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The Scroll Week 1

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    Angles

    Angles hits inboxes on Thursday mornings throughout the regular season; you can also find Angles in The Scroll Thursday afternoons

    Angles, Week 1

    And so, it begins.

    I’m not talking about the Eric Bieniemy // Sam Howell era (well…I am; but not ONLY about that). I’m talking about the journey into the 2023 NFL season — the first step into the unknown.

    Put it on repeat:

    The unknown.

    That’s the key this week. That’s the most important thing to remember.

    I’ll drill into this more deeply in a podcast later today (“The Week 1 Special” — a blend of Winner Circle and Angles to kick off the season), but it’s worth hammering here as well :: in Week 1, certainty is at its highest, and knowledge is at its lowest. This is a good position for sharp DFS players to find themselves, but it’s a bit like riding a wave. You can’t be too early on it; can’t be too late. On this week, you can’t be too aggressive about it; you can’t be too passive. (Again: see today’s podcast for a deeper exploration of how we can handle this balance. The pod will go onto both the One Week Season feed and the Inner Circle feed.)

    With that said, however, we do have macro knowledge that has been constructed through the push-and-pull of bets placed across several weeks, giving a still-solid sense of what’s likeliest to happen (even if it’s a bit less likely than usual, and even if the players who ultimately take advantage of available production might be a bit different in certain spots than expected).

    Out of 13 games on the Main Slate, only six have an Over/Under of 44.5 or higher, and only two games have a total north of 46.0. With the Lions, Chiefs, Cowboys, Bills, and Jets all missing from the Main Slate and six divisional matchups on the Main Slate (where the teams know each other well, and true fireworks are tougher to come by), we have a setup that’s expected to yield a slew of middling games.

    The exceptions are unsurprising :: Joe Burrow visiting Deshaun Watson in his potential bounce-back season (48.5), and Tua and his weapons visiting Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, and the debut of the Kellen Moore offense (51.0). But even those games have clear opportunities to the downside. The Browns brought in Jim Schwartz and have continued to add pieces to their defense, while Burrow is coming off a calf strain to face the pressure of Myles Garrett; and Lou Anarumo’s opponent-specific approach and ability to adjust in-game rarely allow for opponents to explode. Out in L.A., we have a lot of weapons on the offenses, but we also have Vic Fangio and Brandon Staley squaring off with good defenses behind them. This creates something of a wide-open slate — one in which a decent amount of ‘certainly’ (in the form of ownership) will likely settle onto these two higher-total games.

    Now, to be clear, I’m not speaking out against those two games, and I’ll have some rosters this week that attack those games in unique ways; but I’ll also have rosters that go in very different directions, embracing the fact that there is a lot that we don’t know.

    I’ll also, of course, be embracing the fact that there might be some things I do “know” that the majority of others don’t.

    I’ll cover plenty of thoughts here in both The Week 1 Special and my Player Grid.

    But for now, I’ll get out of your inbox.

    I’ll see you on the site all weekend.

    Hopefully I’ll see you at the kickoff party tonight.

    And I’ll see you at the top of the leaderboards soon!
    -JM

    The Workbook

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

    Around The Industry

    Around The Industry’ provides a snapshot of sentiments from respected voices in the DFS and fantasy spaces

    NOTE 1

    Contributors’ scores are tallied each week, with a cash prize going to the leader at the end of the season

    NOTE 2

    Full-PPR scoring

    End Around

    Hilow is a game theory expert (courses at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Northwestern) and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max

    MACRO SLATE VIEW::

    Week 1 slates are notorious for excessive value due to the amount of time that elapses between the pricing release and the actual slate itself. This week, however, feels a bit tighter than a standard Week 1. I believe that is due to the positions that have experienced the preseason injuries this year, with the bulk of them occurring at the wide receiver and tight end positions. As in, there has been exactly one backfield situation that has generated value relative to initial player pricing this year, compared to three to four in a standard season. That backfield is New Orleans, and we can expect the last remaining body to garner significant interest.

    At the same time, player pricing is reduced across the board relative to where these players ended the season in 2022, making it feel like we’re building with a $52,000-$53,000 effective salary cap as opposed to the $50,000 limit or the effective $55,000+ salary cap we typically receive on most Week 1 slates. That’s an important finding as we begin our game theoretic journey this year for how it is likely to influence the chalk build – but more on that below.

    The overall state of the slate includes about as much uncertainty as I can remember on any given slate. We also had more turnover in personnel and coaching this offseason than I can remember in recent history, leading to inherent variance in addition to the normal levels typically present in this beautiful game. There are but two games with a game total of more than 47.0 points, with the top expected game environment leagues above any other (Dolphins at Chargers). Behind that top expected game environment, there are multiple in the “uncertainty band” of 43.5-47.0 and a slew of games in the “meh” range below 43.0. But that all comes together to form quite the interesting slate for us critical thinkers, one that I am stoked to dive into. With that, I am damn glad to be back with y’all for another OWS season. Let’s dive in!

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK VS EXPANSIVE CHALK::

    Quick explanation: restrictive chalk is an expected highly owned piece that restricts the maneuverability of the remainder of your roster while expansive chalk is an expected highly owned piece that allows for higher amounts of maneuverability on the remainder of your roster. Classifying various forms of chalk as either restrictive or expansive allows us to visualize what it means for roster construction on a given slate and how restrictive a certain player might be, meaning more of the field will look similar from a roster construction standpoint with that piece.

    COMMANDERS D/ST

    A defense as the single highest ownership piece on a slate of DFS? You know what to do from a theoretical standpoint. The obvious caveat here is they are in a solid on-paper spot, but I am almost always looking to leverage ownership at the most variant position.

    JUSTIN JEFFERSON

    No two ways to slice it – Justin Jefferson is one of the top overall plays on the slate from a raw points perspective. With pricing the way it is, I will have my exposure to this spot.

    MARVIN MIMS Jr.

    Look, I am one of the founding fathers of the Marvin Mims fan club as evident from my exorbitant amounts of ownership in Best Ball, to use an example close to home. That said, he remains a relative one-trick-pony in a downfield role, on an offense with some of the most uncertainty on this slate, with a quarterback coming off a career-worst year. That’s something I want exposure to at low ownership, not some of the highest on the slate.

