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    Magico’s Money-Makers

    El Magico is a high-stakes tournament champion who focuses on single-entry/three-entry max // small-field play

    In this article, I will be highlighting a player pool composed of players that rank high in my proprietary model. This model usually starts working its magic once we have three weeks of historical data so there will be some small tweaking done until we get to that point in Week 4. There are several factors this model takes into consideration: DVP (Defense Vs Position), OL/DL matchup, WR/CB matchup, game pace, Vegas totals, target share, value score, air yard opportunities, and a few secret sauce metrics that I can’t discuss further. As we move forward, I will do my best to point out some of the higher ranked players for the OWS community to take into consideration as part of their own research. When it comes to game selection, I would encourage this player pool to be used in single entry and 3-max smaller field tournaments. 

    My motto for this week: Charge The Cowboys.

    QB:

    Justin Herbert:

    Herbert sits atop the model at the QB position. Herbert was kind enough to remind us how aggressive he likes to be, averaging 7.2 yards per attempt against the stingy WFT defense. Seven days later he gets a cupcake matchup vs a now somewhat depleted (no Randy Gregory, no Demarcus Lawrence) Cowboys defense which already had the 3rd lowest pressure rate in the league (18%). I expect Dallas to remain a pass funnel defense, and this game should be one of the highest paced games of the slate and also carries the highest game total, which has already been pushed up by 3 points. 

    Russell Wilson:

    Mr. Efficiency enters Week 2 with an even softer matchup at home as he faces the weak Titans defense. I like this play in the scenario that the Titans get their offensive game plan together, which tends to push game pace significantly. If we are playing the same game as last year where Seahawks receivers alternated eruption weeks, then we should see plenty of big splash plays to DK Metcalf. 

    Consideration: Ryan Tannehill, Tom Brady

    RB:

    Chris Carson:

    There are a few key metrics here that are making Carson rank high in the model: OL/DL mismatch in his favor, high vegas total, home favorite, fast paced game, and he now sits atop a thinning RB room. I do expect the Titans to get back on track for this matchup, so that should lend for some extra targets for Carson to add to his very strong role in this high scoring affair.

    Damien Harris:

    This one comes with a fumble cautionary tale, but I am thinking this is redemption time for Harris, who had a game-costing red zone fumble. Let’s assume for a minute that Harris had not fumbled, and scored a TD while running out the clock for the Patriots. In this scenario that would’ve added 8 more points (10 rushing yards and no fumble) to his 15.7 DK performance. Harris is mispriced as a seven point home favorite with a 30 touch game within his range of outcomes, and with game flow on his side. It also doesn’t hurt that he had two receptions last week.

    Consideration: Austin Ekeler, Najee Harris, Nick Chubb.

    WR:

    Keenan Allen:

    There are a few times a year when a player ranks off the charts in the model. This week, Allen seems to be checking all the boxes the model likes in a WR: pace, target share, matchup, game total, value play, and so on. Albeit, he will come with ownership and should be a hot topic this week on the OWS site. I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the OWS contributors plan on handling Allen this week, but I am all in on this one against my hometown team.

    Chris Godwin:

    Godwin is ranking pretty strong and has a similar path to a blowup spot as Keenan Allen. I usually have a hard time guessing which Bucs wide receiver to play, but the model really likes Godwin over his peers. I think a big piece of this puzzle will come down to the Falcons bouncing back and getting more aggressive in their style of play and doing what we think is the obvious thing to do vs the Bucs, which is pass pass pass. In this case, I will let the model do its work and trust this high score and consider Godwin in my player pool, providing some leverage off similarly priced players like the Cowboys receivers and Allen.

    Hunter Renfrow:

    We are going to take advantage of this mispriced player in a good situation. Over the years the Steelers have been a notorious slot receiver dream matchup, and I expect Hunter Renfrow to be able to take advantage of this while the Raiders will most likely be playing from behind and forced to pass the football. Out of all the pass-catching options on the Raiders, Renfrow draws the easiest matchup vs slot corner Tre Norwood, and after getting nine targets on MNF, he provides value and a decent floor for your money. 

    Consideration: Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Tyler Lockett, Emmanuel Sanders, Terrace Marshall

    TE:

    Jared Cook:

    What can I say, the model likes the Chargers this week for many of the same reasons. In this case, I think Trevon Diggs’ performance last week vs Mike Evans is promising for the Cowboys D on the outside, but the inside remains an issue. Hence: Rob Gronkowski and Chris Godwin feasted last week, in a similar style to how Allen and Cook can feast this week. Cook was a fade for me in Best Ball, but I do like him with fresh legs early in the season and, in particular, his very healthy amount of targets he received last week (8), which ranks him second to Waller on the main slate this week.

    Noah Fant:

    Fant led his team in target share (22%), and now has some vacated targets due to Jerry Jeudy’s injury. On top of that, the Texans just gave up a combined 70 yards and a touchdown to some guys named O’Shaughnessy and Manhertz, which starts giving us a glimpse into how soft this matchup is, and the model is picking up on that. 

    Consideration: Tyler Higbee, Rob Gronkowski 

    Magic Stack:

    Justin Herbert / Keenan Allen / Jared Cook / Ceedee Lamb, and/or Amari Cooper.

    #TheWorkbook

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

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    End Around

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

    MACRO SLATE VIEW ::

    UPDATE: The End Around was 75% done when the news of Josh Jacobs missing Week 2 popped, which has a fairly large impact on how the field will see the slate. Everything that was written previously to the news will be left the same, while everything written after the news will be in italics. I’m hoping this will help readers better understand the process of identifying the chalk build and how to generate leverage without making suboptimal plays.

    It doesn’t appear we are set for overbearing chalk this week after so much chalk failed in Week 1, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect a chalk build as there is a very clear route for rosters to take. With that in mind, and considering what has been preached by the Messiah, JM himself, throughout the week, there are numerous games this week with elevated Vegas game totals yet only one seems to be generating the amount of buzz we’d expect. One of the biggest edges we can gain on the main slate is to question everything. Like, everything. The field is once again going to think they know way more than they actually do this week, which gives us a substantial edge. Fight the recency biases and the urges to seek comfort. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

    With the recent news that Josh Jacobs will miss Week 2, we can expect there to be a high likelihood that Kenyan Drake brandishes some level of ownership. The immediate thought from the field will likely be, “where can I allocate the additional salary if moving one of my running backs down to Kenyan Drake?” Be honest, at least 50% of you have already tinkered with this idea, right? If players like what the additional salary creates, they’ll run with the new lineup. If they don’t, they’ll revert back to the original lineup. So, if that is what the field is doing as I write this, what are we going to do to leverage that knowledge? To start, the idea of changing one piece of your roster down and seeing where else you could allocate that salary is about as suboptimal as it gets. That’s what the field will be doing!!! Let’s think through this situation logically to ensure we’re not making suboptimal decisions.

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK VS EXPANSIVE CHALK ::

    This section of the End Around is a change from last season, where we looked at “good chalk vs. bad chalk.” This season, we’re going to dig a little deeper into the Game Theoretic aspects of chalk and how that molds the way the field views the slate. The terms “restrictive chalk” and “expansive chalk” are proprietary ideas that I define in my Theory Of Roster Construction course. I won’t explain how we arrive at these methods, leaving that for the course. I’d highly recommend you read that in order to get the most out of this section throughout the season.

