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The Scroll Week 11

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    The DFS Slate

    (In One Central Space)


    Meet The Team


    Angles

    Happy Thursday!

    New members: Every Thursday morning, we send out the Angles email — in which we take a critical, “overview” look at the slate ahead.

    The Lay Of The Land ::

    Week: 11

    Total Main Slate Games: 11

    Slate Overview:

    It must be Week 11.

    On Tuesday morning, I “opened this slate,” and my initial reaction was, “How do you even build rosters on a slate like this?”

    On the surface, this slate shouldn’t be too terribly difficult. We’re missing some good offenses (the Chiefs, 49ers, and Cardinals are in island games; the Seahawks, Dolphins, and — if they count — Buccaneers are on bye), but we have access this week to the Bills, Bengals, Ravens, Bears, Eagles, Vikings, and others, which provides us with a strong list of elite quarterbacks and pass catchers to choose from. We also have a handful of viable high-priced running backs, and we have some fun wrinkles thrown our way (for example: the team with the second highest Vegas-implied team total — behind only the Ravens — is the Atlanta Falcons; meanwhile, the Bills are implied for only 24.75 at home against the Browns, Justin Fields’ Bears are three point underdogs on the road at Atlanta, and Atlanta is implied to outscore the Eagles by 1.5 points). All good things. Nothing too ugly.

    But most of us focus primarily on DraftKings, and while it’s fun that we have a lot of elite quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers…well, we also have “a lot of elite quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers,” while the lower tiers of pricing can be best described as “full of uncertainty.” On my initial practice builds, I found myself rostering WAY too many players in the $4k to $5k range in order to carve a path to the perceived certainty of a couple higher-priced options.

    “How do you even build rosters on a slate like this?”

    And then, it hit me.

    I stamped this into the top of my Week 11 notes.

    My motto for the week.

    IGNORE FLOOR!

    (Say it with me. “Ignore floor! Ignore floor! Ignore floor!”)

    If it were possible to get a one-week tattoo, I’d stamp this message onto my lineup-building fingers. “Ignore floor!” I want this to be the foundational focus of every roster I build.

    And it’s funny, in a sense. As we talk about all the time, ceiling is all that matters in tourneys. But we know our nature is to gravitate toward certainty; and as much as we might chastise the DFS public for flocking to players on their tournament builds who have “safer median projections but lower ceilings,” we can still find ourselves doing the same thing on our own rosters. Sometimes, it takes a week like this to remind us, in a more immediate manner, just how valuable it can be to build with a “ceiling only” mindset. 

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    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::

    First off, the chalk this week will quickly demonstrate the fact that field seems to be overweighting the importance of floor on a slate that lacks much certainty (JM spoke to the same point in his Angles email sent out on Thursday). Secondly, the sheer number of games with low game totals seems to be throwing the field off this week. Next, the best expected game environment carries some of the lowest combined ownership of any game on the slate. And finally, over 85% of the rosters in play this week are expected to utilize a tight end priced between $3,500 and $4,300. Yea, I love this slate. The field seems to be painting a very clear picture of how they want to handle this slate, which provides an opportunity to easily generate leverage by both condensing our player pools and embracing additional variance (counterintuitive to the untrained eye). 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.

    RHAMONDRE STEVENSON

    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Stevenson has put up double-digit fantasy points in seven consecutive contests dating back to Week 3. He has averaged 5.57 targets per game over that same timeframe. All of that means his floor is rock-solid this week. That said, Damien Harris is off the injury report entirely for the first time in a month, Stevenson has seen at most 63% of the offensive snaps this season when Harris was off the injury report, and Stevenson’s running back opportunity totals with a healthy Harris have been 23 (Week 8 against this same Jets team), 19 (Week 4), 17 (Week 3), 11 (Week 2), and 10 (Week 1). That is not something that interests me for a player expected to garner the highest ownership on the slate, particularly considering Stevenson is at his highest salary of the season.

    DAMEON PIERCE

    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Yes, Pierce’s backfield share is elite for the Texans this season. He also plays for a team implied for under three touchdowns against the second-best run-stopping unit by DVOA and has scored just four touchdowns through nine games played. Another fine floor play.

    JOE MIXON

    Restrictive chalk. The Steelers are a clear pass-funnel defense, ranking seventh in DVOA against the run but allowing the most yards per pass in the league. The Bengals have shifted their offensive design and game plan to the most pass-heavy team over the last six weeks (highest pass rate over expectation over that time), but the field just saw Mixon crush souls with five total touchdowns in Week 10. As in, remove the recency bias associated with that game and Mixon would probably garner some of the lowest ownership in the upper echelon of running back pricing. For comparison, Week 10 was the first game in which Mixon crossed the 20 fantasy point threshold since Week 1.

    JOSH JACOBS

    Restrictive chalk. The running back running behind the league’s top run-blocking offensive line that is coming off an eight-target game due to the lack of available receiving options, which is also facing an extreme run-funnel defense. Okay, sign me up for this one. How quickly people forget that Jacobs posted three consecutive games with over 33.3 fantasy points this season.

    ALVIN KAMARA

    Restrictive chalk. This feels like clutching for straws, to be honest. As in, the primary value from Kamara with Andy Dalton at quarterback is his recently reignited pass game involvement. His opponent this week, the Los Angeles Rams, have filtered only 55 targets to opposing backs, allow only 21.6 DK points per game to opposing backfields, have held opposing backs to just 4.13 yards per carry, and have allowed only six combined touchdowns to backs this season.

    DAVID MONTGOMERY

    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. I think JM summed this play up perfectly in his player grid, saying something to the effect of “David Montgomery might be the only running back on this slate that is underpriced for his expected role this week.” I wholeheartedly agree.

