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The Scroll Week 15

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    The DFS Slate

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    Meet The Team


    Angles

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

    Happy Thursday!

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

    In This Week’s Angles Email:

    1. Rest-of-season Price Drop(!)

    2. Week 15 macro view

    3. New Podcast(!)

    Rest-Of-Season Price Drop(!)

    If you are not yet a member of OWS DFS or Inner Circle, you can now take 70% off rest-of-season access. (New prices :: OWS DFS: $53.70 // Inner Circle: $68.70). This includes access for the last four weeks of the regular season and all four weeks of the playoffs ($6.71 a week // $8.59 a week).

    OG OWS members, you can find even bigger discounts on the Cancel OWS page.

    New Podcast(!)

    I am going to be doing a daily Roster Building podcast/show throughout the remainder of the season. The first episode is live on the OWS YouTube channel, with new episodes set to be released this week on Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. Weeks 16-18, a new episode will be available each afternoon Tuesday through Saturday. (I’m really excited about this addition. Daily roster builds are a great way to get a clearer sense of how the slate shapes up.)

    The Lay Of The Land ::

    Week: 15

    Total Main Slate Games: 10

    Slate Overview:

    The more the weeks change, the more things stay the same.

    Fifteen weeks into this season, this shouldn’t be a surprise; but “surprise or no,” we’ll lay out the numbers — once again:

    Twenty teams on the Main Slate.

    Sixteen teams implied to score fewer than 24 points.

    Some people may call it an “ugly slate” — and maybe it is; but as I pointed out last week (not for the first time this season), all of our competition is working with the same slate. And what’s more: “an ugly slate” typically means fewer clear pathways to a first-place finish…and since our competition is generally mediocre at identifying the BEST paths to a first-place finish, these “ugly weeks” often put us in position for our highest expected value over time. With that in mind, I encourage you to quickly release any “labels” you’re inclined to assign to this slate (“Ugly,” “Low-Ceiling,” etc.), and to instead shift over to the question we should be asking: “Given what this slate provides, what is the clearest path to a first-place finish?”

    We don’t have any teams on bye this week, but with three Island Games and three games on Saturday, we are still dealing with a small, 10-game slate; and with the Dolphins (3rd in offensive DVOA), Bills (4th in offensive DVOA), Ravens (6th in offensive DVOA), Browns (8th in offensive DVOA), Seahawks (9th in offensive DVOA), 49ers (10th in offensive DVOA), and Packers (11th in offensive DVOA) all missing, this slate feels even smaller than it is.

    Further tightening up the feel of the slate are the matchups that some of the other top offenses are facing, with the Bengals (5th in offensive DVOA) facing the Bucs (11th in defensive DVOA) and the Lions (7th in offensive DVOA) facing the Jets (6th in defensive DVOA).

    Which brings us back to our starting point :: 20 teams on this slate; only four implied to score more than 24 points.

    The first of these teams is the Chiefs (1st in offensive DVOA) implied to score a whopping 31.75 against the Texans (20th in defensive DVOA).

    The second of these teams is the Eagles (2nd in offensive DVOA) implied to score 28.75 against the Bears (32nd in defensive DVOA).

    The third of these teams is the Cowboys and their low-volume passing attack and split backfield implied to score 25.75 against the Jags.

    The fourth of these teams is the Chargers (24th in offensive DVOA!!! // 14th in points per game // only three games all season north of 25 points) implied to score 25 against a Titans unit that just got pasted by the Jags, but has still allowed only the Jags, Eagles, and Bills to top 22 points against them on the season.

    Going a layer below the “team level,” we also have most of the players capable of scoring 30+ DraftKings points in either difficult matchups, lesser game environments, or poorer game-flow scenarios ::

    Davante Adams is taking on a New England defense that has been above-average against wide receivers all season, and — most importantly, from a ceiling perspective — has allowed the fourth fewest wide receiver touchdowns in the NFL. Josh Jacobs is in the same matchup, against a New England Defense that is on track to finish top three in fewest RB rushing touchdowns allowed for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.