    TYREEK HILL

    I think the field is largely going to underplay the impact of the loss of left tackle Terron Armstead and the defensive coordinator coaching in this game. Tyreek carries a rock-solid range of outcomes, but he probably carries more uncertainty about his median than the other high-priced wide receivers on this slate. He’s Tyreek Hill, so we always need to keep him on the fringes of consideration, but the expected ownership paired with a game environment with more paths to failure than the field is likely to account for leads me to an underweight approach here.

    AUSTIN EKELER

    Another piece from the same game environment as Tyreek Hill. Similar feelings.

    JAMAAL WILLIAMS

    I’ll cut straight to the chase here. Williams has a high volume expectation at a reasonable price, but that’s about where the positives end with his profile. The Titans have ranked first and sixth in yards allowed per carry over the previous two seasons and Williams is one of the lowest explosive run rate backs in the league. He could score twice and still not sniff a GPP-worthy score here.

    JA’MARR CHASE

    I have very few hard and fast rules in DFS – playing Ja’Marr Chase against man coverage is one of them. New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is an aggressive playcaller that typically likes to utilize increased blitz rates and increased rates of Cover-1 and shadow coverage. That means we’re likely to see Denzel Ward lined up opposite Chase for most of the game, an individual matchup that is far less daunting than the field is likely to assume. Fire him up as a top play at the wide receiver position this week.

    COURTLAND SUTTON

    Sutton is in the realm of “must see plus volume and score multiple times to be GPP viable” for his moderate aDOT, possession-style role. Think Michael Thomas in a Sean Payton offense. The biggest problem I see beyond that is the fact that Russell Wilson is more gunslinger than finesse and timing, and Sutton was towards the bottom of the league in separation at target each of the previous three seasons. On the other hand, he has reportedly slimmed down and looks quicker than in years past. I side with him not likely to put up a score you couldn’t win without on this slate.

    RAHEEM MOSTERT

    I think the field assumes Jeff Wilson being out automatically means Raheem Mostert is going to see 18+ opportunities in a solid spot. Mostert saw 18 touches twice all season last year in similar circumstances and the team should have a healthy Devon Achane and Salvon Ahmed after both were removed from the injury report Friday. Can he put 100 yards and two scores in this spot? Sure he can. Are those odds greater than his 15 percent ownership? Probably not.

    CHALK BUILD::

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    JM’s Player Grid

    JMToWin is a high-stakes tournament champion (Thunderdome, Luxury Box, Game Changer, Wildcat, King of the Hill/Beach, Spy, etc.) who focuses on the DraftKings Main Slate


    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


    The Grid ::

    Bottom-Up Build

    :: covered in-depth in the Angles Pod (it’s highly recommended that you listen to the breakdown of the roster in order to see the thinking behind it, and in order to understand what we’re talking about when we look at a “bottom-up build”)

    Blue Chips

    :: my “Tier 1” plays: the plays I feel confident leaning into across different types of builds; these players have a high ceiling and a low likelihood of price-considered failure

    Build-Arounds

    :: games, offenses, situations, or scenarios I’ll be looking to build around across my rosters

    Building Blocks

    :: unique player pairings that can be used as foundational building blocks for tournament rosters

    Bonuses

    :: players who don’t fit into the categories above — either Upside pieces who don’t have the floor to be Blue Chips (and are not being focused on within my game-focused builds) or players who may not have a strong shot at ceiling, but are worth keeping in mind from a “role” perspective


    SUNDAY MORNING UPDATES

    • I’m quite a bit higher on Derek Carr than previously expected. He’ll be on some of my tighter builds. Tennessee faced 7% more pass attempts per game last year than the next-highest team (and obviously faced the highest opponent pass play rate as well). I’ll have one Saints pass catcher on most of my rosters (heavy Olave, followed by Juwan/Thomas, with Shaheed sprinkled in at the rear; bonus points for this being nice leverage off a likely chalky Jamaal Williams).
    • Speaking of “likely,” I’m obviously high on Isaiah Likely. I’ll have him on about 25% of my large-field builds, and will have my fair share of him on tighter builds as well.
    • I have more Tyreek Hill and Ja’Marr Chase than expected away from game stacks. I don’t have huge ownership relative to the field on either, but adding everything together (game stacks and floating plays of these two), I’m probably not underweight either.
    • I also have more Christian McCaffrey than expected (quite a bit more). His floor/ceiling combo, in terms of raw points, is as high as any of the popular high-priced guys, and if he hits his ceiling while some of them hit their lower-ends, he’ll be a really valuable piece on a week in which no one is on him.
    • Lastly, I like Aaron Jones with the injuries and youth in Green Bay. The ceiling is high, and the pathway to touches is clear.

    Bottom-Up Build

    Full breakdown (of what this is, and what the thinking is behind these players) can (and should) be found in “The Week 1 Special” pod, on the One Week Season podcast feed.

    Bottom-Up Build
    DK Salary Remaining :: $6.3K

    Sam Howell
    Miles Sanders
    Josh Jacobs
    Curtis Samuel
    Calvin Ridley
    Chris Olave
    Mike Gesicki
    Marvin Mims
    Texans

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    Blue Chips

    Jalen Hurts

    Hurts scored 27.5 or more DK points in over half of his regular season games last year, reminding us that he’s one of the highest-floor ways to spend salary this weekend. He also had three games of 37+. This game has a wide range of potential outcomes (could be high-scoring, could be low-scoring), but against an aggressive Patriots defense that likes to blitz and play man coverage regardless of opponent, there is opportunity for a huge game, and Hurts will almost never “completely burn you” for playing him. I strongly encourage you to listen to “The Week 1 Special” pod this week (find it in the One Week Season podcast feed), as I break down my player pool thoughts on every game, giving a much deeper look at things than a typical NFL week provides the space for; but as noted there, I’ll be pairing Hurts with one of his pass catchers on each roster where I play him.

    Justin Jefferson

    Last season didn’t give us a 2021 Cooper Kupp player, or a “healthy, OG Panthers-role Christian McCaffrey” player (someone for whom 30 DK points was almost a disappointment, and 40 was surprisingly frequent), but Justin Jefferson was one of the closest we had, with nine games of 28.5+. He’s still a player on the rise, which means it won’t be surprising if this season tops last year. He’s on a team that likes to pass the ball, and he’s taking on a Bucs team that generally filters opponents to the air. Tampa’s zone-heavy scheme would limit upside for some wideouts, but Jefferson and Cousins are able to find small spaces to attack in the downfield portions of zones, giving him upside in all setups.