    SAQUON BARKLEY

    Restrictive chalk. Saquon is objectively overpriced for his role considering the low expected overall team volume and low expected pass game volume, making him closer to a yardage and touchdown back than the field fully realizes this season. That said, this slate is full of errant perceived certainty, particularly so at the running back position. As in, Saquon might not need to throw up 35+ fantasy points to be optimal on this particular slate, even though he may be overpriced relative to his role.

    CEEDEE LAMB

    Restrictive chalk. Lamb has exactly four games over 100 yards receiving since the beginning of 2021, he has exactly three games with multiple touchdowns since the beginning of 2021, and he has gone over 100 yards and scored multiple touchdowns exactly twice in his last 25 games played (since the beginning of 2021). It just so happens that the last time he amassed 100+ yards and multiple touchdowns was last weekend against the Packers, likely inflating the field’s infatuation with a wide receiver coming off a season with a 9.4 aDOT (ranked 65th last year) that now holds a 10.4 aDOT (ranks 55th this year) this year. His nine total games of double-digit targets in his last 25 games played highlight just how much has to go right in order for Lamb to provide a GPP-winning score. If playing Lamb, it better be paired with a member of the Vikings as the likeliest avenue to Lamb hitting something you had to have in order to ship GPPs involves the Cowboys being pushed by their opponent.

    TERRY MCLAURIN

    Expansive chalk. McLaurin has seen eight or more targets in each of quarterback Taylor Heinicke’s four starts this season, averaging nine targets per game during that timeframe. That said, Washington ranks in the bottom 10 in PROE and the Texans have faced the lowest pass rate against this season (47.91%) as teams simply pound the ball on the ground against them. McLaurin has yet to go over 100 yards and score in the same game this year. Another player that appears “safe” on paper that likely doesn’t carry the requisite ceiling to matter much for GPP play.

    AMON-RA ST. BROWN

    Restrictive chalk. Look, St. Brown is an absolute stud, having seen nine or more targets in every healthy game played since he took the league by storm starting in Week 12 of his rookie season. That said, his sheepish 6.0 aDOT means he needs that volume even to come close to sniffing the 100-yard receiving bonus and the Giants rank second in the league in red zone touchdown rate allowed this season at just 38.24%. Can St. Brown hit here? Of course he can, he’s a beast! Is he likely to provide a GPP-winning score that we had to have in order to be competitive this weekend? Hell no.

    GARRETT WILSON

    Expansive chalk. Garrett Wilson holds a tidy 27.5% targets per route run rate but is sitting on a gross 8.5 aDOT this season, which ranks 80th in the league at the wide receiver position. His expectation is bolstered by how we expect the Jets to handle a devastating New England pass rush, which should serve to filter additional volume over the short-to-intermediate areas of the field, which are the areas Wilson has thrived this year. Wilson carries one of the top point per dollar floors on the slate at any position, but we have to question his paths (and percentage chance to hit) to a ceiling approaching GPP-winning levels playing for a team implied for just over 17 points on the road.

    MID-RANGE TIGHT ENDS

    Expansive chalk. Dalton Schultz ($4,300), Tyler Higbee ($4,000), Greg Dulcich ($3,800), Hayden Hurst ($3,500), and Pat Freiermuth ($4,200) are all expected to garner ownership above 15% this week, with a combined expected ownership total just over 85% (!!!). That is absolutely insane. Not only that but every single one of those players is priced between $3,500 and $4,300, giving us one of the clearest roster construction funnels we will see all season.

    Chalk Build::

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    Relative Value Breakdown

    Dwprix is a research expert at OWS, with focuses on NFL Edge Matchups and the Relative Value Breakdown

    Better Play on Draftkings or Fanduel?

    Week 11

    Pricing can change the value of a play between Draftkings and Fanduel. Recognizing what plays are better values on each site based on scoring rules and points per dollar can create a sizable edge when building rosters. Here are the Week 10 players that are best utilized on Draftkings or Fanduel.

    Dak Prescott:  FD $7.5k, 12.5% // DK $6.6k, 13.2% // Value on Fanduel

    Prescott is the eighth highest priced QB on Fanduel, but the sixth highest on Draftkings. He takes up .7% less of the cap on Fanduel and this week he faces a Vikings defense giving up the eighth most Fanduel points per game to QBs (19.4).

    Joe Mixon:  FD $9.0k, 15.0% // DK $7.4k, 14.8% // Value on Draftkings

    Mixon is the only RB priced above $7.0k on Draftkings that takes less percent of the cap on Draftkings than on Fanduel. After a four touchdown performance last game, Fanduel made him the second highest priced RB this week. On Draftkings, he’s the seventh highest priced RB.

    Alvin Kamara:  FD $7.5k, 12.5% // DK $7.6k, 15.2% // Value on Fanduel

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    JM’s Player Grid

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


    OWS Fam ::

    This is not a complete list of all the good plays on the slate

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


    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


    Angles Pod

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    Bottom-Up Build

    Full breakdown (of what this is, and what the thinking is behind these players) can (and should) be found in the Angles Pod (above).

    Correlated Bottom-Up Build
    DK Salary Remaining :: $6.1K

    Justin Fields
    Josh Jacobs
    Antonio Gibson
    Parris Campbell
    Kendall Hinton
    K.J. Osborn
    Dalton Schultz
    Pat Freiermuth
    Jets

    Join The Bottom-Up Build Contest On DraftKings!

    Buy-In:
    Free

    Rules:
    Build with a salary cap of $44k or below!

    Prizes:
    150 Edge Points (good for two free DFS Education courses!) + ‘Discord Blue’ color in Discord!

    Join Here – Contest 1

    Join Here – Contest 2

    * With the BUB becoming more popular, we’ve set up two contests. ONLY ENTER ONE. The best score between the two contests will be credited with the win! *


    Blue Chips

    Josh Allen

    Easy does it.

