Majesstik is one of the most respected Slate Breakdown artists in DFS
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JMToWin is a high-stakes tournament champion (Thunderdome, Luxury Box, Game Changer, Wildcat) who is focusing this year on single-entry/three-entry max
This is, instead, a look at the player pool I’ll be fishing.
:: 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”
:: these are my “Tier 1” plays: the plays I feel confident leaning into across different types of builds; players who have a high ceiling and a low likelihood of price-considered failure
:: these are games, offenses, situations, or scenarios I’ll be looking to build around across my rosters
:: these are 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
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Full breakdown (of what this is, and what the thinking is behind these players) can (and should) be found in the Angles Pod (above).
“Keep it simple, stupid.”
The Patriots have a middling run defense (17th in adjusted line yards, 17th in DVOA), while the Browns rank third in adjusted line yards and run the ball at the third highest rate in the NFL. New England has also allowed the fourth most receptions and the second most receiving yards to running backs this year. Of course, this wouldn’t be a “JM writing about a running back against the Patriots” writeup without me bringing up an important point I bring up from time to time: the Patriots design their defense to basically force opponents to score through the air in the red zone (as it’s easier to score on the ground than through the air when you get close to the end zone). To that end, the Patriots have allowed the fewest running back rushing touchdowns in the NFL this year. And they allowed the fewest in 2019. And the second fewest in 2018. And the third fewest in 2017. And the fewest in 2016. Even in a “down year” in this category last year, the Pats allowed only three more RB rushing touchdowns than the first-place defense. That’s worth keeping in mind. But if Nick Chubb misses (note: Chubb is officially OUT), it’s also worth keeping in mind that Johnson should see 18+ carries and four to six targets in a spot where yards should be able to pile up, and where touchdowns are not entirely impossible.
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Hilow is a game theory expert and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max
I’m consciously deciding to leave this section of the End Around rather sparse this week. Two reasons why that is the case: (1) Xandamere and I do an in-depth breakdown regarding the macro slate overview in the Saturday podcast, and (2) I am choosing to do a little more teaching on Game Theory this week as we hit the midpoint in the season, which has me typing way more words than I intended already. That said, the macro overview of this slate revolves around the multitude of viable options at the running back position (more so than we have seen in any week this season). We have four clear spots for expected fantasy production (Bucs, Colts, Bills, and Cowboys, in that order for me), a couple of game environment bets (Seahawks at Packers and Vikings at Chargers), a bunch of “floating play spots,” and a few games where GPP-worthy production is less likely to come from.
Restrictive chalk. As we explored in the writeup of this game, Dak carries a rock-solid floor (multiple pass touchdowns in all but one game this year, a Week 2 mystery slugfest against the Chargers). That said, the last two games Dallas has played under Dak were a blowout loss to the Broncos and a variant overtime win against the Patriots, where each team scored heaps in the final quarter of play. I highlight those two games because those were the only two games in which Dak attempted more than 32 passes (outside of the Week 1 game against the Bucs, and, as we know, the offensive identity of this team has changed since then), with three of the previous four games coming in at 27 attempts or below. That overtime victory over the Patriots also stands as the only game that Dak has surpassed 30 fantasy points, removing the Week 1 game against the Bucs. All of that to say, if Dak is hitting ceiling here, it is highly likely due to the Falcons pulling increased aerial aggression out of the Cowboys. So, if playing Dak, it should be done in a nod to the game environment (not likely to be the case).
Restrictive chalk. The Jets have surrendered the most opponent yards per game and the most opponent points per game in the league. The Bills rank third in the league in pass attempts per game. But (yup, here’s the but), the Bills have such a high pass attempt per game total because they run the second-most offensive plays from scrimmage per game. The reality is this offense is a lot more balanced than the field realizes or gives credit for, with a situation-neutral pass rate of 61%, a tick above the league average rate of 59%. Josh Allen can 100% “get there on the way up,” but (another but) Allen’s viability basically comes down to how successful you expect the Jets to be against the number one defense in the league. As in, in the Bills games against Texans and Dolphins, the ones where they shut out their opponent, Allen went for only 17.66 fantasy points and 21.02 fantasy points. In the three games in which Allen has surpassed 30 fantasy points, the Bills opponents scored 34, 20, and 21 points. Call me crazy, but I don’t expect the Jets to score 20+ points in this spot. Things to think about.
