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Monday, Sep 9th

The Scroll Week 12



    Your Late-Week “Roster Construction” Content

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    Mid Season Recaps

    MJohnson breaks down every division going team by team

    AFC East

    AFC North

    AFC South

    AFC West

    NFC East

    NFC North

    NFC South

    NFC West

    #TheWorkbook (Thanksgiving Slate)

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

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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 ::

    Explained >>>>

    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

    :: 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

    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.

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

    Tyrod Taylor
    Saquon Barkley
    Nyheim Hines
    Jamison Crowder
    Marquez Valdes-Scantling
    Chris Godwin
    Rob Gronkowski
    Darrell Henderson

    Find last week’s Bottom-Up Breakdown and join The Bottom-Up Build DraftKings Contest here!!

    Light Blue Chips

    Bucs Passing Attack

    If Mike Evans were set to miss, this would be a true Blue Chip stack (“a high ceiling and a low likelihood of price-considered failure”), as you could simply play Brady // Godwin // Gronk together and know that this would be massively profitable over a large sample size. With Evans back, we have more guesswork, as the injuries on the Bucs have lined up in such a way this year that we only have two games to look at in which AB missed, and these three pass catchers played. Gronk saw eight targets apiece in those games, while Godwin saw 13 total targets and Evans saw 21 — but this target disparity is as likely to be “small sample size noise” as it is to be actionable. That said: Gronk and Evans are both averaging one touchdown per game, while Godwin is averaging 0.6 — a statistic that makes sense given the way Brady prioritizes Gronk and Evans in scoring position (eight targets inside the 10 for Evans; four in four games for Gronk; six for Godwin).

    Any way you cut it, however (as explored in the writeup for this game), this is a very good spot for the Bucs’ passing attack as a whole (I’m comfortable calling it a Blue Chip spot for this passing attack); and if you can correctly isolate the individual pieces that pop in this spot, you can scoop what could end up being some of the more valuable scores on the slate. Given the way this game should play out, I would be surprised if any piece from the Bucs’ passing attack turned into a true “had to have it” piece; but given the state of the slate, and the high level of certainty we can have in this Bucs passing attack as a whole, I’ll be keeping this stack very close to my builds this week.

    Christian McCaffrey

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    End Around

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


    We have one game with a total of over 50 points, and only three games with a total in the “magic range” of 47.0-49.5. From a macro perspective, we’d expect ownership to be rather spread out, and some of the top plays on the slate to go relatively unowned. What’s super interesting to me, from this perspective, is that four of the five players with legitimate paths to 40+ fantasy points play in two games. Hmmm.



    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Season-high of 21 running back opportunities on a team with a team total of just 22 points. The 4.52 net-adjusted line yards metric and the fact that the Falcons have allowed 28.1 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields are positives, as is his touchdown equity (seven touchdowns in his last seven games).


    Restrictive chalk. Worked his way back up to a 90% snap rate last week and carries one of the best range of outcomes on the slate. The matchup on the ground is not ideal, yielding a 4.25 net-adjusted line yards metric, but the ceiling is very much intact.


    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Hasn’t seen more than 16 running back opportunities since Week 7, with only one game over 21 all season. Feels rather thin, to be honest, particularly considering a weak ceiling.


    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Jordan Howard is out this week, removing one piece of this curious backfield. That’s about where the positives end for me, honestly. Jordan Howard played only 17% of the offensive snaps in Week 11, which was Sanders’ first week back from injury, so it’s not like his absence suddenly unlocks a massive expected workload for Sanders. In that game, Sanders was in on 46% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps, while Boston Scott saw a 37% snap rate. This is going to remain a committee backfield, and the floor for Sanders is scary-low.


    Restrictive chalk. The biggest thing dented by the presence of Mike Evans is Godwin’s touchdown equity, as Evans remains one of Tom Brady’s top targets near the end zone. Godwin has six games between five and eight targets this season, with four games of double-digit looks. Three of those four games came with Rob Gronkowski out of the lineup. The matchup is solid on paper, but the top-end of his range of outcomes may be a bit overweighted by the field.


    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. The clear on-paper correlated pairing with Godwin. Eight of 11 games with eight or fewer targets, and only a single game script that would see that expected range of targets increase (and it isn’t necessarily even the likeliest game flow).


    Expansive chalk. The piece with the best point-per-dollar range of outcomes from this game. That said, we still haven’t seen Gronk increase his snap rate to his pre-injury range, meaning it might be thinner than we would like.


    Expansive chalk. Pick-master Flex is back at quarterback for the Jets and the Texans are coming off a two-game stretch where they forced 10 takeaways. That said, those two games account for more than half of their total takeaways on the season (19). I find myself strangely okay with the chalk pay-down defense this week, as a 4x salary multiplier is all but guaranteed.