    We can talk about Josh Allen “disappointing of late” — and yet, he’s still scored 24+ DK points in all but one game this season, and he’s set to be playing in a dome against a Cleveland pass defense that ranks 26th in DVOA. With a run defense that ranks 32nd in DVOA, Cleveland has faced the ninth lowest opponent pass play rate in the league, but we know the Bills will typically tilt toward the air unless the ground matchup is soft AND the aerial matchup is brutal, which will allow Allen to attack a defense allowing the eighth most yards per pass attempt in the league. I don’t want to roster Josh Allen and end up with 25ish DK points — but given the state of this slate, that type of score won’t kill you…and Allen’s ceiling is as high as anyone’s on this slate.

    As highlighted in my DFS Interpretation for this game in the NFL Edge, I’ll be on Diggs this week, but will (mostly) only play him on rosters that include Allen. I’ll also be on Gabe Davis (both with and without Allen), and will be happy to include a Cleveland bring-back on rosters that focus on this passing attack.

    “Light Blue” Chips

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    Build-Arounds

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    Building Blocks

    New this year: these are unique player pairings that can be used as foundational building blocks for tournament rosters

    Jefferson + CeeDee
    Cost: $16.6K DK // $17.2k FD
    Story:

    “One guy pushes the other”

    Why It Works:

    With pricing pretty tight this week, most people who think about this pairing will try it…and then move on. It’s tough to build a roster around this, which should make one of the most natural pairings on the slate relatively low-owned. While each guy should grab individual ownership, the combinatorial number should set you up for success. Most importantly, this pairing has enough raw upside that it can be a difference-maker if it hits.

    How It Works:

    Teams have attacked the Cowboys on the ground, and the Cowboys build their offensive identity off the run. This game has a chance to start pretty slowly; but if the pace and scoring pick up late in the first half, we could end up with a game in which each of these guys is seeing 12 to 15 targets. Jefferson is a challenger for the crown of “best wide receiver in the NFL,” and Lamb is taking on a Minnesota defense that has allowed the second most wide receiver yards in the league. I expect most of my exposure on these players to come together. Note, this pairing is going to be higher-owned on FanDuel, where these players take up only 28.7% of the salary cap compared to a hefty 33.2% on DK. This gives you less of a strategy edge, but does give you an excellent package of correlated plays at a too-low price tag.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

    The story plays out differently, and you don’t get first place — which is really all that matters.

    Mariota + Pitts + Montgomery

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    Bonuses

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    If Building For Single-Entry // Three-Entry Max

    This is my narrowest pool, which means it’s the pool likeliest to change a bit as I move deeper into builds. If it changes throughout Saturday night, I’ll add an update in this space.

    If I were building for single-entry // three-entry Max, my tightened-up player pool would be:

    QB ::

    Josh Allen || Justin Fields || Marcus Mariota || Dak Prescott || Kirk Cousins || Joe Burrow

    RB ::

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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 course you can find in our Marketplace. 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:

    Running Back ::
    Saquon Barkley

    Nothing too crazy to explain here. Incredible talent and workload, great matchup. Comes at a high salary but deservedly so. The only “knock” on Saquon is that we really haven’t seen much of a ceiling from him since Week 1. My take on that is that with his workload and talent, the ceiling will almost certainly show at some point…..rather than some people who are taking it to mean he doesn’t have much ceiling anymore.

    Dalvin Cook

    Dalvin has been playing 80%+ of the snaps and handling almost all of the RB work over the last four games. He now faces a Cowboys defense that has given up 200+ rushing yards in the best game environment of the week. Somehow, Dalvin is projecting for very modest ownership which is an added bonus.

    David Montgomery

    Khalil Herbert is on the IR, leaving Montgomery as the clear lead back on a Bears offense that is rapidly ascending. We’ve seen this movie before, with Montgomery emerging down the stretch of the last two seasons as well, and we’ve also seen lead running backs playing next to QBs who present huge threats on the ground benefit greatly. Monty is about $1k underpriced for his role and matchup this week.

    Tony Pollard

    Pollard has been every bit the stud I expected him to be in a lead role. The team is sticking with Ezekiel Elliott and saying all the right things, but Pollard is clearly the better option at this point. My hope is that Elliott is active, which it sounds like he will be, or if he’s going to be inactive that it is a late “surprise”. If active, I think Pollard has earned a big role and will be fed the ball in high-leverage spots like this game. Elliott active but limited is my anticipation, with Pollard ending up in a great matchup and game environment with a great ceiling at very low ownership.

    Jonathan Taylor

    Taylor has a great matchup on the ground, a coach who wants to feed him relentlessly, and is finally healthy. This is around the time last season that JT started going nuts and breaking slates.

    SIDE NOTES::

    • Kenyan Drake – In the game before the Ravens bye week, Drake handled 26 touches in a great performance against the Saints. This week, the Ravens are 13-point favorites as they host a Panthers team that gave up 5 touchdowns to Joe Mixon just two weeks ago. Gus Edwards may return this week, but even if he does he will likely be eased into action after JK Dobbins had his own setbacks in returning from a torn ACL. My guess is that Edwards is used sparingly or is a last-minute inactive, in either case, Drake is likely to go almost completely overlooked in an outstanding spot.
    • Josh Jacobs I was higher on Jacobs earlier in the week but he is on a team projected to score under 20 points, making him fragile at his price tag. Jacobs also carries some extra risk due to the uncertainty around Davante Adams due to his abdomen injury – we saw the Raiders offense completely tank against the Saints the last time Adams had a week of rough practices while dealing with a physical ailment. I likely won’t end up going here at this point but left him in the Grid to share those thoughts on why.
    • BONUS:: If you are looking to play more expensive QB and WRs from specific game environments, here are a couple low priced RBs who I see realistic chances of game environments that allow them to get 15-18 points while opening things up for the rest of your roster::
      • Jaylen Warren
      • Tyler Allgeier
      • Antonio Gibson/Brian Robinson
      • Michael Carter
    Tight End ::

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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


    OWS FAM! 