Expansive chalk. Matchup: check. Opportunity: double-check. Cost: triple-check. Talent: check. Johnson checks all the boxes for what we look for in a running back play. We’ll leave it at that.
Expansive chalk. Didja know, Tennessee has surrendered only 21.3 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields? Didja also know, Trevor Siemian is starting for the Saints? Didja also, also know, Tennessee’s defense is expected to garner the most ownership at the defense position? Something ain’t adding up here.
Restrictive chalk. The running back seeing the second most touches per game against a Lions team that bleeds fantasy points to opposing backfields. I get it. I also likely won’t be going here, personally. Najee has surpassed 100 yards rushing only once this season and has surpassed 25.2 fantasy points only once as well (his record-setting 19-target game). Call me crazy again, but at a price of $7,900, I’m fairly confident I can make that production up elsewhere.
Restrictive chalk. Sure, DA could get there on his unreal volume, but didja know, Adams has seen only 11 red zone targets this season? For comparison’s sake, D’Ernest Johnson has seen 12 red zone opportunities on 43 total opportunities. Wild, right? Furthermore, the combined pace of the Seattle / Green Bay game will be the slowest of the week. If betting on Adams, it better be in a nod to the game environment (as in, with a correlated bring-back or in a game stack).
Restrictive chalk. Similar thoughts to his teammate, Najee Harris, above. The matchup is juicy, but matchup is only a small part of what we need to evaluate when dissecting a game. The environment from a game against the visiting Lions is not one I will be going out of my way to attack. Diontae has gone over 100 yards just once this season as well and would require a return to insane volume to even hit 30 fantasy points, which at his price, you’re not too bummed to miss.
Restrictive chalk. See game writeup in the Edge.
Expansive chalk. $3,500 tight end, on a team that should be trailing, against an opponent that filters production to the middle of the field. Got it. Allow me to play Devil’s advocate for a minute. Dan Arnold has seen snap rates between 57% and 73% during his stay with the Jags, has an aDOT of 5.4, and has a 68.6% catch rate. Let me be clear, he is a solid on-paper play as a tight end in a route on 94% of his snaps that come on pass plays. There are simply more questions for me, personally, than I think the field is giving credit for here.
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A weekly staple of The Oracle :: In no more than two or three sentences, tell us what makes this slate particularly unique.
In my mind, it’s two things:
Firstly, it’s the large supply of attractive running backs this week, at pretty much all levels of the price ranges (something we really haven’t had all season, given the changing shape of the running back position across the NFL).
Secondly (and perhaps even more importantly), the story of this slate seems to be what we saw in the Angles email this week, where we divided the 22 teams into 10 tiers: there are a lot of offenses this week that have players who can have a case made for them, but there is also a very clear “top tier” of Bucs (Tier 1), Cowboys, Bills, Colts (Tier 2). With so many interesting pieces this week, there are a lot of ways to build (and it would behoove any DFS player to not get boxed into any one vein of thought too early in the roster-building process this week; better to explore lots of angles and weigh them against one another), but it also wouldn’t be a surprise if first-place rosters this week build almost exclusively around only those teams. I’ll be exploring everything this week; but I’ll also be comparing my alternate approaches against what I could be doing with those top-tier teams.
It’s backup running back SZN! These guys are going to be critical decision points on the slate, and I expect all of D’Ernest Johnson, Mark Ingram, James Conner, Devin Singletary (assuming Moss is out), and perhaps a Patriots RB (should one or both of Harris/Stevenson miss) to all be pretty popular. This creates some interesting approaches: you can either just embrace the cheap RB chalk, or you can consider ignoring it entirely and paying up for higher-tier RBs in good spots who will be lower-owned than usual because of the availability of the cheap guys.
There’s also a shortage of “stackable shootouts” this week, as most of the higher-total games have fairly wide spreads. I often see people fixate on this idea of “if team X blows out team Y, can they put up big scores if they don’t need to keep their foot on the gas?” While each team’s offensive approach is different, and there are indeed some teams that will slow things way down or even rest starters if they’re up big, we have years of data to tell us that, for the most part, “winning in a blowout” doesn’t actually reduce fantasy points scored by the winning team. When you include the tendency of DFS players to force bringbacks in their stacks, that means people often overlook the opportunity to just build onslaughts of the best offenses without using a bringback. The Bills, Bucs, Cowboys, and Colts all fall into this bucket for me this week, and while I think you can utilize bringbacks in all of those games, I don’t think you need to force it.
