Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

The Scroll Week 12

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    THE SCROLL


    The DFS Slate

    (In One Central Space)


    Meet The Team


    Angles

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

    OWS Fam —

    Happy Thanksgiving! Happy “Black Friday”!!!!

    Black Friday, 2023: 50%-80% off pretty much everything, including…

    • $49 for rest-of-season Inner Circle access
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    And more!

    I also want to hammer the fact that NBA Props profit is up to $1,448…and the price of the package (for Black Friday) is down to $599. There are seven months of NBA remaining. There are only 37 spots remaining.

    37 spots(!)
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    You can pay monthly (four months at $150 apiece; retain access through the end of NBA!), and lock up a spot.

    All Black Friday deals expire at the end of Monday Night Football.

    A Quick Shoutout To The OWS Fam

    What an unbelievable season it’s been.

    There were too many binks and big finishes from the OWS Fam this last weekend to shout out all of them here, but I want to particularly shout out mit846 for taking down over $80,000 this last weekend, and also want to shout out mcron05 and FelixChar for continuing the 2023 OWS domination of The Slant. Mcron05 took down the OWS Fam’s second Slant win of the season, while FelixChar grabbed his fifth top-12 finish in The Slant across eight weeks of MME play.

    (Reminder: $39 rest-of-season Bink Machine!!! Start applying the MME lessons we’ve been hitting on throughout the year!)

    Week 12 Main Slate Angles

    The DFS fun doesn’t end with Thanksgiving. We also have a 10-game Main Slate on tap, with a really unique setup!

    Incredibly, there are only three teams on the Main Slate implied to score more than 23.5 points, and eight of the 20 teams on this slate are implied to score 18.5 or fewer points.

    This is the kind of slate it is:

    In terms of EPA (expected points added) per play, this slate gives us nine of the 13 worst defenses in the NFL…but eight of those nine teams are playing against offenses that rank in the bottom half of the NFL in EPA/play, and the only defense facing an opponent that doesn’t rank in the bottom half is Carolina…taking on a Tennessee offense that ranks one spot outside the bottom half. Said differently: mediocre and bad defenses on Sunday are playing mediocre and bad offenses…

    …and this means that where we have good offenses playing, they are generally playing against good defenses.

    Critically, however, this is a setup that can do one of two things: either A) this can squeeze down the slate in such a way that nothing really stands out, or B) this can present a setup in which only a handful of spots really stand out. And to me, this week falls into that second category — which is my favorite type of week.

    I don’t want to spend too much time focused on the Main Slate, as most of you won’t have much focus or attention in that area just yet, but one thing I do want to highlight early is the fact that of the five highest expected pass play rates on the weekend, four are in games against each other, with Buffalo and Philadelphia each carrying high expected pass play rates and playing one another, and with Jacksonville and Houston carrying moderately high expected pass play rates and playing one another.

    In addition to this, we have (as an example of the type of slate it is) 13 expected starting quarterbacks priced at $5.5k or below on DraftKings (i.e., “13 expected starting quarterbacks that DraftKings is telling us we shouldn’t have a ton of confidence in), and among the other seven quarterbacks (Hurts // Mahomes // Allen // Stroud // Kyler // Lawrence // Stafford), five have combined for a grand total of three games all season north of 26 DraftKings points (Mahomes, Stroud, and Lawrence each have one such game apiece; Stafford and early-appearances Kyler have none). Not to get too far ahead of ourselves…but we may as well note here that Allen (four) and Hurts (four) have combined for eight such games, and — of course — are playing one another.

    With Thanksgiving putting a lot of content providers and DFS players behind the eight ball, this is a great slate to be on top of. It’s a slate that sets up well for us.

    I’m very much looking forward to it.

    Enjoy the Black Friday deals(!).

    I’ll see you at the top of the leaderboard throughout the week.
    -JM

    The Workbook

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    Around The Industry

    Introduced in 2023, ‘Around The Industry’ provides a snapshot of sentiments from respected voices in the DFS and fantasy spaces.

    NOTE 1: Contributors’ scores are tallied each week, with a cash prize going to the leader at the end of the season

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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::

    This slate is as unique as they come. The field has largely gotten better at identifying projectable value pieces that allow you to pay up in one or two spots. The field has also gotten better at identifying the clear top options at the running back position. The field has also gotten better at identifying the top game environment on a given slate. From what I’m seeing now (as of Saturday morning), the field is struggling with all three of those basic DFS tenets this week. This presents a unique opportunity to generate leverage without straying too far from optimal theory – remember, leverage, by definition, is an exploitative stance taken by deviating from optimal, generating enough of a boost in expected value to offset the expected value lost from the deviation itself. On this slate, those deviations can be lesser in magnitude and closer to optimal theory. That’s a setup we have yet to see this season, and I think it has something to do with a generalized lull given off by multiple slates in a row that have appeared very similar on the surface. We’ve also had the top expected game environment largely fail for multiple slates in a row, which all come together to add to the psychological aspects of recency bias and a feeling of “well, it didn’t work last time, so why would it work now?” The fact that this slate comes after Thanksgiving, where people lose time to invest into DFS due to the holidays and being stretched by multiple DFS slates, and then add in a Black Friday game to that equation, has left us in a state where more mistakes are appearing to be made by the field than any slate in recent memory. With that, 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.

    TREY MCBRIDE

    NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Another week, another slate where Cardinals second-year tight end Trey McBride is expected to garner the most ownership on the slate. Expect this week he is a better on-paper play than at any other point this season but is at the highest price of the year. I’ll be looking for ways to play McBride smartly where I do play him.