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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::

    Beyond discussing how few top-level expected game environments we have on this slate, there is very, very little certainty. That said, the field always talks itself into perceived certainty through crowd psychology, survivalist groupthink mentalities, and an innate disdain for the unknown, meaning this “ugly” slate could best be described as a slate with very clear biases and fragile chalk. It’s time to get weird again, friends, embracing additional variance in a +EV manner. In addition, current ownership projections paint a very clear picture of how most of the field will choose to allocate their salary across rosters, giving us a slate where we can efficiently differentiate via salary allocation. This is a fun one, y’all – 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.

    PATRICK MAHOMES

    Restrictive chalk. The quarterback for the team with the highest Vegas implied team total (32.0 is laughably high), makes sense. The biggest problem is that none of the Kansas City skill position players are playing more than 80% of the offensive snaps, making stacks more difficult to nail down. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Travis Kelce are the two hovering around 80% snap rates, making them the likeliest bets.

    DERRICK HENRY

    Restrictive chalk. The biggest problem for the King hasn’t been per-touch efficiency or lack of work, it’s been Titans game scripts that have muted second half production. Against a Chargers team that finally has its full complement of starting skill position players, and Herbert attempting 47 or more passes in three consecutive games, the bet here is that the Titans are forced to continue actually running an NFL offense into the second half. That makes Henry most optimally played as part of a game stack.

    JOSH JACOBS

    Restrictive chalk. Always one of Josh Jacobs or Davante Adams is still fully in effect, it’s just that the field seems to be comfy with the one in a more difficult on-paper matchup. The Patriots allow the second fewest fantasy points per game to opposing backfields and have given up just three rushing scores all season.

    ALVIN KAMARA

    Restrictive chalk. Kamara has scored three touchdowns all season. All three of those scores came in one game. The matchup is pristine, the workload should remain high with Mark Ingram done for the season, and the desperation factor is high for a Saints team that needs a win to keep their fleeting playoff hopes alive. Let’s hope New Orleans ironed out the kinks during their Week 14 bye. I typically let expected ownership bias my decisions for players with wide ranges of outcomes, but there’s something about Kamara this week that I can’t quite shake.

    JAMES CONNER

    Restrictive chalk. This one is funny. As you’ll soon see, both James Conner and his opposing defense, the Broncos, make an appearance on the list of chalk this week. Conner has the backfield largely to himself (97% and 95% snap rates their last two games), bringing an extremely solid floor to the table this week. That said, he has not put up a 4x salary multiplier at his current salary once this season and is the running back for a team implied to score just 17.5 points.

    CHRIS MOORE

    Expansive chalk. The slot receiver for a team playing the Chiefs, a team who cedes the majority of the pass volume against to the slot, for a price of just $4,200. I can get behind that. The Texans will not only be without their top two wide receivers, but they will also be missing their starting (and workhorse) running back.

    GARRETT WILSON

    Expansive chalk. Further discussion below.

    NELSON AGHOLOR

    Expansive chalk. Agholor was forced into an every-down role for the Patriots in Week 14 with Parker leaving early with a concussion. Jakobi Meyers missed that contest with a concussion and has yet to be cleared from protocol this week (update: Meyers is expected to play). Either way, Agholor should be on the field a bunch this week against an opponent likely to force the Patriots into some level of discomfort (the Raiders average a solid 23.7 points per game this season).

    TRAVIS KELCE

    Restrictive chalk. Not much to be said outside of the clear roster construction funnel he causes.

    BRONCOS D/ST

    Expansive chalk. The Broncos fell to fourth in the league in points allowed per game after the Chiefs put up 34 on them, but this is still an elite defense at point suppression. The problem is that they have generated just over one turnover per game (16 in 13 games) and have returned double-digit fantasy points just three times this year. They also play in a game environment likely to be muted, against a team likely to bias their attack to the ground. And when the Cardinals do throw, it is likely to be over the short areas of the field (less opportunity for interceptions). I dunno, man, I don’t get this one. 

    CHALK BUILD::

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    Relative Value Breakdown

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

    Better Play on Draftkings or Fanduel?

    Week 15

    Pricing can change the value of a play between Draftkings and Fanduel. Recognizing what plays are better values on each site based on scoring rules and points per dollar can create a sizable edge when building rosters. Here are the Week 15 players that are best utilized on Draftkings or Fanduel.