The amount of potential running back value makes this slate unique. For MME, choosing the right cheap RB piece and fading the others could be a path to launching a chunk of your rosters above the field. Stacking the expensive quarterbacks with their expensive counterparts is suddenly easy but these rosters will come with the risk of being cratered by a highly owned dud in the RB spot.
For the first time in a while, we have a nice mix of pay-up running backs and potential value backs (JD McKissic, Devin Singletary if Moss misses, D’Ernest Johnson if Chubb misses), creating situation where players actually have to make strategic decisions for once (kidding, kind of). We also have a slate with not any “smash spot games” when considering game environments, and our standard mix of under-the-radar game environments. What I expect to see is the field being drawn to the perceived safety of the higher-priced running backs (as we’ve discussed countless times this season around the Inner Circle areas of the site), which should lead to a congregation of ownership and rather obvious chalk build.
This slate is characterized by the RB position for me. There are a lot of attractive pay up RBS with my personal favorite being Najee Harris. The reason the RB position is so critical on this slate is because there are a lot of viable ways to build, especially if Kamara/Chubb both miss this week. That would leave two clear value plays in D’Ernest Johnson and Mark Ingram (to a lesser extent Devin Singletary if Moss sits, is in the same boat) available, but they would both also likely draw high ownership. Given the other good options at the top of the slate, I’ll be looking to differentiate from builds that play one of Johnson/Ingram, which I think will be the most common approach people take at RB this week. I’ll do that by avoiding both and playing them together. That isn’t to say that I won’t have builds with just one, but I’ll be keeping in mind those types of builds are likely to be extra popular, in a week where a lot of other viable options exist.
To keep it simple this week, what really stands out to me is the lack of expected competitive (spread of less than five points) games in the range of 47-50 points. I’ve talked about that range as my personal “Vegas range” for lower owned game environments with upside, and in this second tier this week we really only have the Bills/Jets, Colts/Jags, Bucs/Washington and Seahawks/Packers. With the Bills, Colts, and Bucs all as heavy favorites, it really only leaves the Seahawks and Packers as an underowned game stack.
This wide gap between the two games at the top: Falcons/Cowboys and Vikings/Chargers, coupled with really just one anticipated competitive game in the second tier (SEA/GB), it drives me toward either A) overstacking the highest implied offenses on the board, B) leaning into either Bills/Jets, Colts/Jags, or Bucs/Washington to be more competitive than Vegas thinks, or C) go overweight on the two competitive games at the top (ATL/DAL and MIN/LAC) while also targeting the Seahawks and Packers, assuming the other three games in the second tier are indeed blowouts. It’s the most logical move, but my current inclination is to focus on option C.
I won’t dig too deep, as several of my peers have already touched on this, but the running back situation is very unique and interesting this week. Every active running back that is priced at $6,300 and above is in an above-average matchup with the exception of D’Andre Swift — who may have an even more valuable than normal workload if Jamaal Williams misses (he has yet to practice coming out of the Lions’ bye week). There are also going to potentially be three sub-$5k running backs stepping into full workloads due to injury. With so many options at the position, it will be important to take some stands and limit your player pool.
The other unique thing about this slate is the multiple premium offenses coming off of very poor performances that are now in great spots. The Cowboys and Bills both laid complete eggs last week but now play the 31st and 32nd ranked defenses in DVOA. These offenses have not had price decreases despite the stinkers they put up in Week 9 and there are some other very good spots on the slate, making it interesting how the field will treat these teams. The Bucs also fall in this category, although to a lesser extent, as they surprisingly were handled by Jameis Winston/Trevor Siemian and the Saints in Week 8 prior to their bye.
The first thing I noticed when going through the slate was the increase in good game environments compared to the past few slates. Follow that up with the most expensive player on the slate being only $8400 and I think we’re going to see a lot of diverse roster constructions this week. As JM noted, the RB position is solid from the top to bottom for salary with a ton of value opening up as injury reports are coming out. There are also a bunch of really great WR plays in the $6000s.