    This slate has grown on me over the week. Seemed super gross at first but now I’m knee deep in the muck and feeling like a bink is on the horizon. 

    If it ain’t me, I hope it’s YOU.

    Be your badass self and make some unique rosters this week.

    LFG!

    Sonic


    QB:

    RB:

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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

    Have you ever seen a dog running in circles just chasing its tail over and over again? It’s funny to watch because we know the dog is not going to get to its tail. We know what the dog doesn’t know at this moment: the tail is connected to the dog’s body. Playing solely GPPs in DFS can feel a lot like being a dog chasing after something we may never get. But we really, really should try hard not to be the dog. 

    Most of us lose a lot in DFS. I personally lose many more weeks than I win. And yet, while I try to be “willing to lose,” losing still stinks. And of course, after a losing week, when we spend any time reflecting on the slate, it’s so simple and provocative to say in hindsight things like, “never playing that guy again” or “this player has no ceiling” or “how did I not play the player who broke the slate?!” These are normal reactions. But they skew the heck out of our thinking on the next slate.

    Stay the Course

    I don’t really consider myself a content producer in this industry, despite producing this article weekly on OWS. But as a person who makes predictions about the NFL, there is no more frustrating feeling than being a week early or a week late on a player. Sometimes the data is there, we see signs and matchups pointing in our direction, and we’re able to identify the role that may burst, and then sometimes in a one-game sample, it just takes another game to come to fruition. And what I’ve learned is simply this: stick to your plans and have patience.

    Think about where you’ve lost already in DFS this season. And go back to those wells. If your thing is always attacking the Lions, then get after it again this week with the New York Giants. If your thing is always one Viking, keep it coming. If you’ve played Justin Fields the previous two weeks, don’t stop now. Do you always isolate pass-catching RBs and never play a RB or TE in the flex? Then keep on, keeping on. My guidance to you this week is to stay the course. This season has been quite the chalk-heavy ride, with a lot of the best players with high ownership crushing every slate. If you haven’t benefited from this well yet this season, I wouldn’t start now. Because just when you change sides, the pendulum will swing back in the other direction.

    Don’t chase your tail! Continue to sharpen your edge and stay there. Wait for your variance to strike, and it will always strike when you least expect it to. Let’s dig into a few scenarios where we can welcome the variance this week . . . 

    Late Game RBs

    You know what people hate to do? Leave all of their running backs out of the early window of games. Last season, I likened playing more players in the late games vs. the early game to being out in the DFS GPP streets either hunting or being hunted. I, for one, will always prefer to be hunting. That means, at times, saving most of your players to wait until the late games to kick off. And this week, with only three of 11 games kicking off late (LV/DEN, CIN/PIT, DAL/MIN), outside of Cowboys and Vikings game stacks, it should be unlikely that many rosters will be out there hunting during the late window. I don’t love the idea of ignoring a complete wave of games, though I understand why it’s contrarian, so I’m planning to meet this strategy halfway this week. I’ll be playing three running backs on most of my rosters, with all the backs playing in one of these three games.

    As we look at these three games, we have four viable running backs on this slate. Five if you count whichever cheap RB gets the Denver carries. But the four I am talking about are: Josh Jacobs ($7,500), Joe Mixon ($7,400), Tony Pollard ($6,500), and Dalvin Cook ($8,000). Jacobs should be the focal point of a Raiders offense that continues to feed him (21 carries, eight targets last week). Mixon’s ownership will likely be diminished despite his 58-point DK game last time out because A) people don’t generally want to be points-chasey and B) the over/under is modest (41) in a game this week at Pittsburgh. Pollard has been dominant the last few weeks and is still underpriced considering his ceiling, even if Zeke Elliott returns. We have ample data on Pollard being able to hit a ceiling with limited touches, or we can play the Zeke decoy card and hope Tony still gets most of the work. Finally, Dalvin has topped 26 DK points in three of his last six games and comes into the game of the slate, against a Dallas defense that Green Bay just showed the league how to beat (by running the ball and keeping the game close). I’ll be doing my best to play RB in the flex this week, and utilizing three of these four in each lineup.

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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 11 Topics

    1. QB Controversy

    2. Dumpster Diving

    3. Track Meets

    4. Floating Plays, Week 11

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


    1. QB Controversy

    The Question ::

    We have had an interesting run of weeks recently where many of the “premium” quarterbacks were off the slate, leaving only one or two of the high end signal callers in the player pool and making it easier to go different places and dodge the high end outcomes of those pricey dual threat quarterbacks while we also had a run of some lower priced QB’s going off – particularly Tua and Justin Fields. 

    This week, the pricing for Justin Fields has finally caught up with the player we’ve seen on the field the last four weeks and there are three other premium QBs on the slate (Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts). Fields is in a projected high scoring game environment and the other three QBs I mentioned play for the three highest implied team totals of the slate. Likewise, there are several “ugly” games this week and there doesn’t appear to be a cheap QB with the monster ceiling we’ve been spoiled by Fields with the last two weeks. 

    This presents a unique situation and a critical decision point for the slate. While in some recent weeks it was a bit easier to fade just one or two high end QBs and we had clear lower priced options that stood out (Week 8 – Tua @ DET, Week 9 – Fields vs. MIA, Week 10 – Fields vs. DET), this week with four high end QBs in great spots on the slate it becomes much more difficult to go a different way and not lose a lot of ground from a raw points perspective. Put another way, it seems relatively unlikely that at least one of these four QBs doesn’t put up something in the 32-35 point range, with all of them having paths to 40+. With all of that in mind, is there one of those high end QBs that stands out to you above the rest? Also, are there any QBs in the middle to lower tier who you think has a realistic shot to keep pace with the “premium” guys?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    As I’ve covered in a few spots on the site, I’m not particularly concerned about Lamar Jackson (game environment // play-calling tendencies) scoring 32 to 40, and I’m not particularly concerned about Jalen Hurts (matchup // game flow) scoring 32 to 40. If I’m wrong on these guys, I’ll be okay with that, but this leaves me considering this a “two QB” slate — i.e., two QBs who have a solid shot at 32+, and therefore “only two QBs who would have to miss” if I were to go to a cheaper guy.