    Jalen Hurts:  FD $9.0k, 15.0% // DK $8.2k, 16.4% // Value on Fanduel

    If you’re paying up for Jalen Hurts this week, he takes up 1.4% less of the cap on Fanduel. He’s the most expensive QB on Draftkings, but priced behind Patrick Mahomes on Fanduel. Hurts brings the rushing upside that’s valuable on Fanduel with four rushing touchdowns in his last five games.

    Miles Sanders:  FD $7.8k, 13.0% // DK $6.5k, 13.0% // Value on Draftkings

    Sanders takes up the same amount of cap space on both sites, but he’s the seventh priced RB on Fanduel and ninth on Draftkings. Playing Sanders on Draftkings and Hurts on Fanduel could give you exposure to all of the Eagles rushing and passing. The Bears have allowed point totals of 28, 31, 27, 31, 35, and 49 over their last six games and they allow the fourth most DK points to RBs.

    Austin Ekeler:  FD $8.5k, 14.5% // DK $8.5k, 17.0% // Value on Fanduel

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    JM’s Player Grid

    JMToWin is a high-stakes tournament champion (Thunderdome, Luxury Box, Game Changer, Wildcat, etc.) who is focusing this year on 150-max and small-field single-entry/three-entry max


    OWS Fam ::

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

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


    The Grid ::

    Bottom-Up Build

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

    Blue Chips

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

    Build-Arounds

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

    Building Blocks

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

    Bonuses

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


    Angles Pod

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    Bottom-Up Build

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

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

    Justin Herbert
    Derrick Henry
    Miles Sanders
    Nelson Agholor
    Kendrick Bourne
    Elijah Moore
    Chig Okonkwo
    Mike Williams
    Broncos

    Join The Bottom-Up Build Contest On DraftKings!

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

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

    Join Here


    Blue Chips

    With Mike White out for Week 15 and dropping Garrett Wilson below Blue Chip level, there are no players who are standing out to me as True Blue Chips this week. This is not unusual, especially this deep into the season when pricing is generally efficient.

    “Light Blue” Chips
    Patrick Mahomes

    See Build Arounds and Building Blocks for deeper thoughts on this play.

    Jalen Hurts

    The Eagles have played four games this year against teams that rank bottom 10 in run defense DVOA (Arizona — 23rd || Houston — 27th || NY Giants — 31st || Green Bay — 32nd), and in those games, Hurts has posted DK scores (in order of how they’re listed for DVOA ranks) of 27.7, 21.0, 30.4, and 32.8, while averaging 12 carries and 79.5 rushing yards per game, to go with three total rushing touchdowns scored. With those numbers laid out, it’s worth noting that he’s actually topped 79.5 rushing yards in only one of those four games (his 157-yarder vs Green Bay pulls up his average), but this doesn’t change the fact that Hurts has shown a really nice range in soft rushing matchups. Hurts has gone for 30+ DK points five times this year, with three of those coming with 300+ passing yards (two in pass-funnel matchups vs Washington and Tennessee, the other in an all-around attackable spot vs Minnesota where Hurts threw for 300 yards and rushed for two scores), and with the other two 30-pointers coming via a soft matchup on the ground. Chicago ranks 29th in DVOA against the run. A “bad score” from Hurts here will likely still land you in the 25-point range, while he has clear pathways to topping 30. On a week in which 30-pointers will almost certainly be in short supply, the floor/ceiling combo that Hurts provides is definitely attractive.

    Derrick Henry

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    Build-Arounds

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    Building Blocks

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

    Mahomes + Kelce + Cooks Dorsett + Miles Sanders
    Cost: $25.7K DK // Not as sharp on FD
    Story:

    “Mahomes does what’s expected of him, working primarily through Kelce, while Cooks Dorsett succeeds as the Texans chase points. Miles Sanders scores the touchdowns for the Eagles, clearing out the path to this structure finishing in first place.”