    I’ll be betting on the Vikings having success through the air this week, which means that a lot of my non-Jefferson rosters will feature a different pass catcher from the Vikings as well.

    “Light Blue” Chips
    Miles Sanders

    Feel free to ignore me on this one.

    Though I’ll point out that I’ve said that before on Miles Sanders, with 30+ points following.

    Miles Sanders is a very good back, he’s the clear lead dog for Carolina, and the Panthers are banged up at wideout and will be looking to make things easy on Bryce Young. If Sanders gets 16 to 18 touches, he’s in the same range as almost all the backs priced around him, with an equal or higher level of talent (in a beatable matchup). If Sanders gets 22 to 24 touches (which will not be surprising), he’s getting significantly more opportunities than almost all the backs priced around him.

    “Raiders either/or”

    Davante Adams scored 30+ DraftKings points seven times last year, and Josh Jacobs hit that mark four times. Each had a game of 35+ vs the Broncos last season. These two are always in play.

    Rachaad White

    “The Week 1 Special” pod (in the One Week Season podcast feed) dives into some interesting elements in this Bucs offense (building off some things said by offensive coordinator Dave Canales); but one thing he said — when discussing timeshares in other backfields, and using Zeke/Pollard and another similar situation as examples — was that ‘Those teams had two great backs, whereas we have one great back and several good backs.’ Translation: regardless of what might happen later in the year, White enters this season as “The Guy.”

    Soft matchup.

    Concentrated offense.

    A role in the run game and the pass game.

    The only real concern here is touchdowns. If he scores, he’s probably reaching value — and possibly going above what you need.

    Calvin Ridley

    I expect him to be priced at $7.4k or higher within a few weeks. Even if he doesn’t hit this week, he’s one of the sharper ways to spend salary on the slate.

    I’ll also have exposure to Kirk // Zay on some of my non-Ridley rosters.

    Chris Olave

    I expect him to be priced at $7.7k or higher within a few weeks. Even if he doesn’t hit this week, he’s one of the sharper ways to spend salary on the slate.

    I’ll also have a bit of exposure to Michael Thomas and Juwan Johnson on some of my non-Olave rosters.


    Build-Arounds

    Bengals // Browns

    Will be competitive.

    Could be low-scoring…

    …but also, could be high-scoring.

    I will have zero Higgins/Chase/Chubb away from rosters built around this game, but I’ll have a chunk of rosters built around this game.

    Buccaneers // Vikings

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    A Wrap ::

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

    -JM

    Mike’s Player Grid

    Mike Johnson (MJohnson86) has racked up nearly $500,000 in DFS profit as an NFL tournament player with success in all styles of contests


    Welcome back to my (Mjohnson86) Player Grid. The format will vary slightly from JM’s Player Grid, as we each see things slightly differently and play in slightly different contests, but should complement his thoughts and content very well for those looking to build their lineups for the week. The format of this article will likely evolve as the season progresses but should provide a lot of value. Enjoy!!


    The Core

    This is a list of players that stand out to me at each position from using my “Checking the Boxes” criteria outlined in my Checking The Boxes course. This list is a starting point, from which I build out lineups using game theory and roster construction concepts (which we will also touch on) with the mindset being to find the best plays with big ceilings. Low ownership is a bonus, but not a must. This section will focus primarily on three positions – running back, tight end, and defense – as the other two positions (quarterback and wide receiver) tend to have more dependent tendencies which I try to attack from other angles (which we will get into in the other sections). I like all of these plays on all sites, unless otherwise noted:

    Week 1 Outlook::

    As we enter Week 1, I am making a concerted effort this year to tighten up my Player Grid. Last year was the first year I shared this as an article for subscribers and in going back and evaluating things, I found that it steadily grew in size throughout the year as I succumbed to the thing that I specifically have tried to avoid in the past – trying to “cover too many bases”. You will notice this article will be a little tighter this year than last and that is on purpose. There will certainly be players each week who I like but don’t include here, but I’m willing to live with that in exchange for having the tighter view of the week that has led to my most successful seasons.

    Running Back ::
    JK Dobbins

    Many people will refer to the usage of Dobbins throughout his career as a negative factor for his outlook but I see it differently for this year. In his 2020 rookie season, Dobbins was eased into the league and split work with other backs. He was set for a featured role in 2021 but then tore his ACL in the preseason. In 2022, he had a lengthy recovery from his knee injury and was never strong enough to take on a full workload. This year, he’s at full strength and playing for a contract. The Ravens offense should actually throw the ball to their RBs this year and I expect Dobbins to dominate this backfield while also benefiting from the team likely trying to preserve Lamar Jackson’s body near the goal line after giving him a monster contract. This is an elite offense, matchup, and talent. Dobbins is my top RB of the week by a wide margin.

    Raheem Mostert

    Elite running scheme facing a defensive scheme that is designed to be more vulnerable against the run than the pass. Should dominate the backfield touches and be the red zone/goal line back while also having a realistic shot at finishing third on the team in targets. Mostert’s season-long ADP was lower because of his age and worries about how long he can hold up, but entering the week fully healthy as the top dog, he is a terrific play.

    Alexander Mattison

    Four teams have a higher implied team total than the Vikings this week. Granted, Week 1 lines are the least efficient of the year, but we know the Vikings offense is loaded and the Bucs are likely to be down this year. Don’t let the name fool you, in terms of actual production Mattison isn’t that big of a change from Dalvin Cook in recent years yet is priced very affordably with a potentially huge workload on deck.

    Miles Sanders

    We really don’t know how good this matchup is going to be as we don’t know a ton about the Falcons defense yet. This game has one of the lower totals on the slate. Those will be viewed as negatives by most, but I just view them as “uncertainties”. I believe Sanders is in line for a bellcow role playing for Frank Reich and I also believe he is more talented than most people realize. I’m willing to take the leap.

    Bijan Robinson

    It’s simple. I think he’s a truly elite talent, like CMC/Saquon level, and he simply isn’t priced as such to start the year. How good did Jahmyr Gibbs look on Thursday night??? Robinson was viewed as clearly better than Gibbs by almost all NFL talent evaluators. I want to be early.

    Tight End :: 
    TJ Hockenson

    Hockenson is healthy, talented, and reasonably priced. He is one of a few tight ends who can put the slate out of reach with a 30-point game and the pricing is loose enough this week to where you don’t have to sacrifice too much elsewhere to make it work.

