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The Scroll The Scroll :: Week 1

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    Meet The Team

    Magico’s Money-Makers

    El Magico is a high-stakes tournament champion who focuses on single-entry/three-entry max // small-field play

    In this article, I will be highlighting a player pool composed of players that rank high in my proprietary model. This model usually starts working its magic once we have three weeks of historical data so there will be some small tweaking done until we get to that point in Week 4. There are several factors this model takes into consideration: DVP (Defense Vs Position), OL/DL matchup, WR/CB matchup, game pace, Vegas totals, target share, value score, air yard opportunities, and a few secret sauce metrics that I can’t discuss further. As we move forward, I will do my best to point out some of the higher ranked players for the OWS community to take into consideration as part of their own research. When it comes to game selection, I would encourage this player pool to be used in single entry and 3-max smaller field tournaments. 

    My motto for this week: Early bird gets the worm.

    QB:

    Jalen Hurts:

    The Vegas total is too low; it will either move by the end of the week or they simply have it wrong. I had to manually tweak the model because of the conviction I have for this game to shoot out. With that said, Jalen Hurts is one of the highest ranked players in the model. We know the rushing floor is there. In a four-game sample last season, he had 46 rush attempts, 272 yards, and three touchdowns. And I strongly believe this game will provide more passing upside for Hurts than the industry is accounting for. I will take the speedy receiver core on turf against a leaky Atlanta secondary, and look for Hurts to surprise us with passing upside and a very strong rushing floor. Let’s play Hurts thinking he can win through the air. 

    Patrick Mahomes:

    All arrows point up for Mahomes in this matchup. As Majestik has been pointing out, Cleveland’s affinity to play zone is a huge plus for Mahomes. I suggest you check Majestik’s Twitter feed. So, let’s make an argument that the Browns work in a new scheme with their newly signed players. Okay, now you all must face Mahomes, good luck! If there is a week to pay up at QB, this is it.

    RB:

    Najee Harris:

    If you could play prime Le’Veon Bell at a 30% discount, would you play him? Most people would answer, YES. With that said, we know the Steelers under coach Mike Tomlin have given elite usage to anyone playing RB, so let’s be early on this mispriced player. This should be a fast-paced game where the Steelers will be forced to keep up with the Bills, and we know what Ben Roethlisberger likes to do in those situations, check down to his RB’s. The matchup against the Bills rushing defense is neutral at best and opportunities will be plentiful for Harris.

    Mike Davis:

    I think this is a high leverage spot for big Mike Davis. He surprisingly ranked the highest of all RB’s so he deserves consideration due to his high score, but what I like the most is the leverage he provides at a pretty decent price if he produces as the model is predicting. The off-season has been plagued with Davis haters and truthers, but the hate is overwhelming and should be enough to overwhelm the truthers from playing him. I expect Kyle Pitts to be the highest owned TE so that will deter people from playing Davis as well, but why not play them together? As Hilow mentioned in his Eagles // Falcons Edge Matchup, this is a consolidated offense and most of the offense should go through three main players, one of them being Davis with almost 100% of RB touches. We have seen what Davis can do when he garnishes this type of usage and the game environment lends itself for extra opportunities and a good amount of receptions to go on top of his rushing and goal line work. 

    WR:

    Tyreek Hill:

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    #TheWorkbook

    Majesstik is one of the most respected Slate Breakdown artists in DFS

    How To Use The Workbook

    End Around

    Hilow is a game theory expert and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max

    MACRO SLATE VIEW::

    I’m sure this point has sunken in by now after seeing it in multiple places across the site, but Week 1 historically requires a raw score of 240-260 fantasy points to take down GPPs (which is what this is all about!) due to early pricing, which creates a scenario where there are numerous players that aren’t priced appropriately for their expected workload or production. As such, it is absolutely imperative that we take the required steps to build rosters that hold the upside to reach that kind of score, embracing additional variance (smartly) where it structurally makes sense to do so.