    Among those two…I like both. But I lean Josh Allen, as Fields can only bail you out in one way (massive rushing production), whereas Allen can bail you out in two ways (legs // arms). Here’s what I mean :: if Josh Allen doesn’t have a big day on the ground, and/or doesn’t score any rushing TDs, he’s still capable of 350-400 yards and three or more touchdowns through the air. Allen can get you 30+ as a passer, and his rushing upside can be bonus on top of that. Fields is probably not getting too far north of 200 passing yards and two passing touchdowns even when everything comes together, which is still only 16 points, and requires him to have a big day on the ground at his price tag from there. A big real-life day (80 yards; no touchdowns) still has him posting a disappointing score…and it’s not particularly easy to keep rushing for 100+ yards, or to keep scoring at least one rushing touchdown every game. I’ll have BOTH of these guys on a large chunk of my rosters, but my lean is toward Allen on my Main Build. I could still end up with Fields, but Allen’s multi-scoring role and attachment to a wide receiver in Diggs who is probably hitting if Allen hits (allowing me to get two spots right with this decision, rather than just one) definitely tilts things in his favor for me.

    Among guys outside the top, Burrow is my QB likeliest to ascend to the top of the slate. Among cheapies, I’ll have some Mariota with Montgomery (we still need that game environment to hit for Mariota rosters, but don’t want Fields going nuclear; Montgomery is the best way for that to happen; I will pair Diggs on some Mariota rosters, as Allen is priced far enough above Mariota that 25ish from Mariota and 30ish from Diggs could still be “the best way to build” when it’s all said and done), some Daniel Jones, and (in large-field MME) a mix and match of a few other guys (Davis Mills, Jacoby Brissett, Jared Goff, etc.) on a small number of my builds to account for how weird and wonky an NFL weekend can sometimes be. By far, however, the majority of my exposure will be on Allen, Fields, Burrow, and Mariota (with Montgomery).

    Xandamere >>

    Xandamere will return in Week 12

    Hilow >>

    The answer, for me, is Justin Fields. There is a high level of psychological implications at play when you talk about a quarterback who has seen his price jump over $2,000 in such a short span (two weeks), but the fact of the matter is Fields is the best on-paper play at the quarterback position this week. All other top-end quarterbacks have legitimate question marks associated with their viability this week – Josh Allen has the UCL injury, has the worst interception rate over the previous three weeks, and has all the hoopla associated with the weather and travel with the game moved to Detroit, Lamar Jackson is apparently dealing with a sickness, has lost his primary deep threat in Rashod Bateman, and has his primary pass game option listed as questionable in Mark Andrews, and Jalen Hurts lost tight end Dallas Goedert and his wide receivers have one of the most difficult matchups with an Indianapolis secondary holding wide receivers to the fewest fantasy points per game this season (25.0). When you combine those two thoughts, it is highly likely that Fields’ ownership is held in check, which makes it easy to plug him in as the best on-paper play at the position.

    Joe Burrow, Daniel Jones, and Kenny Pickett are my calls (of the non-elite quarterbacks) to match the top-tier QBs.

    Mike >>

    Josh Allen is speaking my love language this week. While he hasn’t looked great in recent weeks and the Bills have had a crazy week, this is the best combination of matchup, game environment, and health that Allen has had in quite a few weeks. His weaponry all makes for great stacking options as well, with Diggs and Knox having very nice price tags for their roles and Gabe Davis likely to be very low owned with a monster ceiling. (This, of course, assumes the Bills are able to fly out and actually play a game this week – if they can’t, my preference among the top QBs would be Hurts on Fanduel and Fields on Draftkings.)

    Joe Burrow on Draftkings and Dak Prescott on Fanduel are the other QBs that have drawn my interest as capable of keeping pace or matching the top dogs on a raw points perspective but doing so for a lower price and at low ownership.


    2. Dumpster Diving

    The Question ::

    It feels like we have been talking all year about the lower scoring in the NFL this season, and at this point in the year it feels like it’s not going away. Maybe when the bye weeks pass we will be able to wipe more teams/games from our consideration on a weekly basis, but for right now it seems like tight pricing and smaller player pools are forcing us to at least consider some plays that normally would feel very thin. This week, SIX of the 11 games on the slate have totals of 41 or lower – most weeks in past years there would be two or three of those at most in a given week. If any of those games even produces 50 points between the two teams it could become very important to have exposure to. Given the context of the slate and pricing, are there any of those game environments that you have more hope for to become fruitful fantasy environments? If so, which ones and what is it that you like about their potential? 

    The Answers ::

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    Sunday Crunch

    Sunday Crunch is an Inner Circle feature that can be found late on Saturday nights and non-IC members can receive a chunk of the content each week. Mike also posts updated thoughts to Discord on Sunday mornings for Inner Circle members.

    Click here to join Discord for free.

    Reading The Tee Leaves::

    Although he often plays second fiddle to Ja’Marr Chase in terms of media and fan attention, Tee Higgins is one of the better receivers in the NFL and over the last two years, his usage and production have been outstanding in their own right. He now faces a Steelers pass defense that has struggled against perimeter receivers and he should get a healthy dose of targets with Chase out of the lineup and the Bengals likely to struggle against a very good pass defense. I like the Bengals passing game in stacks this week, but Higgins as a solo play is a very good bet in lineups built around some of the higher-scoring games on the slate.