    David Njoku

    Njoku is an extremely talented player who appears to have a great rapport with Deshaun Watson. This is one of my favorite game environments of the week and Njoku is priced just high enough to not carry massive ownership but just low enough to be worth the savings from the high-end tight ends.

    Hayden Hurst

    I am working under the thesis that Bryce Young is going to be really, really good. Hurst was reportedly a favored target for Young in training camp and the Panthers receiving corps is a little banged up. As discussed with Miles Sanders, I think this game has more scoring potential than the “line” would indicate and at $3,000 on Draftkings and $5,000 on Fanduel I love Hurst’s upside.

    Defense :: 
    Baltimore Ravens

    Top play of the week and we have the salary to make it work.

    Seahawks

    Defense that has improved in the offseason and is playing at full strength facing an opponent that is missing their best player.

    Bears

    Everyone is searching for the answer of who the “value” is on the Packers offense but the reality is that it could just end up a mess without Christian Watson and possibly Romeo Doubs.


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    Papy’s Pieces

    Papy is a full-time DFS player, with a focus on high-stakes tourneys, and with hundreds of thousands in lifetime profit

    Welcome OWS fam to Papy’s pieces! I’m extremely excited to share a whole slate article with you guys and hopefully provide a useful tool in lineup building. My background in strategy games comes from chess, and building off that, I’m going to talk about “pieces” that like in chess, create a team. The player I highlight as each “piece” will make my condensed builds, with a real chance to make my single-entry lineup (where most of my money is bet each week). They’ll be categorized into pawns, knights, bishops, rooks, queens, and kings (the pieces on a chess board). I’m not going to create ridged standards (like a salary bracket for each piece) but pawns will generally be the cheapest, with pieces working their way up in price to Queens/Kings. The article will start with “The Board” where I’ll give a brief overview of a way to think about the slate, before going into Pieces. With the introduction out of the way, let’s figure out Week One!

    The Board

    Week 1 of DFS is always defined by an abundance of value. Player prices were set a month ago, rather than a week ago, and much has changed from a depth chart and injury perspective. Add in that player prices are based on last year, rather than what we’ve already seen this year, and Week 1 will always have massive pricing inefficiencies. The key to Week 1 DFS success is to realize we know a lot less than we think we know. Chalk will form around a handful of “must plays” based on perceived pricing mistakes. If you can find your courage and lean into players who aren’t labeled “must plays,” Week 1 becomes one of the easiest weeks to differentiate your lineups. It may feel scary to stay off the “obvious” plays, but what we think is obvious, is often anything but in Week 1. 

    Pawn – Kenny Pickett ($5,200)

    We all know Pickett is a below average talent, who played five years in college and only went in the first round because it was a weak class. We know he wasn’t very good last year, and we know that he gets an elite defense, in a game with a low total. We know less than we think. Pickett was one of the unluckiest QBs in the league last year across several metrics. The 49ers defense is sound, but its relative weakness is against the pass. The Steelers O-line is better at pass blocking and coming across the country for an early game is a tough spot for San Francisco (I bet the Steelers +3 a while back). Mike Tomlin isn’t a good coach, but he is an emotional one. Pickett’s local hero status in Pittsburgh has never been higher after a strong preseason. If he comes out hot, the roof is going to come off the stadium, and there is a good chance Tomlin will let him keep rolling.  As a bonus, he has two clear stacking partners in Diontae “What’s the end zone?” Johnson and George Pickens. Those stacks are going to make someone a lot of money this year, and it might be Week 1 at negligible ownership. 

    Knight – Rachaad White ($5,500)

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    Sonic’s MME Pool

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

    You Know Nothing

    Ygritte was right about Jon Snow. Dude really was clueless at that point. It was really cool of her to alert him to this though. So much easier to navigate a situation when you know that you don’t know and can proceed accordingly.

    The good thing about Week 1 is that there’s a shit-ton of people out there even more clueless than we are. People are so geeked for the NFL season to start. We have more casuals dipping their toes in these shark-infested waters than at any point during the year. The sites know this, hence the cheaper contests with looser pricing compared to the budget and salary restraints we’ll face in the coming slates.

    Befriend the Fish

    So how do we exploit our current situation? The best thing I ever did was get one of my poker buddies into DFS. He’s a pretty sharp guy but doesn’t have the time to grind DFS theory or research past the first podcast. So, when I called him to ask what kind of lineups he was going to roll out this week, I wasn’t surprised. The answers revolved around how the Chargers // Dolphins game was going to shoot out, Commanders DST is the play because they’re so cheap and the Cardinals don’t even want to win, and Marvin Mims is going to start and he’s only 3k!

    This is a great place to start when trying to understand (and exploit) what our large-field opponents will be doing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll have a few spots where Mims will fit nicely, and I stack every damn game so I’ll have some Dolphins and Chargers stuff. We just have to build in ways that can ascend past the field rather than slog along with them like a flounder amidst huge clumps of seaweed.

    Lower-Owned Treasures

    Running Back

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    Willing To Lose

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

    “Never underestimate the power of simplicity.”

    Simplicity wins in all aspects of life. If you can describe a product or service in a simple way, people will buy it. If you can teach a concept in a simple way, people will apply it. If you can show a process in a simple way, people will follow it.

    When we feel like we understand something, we feel empowered to conquer it. Being simple even when all the variables and uncertainty around us are encouraging us to make it complicated, is a winning strategy.

    So how can we apply sticking to simplicity when it comes to DFS? Well, there isn’t a more variable week than the first week of the season. We don’t know so much about how the teams will line up, which players will get true usage, and how matchups will dictate outcomes. We have virtually no relevant, recent data to draw from (get out of here preSZN crowd!). This means we will have a tough time identifying trends, isolating patterns, and taking advantage of undervalued strategies. All of this requires taking a leap of faith in building Week 1 lineups that can win first place.

    In order to reduce this risk, let’s be simple this week. Let’s break down building our rosters through basic processes and see how we can use what we do know (the very little of it) to put together a tournament winning team. I’ll do my best to help guide you, and if you’re new here, my hope is you’ll take these concepts and strategies and use them in your own way (i.e. where I do mention players, realize they can be substituted out for players who YOU are seeing fit the same molds). At OWS, after all, we are not after the best plays, we’re trying to help you build better lineups than the rest of your competition week in and week out.