    Why It Works:

    I would have liked this a lot more if Cooks had been active, but with attention flooding to Chris Moore, and with Mahomes + Kelce + Moore sure to be a tremendously popular stack, the addition of Dorsett to this stack (one more snap than Moore last week; same number of pass routes) still creates potential to “place the same bet as everyone else, while separating from the field if it hits” (i.e., everyone will be betting on Mahomes and Kelce smashing, and the Texans putting together some solid receiving production in response; rostering Dorsett places the same bet, at far lower ownership). If Mahomes + Kelce hits, the biggest obstacle to soaring to a first-place finish would be Hurts + Goedert also hitting. By adding Miles Sanders to this build, we account for a holistic scenario that would maximize our chances of a first-place finish: Sanders stealing touchdowns from our biggest competition, and filtering those touchdowns over to our roster.

    How It Works:

    Even with the expected popularity of Mahomes and Kelce, we would have a very clear shot at a first-place finish — even in larger contests — with this four-player block hitting, as a big game from Sanders would decrease the chances of a big game from Hurts, and the Dorsett bring-back would function as a separator as well. With that, I would be fine going relatively chalky across the rest of my roster here (assuming I liked the chalk pieces that would fit), as this block “does enough” to set us apart already. (Note: that’s not to say I would “go out of my way to play chalk.” Rather, it’s to say I would play whatever I wanted to play across the rest of this build, without worrying about how popular or unpopular those other plays were.)

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

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

    Hurts + Goedert + Pacheco

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    Bonuses

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

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

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

    QB ::

    Jalen Hurts || Patrick Mahomes || Joe Burrow || Justin Herbert || (Possibly Mac Jones)

    RB ::

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    A Wrap ::

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

    -JM

    Mike’s Player Grid

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


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


    The Core

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

    Running Back ::

    This is a very unique week at running back, leading me to a slightly larger player pool than normal but with specific ways I would be looking to play each one. For several of the players, I did the NFL Edge writeup and you should read the DFS Interpretation in those for more details on why I’ll be playing them the way I am.

    Miles Sanders

    We only have to look back to last week to see what Sanders can do in a plus matchup if the Eagles jump way out ahead as they are projected to do.

    Alvin Kamara

    Kamara has only three TDs this season and all of them came in one game. He had 28 opportunities (carries plus targets) in the game where he scored the 3 TDs, and has 0 TDs on his other 183 opportunities. This is a great matchup, coming off a bye, in a game the Saints have to win to stay alive.

    Derrick Henry

    Elite matchup and explosive upside. If playing him, will be pairing him with Ekeler, Mike Williams, or a Chargers passing game stack.

    • Austin Ekeler – Only paired with Derrick Henry.
    Tony Pollard/Ezekiel Elliott

    These two have combined for a ton of production and are the focal point of an offense that is highly explosive in the best projected game environment on the slate. Both are likely to be low-owned, making it a solid bet that one of them can help you separate in a tournament.

    Isiah Pacheco/Jerick McKinnon

    Similar to the Cowboys situation, the Chiefs have a solid shot at scoring upwards of 40 points this week so both backs have very real upside. I like playing McKinnon with Mahomes as the only KC pass catcher. For Pacheco, I will consider playing him by himself or with Mahomes + Kelce as a bet that the Chiefs smash and most of the passing production goes through Kelce (and we know Kelce’s big games mean 30+ for Mahomes) and Pacheco cleans up as well against an overmatched opponent as they ice the game.

    Travis Etienne

    Access to a high-scoring game environment with a depressed price. He’s still the bell cow of the backfield and could benefit from a Cowboys defense that has been more susceptible to the run.

    Tight End ::

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    Sonic’s MME Pool

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


    OWS FAM! 

    10 game slates are my absolute favorite. 

    Taking some leverage positions and ownership stands will be important. 

    Remember that in tournaments, chances are stacked against you to make a profit. 

    So if you’re gonna go down, you may as well go down swinging. Take some risks. Embrace variance, and most of all…be YOU.

    LFG!