    Chalk Build:

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    The Oracle :: Strategy Q&A

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

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

    Week 12 Topics

    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    2. A much lower group of top-end totals

    3. Floating-play strategy, Week 12

    4. The gem that unlocks the slate

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

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    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    The Question ::

    A weekly staple of The Oracle :: In no more than two or three sentences, tell us what makes this slate particularly unique.

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    It’s pretty obvious/straightforward this week: fewer games than normal; only one team projected to score over 26 points (and that team projected, by Vegas, for only 28); lots of games with close spreads, but relatively low chances of shooting out. This could lead to one of two ways for things to play out: 1) No single game ends up standing out from the pack, and the winning rosters come from a random conglomeration of pieces from here, pieces from there, or 2) One game, or one offense, ends up producing in such a way that rosters that build around that game/offense are far ahead of the field. What’s more…there are some interesting games/teams to consider in that second possible scenario (see Oracle Question 2), making this the way I expect to hunt for my edge on this very unique slate.

    Xandamere >>

    Well to start with, we only have 10 games because of Thanksgiving. And then of those games, only one has a total over 50 (Bucs at Colts), which will likely spread out ownership. Chalk always forms, but as I write this, there are only six players projected for over 20% ownership. When the chalk isn’t as chalky, we can pay less attention to ownership and just worry about playing the best plays. I’d also caution people to be wary of getting overly invested in bad game environments, which can be tempting on a slate like this (for example, James Robinson is currently projected as the highest owned running back…and it’s not that he’s a bad play, but the highest owned running back being on an objectively awful offense is a pretty shaky situation!). 

    Sonic >>

    Everything is compacted.Game totals, point spreads, ownership. There’s also very little certainty offered here. With this lack of certainty, the field will tend to try and add as many “household names” as possible, resulting in a dearth of “stars and scrubs”- style builds with some super-cheap and thus super-fragile plays strewn amidst the expensive players. If a 3k wide receiver manages a 20 point outing, all hell may break loose. 

    Hilow >>

    One game with a game total over 50.0 points. One. Six games with a game total of 46.5 points or below. Only three games with a game total in the 47.0-49.5 range. We are game environment hungry on this slate. We’ve also got a few spots where DraftKings is basically daring us to play a player (Saquon Barkley at $6,300, Ty Johnson at $4,300, Mike Williams at $5,700, and Rob Gronkowski at $4,400), leading to interesting possible bottlenecks as far as roster construction goes. With so few “guaranteed” spots (remember, nothing is ever guaranteed, it’s simply a measure of a player having a greater than perception chance at a solid game, based on our understanding of ranges of outcomes and probability of success), we’re likely to see a rather spread out slate as far as ownership goes.  

    Larejo >>

    It has to be the low game totals but at the risk of sounding redundant, I’ll add another thought. With the Thanksgiving Thursday slate this week, it’s rare if anybody was looking at this slate before late Thursday. I’m not certain what to make of this or how to leverage it (as I too fell into this category, diving in Friday morning), but maybe it’s too much emphasis on Friday news, or the lack of building those initial thought rosters, nobody doing the bubble-build a la JM, but I’m strangely confident if we have time or patience on Saturday and Sunday this week, including tuning into X & Hilow Saturday pod, we’ll be ahead of the field. Rosters will be entered into tournaments on Sunday’s main slate with little preparation.

    MJohnson >>

    This week is very unique in its setup for a couple of reasons. The first, which others have already discussed, is the fact that it is only a 10 game slate. Along with that, many of the premium quarterbacks and their associated offenses are not on the slate. What results is a situation where there aren’t as many clear places to target certainty and, along with that, not as many clear places to find leverage. One way to look at this is to say “ownership is so spread out, you can basically play any lineup and be unique”, but I think that is far too simplistic. Without associated leverage, playing players with low ownership doesn’t always provide you with as much of an advantage as you may think. This is a week where correlations and roster construction will be even more critical than a normal week, and where the only thing we should be looking at for ownership is making sure we don’t have a few “chalk” players on our roster because much of the chalk is likely to not be great chalk, rather just forming because it always forms.

    Majesstik >>

    As of now, there is only one game with a spread higher than 3.5 which should give us plenty of competitive game environments. We haven’t seen a slate like this so far this year. Add in that four of the ten games project for 47 or greater totals and that points us in the direction of where to find the “good” games. Before looking at the lines, I had already singled out the Bucs/Colts, Rams/Packers, Chargers/Broncos, Viking/49ers, and Steelers/Bengals as the games I’ll want to build around. Only the Steelers/Benglas didn’t make it to 47 points but I still like the plays within that game. The other games were nice to see Vegas confirm my bias toward them.