    NAJEE HARRIS

    Not restrictive or expansive chalk; mid-priced. Of all the chalk that ever existed, Najee in Week 2 of the year of our Lord, 2021, is as close to “good chalk” as there ever was. Where is the hole in the following formula for running backs (Opportunity + Matchup + Cost = Fantasy Value)? It’s tough to poke holes there for Najee, right? That said, there is always merit to generating leverage smartly on the running back with the highest projected ownership (will cover below).

    EZEKIEL ELLIOTT

    Not restrictive or expansive chalk; mid-priced. If you read the Edge writeup, you probably already know that I am not too keen on Mr. Elliott this week. That doesn’t mean he’s a terrible play (because he’s not), it just means there is more certainty found elsewhere. It wouldn’t shock me in the slightest to see Zeke playing empty snaps as a pass-blocker, similar to last week.

    CHRIS CARSON

    Not restrictive or expansive chalk; mid-priced. Honestly, enough said regarding my thoughts here from the Edge.

    COOPER KUPP

    Not restrictive or expansive chalk; mid-priced. Recency bias, but a solid on-paper play.

    DAL / LAC WRs

    Not restrictive or expansive chalk; mid-to-upper-mid-priced. Nothing left to say other than I will be playing them.

    TYLER HIGBEE / NOAH FANT / JARED COOK

    Not restrictive or expansive chalk; mid-priced. A combined 50%+ projected ownership from these three alone.

    CHALK BUILD ::


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    JM’s Player Grid

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

    OWS Fam ::
    This is not a complete list of all the good plays on the slate.

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


    The Grid ::

    Explained >>>>

    Bottom-Up Build

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

    Blue Chips

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

    Build-Arounds

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

    Bonuses

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


    Bottom-Up Build

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

    Correlated Bottom-Up Build
    DK Salary Remaining :: $7.8k

    Tua Tagovailoa
    Javonte Williams
    Chris Carson
    Najee Harris
    Jaylen Waddle
    Emmanuel Sanders
    Marquez Callaway
    Tyler Higbee
    Saints

    Standard (Straight-Value) BUB
    DK Salary Remaining :: $6.4k

    Matt Ryan
    Chris Carson
    Najee Harris
    Jaylen Waddle
    Marquez Callaway
    Russell Gage
    KJ Hamler
    Kyle Pitts
    Saints

    Join The Bottom-Up Build DraftKings Contest Here!


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    Blue Chips

    Cowboys // Chargers
    (Overstack // Overlooked)

    As long as the Cowboys’ offense doesn’t stumble this week, the three-man combo of Amari // CeeDee // Zeke has a pretty solid shot at combining for around 75 DK points (320 combined yards and three combined touchdowns equals 50 points; with two bonuses included, we push this to 56; add 15 to 20 catches (a fairly modest number for this trio), and we’re up to 70/75) — which would be just shy of 4x their combined salary (allowing you to lock in a 200-point pace with a pretty large chunk of your salary). Of course, it’s not likely that these scores will be evenly distributed. Instead — like last week — it’s likeliest that one player hits big, one hits a rock-solid score, and one disappoints. The spread between “disappointing” and “hitting big” won’t always be as big as it was last week, but the spread will certainly exist more often than not. If this were an overlooked stack, I would play all three — knowing that it wouldn’t really matter which individual player fails, as this wouldn’t materially impact me in the standings. With at least two of these guys (the wideouts) sure to be popular, however, it becomes sharper to play two of these three together and hope to capture the two bigger scores. I don’t know yet exactly how my rosters will shape up this week, of course, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I had something like 4/7 with Amari/CeeDee, one with Amari/Zeke, one with CeeDee/Zeke, and one with all three. (Any of these could include Dak or Herbert. And optimally, all would include at least one piece from the Chargers. But these pairings could also be played with other quarterbacks who are leading stacks from other games.)

    Keenan Allen // Mike Williams // Austin Ekeler will all make appearances on my rosters this week, and I expect to keep Jalen Guyton and Jared Cook in close consideration as well, as I’ll be looking to overstack this game in the places where I give myself exposure.

    Which brings me to the more critical point here (as this spot is not about “picking players” so much as it’s about betting on the game environment) :: because this spot will be popular, I want to make sure I am either overstacking (taking four or five players from this game on a single roster) or focusing on the overlooked plays from this game in the hopes that the action filters their way. That “overlooked plays” list includes Cedrick Wilson, especially if his lower projected ownership holds. He’s not the likeliest player to hit from the Cowboys…but any low-owned play from this game has a higher probability of hitting than their ownership will indicate.

    You could, of course, alternately play this slate by betting that this game underwhelms (that’s not impossible!), and you could isolate one Cowboys pass catcher to bet on (the concentrated volume is too sharp to pass up, in my opinion) and otherwise leave this game alone. That’s a viable way to differentiate from the field, especially with other quality games available on this slate. But with the concentrated nature of the Cowboys’ offense and their attacking identity, they’re a starting point for me across my rosters this week, and I’ll expect to include one or two Chargers pieces on most of my Cowboys builds.

    If you haven’t read the NFL Edge writeup for this game, you probably should. That will help you get a clearer sense of everything this game provides.

    Chris Carson

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    The Oracle :: Strategy Q&A

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

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

    Week 2 Topics

    1. Overreacting To Week 1?

    2. How To Handle DAL/LAC?

    3. Run-It-Back With Cheapies?

    4. Underpriced Mid-Tier RBs: Fade, Or…?


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    1. Overreacting To Week 1?

    The Question ::

    When a one-game sample size is all we have, that one game can be both powerfully persuasive and massively misleading. It’s likely that the field overrates the reliability of what they saw in Week 1 — both in terms of players/teams/games they gravitate toward, and in terms of players/teams/games they shy away from. Do you have one or two players/teams/games you think the field will shy away from based on Week 1 results, and that you’re instead interested in gravitating toward?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    What I like to look for in spots like this is, essentially, “Who would be highly-owned this week if their Week 1 results had been different?” So…really, JM? — you asked for “one or two”?

    The “Arthur Smith spots” are the ones that stand out the most from a team/game standpoint. If the Falcons had put up 27 points last week, the field would be keeping them in consideration deep into the week. If the Titans had looked better against a better-than-expected Arizona defense, they’d be popular this week as well.

    As for players: Week 2 ownership — more than any other week in the season — tends to favor players who did well the week before, as that’s all the sample size the field is working with in their minds. It’s rarely profitable during the season to target players who stand out simply because they had a big game the week before, and this is even more true on a week in which everyone else is even more likely to follow that path. Players who performed well last week because their team performed well — and who are in a spot this week in which their team is again expected to perform well — are very much in play for me; but players who simply performed well individually and are likely to draw higher ownership as a result are probably not going to make my list this week, and will be replaced with any player from the long list of guys who “would be popular this week if they’d hit last week.”