    I don’t expect a large congregation of ownership around one particular game, rather particular players that have generated large amounts of offseason buzz. On slates where that is the case, we typically don’t have to go overly out of our way to generate the required leverage. Ensuring lineups are constructed properly, utilizing solid roster construction and Game Theory doctrine, should be enough to leverage the field. That said, we’re aiming for top 0.01% outcomes here, so build accordingly!

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK VS EXPANSIVE CHALK::

    This section of the End Around is a change from last season, where we looked at “good chalk vs. bad chalk.” This season, we’re going to dig a little deeper into the Game Theoretic aspects of chalk and how that molds how the field views the slate. The terms “restrictive chalk” and “expansive chalk” are proprietary ideas that I define in the course Roster Construction: My Sharpest Edge. I won’t explain how we arrive at these methods, leaving that for the course. I’d highly recommend you read that course in order to get the most out of this section throughout the season. 

    MARQUEZ CALLAWAY:

    I expect Callaway to carry the highest ownership on the slate, which shapes the slate as a whole. Since he falls under the classification of expansive chalk, we must look to other areas of expected ownership to gauge how he affects roster construction overall.

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK RBs:

    The four high-priced running backs (Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, and Alvin Kamara) are natural restrictive chalk pieces that pair with Marquez Callaway. With this understanding, we can begin to clearly see the chalk build coming together.

    WR EXTREMES:

    The mispricing in Week 1 is likely to lead to a scenario where the ownership is highly concentrated amongst the pricing extremes at wide receiver. It is extremely easy to “jam them in and figure out the rest” in Week 1 because of the multitude of mispriced players at the wide receiver position, specifically.

    CHALK BUILD::

    The chalk build for Week 1 starts at the running back position, where I expect “one pay-up running back paired with one mid-range running back” roster construction to be heavily, heavily owned. This looks like one of Cristian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, or Derrick Henry paired with one of Joe Mixon, Najee Harris, Antonio Gibson, Aaron Jones, Raheem Mostert, or James Robinson.

    I expect quarterback ownership to be largely spread out, with a clear top tier in Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, and Josh Allen, a solid amount of offseason buzz surrounding the mid-range of Ryan Tannehill, Jalen Hurts, Trevor Lawrence, and Kirk Cousins, and a clear value tier consisting of Carson Wentz, Tua Tagovailoa, Jameis Winston, Zach Wilson, and Mac Jones. What will likely transpire is heavy ownership on “a quarterback paired with one of his pass-catchers,” which becomes fairly easy to leverage off of.

    Wide receiver is the spot where people are most likely to play the extremes this week, cramming in as much of the top-level talent (and pricing) as possible paired with one or two sub-4k wide receivers.

    Tight end ownership should be largely focused on Travis Kelce and Kyle Pitts. It is fairly easy to “jam Kelce in and figure out the rest” this week which should again serve to raise the ownership of the value wide receivers.

    Put that all together and we get a slate where rosters are highly likely to be built around specific combinations at running back (and a tight range of salary allocation) and the extremes at wide receiver, so these will be the places we will look to generate the most leverage.

    LEVERAGE SPOTS::

    CALVIN RIDLEY + KYLE PITTS:

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    JM’s Player Grid

    JMToWin is a high-stakes tournament champion (Thunderdome, Luxury Box, Game Changer, Wildcat) who is focusing this year on single-entry/three-entry max

    OWS Fam ::
    This is not a complete list of all the good plays on the slate.

    This is, instead, a look at the player pool I’ll be fishing.


    Final Player Pool:

    6:41 AM Eastern

    As laid out in the Player Grid Addendum posted Saturday night (find that below), I’m rolling out seven rosters this week: three rosters in a couple smaller-field 3-max contests // three different roster in a mid-sized 3-max contest // one roster in single-entry.

    The Numbers:

    • Taking away DST, I played 23 players in all (across 56 total roster spots)
    • These 23 players came from 14 offenses
    • Players from two of these 14 offenses were played without any pieces from the other side of their game in my player pool
    • The other 12 offenses take up six games, with pieces from both sides of those games being used

    QB:


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    The Oracle :: Strategy Q&A

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

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

    Week 1 Topics

    1. Davante Adams // Marquez Callaway

    2. Christian McCaffrey

    3. Kyle Pitts

    4. Cheap WRs


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    1. Davante Adams // Marquez Callaway

    The Question ::

    Taking a combination of game total, “DFS field tendencies,” offseason narratives, etc., it’s safe to assume that “Davante Adams + Marquez Callaway” will be one of the more popular pairings on the slate.

