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The Scroll Week 3

JUMP TO

    THE SCROLL


    The DFS Slate

    (In One Central Space)


    Meet The Team


    Angles

    Happy Thursday!

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

    The Lay Of The Land ::

    Week: 3

    Total Main Slate Games: 13

    Slate Overview:

    Six.

    Seis.

    Sechs.

    6.

    Spell it out however you want, the number remains the same.

    Yes, it’s Week 3 — but SIX is the critical number, as there are six teams on the Main Slate this weekend with a Vegas-implied team total of 26.0 or higher.

    The exact numbers have been pushing and pulling as these games search for their sweet spots, but as of this writeup, here’s what we have:

    29.25 — Bills at Dolphins
    29.25 — Vikings vs Lions
    28.25 — Chiefs at Colts
    27.25 — Chargers vs Jags
    26.75 — Eagles at Commanders
    26.0 — Rams at Cardinals

    After a Week 2 in which eight teams were playing in Island Games with Top Offenses featured heavily on those slates, this week gives us A) no teams on bye, B) our standard six teams in Island Games, and C) no implied team totals in the Island Games over 23.25 (with a practically-unbelievable five of those six teams projected to score 21.75 or fewer points). All hail the Main Slate this week!

    In addition to those six teams listed above, we have a potentially angry, “problem-solving to get our offense back on track” Bengals team (implied for 25.0) traveling to take on the Jets (the Bengals could go into “win the ballgame” mode, and nothing much will come of this spot; but would it be absolutely surprising if Zac Taylor instead decided to go Burrow-heavy to build confidence/momentum against a poor pass rush and poor secondary?), and we also have a Lions offense that is 100%, absolutely, without-a-doubt better than the public really realizes (ninth in Drive Success Rate, third in points per drive, eighth in early-season offensive DVOA, second in points per game — all in spite of having played a very tough Philly defense in one of their two games), taking on a Minnesota defense that currently ranks 30th in DVOA and 23rd in opponent drive success rate (pro tip: Detroit’s defense is also #notgood; Minnesota’s offense is also good/explosive; Detroit has played at the top situation-neutral pace in the NFL so far, while Minnesota is a respectable middle of the pack). None of this even includes the fact that the Raiders have a soft matchup against Tennessee (their implied team total is a middling 23.75, but would it shock you if they were to finally put together a strong top-to-bottom performance and score four or five touchdowns?), or the fact that Miami and their explosive pieces are playing opposite Buffalo, or the fact that the shorthanded Packers and Bucs are playing one another.

    Obviously, it’s Thursday as these Angles are reaching you — which means NFL Edge games will be rolling onto the site throughout the day, DFS Interpretations will be rolling onto the site tonight and tomorrow, and The Scroll will be filling up with content tomorrow and Saturday. We’ll have plenty of time to get into the deeper specifics on these individual spots as we move deeper into the weekend.  But before we get there…

    How Do We Handle A Slate Like This?

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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::

    The theme of the week for Week 3 is recency bias. As you will see below, all the “restrictive chalk pieces” come through players who just blew up last week (Stefon Diggs, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Tyreek Hill) or are playing a team who just gave up massive production (Joe Mixon). Additionally, we have FIVE games with a game total north of 47.0 points (typically a solid cutoff for evaluating game environments) after having only two such games on last week’s main slate – yet chalk always forms. The fact that we have five games with a game total north of 47.0 points means we should be less concerned with finding game environments outside those five for our primary game stacks (as opposed to last week when we highlighted a few outside that threshold that could go “cuckoo bonkers,” as we did for the Ravens/Dolphins game in multiple places around the site). Basically, last week we had to bet on two games “failing,” whereas this week you’d effectively be betting on all five top expected game environments failing if looking outside of those five for primary stacks. That’s a different story for secondary correlation and one-offs, which we’ll get into more on The Slate podcast.

    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.

    LEONARD FOURNETTE

    Neither restrictive chalk nor expansive chalk. The Packers have allowed a massive 6.09 yards per carry to opposing running backs to start the season but fall in matchup rankings due to not having allowed a rushing score to the position. The Buccaneers will be without Chris Godwin for certain, Russell Gage was downgraded to DNP on Friday, Julio Jones is coming off a DNP/DNP/LP week, and Mike Evans is suspended. Fournette’s utilization rates are already in the top twelve in the league.