    Build Simple Lineups

    As we look at the Week 1 slate, we see an interesting setup. The one clear game environment where we can dive in with stacks is Miami at the Chargers, but there are many reasons why that game can underwhelm. Beyond this matchup, we have virtually no other games that look ripe for overstacks. Well, there goes my strategy. As we look further, while we are offered four teams implied for 26+ points (Ravens, Seahawks, Chargers, Vikings), all but the Chargers are matched up with inferior opponents who could struggle to keep up (Texans, Rams, Buccaneers). At a macro level, this slate is screaming at us to take what it gives us. This is likely not a heavy game stack slate, but rather rosters should utilize multiple mini-stacks to build for first place.

    Correlation is our friend, but Vegas is not. So if you want to keep it simple and lean into the offenses projected to score this week, do that. But if you lean in for that reason, realize that in all but two (!) games, we have one team projected for less than 21 points! With this in mind, I’ll be going mini-stack hunting putting together builds with 3-1, 2-1, and 2-0 player blocks that feature one team but reduce the game environment risk. Here are a few of those spots where I’ll be Willing to Lose on Sunday . . . 

    Jalen Hurts + AJ Brown + Dallas Goedert + Kendrick Bourne

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    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. Week 1: A Tradition Unlike Any Other

    2. An Inefficient Market

    3. Value Plays

    4. Ahead of the Curve

    5. “That was so obvious, how did I not see it?”


    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    The Question ::

    A weekly staple of The Oracle :: What makes this slate particularly unique?

    The answer to this question this week is fairly obvious – it’s Week 1!!

    • Pricing has been out for well over a month, leading to many situations where players have far different roles and/or team situations than their pricing from pre-training camp would have indicated. 
    • This is in addition to the already soft pricing the sites always have in Week 1 as they try to draw in new customers and give them a great experience. 
    • Players and coaches have changed locations, a new crop of rookies entered the league, and the veteran players are a year older and closer to the NFL woodshed. Teams have had months to rethink their approach as they all embark on a journey with a common goal – we have no idea where those internal discussions, plans, reactions to their own situation, and reactions to league trends will take each team. While we saw at least some action from starting units during the preseason, this is the first real game action since the Super Bowl…there are a lot of situations we have strong beliefs in right now that will look silly by Week 4. 

    With all of those things as common and clear factors about the “uniqueness” of Week 1 NFL DFS, we will change course from the “standard” tone of this question we have on a weekly basis and instead ask a more philosophical question: Are there any ways in which you approach Week 1 differently or have different expectations than that of a “typical” DFS week? Bankroll management, contest selection, player selection, etc.

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    Personally, I have to recognize that my greatest edge in DFS is the way I am able to combine my understanding of DFS strategy/theory with my understanding of teams, players, and coaches across the NFL. There’s a balance between these two strengths that begins to really hit its stride around Week 3 or 4, and my best weeks of the season typically come in Week 6 and beyond. Obviously, there is a way to move closer to one point (the strategy/theory side), shifting the balance in that direction in the early going and gradually moving to my natural balance as we get deeper into the season, but I recognize that this is easier said than done.

    I have actually not had a profitable Week 1 since OWS was started (in 2018!), which on the one hand is still a small sample size (five slates), but on the other hand…this results-based fact can be added into the bucket of knowledge regarding potential opportunities for shortcomings in my play early in the season to push me toward the conclusion that “this is not the week in which I’m likeliest to have my biggest edge.”

    I want to pause there and zoom out for a moment to note that this is not to say that the edge is smaller in Week 1! I haven’t read answers from anyone else yet, beyond reading the very top of Xandamere’s answer where he said he tends to go heavier in Week 1. Xandamere’s strengths as a DFS player are different from mine, and the setup we have in Week 1 very much aligns with what he does best. It benefits each DFS player to identify and define what their own edge is — what their strengths are as a DFS player (or what the strengths are that they are developing) — as this allows for honest assessment of unique situations such as this.

    With all that said, I also recognize A) that Week 1 used to be a banger of a week for me each year, and that B) my Week 1 prep has been hampered since OWS was launched by how busy August and early September are from a business/work standpoint. While others have MORE time to prepare for Week 1, I have had less time to prepare over the last five years.

    This year, I carved out space to treat Week 1 the way I was able to from 2014 to 2017,  and while I don’t know the teams, players, and coaches as well as I will in Week 6, for example, I know them far better — from a “Week 1” perspective — than I did the last few years, and I know them far better than most of my competition does. This has me A) moving a bit closer to my typical “balance of strengths” in my approach than I would have felt comfortable with the last few years, and B) playing my normal weekly buy-in amount.

    While the majority of that exploration is specific to my own strengths and weaknesses as a DFS player, I think there is value in “watching someone else” work through their thoughts in an area such as this, as it can help you (the reader) to do the same thing. What is your edge as a DFS player? What are you good at? What are you still working to improve? This can guide you in your decisions with regards to “How I want to approach Week 1.”

    Xandamere >>

    I tend to go heavier in Week 1 because it’s a week where the edge is larger than normal. We have the most casual players (the players who will drain their bankrolls early in the year and then stop), we have a smattering of new DFS players in the ecosystem (even though DFS isn’t growing like it used to, there are still new players every year), and we have the most uncertainty around how teams will use their players and how good they will be (but the field sees perceived certainty in, say, games like MIA/LAC). All of that adds up to edge, and so I tend to go heavy in Week 1 to try and capture it.

    I’m also more willing to embrace variance in Week 1. As the season goes on, chalk tends to become “better,” because we gain more knowledge about how teams operate. In Week 1, chalk tends to be more fragile because we’re operating off of a lot of assumptions, but assumptions are not the same as knowledge.

     
    Mike >>

    Bankroll – I do generally go a little higher in the amount I play Week 1 for a couple of reasons. First, I play more entries of the super large field stuff (Milly Makers on both sites and the large contest on Yahoo) this week than a normal week because overlay is likely, price points of those contests are lower, and such a large chunk of rosters are basically dead from being very inexperienced players and/or rosters made days/weeks in advance. Second, there is a ton of value in being early on players/teams and Week 1 provides the best chance to get paid off for having unique thoughts and seeing things for yourself – which I believe is a strength of mine.

    Contest Selection – As noted above, I adjust slightly to leverage opportunities in the larger field contests.

    Player Selection – I want to get in early on guys I think are going to pop and leverage teams who have different outlooks than the last time we saw them – as most people are in a “see it to believe it” mindsets even when they know situations are different.