    Xandamere >>

    The Falcons and the Titans are the two teams that stand out to me. Both had high team totals in what were expected to be good game environments in Week 1, and failed. Both teams have pretty narrow distributions of volume, which is what I love to target. Both teams failed miserably in Week 1. We’ll have to see where ownership settles, but those are two teams that, if they come in low-owned, I want to be heavily exposed to. 

    I will also second what JM said about the field favoring players who did well the week before. Week 2 is when we know the least. We know even less than Week 1, because we still have all of the same uncertainty of Week 1 except now with an incredibly small sample of data that we can overreact to. There are two areas of “unknown” that we need to consider:

    The first is box score results vs. underlying usage. Najae Harris had a bad game against Buffalo, but played every offensive snap and saw every RB touch. Marquez Callaway played 84% of the snaps but only saw two targets. On the flip side, Melvin Gordon scored 23.8 Draftkings points on just 14 touches; Gordon had 10 carries for 31 yards before a 4th quarter 70 yard touchdown run. Sharp players will dig into the underlying usage and see these things, but I would bet any amount of money that while Harris is likely to be popular this week at home against the Raiders, Callaway’s ownership is going to be MUCH lower than it was in Week 1 despite a more favorable matchup. 

    The second “unknown” area is overconfidence in underlying usage. While I believe we can be confident in Harris’s role (the Steelers have a long history of favoring one bellcow RB over a committee approach), there are other areas where we need to recognize that we don’t know as much as we think we do. Some Week 1 usage is going to be pure variance, or based on matchup (i.e. a receiver consistently beating coverage), or opponent-specific game planning. Or, a player might have been given a lot of opportunity but done nothing with it, and that opportunity could be reduced (Donovan Peoples-Jones played 80% of the snaps in week 1 but Anthony Schwartz outperformed him, so will DPJ’s underlying usage continue or not?). 

    When we know very little, what makes sense over time is to:

    1. Focus on areas where do know something with a high degree of confidence
    2. Embrace variance at low ownership, shy away from variance at high ownership
    Sonic >>

    You can’t make me fade Deebo! 

    Derrick Henry is currently looking like <3% ownership and we all know what he’s capable of. Seattle’s front 7 looks long and fast, but game script could tilt in his favor. I’ll make sure I have one Henry roster blended in with each game stack I explore this week. 8-10% feels like a sweet spot.

    Pitts.

    There’s also a few wideouts that I’ll want exposure to in GPP this week. Courtland Sutton, Tyler Boyd, and Marquez Callaway all could get the volume we expected in Week 1. 

    Wait…Justin Jefferson’s current ownership projection is below 4% on three different sites? LFG!

    Hilow >>

    First off, to combat just that, I weigh the macro more than the micro early in the season. I typically like to have at least four data points before calling a piece of data a trend. As for the actual question, there are numerous teams that fall under this premise this week: glaring ones like Atlanta and Tennessee that I refuse to believe are as bad as they looked in Week 1, and then individual players like Najee Harris, Calvin Ridley, Justin Jefferson, etc etc. Basically, fight the urge to box score watch and instead look to underlying metrics that tell a more complete story.

    Papy >>

    I was traveling last week, and this being my first week giving complete Oracle answers, I hotly debated reading the other OWS contributors’ insights before providing my own. I’ve decided to write my response before reading anyone else’s answers, as to give my own opinion before being influenced by other excellent takes.

    One of the biggest edges you can gain early in the season is not overrating a small sample size.  Human psychology tends to believe things will continue to happen in a predictable manner. That makes us trust what we’ve seen most recently more than we should. This is a good survival instinct, and a bad DFS instinct.

    My two favorite plays that might be underrated because of Week 1 are Najee Harris and Mike Evans. Najee had a rough game where he was bottled up on the road against what might be an underrated Bills front seven. This week he’s at home, in a friendlier matchup, with an expected heavy workload. Despite these advantages, Najee’s price didn’t move from a reasonable $6,300. I will be attending this game, and I expect the Steelers to try and get Najee into the end zone in his first home game.

    Mike Evans was the odd man out in Tampa’s passing attack Week 1. While Godwin, Brown, and Gronk all registered solid stat lines, Evans disappointed with three catches for 24 yards on only six targets (the fewest of all the players just mentioned). Evans was the most expensive of the Bucs top three WRs and was routinely drafted first in yearly/best ball drafts. This week, he’s $500 cheaper than Godwin, and only $100 more than Brown. Ask yourself, what changed? Nothing. In fact, Evans is in the best position of all the Bucs WRs Week 2, because Brady is good/smart enough to keep everyone involved on a team stocked with superstars. The Bucs should be able to attack the Falcons D however they choose, and I expect that choice to be feeding Evans to balance out the stat book after Week 1.

    Larejo >>

    The Titans. They still have the same condensed offense and target tree. I’m willing to say their new offensive coordinator, Todd Downing, came into last week determined to not be Arthur Smith. But he surely must realize now there was a reason why Smith called the plays he did, to maximize talent. Expect them to come out differently this week. Side note: I’m not giving up on Anthony Firkser yet. I know he only played 48% of the snaps and it seems like his role is the same as it was in 2020 with Jonnu Smith there, but it’s only one week. And Geoff Swaim had a major drop in the end zone last week. I can see them going back to “Firkdaddy” against the perennial TE-sieve Cardinals. 

    MJohnson >>

    Bills/Dolphins are both coming off tough Week 1 matchups against opponents who slowed things down dramatically while these teams combined for 141 points in two meetings last season and have since added playmakers on both sides. I think this game has intriguing shootout potential as an off the radar game due to all of the attention some higher profile games are getting.

    Cowboys/Chargers…now stay with me here. I’m well aware this is likely the most popular game on the slate, so it doesn’t necessarily fit here on first look. The reason I mention this game as one people will shy away from is because of the exact nature of this question. This game is a unique set-up we rarely see (55+ point total and spread within 4 points) that is capable of providing a truly nuclear game in the box score. Due to it being Week 2 with such a large slate of games and so much “momentum trading” (i.e., people wanting to use players coming off a big opening week or finding Week 1 disappointments who will “bounce back”), this game is going to be underowned relative to the upside it provides. If this game were happening in Week 6 or 7, all the players involved would likely have 1.5x the ownership they will see this week. We don’t have to look far for examples of this. Last year before Dak’s injury the Cowboys had games in Weeks 2-4 against the Falcons, Seahawks, and Browns that averaged 78.3 points scored and were pretty much a requirement to have some exposure to in your lineups to compete for 1st in a tournament. In hindsight, those spots were so obvious and most people just outsmarted themselves.

    We are always looking for ways to be different in DFS, but we should also remind ourselves that sometimes just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

    Majesstik >>

    As I wrote in this space last week, I was not a fan of playing Kyle Pitts against the Philly defense who can cover TEs well. While Pitts’ fantasy score may have disappointed those who rostered him, his usage was encouraging. Going back to last year, eight targets would have edged out George Kittle for third-place among TEs if Pitts finishes with that as his average. Aside from Waller and Hockenson, eight targets was good for the third-most in Week 1 of this year, and Pitts might go a bit under-looked by the field because he didn’t score enough points to warrant the price increase. Tampa Bay funneled 8.1 targets per game to TEs last year (second-most) and Pitts saw eight targets last week. That might be his mean target range for this year by the time all the games have been played. The matchup and game environment should ensure a similar amount of targets and hopefully a score. 