    JONATHAN TAYLOR

    NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. We’ve seen the Colts overcome difficult on-paper rushing matchups in multiple spots this season and Jonathan Taylor has worked his way back into a workhorse role, playing 88 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in Week 10 before their Week 11 bye. Even so, the Buccaneers have held opposing backs to just 3.7 yards per carry behind 1.12 yards allowed before contact, both of which rank top five in the league. The Buccaneers are also one of only two teams yet to allow a rushing score to a running back this season, resulting in just 16.8 DK points allowed per game to the position. I legitimately don’t understand how the field can be so certain with Taylor in this spot, who currently appears to be one of the most owned plays of the season.

    EVAN ENGRAM

    NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Here we go again with Evan Engram. Engram has seen seven or eight targets in a whopping seven of 10 games played this season, providing an excellent volume expectation. That said, he holds a modest 10.0 percent red zone target share (just three red zone targets all year) and a silly 4.4 aDOT, resulting in zero touchdowns and no more than 88 yards in a game this season. That is not a profile you play at ownership, even if there’s a fire.

    MICHAEL PITTMAN

    NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. I was honestly surprised to see Pittman amongst the leaders in expected ownership on this slate. The matchup is great against the pass-funnel Buccaneers defense that utilizes elevated rates of Cover-1 and Cover-3, but an 8.1 aDOT on routes that don’t tend to lead to additional per-target upside (his prototypical “X” wide receiver role has him running a lot of possession-type routes) leaves a lot to be desired. That should be evidenced by his one game of 100 yards or more receiving while seeing 11 or more targets a massive six times already this year. Pittman is very clearly priced for his median outcome and is now at his highest salary of the season up at $6,800. This is a spot I’m fine being underweight on at ownership as he is highly unlikely to fully burn you for not playing him.

    PATRIOTS D/ST

    NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. We’re really excited to play a defense generating the fifth lowest rate of pressure that has generated just 10 total turnovers through 10 games played at ownership? I’m not.

    DALTON KINCAID

    NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. I get it, Dalton Kincaid’s involvement has been both solid and consistent with Dawson Knox out of the lineup. That said, Kincaid’s likeliest range of outcomes leads to six to seven targets in a matchup that is no more difficult for tight ends after the Eagles signed Kevin Byard at the deadline. Kincaid has a solid point-per-dollar median projection but leaves a lot to be desired in the upside side of the discussion here.

    CHRISTIAN KIRK

    NEITHER EXPANSIVE NOR RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Jacksonville pass-catchers, as a unit, have five games of 100 or more yards through the air this season. This is simply an unconcentrated, moderate volume pass offense with a head coach and offensive play caller that requires outside influence to increase the aerial aggression. In other words, we better be playing a member of the Texans if utilizing any Jaguars skill position player this week.

    CHALK BUILD::

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    JM’s Player Grid

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


    OWS Fam ::

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

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


    The Grid ::

    Bottom-Up Build

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

    Blue Chips

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

    Build-Arounds

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

    Building Blocks

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

    Bonuses

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


    Sunday Morning Update:

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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 (on the One Week Season podcast feed).

    Bottom-Up Build
    DK Salary Remaining :: $6.0K

    Josh Allen
    Derrick Henry
    Jaylen Warren
    Nico Collins
    Greg Dortch
    Gabe Davis
    Pat Freiermuth
    Khalil Shakir
    Texans

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    Opening Note

    One of the things I’ve tried to get better at over the years is “time management with regards to what is actually most valuable for subscribers.” I.e., “Sometimes, the most valuable thing for subscribers is for me to have less time writing, and more time researching and thinking through the slate.” And yet, I still sometimes find myself falling into the old rut of “more work is always better!”

    As Aaron (RotoMaven on Discord — our COO at OWS) has pointed out to me in the past: “Your analysis on these players is already in your DFS Interpretations; when you do new writeups for the Player Grid, you’re usually just rephrasing what you’ve already written, and adding more work on your end.”

    I’ve tried to listen to Aaron on this (you’ll typically see me pull a handful of snippets from my DFS Interpretations into the Player Grid), but usually I still find myself thinking something like, “What if subscribers think I’m just being lazy?” (LOL.)

    With the holiday week, however, I’m finally being forced toward making sharper decisions, as my options this week are “do a bunch of extra work rephrasing what I’ve already written, and get the Player Grid out later than normal,” or instead “pull what I’ve already written in DFS Interpretations and get the Player Grid out on time.”

    I’m choosing the latter — so you’ll find some fresh writeups below in places where fresh writeups are better or more relevant; but in places where “what I’ve already written” is already everything I need to say, “what I’ve already written” is what is provided.

    As Aaron would also probably point out: “Subscribers don’t care about that. They want to know your player pool, and those who read the full Player Grid want good info. As long as you’re providing that, you’re good. No need for the explanation.” But there’s the explanation nonetheless.

    I’ll also note that the Angles Pod is always a valuable complement to the Player Grid, as I’m able to get more nuanced and comprehensive in my exploration of slate strategy in that format. But if you don’t typically listen to the Angles Pod, I would especially recommend listening this week. (You can find it on the One Week Season YouTube channel, or on the One Week Season podcast feed.)

    Finally: I wanted to take a moment to express a bit of gratitude. The content on OWS is, in my opinion, the most valuable in the industry, but more than anything, the OWS community is what really makes this site what it is. Thank you for being part of what we’re building here. I’m incredibly grateful to the OWS Fam!

    With that, let’s dive in.