    Hilow >>

    From a theoretical perspective regarding game plan development, I typically align with Mikey as far as bankroll management goes in Week 1. The amount of variance present early in the season lends itself well to my style of play in GPPs so I typically go a bit harder through the first month of play. But everybody’s gameplan generation is going to be different so we need to be honest with ourselves before we can devise an optimal plan of attack.

    As far as contest selection goes, no massive changes for me early in the season outside of some shots in the early season specialty contests like the $100 Milly.

    When considering players in the first month of play, I’m typically keeping an extra eye on game environments over the individual players themselves. Because we know so little in the early goings, I want to be able to minimize the things I need to get right in order to succeed.


    2. An Inefficient Market

    The Question ::

    “Vegas lines” are the basis for so many projections, predictions, and rankings in DFS. Every week, you can have a pretty good idea what the popular games/players are going to be and which games are most likely to score a lot of points by looking at the spreads and totals and doing a little digging. It is a critical part of the process in most weeks and those numbers can help you find value and a starting point for figuring out how games are likely to play out. 

    That being said, those lines are – by far – the least efficient they are ever going to be in Week 1 of the NFL season. Every team has personnel and scheme changes from one season to the next, some bigger than others, and players are changing as well – getting older, recovering from injuries, sustaining injuries, training/practicing to improve. There are just so many variables that are extremely hard to account for heading into the season, which is part of what makes it unpredictable and fun. 

    The interesting thing is that the field generally treats the lines in a very similar manner this week as they do for other weeks – with a great deal of certainty. Knowing those two things – 1) the lines are relatively inefficient and 2) the field will not treat them as such – leaves us with a huge opportunity. With that in mind, here are all the games with totals under 45 points (as of Wed. evening) this week – which one(s) stand out to you as potentially being very mispriced::

    • CAR @ ATL (39.5)
    • HOU @ BAL (43.5)
    • TEN @ NO (41.5)
    • SF @ PIT (41.5)
    • ARI @ WAS (38)
    • GB @ CHI (42)
    • LVR @ DEN (44)
    • PHI @ NE (44.5)
    The Answers ::

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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!

    Afternoon-Only

    Mike Johnson (MJohnson86) has racked up nearly $500,000 in DFS profit as an NFL tournament player with success in all styles of contests

    FINDING AN EDGE

    The whole idea behind this piece of content is that it is unique. Specific content and strategies for the “non-main slate” contests are very rare in the DFS industry and most players who enter them are casual players or doing so on a whim after their main slate entries had things go wrong, and they want something to root for or to chase their losses during the late games. Edges are getting harder and harder to find in DFS as information gets better, projections get sharper, and the field gets more experienced. These smaller slates present a clear opportunity and advantage for those that focus on them, as most players will just take their thoughts from the main slate and approach these lineups the same way without considering how much having seven to nine fewer games (depending on the week) changes the strategy. The biggest win of my career came on an “Afternoon Only” slate in January of 2021, and I hope to share some of my insights on the format to help you attack this niche corner of NFL DFS.

    Narrowing Your Player Pool

    On a week like this with five games in the “Afternoon Only” slate there can be great value in building lineups for this slate and then using them in tournaments on the “Main Slate.” The idea is that it naturally condenses your player pool and increases your chances of being unique even if many of the games and players project to be popular. Despite how popular MIA // LAC looks like it will be – in addition to some cheap value plays, Jalen Hurts, Broncos WRs, and Kenneth Walker – it will be very rare for lineups to be made without any players from the early games, especially with how many great values there are in Week 1 that will be hard to resist. As a matter of fact, the lineup I used for the big win referenced above would have won several of the big main slate tournaments as well that week. Some weeks, when there are only two or three late games and they aren’t very high total games, this strategy can be less viable. However, the TV networks usually want to have high-profile teams playing during the late window so most weeks this is at least a viable consideration.

    OWNERSHIP STRATEGY

    Ownership will be higher for pretty much every player on “short slates,” just because there are fewer players to choose from. This will be especially true for “chalky” players from the main slate. This means getting these players right is even more vital than on the main slate. There are fewer alternatives to choose from so if they have a big game and you aren’t on them it is much harder to find other ways to make up those points. This also means it is easier for lower-owned players to pay off, as there are fewer players at their position that they need to have “fail” for them to be worth the risk.

    Correlation is even more important than on the main slate because the useful fantasy games that pay off for the slate are likely to be clumped up from the same games. I always make lineups with a game stack (QB + at least one pass catcher + at least one opponent) and then one or two “mini-correlations” from other games. 

    Overview

    The NFL season is upon us and the afternoon slate is a big one with five games on the docket. Most people will focus only on the Main Slate, only turning their attention to the afternoon games once their first lineups are dust or just from boredom/excitement once the games get going. We can put ourselves in advantageous positions if we plan ahead for these smaller slates, an edge that can play out significantly over time.

    QB STRATEGY

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    Late Swap

    StatATL has a math degree and a background as a financial analyst, and has blended an analytical, numbers-driven approach with an “OWS mindset” to rack up over $100,000 in lifetime DFS profit while maintaining low weekly buy-ins

    Need more late swap education? Read this free educational article on Late Swap

    Welcome back OWS fam! Before jumping into the Week 1 Late Swap considerations, let’s quickly look at what Late Swap is, as well as reviewing what to consider from a theory perspective.

    Late Swap Primer:

    Fundamentally, late swap is the ability to make changes to your initial roster after lock (the start of the contest) as more information becomes available. Once a contest locks, no more rosters can be submitted, but players whose games haven’t started yet can be changed. While simplistic in definition, properly taking advantage of late swap is one of the largest and most underutilized edges in all of DFS but perfecting the concept is more of an art than a science. In this article we will discuss late swap strategies and theory for larger tournaments, and when to consider utilizing them. Before we dive in, here are a few basics to be conscious of:

    –        From the roster construction side, always ensure the latest playing WR/RB (or TE if rostering two) is in the flex spot as this will allow you the most flexibility when considering changes.

    –        Make sure you are up to date on the latest injury news and inactives. In the NFL, teams are required to publish this information 90 minutes prior to kickoff.