    DAVID MONTGOMERY

    Neither restrictive chalk nor expansive chalk. Checks in second in the league in route participation rate and remains in the top ten in utilization. Still running behind a bottom-of-the-barrel offensive line.

    JOE MIXON

    Restrictive chalk. Facing a Jets team allowing 27.1 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields. Most notably, the Jets are actually holding running backs to a middling 4.07 yard per carry and the matchup yields a paltry 3.44 net-adjusted line yards metric behind the league’s lowest-performing offensive line in run-blocking metrics, against the league’s ninth-ranked defensive unit against the run. 

    STEFON DIGGS

    Restrictive chalk. Diggs boasts a 35% team target market share (ELITE) and 30% targets per route run value (ELITE) through two weeks. Enough said.

    AMON-RA ST. BROWN

    Restrictive chalk. Averaging 31.4 DraftKings points per game and has seen double-digit targets in eight consecutive games, dating back to last season. Enough said.

    TYREEK HILL

    Restrictive chalk. Leads the league in receiving yards through two games and is averaging 31.5 DraftKings points per game. Has averaged 12.5 targets per game in Miami.

    IRV SMITH JR

    Expansive chalk. Saw eight targets last week. Still splitting snaps with Johnny Mundt (only a 56% snap rate in Week 2).

    TYLER HIGBEE

    Neither restrictive chalk nor expansive chalk. Has played all but five offensive snaps for the Rams this season and has averaged 10 targets per game (11 and nine). 

    PANTHERS D/ST

    Expansive chalk. The Panthers are surprisingly stout defensively to start the year, holding opponents to the second fewest yards per reception and yards per pass attempt thus far. Their “light package” foundation and unique blitz packages mean they are better suited to playing with a lead.

    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?

    There are several things we can look at to figure out if a player is a better value on Draftkings vs Fanduel. This is important because we may want to roster a certain player but might be unsure where our money would be best spent rostering them. 

    One exercise we can do is compare the amount of salary that’s needed to roster a player on Draftkings vs the salary needed to roster the same player on FanDuel. This is done by dividing the salary on one site by the total amount of salary allowed to build your roster (DK $50k, FD $60k). Then we can take the percentage of the total salary on one site and subtract it from the percentage of total salary on the other site. We can also look at the scoring rule differences and what type of player would be best suited for that particular site. Lastly, we can check how the players points per dollar value based on their average in recent games compared to their salary in a given week.

    The goal of the article is not to give you picks but to show you how to recognize these values on your own. Each week I’ll break down a few players and give you some quick hitters that you can explore further.

    Week 3

    Jalen Hurts: FD $8.1k, 13.5% // DK $7.6k 15.2%, // Value on FD

    Hurts is the fifth highest priced QB on FD and fourth highest priced on DK. Rushing QBs can be more valuable on FD because there’s no 300 yard passing bonus. Based on his average production this season, he’s scored 3.6x his Week 3 salary. Only Lamar Jackson and Tua Tagovailoa have a higher salary multiplier based on their average on Fanduel.

    Curtis Samuel:  FD $6.3k, 10.5% // DK $5.1k, 10.2% // Value on DK

    Samuel is the 28th highest priced receiver on Fanduel but he’s only the 40th on Draftkings. He has the highest value of any WR based on his point-per-game average this season and his Week 3 price (4.2x) He also takes up a lower percentage of salary on Draftkings.

    Jonathan Taylor: FD $9.4k, 15.7% // DK $9.0k, 18% // Value on FD

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    JM’s Player Grid

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


    OWS Fam ::

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

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


    The Grid ::

    Bottom-Up Build

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

    Blue Chips

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

    Build-Arounds

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

    Building Blocks

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

    Bonuses

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


    Angles Pod

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    Bottom-Up Build

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

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

    Jared Goff
    J.D. McKissic
    D’Andre Swift
    Amon-Ra St. Brown
    Breshad Perriman
    Scotty Miller
    Irv Smith
    Elijah Moore
    Seahawks

    CORRELATED BOTTOM-UP BUILD, V2
    DK SALARY REMAINING :: $6.0K

    Joe Flacco
    Josh Jacobs
    J.D. McKissic
    Ja’Marr Chase
    Garrett Wilson
    Elijah Moore
    Juwan Johnson
    Breshad Perriman
    Seahawks


    Blue Chips

    Cooper Kupp

    “If it ain’t broke…”

    I mentioned this in the NFL Edge this week, but I want to highlight it again to emphasize how “head and shoulders above the competition” Kupp is in terms of consistency:

    Cooper Kupp not only scored 20+ DK points in 14 of 17 games last season, but he also scored 29.6+(!) in eight of 17 games.