    Running Into The Fire::

    Last week in this spot, I talked up Tony Pollard as a player who I was willing to take a leap of faith on based on my instincts and a belief that rationality will take over. Unfortunately, after writing all of that the Cowboys decided that they would rest Elliott another week and reports of that came out early enough for the field to flock to Pollard. All reports are that Ezekiel Elliott will play this week, and I love it. Elliott is still clearly not 100% – if he was, we would know it and if he was then he wouldn’t be wearing a bulky brace that will limit his effectiveness. This is the definition of a high-leverage game as the Cowboys are on the road against an 8-1 Vikings team and at risk of losing back-to-back games and falling to 6-4, which would be three games behind the Eagles in the division. They need their best players on the field, regardless of contract or veteran status. Oh yea, the Cowboys also play on Thanksgiving this Thursday meaning two games in five days for a player (Elliott) who they claim is critical to their team that is battling an injury. In my opinion, Elliott is most likely to end up in the 8 to 14 touch range with limited effectiveness, while Pollard will be in the 15-20 touch range with upside for more depending on the game script and how Zeke’s knee holds up. Pollard is extremely talented and is in a great matchup, game environment, and role – plus Zeke being active will keep Pollard’s ownership extremely low. Let everyone else run scared, I’ll be running straight into the fire to play the guy who is averaging over 30 DK points in his last two games.

    Getting Defensive::

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    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. 

    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. 

    QB STRATEGY

    Based on the state of this slate, QB ownership is likely to fall into three buckets:

    • The first bucket would be Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins playing in the clear top-game environment with explosive weapons and stacking partners. I would expect those two QBs to combine for around 60% of ownership.
    • The next bucket would be the two QBs from the “favorites” on the slate – Russell Wilson and Joe Burrow. I would expect both of them to have ownership in the 10-15% range and vary based on the contest. Burrow has some clear stacking partners and a ceiling that will draw some people in. Wilson has a great matchup and a somewhat condensed target pool, particularly price considered.
    • Finally, Derek Carr and Kenny Pickett round out the pool of starting QBs for the afternoon slate. Carr has a very tough matchup and Pickett has not shown much this year. I would expect the two of them to combine for around 10% ownership.
    Defense Strategy
    • The Steelers will be the most popular defense on the slate. They are the cheapest and had a huge game against the Bengals the first time they played. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get up near 40% ownership. The thing is, based on this slate and the explosive players on the expensive end of things, the Steelers likely don’t need that great of a game to be viable on winning rosters, regardless of where that ownership ends up. Obviously, if we can avoid the super chalk defense that is generally a good play, but I wouldn’t be changing rosters elsewhere just to get away from them. Said another way, if having PIT D makes everything else work – it’s okay.
    • The Broncos and Bengals will likely be the next highest owned defenses on the slate, which makes sense and fits in with what we often see on these short slates where most of the highest owned defenses are those playing against the lowest owned QBs. I really like the Broncos on the main slate so it’s hard not to think favorably about them here. 
    • Minnesota and Dallas defenses could have a lot of opportunities for sacks and turnovers in a potential high scoring, back-and-forth game. The Dallas defense has five games with double-digit fantasy points and is facing Kirk Cousins, who often struggles under pressure. Minnesota’s defense is cheap and just scored 15 fantasy points against the Bills in a game where they gave up 30 points.
    • The Raiders defense is hard to trust because of how bad they are, but they are playing Russell Wilson who has been oblivious in the pocket, and due to the state of the Broncos running game, he will likely drop back to pass a lot.

    Going through the whole list, there really aren’t any defenses that I think you “can’t” play, and there also aren’t any clearly superior smash defenses. The Broncos are my favorite of the bunch but picking the one that fits your roster the best is viable any way you slice it this week.

    HOW I’M APPROACHING EACH GAME

    Be sure to check the NFL Edge game breakdowns for deeper dives into these games, but here are some afternoon specific thoughts.

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    Underdog Underowned

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

    The goal of this article is to present you with information and strategy about a different-style DFS tournament that is not currently as strategically optimized as traditional DFS due to its infancy as a contest style. Due to Underdog’s main customer base of Best Ball players, there are many people approaching this tournament in a suboptimal way. So let’s take advantage!

    Brief Review of Previous Data

    This section will just be to track some top-five lineup trends that may help you in constructing your roster.

    • In 18/28 weeks, there have been at least four QB-teammate stacks in the top-5 rosters (13 of 18 were QB-WR)
    • 2022 QBs + teammate in top-five: Joe Burrow (10/10) // Lamar Jackson (9/10) //  Justin Fields (3/10) // Josh Allen (5/9) // Patrick Mahomes (5/5) // Jalen Hurts (4/4) // Tua Tagovailoa (2/2) // Jared Goff (1/1)
    • Of the 50 QBs on a top-five roster in 2022, 45 have scored at least four touchdowns
      • Exceptions: Allen in Week 4 (four teams, two touchdowns) and Tua in Week 8 (one team, three touchdowns)
    • Of the 140 top-five rosters, 101 have had two RBs (72.1%)
      • This means a 1-2-2-1 roster construction
    • Mark Andrews has made a top-five roster in 11-of-20 weeks he has been on the slate, and Travis Kelce has made a top-five roster in 11-of-19 weeks he has been on the slate
    • In 2022, eight of 10 weeks have had a single WR or RB make all five top-five rosters
    Looking at Week 11

    Even with ADP shifting over the course of the week, we can get a pretty solid idea of who is going where early in the week, and what players are being left off the board that might provide overlooked winning upside. Remember, the players discussed with upside are all potential 6th round picks, meaning they aren’t meant to be the best plays or to even be played together, but rather serve as ways to create unique combinations with the 100% owned players.