    Blue Chips

    Bills Pass

    From my DFS Interpretations for this game:

    • Only six teams on this slate have a positive expected PROE (and one of them is the Bengals, whose heavy pass play rates may obviously go down without Joe Burrow). The Bills have the highest expected PROE on the weekend, while the Eagles have the fourth highest expected PROE on the weekend. This is a great starting point for fantasy production.
    • We also know — from listening to Nick Sirianni throughout the season, and from watching Eagles games — that Philadelphia’s offensive ethos is “to score as many points as they can, as quickly/aggressively as they can.” Said differently: this is never going to be a team that is trying to “chess match” their way to a win. And as we have explored throughout the season: when two teams such as these play one another, each tends to enter with an aggressive game plan, knowing that no lead is safe, and that a large number of points will almost certainly be required.
    • The narrative around the Bills has been different from their reality, as — from what I can gather — the talking heads have apparently been cherry-picking stats to tell the story they want to tell (i.e., “Josh Allen leads the league in interceptions” — true; but also, he had an awful Week 1 game with three interceptions, and has 12 picks on the season; take away that game, and he has the same number of picks as MVP betting favorites Hurts and Mahomes, and only one more than MVP betting favorite Tua), while ignoring the fact that the Bills rank second in the NFL in EPA/play on offense and third in offensive DVOA (second through the air; sixth on the ground). It is certainly true that Ken Dorsey was not as strong as Brian Daboll with play sequencing, and he underutilized motion, but the offense has not been the problem for this team. Add the public perception around this team to the unexpectedly low implied team total (22.75, as of this writeup), and I could see the field failing to recognize this for the great spot that it is.
    • As we’ve explored throughout the season, the Eagles aren’t actually bad against the pass, but similar to the old Buccaneers defenses, they are SO good against the run that they end up facing heavy passing volume (a downright wacky 40.5 pass attempts per game!), which allows stats to pile up. Mac Jones (316-3), Kirk Cousins (364-4), Sam Howell (397-4), and Dak Prescott (374-3) have all had signature games in this matchup. Allen leaps off the screen this week.
    • Alphas have led the way through the air against the Eagles, with Justin Jefferson going 11-159-0, Kupp going 8-118-0, Garrett Wilson going 8-90-0, Tyreek going 11-88-1, and CeeDee Lamb going 11-191-0, making Stefon Diggs stand out here. At the same time, the Eagles have also been hit by Jahan Dotson (8-108-1), Jamison Crowder (7-95-1), and Kendrick Bourne (6-64-2), speaking to the opportunity available for Gabriel Davis and Khalil Shakir as well. Each guy is viable at his respective price point.
    • Kevin Byard was added to the Eagles’ secondary, in part, to help them handle tight ends, and he gave Travis Kelce fits on Monday night (only 44 yards receiving on nine targets), though Jake Ferguson did go 7-91-1 in Week 9, so it’s not as if Dalton Kincaid is drawing dead. He’s in the mix for me too.
    • James Cook is the least attractive option on this side of the ball, but in stacks built around this game, I’ll consider all players.
    • The matchups aren’t quite as straightforward on the other side of the ball, but the Bills have been inconsistent, at best, on defense this year, with their full-season numbers primarily looking solid due to two matchups against the Jets, and matchups against Jimmy G, Tyrod, and the conservative Broncos. Sam Howell struggled in this matchup, but Trevor Lawrence threw for a season-best 315 yards, Mac Jones went 272-2, Baker Mayfield went 237-2, and “the elites” that this team has faced (Tua: 282-1 // Burrow: 348-2) both performed well, statistically (with Tua’s game coming against a much healthier version of this team).
    • The Bills have been essentially “middling” against both the pass and the run — with DVOA rankings of 16th (pass) and 14th (run), and with EPA rankings of ninth (pass) and 16th (run). Three different running backs have gone for 100+ yards in this spot (with two adding multiple touchdowns) — with big plays generally a big part of the “big production” on the ground against this defense (i.e.: take away the big plays, and the typical game against this run defense doesn’t look all that great…but this defense can be hit for big plays).
    • Taking all of this into account, I’m less interested in the Philly side of this game for one-offs — but I do expect to have a heavy focus on this game in terms of stacks; and if I stick with this approach, all of D’Andre Swift, A.J. Brown, and Devonta Smith will be in the mix for me. Said differently: I don’t expect to have much exposure to these guys away from rosters built around this game…but I do expect to have a lot of rosters built around this game, and to have plenty of exposure to these guys as a result.
    “Light Blue” Chips

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    Build-Arounds

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    Building Blocks

    “Oh, Canada”
    Warren + Pickens
    Story:

    “The Steelers emphasize their best players with Matt Canada gone”

    Why It Works:

    From my DFS Interpretations for this game:

    • The Bengals generally tilt opponents away from wideouts, but after holding all wideouts to 72 or fewer yards through the first five weeks of the season, they have been hit for totals of 94 yards by Tyler Lockett (eight targets), 109 yards by Brandon Aiyuk (nine targets), 86 yards by Stefon Diggs (seven targets), 172 yards by Noah Brown (eight targets), and 116 yards by Odell Beckham (seven targets). These have all come in consecutive games, and it’s reasonable to think that new offensive play caller Mike Sullivan will also be tasked with unlocking George Pickens the rest of the way. Pickens is absolutely capable of going for 100+ yards on seven to nine targets, making him an intriguing option on this slate as well. “Warren + Pickens” pairings will also be unique, and it won’t be surprising if we see something like 6-100 for Pickens and 100 yards rushing plus five DK points through the air for Warren (he has 4.6+ points through the air in three of his last four games). If these two add a couple touchdowns, that would be around 50 points combined. Obviously (as with any play), this play could go the wrong way as well; but the pathways to upside are clear, and this would seem to be a player block most people won’t be on.
    How It Works:

    This block isn’t going to “win you a tourney” on its own, so you’ll still need to look to do something different in other spots on your roster (especially as this setup won’t materially alter your salary allocation compared to the chalkiest rosters this week), but this should be hugely unique, giving you a nice starting point if this pairing hits.