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

    2. Christian McCaffrey

    The Question ::

    Christian McCaffrey can almost always be expected to garner massive ownership, and this week should be no different. While it’s possible to play McCaffrey and differentiate elsewhere on your roster, this game (Jets // Panthers) also presents some unique scenarios for directly considering strategy elements around McCaffrey while building. With that in mind, would you be likelier to:

    A) Fade McCaffrey and try to gain direct leverage with a scenario in which the Panthers’ wideouts score the touchdowns instead (and if you’d do this, is there anything this would change for you in how you’d approach the Jets’ side of this game?)

    B) Play McCaffrey and pair him with the Jets’ passing attack in order to build around a clear/obvious game scenario while effectively “lowering your CMC ownership with a lower-owned combo,” or

    C) Offset this McCaffrey ownership by pairing him with a player from another game most people won’t have on their CMC rosters?


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    Thanks for hanging out with us in The Oracle this week!

    We’ll see you at the top of the leaderboards this weekend!

    Willing To Lose

    Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries

    The irony in the title of this article is why I’m so excited to write this piece each week this season. No DFS players are naturally willing to lose. I’m not, you’re not. We’re preconditioned as humans to want to see green (profit) every time we play DFS. No matter how hard we prepare, we’ll still be annoyed (insert emotion of choice here) if/when we lose our entire investment on a given slate.

    Embracing and conquering that feeling is what we are here for, together. What makes One Week Season so wonderful is the intent for this community to come together and strive for first place finishes. You aren’t going to read content and analysis geared toward getting you a few minimum cashes. To do this properly, we have to understand how we build rosters that can compete for first place, and more specifically how to play sub-optimal players with a sense of comfort.

    That last sentence is what drives me in DFS. It’s an element most players will not recognize, let alone embrace. Sub-optimal situations drive us toward discomfort. We fight the urge to remove these plays from our lineups. We hem and haw, rationalizing why they won’t hit and replace them with a more obvious (or contrarian) play. And yet, those plays can be the catalysts toward a first place finish. 

    If you tuned into the Theory of DFS podcast JM did with Jordan Cooper (blenderhd) earlier this week, they discussed studying first place rosters and labeled some first place rosters as nutso. Well, consider yourself lucky because I will be here every week with you all to find those exact nutso set-ups, which people will say to themselves when they are studying your first place lineup in a GPP soon.

    Before digging into the Week 1 slate, I want to clarify one more thing. When discussing these risky players and game environments, my goal is not to provide a contrarian-for-contrarian’s sake possibility (i.e. a guaranteed sub-2% owned player or block), but rather the spots I see on this given slate who have the potential to hit their 90-95th percentile outcome this week, and are being overlooked by the field. We’re on the hunt for these glanced over, uncomfortable, and irrational situations which come with their fair share of risk, to gain leverage on the field when those 5% outcomes become reality. 

    Ask yourself five minutes before rosters lock on Sunday, are your lineups Willing to Lose?

    Note :: I’ll be taking a slightly different approach this season than I did in the NFL playoffs last year. Some of my comments will drive toward very specific players, and some will guide you toward a setup or an environment. These are your lineups, you make the calls!

    D’Andre Swift

    Take away the name I just wrote above. Instead, imagine I wrote ‘most talented / only competent offensive player on a heavy underdog team, will be focal of the offensive gameplan, and should be game script immune’. Maybe you feel slightly better now. If I did not give you his name and only this description, who else would you name in this category? Alvin Kamara is one. Joe Mixon, perhaps? Not bad company.

    There are many reasons not to play D’Andre Swift this week: he just recently shed a groin injury which caused him to miss all of August; he’s going up against the 49ers and their stout defense; he is in a perceived time-share (65/35?) with a capable backup in Jamaal Williams; and he now has Anthony Lynn as his new offensive coordinator. But let me provide some counterpoints to why you could lean on Swift this week.