    Sonic


    QB:

    RB:

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    Willing To Lose

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

    There’s playing DFS tournaments sharply, and then there’s playing tournaments stupid. We’re often balancing these two mindsets so we could also call these different levels of contrarian, but for effect, I will say sharp and stupid as they seem to be natural opposites. The purpose of Willing to Lose every week is to get you to think for yourself, and to embrace risk, but to do it in a limited logical manner. And yet, it’s not always simple to practice this mindset, as I struggle to do it and I write these each week. 

    being too contrarian

    I’ll give you a perfect example of the WTL mindset vs. just plain unintelligent building. In this week’s Thursday game, Christian McCaffrey had all the signs pointing to him as the best on paper play. He was coming off a huge game against the Bucs (not an easy matchup) and playing Seattle, who by all metrics ranks as one of the worst five rushing defenses in the league. His backfield running mate, Elijah Mitchell, was spending another week on injured reserve. You could not ignore him. And then, I built a few lineups, threw them into large-field GPPs, and I ignored him. This was the opposite of sharp and the definition of being contrarian for contrarian’s sake. What I did do, however, is play George Kittle at captain everywhere. Why did I do this? Well, CMC was the obvious spot, due to carry the highest ownership on all rosters and the captain slot. Beyond him, the Seahawks passing game, with the concentration and volume always on DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, would be the next place people looked. So with Deebo Samuel expected out, my natural mindset shifted right to the 49ers passing game. My initial thought was on Brandon Aiyuk, but once I saw Kittle priced lower than Aiyuk, he was my play. And despite my Kittle lock button, I just barely cashed my lineups because I did not have CMC.

    I realize this revisionist process is not exciting to read as you came here for some Week 15 main slate juice. But I wanted to provide a very small glimpse into how I see things, as the one guy who is really trying to drill home this WTL thought process in every lineup, and on every slate. Of course, a Showdown is fundamentally different and more chaotic than the main slate, but we should all strive to recognize when a lineup is too unique, a lineup is too common (no shot at first place), and when a lineup looks and feels just right. We always want to understand first where the best games are on a slate, who has the best matchups, and then as we always say . . . just tilt that lens a few degrees right or left to see a new angle that has viability. That’s it. We don’t have to search for the less than 1% owned play just because it’s going to be uncommon. But if we do, then we should be building with chalk from there. Find your guaranteed points this week, and embrace the risk to win big.

    Zach Wilson + Garrett Wilson + Tyler Conklin + Amon-Ra St. Brown

    So much to like and so much to dislike in this player block. But when we combine these four players on a roster, it will have the combination of chalk and not chalk that we are looking for in large field play. This Lions and Jets game is currently carrying an over/under of 43.5 after opening around 50 points. There has been a ton of line movement on this game all week, and with the news now that Zach Wilson is starting over an injured Mike White, whatever ownership was left of this game on the Jets side has effectively evaporated. Zach seems to be more risky than White, but in his last few starts that has been mostly due to the Jets lack of trust in him and willingness to commit to the run to hide him. However, what we do know is the Jets have become more pass heavy in recent weeks, as they have let White throw the ball north of 44 times each of the past two weeks in games against the Vikings and then the Bills. The Lions have given up the most fantasy points to QBs this season and currently rank 21st DVOA vs the pass and 22nd against the run. With Zach’s cheap price, we aren’t asking for much out of him, and more importantly, if the Lions can put up points and force the Jets to trail, he should be slinging it around the yard this week.

    If Zach Wilson is forced into 40 pass attempts, Garrett Wilson is primed for another big day. Although this is about Mike White, I loved this nugget from Fantasy Points Data, where we can confidently say Wilson should exploit this Lions matchup in heavy Cover 1. The only issue with Garrett is he won’t be overlooked at $6,000, but we like that. Zach Wilson is one way to stray away from a chalk build with Garrett Wilson, but going to Elijah Moore or Tyler Conklin is another. Moore is underpriced for a wide receiver who is coming off a ten-target, 82% offensive snap rate, but that’s why he may also get steamed this week. Conklin is my preferred secondary pass catcher with a Jets QB in tournaments for his similarly low ownership, and because as poor as the Lions have been against WRs (3rd-worst in fantasy PPG on PFR), they are also bad against TEs (3rd-worst).

    The Lions putting up points is the way for this stack to pay off, and if they are able to do that, the highest confidence bet lies with ARSB. JM noted on the Winner’s Circle podcast this week how ARSB’s better production actually tends to come with DJ Chark healthy, and with his 45% slot share, he should move around the formation enough to avoid the strength of the Jets defense, which is the perimeter cornerbacks.