Game Environments, Week 10: A buddy of mine recently said to me that The Scroll feels like a fireside chat, where we’re all sharing our thoughts and angles on the slate. I agree with him; but what REALLY feels like a fireside chat to me is The Oracle.
To that point:
One of the things we’ve all sort of shared thoughts on this year is the pros and cons of worrying more about “game environments” than “teams.” Said differently: is it better to look for game environments with a close spread, or to look for teams that can individually be expected to post a big game, regardless of what their opponent does?
As with anything in DFS, of course, the true “answer” is, “It always depends on the unique nuances of each unique situation.” But in general, teams with a high scoring expectation can get you great fantasy scores “on the way up,” whereas teams with a slightly lower Vegas-implied total but a closer spread will often be less bankable than the really good offenses in a soft matchup…but will also have a higher likelihood of a “had to have it” game, as the game environment can lead to deeper aggression throughout.
Categorizing all of that even more simply: what we’re really looking for, in any/all of this, is teams that can score five or more touchdowns. THAT’S where the power of “building around a game” or “building around a team” really shows itself. And with that in mind, we should be thinking more about “which teams are likeliest to score five or more touchdowns” than anything else.
If we take that thought, then, and turn it to this week, there are five teams in expected “easy wins” with high totals (Cowboys, Bucs, Bills, Colts, Cardinals), and there are two teams with relatively high totals and a close spread between them (Vikings // Chargers). Do any of these teams stand out to you above the others, and are there any other teams away from this list that you might be looking to build around, in the hopes that you can get similar or even better production than is available here?
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Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
“You can’t control variance, you can only hope to contain it.” – Dan Patrick, probably
The NFL season has seemed unusual in recent weeks. We had the Titans nearly shutting out the Chiefs, the Bengals losing to the Jets, then the Bills inexplicably losing to the Jaguars last week. We’ve had backup QBs, RBs, and receivers whom we don’t even know their first name scoring touchdowns recently, while million-dollar takedowns in DFS have come from rosters with little correlation, barely telling any kind of story, with otherwise low odds of building for first place. And yet, all those things have happened. Short-term me feels like these last few weeks have been outrageous, but long-term me sees this all as normal. And it is.
But how can we predict the next James Conner 40-point game? Two touchdowns from an artist known as Malik Turner? A 400-yard game from a backup QB on the Jets? The short answer? We can’t. So we have an option in front of us to either A) stop trying (change contest selection, buy-in levels, maybe play exclusively cash games), or B) lean into these low percentage outcomes. I can’t justify spending time researching and writing DFS content to lead you toward playing the Cowboys WR4 who could catch two touchdowns in garbage time, nor a goal-line running back in a timeshare who could go off if his fellow running back sprains his ankle on his first touch of the game. But, just as I described those two scenarios in a sentence in hindsight, you and I can write stories such as these before the games kick-off. Sure, it won’t happen 95 out of 100 times. But if it does, those other five, you’re in business.
So while we need to be willing to lose, we have to seek the balance of how to do that while also not immediately burning our money. That’s where I hope I can come in and help, and where our OWS content and analysis can drive us toward. Remember, no scenario is technically too thin, but in order to land on some of these irrational plays, you have to keep an open mind. It’s great if I can mention a bunch of underlying statistics to tell you why Conner is going to crush his next matchup, but if I can do that, others can too. So while we’re hunting for upside at low ownership, always keep in mind that all we may need is one reason why a play nobody is on can actually win you a tournament. That reason could be as simple as “we haven’t seen it lately,” “the game flow could tilt his way,” “he’s on the field a lot,” “his touches are high value,” or “his current narrative is so negative.” Whatever it is that points you toward a play, don’t look for seven reasons why. If you’re trying to win a tournament, think for yourself, find inspiration from others, and realize there is more than one way to tell a story.
One of the odd aspects of the Week 10 main slate is the lack of game totals in my Vegas range (47-50) for low-owned environments with upside. We have two games at the top, with Falcons/Cowboys and Vikings/Chargers over 53, and then three games that fall into this 47-50 point total. However, two of them carry spreads over ten points: Bills/Jets and Colts/Jaguars. While I can see the Bills and Jets getting into a 50 point plus game (I’d go there with 10/150 if MME’ing), I likely won’t be there myself. So that leaves me landing on this late Seahawks and Packers game as one of my primary targets this week.