    • His health :: His GM and coaching staff came out as recently as last weekend and said he looked explosive, despite missing the entire preseason. 
    • His expected playing time :: Swift is clearly more talented than Williams, but even with a possible 60/40 timeshare (that’s worst-case in my opinion for this game, barring re-injury), Swift never played more than 73% of the snaps in any game in 2020. And he still had DK games of 30.3 points (62% of snaps), 25.9 (73%), and 23.2 (65%). He can do damage with limited snaps.
    • Lynn as the new OC :: We know Lynn loves to establish the run and target his RBs in the passing game (>20% with Chargers). We also know he’s not the sharpest when it comes to game management but at least he isn’t a head coach anymore. Between Lynn and new HC Dan Campbell, they are both old school enough to figure Swift is the way to keep pace in this game with the run and with short, intermediate passes. With the lack of talent the Lions have everywhere else, Swift should still be a top option (averaged 4.4 targets per game with Matt Stafford and a better WR core in 2020).
    • 49ers Defense :: about those short, intermediate passes (Jared Goff, hello)…The 49ers are tough against running backs (fifth-fewest points allowed in 2020) but with their pass rush and high rate of Cover-3 and Cover-4, they will keep the action in front of them. Swift’s QB Goff hasn’t targeted RB’s much in recent years, but when he did have a healthy, effective back in Todd Gurley in 2017-18, he targeted the position 17% of the time (Gurley was 4th among RB’s in targets that year). Goff’s lack of arm strength, coupled with the 49ers wish to keep action in front of them, and playing with a likely lead on Sunday, check-downs to Swift could be a thing.

    Before getting too excited about Swift, realize the Lions implied team total is only 18.75. But it’s a good week to bet on Swift one week early, on the chance he’s healthy and the Lions feature him heavily as their best bet to keep the game within reach.

    Arizona WR’s (not named DeAndre Hopkins)

    One of my favorite (ok, tedious but useful) exercises each week is to write down all possible playable players in each game. This usually looks like: QB, RB, WR, WR, and a TE, sometimes another WR is added, sometimes a second RB or TE, based on expected personnel tendencies. Rarely do I include a fourth WR. With two exceptions…the Buffalo Bills and the Arizona Cardinals.

    I think most NFL minds would agree both Brian Daboll and Kliff Kingsbury are above-average offensive minds. But even with that assertion, it was shocking to me to see some of their secret sauce on display in the form of personnel frequencies. In 2020, 17 teams ran 11-personnel (3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE) over 60% of the time. This is still the most common offensive grouping (plus the QB and five offensive linemen). 12-personnel is the next most common with 2 WR and 2 TE’s on the field (15 teams ran this over 20% of the time). Beyond those formations, we have more unique, less frequent combinations which get us to 100%.

    Among those unique combinations is a 4-WR (10-personnel) alignment. Only the Bills and Cardinals used this alignment more than 5% of the time in 2020. But what shocked me was their usage wasn’t just slightly more than 5%, it was 3X the rest of the league for Buffalo (15%) and 4X for Arizona at a whopping 20%.

    That was way too many words on offensive personnel but my point is when looking for these sharp plays, we must recognize what these coaches run and who they are putting on the field. And it’s important to note the extended player pool these coaches create for us.

    The Cardinals have the Titans on Sunday in what should be a high scoring affair. We know Hopkins will soak up much of the target share from Kyler Murray, but beyond him, the only other given is that AJ Green, Christian Kirk, and Rondale Moore should round out their 4-WR sets. It will be skewed by game flow but getting around 65% of the Cardinals offensive snaps with at least 3-WR on the field would be similar to their approach in 2020.