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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 15 Topics

    1. Touchdown Express

    2. Diamond Hunting

    3. 4x + Scores

    4. Floating Plays

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


    1. Touchdown Express?

    The Question ::

    There are a few really ugly looking games on this slate and several others that have modest matchups and game environments. Because of that, the few ripe spots on the slate have extra value and it is much easier for one team or game to truly bust away from the pack. With that in mind, which of these explosive offenses do you think is most likely to score 40 points and how does that shape your DFS approach?

    • Chiefs
    • Eagles
    • Cowboys
    • Chargers
    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    Kansas City would have to be the team in my mind. With that said, I think it’s important to take a moment to “remove the names from the jerseys” on this Texans defense. They rank 17th in pass defense DVOA and 20th in overall DVOA. They rank 26th in points allowed, but no team has topped 30 against them in their last seven games, which includes contests against Philadelphia, Miami, and Dallas. None of this concerns me from a “Patrick Mahomes production” standpoint, but I do think the perception of this defense is different from its reality, and I think the chances of a 40-pointer from the Chiefs are relatively low (well, of course, 40-pointers are always rare, but since the question is framed as such, it’s worth throwing that out there!). I’m viewing the Eagles and Chiefs this week as likely four-touchdown units, and I’m viewing the Chargers and Cowboys on the 3 to 4 touchdown borderline.

    Xandamere >>

    I think the Chiefs and the Eagles are most likely to score 40, and why that is especially interesting to me is that the Eagles currently have some egregiously low combined ownership projections. The top total combined flex ownership (i.e. not including QB/DST) are currently: Chiefs at 56.5%, Chargers at 53.4%, Cowboys at 42.8% and the Eagles are at . . . wait for it . . . 22.4%. I don’t know if the Eagles have the highest chance to score 40 here – that’s probably the Chiefs – but IF they score 40, it looks like almost nobody is going to be on them, and so that’s where I’m willing to plant my flag.

    Hilow >>

    The Chiefs and Chargers jump off the page for me this week. The Eagles and Cowboys are both teams that have been known to take their foot off the gas when afforded that opportunity, and it’s a bit more likely that they are each allowed to do so this week. Eric Bieniemy spoke about the Chiefs inability to put teams away this week, saying they had to do a better job of continuing the press moving forward. The Chargers have not scored more than 34 points in a game this season but have their full complement of offensive weapons healthy for the first time since Week 1.

    Mike >>

    Mike’s answers will be posted by Sunday morning


    2. Diamond Hunting

    The Question ::

    We are going back to the well this week to find a hidden gem, after diving into this concept last week and then watching the Jaguars pop off for 36 points (more than two touchdowns over their implied total) and carry rosters to the top of leaderboards. Eleven of the twenty teams playing on this slate have an implied team total of fewer than 22 points:

    • Steelers
    • Panthers
    • Bears
    • Texans
    • Jets
    • Falcons
    • Cardinals
    • Broncos
    • Bucs
    • Patriots
    • Titans

    Which of those teams projected for under 22 points do you think is most likely to score 30 or more?

    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!

    Sunday Crunch

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

    Click here to join Discord for free.

    Return of the Mac::

    The Patriots offense has been under a lot of scrutiny this season. However, one thing we can count on from them is an opponent-specific game plan. Three weeks ago against a porous Vikings pass defense, the Patriots went pass-heavy and attacked them successfully. I believe the same could happen this week, which has me very interested in Mac Jones stacks at a cheap price tag. Jones had his best game of the season against the Vikings, scoring 26.3 Draftkings points, and a similar game would have him putting your roster on a great pace. Making this even more attractive is the fact that he has a lot of very cheap stacking options that you could play two of and get around 60 combined points from while opening yourself up to some high-ceiling players on the rest of your roster.

    Across The Pond::

    Late in the season we often see rookie skill players, especially wide receivers, take big steps in their development and become greater focal points of their teams. Drake London matched his season high in targets with 12 in the last Falcons game before their bye. The Falcons have also moved to rookie Desmond Ridder at quarterback, so they are likely to throw the ball more than they did with Marcus Mariota. An ascending young talent with a growing role is a spot we want to be ahead of and his price and ownership are likely to be much higher over the last three weeks of the season than they are this week. This isn’t a “can’t miss” matchup, but I want to be in on London early.