    Notable QBs missing from this slate: Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray, Tom Brady, Geno Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Trevor Lawrence

    • Top-six QBs by ADP: Justin Fields (@ATL) // Josh Allen (CLE) // Jalen Hurts (@IND) // Lamar Jackson (CAR) // Joe Burrow (@PIT) // Dak Prescott (@MIN)
    quarterbacks:

    QBs with upside outside the top-six drafted:

    • Daniel Jones: Jones is set to face the NFL’s worst defense in 2022, with Detroit allowing the most fantasy points per game to QBs (23.7). Detroit has yielded rushing production to QBs of 90/1 (Hurts), 49/1 (Smith), 40 (Rodgers), and 147/2 (Fields). Jones has 20+ rush yards in every game, including games of 68/2, 79, and 107/1. With Jones’ pass catchers being too thin for this format, he is best played either naked or with Saquon, essentially saying all the Giants touchdowns go through the two of them.
    • Marcus Mariota: Since shipping away two of their best defensive players, Chicago has allowed point totals of 49, 35, 32. Atlanta has scored 26+ points in five games this year. Chicago has allowed rushing production to QBs of 54 (Lance), 98/2 (NYG QBs), and 34/1 (Dak). Mariota has five games between 43-72 rush yards, and multiple games of 24 fantasy points. As noted last week about Goff, if this game environment performs as needed, Fields is a massive favorite to outscore Mariota. But if Mariota can stay within his range, a different roster can be built with him as your last pick than with Fields typically being your first pick.
    Running Backs:

    Notable RBs missing from this slate: Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey, Kenneth Walker, Travis Etienne, Aaron Jones, Leonard Fournette, James Conner

    • Top-10 RBs by ADP: Saquon Barkley (DET) // Joe Mixon (@PIT) // Jonathan Taylor (PHI) // Nick Chubb (@BUF) // Dalvin Cook (DAL) // Alvin Kamara (LAR) // Rhamondre Stevenson (NYJ) // Josh Jacobs (@DEN) // Dameon Pierce (WAS) // Tony Pollard (@MIN)
    • With so many top RBs not here, and several others in questionable spots, the position definitely has room for an undrafted guy to sneak in this week. And at the very least, these guys will certainly have value in the 12-roster format of the GoalLine Stand Contest.

    RBs with upside outside the top-10 drafted:

    • Cordarrelle Patterson: Chicago is allowing the 4th most RB fantasy points per game behind the fifth most RB rush yards per game and second most RB touchdowns (14). In 2022, Patterson’s best games have come with touch totals of 27, 18 and 14, with fantasy scores in those games of 21.1, 21.8, & 17.8. ATL has the second highest team total on the slate as a home favorite.
    • David Montgomery: Montgomery has nine games of 20+ fantasy points in the last 2.5 seasons, he has 14-17 rush attempts in six-of-eight full games, and now Khalil Herbert was just placed on IR. Atlanta is allowing the ninth most RB fantasy points per game, with strong games allowed to Chubb, Fournette, Mixon, Foreman (x2) and Ekeler. Montgomery is direct leverage off the No. 1 drafted QB of the week, Justin Fields.
    • Brian Robinson: Houston has allowed the most RB fantasy points per game by a wide margin behind a whopping 156 rush yards per game allowed to RBs. Since returning from IR, Robinson has out-carried Gibson 95 attempts to 50. He has three games of 17+ attempts, including last week’s 26 attempts in a win vs. Philadelphia. Robinson provides leverage off the No. 8 drafted WR of the week, Terry McLaurin.
    Wide Receivers:

    Notable WRs missing from this slate: Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Deandre Hopkins, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Ja’Marr Chase, Cooper Kupp, Christian Kirk, Juju Smith-Schuster

    • Top-14 WRs by ADP: Jefferson // Diggs // Lamb // Adams // AJ Brown // Higgins // St. Brown // McLaurin // Davis // Boyd // Sutton // D Smith // Olave // Cooper
    • WR is extremely lacking for quality depth this slate

    WRs with upside outside the top-14 drafted:

    • Curtis Samuel: Houston has allowed the league’s most production on the ground, making Samuel interesting for some similar reasons to Brian Robinson. Samuel has four games of four-plus attempts and five games of 70+ total yds. With McLaurin trending to be 100% owned, and Robinson probably the next Washington player some will look to, Samuel offers leverage off both as someone who could realistically get into the endzone twice for Washington.
    • Darnell Mooney: Let’s try this again this week. Atlanta has allowed the most fantasy points per game to WRs and the most completed air yds. This game carries the highest total of the slate. Mooney has averaged 62.4 reception yards per game on 170.3 pass yards per game (37%) from Fields since Week 4. First Rd Fields will most commonly be taken naked or with Cole Kmet, offering leverage in a stack with Mooney. Playing Mooney sans Fields is a way of saying that Fields had more passing production than rushing, lending the possibility for another QB to outscore him despite a strong day from his top pass catcher. 
    • Donovan Peoples-Jones: While Amari Cooper continues to be a disappearing act on the road or in shadow matchups, Peoples-Jones has quietly produced 70+ yds in five of the last six games. DPJ has yet to score a touchdown this year, and due to injuries Buffalo has taken a major step back this season in its defense vs WRs. With the game being moved out of the snowstorm, the game total is only likely to rise. DPJ provides leverage off No. 4 RB Nick Chubb, and can even be correlated with Buffalo players Allen and Diggs. 
    Tight Ends:

    Notable TEs missing from this slate: Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, Darren Waller, Evan Engram, Mike Gesicki, Gerald Everett 

    • Mark Andrews health a big factor, as he’s at huge advantage at the position this week given the guys available

    TEs to consider:

    • TJ Hockenson vs DAL: 19 targets in two games with Minnesota
    • Dalton Schultz @ MIN: Six targets per game and 60 yards per game with Prescott
    • Kyle Pitts vs CHI: 24 targets in last three games; second highest team total on slate
    • Pat Freiermuth vs CIN: Seven or more targets in six of eight games
    • Greg Dulcich vs LV: No Jeudy, bad pass defense, bad TE defense, explosive
    Underowned Combos:
    • Fields + Mooney + (CPatt / Pitts / London)
    • Mariota + Montgomery + (Pitts / London)
    • Lamar + Andrews + Moore / Foreman
    • D Jones + Saquon + (St. Brown)
    • Wilson + Sutton + (Jacobs / Adams / Moreau)
    • Dak + Gallup + Jefferson
    • Allen + Peoples-Jones + (Diggs / Davis)
    • Burrow + Higgins + Diontae / Pickens

    Hope this helps you get started with the contest and ship that first place! Good luck everyone!

