El Magico is a high-stakes tournament champion who focuses on single-entry/three-entry max // small-field play
Through this article, I will be highlighting a small player pool that is composed of players that rank high in my proprietary model. This model usually starts working its magic once we have 3 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 such as: 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 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, 3-Max smaller field tournaments.
Here we enter one of those cases where the field really likes a team’s receiving weapons in a likely shootout but nobody is talking about their QB. The Rams enter this game with a hobbled running back against an impenetrable rush defense but have a gun-slinging QB with phenomenal passing weapons, so why are people not liking a relatively cheap QB in possibly the best game environment of the week? The model does like Stafford’s metrics in this matchup and I also trust Sean McVay to spot the weaknesses we see in this matchup.
Is Ryan too cheap in a sneaky shoot-out? I like the idea of pairing him with Kyle Pitts and/or Calvin Ridley in a game that could turn into a sloppy shootout between two bad teams with talented pieces on both OFFENSES, but not on defense. We just saw Taylor Heinicke and Terry Mclaurin rip this defense and James Bradberry apart. I think Ryan//Ridley/Pitts are set up well here.
Consideration: Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray
I see Ekeler in a similar underrated spot as Stafford. His usage last week was closer to what we are accustomed to getting from Ekeler. Last week he caught 9 of 9 targets, and looking at the game script, I would say he could repeat that. On top of that, he has reclaimed his goal-line duties. The model likes a favorable OL/DL (KC is allowing 6 yds per carry, worst in the league) matchup along with his receiving floor and game environment.
This one doesn’t sound very sexy or attractive, but this could be a great value and leverage play as we see Ronald Jones be put in the Bruce Arians dog house, increasing opportunity for Fournette. If Stafford is able to keep pace in this game, we can expect Fournette to get a decent floor of targets, rushes, and goal-line work on a team with a 28 point total.
Consideration: Dalvin Cook, Najee Harris
As mentioned earlier, the Rams weapons will be popular this week, but for good reason. Kupp is arguably the hottest receiver in the NFL and he sits as the centerpiece of this offense and will now face the biggest pass funnel defense in the NFL. As the Rams slot receiver Kupp will line up against the weak spot of this defense, a weak spot that is now missing its starter Sean Murphy-Bunting. As a fun fact, Kupp has played every offensive snap for the Rams this year. If you want to play the game theory game, Robert Woods is not a bad option as he will also get an opportunity to play in the slot and will be less owned. I wonder if JM will suggest a player block with Woods/Kupp (enter shrug emoji here).
Allen sits atop the model for the second week in a row. The difference is that this week he should come with an ownership discount as most people (including me) are still licking their wounds from last week. Allen is a sure bet for double-digit targets as the Chargers should be forced to play aggressive and from behind vs a cover 2 defense that has been pretty friendly to opposing offenses this year.
There are several reasons I like this play, but the main one is how under the radar this option could be. If Diontae Johnson misses this game, then I think it’s all systems go for Claypool as there will be double-digit targets to get re-distributed and Claypool is sure to get a bump here. In the slot, JuJu Smith-Schuster will face the tougher matchup lining up against Mike Hilton and that should provide more opportunity for Claypool. Another big reason the model likes Claypool is that he actually ranks number four in air yards (255 yds, 194 coming in Week 2!) in the entire league coming into this game. We do have a small caveat, which is Ben Roethlisberger’s pectoral injury, but I will take my chances.
Consideration: DK Metcalf, Marvin Jones Jr, Tyler Boyd
Opportunity and volume typically predict performance for the model, and this could be the spot that Pitts blows up and becomes the player we have been hoping for. This is by far the best matchup he has faced so far this year, and arrows are pointing up for him in the model. The Giants have allowed a TD to opposing TEs the last two weeks, along with 149 yards, which averages out to 74 yards and a TD per game. Pitts is by far the most talented TE they will have faced this year. Bonus: If Russell Gage misses, even better for Pitts.
Consideration: Travis Kelce, TJ Hockenson, Tyler Higbee
Matthew Stafford // Cooper Kupp // Robert Woods // Leonard Fournette