    Note (as talked about in the Angles Pod), you could also run this out with Warren and Freiermuth.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

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

    “Princess Anna of Arendale”

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    Bink Machine

    A look at some of the rules I’ll be applying in the Bink Machine this week.

    “Princess Anna”

    I’m not sure exactly what percentage I’ll use of this rule, but this rule (which I have, in fact, named “Princess Anna” in my Bink Machine Player Groups) says, “Play one of Tank Dell // Nico Collins on at least 70% of rosters.”

    “The Overlooked”

    I like Thielen. I like Henry. No one likes either — so if their ownership is low, their combinatorial ownership will be even lower. They’re also in the same game, and play off each other well (if the Titans control this game, Henry is running more; if the Titans are controlling this game, the Panthers are throwing more). This rule says, “On at least 8% of rosters, play both Thielen and Henry.”

    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 || Gardiner Minshew || Baker Mayfield || Possibly Kyler // Stafford (I’ll also have some Hurts, opposite Allen, and I like Stroud, but am not currently leaning toward him on tighter builds; realistically, Josh Allen will be on over 50% of my rosters this week, and will be on most of my SE/3-max, so the rest of this is window-dressing, in a sense)

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

    Running Back ::

    Tier 1
    • D’Andre Swift – A talented back on an elite offense in the week’s top game environment. Swift has gained the trust of the coaching staff and I think he could see a huge workload in a competitive game.
    • Isiah Pacheco – Pacheco is the guy in Kansas City and the absence of Jerick McKinnon should land him as a near every-down back. The Raiders are without Maxx Crosby and this is a potential “get right” spot for the Chiefs offense.
    • Jaylen Warren – One of the most efficient backs in the league is due for a bump in workload after the Steelers changed their offensive coordinator. This is not a bad matchup.
    • Kyren Williams – Williams checks a lot of boxes this week as a talented back who is now healthy and should have a big workload in a great matchup. The fear of playing a guy off an injury might keep his ownership levels down, which is a bonus.
    tier 2
    • Bijan Robinson – While the name of our site is “One Week Season”, sometimes decisions must be made with the full scope of the season in mind. Bijan falls in that category for me as an elite talent whose coach is starting to see the light and expand his usage. Coming out of the bye week and needing a win against a division rival, Bijan pops for me. His salary reflects his to-date usage and production, but I am a believer and think he will have a couple of monster games down the stretch. Whenever that happens – I’ll be there for it.
    • Derrick Henry – Henry has largely been awful in Titans losses and very good in Titans wins, with DK point totals of 19.2, 27.4, and 18.5 in the three Tennessee victories this year. Favored this week against the worst run defense in the league, Henry has a reduced salary relative to his slate-breaking ceiling.
    • Jonathan Taylor // Rachaad White – Both of these guys have elite roles in a game that has the potential to be a shootout. While both will carry ownership and the game seems to set up better for the passing games than the run, both of these guys will be heavily involved in their offenses and if the touchdowns break their way could post some really nice scores.

    Salary Savers

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    Papy’s Pieces

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

    The Board
    • This week brings us two stand-out games in Eagles // Bills (48.5) and Jaguars // Texans (47.5)
    • After the top two game environments, there are Rams // Cards (45), Bucs // Colts  (44.5), Chiefs // Raiders (43.5), and Saints // Falcons (41.5). The rest of the slate is made up of games with totals well below 40.
    • There are 10 starting QBs who are rookies or were backups to start the year. Several fit both criteria.
    • This is expected to be a competitive week. Only the Chiefs (-10) are large favorites. There isn’t another spread on the slate greater than four. 
    • The two top game environments are expected to draw heavy ownership, especially Jaguars // Texans.
    Pawn – QB Desmond Ridder ($4,800)

    I wrote up the Saints // Falcons game and didn’t make mention of Ridder. He’s grown on me over the week. There is nothing wrong with attacking any of the QBs in the top two game environments, but if you want to differentiate your roster by going cheap at QB, Ridder is your man. In his last three full games, Ridder scored 29.16 // 22.08 // 16.8 DK points. Does that sound like a QB who should be priced as a backup? Yes, Ridder has also put up duds this season, but his rushing upside alone makes him valuable at such a cheap price point. He can be stacked with either of his TEs or Drake London ($5,000) but can also be played naked since a big game from him will likely include a rushing score. I like Rashid Shaheed ($4,300) on the Saints side, which could create unique game stacks where I only use Ridder + Shaheed from this game. I’m going to use Ridder on lineups where I don’t pay up for a QB in one of the top two game environments, and since Gardner Minshew ($5,100) is projected to be the popular cheap QB, it’s almost assured Ridder will have low ownership.

    Knight – TE Trey McBride ($4,700)

    McBride remains stubbornly priced below $5,000, despite producing like an elite TE since Ertz went down with an injury. McBride has seen 7 // 9 // 5 // 14 targets in the past four weeks which is strong for a WR and elite for a TE. McBride is tied for the team lead in targets (16) with Marquise Brown since Kyler Murray’s return. He’s being used as the first or second option in the passing game and anytime a TE is higher than third in the target pecking order, he should be priced above $5,000. McBride has given the team no reason to stop using him, having caught 13 of his 16 targets from Murray for 174 yards. The Rams have been generous to TEs this year, and all signs point to another good game from McBride. He’s going to be chalk, but occasionally you must chew some chalk to win in DFS.

    Bishop – WR Diontae Johnson ($4,900)

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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

    Plowing the Road

    My weekly process:

    1. Make a bunch of hand-built rosters without looking at ownership or projections. This gives me a feel for how “gravity clicking” feels. What clicks are recreational players going to be drawn to… and forced into?
    1. Identify the highest upside game stacks in terms of raw points. 
    1. Peek at ownership (Friday eve at the earliest). This will provide a feel for how the optimizer crowd will be approaching the slate.
    1. Identify the chalkiest pieces in the most popular stacks.
    1. Ponder how to pivot/create leverage off #4

    After doing all of this, I ask, “Who are the players at QB and TE that are most capable of breaking the slate?” and “How owned are those dudes?”