    Late Swap

    StatATL is an OWS Fam grad who had multiple tournament wins last season that included a large field showdown for MNF and a $50,000 SE win. This season Billy has been hammering short slates and utilizing late swap. In this article, he’ll help you take advantage of late swap.

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

    Outlook – Late Games:

    Three of the eleven total games fall into the late window this weekend with the DAL vs MIN game coming in as the 2nd highest environment in terms of Vegas implied point totals. I would expect heavy ownership on the key skill position players from this game. The two other late games feature less exciting game environments, but several intriguing pieces for one-off and/or late swap consideration. Overall, if your main bet/stack on a roster is from the early games, I like a construction with at least 2, preferably 3 pieces (which includes DST) saved for the afternoon games. This will allow you to block the popular pieces from the high owned DAL vs MIN game if your early plays smash or get contrarian with some of the options outlined below if your roster needs to play catch up to get over the cash line.

    Important Early Outcomes to Watch:
    • Justin Fields / David Montgomery
    • Expensive, high owned RBs – Barkley, Mixon, Jacobs, and Kamara all project at or above 20%
    • Cheap WR – In a week starved for value, thin plays such as Nico Collins, Parris Campbell and Garrett Wilson project for heavy ownership.
    • Rhamondre Stevenson – Early projections have him north of 30% despite Damian Harris likely return.
    • “Slate Breakers” – unexpected monster performances like Mixon a couple weeks ago
    Price Range Breakdowns (Late Games):

    $7,100 and up:

    • Joe Mixon – Highest ceiling (never thought I’d type that) and range of outcomes from this group, but likely the highest ownership. Has seen 17 or more opportunities in every game but one this season. Can offset the ownership and stay unique by swapping to him but leaving salary on the table or as part of a game stack with Burrow and a Bengals pass catcher.
    • Justin Jefferson – Most expensive player on the slate but projected for moderate ownership. Up against a Dallas defense that just allowed 35.7 DK points to Christian Watson last week. Cowboys side of the ball projects as more popular, so a strong pivot consideration if trailing.
    • Adams/Jacobs – Over the last 2 weeks, Adams and Jacobs have combined for an absurd 68% of the offense’s usage (targets plus carries) and Renfrow and Waller are now on IR. Adams projects for low ownership and while Jacobs likely comes in over 20%; both have elite ceilings.

    $6,000 – $7,000:

    • Tyler Boyd – Ja’Marr Chase is still out and WRs have put up huge scores against Pittsburgh this season: AJ Brown 42.6, Gabe Davis 35.1 and Ja’Marr Chase 31.9 back in week 1.
    • Tony Pollard – Zeke news will come late, and while he’s projected to play, if he’s out then Pollard becomes a strong pivot at lower ownership with most people using their RB slots early.
    • Courtland Sutton – Sutton has 10+ targets in 44% of his games this season, and Jeudy and KJ Hamler are out. Parris Campbell and Christian Kirk both put up 20+ points against Vegas the past 2 weeks.

    $5,000 – $5,900:

    • George Pickens – Wide range of outcomes, but we have yet to see his ceiling game.
    • Michael Gallup – Projecting for about 1/10 the ownership of both Lamb and Schultz. Target counts of 6 or more targets in three of his past four games.

    Sub $5,000:

    • Kendall Hinton – Likely won’t get news until gameday, but if active, Hinton offers 4x-5x point per dollar upside with both KJ Hamler and Jerry Jeudy both already ruled out.
    • KJ Osborn – 11 targets last week. Historically on the field for 80% of the offensive snaps and projected for 1% ownership.
    • *Bonus – Wan’Dale Robinson – Not a late swap consideration, but my favorite leverage off a popular Barkley.

    Defense:

    • Steelers ($2,300) – Likely to be the highest owned DST on the slate.
    • Vikings ($2,400) – Offers leverage off the highest owned game as well as a direct pivot off Pittsburgh DST. Double digit points in 3 of the past 4 games. Averaging 4 sacks and 2 INT during that stretch.
    • Bengals ($3,400) – Kenny Pickett has thrown 8 interceptions and been sacked 18 times in his 6 games this season. Bengals are projected for 3% ownership.
    Stacks/Construction:
    • Dak Prescott is projecting as one of the 4-5 highest owned QBs. Dak is likeliest to be paired with Ceedee Lamb (projected at 25%) or Schultz (projected at 19%). Dalvin Cook (projected at 5% ownership) and Vikings DEF offer direct leverage. If building a Dak, Lamb stack you may want to build with Bengals DEF to allow for a swap to Burrow and Boyd/Higgins, or Cousins and Jefferson (and PIT DEF).
    • One of my favorite stacks on the week is some combination of Burrow, Boyd, Mixon & Hurst. The Steelers have been absolutely gashed twice this year by high octane offenses (Bills & Eagles), and while Cincy isn’t as explosive without Ja’marr Chase, they project for low combinatorial ownership. This also direct leverage off Steelers DST, who is projecting for the highest ownership at $2,300. Pickens is a natural bring back if building for a full game stack.
    • Four of the top five TEs in Projected Ownership come from the three late games (Schultz, Dulcich, Freiermuth and Hurst), and optimizers are spitting out double TE builds. Getting different here may not involve late swap; simply playing only one TE (how novel!) from the early slate seems likely to be contrarian.

    As always, keep an eye on late breaking news and remember to make sure your latest starting skill position player is in the FLEX spot.

    I hope to see you and your OWS avatar at the top of a leaderboard this week!