If I have any regrets about my NFL DFS play over the first nine weeks, it’s that my game stacks have not been unique enough. I’ve done a decent job identifying where to place my chips, but I’ve been lazy in mostly stacking with the star players on each side, stubbornly assuming I’d be one of few rosters with a four or five player stack in a particular game, therefore why did I not have exposure to the WR3, TE, or RB2? So in an effort to simplify back to where I began in Week 1, let’s list out the viable skill position players in this game to ensure none go overlooked in a game stack:
As much as I know we don’t want to play Dillon, Lazard, Lewis, or Everett, it’s important to recognize they will be on the field. My only lock in going heavy on this game is Adams, whose three touchdowns on the season are bound to regress very soon. He will most likely be on every roster I build this week, along with Dalvin Cook, if I can fit them. It seems MVS is going to pick up some steam at his cheap price, and I personally prefer Lockett to Metcalf this week, but both are in great spots with Wilson finally back. Don’t ignore Carson (if he returns), Collins, or Jones, as I mentioned earlier this week, it’s lazy to stack with only the star players but it’s equally lazy to ignore the running backs completely and assume a true shootout style of mostly downfield passing.
This is not a cheap mini-stack, but a worthy one (and I must tell you why in only a few sentences, otherwise I’m confirmation biasing you all hard). Cook has only two touchdowns on the season (six games) while averaging 92 yards per game in a matchup with the Chargers 32nd ranked rush defense. He’ll be high-owned for good reason, but not with Big Mike. Williams, on the other hand, is finally back to his Week 3/4 price on DraftKings, he is assumed to be at full health after his knee injury a few weeks back, and his aDOT is increasing. We know how many targets a banged-up Keenan Allen takes to reach or exceed value. It feels like the lower-owned GPP play of Williams has the potential to return to his early-season form this week. After Keenan’s big game last week, and with his current ailments, Williams should go mostly overlooked given his role and expected game environment.
There were two wild games from the early part of the 2020 season which I remember vividly. Browns/Cowboys in Week 4 (49-38), and Cowboys/Falcons in Week 2 (40-39). Dallas pre-Dak injury last season played at such a torrid pace (they are mostly back to that this season), and their defense was unable to stop much at the time. I could dig into who did what in that game, but the important thing to note is the two quarterbacks are the same in Matt Ryan and Dak Prescott, which leads to some consistency in looking ahead to this week. The existence of this chaotic game from last season most likely serves as the primary accelerator in this week’s upcoming game total, as it’s the highest on the board as of Thursday night. Rightfully so. I feel strongly that this week’s slate really points heavily toward this game environment along with Vikings and Chargers, but while I like the odds of these games carrying tournament-winning lineups, we’ll need to get unique in our builds if we want a path to first place.
The Cowboys side of the ball is straightforward, with a few caveats. First, Michael Gallup is ready to return to complicate the target distribution, and second, Zeke Elliott burned a lot of people last week (around 30% owned, 12.6 DK points). I believe we will still see Zeke rostered a good bit this week, but it will be less than what he could have been as a nine-point home favorite if he had not disappointed at high ownership last week. I’m going right back to him in this spot. The return of Gallup should lead to less 12-personnel with two tight ends, but even so, Dalton Schultz should play more than 70% of the snaps and he is likely to also go overlooked on the Dallas side here (especially in a game where many will roster Kyle Pitts).
For Atlanta, we can hunt for value across the board as Cordarrelle Patterson is their only skill position player above $6K on DraftKings. And in Week 9, although it was Olamide Zaccheaus who had the big game production-wise, it was Russell Gage and Tajae Sharpe who played over 80% of the snaps. I may like Sharpe this week as underpriced for his role, in this game environment, along with the do-everything Patterson. We can lean into Ryan and two pass catchers and play an underowned player block (more underowned without Kyle Pitts than with him), along with a bring-back or two from the Dallas side given this high total.
Sonic is a Milly Maker winner and large-field tournament mastermind who focuses on mass-multi-entry play
Here’s my quick thoughts for the most relevant players on this Week 10 slate.