    We can often overcome a 4-5x outcome from an RB or WR due to of the sheer number of combinations of other players at various prices. But when a QB or TE smashes, it’s more likely that you had to have them. 

    In smaller field contests, we can safely ignore a lot of the lower-owned players that “could” smash because only a few opponents in your contest will roster that player and the odds of those lineups having eight other strong pieces are very low. In a tournament with 100,000 entries, however, a 1.5% owned player will appear in 1,500 different rosters, increasing the odds of him destroying your Sunday considerably. 

    You’re never going to cover every player that could possibly hit 5x. Football is just too random. My obsession every week is to identify the contrarian plays with upside and mix them in with the obvious good plays. DFS is hard, but if we’re mindful of what tournament-winning rosters look like, we can prevail.

    Secondary Core-Relations

    We’re always hunting for those high-ceiling combinations to add to our existing game stacks. It’s better to aim at getting four things right instead of trying to hit a nine-way parlay. I’ll lean on a handful of core secondary stacks that will be finessed into lineups whenever feasible.

    Josh Allen/Dalton Schultz

    Josh Allen is my favorite quarterback play on this slate and I’m not alone. JM and others have professed their love for Buffalo Bills stacks and will be attacking aggressively. 

    Dalton Kincaid ($5300) will be the 2nd highest-owned tight end at upwards of 23%. Since people usually employ stacks, it’s safe to say that Kincaid will appear in a very large percentage of Josh Allen stacks. There will be approximately 10,000 Allen/Kincaid stacks in the Millionaire Maker. 

    I’m going to execute a simple price pivot and replace Kincaid with Schultz ($5400 and 4%). This will naturally lead me to add Gabriel Davis ($5300) to my stack, and in this construction, the player most likely to be sacrificed will be the 23% owned Christian Kirk ($5700). 

    So as a GPP degenerate, which one looks more appealing to you?

    Allen/Diggs/Kirk/Kincaid – $27,900 and 65% total ownership

    Or…

    Allen/Diggs/Davis/Schultz – $27,600 and 20% total ownership

    Yes, the chalkier stack is more likely to produce a better median outcome. But is that group 3.25x more likely to hit for a tournament-winning ceiling? 
    This one might make me look foolish this week, but thinking about tournaments inthese terms may provide an edge in a DFS environment where edges are increasingly difficult to come by.

    Hunter Henry/Jalin Hyatt

    This game has an over/under of 34.5. No one in their right mind is going to look to this game for upside. 

    Hold my beer. 

    • Under 4% combined ownership 
    • Average price of $3200

    WHAT IF New England comes off the bye with a plan to increase Mac Jones’ completion percentage by targeting the biggest mofo they have? Tommy DeVito has been looking deep in the direction of Darius Slayton. With Slayton sidelined, what if rookie Hyatt breaks out against New England’s depleted secondary? This cost and ownership allow you to roster all the expensive chalk you may desire. Four catches and a TD from each would be pants off.

    LOWER-OWNED TREASURES

    Running Back

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    Willing To Lose

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

    In 2013, while getting my MBA in marketing at an institution in New York City, I signed up for an Analytics Boot Camp. This was an accelerated, two-month course focused on diving into different areas of analytics, some related to data collection, visualization, and so on. The first few weeks were more boring than I had anticipated. There were a lot of do this, now do that, and then click here and see what happens. Naturally, we spent a ton of time on Microsoft Excel and other basic programs. But nothing was really catching my interest. Until we had two or three of the night classes with a specific focus on predictive analytics. Predicting the future, yes!

    I was so enthused about these. I sat in the first row and took copious notes as we dove into more advanced programs like MySQL, R, and spent some time programming in Python. We were performing very basic tasks compared to what many can do with these tools but we were practicing advanced analytics and crunching data to predict patterns, outputs, and solutions to problems. I thought this was the start of my data science career. But then, after many hours, and some practice on my own, I realized the limitations of data. Here I was about a decade ago, thinking if we have all the data, and we put it all into one system or application, then it’s always going to give us a result we can trust. But then we (rightfully so) as a class started realizing why data can only do so much for us, and most of my excitement turned into skepticism. No matter how much data you have, and how well-crafted your story with said data can be, there will always be a limitation. The complexities and unlimited variables that exist in our world are the reason why.

    Data can only really account for the past. It’s the best it can do. We can make very confident guesses in a data story or visualization that can show us what should happen next. Or, in a football context, what the best matchups are, where the right game environments lie, and how some players and teams should experience regression, good or bad. But we don’t know what can happen tomorrow until tomorrow happens. And here I was thinking I could make all this money with super sharp predictions on sports 10 years ago. I’ve done just fine, and the professor from this course was nothing short of a master, but I still want my money back from the boot camp.

    I am not a quant. I try not to try to be one, but I do try to always understand and consider data. I try to make sure it’s a part of any story I tell because it’s the best we have at our disposal. But always, always try to incorporate the non-quantifiable part of your brain. Everything that succeeds has balance, and DFS is no different. You can be the best at any one category of sports predictions but if you fail to recognize other categories, you’ll be in trouble. Consider all angles, tell a story on your rosters at all times, and as long as you back up your “whys” for building those rosters, you’ll win in due time.