    A game environment I see that may go a bit overlooked is the Bengals at Bears game. Plenty of weapons on both sides and both teams, especially the Bears, are coming off of games where they faced good defenses. Mixon and a Chicago WR or Kmet might be a nice correlation play for this slate.


    2. How To Handle DAL/LAC?

    The Question ::

    As noted in this week’s Angles email, there are 11 teams(!) with a Vegas-implied team total of 25.0 or higher. The game between the Cowboys and Chargers is the only game in which both teams clear that number, but it’s by no means the only game with shootout potential (and while it’s “the likeliest game” to be the highest-scoring on the slate, well…if we don’t know by now that whatever is “likeliest” to happen isn’t exactly guaranteed to happen, we’re in the wrong business!). While it’s certainly possible to build more intelligently around that game than the field is building, a much easier way to separate our rosters this week is to hope that this game disappoints (note: while a high-scoring game is “likeliest” here, I could also fill up 10 paragraphs with scenarios that lead to that game coming in under its total — which it would probably do a good 40% of the time, as that’s simply the nature of the NFL), and to instead load up on overlooked spots. Through a strategic lens, how are you viewing this spot this week?


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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!

    Underowned UD

    Lex Miraglia is a podcaster and lead researcher at OWS. In Underowned|Underdog, Lex breaks down one of the most exciting opportunities available to us at the moment from a “hunting for first-place finishes” perspective: the ultra-soft drafts taking place weekly in the Underdog Battle Royale: a top-heavy “draft” tournament that provides us with clear, easy paths to first place. (Note: this is JM writing this. I actually started attacking the Battle Royale this week, and was almost laughing at the lack of understanding my fellow drafters had of what it would take to win. Two days later, Lex passed along this article. Get drafting!!!)


    The goal of this article is to present you with information & strategy about a different-style DFS tournament that is currently filled with an inexperienced field of entrants. 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!

    What is Battle Royale?

    Tournament Information:
    • Underdog’s NFL main slate weekly tournament
    • Week 1 Size & Entry Fee: 22.6K // $5
    • Week 2 Size & Entry Fee: 5.7K // $20
    • Week 1 Prize Breakdown (1st-5th): $20K – $10K – $5K – $2.25K – $1K
    • Week 2 Prize Breakdown (1st-5th): $20K – $10K – $6K – $3K – $2k
    • BONUS! — Mini Royale:
      • Size & Entry Fee: 5.6K // $5
      • Prize Breakdown (1st-5th): $5K – $3.75K – $2.5K – $1.875K – $1.25K
    Roster/Draft Information:
    • 6-man drafts
      • Only the overall leaderboard matters for prize money
    • Rosters:
      • QB // RB // WR // WR // FLEX // TE
      • 36 NFL Players rostered in each draft (30 FLEX players)
    • Scoring:
      • Half-PPR // No bonuses for yardage benchmarks

    This is a daily fantasy tournament! Right now the edge is that too many entrants are still treating drafts like season-long teams instead of one-week teams. This article will explore how to think correctly about drafting in this format.

    Reviewing Underdog’s Battle Royale Week 1

    Here, we take a look at the five highest scoring lineups from Week 1, how they were constructed, what we can learn from them, and the most important concepts to keep in mind when drafting a team.

    Five Highest scoring lineups:
    • Only duplicate happened to be the lineup tied for 1st
    • Range of 152.68 to 150.18 (2.5 pts difference from 1st to 6th)
    • Notable Player Exposure:
      • 4/5 with Mahomes + Tyreek
        • 2 brought Chubb back
        • 1 included Kelce double-stack
      • 2/5 Kelce (on the one non-Mahomes/Hill team)
        • Chubb brought back
      • 5/5 with Mixon
        • Drafted 3rd, 4th, 5th, 5th, 6th
        • 2 included Thielen; 1 included Dalvin double-stack
      • 3/5 Hockenson (all non-Kelce)
        • 3rd highest projected TE
        • Drafted 6th, 6th, 4th
      • Deebo only true super low-owned player
    Information to Note:
    • The range of “correlated” players was 3 to 5, with all including QB-WR stack and 4 of 5 including a 3-man stack of some kind
      • Limit the amount of things you need to go right through stacking
    • 80% of the top 5 scores either grabbed Kelce first or drafted TE last
      • Kelce provides massive edge at weakest position
    • Value in workhorse RBs, especially those sliding in drafts
      • Ex: Mixon projected high among RBs, but slid due to concerns about matchup/game script vs MIN despite a wide-held belief he will barely leave field
    • Remember scoring: Half-ppr with no bonuses means TDs have more importance
      • Big-play ability & TD-equity more valuable than racking up short catches
    • Players came from just 5 games (8 teams)
      • Ex: KC-CLE, MIN-CIN, SF-DET, ARI, SEA
      • Take strong positions on game environments!
        • Try to bet on game environments with different players from those games
        • Ex: Kelce or Hill // Dalvin or Thielen // Lockett or Metcalf
    • Ownership not as concerning in avoiding dupes compared to single-game tournaments
      • Way more combinations in this setting (36 players drafted vs 12), making it less necessary to go way off board to win with unique roster
      • Ex: Using someone like Deebo in W1 can help you win, but draft him because it makes sense within your team/portfolio rather than just due to ownership
    Story Each Draft Tells:
    33.3831.62321.62419.7
    152.68MahomesHillMixonChubbLockettHock
    • Highest projected QB, stacks his WR1 next pick
      • The more points Hill gets, the less Kelce gets
    • RB projected for workhorse usage in uncertain matchup
    • Opp RB to add to QB-WR stack
      • If Chubb is having ground success, likely means KC needs to throw more
    • WR on team with high total, narrow distribution b/w top guys, history of blow-ups
    • 3rd highest projected TE who likely fell due to matchup concerns
    • FINAL STORY:
      • QB-WR-Opp RB stack in high total game // workhorse RB // WR on high-total team with history of blow-up scores // 3rd highest projected TE
    33.3831.623.32321.619.7
    151.98MahomesHillHopMixonChubbHock
    • Highest projected QB, stacks his WR1 next pick
      • The more points Hill gets, the less Kelce gets
    • WR1 in expected high-scoring game
      • Hopkins ceiling likely means less rushing ceiling for Kyler
    • RB projected for workhorse usage in uncertain matchup
    • Opp RB to add to stack
      • If Chubb having ground success, likely means KC needs to throw more
    • 3rd highest projected TE who likely fell due to matchup concerns
    • FINAL STORY:
      • QB-WR-Opp RB stack in high total game // WR1 in expected high-scoring affair (likely negatively affects Kyler’s ceiling, helping Mahomes) // workhorse RB // 3rd highest projected TE
    22.634.5623.321.62327.4
    151.96KelceKylerHopChubbMixonDeebo
    • Highest projected player at his position (TE) by wide margin
    • Second highest projected QB in expected high-scoring affair, stacks his WR1 next pick
      • Expecting Kyler-Hop-Kelce to outscore Mahomes-Hill-TE
        • More Kelce points probably means less Hill points
    • Opp RB to stack with TE
      • If Chubb having ground success, likely means KC needs to throw more
    • RB projected for workhorse usage falling due to uncertain matchup/game environment
    • WR on team with high total in soft matchup
      • The more points Deebo scores, the less flow to Kittle & Mostert
    • FINAL STORY:
      • TE-Opp RB stack with massive projection drop-off at weak position // QB-WR1 stack in expected high scoring affair that creates strong leverage point when paired with first pick // workhorse RB // WR on team with high total at extremely low ownership that leverages other popular players on his own team
    17.431.633.3819.72325.7
    150.68DalvinHillMahomesHockMixonThielen
    • 2nd highest projected RB in expected favorable game-script
    • Highest projected WR, stacks his QB next pick
      • The more points Hill gets, the less Kelce gets
    • 3rd highest projected TE; position falls off quickly
    • Opp RB projected for workhorse usage to stack with first RB
      • Both guys expected to stay on field in all gamescripts
    • Adds WR w/ history of big scores to the RB-RB stack
      • Betting on high scoring affair with two players on a team with extremely narrow touch distribution and an opposing workhorse RB
    • FINAL STORY:
      • RB-WR-Opp RB stack on teams with narrow distributions // QB-WR1 stack in expected high scoring affair that leverages not having Kelce // 3rd-highest projected player at weak position
    22.631.633.381425.723
    150.18KelceHillMahomesMetcalfThielenMixon
    • Highest projected player at his position (TE) by wide margin
      • Stacks his teammate, the highest projected WR, betting on narrow distribution in NFL’s best offense with high team total
      • Stacks the WR & TE’s QB, the highest projected QB
        • Now has the highest projected players at three positions in a single stack
    • WR on team with high total, narrow distribution b/w top guys, history of blow-ups
    • WR on team with high total, narrow distribution b/w top guys, history of blow-ups
      • Thielen provides leverage on Dalvin & Jefferson rosters (AT lowest owned)
      • Stacks Opp-RB next pick
        • Big Mixon game likely means MIN passing more
    • FINAL STORY:
      • QB-WR-TE stack on team with narrow distribution & week’s highest total // WR with blow-up potential & high team total // WR-Opp RB stack that leverages other popular players in the game