I made a couple of “Clone” lineups to give me some flexibility in case Kyler Murray gets a positive health report.
One other note for this week: I canceled the “Only one RB from Same Game” rule in the optimizer. Most of the RBs in my pool are either pass catchers or paying opposite a pass catching back so I felt that rule was unnecessary.
Let’s make some great decisions this week and hope these flawed human beings don’t fuck it all up!
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Xandamere is one of the most respected Showdown minds in DFS, and focuses his Main Slate play on mass-multi-entry
Week 10 and we’re halfway through the NFL season. I’ve already almost binked the Superdraft GPP three times now and I’m determined to do it this year. Maybe this is the week!
We’re halfway through the season and we’re STILL seeing overlay every week on Superdraft. If you aren’t playing there . . . why not?
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!! (Promo Code :: OWS)
First, all the normal NFL strategy about stacking and correlation still applies. It definitely 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 the primer goes over. With that, let’s take a look at Week 6. 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.
The highest projected quarterback for me is Carson Wentz, of all things. Indy has one of the highest team totals on the slate, while Wentz’s 1.45x multiplier is exceedingly generous for that kind of expected scoring (of course, you need it to come through the air for Wentz to pay off). Jalen Hurts has had a couple of bad games, which has dropped his multiplier down to 1.35 which is fairly low for a QB with his level of upside. I also love Taysom Hill IF he starts, as he generates massive rushing production and a 1.65x multiplier is awesome. Taylor Heinicke should be throwing a ton and we’ve seen him get over 20 raw points on multiple occasions, which at a 1.5x multiplier would give you a tourney score you’re happy with. Outside of those guys, it’s game stack city for me with Justin Herbert, Tom Brady, Josh Allen, and Dak Prescott all viable despite low multipliers, as all of their teams have the (strong) possibility of putting up a ton of points.
I also want to note that, as of Friday, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are both missing from the player pool, but both are expected to return and start. I expect that Superdraft will add them, probably with low multipliers, but I think they’re viable in game stacks.
At running back, we have several backup situations in play this week. D’Ernest Johnson has a 1.55x multiplier if Nick Chubb misses, Mark Ingram is at 1.6x if Alvin Kamara misses, and the Patriots running back situation looks like it could come down to just two healthy guys if Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson both miss. Oh, and Zack Moss is in the concussion protocol, which could leave Devin Singletary and his juicy 1.65x multiplier as the lead back for one of the highest-scoring teams in the NFL.
One guy I’m likely to shy away from is James Conner, who was “priced up” to a 1.3x multiplier. Most of my running back exposure will come from the situations listed above, but I also like Najee Harris with the highest projected workload on the slate and a still-reasonable 1.15x multiplier. D’Andre Swift has a big ceiling at his 1.3x, as does Cordarelle Patterson at 1.35x. I also think it’s viable to play one lower-multiplier back this week for raw points and Jonathan Taylor, Austin Ekeler, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, and Aaron Jones are my likeliest candidates.
As always, I’ll discuss stacking options later, but in this section, I’ll just highlight receivers I’m comfortable using as floating plays in any roster:
Projections are funny things. They’re just math, and math can call out some strange plays . . . like Pat Freiermuth being the highest-projected tight end on the slate due to his 1.95x multiplier. He’s a good play in a vacuum but despite the multiplier, this is still a highly volatile position, and if Freiermuth is out projecting every other tight end by multiple points, and will thus likely be extremely heavily owned, it’s a spot I want to be underweight on. Instead, I’ll chase Dan Arnold (1.7x, best option to move the ball against the Colts D), Dalton Schultz (because I want a lot of exposure to that game), Kyle Pitts (1x multiplier but highest raw tight end ceiling on the slate), and TJ Hockenson (1.15x and should see plenty of volume as the Lions best option in the passing game). It’s also unclear if Logan Thomas is going to return this week, and he isn’t in the player pool right now, but Superdraft is pretty good about adding guys. I’d play either him or Ricky Seals-Jones if LT3 isn’t activated.