    To put that in perspective: Justin Jefferson scored 20+ in nine of 17 (if my math is right — and be sure to double-check me here, of course…but “nine minus eight”? — that means Jefferson scored 20+ only one more time than Kupp scored 29.6+!), and Jefferson topped 26 DK points only three times all season. Similarly, Ja’Marr Chase topped 25.3 points only three times all year. Again: Kupp went for 29.6+ eight times in 17 games.

    Kupp has the ceiling to match anyone on the slate, and he’s more consistent than anyone else at his position. We talk about certain player blocks as “a block of guaranteed points.” Kupp is “a block of guaranteed points” on his own.

    Lions // Vikings

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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

    Lions Block
    Cost: $20.2K DK // $22.9K FD
    Story:

    “Lions continue to do what they have already been doing”

    Why It Works:

    Amon-Ra St. Brown should draw some ownership this week, but this block as a whole (Goff + Swift + Amon-Ra) will go underowned compared to its chances of hitting.

    How It Works:

    This one is about as straightforward as it gets, as this block costs $20.2k in salary on DK and has averaged over 75 points per game so far.

    In the bucket of “fantasy upside comes from touchdowns,” it’s worth noting that Swift/Amon-Ra have combined for an unsustainable five touchdowns through two games, and there will certainly be games this year in which neither of them scores. But there will also be additional games this year in which these two combine for two or three touchdowns — and in a game environment such as this one, this upside is particularly attractive.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

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

    Garrett Wilson + Elijah Moore
    Cost: $10.4K DK // $11.6K FD
    Story:

    “The Jets’ offense concentrates on Wilson/Moore, and these two account for 160+ yards and a pair of touchdowns”

    Why It Works:

    Very few people will play these two together, instead viewing them as an “either/or.” If someone does play them together, it will almost certainly be with Flacco.

    How It Works:

    This pairing would be highly unconventional, but we should recognize that a combined line of 12-160-2 would get this block of salary to over 4x on DraftKings (40 DK points, with a high likelihood that one of these two players is adding a three-point bonus on top of that), and it’s not as if “Flacco producing 12-160-2 for these two” means “Flacco becomes a must-play as well.” Both of these players are strong individual options this week, given the monster upside each player has within his range of outcomes, but the $10.4k block of salary on these two is especially interesting as an add-on to a stack from a different game (either using a cheap QB such as Goff who could outscore Flacco in spite of Flacco allowing this block to produce, or using a higher-priced QB who might be “the guy you had to have” this week). This block is best paired with a piece from the Bengals, though it isn’t 100% necessary to push that final button.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

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

    Raiders Block

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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 ::

    Jared Goff || Kirk Cousins || Patrick Mahomes || Jalen Hurts

    RB ::

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    Bonus Block:

    Hurts + Sanders + AJB

    I’m big on “pre-touchdown fantasy scoring” as a foundational metric, as we know that touchdowns are unpredictable on an individual-player basis, and thus we get a better snapshot of true value through pre-touchdown fantasy scoring. All these numbers come with the caveat that we are only two weeks into the season (i.e., small sample size) — but that caveat should come with its own caveat, that the Eagles entered the season with many expecting them to be one of the top offenses in the league, and not only have they shown that level of play so far, but they also enter a matchup that shapes up favorably. So far this season, Miles Sanders (always at risk of losing touchdowns, of course — but also capable of putting up six to eight touchdowns throughout a season) and AJ Brown have combined for only one touchdown, but their combined pre-touchdown fantasy scoring so far would have ranked as the seventh best “player” in the league last season (just ahead of Jonathan Taylor). Furthermore, this full block needs about 80 points for 4x (a 200-point pace), and they have averaged 52.2 before factoring in touchdowns. If Hurts passes for just two touchdowns, rushes for none, and each of Sanders/AJB score once, that alone would get this block up to 72 points off its two-game average, and there’s obviously plenty of upside from there. If you believe the Eagles show up against Washington at a similar level to what they showed against Detroit and Minnesota, this block is a high-floor/ceiling steal.