    Hopkins and AJ Green should man the outside with Kirk and Moore in the slot. Let’s embrace what we don’t know. Moore and Green are new to the team and the offense. Kirk is a second-year player with the same OC and QB. I expect Moore to gain some buzz at a low price with his top-end, 4.37 speed. Green is a possession, catch-and-fall space eater who is also too cheap, despite his aging talent. My favorite of this bunch though is Kirk. His playbook and QB familiarity and 4.47 speed, and his positive slot matchup with Kristian Fulton (56.5 coverage rating by PFF is below average in 2020). 

    matt ryan

    Let’s take the opposite approach here on the Swift section. The Falcons and the Eagles are also playing in one of the higher Vegas over/unders of the week (48 and climbing). Jalen Hurts should pick up some momentum as more and more box score readers will dig into his high rushing floor, realize how porous the Falcons defense still is and grab his floor.

    Matt Ryan is boring, old, and never covers a Vegas spread when you need him to. Yet, Ryan might be a phenomenal play this Sunday. All the talk, and really I mean all the talk about the Falcons offense has been with the changes they made this offseason: losing Julio Jones, adding Kyle Pitts, Mike Davis, and Head Coach Arthur Smith. But I’d like to focus on the constants in this offense, Calvin Ridley and Matt Ryan. In Week 1, they are more straightforward to project.

    Smith is a respected play-caller, known for putting his best players in position to make plays, and game planning to their strengths (i.e. not having a static mind). Davis and Pitts seem to be projecting as the beneficiaries of Smith’s brilliant mind. I expect Pitts to be fairly high-owned, and rightfully so this week based on his price and expected usage. Davis, as we’ve all read by now, is an explosive pass-catcher and Smith likes to lean on one running back and ride him, etc.

    But what about Ryan? Smith stated on The Ringer’s Flying Coach podcast in June that Matt Ryan was the key reason why he took the Falcons job over other offers. I don’t think it’s likely, but it’s possible we see Smith unleash Ryan this season as they really don’t have any great RB’s and their best talent dictates Ryan throwing 35+ times every single game if they are trying to win by going through Ridley and Pitts.

    And as for Ryan’s matchup this week, he gets the pass-funnel Eagles, who ranked 32nd in 2020 against deep passes, 32nd DVOA against #1 WRs, and 31st against #2 WRs. If we consider Pitts a WR, I’d count on seeing a Ryan-Ridley-Pitts stack on my rosters somewhere on Sunday.

    green bay Defense

    I have to admit, the overreaction to a preseason performance has been astounding on Winston. Two short seasons ago, Winston threw 30 interceptions. He had Bruce Arians calling his plays, the same Arians who just won a Super Bowl with Tom Brady. Winston has always been turnover prone (averages 4.8% turnover-worthy plays in his career, according to PFF – for context, the league leader last season was Deshaun Watson at 1.8%), but for some reason, the current narrative is that Sean Payton + Lasik eye surgery = Winston reincarnated. I won’t link to this but there’s a real article out there about why Winston will make the Pro Bowl. I’m not buying it, whatsoever. 

    The Packers have a new defensive coordinator this season in Joe Barry but largely the same players. He’s not a household name, but he’s not new to the position. He had some success in previous stints at Washington and Detroit, and for some reason, his teams have led the league in forced fumbles (3rd in WAS, 1st in DET). I think that’s an aberration, but worth mentioning with Winston’s high turnover rate.

    In Jameis’ defense, the matchup is brutal this week for his first start. The Packers boast the league’s top-rated (PFF) cornerback in Jaire Alexander, and an above-average pass rush. And also unfortunately for Jameis, he lost his #1 WR, possibly his #1 TE, and really only has Alvin Kamara at his side to counteract the Green Bay defense. This is simply a case to play the narrative. Jameis won’t be too highly owned himself, but he’s always been fantasy-friendly to opposing defenses and I will believe that continues until proven otherwise.

    Sonic’s MME Pool

    Sonic is a Milly Maker winner and large-field tournament mastermind who focuses on mass-multi-entry play


    Sonic’s Latest Strategy/Gameplay Exploration:

    >> Above The Field :: Attack Of The Clones


    Hey Degens!

    Welcome to this peek inside my current Millionaire Maker pool as it evolves. I’m putting my core plays in bold green. I’ll be trying to get significantly “Above the Field” on these players. I’ll be focusing solely on roster construction for my hand-builds and then adding additional cognizance to my player allocation percentages on the lineups I generate in the Fantasy Labs optimizer. 