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    The Most Important Concepts to Remember:

    Every single team you draft tells its own unique story!

    For example, when you choose Kamara, you are saying he outscores the others in that range (so Dalvin & Henry for instance) and you then need to build the rest of the roster with that in mind.

    Which players later in draft enhance chances of AK scoring higher than others, and/or decrease the chances of the others outscoring him?

    • AK’s ceiling may correlate with success from opponent (so Davante/Tonyan for example)
    • Cook & Henry’s ceilings may negatively correlate with success from their teammates (so Thielen/Jefferson or Brown/Julio)

    You also need to keep in mind with those early picks who you are missing out on even before you are forced to choose between guys available

    • Ex: McCaffrey & Kelce are always going to be high picks for good reason, so if you don’t get one of them, you need to tell the story on your roster why your players will outscore them
    • This is the same thought process as before, but in this case, you aren’t choosing AK over Henry but rather “choosing” AK because CMC is already gone
    • I.e. If you miss out on Kelce, Hill is the most direct leverage, but you can also go even further by taking Hill AND Waller, as Waller is the most likely to lead the position in scoring if not Kelce
      • CEH would be another pivot off the top KC guys, as his success leverages the chances your players outscore Kelce/Hill
    • I.e. If you miss out on CMC, draft your team based on whether your own guy outscores him (maybe a heavy bet on that game environment) or a CMC teammate like DJ Moore has a big day that limits CMC’s ceiling

    Manage exposure through a portfolio of drafts that ideally work in concert with each other.

    For example, imagine you have rosters 1 & 3 from Week 1:

    • Mahomes – Hill – Mixon – Chubb – Lockett – Hock
    • Kelce – Kyler – Hop – Chubb – Mixon – Deebo

    What you are betting on in this example:

    • One:
      • Take Mahomes, miss out on Kelce, so take his other top pass-catcher and bet on that being the highest scoring stack
      • Take Kelce, miss out on Mahomes, so take QB you think outscores him, and then his WR1 to bet even further on that game environment
    • Two
      • Take Chubb on both, correlating with your two bets on KC passing game (this helps both rosters, just through different players)
    • Three:
      • Strong position on Mixon due to him being undervalued in drafts with good chance to outscore guys above him
    • Four:
      • Miss on Kelce, wait on TE by taking highest projected TE left w/ last pick
      • Take Kelce as TE, grab Deebo as a bet on that game environment (Deebo succeeding positively correlates with Hock, which helps roster 1, but you also know it’s still unlikely he outscores Kelce on roster 2)

    You are left with teams that:

    • Leverage Nick Chubb success into positives for the KC passing game, which you have differentiated between the two teams
    • Bet on the two highest projected QBs in their own stacks
    • Bet on a high-upside RB you took a stand on later in drafts
    • Bet on a game environment through Deebo & Hock that can ultimately benefit both rosters

    In a perfect world, Lockett & Hopkins would be on opposite rosters here

    • A Hopkins ceiling game is likely negatively correlated to Kyler’s ceiling (given how much of it can come from rushing success), so having Hopkins with Mahomes would be a further bet on Mahomes outscoring Kyler
    • Lockett with naked Kyler here means you are betting on him being QB1, likely in large part due to rushing points, and therefore Hopkins’s ceiling is lowered, making way for someone like Lockett to outscore him

    Looking at Week 2:

    Just some quick bits of information I’ve gathered from several drafts between the $20 Battle Royale and the $5 Battle Royale:

    Notable players consistently going either undrafted or in the last few picks:

    • QB:
      • Dak // Herbert
      • Hurts // Lamar
      • Stafford // Tannehill
    • RB:
      • Mixon // Elliott // Carson
      • Montgomery // Taylor // Edwards-Helaire // Henderson
      • Sanders // Gaskin // Harris // Hunt
    • WR:
      • LAR WRs // CIN WRs // PIT WRs
      • 1-2 of the 3 TB WRs
      • Robinson // Thielen // Julio // DJ Moore
      • Cooks // Landry // Mike Williams // Waddle
    • TE:
      • Gronk // Higbee // Fant // Cook // Pitts

    Thoughts on the aforementioned information:

    • The main four guys from DAL-LAC are all being taken, but the QBs are being passed on
    • Matchups are scaring drafters off some high-usage RBs
    • MIN WRs might be undervalued with Thielen almost never getting drafted, and Jefferson falling to the back half consistently
    • CHI-CIN tributary of the passing games opening up (see NFL Edge) is going to be essentially unowned
    • TB distribution uncertainty generally scaring drafters off; AB almost unowned
    • Due to lack of “juicy” options, almost none of the highest drafted players will have bring-backs from their opponents
      • CMC & AK only ones being drafted in NOR-CAR
        • Moore // Callaway
      • Kelce/Hill/Mahomes only ones drafted in KC-BAL
        • Lamar // Andrews // CEH
      • Chubb only one being drafted in CLE-HOU
        • Hunt // Landry // Cooks
      • Dalvin/Jefferson/Hopkins/Kyler only ones drafted in MIN-ARI
        • Thielen
      • Diggs/Allen only ones drafted in MIA-BUF
        • Sanders // Beasley // Waddle
      • Waller/Najee only ones drafted in PIT-LV
        • Diontae

    Keep in mind that, without a salary cap and only 24 WRs/RBs being drafted, you have to draft with elite upside in mind. If you want to put Callaway or Waddle on a roster with CMC or Diggs/Allen, then you are saying that player is one of the top scoring players on the entire slate. There is no “points per dollar” strategy to keep in mind here that you use for certain guys in normal DFS, as you are going to need among the very top scores at every position. 