    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 ::
    Dalvin Cook

    Dalvin took a back seat to the Justin Jefferson show in Week 1 and then was a victim of circumstance in Week 2 as the entire Vikings offense flopped. Cook is playing on 75% of the offensive snaps and has a good chance to see 20 to 25 touches in a great matchup this week. Cook could also see added work as a receiver against a Lions team that loves to blitz.

    Joe Mixon

    Mixon is seeing 29.5 opportunities (carries plus targets) per game and is facing a Jets defense that just gave up 100 yards and 3 TDs to Nick Chubb. Mixon is a talented back and is cheaper than many running backs whose teams are projected to score fewer points and have higher Week 3 salaries.

    D’Andre Swift

    Swift is the same price as teammate Amon-Ra St. Brown, both are projecting very similarly in both median and ceiling projections, yet ARSB is projected for about 3x the ownership at a position with many more replacement options. Swift’s efficiency is incredible and if he ever sees anything close to a bell cow workload he would be in the “prime CMC/Kamara/Saquon” level of fantasy value. A road game against a division rival would not be a shocking time to see Swift’s usage spike.

    Leonard Fournette

    A home favorite on a team that is hurting for weapons. Fournette is likely to see 22 to 25 touches this week at a relatively low price tag. He will carry ownership, but if you are differentiating your lineups elsewhere you can live with that for the stability he provides in the barren wasteland of sub-$7k running backs.

    SIDE NOTE:: Running back is a tough position this week, as there aren’t any cheap backups stepping up into big roles, and paying up at the position theoretically hurts the ceiling of your lineups with so many good passing attacks on the slate. I can’t in good conscience get myself to put many of the more popular RBs of the week who project well on this list, guys like: Josh Jacobs, Dameon Pierce, David Montgomery, and Michael Carter. Any of them could have a good day, but I don’t think any of them are going to break me for not playing them and I think they all have very low floors for the situations and/or roles they are in. Rather, I will be looking to play the backs listed above, using some of the backs listed below in certain situations, or looking to correlate my running back spots with other players already in lineups.

    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


    Week 3 is upon and the pricing is tight. This is great news for us because there are several players with ownership low or lower than they ever should be. The difficult puzzle piece comes in the form of salary-relieving value. There isn’t a lot out there. This could change, however, as injury news begins to take shape. It’s a week to stay on your toes and have your If/Then statements ready. 

    Optimizer rule for MME…

    Play at least one of:

    Ja’marr Chase 3%

    Travis Kelce 2% 

    Jonathan Taylor 6%

    A.J. Brown 7%

    Gabe Davis 4%

    Aaron Jones 2%

    Adam Thielen 4%

    Antonio Gibson 5%

    DK Metcalf 4%

    Marquise Brown 5%

    Clyde Edwards-Helaire 4%

    What a week to be alive. 

    Stay in the moment. 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

    We’ve all been there.

    Standing over a little white ball. Thinking about where your feet are positioned. Are you bending your back enough? Too much? What about your hands? Are they in the right spot? What about your hip turn? Don’t forget to keep your head down. Follow through on contact. Is anybody watching you? Stressed out yet? (If golf doesn’t relate to you, replace it with a baseball swing or a tennis serve). 

    Building DFS lineups can be like taking a golf swing. So much to think about. We want to “think it through” and not forget about any rules or focuses we previously coached ourselves up on. Our brains are working in overdrive and if we aren’t careful, we can reach a state of analysis paralysis. Before you know it, you’re standing over the same white ball and you have absolutely no idea what to do. We need to strive for simplification.

    My best lineups I’ve played over my near decade of DFS play have come from some of my earliest thoughts on the week. They’ve come on weeks where I’ve singularly focused on one site (ahem, OWS since 2018) and made a true effort to cut out the noise of others’ opinions. If you look hard enough, subscribe to multiple sites, and spend enough time on Twitter, you’ll see almost every player talked about as a good play. And if a player has not been mentioned in the mainstream throughout the week, well then you get the creeping Saturday night / Sunday morning thoughts and notes on why player X, who no one seems to be on, might actually be the catalyst you need on the slate.