    Football is back! OWS FAM! LFG!

    QB:

    RB:

    WR:

    TE:

    DST:

    SuperDraft Strategy

    Xandamere is one of the most respected Showdown minds in DFS, and focuses his Main Slate play on mass-multi-entry

    Welcome to Week 1 and the first of a new series of articles highlighting the different game formats on SuperDraft. SuperDraft is a relatively new site making an aggressive push in the DFS space, with an excellent $250k flagship tournament to start the season.

    Before you read this article, you should read my NFL SuperDraft Primer to get a basic understanding of the site, how it’s different from Draftkings and Fanduel, and the strategy elements that come into play. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can get $100 free with a minimum $100 deposit!!! 

    First, all the standard NFL strategy about stacking and correlation still applies: it makes sense to strongly consider pairing your QB with a receiver. Game stacks are entirely viable here. The good news is, you don’t have to change your entire approach to be successful on SuperDraft. All you have to do is change your mentality of player selection since the multiplier introduces so many different strategy dynamics (as my primer details). 

    With that, let’s take a look at Week 1. I’m not going to go game by game here (we have the Edge for that!), but rather, position by position, trying to spot where I think there are good opportunities to leverage attractive scoring multipliers. 

    Quarterback:

    I’m willing to toss out the top few. Patrick Mahomes at a 1x and Josh Allen at a 1.1x in a tough defensive matchup doesn’t interest me. The first QB who grabs my attention is Kyler Murray. He’s only at 1.15x, but he’s in a cupcake matchup against Tennessee’s barely-there secondary in the highest total game of the week. I’m ok with some exposure here. But where I’m likely to spend more of my time is farther down. Jalen Hurts at 1.35x feels criminal when he put up over 20 raw fantasy points in all of his full-game starts last season. I’m also interested in all of Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield, and Joe Burrow at 1.45x. Ryan Fitzpatrick makes sense in a game stack at 1.5x, and then Sam Darnold, Russell Wilson, and Mac Jones at 1.6x or higher feel like tremendous tournament plays. 

    Running Back:

    Like QB, I’m happy to embrace variance and fade the low-multiplier guys entirely. Alvin Kamara is the lone top guy I might want any exposure to as the centerpiece of his offense. Still, running back ceilings are generally around 30 or so raw fantasy points (yes, I know we’ve seen higher scores – I’m talking 90th percentile outcomes here). Guys like Jonathan Taylor and Joe Mixon have similar ceilings – they won’t hit them as often, but their more generous multipliers make up for that. Give me Jonathan Taylor, Antonio Gibson, Austin Ekeler, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, James Robinson, Joe Mixon, Raheem Mostert, Mike Davis, Miles Sanders, and Miles Gaskin as my running back core. Chase Edmonds with a 1.65x multiplier could lose goal-line work to James Conner, but I’m willing to take the chance at that multiplier, and then Jamaal Williams at 1.65x also looks tempting should Swift miss the game. 

    Wide Receiver:

    Let’s start by noting it won’t be possible to list every play of interest here because of how many wide receivers there are in the league. Build your game stacks as usual – but I’d skew my ownership away from the alpha guys with low multipliers (though only the top 3 have terrible multipliers). Receiver multipliers seem to be pretty clumped between 1.35 to 1.6 or so. While I’m confident that Davante Adams at a flat 1x multiplier is unlikely to be in the winning lineup this week, picking out “good plays” at wide receiver is less about spotting individual multipliers and more about building well-correlated lineups with reasonable multipliers that give access to solid ceilings. 

    Broadly here, I like the Cardinals/Titans game (A.J. Brown and Julio Jones have modest multipliers but are in a highly concentrated offense, while the Cards’ receivers not named DeAndre Hopkins have very attractive multipliers). Jets/Panthers, Eagles/Falcons, Jags/Texans, and Vikings/Bengals also look like a good combination of game environment and access to strong multipliers. 