    Getting Defensive::

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    Afternoon-Only

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

    Finding an Edge

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

    Ownership Strategy

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

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

    QB STRATEGY
    • Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow will be the two most popular quarterbacks on the slate.
    • Tom Brady and Mac Jones should also be relatively popular, as Jones has a great matchup and Brady has two big name receivers to use as stacking partners.
    • Ryan Tannehill and Derek Carr are the third tier of quarterback but are sneaky options as leverage off two of the top running backs on the slate.
    • Finally, Colt McCoy and Brett Rypien will be the lowest owned QBs as they play in by far the worst projected game environment.

    My guess on final ownership:

    • Herbert and Burrow – 20-30% each
    • Brady and Jones – 12-20% each
    • Tannehill and Carr – 8-12% each
    • Colt McCoy – 4-7%
    • Brett Rypien – 1-2%
    Defense Strategy
    • Per usual, the defense ownership will be roughly the inverse of QB ownership, with the Broncos and Cardinals garnering the majority of the ownership on the slate. Both are already projected as top-3 options on the main slate, and I’d expect they combine for roughly 50-60% of the ownership on the afternoon slate.
    • The Titans and Bucs defenses are also somewhat popular on the main slate, and should each have around 12-20% ownership on the afternoon slate.
    • The rest of the defenses all have some good logic behind them as ways to get unique:
      • The Patriots should have single digit ownership and could slow down a Raiders offense that can be predictable and concentrated, especially given the coaching familiarity involved in that game.
      • The Raiders are a bit expensive for a unit that has struggled, but given how the Patriots offense has looked at times this year, they could simply fall into some points.
      • The Chargers defense is talented, and if they build a lead that forces the Titans to the air, there is the potential for big plays.
      • Tom Brady and the Bucs offense have a high pass rate and have struggled this year, making the Bengals an intriguing option.

    HOW I’M APPROACHING EACH GAME

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

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    Underdog Underowned

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

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

    Brief Review of Previous Data

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

    • This section will just be to track some top-five lineup trends that may help you in constructing your roster.
    • In 19/32 weeks, there have been at least four QB-teammate stacks in the top-five rosters (14 of 19 were QB-WR); just three QB-teammate stacks per week in four of the last five weeks
    • 2022 QBs in top-five (stacked/total): Joe Burrow (12/13) // Justin Fields (4/12) // Lamar Jackson (9/10) // Jalen Hurts (8/10) // Josh Allen (5/9) // Patrick Mahomes (5/6) // Justin Herbert (2/3) // Tua Tagovailoa (2/2) // Jared Goff (2/2) // Kyler Murray (1/1) // Mike White (1/1) // Trevor Lawrence (1/1) // Geno Smith (0/1)
    • Of the 70 QBs on a top-five roster in 2022, 54 have scored four-plus touchdowns
      • Allen, Fields, Hurts all had 70+ yards and a score on the ground in their games without four touchdowns
    • Of the 150 top-five rosters, 115 have had two RBs (71.8%)
      • This means a 1-2-2-1 roster construction
    • Mark Andrews has made a top-five roster in 12-of-24 weeks he has been on the slate, and Travis Kelce has made a top-five roster in 12-of-22 weeks he has been on the slate
    • In 2022, 11-of-14 weeks have had a single WR or RB make all five top-five rosters

    Week 13 Top-Five Rosters: Score // Roster // ADP

    Looking at Week 14
    Quarterbacks:

    Notable QBs missing from this slate: Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa, Geno Smith, Lamar Jackson, Kirk Cousins, Deshaun Watson, Daniel Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford

    • With Hurts in such a positive matchup, Allen gone, and Mahomes in a matchup/game that so strongly favors the running game, Philadelphia’s offense should be accounted for
    • If I’m not getting Hurts, I need someone capable of matching a strong output:
      • Burrow and Herbert each have a RB and two WRs that can be stacked
      • Mahomes sometimes available with Kelce
      • Fields could be stacked with Kmet, but probably better just with Philadelphia pieces
    • Or a bet against Hurts with a later QB and with Miles Sanders on the roster
    • However, of note: Hurts has scored 17, 30 and 30 fantasy points in Sanders’s three blowup games, making an interesting combo that never gets owned (except by last week’s winner!) and also clearly not always leverage off the other