    Week 3

    The way I see it this week, we have two options. After last Sunday’s game stacking success in the Miami / Baltimore game (Congrats OWS Fam! Truly warms my heart reading the Binks channel on Discord on Sunday nights!), we’re VERY likely to see higher rates this week of QB double-stacks (two WRs, ala Tyreek and Waddle) with AT LEAST one bring back. The two options we have in front of us, therefore, are: do we move with the herd and try to stack up the games of our choosing with at least four, maybe five players? Or do we choose to stack less than the field this week, knowing the likely copycat mentality of the world we live in? You already know my preferred answer . . . but I’ll also be looking to the extremes on both ends of this strategy this week.

    Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill (and friends)

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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 3 Topics

    1.  Week 3: A Whole New World

    2. Regression Candidates

    3. Time to panic?

    4. Floating Plays, Week 3

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


    1. Week 3: A Whole New World

    The Question ::

    The NFL DFS season is just so interesting and fun. The way each week comes together and has its unique variables makes each slate a new “puzzle” that you have to sort your way through and figure out. Coming off a week in which there were only two games with totals of 47 or higher on the main slate and several games that had very large point spreads, we now enter a week with SIX games with totals of 47 or higher and no games with a point spread of greater than 7.

    Given the nature of DFS and human psychology, we can expect people to be looking for “this week’s Miami // Baltimore game”, but the reality is that situation was very rare and had an extreme outcome that we are unlikely to see for quite some time. As noted before, there are six games with game totals of 47 or higher and all of them project to be relatively competitive games::

    • BUF (-5.5) @ MIA  (53.5)
    • KC (-6.5) @ IND  (49.5)
    • DET @ MIN (-6)   (53.5)
    • PHI (-6.5) @ WAS  (47)
    • JAX @ LAC (-7)   (48)
    • LAR (-3.5) @ ARI  (49)

    A multi-part question::

    1. From that list of games, which game do you expect the public to be heaviest on as “this week’s MIA // BAL”, and do you agree with it?
    2. Which game do you think is likeliest to go overlooked relative to its potential to provide tournament winning scores?
    3. Which game do you think is likeliest to disappoint?
    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    I do think there will be a chunk of the field that will wonder, “How could Buffalo // Miami NOT hit? Look what Buffalo has done on offense so far? Look at the injuries on the Buffalo defense. Look what Miami did last week!!!” While that game certainly can hit (duh), I think the “past is a predictor of future” crowd will have a hard time staying off this game. To be fair to that crowd: they are generally aware that the past is not quite that predictive; but the emotional pull of “what we just saw” is still difficult to get away from. Obviously, ownership projections at this point in the week will provide a clearer snapshot of actual numbers across these games, but there is an emotional pull on this game that should also be highlighted.

    The KC offense is likeliest to go overlooked among this set of teams. Simply betting on Kelce/Mahomes is already a unique way to go this week (contrary to what Vegas would indicate), and the idea of “betting on one of these KC wideouts finally having a breakout” is somehow incredibly contrarian. A side note here: Mahomes has talked this week about how unique the KC offense is, in that they essentially encourage their wideouts to not run the routes the way they look on paper. Plenty of teams have options in their routes that require the wide receiver to read the defense and run a different route at the top depending on what that coverage shows; but KC is probably the only team that takes that a step further and gives their wideouts freedom to run the called route however they see fit. A slant doesn’t have to look like a slant. A post doesn’t have to look like a post. (And so on.) They can read the defense and run the route in the way they feel will best get them open. This is part of the reason MVS and JuJu were excited to join this team, but this takes time to get used to. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if one of these wideouts were to break out soon.

    Sharp money in Vegas hasn’t been buying the idea that Herbert will play (or that he won’t be himself if he does play), which contributes to me being least interested in JAX/LAC as a limited-entry player.

    Xandamere >>

    (1) Based on current ownership projections it looks like DET/MIN is the chalkiest game of the week, but that said ownership is looking fairly spread out (4 of the top 20 highest projected ownership plays are from DET/MIN, more than any other game). I think that’s my overall favorite game environment as well as both teams have good offenses, both teams have pretty condensed offenses, and both teams have mediocre defenses. 

    (2) KC/IND is showing up as very overlooked right now – I don’t have a single player projected for more than 10% ownership (the highest I have is Juju at 6.4%). Now there’s plenty of time for that to change, of course…but any time I can get what is arguably the league’s best overall offense (or one of them) at super low ownership, I’m VERY interested. I cannot count the number of times that KC stacks have won people huge amounts of money at low ownership over the past few years.