    2. A much lower group of top-end totals

    The Question ::

    53.0 // 49.0 // 48.0 // 47.0 // 46.0. Those numbers represent the Over/Unders of the top five games on this 10-game slate…and also represent a much lower group of “top-end totals” than we are used to seeing. What’s more, most of the games on this slate are operating with relatively narrow spreads, such that the Bucs at 28.0 is the highest Vegas-implied team total, followed by the 49ers (26.0), Patriots/Chargers (25.25), and Colts (25.0). With only a handful of games on the slate and such a unique setup, it’s safe to say that this slate offers a broader range of potential slate-winning approaches than some of the slates we’ve seen recently. As we saw on the Thanksgiving slate, this opens opportunities for unexpected players to be the players who top the slate; but as we also saw on the Thanksgiving slate, we should still begin our understanding of the slate by first understanding what is likeliest to happen, through a macro lens. With this in mind, is there:

    1. A “must-build-around” spot for you that you’ll be prioritizing as an overweight foundation for your builds, OR
    2. A game that isn’t quite a “must-build-around” for you, but that you’ll be leaning into more heavily than the field in an effort to capture “what can happen” on your way to a first-place build?

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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

    There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

    This is about the time in the NFL season when preaching about sticking to your process, embracing uncertainty, and letting variance swing its many different ways will go in one ear and right out the other. We’ve read it, practiced it, watched our weeks play out (for good or for bad), and here we are in Week 12, trying to maintain discipline and set ourselves up for a strong stretch run. So, with that said, as I keep this intro short this week, I wanted to start out with the quote above from the longest-term President in the history of the United States. With each passing week, we must learn something. We can’t be stubborn enough to change, nor confident enough to not listen and ask questions. If we are, we are getting lapped by the field ten times over. I need to remind myself of this all the time and need to constantly work harder to put this into practice. Knowing yourself better than anyone else is a strength. There aren’t two ways about it. Whether you know what you’re good at, or what you’re not so good at, they are equally valuable traits. Identifying these areas, and practicing and sharpening those skills is exactly where we want to be all season.

    My promise to all of you is to not give you the same content every week. I mentioned last week how I’d like you to view “Willing to Lose” in a judgment-free zone a la Planet Fitness, and I sincerely hope you do. I’m going to be wrong many times here, just as I have been through 11 weeks, but I hope to also be right many times, just as I have been through 11 weeks. We’re building something great at OWS, and I continue to be encouraged by how sharp the content and conversations in this community are each week. Let’s ambush the leaderboards in Week 12 . . . 

    Stacking the Denver Broncos

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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 feels like absolute garbage. I can’t wait!

    Lots of decisions points in the elite price range. Can’t play them all on a slate where the inexpensive plays feel so thin. Identify a cheap player that smashes at low ownership and you’ll make all the money. 

    Turn over every rock. Put your head deep in that garbage can and emerge with a gem. 

    Good luck and we’ll see you at the TOP!

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    SuperDraft Strategy

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

    Week 12 and we’re moving towards the end of the NFL season (sigh). 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 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. 


    My highest projected quarterbacks . . . wait for it . . . Tyrod Taylor and Zach Wilson. Feels uncomfortable, doesn’t it? But those multipliers are juicy, and both defenses are legit bad. I wouldn’t go here in cash, but for tournaments I’m game. Mac Jones is up there too in the high multiplier world, though I think you’d want a bring-back here for sure as the Patriots are happy to just run the ball forever unless their opponent is pushing them. Of the lower multiplier “better” quarterbacks, Cam Newton, Jalen Hurts, and Carson Wentz all stand out, while I think you can still play Tom Brady even at a 1x multiplier because this just isn’t an amazing slate for QBs and Brady can (fairly easily) put up 30+ raw points here with a high margin of safety.

    Running Back:

    CMC is always in play. We also have a lot of running backs with low multipliers: Jonathan Taylor, Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler, Najee Harris, Saquon Barkley, and Darrell Henderson all check-in at 1.2 or below. I’d be comfortable playing these guys, but I’d set a max 1 per roster rule for all of them. Where things get interesting is with the higher multiplier guys. Cordarelle Patterson is still sitting at 1.35x despite multiple ceiling performances this season, and he’s in a great matchup. Javonte Williams at a 1.75x multiplier is way too high in a good matchup, and I’d expect Denver to shift the workload more in his direction as the season continues on (he’s their future, MG3 is the past, etc.). Dontrell Hilliard has a whopping 2x multiplier and saw 17 running back opportunities last week (just be aware there’s some risk here as D’Onta Foreman could retake the lead role). Rex Burkhead at 1.95x against the Jets is interesting, and there’s volatility here in his expected role but the Texans backfield is getting thinned out. Oh, and my overall favorite running back play for tournaments is Ty Johnson at 1.8x, who I think is likely to see the lion’s share of the work in the Jets backfield with Michael Carter out.