    Josh Jacobs

    Anytime you see a player at their cheapest price all season, count me in ($6,700 on DK). In Jacobs’ case, he has the added benefit of his head coach saying publicly he’d like to give him 20 carries as well. The Chiefs defense is a tough matchup overall for the Raiders offense, but if they have a vulnerability, it’s via the run (28th DVOA in this department). PFF has this matchup (Raiders offensive line vs. Chiefs defense) ranked as the tied for third-best rushing matchup on the week, trailing Atlanta, Indy, and tied with Philadelphia. Many will be reluctant to roster Jacobs because of the spread on this game, with Vegas as heavy underdogs. However, despite not topping two catches since October 9th, let’s not forget Jacobs’ Week 4 performance through the air with 8/81 on 11 targets with Aidan O’Connell starting against the Chargers. His pass game role has ceased to exist lately, but it’s in there somewhere. As long as his snap rate is consistent, the game script doesn’t matter.

    The Chiefs defense showed they could clamp down on opposing wide receivers yet again last week with their stifling performance against AJ Brown, so it’s possible they come in with a similar game plan against Davante Adams. The question of whether they do this comes down to whether the Chiefs felt that strategy against Brown and the Eagles was effective. By focusing on Brown, they allowed production via the ground by Jalen Hurts and D’Andre Swift and ultimately lost the game. However, Hurts underperformed without Brown doing much, and the Chiefs know they would have won this game if Valdes-Scantling brought in the deep ball late. So, in hindsight, I think it’s likely they shift to neutralize Adams here, let Jacobs work underneath (maybe Meyers too is sneaky), and take their chances against O’Connell.

    Josh Allen + James Cook + Gabriel Davis + AJ Brown

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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 12 Topics

    1. A Tradition Unlike Any Other

    2. Bottom Feeding

    3. Misery Loves Company

    4. Floating Plays

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


    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    The Question ::

    A weekly staple of The Oracle, what makes this slate particularly unique?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    My answer to this question will move a bit outside the realm of “what the NFL slate provides for us in terms of DFS” and into the realm of “what the DFS field is providing for us on this slate in terms of DFS.”

    “What makes this slate unique?” — well, the fact that I’m tilting my answer in the direction laid out above is exactly what makes this slate unique. In a nutshell: “This is shaping up as a slate that compels me to highlight what the DFS field is providing for us on this slate.”

    If you listened to the Angles Pod this week, you heard me dive into this — namely, “The plays that stand out to me on this slate as the best plays are also, generally speaking, shaping up to be low-owned plays” — but that was recorded on Friday morning, using Friday morning ownership projections. Friday morning ownership projections will always be less accurate than deeper-into-the-week projections, and especially on a week like this — when content tends to come in late across the industry — it’s fair to assume that Friday morning projections are largely algorithm-driven, and are thus less accurate than normal.

    But now, it’s Saturday evening, and projections are showing roughly the same thing — to a point where I hit up Mike, Hilow, and Xandamere in our group text to see what they were thinking here. “The field can’t really be seeing things THIS differently than the way we’re seeing things, right?”

    All three guys pointed out a handful of reasons why ownership projections are shaking out the way they’re shaking out, and Xandamere in particular — who has a lot of sharp methodologies for jiggering with algo-driven projections to get something that more fully captures how people are truly likely to build — had some sharp insights on why projections currently look the way they look.

    I’ll still enter the weekend assuming that there’s no way “My favorite plays” can be quite as under-owned as they’re showing (to be clear: I’m not just talking about OWS projections; projections across the industry reflect the same thing you see in ours), and that, instead, I’ll be getting “my favorite plays” at merely “lower than it should be” ownership, rather than at “egregiously low ownership.” But the point still stands that this looks like a week — if you’re seeing the slate the way I’m seeing it, and the way most of the rest of the OWS team is seeing it — when simply playing “favorite plays” can double as a way to “be unique and different.”

    If we ran into setups such as this 100 times, there would — obviously — be times when “our favorite plays” would nevertheless fail. But over that same sample size, we would make more money than we would with just about any other setup you could think of.

    What makes this slate unique? For me, it’s the fact that I can play my favorite plays, and be “different” simply by doing that.

    Xandamere >>

    This is the week of close spreads. We have the Chiefs at the Raiders favored by 8.5, but outside of that game, every other game on this slate has a spread of just 3.5 or fewer points. There are a lot of games that could very viably turn into back and forth shootouts, which is just all kinds of fun to build for. I’ll be going for more game stacks than normal (i.e. not so much on the “stacks of high-scoring teams with no bringback” approach I’ve been doing most of the last few weeks). 

    Hilow >>

    The best way to describe this slate is to use the word “chaos.” It’s chaotic in the sense that everyone has had less time to dedicate to main slate preparation, with the holidays upon us, people traveling for Thanksgiving, the Thanksgiving slate soaking up attention, and now the addition of Black Friday football adding yet another slate to the week. That has led to some questionable stances by the field this week, which we broke down in depth on The Slate podcast.

    I see the field struggling with three primary points of emphasis this week – failure to accurately identify the top expected game environment on the slate (BUF-PHI), failure to identify the top on-paper running back plays, and failure to identify the “projectable value” pieces that carry upside. That is leading to more balanced builds as the prevailing roster construction strategy on the slate and is reducing the ownership expectations for players priced at the extremes in salary.

    Mike >>

    For me, the unique things about this slate are the lack of value and the situations at the RB and TE positions. Running back doesn’t have any cheap guys with bankable workloads and also doesn’t have the top end guys on the slate this week. It’s all bunched up in a small range, so Jonathan Taylor is popping in projections in a good game environment with his role and talent. And again, there are no real cheap spots at the position so every lineup is going to use like $13k+ on RB. Same at TE……no solid cheap options, so $4,200 to $5,000 is going to be what over half the lineups spend at the position. All that salary at those 3 spots makes it super hard to fit the studs from PHI/BUF/KC, creating a situation where the clear top team scoring environments are going relatively underowned. That’s a really rare and unique opportunity if we can find ways to play those spots, as usually those top projected teams are where most of the field funnels to.