    Outside of stacks, upside players who stand out include Jerry Jeudy, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Randall Cobb, Marquez Callaway, Jakobi Meyers, Tyrell Williams, Parris Campbell, Emmanuel Sanders, Elijah Moore, and Rondale Moore. I’d expect Callaway and both the Moores to be pretty popular, but that’s just a guess right now without looking at ownership projections. Keep this in mind if you decide to utilize these guys heavily. I expect ownership is going to be tough to figure out on SuperDraft in the early going, but after the first couple of weeks of the season, we should get a sense of it.

    Tight End:

    Tight end is a somewhat unique position on SuperDraft. On other sites, we’re generally looking to roster one of the top guys who can get us a legitimately “big” score (say, 25 or more fantasy points on Draftkings). Or we’re looking to punt the position with a guy who can get us 10-12 points as a ceiling performance. This wide disparity of expectations makes the tight end position a bit trickier on SuperDraft. We’ll see how the season shakes out on SuperDraft, but my initial thoughts are that you’re going to need to be able to get 30-40 SuperDraft points (after the multiplier) from every position except tight end. At wide receiver, we can see guys who have clear paths to that. Same with running back and quarterback. At tight end, it’s trickier. Most of the 2x multiplier guys have realistic ceilings of roughly 20 SuperDraft points. Given this, I’m much more willing to play a lower-multiplier stud at tight end. It gives my roster a lot more certainty without really sacrificing ceiling. So, I’m happy to play Travis Kelce as my primary tight end in Week 1. George Kittle is also in play, and you can make arguments for T.J. Hockenson and Mike Gesicki.  

    The guy I expect to be the clearest chalk at tight end, though, is Kyle Pitts with a tasty 1.5x multiplier. This guy has seen tremendous amounts of hype throughout the summer, and for good reason. He’s a massive talent and should have an amazing career. Overall, I think Pitts is a fine play. Just recognize that he will be massively owned as a rookie in his first game at a typically difficult position for college athletes transitioning to the NFL. If you want to fade him, I wouldn’t argue with you. If you want to play him, likewise, I wouldn’t argue with you. Just make sure that when you play highly chalky plays, you’re doing so intelligently with differentiation at other points in your roster. Personally, for me, I expect Kelce to be my highest-exposure tight end in Week 1.

    Edge Bets

    Jreas11 leverages research from the NFL Edge in order to replace DFS cash game play with profitable prop betting


    << Edge Bets Primer >>


    Nick Chubb Rushing Attempts

    Prop: 13.5

    Book: DraftKings (-135), BetMGM (-117)

    Bet: Over

    Date Available: September 10th

    From Hilow:

    “Game sets up well for Cleveland to see 33-35 rush attempts on the ground, split 60/40 amongst Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.”

    “The team returns all five starters along an offensive line that ranked first in pass protection and second in run-blocking in 2020, after averaging 30.4 rush attempts per game (fifth in the league).”

    “We pretty much know what to expect from this team on the ground. Nick Chubb averaged just a 51.6% snap rate after returning from injury in 2020, leading to an average of 18.5 running back opportunities per game over that time.”

    Reasoning:

    This is the perfect example of the way we can use The Edge write-ups to identify great prop bets. Hilow gives us an excellent breakdown of expected carries, in the most likely scenario, and the distribution we can expect to see between Chubb and Hunt. We can expect Chubb to come in close to, or above, his 2020 average of 18.5 opportunities (with minimal receiving work) in a game we expect the Browns to keep competitive with the spread hovering around Cleveland +5.0 to +5.5. The Browns want to run the ball, and they match up well to attack a KC defense that is more favorable to run against. 

    ** Chubb’s prop bets have seen a bit of increased juice since being posted, confirming the great spot highlighted by Hilow. Meanwhile, Kareem Hunt’s similarly low Rushing Attempts prop has stayed stagnant at Over 8.5 (+100). Hilow’s expected range from Hunt leaves plenty of value here, coming in between 13-14.

    Antonio Gibson Rush Attempts

    Prop: 14.5, 13.5

    Book: Draftkings (-105), BetMGM (-150)

    Bet: Over

    Date Available: September 10th

    From Papy324:

    “Gibson is a Week 1 value based on workload, if you believe coach speak.”