    Wide Receiver:

    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:

    • Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are going to be massively owned but they deserve to be, in my opinion. If Evans misses, oh man, I might just lock Godwin on every roster and say “screw ownership.”
    • Diontae Johnson has dipped a bit to a 1.4x multiplier and still sees enormous volume.
    • DJ Moore is one of the most talented wideouts in the NFL, and a 1.35x multiplier is too high for him.
    • Michael Pittman is the focal point of the Colts passing attack and should see a ton of volume in this matchup where they’re likely to struggle to run the ball, and yet he still has a 1.45x multiplier.
    • Elijah Moore seems to be breaking out in a big way and I don’t mind chasing it in a good matchup at a 1.5x multiplier.

    Tight End:

    As always, tight end is icky. George Kittle and Kyle Pitts have crummy multipliers but still have 20+ point raw ceilings and are entirely viable here. Rob Gronkowski still falls in the area of viability as well, but his 1.25x multiplier is not especially attractive to me here as it’s too close to Pitts (plus I play on multiple sites, so I’ll get my Gronk exposure elsewhere). Dan Arnold is my favorite high-multiplier tight end as his role has been extremely strong ever since getting to Jacksonville.

    Overall Strategy:

    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 Myles Gaskin 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:

    • The best game environments of the week are TB/IND, MIN/SF, LAC/DEN, and LAR/GB. All of those games have a fair number of strong multiplier options as well (less so in the Rams/Packers game, but the others, yes), and I’m happy to stack any of them. 
    • It feels gross, but the two highest-projected quarterbacks come from the same game (HOU/NYJ). It feels ugly, but with solid other options around them with good multipliers (all the Jets receivers, Brandin Cooks, Ty Johnson, Rex Burkhead), I do want to build around this game on a fair percentage of my rosters. 
    • Mac Jones with a pass-catcher or two, and Hilliard (or Foreman for the more risk-embracing) is a really high upside start to a roster.

    Edge Bets

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

    Access my Personal Prop Betting Sheet Saturday Nights for all the +EV Prop Bets I’ve found leading up to lock, updated throughout Sunday Afternoons as late news is announced.

    Bet Tracker 2021 NFL

    Follow me on Twitter for more. DMs open for any questions on how to get started or general Prop Betting Strategy!


    The Betting Channel of the Discord has been very active over the last few weeks. There are bettors in there daily talking NFL, NBA, NHL, and College 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 11! OWS has promotions available with numerous books for deposit bonuses- make the free money work for you!

    Week 11 Recap

    EDGE BETS Week 9: 2-1
    EDGE BETS 2021 Results: 19-17

    Joe Burrow: Over 268.5 Passing Yards

    Result: Loss (148 Yards)

    The Cincinnati Bengals used their bye week to study early-season game film and liked what they saw, coming out and running the ball early and often. Burrow threw the ball just 29 times, completing 20 for 148 yards with a single score to Ja’Marr Chase late, as the Bengals were able to ride a strong 4th quarter to their sixth victory of the season. With Joe Mixon continuing to have a strong season and Cincinnati’s defense playing above expectation, Burrow may have a couple more lackluster performances from a volume perspective moving forward. Of course, with a strong list of offensive weapons at his disposal, he will have his fair share of performances to remember, as well. 

    Myles Gaskin: Over 73.5 Total Yards

    Result: Win (96 Yards)

    Myles Gaskin dominated rushing attempts with Salvon Ahmed inactive in Week 11, carrying the ball 23 times for a modest 89 yards, with the remaining five rush attempts being split between Duke Johnson and Patrick Laird. Gaskin also chipped in with seven receiving yards and a score, catching three of four targets to end the game with 96 yards from scrimmage. Gaskin appears locked in as the Miami Dolphins lead runner, though he continues to be inefficient with the substantial workload. 

    Christian McCaffery: Over 114.5 Total Yards

    Result: Win (119 Yards)

    CMC waited until the last drive to cash this over as he was limited to just 17 touches, but this game was another reminder that he is in a league of his own at the running back position. McCaffery averaged 5.9 yards per carry on the ground on 10 carries, adding seven catches on eight targets for another 60 yards and a receiving score. There is every reason to expect his role will grow over the next few weeks, though Cam Newton’s rush share limits his rushing upside. The Panthers running back is a total yards dynamo.

    Personal Prop Bets Placed

    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

    Week 10: +5.8 Units

    Week 11: -0.13 Units

    2021: +30.47 Units

    Week 12 Edge Bets

    Deebo Samuel Over 66.5 Receiving Yards

    Book: Bet MGM (-115)

    By Dwprix:

    “Deebo ranks 4th in yds/rec (18.1) (min 20 rec).”

    “MIN ranks 29th in yards allowed/rec (11.5).”

    “MIN is 30th in DK pts allowed to WRs (43.9).”

    By Hilow:

    “We’re likeliest to see the 49ers dictate the game flow and the Vikings dictate the game environment, which is a positive to the game overall as the 49ers are set up in such a positive matchup.”

    “Furthermore, each of these two offenses are extremely concentrated as far as expected volume and production goes.”