One thing that’s tougher about Superdraft sometimes is adjusting to the format when thinking about game stacks. Multipliers can attract us to different game stacks than we would use on a salary-based site, as just looking at projections makes “weird” things like Ben Roethlisberger look viable. You can choose to trust the projections and use plays like that, but personally, I have a hard time seeing a ceiling there. I try to combine players who project well in Superdraft’s scoring format while also playing what I consider to be strong overall plays based on game environment, talent, and matchup. It’s more art than science sometimes (i.e. Roethlisberger projects well by median outcome, but does he really have the kind of ceiling we need in tournaments even at a high multiplier? I’d guess no, but could be wrong). Here are some stacks I think look attractive this week:
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The Betting Channel of the Discord has been very active over the last week. There are bettors in there dailey talking NFL, NBA, NHL, and Collage sports using numerous different tools and strategies. I continue to urge you to check into the prop market if you have not done so thus far. The ROI for many of us has been very profitable- especially when compared to DFS Cash Games in 2021. This is the equivalent of getting into DFS on the ground floor glory days, go where the profit is! Best of luck in Week 10! OWS has promotions available with numerous books for deposit bonuses- make the free money work for you!
Josh Jacobs: Over 60.5 Rushing Yards
Result: Win (76 Rushing Yards)
While we didn’t get the complete game script we wanted for Jacobs to see a season-high in carries, we did get the great efficiency needed to hit the over. Jacobs received 14/17 backfield carries, with Keyan Drake receiving just three. This game stayed close throughout, but Jacobs saw the field on just 49% of the snaps (34), which was below his seasonal average of 37. Regardless, Jacobs is seeing great usage when he is on the field, adding four catches (four targets) to his 14 carries for a total of 18 running back opportunities on just 34 snaps (53%).
Joe Burrow: Over 269.5 Passing Yards
Result: Win (282 Passing Yards)
Burrow and his Cincinnati teammates did not show up for this rendition of the Battle of Ohio, with Burrow throwing an interception at the goal line that was taken all the way to the house to give the Cleveland Browns an early 7-0 lead. The Bengals were able to tie it up 7-7 later in the quarter before going into the break down 24-10. This gave us the script we wanted for Burrow to air it out, before quickly becoming a race for Burrow to hit the number before the game got too far out of reach.
Devonte Booker: Over 19.5 Receiving Yards
Result: Win (23 Receiving Yards)
Booker dominated both backfield touches and snaps before exiting with a hip injury in the 4th quarter. Booker caught all three of his targets for 23 yards early, leaving us with the majority of the game to sweat a catch behind the line of scrimmage for negative yards. Thankfully, Booker did not receive another target and was handed the ball a robust 21 times finishing just one yard shy of the century mark (he actually got hurt on a carry for negative yardage, poor guy). With Saquon Barkley expected back after the New York Giants Week 10 bye, it will be interesting to see if Booker has earned an increased workload as the backup moving forward.
Week 1: +10.0 Units
Week 2: -1.1 Units
Week 3: 0.0 Units (No bets placed, family weekend)
Week 4: +4.65 Units
Week 5: +3.1 Units
Week 6: +2.4 Units
Week 7: -0.3 Units
Week 8: -5.7 Units
Week 9: +11.75 Units
2021: +24.8 Units
Book: Bet Rivers (-122)
“DAL has allowed the 5th most QB pass yds/g (287.9).”
“Ryan has thrown the 8th most pass att/g.”
“Both teams rank in the top 10 in situation-neutral pace of play.”
“Atlanta will be passing based on necessity, as opposed to depending on game flow.”
“Atlanta’s pace of play when trailing by seven or more points ranks third in the league.”
“When a team is forced to the air out of necessity, as opposed to game script or environment, we get a situation where the pass volume is bankable regardless of environment. It starts to make sense why Matt Ryan has as many games over 40 pass attempts as he does under this season.”
“On the season, Atlanta ranks 25th in the league in rush attempts per game at 23.8.”
“With the understanding of the discussion above surrounding Atlanta and their forced aerial attack, we start to understand that Atlanta will be passing regardless of game flow.”