    Certain guys, while still preferable in a stack, can still have upside on their own, but you have to keep in mind who those guys are. For example, Thielen benefits from a strong ARI game, but due to MIN’s narrow distribution, can still have immense value on his own in this format while leveraging the success of Cook & Jefferson. Callaway, on the other hand, would be a bet that the game shoots way past its total, likely meaning that CMC is producing on his side and forcing NOR to pass more, opening up the scenario for Callaway to dominate production amidst a bunch of average pass-catchers in NOR. Callaway being one of the top scorers of the week would leverage against 100% owned Kamara, also helping CMC, and would give you one of the most unique rosters on the slate.

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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

    You know the overwhelming feeling you get when you start to build your rosters? Who do you slot in first? What game stacks? Should you start with QB or RB or WR? What about top-down or bottom-up? Well, I won’t be getting that feeling this week and I hope you’ll join me.

    There’s a psychological game playing out this week with the discrepancies in expected game totals between the 1 pm (early) and 4 pm (late) games. You’ve likely learned by now that the four late games all carry Vegas over/unders north of 50 points, while all nine of the early games are under 50 points. What’s your move? There are two ways you can go with this slate, in my opinion. You can zig against the zags and find those early games which turn into shootouts (at what is expected to be light ownership), or you can lean into the zags and follow the points expected in the late games by building your rosters in a different way than your competitors.

    In the Angles email this week, JM talked about uncovering “different” or “contrarian” plays and “building stronger rosters that have leverage, correlation, and are invisible.” A play can be invisible for many reasons, but as we’ve said before, it’s important to realize why a play is actually visible. These players, games, and matchups are strong enough that we can make safe projections, with a sense of what the floor and ceilings look like.

    Week 2 Schedule

    The old me would have taken a few early games and stacked them up, feeling proud about my collective lack of ownership once games locked. Even if those stacks hit, chances are by the late window, I’ll feel helpless as my rosters sit there and get passed by one, two, three, 100, 200, 900 lineups. I have played enough DFS in my time to say I am confidently leaning into the zag this week. I am only going with game stacks in the late games. I won’t be ignoring the early games, but I am going hunting there for simple two-player stacks or “one-off” plays to complete my rosters. For this week, I would much rather hunt than be hunted.

    How do I plan on majoring on the late games, with all the ownership coming their way? Simple…by overstacking. Every roster I build this week will have at least a five-player game stack. Some will have six. I know many of you will think this is crazy (It lowers the ceiling! Negative correlation!) but we’ve seen Milly Maker wins (hi, Cubsfan) and top-10 finishes (my best ever) with these major “over-stacks.” It puts more pressure on nailing those last three or four roster spots but you put yourself in a position to guess less, and correlate more. You just need to find the right correlations. By going into a week willing to lose, there’s also value in knowing how you will lose given different outcomes. For me, that scenario is if an early game goes over 60 points.

    Cowboys // Chargers

    Why save the best for last? Ownership will be very high on this game. Full stop. I’ve seen on two sites now we have six players in the top 15 in ownership projections (Amari Cooper, Keenan Allen, CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Justin Herbert). To me, this means you don’t want to fill in any of these guys as a single roster spot without a strong correlated stack accompanying them. Unless you are stacking an off-the-board game like Patriots and Jets, it’s likely that will be a negative expected value play for most.

    As I noted above, if leaning into this game, the question is how to build differently than the field? Let’s list out the player pools. Using offensive snap percentages from Week 1:

    • Cowboys (83 plays): Cooper (88), Zeke (83), Lamb (73), Dalton Schultz (68), Blake Jarwin (57), and Cedrick Wilson (40). Tony Pollard (24) only becomes viable if we get a late random Zeke scratch. Schultz and Jarwin are interesting to me. Both played over 50% of the snaps. Wilson will also get more play this week with Gallup out, as I’m sure his ownership will be more than it should be. It’s important to also note the above-average amount of plays they ran.
    • Chargers (81 plays):  Keenan (83%), Mike Williams (75), Jalen Guyton (65), Jared Cook (58), Austin Ekeler (58), Larry Rountree III (27). Guyton could also pick up a lot of momentum this week. Cook, with his eight targets and red-zone role, feels like a better rare combination with Keenan and Ekeler, or Keenan and Mike Will. They also ran 81 plays last week, which needs to be noted.

    The most common five-player stack from this game should be: Dak, Cooper, Lamb, Ekeler, Allen. Differentiate from there.

    Falcons // Bucs

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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

    Welcome to Week 2, OWS Fam! Or as I refer to it “Best Damn Late Swap Week EVAH!!!”

    I’ll be going berzerk with my templates. Set yourselves up for an edge on the field by thinking in terms of how you may pivot as you build your lineups! I’ll be rocking plenty of chalk this week but always searching for interesting ways to differentiate. Here’s how my pool is shaping up as of 24 hours before lock. I’ll post in Discord MME channel if anything changes drastically. 

    Let’s GET SOME!

    QB:


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    SuperDraft Strategy

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

    Welcome to Week 2 and a look at tournament play on SuperDraft. SuperDraft is a relatively new site that is making an aggressive push in the DFS space, and what I’m especially excited about is their Week 2 tournament is $250k, the same size as Week 1. We often see sites shrink their tourneys as the season goes on, and maybe SuperDraft will, but not yet!

    Before you read this article, you should read my NFL SuperDraft Primer to get a basic understanding of the site, how it’s different from Draftkings and Fanduel, and the strategy elements that come into play. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can get $100 free with a minimum $100 deposit!! (Promo Code :: OWS)

    First, all the normal NFL strategy about stacking and correlation still applies. It definitely makes sense to strongly consider pairing your QB with a receiver. Game stacks are entirely viable here. The good news is, you don’t have to change your entire approach to be successful on SuperDraft. All you have to do is change your mentality of player selection, since the multiplier introduces so many different strategy dynamics, as the primer goes over.

    With that, let’s take a look at Week 2. I’m not going to go game by game here (we have the Edge for that!), but rather, position by position, trying to spot where I think there are good opportunities to leverage attractive scoring multipliers.

    Quarterback:

    Last week we saw the SuperDraft tourney won by a roster with Jalen Hurts, who I called out as my favorite QB play. The top lineups were generally not filled with “top QBs” despite Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray putting up huge games; their multipliers just weren’t attractive enough. Quarterback scoring generally tends to be fairly clustered, which means the odds of a higher-multiplier QB putting up the best score is just so high on SuperDraft.