    QBs with upside outside the top-fivve drafted:

    • Mike White: White had scores of 25 and 19.5 fantasy points against easier defenses before playing Buffalo through a rib injury. Detroit has been one of the tougher run matchups over the last half of the season, but they have still given up all kinds of passing production. Playing White carries an expectation of about 300 yards and three to four touchdowns, so he makes the most sense to stack with Garrett Wilson, and/or Eli Moore/Zonovan Knight/Tyler Conklin.
    Running Backs:

    Notable RBs missing from this slate: Christian McCaffrey, Kenneth Walker, Jonathan Taylor, Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones, Saquon Barkley, Jeff Wilson

    Wide Receivers:

    Notable WRs missing from this slate: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Justin Jefferson, Michael Pittman, Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Terry McLaurin, Christian Watson

    Positive Notes:

    • A.J. Brown: Three biggest games have all come in Philadelphia blowouts in which Philadelphia has scored 35+ points; Chicago recent points allowed: 28, 31, 27, 31, 35, 49; biggest concern is volume since Philadelphia also has an easy matchup on ground and passing offense has frequently been unnecessary for them in the second half
    • Garrett Wilson: Detroit has allowed the third most WR fantasy points per game; three monster games with Flacco or White
    • Eli Moore: Same bad Detroit defense; Corey Davis likely out; production much higher without Wilson; led team in targets last week (10); undrafted
    • Mike Williams: Tennessee has allowed the most fantasy points to WRs; Williams ceiling higher than Keenan, much better matchup than Ekeler
    • Christian Kirk: Dallas defense has allowed several strong WR games; Dallas frequently puts up points, requiring opponent to keep up; Engram currently the third drafted TE, but Kirk has been the most consistent Jacksonville producer all year

    Negative Notes:

    • Davante Adams: Offense becoming less concentrated with potential returns of Waller and Renfrow; New England above-average vs. WRs and stronger against touchdowns overall
    • Ceedee Lamb: With Dallas focused on running the ball, Lamb has topped 20 fantasy points just once all year. Needs a high scoring affair to pop
    • Keenan Allen: Hasn’t scored 20 fantasy points since Week 11 of 2020, basically needs a two touchdown game; even in good matchups, has been beneficial to fade
    • Amon-Ra St. Brown: New York has allowed third fewest WR fantasy points; Goff still struggles with pressure and strong defenses; Jets haven’t allowed a big WR game since the opening month; all Detroit skill players healthy means a hit to volume; still massive ceiling to consider, but downgrade to environment (21.5 total in 44.5 game total)
    Tight Ends:

    Notable TEs missing from this slate: Mark Andrews, George Kittle, TJ Hockenson, David Njoku, Dawson Knox, Robert Tonyan, Tyler Higbee, Mike Gesicki, Zach Ertz, Kyle Pitts

    • Kelce remains the most valuable player in the format, going #1 more frequently this week with Jefferson off the slate; basically Kelce and Hurts at the top
    • If Kelce disappoints, likely a strong game from another Chief; McKinnon popped through the air last week, but the matchup on ground sets up best for Pacheco this week
    • Quick notes on some TEs past Kelce:
      • Dalton Schultz: Dallas is implied for 26 points, good matchup vs Jacksonville
      • Taysom Hill: No Mark Ingram and TEs both Q, strong history vs Atlanta
      • Greg Dulcich: No Sutton; TE feast spot vs Arizona
      • Pat Freiermuth: seven games of seven-plus targets, concentrated offense
      • Dallas Goedert: If fully healthy, strong ceiling against the porous Chicago defense
      • Darren Waller: If fully healthy, could see advantage with New England emphasis on Adams
    Underowned Combos:
    • Burrow + 2
    • Hurts + Sanders
    • White + Wilson + (Moore / Conklin)
    • Dak + Schultz + Kirk
    • Herbert + 2 + (Henry)
    • Kamara + Olave

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

    Late Swap

    StatATL is an OWS Fam grad who has been hammering short slates and utilizing late swap. In this article, he will help you take advantage of late swap.