    Reasy’s Reasoning

    I thought this line would be quite a bit higher. It seems like this game environment is going a little bit under the radar, with both teams looked at as slow clock-killing machines. Minnesota games have averaged the ninth most combined plays this year, and they speed up to the second-highest pace of play when trailing by more than seven points. This is important in this game environment, as Vegas opened with the San Francisco 49ers favored by 6.5 points (since bet down to just 3.5), as we can expect Minnesota to push the pace a bit if they do find themselves behind. Minnesota has filtered nearly 22 targets per game to wide receivers (62%) while giving up 195 yards per game to the position. With the 49ers concentrated passing offense at the WR position, we can expect Samuel to efficiently carve out multiple splash plays in an ideal matchup for his skill set. 

    Najee Harris Over 28.5 Receiving Yards

    Book: Bet MGM (-118)

    By Alex88:

    “Among qualified RBs, Harris ranks second in rush share, fifth in goal line share, fourth in target share, sixth in WOPR, and first in RBOPR.”

    “CIN ranks 29th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (28.2).”

    By Mjohnson86:

    “Both teams are better at defending the run than the pass, perhaps opening a path to a more aggressive matchup than we would think at first glance.”

    “This could be a fluke, the offense could be getting in a groove, or it could be driven by the defense not playing at the same elite level we’ve come to expect from Pittsburgh.”

    “Najee Harris will still see a heavy workload and they won’t completely abandon the run (they can’t at this point in Ben’s career), but we should have limited expectations on what the production will look like.”

    “The Bengals worst defensive games of the season were back-to-back weeks against the Jets and Browns where they were exploited by weaker armed QBs who dink and dunked their way down the field by attacking the short areas of the field.”

    Reasy’s Reasoning

    Last week, I was surprised that the Cincinnati Bengals used their bye week to get back to their early season ways, a slow pace with a high rush rate. Less surprisingly, they continued to push opportunities to running backs through the air, with Josh Jacobs and Keynan Drake combining for six catches on nine targets, albeit for just 30 yards. On the season, the Bengals have given up nearly 10 targets for seven and a half receptions and 58 yards per game to the running back position. The Pittsburgh Steelers second-highest receiving yards total from a running back in the 2021 season belongs to full back Derek Watt- with 15 yards, total. Non-starting PIT running backs have totaled just five receptions. This situation is not dissimilar in setup as the Week 11 matchup between these Bengals and the New York Jets. Better known as Mike White Week, the Jets completed 14 passes to running backs on 20 targets for 166 yards. Look for a savvy Big Ben and his wet pool noodle to follow suit and check down regularly in order to keep their best offensive weapon involved despite a tough matchup on the ground.

    << Edge Bets Primer >>

    ActionLabs Props Tool

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

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

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

    Above The Field

    This was such an incredible message last year from Sonic, that we wanted to repost it.


    Week 12 :: Gratitude

    “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger to a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow”

    • Melody Beattie

    Read that again. I’ll wait. Or better yet, I’ll read it with you. I need to. 

    OK. Feels better already. 

    I had to research this quote for its origin. I had assumed it was an ancient philosopher, you know, one of those Confucius, Aristotle or Gandhi types. It turns out Ms. Beattie penned this in 1986. Go figure. The subject of gratitude and its invisible powers have been covered by many a sage over the years, however, and I can’t think of a better time to delve into these wisdoms.

    Yes, it’s Thanksgiving week, a time where expressing gratitude is tradition. It also happens to be a week where I, and possibly some of you, could use a shift in perspective. I’ve been on an epic cold streak, one that I couldn’t even imagine when the season began. I learned so much in the offseason. I mean, I wrote a freaking course on MME Tournament play for NFL DFS. I couldn’t just half-ass it so I really researched and got my shit together in order to provide something of value to our OWS fam. Add the fact that I got to know all of the super-sharp contributors here and spent tons of time chatting about strategy from multiple angles, and you’d think the results would follow, right? Well, no, that’s really not how life works. That’s not how DFS works…and it’s especially not how tournaments work. I’ve analyzed my play pretty thoroughly and I’ve identified some leaks, some moves that were less than optimal. I beat myself up about those but all-in-all I’ve played much better than I did last year. Yeah, last year – when I profited at least 5x on all 3 sites and won all the money on Draft Kings Week 11. The reality is, I probably wasn’t as good of a player as my winnings demonstrated in 2019 and I’m certainly not as bad a player as my current march through the frozen tundra of tournament variance would indicate. 

    It’s easy to type these words and understand them, but shaking off the tilting feeling of finishing in the red for consecutive weeks is another. I’ve been contending with that, Covid-related frustrations, as well as another issue that most all of us will experience in our lifetimes – the declining health of a loved one. I’m super close with my Dad and he’s sadly, nearing the “shedding of the mortal coil” stage. 

