Until then, fly straight and try not to go into the light.

    DFS Recap Pod

    JMToWin and Scott Barrett (FantasyPoints) look at the DFS week behind us, and take an early look at the week ahead.

    You can also find this podcast on the FantasyPoints podcast feed.

    1st-Place Builds

    *Bonus Reflection Piece

    One of the most critical mistakes DFS players make is playing tournaments too conservatively. While it’s true that we should be willing to embrace more and more variance/uncertainty as the contest size grows, it’s also true that this should be “more and more variance/uncertainty” from a starting point of “already taking on a bit of discomfort in our smaller-field tourney rosters.”

    The other night, MJohnson86 and I had the following conversation:

    Now, I’ll point out here that 10+ points is still a dramatic difference in DFS (especially in terms of “money made”). What I mean is: finishing 10 points behind the leader in the Slant is likely putting you in a lower “payout bracket” than one might imagine, whereas that same score would be good enough for first place in these other tourneys.

    But really, that’s not the point.

    The point is this:

    So often, DFS players tend to think, “Well, it’s a smaller tourney field, so I can play this pretty safe/straightforward,” without realizing that A) it’s still not easy to beat 4k to 5k entries, and B) you still need a monster score to get there!

    Furthermore, the Power Sweep is a 3-max contest, while the Spy is single-entry. (The Slant is 150 entry-max.)

    As you build this week, ask yourself :: Am I exposing myself to enough unique upside for a first-place finish?


    Am I exposing myself to enough unique upside for a first-place finish?


    In order to answer “Yes” in fields of 4k to 10k entries, realize:

    • You probably need a roster for which you could answer “Yes” even in a larger-sized tourney
    • You probably need a roster for which you could answer “Yes” in a 150-max tourney

    Inner Circle Fam

    I have a lot I want to cover this Tuesday night! But hopefully, we’ll be able to get Mike on for 5/10 minutes so we can dig a bit more deeply into our thoughts on this!


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