    (3) It’s one of JAX/LAC or KC/IND (or rather, IND), and my reasoning is this. The Jaguars gave up 28 points to Washington in Week 1 and then completely shut the Colts out in Week 2. The Colts, meanwhile, have only scored 20 points in two games (one of which included overtime). Oh, and the Chargers have “only” scored 48 points in two games….not a tiny number, but certainly a bit below expectations for an elite offense. So the question is…is Jacksonville’s defense significantly better than expected? Or is the Colts offense failing (even if temporarily)? If the former, JAX/LAC is likely to not shoot out. If the latter, Indy is likely to struggle to keep up and while KC can still rack up a ton of points, the game is unlikely to shoot out.

    Hilow >>

    (1) I think the clear answer to that first part is BUF @ MIA. There won’t be a single tout or site that fails to hype that game up as a potential shootout. If you read the Edge this week, I purposefully wrote the “Likeliest Game Flow” section of this game up as I did to kind of highlight the fact that while this game is the likeliest to shootout, it does not mean it will shootout – and there are many, many more games (as was mentioned in the question) that carry chances of blowing the slate up. So, my answer to the second part of the question isn’t “I do or don’t agree with it,” it’s highlighting the range of outcomes of potential game environments – realize what a roster is saying has to happen in order for it to hit outlier performances and take a GPP down (more on this in the End Around and The Slate podcast).

    (2) Hands down – Rams/Cardinals. Only Zach Ertz is currently projected for more than 5% ownership from Arizona. It’s the game with the lowest spread and so much bias surrounding Arizona (to be fair, they have looked completely lost on offense – but it’s still Kyler Murray). Very, very close second to Eagles/Commanders. Outside of Jalen Hurts and Curtis Samuel, there isn’t much emphasis being placed on this game environment by the field currently.

    (3) Jaguars/Chargers as I think there are more paths to failure than the rest of these games. Is Justin Herbert healthy enough to take a hit and continue playing? Is the Jaguars defense for real or did they simply benefit from stacking the box against a broken opponent last week? That said, I don’t think the field is even paying attention to this game – that makes me want to pay attention to this game.

    Mike >>
    1. BUF // MIA is the the game that everyone will think of as “most likely to be MIA// BAL” due to Miami as the common denominator and the dominance the Bills have shown so far. That being said, I also think people have had too long to overthink this spot and it may actually end up coming in with lower ownership than expected as people attempt to “get away from the chalk”. I do think this game has a huge chance to blow up again, especially with all of the injuries on the Bills defense.
    2. KC // IND is going way too overlooked for a game featuring Patrick Mahomes in a dome against a Gus Bradley defense that will be missing all-pro LB Shaquille (formerly Darius) Leonard. I won’t be surprised to see a repeat of the Chiefs performance from Week 1, and the Colts offense should look much better this week at home with their receiving corps healthy again.
    3. JAX // LAC is the clear answer here as likeliest to disappoint with Herbert’s status in question, but that’s already reflected in the line movement throughout the week. With that caveat, I think what we saw in the PHI // MIN game on Monday night has a good chance of happening again in PHI // WAS, as I could see Carson Wentz crashing back down to earth hard against an elite Eagles defense.

    2. Regression Candidates

    The Question ::

    As DFS players, we know that usage and talent are two things that, over time, will almost always win out and show itself in the box score. Sometimes we can get caught waiting too long for these things, or miss a change in situation, and get burned. However, staying the course and/or “going back to the well” can often be quite profitable. I (Mike // mjohnson86) had my best week of the year last season in Week 3 as I hit on several players or situations – a Josh Allen stack, Saquon Barkley, and DK Metcalf – that had disappointed the first two weeks but I bet on their talent and usage to “regress” and that they had big weeks coming. I was lucky to have all of those things hit at once for a big score and to bink a couple tournaments, but the thought holds and it is something we see almost every season. 

    As we head into this year’s Week 3, what are some players or teams that you are “betting on regression” and confident have big, tournament winning days coming soon?

    The Answers ::

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    Sunday Crunch

    Sunday Crunch is an Inner Circle feature that can be found on the Sunday Crunch Discord channel each week. We also post the Sunday Crunch notes in The Scroll, where non-IC members can jump into a chunk of the content each week.