    2. Bottom Feeding

    The Question ::

    We have four games on this week’s slate with an over/under of less than 37 points::

    • CAR // TEN
    • PIT // CIN
    • NE // NYG
    • CLE // DEN

    Considering there are only ten games on the slate, we are talking about 40% of the overall slate being extremely ugly projected game environments. Do you see any chance of any of these games surprising in a competitive and somewhat high-scoring affair? If so, which one(s)?

    The Answers ::

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    Thanks for hanging out with us in The Oracle this week

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

    Afternoon-Only

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

    FINDING AN EDGE

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

    This Week’s Slate
    • Back to a four game slate this week which makes things very interesting from a player pool and strategy perspective.
    • There are three clear tiers of game environments within the slate as CLE/DEN is clearly the bottom tier and BUF/PHI is the obvious “premium” spot. Meanwhile, the LAR/ARI and KC/LVR games have middling totals and uncertain pace of play situations.
    • Three of the four games have point spreads within a field goal, while the one game with a large spread (KC/LVR) features a favorite whose offense has fallen flat on its face in the second half of three consecutive games.
    • The Chiefs game stands out from a strategy perspective as the most popular spot on the slate will be Buffalo/Philadelphia and the current narrative on Kansas City is that their offense is broken.
    • This is a unique slate in that I think playing a “naked” QB is far more viable than usual because of the structure of pricing and the games available.
    • All of the available running backs are within a similar pricing tier ($5,600 to $4,800), while all of the viable wide receivers are either below $5,500 or above $7,000. Due to this, most rosters will look extremely similar in terms of “how” they are built. This also puts added leverage on the tight end and defense positions.
    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 a 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

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    Late Swap

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

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

    Outlook – Late Games:

    Week 12 offers us a 10-game slate with 4 late games, and what a fun afternoon slate it is with elite options across every position. No matter where your roster is after the early games, if you’ve got several spots remaining, there’s a plethora of exciting options to consider in your hunt for catching up or setting yourself on a path to victory. Let’s dive in:   

    Important Early Outcomes to Watch:
    • Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman – The highest owned at their respective positions (RB & WR), however, neither has put up a “had to have it” score all season.
    • Jaguars at Texans – This game projects to have several of the highest-owned players this week, including both QBs (Trevor Lawrence and CJ Stroud), as well as Christian Kirk, Tank Dell, Evan Engram, Travis Etienne, Calvin Ridley, and Nico Collins.
    • New England DST – The Patriots are projected to be the highest-owned DST unit on the slate, even though their season-high is 9 DK points. It’s one thing to play a high-owned, chalk defense when they are in fact an elite unit with upside, it’s another thing to roster them when it’s New England on the road…  
    • Buccaneers RBs – Rachaad White popped up on the injury report on Saturday morning but was projecting for top 3-4 ownership at the position. If he’s inactive, expect decent ownership on either Chase Edmonds or Ke’Shawn Vaughn at min salary.
    • Slate Breakers – Such as Ja’Marr Chase’s 55 DK point performance in week 5 or CJ Stroud’s 46 points in week 9.
    Price Range Breakdowns (Late Games):

    $7,100 and up:

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    Battle Royale

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

    Welcome to Week 12!

    If you are new to this contest or just want to get a bigger picture of the first two years of the contest, here is my review of the top Battle Royale rosters in 2021 and 2022.

    I am changing up the format this week, as the old one was starting to feel stale. Instead of going position by position, I am highlighting all the stacks I will be targeting this week in drafts, as that is arguably the most important decision for each roster. I’ll also provide some thoughts on other players I’m interested in, and then finish by updating some trending stats for the main contest. Let’s get started!

    Looking at Week 12

    Lots of offenses off the slate for Thanksgiving week, so the pickings are slim on the main slate. Low totals and fewer teams are usually an advantage for us and our ability to get unique. Like last week, the RBs especially are more attractive late than the ones going early, so don’t be afraid to scroll down!

    Stacks I’m Targeting:

    Big Dogs

    Patrick Mahomes + Travis Kelce @ LV:

    • This is an extremely difficult stack to acquire due to ADPs, but I’m including it anyway because sometimes you get the right draft room for it to work out. Kelce has a significant projection edge over the other TEs on this slate, putting him in play for the 1.01. If you are able to achieve this stack, the two of them come with extremely positively correlated ceilings and provide a great roster foundation at the two onesie positions.

    Josh Allen + Stefon Diggs vs PHI:

    • Another very difficult stack to obtain, but has sometimes been available near the 1st/2nd round turn this week. PHI has been getting killed by the league’s best receivers, and paired with Allen provides one of the highest ceiling stacks available.

    Jalen Hurts + Devonta Smith @ BUF:

    • With Dallas Goedert hurt, more looks should be fed Smith’s way in this already concentrated offense. BUF’s defense has been getting further banged up all year long, and Smith is currently being drafted in the 4th round. Hurts with AJ Brown is obviously great, but usually even more difficult to attain than Mahomes-Kelce.
    Tier 2

    CJ Stroud + Tank Dell vs JAC:

    • This stack has popped off multiple times this year and it remains a nice target here against a JAC defense that has allowed solid passing production to WRs all year (including to these two). Acquiring this stack should mean you got one of the big 3 flex players (Kelce, Diggs, AJB), and still provides you with one of the highest ceiling stacks available despite not having one of the 3 big dogs at QB. Both are currently going in the 3rd round and beyond.