    So, when do we consider if we want to utilize a late swap? For me personally, I will begin looking around 3:05-3:10 pm EST, which generally correlates with the start of the 4th quarter for the early (1 pm) games. By this time, the inactives for the late games are out as well. I would recommend going through each roster individually, taking into account the following:

    The first thing to gauge is how the field is doing overall while getting a feel for how the early games are playing out as a whole. My preparation for this usually takes place within the first 30 minutes of lock (1:30 pm). I open any large field GPP and note who the ~5 highest owned at each position are. This exercise allows me to get a feel for the game environments and players, and I’ll ask myself these questions:

    o   How did the highest-owned plays fare?

    o   Did the chalk stack from the early games hit?

    o   How owned are the 2-3 highest-scoring players? Did I roster any?

    o   Did I play a game stack from the early games?

    o   Are the guys I rostered on pace for 4x? I generally determine this by taking the total salary of the players already in action and multiplying it by 3, as there is still the 4th quarter or 25% of their respective games remaining.

    o   How did any lower-owned guys, mini correlations and one-offs I played do? 

    After review and evaluation, the main question is, did you likely perform better than most of the field?

    If yes, you want to consider pivoting off a lower-owned play in the late games to a chalky one to block a majority of people from catching you who will be playing a player or environment that is “likely to hit”.

    If No, aka you determine your roster is likely behind after evaluation, this is also a time to consider a late swap. An example of this is when a highly owned game environment does become a high-scoring affair or when a very popular one-off hits, and you faded the spot/player on this particular roster. In a situation like this, one of the best ways to try to catch up is the pivot to a lower-owned stack in the late games or to a direct leverage/pivot off what will likely be a highly-owned play.

    Outlook – Late Games:

    In my mind, two of the three most intriguing games of the slate are part of the late window in week one (Broncos vs. Raiders and Dolphins vs. Chargers). These games make late swap considerations just as exciting as ever. We also have some key injury news around the status of Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy, which if it doesn’t come until after lock, could be very beneficial from a game theory perspective. 

    Important Early Outcomes to Watch:
    • Jamaal Williams should be one of the top 2-3 owned RBs on the slate as the Saints are likely to be without both Alvin Kamara (suspension) and Kendre Miller (hamstring). At $5,100, he’s in the same price tier as guys like D’Andre Swift, Khalil Herbert, and Javonte Williams, all of whom should carry less than half Jamaal Williams’ ownership.
    • Justin Jefferson & Jamar Chase (high priced and highly owned)
    • Washington Commanders DST. Projected ownership is around 25% (the highest overall on the slate).
    •  “Slate Breakers” such as Joe Mixon’s 58 DK point outburst in week 9 last season
    Price Range Breakdowns (Late Games):

    $7,100 and up:

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    Battle Royale

    Lex is a matchup researcher who focuses his play on Underdog’s Battle Royale contest

    Note: The Week 1 edition is a primer on the Battle Royale contest format. The article will return to its normal format in Week 2.

    Underdog’s Battle Royale Primer

    Underdog’s Battle Royale contest has already grown significantly from 2021 to 2022, and with the app only getting more popular across all sports, we should expect to see even bigger contests in 2023. With just two seasons so far of this format (meaning only 36 total of these main weekly contests), strategies are still unfolding and the data we have available is minimal. As someone who has had entries in all 36 contests, I used the top of the leaderboards to compile data on all of the top 5 rosters that we can use to our advantage.

    This article will break down the different positions (QB, RB, WR, TE) with information about the successful lineups regarding lineup construction and performance. Some places will have data stretching to the top 5 rosters, and some will only focus on the 1st place teams. Strategy is constantly fluid in a game and sport with such small sample sizes but we should always use the information we have available to better our process. My hope is that by the end, you will have a better grasp on the contest than the average player starting Week 1, 2023.

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    Full Roster (1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX):

    First-place performance across the 36 contests (measured by fantasy points scored)

    • Average: 156.8
    • Median: 154.6
    • Lowest: 127.4
    • Highest: 190.4
    Quarterback:

    First-place performance across the 36 contests (measured by fantasy points scored)

    • Average: 32.6
    • Median: 32.4
    • Lowest: 24.1
    • Highest: 42.8

    You need to draft your QB with the expectation that they can score 30 points and then consider how that particular QB could achieve that score.

    • Of the 90 QBs on a top 5 roster in 2022, 59 scored 4+ TDs, and most of the rest did heavy scoring on the ground
    • Ex: Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts are more likely to score large amounts on the ground in their 30-point games. As a result, these QBs generally get drafted earlier, thus making stacking more difficult and less necessary.
    • Ex: Kirk Cousins and Tua Tagovailoa are more likely to need over 300 pass yards and 4 TDs in their 30-point games. It’s almost certain they will reach this score alongside a high-scoring stacking partner, making it a stronger bet to attach them to a teammate. These QBs generally get drafted later, making stacking more feasible.

    Does Vegas project a game environment in which 4-5 TDs is a reasonable outcome?

    • While skill players can achieve high fantasy scores even if their team doesn’t put up a ton of points, a typical QB is not going to reach 30 fantasy points without their team scoring at least 28 points.
    • Trailing game environments can lead to extra attempts and yards (which can sometimes benefit pass catchers), but there’s no 300-yard bonus here and touchdowns make all the difference.
    • Ex: The game scores of Josh Allen’s five highest 2022 fantasy scores: 38-3, 32-29, 31-10, 28-25, 41-7
      • Competitive game environments are always going to be essential for driving up fantasy production on both sides, but it’s also important to know which offenses are capable of scoring the necessary points. Two lower-scoring teams in a more competitive game don’t necessarily make for a better environment than an elite offense against a weak team, especially when it comes to QB fantasy production.
      • If it’s a blowout, that still means one team scored a lot of points. As you can see in this example, Josh Allen put up massive scores in 3 wildly uncompetitive games.

    When are QBs most frequently getting selected in these contests?