    “Washington’s backfield is led by popular breakout candidate Antonio Gibson. There is every reason to think Gibson will be utilized as a 20+-touch per game back, but J.D. McKissic is still on the roster, and it’s hard to envision his passing game role disappearing completely.”

    From JM:

    “Until I see something to dissuade me of this notion, I’m still viewing Antonio Gibson as a 15-20 touch back.”

    Reasoning:

    JM identified Antonio Gibson’s talent early in the 2020 season and rightfully pegged him as a player who would become more valuable, and expensive, over the duration of the 2020 season. Well, 2021 is going to be quite the encore. With a tremendous amount of coach speak behind him, as well as Peyton Barber’s departure, Antonio Gibson’s path to increased usage is very clear. Much like JM last year, I want to be early on usage and production props on Gibson this year and believe 13.5 (and 14.5) Rushing Attempts to be significantly under my expected role from the “new CMC.”


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    James Robinson Rush + Rec Yards

    Prop: 90.5, 91.5

    Book: Draftkings (-115), BetMGM (-111)

    Bet: Over

    Date Available: September 10th

    From Hilow:

    “James Robinson sets up extremely well here, with likely heavy involvement in the passing game and a robust red zone role”

    “James Robinson is one of my early week favorites to hit the rushing bonus on DK and punch one in the end zone; add an expected five to six targets to that, and he becomes one of my favorite early week plays at running back.”

    From JM:

    “Expect him to see borderline elite usage”

    Reasoning:

    James Robinson has what will most likely be one of his best Game Environments of the season in a very winnable game against the lowly Houston Texans defense. Listed as a -3.0 favorite, the Jaguars will be able to keep their workhorse back involved for most, if not all, of their Week 1 matchup. With the loss of rookie Travis Etienne, Robinson has become the favorite for pass game work, raising his yardage floor and usage rates, for us to take advantage of early on. While Carlos Hyde may be used in the running game when Robinson needs a breather, we can expect this coaching staff to ride their workhorse in a confidence boosting matchup after seemingly looking to reduce his role earlier in the offseason and through the draft. The Jaguars will also be looking to establish a strong running game to help their rookie QB get comfortable in his transition to the NFL.

    Austin Ekeler Receiving Yards

    Prop: 20.5

    Book: DraftKings (-120)

    Bet: Over

    Date Available: September 10th

    From Papy324:

    “Expect Ekeler to see 15-20 touches (many of them being receptions)”

    “On the ground, Los Angeles should feature Ekeler in the old “Kamara” role. Expect 15-20 high efficiency touches, with as many as half being receptions. ”

    From JM:

    “Player with the best shot of exploding is Ekeler.”

    Reasoning:

    While Ekeler is currently limited with a hamstring injury, we have not yet received confirmation on his status for Week 1. This prop has dropped 7 yards with the news, and one to keep an eye on going into Sunday. With the injury, we may expect fewer carries for Ekeler, diminishing his appeal for DFS lineups, while having little effect on his receiving yardage output if he is in fact able to suit up healthy for the Chargers opening game. For one of the best receiving backs in the NFL, this prop is almost certainly low.

    **This prop is now at 24.5 with news that Ekeler participated in morning practice

    Other +EV Prop Bets in Week 1

    1. AJ Brown: Over 66.5 Receiving Yards (DK/Bet MGM -115)

    2. Najee Harris: Over 59.3 Rushing Yards (DK -110)

    3. George Kittle: Over 56.5 Receiving Yards (Bet MGM -105)

    4. Tyler Boyd: Over 48.5 Receiving Yards (Bet MGM -111)

    ActionLabs Props Tool

    One of the major advantages of online sports betting is that you can carry accounts with multiple sports books in order to quickly/easily shop for the best line for the bet you want to place. Every week in Edge Bets, you’ll have access to this Player Props Tool from our friends at ActionLabs (click the orange “LABS” below), in which you’ll be able to see at a glance where the Best Lines are.


    Thanks for hanging out with us in The Scroll this week!

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