    Kyler Murray + Trey McBride vs LAR:

    • McBride has 16 targets in Kyler’s first two games and now gets a defense that has allowed 4 TEs of 40+ yards and a TD (plus 4:62 from McBride already when Ertz was still playing). Murray is averaging 321.7 yards in his last 3 games vs LAR, and his rushing ability still provides him with a ceiling that can compete with the 3 big dogs.
    12-Person Drafts

    Gardner Minshew + Michael Pittman vs TB:

    • TB continues to be a pass funnel defense under Bowles, already allowing 5 games of 300+ passing yards. While IND will want to run, and likely still find some success on the ground as they have in other tough rushing matchups, we should expect an uptick in pass attempts for Minshew here. All 3 of his main receivers are healthy coming out of the bye, and despite some tough matchups, Pittman’s target count in the last 5 games reads 14, 5, 13, 8, 12. TB has allowed 7 WRs to top 100 receiving yards already.

    Baker Mayfield + Rachaad White @ IND:

    • While IND has definitely performed more admirably on defense of late, 2023 Mayfield is more in the Carr tier of QBs than the PJ Walker, Bryce Young, and Mac Jones tier. Carr managed to throw for 300+ yards and 2 TDs, while his best stacking partners were Kamara and Shaheed. Evans can certainly perform well here and will be a player to target himself but White has a similar role to Kamara in that he is used in both the run and pass game, and that is where IND has been more susceptible of late. Game stacks involving players from both sides here will be one of my targets in the 12-person drafts (and some 6-person as well).

    Desmond Ridder + Kyle Pitts, Drake London vs NOR:

    • Ridder has been announced as the starter for the rest of the season and returns to play at home, where all 3 of his strong fantasy scores have come. NOR is a good defense, but has been struggling lately (and throughout the Dennis Allen defense era) with mobile QBs. Ridder may not be a runner like the others they’ve faced, but he’s still a capable scrambler and has 4 games of 7+ rushing fantasy points already. While London is certainly the more consistent player, Pitts gets a NOR defense that has been getting abused by TEs and doesn’t need as big of a score at the TE spot to help you win. Marshon Lattimore’s absence makes London much more interesting, but he still likely needs a high-end passing volume game from Ridder to help you win. Still, in 12-person drafts, these are one of the few late-round pairings you can acquire cheap when missing out on the big dogs and looking for a combo with upside.

    Others to Target

    Puka Nacua, Kyren Williams @ ARI:

    • If Kupp misses this game, we can expect extremely heavy usage for Puka Nacua against a struggling secondary that continues to provide tournament-winning scores for WRs and RBs. Williams, who if he gets back to pre-injury usage, is a smash play once again against a defense he lit up for 158 yards in his last game. Lead RB rush attempts vs ARI by week: 19, 17, 23, 20, 25, 20, 26, 19, 20, 22, 22.

    Derrick Henry vs CAR:

    • King Henry has faced a series of tough matchups, and this is probably the best spot he’s had all year. Playing against stacked boxes is nothing new for Henry, so despite the rookie QB, he is someone who can pop for a big game with multiple TDs here. He currently goes in the 5th round.

    Dalton Kincaid @ PHI:

    • Kincaid is probably my favorite TE on the slate after Kelce, and he’s the best stacking partner with Allen after Diggs. PHI’s defensive pass struggles have not been limited to WRs, as multiple TEs have popped in this spot. Currently, Engram and McBride are taken before him and he’s being drafted in the 5th round. Especially in 12-person drafts in which Allen-Diggs isn’t possible, Kincaid will be someone I definitely target if taking Allen in the 1st.

    Adam Thielen @ TEN:

    • Thielen has five games already this year of 10+ targets, and TEN has bled production to WRs all year long. His recent production has him going in the last round to start the week, but he’s shown an elite ceiling in this offense given the volume he receives. Undrafted Ridley vs TEN helped win this tournament last week after a string of unproductive games, and this setup comes with the possibility of the same outcome for Thielen.

    Rhamondre Stevenson @ NYG:

    • The NYG defense has allowed several big RB scores throughout the season, and while Stevenson still shares more work with Elliott than we’d like, he’s the leader of this backfield and the far superior talent at this point in their careers. He showed his breakaway ability against WAS, and his usage in both the run and pass game provides the opportunity for a strong game here. He’s free in the last round.
    12-Person Drafts

    Jaylen Warren, Najee Harris @ CIN:

    • Great matchup vs CIN on the ground, and a potential big time of possession edge here if Browning struggles in his first start. Najee is actually much cheaper in these drafts despite still holding a significant role in this backfield, especially close to the endzone.

    Gabe Davis @ PHI:

    • Goes late in drafts due to his inconsistency, but gets a struggling pass defense in an explosive game environment while being very positively correlated with his QB’s ceiling.

    Josh Downs vs TB:

    • Before getting hurt, had target counts of 6, 8, 6, 9 and three games over 70 yards in that four game stretch. Pass funnel defense.

    Notable Stats

    These are some notable stats from rosters appearing in the top 5 of the contest so far this season.

    1st place performance:

    • 32 of the 47 teams had at least one flex player score 30+ half-PPR fantasy points
    • 20 of the 47 teams had all flex players score at least 20+ half-PPR fantasy points
    • 43 of the 47 teams had all flex players score at least 15+ half-PPR fantasy points

    Stacking and Correlation:

    • 27 of 47 had a QB paired with just one teammate
      • WR (20), TE (5), RB (2)
    • 7 of 47 had a QB stacked with two teammates
      • WR-RB (4), WR-WR (2), WR-TE (1)
    • 5 of those 34 QB stacks had a runback (Opposing player)
    • 46 of 47 had at least one game correlation
    • 14 of 47 had two different game correlations

    FLEX usage:

    • 155 of 235 top-5 rosters have had two RBs, meaning they chose RB at FLEX over WR and TE.
    • 79 of the other top 5 rosters all used WR at FLEX, meaning there’s only been one instance of double-TE to ever finish top-5 (2023 W7: Kelce/Andrews). 

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