    I’ve been trying everything to get my head right. Lots of meditation, long walks with my dog, extended hugs with my people. Today I was feeling especially sorry for myself so I escaped to the golf course in search of peace. It was on the approach to the 7th hole that something dawned on me…I was walking on a golf course, on a beautiful day, lamenting the loss of a measly 3% of last year’s winnings. Imagine! I’ve also been desperately resisting the inevitable loss of an awesome Dad, a Dad with whom I’ve had a close relationship for decades. Not everyone gets to have that in their lives. I have so much to be thankful for. So much to appreciate. It only takes a subtle shift in perspective to see it, feel it and allow it to turn everything around. 

    “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things he has not, but rejoices for those he has”

    • Epictetus

    Enlightened words from a man who had to overcome a lot, starting with living an entire life with his name constantly misspelled and mispronounced. The first day of school every year had to be brutal. I hope he didn’t have man-boobs. Imagine the teasing. 

    I have a job that allows enough time to play golf. I’m married to someone who “gets” me. The fact is I’m surrounded by good fortune and blessings that far outweigh the challenges. 

    Just look at this fucking dog!

    /Users/soniclibrarian/Documents/DFS/OWS Course/Above the Field/Above the Field Week 12/Daisy.jpg

    This week will present many of us with challenges. Some of us will be separated from our families by circumstances we can’t control. Some of us will be with our families despite every effort to avoid them! Being forced into conversations about politics and “that gambling stuff” can be frustrating and awkward. Whatever your situation and surroundings, take a minute every hour to think of something you’re grateful for. Set a recurring reminder in your phone if you have to. Take a deep breath and look around. Find something extraordinary to appreciate. Could be a family member, a sunset, the wafting aroma of your upcoming meal, or a sick strip-sack that leaves a quarterback’s helmet sideways with a clump of dirt attached. Whatever turns you on. It’s there. You’ll find it. You just have to remind yourself to look…and how to look. 

    “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well”. 

    • Voltaire

    My 2020 tournament results haven’t been where my ultra-competitive self wants them to be so far – but there’s a new slate every week, teeming with hope and opportunity. 

    My Dad and best friend is at the 18th hole, headed to the clubhouse – but he’s played a helluva round and deserves an ice-cold “Teddy Bruschi” when he gets there. 

    I know he’ll have one waiting for me when I arrive – but there will be plenty more living, loving and binking before then. 


    Get Inside Of Sonic’s DFS Mind

    An excellent, highly-recommended read!

    Sonic’s DFS Q&A. This is awesome stuff if you’re looking to keep improving your DFS game!

    The Oracle :: Strategy Q&A (Thanksgiving Slate)

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

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

    Thanksgiving Topics

    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    2. Game scenarios and builds

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

    Not in Inner Circle? Enter Here!

    << Unlock The Oracle! >>

    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    The Question ::

    What makes this three-game slate(!) particularly unique?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    I’ll dive deeper into this in my answer to Question 2, but there are just some very broad ranges of potential outcomes this week. As I explored in-depth in this week’s Tuesday Inner Circle Pod: when it comes to short slates, we want to swing even more deeply into the strategy elements we talk about all the time. One of those main strategy elements is our desire to exploit the field’s overconfidence in certain game scenarios playing out. In other words: “You all are so confident this game will play out this way. But what if it instead plays out this way?” This week, with a couple games carrying a broader range of outcomes, we can benefit a great deal (in terms of accumulating EV) by A) paying attention to the stories the field is likely to be telling with their rosters, and B) using your rosters to tell stories that will become true if the field’s stories fail.

    Xandamere >>

    That there just aren’t any strong plays. Like…there really aren’t. The best on-paper QBs are in tough matchups. Same with the pass catchers. The best running back on the slate is David Montgomery, for crying out loud. This makes it a terrifying slate for cash games, but a wonderful slate for tournaments!

    Oh, also it’s the best late swap slate of the year. I love the Thanksgiving slate for this: you get to see how you’re doing in each game before making decisions of what to play in the next one.

    Sonic >>

    My first impression whilst clicking buttons on DraftKings today was “wow, I can pretty much play whomever I want.” Salaries are not particularly restrictive at this point. This may change if we get green lights from Alvin Kamara and/or CeeDee Lamb, but even then, we should be able to tell whichever story we want. I find the tight end position to be the most intriguing. The decisions made with this position could prove to be the difference. The Ownership on Darren Waller and Dalton Shultz creates opportunity in massive-field MME. Beating their scores with the other players at that position won’t be easy but if successful will move you past that “school of fish” that JM spoke about in Tuesday’s (must-listen) pod. Playing TWO tight ends not named Waller will immediately differentiate you enough that you can allocate your other positions as you wish. This Double TE approach also has the additional upside of making Xandamere roll his eyes…something I live for. 