    • The three most common draft rounds for QBs across the 90 top 5 rosters in 2022 are as follows:
      • Round 1, 22 QBs (Typically Hurts, Mahomes, Allen)
      • Round 3, 26 QBs (Typically Lamar, Burrow)
      • Round 6, 28 QBs (Pocket QBs, pre-breakout QBs, injury report QBs)
    • Round 1 QBs are the studs that often get selected at the cost of their high-priced teammate (I.e. Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs)
    • Round 3 QBs are usually the next-tier stars that pair with the higher drafted elite teammate (I.e. Burrow/Chase, Lamar/Andrews)
    • Round 6 QBs are the ones that fit with the roster already put together to complete a stack (I.e. Cousins with Jefferson/Hockenson, Tom Brady with Evans/Godwin)
    • It is important to keep in mind that this is always fluid based on which players are available each week (factoring injuries, byes, and primetime games), and certainly can change year to year

    QB stacking (drafted with a stacking partner/total times in the top 5) for the most common top-scoring QBs:   2021 :: 2022 —> total

    • Josh Allen: 3/16 :: 7/11 —> 10/27
    • Joe Burrow: 8/8 :: 12/13 —> 20/21
    • Patrick Mahomes: 8/10 :: 8/9 —> 16/19
    • Lamar Jackson: 4/5 :: 9/10 —> 13/15
    • Tom Brady: 8/10 :: 5/5 —> 13/15
    • Jalen Hurts: 0/4 :: 9/12 —> 9/16
    • Justin Fields: 0/0 :: 4/12 —> 4/12
    • Matthew Stafford: 8/11 :: 0/0 —> 8/11
    • Justin Herbert: 6/6 :: 2/3 —> 8/9
    Flex (1 RB, 2 WR, 1 FLEX):

    First-place performance across the 36 contests (measured by fantasy points scored)

    Here we are looking at the total score of the 4 Flex spots:

    • Average: 104.8 (26.2 / player)
    • Median: 104.2 (26.1 / player)
    • Lowest: 74.4 (18.6 / player)
    • Highest: 137.8 (34.5 / player)

    Here we are looking at the lowest score and highest score of the 4 Flex spots:

    • Average, Low – High: 19.1 – 34
    • Median, Low – High: 18.7 – 32.2
    • Lowest, Low – High: 7.3 – 22.8
    • Highest, Low – High: 26.6 – 53.1

    24 of the 36 teams had at least one flex player score 30+ half-PPR fantasy points

    15 of the 36 teams had all flex players score at least 20+ half-PPR fantasy points

    32 of the 36 teams had all flex player score at least 15+ half-PPR fantasy points

    We can’t predict these high-end outcomes but we need to draft assuming our selected players are having this kind of production (and how that affects the other players). Placing 1st has essentially meant rostering no duds, at least one mega-stud, and multiple other studs. With no bonuses and only half-PPR, TDs are essential to this production.

    • Of the 90 top 5 rosters across 18 contests in 2022, the average TDs scored by the 4 Flex players and TE was 7.2 TDs.
    • We can’t predict TDs, which is why a player’s role, capability, and game environment are factors we try to account for.

    How are most winning rosters using the FLEX spot?

    • Of the 180 top 5 rosters, 124 have had two RBs (68.9%), meaning they chose RB at FLEX over WR and TE.
    • The other 56 top 5 rosters all used WR at FLEX, meaning there was not a single roster to place top 5 using double TE.

    With the nature of the contest being smaller rosters and no salaries, it is arguably even more important to have the highest-scoring players on the week than in traditional DFS. Most of the best teams in Battle Royale are going to have hit on the same 1-3 players to achieve the highest weekly score. Taking major stands on players can propel you to success in this contest when you are right.

    • In 30 of 36 weeks, there has been at least one WR/RB/TE to make all five top 5 rosters.
    • In 21 of 36 weeks, at least 2 WR/RB/TE made all five top 5 rosters
    • Number of times a WR/RB/TE has made all five top 5 rosters by position:
      • WR: 30
      • RB: 15
      • TE: 11
    Tight End:

    First-place performance across the 36 contests (measured by fantasy points scored)

    • Average: 19.4
    • Median: 18.3
    • Lowest: 3.4
    • Highest: 35.9

    Some score benchmarks (an example stat-line for achieving those points):

    • 31/36 scored 12+ points (3-45-1)
    • 25/36 scored 15+ points (5-65-1)
    • 15/36 scored 20+ points (7-105-1 / 4-60-2)
    • At the very minimum, drafters should be looking for a path to at least 4-5 targets with red zone usage for any considered TE

    Especially with a limited sample size, the TE data is more reflective of specific TEs and less of a discernible drafting pattern.

    • Of the 90 top 5 rosters across 18 contests in 2022, the drafting breakdown is as follows:
      • 24 TEs with RD 1-2 ADP (Kelce and Andrews)
      • 18 TEs with RD 3-4 ADP (George Kittle)
      • 48 TEs with RD 5-6 ADP (All the rest of the TEs)
    • So far there has been nearly a split between the times an “elite” TE or an “average” TE appeared on a winning roster (with a slight edge to the “average” (late) TEs)

    Stacking and Correlation:

    Stacking and game environment correlation across the 36 first-place rosters:

    • 21 of 36 had a QB paired with just one teammate
      • WR (16), TE (3), RB (2)
    • 4 of 36 had a QB stacked with two teammates
      • WR-RB (3), WR-WR (1)
    • 11 of 36 had Flex pairings on the same team
      • WR-RB (8), WR-TE (1), WR-WR (1), RB-TE (1)
    • 16 of 36 had one Flex player on both sides of a game (i.e. WR-Opp WR)
      • Just 4 of 16 also included a QB from the game (i.e. QB-WR-Opp WR)
    • 4 of 36 had three Flex players from the same game (i.e. WR-RB-Opp WR)
    • 35 of 36 had at least one game correlation
    • 13 of 36 had two different game correlations

    Conclusion:

    As has been the case with traditional DFS during its entire lifespan, there is no single strategy that holds true for the entire duration of the contest. The nature of football makes for incredibly small sample sizes, extreme variance, and significant changes from week to week and year to year. Reading through the data in this article is not meant to tell you what to do, but rather to help you better understand how success can be achieved in this contest. The more you understand about the kind of performances necessary to win this contest, the better you can adapt your draft strategy every week to the specific nature of the slate on deck.

    With the growth of the contest heading into Year 3, placing 1st is only going to get more challenging. It is essential to keep in mind One Week Season’s philosophy of playing for first. It is not just about being right but rather what you achieve when you are right. A 100% owned 35-point game from Jalen Hurts is not going to be the reason you beat everyone else, but an undrafted 32-point game from Zay Jones might be. There will be injury situations throughout the season that affect the ADP of an elite player throughout the drafting week, thus creating opportunities for drafters who are willing to accept the risk. You have to put yourself in position to take advantage when things break your way.

    Each week in my Battle Royale article, I will lay out the nature of the slate (I.e. which impactful players are missing, affecting ADP) and attempt to uncover some players that are going overlooked in the contest. This article will also continue to track the most successful rosters and attempt to understand the strategies behind them. I encourage anyone interested in trying the Battle Royale contest to check it out and use our OWS BR Discord channel to ask any questions. Let’s have a great season!