This appears like the ideal recipe for one of Matt Ryan’s over 40 pass attempt games, something he has achieved 50% of the time in the 2021 season. This is a pace-up game, with both teams ranking in the top 10 in situation-neutral pace, with the added likelihood that the Falcon’s play from behind (where their pace of play jumps to the top three when trailing by a converted touchdown or more). Conveniently, Dallas also keeps the pace of play high when winning by double digits, which is important for this match up with Dallas being favored by 9.5 in Week 10. With Randy Gregory hitting IR this week, the Cowboy’s defensive line takes a bit of a hit but against Atlanta’s subpar offensive line, it shouldn’t matter that much. The Falcons have no intention of running in any match-up, outlined by Hilow in The Edge as more of a personnel (having two running backs that are better catching passes than running between the tackles) issue than a bad string of matchups.
Book: Bet Rivers (-115)
“Both coaches want to call a run-oriented game plan.”
“The Broncos play slowly in all circumstances.”
“The Broncos play slow (31st situational neutral pace), stay slow when winning (29th in pace when ahead), and barely speed up when losing (24th in pace when trailing). The Broncos move slow no matter what is happening in the game, and play like a team that is desperately trying to hide their QB.”
“Bridgewater was held under 30 attempts in both Broncos wins the past two weeks. Expect the same approach in this one, as the Broncos coaching staff will be happy to “hide” Bridgewater while trying to win with the ground game and defense.”
“The Broncos will try to suck the air out of this game, and the Eagles will be happy to slow it down if they are ahead, creating a lot of paths to a low-scoring contest. Neither team wants to throw, and there is a realistic chance both teams’ QBs finish below 25 attempts.”
Both these teams want to play slow and keep the ball on the ground. The Broncos do not change their pace of play much to match the situation, protecting us from being too heavily game scripted in a game Vegas has set a lowish total of 45.5 and a less than a field goal spread. The Eagles have flipped the script and started running at an extremely high situation neutral rate. Over the last three weeks, the Philadelphia Eagles have run at a 58% rate in Week 7, followed by 68% and 70% over the last two weeks. Both of those latter numbers ranked first overall in the given week. Teddy has gone under this number in three straight, in which the Broncos have gone 2-1, with their one loss coming in a 17-14 defeat to the Cleveland Browns. The Denver Broncos are going to be without three starting offensive linemen, making it unlikely they will have much success sustaining long drives and avoiding sacks. Expect the ball to remain on the ground, eating valuable clock throughout the afternoon, before being punted away.
Book: DraftKings (-110)
“TB allowed the most RB rec in 2020; 7.3 rec/g allowed so far in 2021.”
“McKissic receiving: 0:0 // 5:83 // 2:15 // 5:44:1 // 1:8 // 8:65 // 4:34 // 8:83.”
“Washington’s 10th-ranked situation-neutral pace of play (29.90) jumps over three seconds to 26.32 in the second half this season, which indicates a team that has both been playing from behind a ton this season and is remaining aggressive deep into those games, trying to fight back into contention.”
“JD McKissic has seen a 40% or greater snap rate in every game since Week 1, peaking at 64% in Week 7. During that stretch of three truly difficult matchups, McKissic has turned snap rates of 61%, 64%, and 46% into target counts of 10, six, and eight. The matchup is the most difficult that the Football Team has seen all year on the ground, against an extreme pass-funnel Bucs defense.”
“We know the Bucs have surrendered more than the league average fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and tight ends, but they also have filtered 67 targets to opposing backfields as well.”
“McKissic has seen target counts of eight, six, and 10 over the previous three games, and we should expect that range to act as his floor in a matchup against a team that funnels pass-game work to the running back position.”
“Finally, as Hilow noted, McKissic is very much in the mix.”
The narrative is widely known. You can’t run on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and really, no one really even tries. Both the matchup and the game script will be in J.D McKissic’s favor this Sunday, making him a great play across all platforms. With Antonio Gibson still suffering from the effects of his shin injury, the Washington Football Team’s coaching staff may take the opportunity to give Gibson a little bit of a breather in a game they will be playing from behind early. Both teams play fast and combine for high total play affairs, with the Bucs leading the league at 130 per contest. McKissic should be on the field plenty in a game script that suits his skill set perfectly. The Bucs funnel 21% of targets (8.4 targets per game), and the Bucs have allowed 59/69 targets to be completed. With JDM likely to lead the backfield in receiving opportunities, he will have a great chance at accumulating a large majority on the near 50 receiving yards a game Tampa has surrendered in 2021. McKissick should function as the second option in the passing game and could see 65%+ of snaps, which would be a season-high.
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