    Two approaches I will employ:

    1. Late Swap “Attack of the Clones’

    See this for the basis of this approach:

    I will be creating four or five template lineups for the sole purposes of building lineups as the day progresses. One example would be to make five clones of a lineup that utilizes 2-3 players from the early game. This works best when utilizing lower-owned players but this obviously increases the chances of a bunch of dead lineups before the cranberry sauce stops jiggling, so build according to your tolerance. Let’s say I go with a simple secondary stack of Goodwin/Hockensen. I’ll make one lineup that features these two players and clone it 5x. If they happen to have ceiling games, then I can create five individual lineups around this early success and utilize whichever chalk I want in telling the next chapter of my “story”. You can even keep a couple of clones heading into the evening game, giving you more options if you had success with you middle game additions. Bonus points should be awarded if you are able to immerse yourself into this approach without pissing off your family. 

    1. Single Optimizer Pivot

    Set up the optimizer to bust out the top 10 optimal lineups. Don’t use any restrictions of ownership or salary yet. Just let the computer spit out the 10 lineups with the highest ceiling projection. Most of these will use all or most of the salary cap. Then simply replace one chalky player from each lineup with a cheaper and lesser-owned player. Go at least $700 cheaper and you’ll end up with a highly projected lineup with one important ownership pivot and you’ll be far enough under the cap to avoid potential duplications.  

    Hilow >>

    The easy answer here is the macro lack of certainty. With that understanding, and the understanding that the field is sure to assume certainty in particular places (chalk), it gives us a very unique opportunity to embrace a little additional variance in our approach this week. I mentioned in Discord that my process for this slate will resemble more of a Showdown approach than I normally would for a short slate (as in, I will be embracing more variance in a hunt for touchdowns as opposed to sticking to likeliest scenarios in each game). Expected ownership will also play a large role in this approach, as there are only two to three spots where I currently view as matching expected ranges of outcomes (the three running backs – David Montgomery, D’Andre Swift (lowish ownership), and Mark Ingram II – mentioned in the Edge writeup of this slate, and even Mark Ingram has a lot working against his range of outcomes considering the injuries to New Orleans and likely return of Star Lotulelei and Tremaine Edmunds, who are each a big part of the reason the Bills are so good against the run. 

    Larejo >>

    On a three game slate, anything can happen. All OWS subs should remember JM’s big Thanksgiving win last season, with his differentiators of a Kerryon Johnson and two tight ends (Logan Thomas and Dalton Schultz, I believe?) roster. That roster and win was a microcosm of what we are faced with on this Thanksgiving slate: consider ALL options, and realize 200 points can be had from just two or three games! (It’s not likely this happens, but 200 points should be our target for this slate).

    The second aspect of this slate that jumps out to me are all the injuries. Not particularly unique in any given season, but we have the Bears (and possibly Lions) starting backup QBs, with the Bears also down their “WR1”. We have the Cowboys without WR1 and WR2. The Raiders lost their head coach and their best WR and their offense hasn’t been the same. And the Saints without QB1, QB2, RB1, WR1. That leaves the Bills as the only “healthy” team, although injuries to their O-line have stunted their ability to run the ball lately.

    All of this to say, teams are hampered, and we should expect great performances from unlikely players. We need to tap into the illogical parts of our brains this week. With opportunity comes volume and volume brings fantasy relevance. It’s more likely Josh Allen and Dak Prescott lead the QBs on this slate, but it’s possible it’s Andy Dalton or Derek Carr. It’s likely David Montgomery, Ezekiel Elliott, and Mark Ingram lead the RBs, but it’s possible it’s Josh Jacobs, D’Andre Swift, Tony Pollard, or a Buffalo RB. And finally, it’s possible Stefon Diggs and Michael Gallup (the clear top two WRs on the slate) lead their position, but also possible we get someone else to pace the group. Keep an open mind and build for first place.

    Majesstik >>

    What felt unique to me while I was building a lineup was there are no “sure things” on this slate. David Montgomery feels like the closest thing to it, and perhaps the Bills offense but they have been hard to trust this year. The matchups are all very interesting and make it easy to poke holes in every play. This slate will take on different layers with the more lines you build.

    2. Game scenarios and builds

    The Question ::

    The Bears have topped 22 points only twice this year (and have yet to top 27), while the Lions haven’t cracked even 20 points since all the way back in Week 1. The Raiders have peppered 30-pointers across their game logs, and the Cowboys have peppered several 40-pointers, and each defense can be had for big games against them. Each defense has also, however, shown sporadic slowdown-to-shutdown ability. In the last game of the day, we have two very good defenses (Bills/Saints), but also an offense (in the Bills) that can be among the best in the game, and an offense (in the Saints) orchestrated by one of the best offensive minds in the league, who is often able to coax scoring out of whatever players he has. This gives us a broad menu of potential “ways that games on this slate could combine to play out,” and while our first, obvious edge is the fact that WE know to build around specific game scenarios (when most of the field does not know to do this), our next edge just might be found in properly positioning ourselves for the game scenarios that might play out. Rather than highlighting “how you’re seeing things potentially playing out” in different games, let’s do this: highlight a specific way you might build around each specific game, to account for a particular way those games could play out.