    I wouldn’t argue with you if you wanted to use Dak or Herbert despite low multipliers, as that’s the best game environment on the slate. But personally, my QB pool isn’t going to start until we get to Hurts, who once again has an awfully enticing 1.3x multiplier. I’m also interested in Matt Ryan (1.35x), Jameis Winston (1.35x), Joe Burrow (1.4x), Baker Mayfield (1.4k), Trevor Lawrence (1.5x), Tua Tagovailoa (1.55x), and Mac Jones (1.65x). It’s worth noting there is a non-zero chance that we get news that Justin Fields will take over in Chicago after Andy Dalton’s predictably terrible Week 1 performance, and if that comes to pass, he’s a fantastic option at a 1.7x multiplier against the soft defense of the Bengals. In cash, I’ll probably stick to one of the “safer” QBs, but in tournaments, I want to take shots at ceiling with the higher-multiplier guys.

    Running Back:

    At running back, I think there’s a defensible argument for playing one lower-multiplier guy, as the real elite studs like Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, and Alvin Kamara possess 30+ point ceilings even without a multiplier. I’ll have modest exposure to them, but I’m generally targeting upside via multipliers. Nick Chubb as a massive home favorite with the best adjusted line yards matchup of the week is somewhat interesting at 1.2x, but I’m more interested in the next tier. Austin Ekeler (1.35x), Joe Mixon (1.4x), Chris Carson (1.4x), Jonathan Taylor (1.35x), Miles Sanders (1.45x), Najee Harris (1.45x), Damien Harris (1.55x), Darrell Henderson (1.55x), and Chase Edmonds (1.65x) are the bulk of my running back pool. Najee is especially attractive after handling every running back touch in Week 1, but you can make strong cases for any of these guys. 100 rushing yards and a touchdown on SuperDraft is worth 18 points, which gets any of these into the mid-20s at least, so these are ceilings I feel completely comfortable targeting in tournaments over the elite backs.

    Wide Receiver:

    As with other sites I want to correlate here, as even my high-multiplier QBs will most likely be bringing someone with them if they hit. The format here is a little strange though. Because of the multiplier system, we could see a quarterback having a big game without a receiver, or (even more easily) vice versa. And because of the variance inherent in the receiver position, it’s especially likely that the highest scoring receivers will come from the higher-multiplier group. If I was running Josh Allen, I’d probably be more inclined to pair him with Cole Beasley or Manny Sanders than I would with Stefon Diggs (but if I wanted to use a Diggs pairing, I’d make sure every other player on the roster had a high multiplier).

    There are several stud receivers in good spots who could feasibly put up 30+ points even with low multipliers: Ridley, Jefferson, Diggs, Allen, Metcalf, AJ Brown, Thielen, Evans, Cooper, and Robinson all fall into this bucket for me. I don’t want a tremendous amount of exposure, but I think they’re worth at least considering as you try to balance your safer plays with your higher-variance options.

    Once we get up past the 1.25x level, I’m looking at Tyler Lockett (1.25x), Diontae Johnson (1.3x), Chris Godwin (1.3x), Jarvis Landry (1.35x), Brandin Cooks (1.4x), Ceedee Lamb (1.4x), D.J Chark (1.4x), Corey Davis (1.45x), Antonio Brown (1.45x), Ja’Marr Chase (1.45x), Devonta Smith (1.5x), Tee Higgins (1.5x), Mike Williams (1.6x) and Russell Gage (1.6x) as all-around robust plays. Lamb is my favorite here as a full-time player in the highest-total game of the week with a highly attractive multiplier, followed by Mike Williams.

    Wide receiver also brings us some extremely high-multiplier, high-risk plays. Guys like Cedrick Wilson (1.75x), KJ Hamler (1.75x), Van Jefferson (1.75x), Jalen Reagor (1.8x), Donovan Peoples-Jones (1.8x), and Marquez Callaway (1.8x) all fall into this bucket for me, with Callaway being my overall favorite from this group.

    Tight End:

    Last week, I mentioned how I was completely comfortable just playing Travis Kelce at tight end despite a 1x multiplier because his floor/ceiling combination was unrivaled. This week, you could make a case that Darren Waller deserves the same treatment. Maybe this is just me being biased, but I’m not quite ready to put Waller on the same level as Kelce just yet (this could be a mistake…), and while I’m happy to use a lot of him, tight end is also an attractive place to fill in some QB stacks. Kyle Pitts (1.4x) with Ryan, Mike Gesicki (1.3x) with Tua look attractive for stacks. Jared Cook at 1.6x gets you strong multiplier exposure to the DAL/LAC game. But I think my favorite overall tight end of the week is Tyler Higbee at 1.5x. Higbee played 100% of the snaps last week and saw six targets. His role is extremely secure, and while I think he’s a solid all-around play, he would also see a significant boost if Darius Leonard (who didn’t practice Thursday) is ruled out for this game.

    Overall Strategy:

    One challenge with adjusting to SuperDraft is that we get so used to thinking about targeting game environments on other sites, and that isn’t always as surefire of a thing on SD. The Cowboys // Chargers game is going to attract a ton of ownership on other sites (rightly so), but most of the plays, including the QBs, are low-multiplier options on SuperDraft, which means that game would have to REALLY explode for guys like Prescott, Herbert, Allen, or Cooper to put up tourney-winning scores. It’s possible, of course, but I don’t view it as likely.

    One thing I’m going to be paying close attention to these first few weeks is where the ownership is going. If people are hopping over to SuperDraft and just building stacks of the same game environments that they’re targeting on Draftkings or Fanduel, we’ll see guys like Dak, Herbert, Amari, and Allen be significantly over-owned relative to their likelihood of putting up tourney-winning scores. If that’s the case, the smart way to play would be to avoid those types of plays entirely and just hope they drag down large portions of the field. Or, we may see people adjust and take on TOO much risk by ignoring those types of elite-but-low-multiplier plays entirely, which would leave them as viable guys to include in player pools. My guess is it’s the former, as from Week 1 we saw a lot of ownership on players with 1.1x or lower multipliers.

    Edge Bets

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


    << Edge Bets Primer >>


    Week 1 Edge Bets Recap

    EDGE BETS Week 1: 2-2

    Antonio Gibson: Over 13.5/14.5 Rushing Attempts  

    Result: Win (20 Rushing Attempts)

    We didn’t get the Christian McCaffrey snap rate that had been alluded to by the Washington Football Team’s coaching staff leading up to the start of the regular season, but we did get some elite usage from Antonio Gibson. While Gibson only played 65% of the WFT snaps, he was the focal point of the offense when on the field. Gibson touched the ball on 23/55 WFT plays (42%) while receiving 87% of running back carries and 71% of the RB targets — hauling in three of five targets. Gibson’s 20 carries came early and often and should be expected to continue with the injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    Austin Ekeler: Over 20.5 Receiving Yards

    Result: Loss (Zero Receiving Yards)

    What a strange game for Austin Ekeler. It may surprise you, but this was the first game in Ekeler’s career where he tallied 15+ rushing attempts with zero receptions. In fact, Justin Jackson had the only catch recorded by a LAC running back for a modest two yard gain. The Chargers have a new Offensive Coordinator, Joe Lombardi, running his own offense for the first time after previously working under two offensive Head Coaches in New Orleans and Detroit. It is possible that he is showing us his vision for his offense in his first gig without inside influence and that he may not use his running backs as often as we expected coming over from Sean Payton’s staff. Ekeler’s receiving role may be cause for concern, but I wouldn’t expect lightning to strike twice with a future dud performance like this. Expect one of the most talented pass catching backs in the league to be utilized more moving forward as Lombardi’s offensive vision becomes more clear.