    What Can Brown Do For You? ::

    AJ Brown has touched the ball 15 times this season. AJ Brown has zero touchdowns this season. Over the course of AJ Brown’s career, he has scored a touchdown once every 8.2 touches. AJ Brown’s team is projected to score just under four touchdowns this week. The Commanders defense has given up an average of 7.5 receptions, 150.5 yards from scrimmage, and one touchdown to opposing #1 WRs through two weeks. AJ Brown is projected to have single-digit ownership. What Brown can do for you is bink a tournament.

    Getting Defensive ::

    Buccaneers D – Last week we hit gold on the Jaguars defense, and the week before was also profitable with the Chiefs and Vikings defenses doing very well against undermanned offenses. This week we have the Buccaneers D. The Bucs are averaging 19.5 fantasy points per game through two weeks and, while we usually don’t want to chase production at defense, they are playing at home against a Packers team that was completely lost in Week 1 before rolling over the Bears. Forgive me if a slightly above average performance against the Bears isn’t enough evidence to make me a believer. This Bucs D looks like one of the top units in the league, is affordable, and is projected for sub-3% ownership on all sites. Fire ‘em up.

    Seahawks DSeattle is notoriously one of the toughest places to play in the league, the Seahawks have a tough run defense, and Marcus Mariota is prone to taking sacks and turning the ball over. Among “cheap” defenses, they have the best matchup, highest floor, and most potential for a 12 to 15 point game.

    Swift-ly To The Top ::

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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. 

    Week 3 Late Swap

    This is an article for the Afternoon Only slate but due to the nature of this week and some injury situations, I’m also going to drop a couple of late swap ideas for the main slate. James Conner and Justin Herbert’s injury situations are up in the air and there’s a good chance we get slate-changing info after the early wave of games has started. Here are some ways to position rosters to be able to swap and get low-owned plays in great spots if things go differently than expected. The current sentiment is Conner will play and Herbert won’t.

    • James Conner news contingencies (must use WR, Flex, Def with afternoon players):
      • Allen Robinson + Marquise Brown + Jags D = $14,000
      • Darrel Williams + Tyler Lockett + Bucs D = $14,000
      • Eno Benjamin + DK Metcalf or Kirk + Bucs D = $13,900 or $14,000
      • Darrel Williams + Christian Kirk + Seahawks D = $14,000
    • Justin Herbert news contingency #1:
      • Stafford + Kupp + Higbee + Marquise Brown = $26,900
      • Herbert + Ekeler + Mike Williams + Pitts = $26,900
    • Justin Herbert news contingency #2:
      • Stafford + Kupp + Allen Robinson + Marquise Brown + SEA D = $30,800
      • Herbert + Ekeler + Christian Kirk + Metcalf + TB D = $30,800
    • Justin Herbert news contingency #3:
      • Kyler + M. Brown + Robinson + TB D = $22,100
      • Herbert + Ekeler + Zay Jones + SEA D = $22,100
    QB Strategy

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    Start/Sit Primer

    By Landon Silinsky >>

    Research from the NFL Edge (game breakdowns and Matchups) is leveraged in this space to help us make sharper decisions on some of the key start/sit questions in fantasy

    1. Is Mark Ingram an RB2/Flex play if Alvin Kamara is out again?

    Hilow points out in the NFL Edge that the Saints offensive line has vastly underperformed over the first two weeks of the season, “leading to a sub-4.0 net-adjusted line yards metric.” He also notes, however, that Ingram’s low snap share last week was likely game plan specific against a really tough rush defense in Tampa Bay, and that he expects to see a bigger snap percentage this week vs. Carolina. The Panthers rank 24th in the NFL in rush defense DVOA, so if Ingram gets a few more opportunities than last week (13) he could become a usable option in season long formats.

    2. Can we start Justin Fields in a great spot against Houston despite his recent play?

    Justin Fields ranks 33rd in the NFL in pass attempts, and yes I know there are only 32 teams. This is because both Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush each have more dropbacks than Fields despite playing one less game. JM notes in his DFS Interpretation for this game that even in a pass-centric game plan, Fields and his WR’s are all unlikely to hit together making them large field DFS tournament plays only. The season long translation here is that Fields is likely not a QB1 until Matt Eberflus opens up the offense a bit. He absolutely could put up a decent score for you, however, as your second QB in Superflex leagues.

    3. Is Clyde Edwards-Helaire an RB2 vs. a Colts defense missing Shaquille Leonard?

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