    Not in Inner Circle? Enter Here!

    << Unlock The Oracle! >>

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

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

    Bottom-Up Breakdown

    Dwprix breaks down the top lineups in the OWS Bottom-Up Build challenge.

    Week 11 Review

    Each week, I’ll review the Bottom-Up Build contest. I’ll look at how the winners got to the top of the leaderboard, the game environments used, and how we can use this tournament to become better players. The purpose of the Bottom-Up Build is to roster players that you would feel comfortable rostering in a regular contest (solid price considered floor and high ceiling) so when you’re building for other contests, you don’t find yourself struggling with the last couple spots and jamming in someone that you’re not comfortable with.  Studying these players may also put you on a game environment that others may be overlooking.


    Rules :: Max $44k Salary (exceeding $44k salary will disqualify entry); must use OWS avatar to be eligible for prizes

    Total Entries :: 166 (149 eligible since 17 were disqualified for not using an OWS avatar and/or went over salary and didn’t enter a lineup)

    Prizes (Edge Points) :: 1st = 100 Edge // 2nd = 50 // 3rd = 25

    Highest Owned Player :: AJ Dillon – 66.2% (priced at $6,200)

    Highest Owned Stack :: Tyrod Taylor (16.27%) + Brandin Cooks (22.89%) = 14.46 combined

    See All The Entries :: Contest Link


    1st Place: Kygavin

    2nd Place: Gruhlks18

    3rd Place: Avonsuge


    First-place finisher, kygavin, used a Jets stack of Joe Flacco, Elijah Moore, and Ryan Griffin. The matchup wasn’t projected to be high scoring (44.5 total, 7th highest) but the trio was so cheap that there didn’t have to be a high total for it to pay off. By rostering the cheaper double stack, Kygavin was then able to pay up at a few other spots in higher total games. They played opposing RBs (Dalvin Cook, AJ Dillon) in the fourth-highest scoring game on the slate and opposing WRs (Tyreek Hill, Cedrick Wilson) in the highest total game on the slate.

    Second and third-place finishers, gruhlks18 and avonsuge, both played Cam Newton. Gruhlks18 did so naked which was definitely viable given Cam’s rushing abilities. Avonsuge stacked Cam with CMC and ran it back with cheap Washington TE John Bates. Avonsuge rostered the two most expensive players at their positions, CMC and Davante, taking a true stars and scrubs approach to the Bottom-Up. Even though they took two zeros, they were still just 5.8 points away from a victory.

    Putting It Together

    Personally, I don’t think I would have been able to play a Jets stack in a paid DK contest but if you want to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and rostering plays that you normally wouldn’t, the Bottom-Up contest would be a great place to do that. 

    I asked kygavins what made him decide to roster the Jets. Here’s his answer: “Price. Allowed me to get Tyreek and Cook. They were the guys I prioritized and the Jets stack let it happen. I thought Flacco’s chances of getting 15-20 were just as high as the guys below $6k in a decent matchup they were gonna be trailing. Biggest choice was between Crowder and Moore for me. Went for the upside targets off Moore.”  Awesome thinking and always cool to see what the winner’s thoughts were while building the lineup!

    It’s pretty easy to imagine how you could be successful starting with a Bottom-Up lineup and turning it into a lineup that would smash in a paid DK contest by looking at kygavins. You could either swap in two of your less confident players for around $3k more or try to get a player with one of the biggest ceilings on the slate and still move up in another spot.  A 2v2 swap removing AJ Dillon and Cedrick Wilson and adding Jonathon Taylor and DeAndre Swift would have given you a lineup that scored 217.2 points, enough to compete for first in pretty much every GPP this week.

    Tournament of Champions

    We are pumped to announce we will be having a Bottom-Up Build Tournament of Champions! The TOC will take place Week 18 and first place will win an OWS Inner Circle-For-Life ⭕️ membership with additional prizes to other qualifiers! All weekly first-place finishers will be eligible. Congrats to those who have already qualified: Sgmain18, Spastictoaster, Swench1919, Mikeall65, abright8, Andkristopher, Sklarma72, Aothomas42, Jaymz_10, Ericdc20, and kygavin.

    Thanksgiving Special

    Winner will qualify for TOC! Click here for the contest link.

    Week 12 :: Bottom-Up Tourney

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


    1. Must be using an OWS Avatar to be eligible to win. This can be found on your profile page, or at the top of this week’s NFL Edge!
    2. Single Entry // 200 Entries
    3. Max $44k Salary (exceeding $44k will automatically disqualify your entry)
    4. Prizes (Edge Points) :: 1st = 100 / 2nd = 50 // 3rd = 25
    5. Winners please email with your DK Screenname