    Nick Chubb: Over 13.5 Rushing Attempts

    Result: Win (15 Rushing Attempts)

    After completing my process of reading The Edge in its entirety, followed by taking the information gathered there to the books, this was the strongest bet I made this week. Well, it was much closer than I thought and unexpected game flow may have provided a little bit of good luck. The Cleveland Browns were able to lead for virtually 60 minutes, staying reasonably balanced on offense. Without Odell Beckham, the Browns were set to run the ball even more as they tried to control the clock and keep Patrick Mahomes on the sideline, but fell substantially under our projected rushing attempts. The Browns have a great pass blocking offensive line which provides Baker Mayfield with ample time and space, and I will be taking a wait and see approach to how this offense looks in future games with OBJ back as soon as next week.

    James Robinson: Over 90.5 or 91.5 Total Yards

    Result: Loss (54 Total Yards)

    This bet was thrown to the wayside very quickly as the Houston Texans took a 14-0 lead into the 2nd Quarter in what was one of the more shocking game flow situations we saw in Week 1. While it would be easy to chalk this up as a variance loss on a tributary game script, I’m not sure James Robinson would have seen the usage we expected regardless of the score. Carlos Hyde looked to be more involved than first thought, and may even be the favorite for early down work. One clear piece of information we can take from this game for Robinson is that he is the favored back in the passing game, catching three of six targets for 29 yards. I will be staying away from Robinson rushing props in the short term but will look for opportunities for Robinson reception and receiving yardage props going forward with expected negative game scripts. 

    Personal Prop Bets Placed Week 1


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    Week 2 Edge Bets

    Baker Mayfield Under 34.5 Pass Attempts

    Book: DraftKings (-125), Bet MGM (-128)

    Date Available: September 16th

    From Hilow:

    “Cleveland’s likeliest plan of attack for this game should be fairly evident to even the most casual of football observers.”

    “The Browns ran 59 total offensive plays in Week 1 against the best team in the league (who were much more likely to sustain drives than the Texans here – the Browns finished Week 1 ranked third in the NFL in drive success rate while the Chiefs finished second; the Texans finished 19th). This means that we’re likely to see a slight uptick in total offensive plays run from scrimmage.”

    From JM:

    “While it’s not especially likely that Baker will get there (he topped 300 only twice last season, and he was capped at 30 or fewer pass attempts a stunning 10 times).”

    Reasy’s Reasoning:

    After identifying a low Nick Chubb rushing prop last week, we’re changing gears here and looking at Browns QB Baker Mayfield this week. We can expect the Browns to play from ahead for most, if not all, of this game with Vegas setting the spread at Cleveland -13. Hilow highlights an expected range of rushing attempts between 27-31, paired with a slight increase of total offensive plays this week from last week’s 59. Together, these projected totals make it hard for Baker to reach the 35 pass attempts needed to lose this prop. In 2020, Baker only exceeded 34 pass attempts in 4 of 16 games. It is hard to imagine the Browns will need him to exceed that number this Sunday in a game featuring a favorable matchup for their running backs and offensive line. With the additional week of rest for Odell Beckham Jr, the Browns will be content to run this one out.

    David Montgomery Over 14.5 Rush Attempts

    Book: Bet MGM (-115)

    Date Available: September 16th

    From PAPY324:

    “Montgomery and Mixon both have game scripts that lead to 30 touch games.”

    “The Bears preferred method of attack is on the ground, where they’ll look to feed David Montgomery for as long as the game is competitive.”

    “Expect the Bears to give Montgomery every opportunity to exploit the soft underbelly of the Bengals’ defense.”

    “If the Bears run it successfully all game, Montgomery could lead the slate in touches.”

    Reasy’s Reasoning:

    Despite trailing the Los Angeles Rams from start to finish in Week 1, David Montgomery received 16 carries as the Bears unquestioned lead back. This week, we should expect a much more favorable game script for Montgomery and increased usage as the Bears try to keep the clock running while hiding Andy Dalton. While Damien Williams saw increased usage in Week 1, I don’t see him as a threat to Montgomery’s carry total and an obvious candidate for regression on his 43.5% snap rate. Like JM, I consider myself a rookie year Montgomery truther that may have given up too quickly (how odd?), and after seeing high usage in an unfavorable matchup last week, want to jump Montgomery usage props before they rise. 

    Josh Allen Over 38.5 Pass Attempts

    Book: Draft Kings (-105)

    Date Available: September 16th

    From Mjohnson86:

    “Josh Allen should have a clean pocket most of the day.”

    “Allen should once again throw the ball 40+ times.”

    “Both teams played at a high pace and with a decent amount of no-huddle in Week 1. I would expect the same here as that is at the core of who the Bills are and the Dolphins are smart enough to know they need to be aggressive and score early to have a chance to win.”

    Reasy’s Reasoning:

    The Buffalo Bills have no desire to run the ball, shown by their 21.5 running back touches per game last year (30th). Sure, they will run the ball now and again, but when you have Josh Allen as your quarterback, you might as well allow him to impact the game as often as possible. This matchup suits Allen and the rest of the Bills skill players well, as the Dolphins played man coverage at the highest rate in the NFL in 2020. Expect Diggs, Sanders, and Beasley to put their elite route running on display, routinely getting open versus the strong Dolphins secondary. With both teams playing up-tempo, we can expect to see more than enough volume for Allen to shoot past his 38.5 prop and finish well into the 40s in most game scenarios. 

    Chris Carson Over 15.5 Rush Attempts

    Book: Draft Kings (-115), Bet MGM (-115)

    Date Available: September 16th

    From Hilow:

    “Seattle boasts a mismatch in the trenches and is expected to utilize Chris Carson as a true workhorse.”

    “Running back Chris Carson saw 19 of the 23 available running back opportunities for the Seahawks in Week 1 and backup running back Rashaad Penny is expected to miss Week 2.”

    “Chris Carson has room for 20-24 running back opportunities in this case.”

    From JM:

    “He should easily push for 18+ touches in this spot (with a clear path to 22+).”

    Reasy’s Reasoning:

    The Seahawks came out in Week 1 with a 49% situation-neutral pass rate, down from 60% in 2020. It appears new Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron does not subscribe to the #LetRussCook movement and will bring a more balanced offensive attack with him from the Los Angeles Rams (56% situation-neutral pass rate in 2020). The Seahawks offensive line came out in Week 1 and paved the way to the second-highest adjusted line yards in Week 1 at 5.37. With Rashaad Penny already ruled out, we can expect Chris Carson to dominate backfield touches after turning 16 carries into 91 scoreless yards last week. With Carson popping for both JM and Hilow, I think the odds we see Carson surpass 15 rush attempts are quite good. 

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