Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

The Scroll Week 5

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    THE SCROLL


    The DFS Slate

    (In One Central Space)


    Meet The Team


    Angles

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

    OWS Fam!!!!

    What a weekend.

    Wow.

    We had multiple six-figure wins from the OWS Fam this last weekend, including $310,000(!) won by Inner Circle member ‘Draft’. Our very own SonicLibrarian took down the single-entry Sunday Bomb on FanDuel for $100,000, and it was difficult to find major tourneys on Sunday that didn’t have OWS pennants peppering the leaderboards (including six of the top 20 spots in The Slant — a 26,000-entry contest; shoutout to jdatlas, FelixChar, and our very own CubsFan333, making a rare-for-these-days DFS appearance; and shoutout to the Bink Machine for helping to create so many top builds this last week).

    As I said on Twitter the other day :: If you haven’t had a big weekend yet, don’t fret. Look around you. It’s coming.

    *DFS is not about picking players!!!!*

    (Note: if you still don’t understand what we mean by this, I strongly (strongly, strongly) encourage you to open your podcast player and find this week’s Winner Circle podcast in the One Week Season podcast feed. This is typically a podcast for Inner Circle members only, but I felt this was an important one to make available to anyone who wanted to listen. I talk through my own Week 4, looking at some mistakes I made, and walking through the process I followed to land a 2nd-place finish in the single-entry Double Spy. The goal of this week’s podcast is to essentially position you, the listener, to “watch me build” for that slate, so you can hopefully find some things that will help you in your own weekly building process. Throw the pod on 2x speed and pack a pile of potentially super-valuable thoughts and angles into 50 minutes.)

    Week 5 :: Dawn Of Byes

    My wife had an older brother who was obsessed with movies, and she spent chunks of her teenage years watching “good movies” with him. Whatever unique or artistic or downright weird movie you throw at her, she’s happy to watch it, and to love it. But she also has a pile of romcoms she loves, and a pile of low-brow comedies she loves, and a pile of nostalgic feel-good movies she loves. Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino are her favorite directors, but she also loves blockbusters, and bad science fiction, and pretty much anything else. Like Tarantino, she’s able to watch something that might be considered “bad,” and to find (and fall in love with) the one element that’s excellent.

    I can’t do this. I fell into movies the same way she did, in my early-20s, exploring classics from the ’60s and ’70s, weird movies from the ’80s and ’90s, off-the-wall movies that 99% of people haven’t seen. But I must have been a true hipster about it, because something blocked my brain from enjoying movies that weren’t up to a particular standard, in a particular way. I can find myself in a mood for low-brow comedies, and my wife has led me to love action movies from the ’80s and ’90s, but I’m still unable to sit all the way through a movie that’s “trying to be good, but mostly isn’t.” With movies, I’m still trying to learn how to focus on the good, and ignore the bad.

    I have a feeling that the DFS field will perceive this Week 5 slate as “ugly.” They’ll see the flaws in it, and focus on that.

    But as my wife would do with movies, I’m seeing so much to love about this week’s slate.

    This isn’t a new experience for us, of course. There were a lot of weeks down the stretch last season that everyone was saying were “ugly,” while we were getting excited about them and coming out on the other side with profit.

    I want to encourage you, as you move into this week, to avoid framing this slate through a negative bias. There are things to really like about this slate (we’ll get into them as we move into the weekend!). But first, what this slate provides:

    The Seahawks and Chargers have been two of the greatest “upside producers” this season, with offenses capable of scoring with anyone in the league, and with defenses capable of generosity. Both teams are on bye this week. The Raiders rank 28th in defensive DVOA, and the Bears rank 31st. They’re both missing from this slate as well.

    With the Bills playing the Jags in London and the 49ers’ offense taking on the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, we’re also missing two offenses we typically target for production.

    All of this is removing very specific edges/angles people have gotten comfortable with — forcing them to start from scratch in a lot of ways.

    If everyone is “starting from scratch,” I’ll put our money on us.

    There are only 10 games remaining on the Main Slate, though we have four teams — an unusually high number in today’s NFL, on such a small slate — implied to score 27+.

    The Lions are taking on the Panthers in Detroit, with what should be a clearly-defined style of attack (more on this throughout the weekend), with an implied total of 27.0.

    The Dolphins are in Miami taking on the downtrodden Giants, and are implied to score a whopping 30 points(!).

    The Eagles are always a confident bet to put up points, and they are implied for 27.5 on the road against the exciting Rams.

    And the Chiefs are traveling to Minnesota to take on a defensive coordinator in Brian Flores who was able to give us 17 DST points on Sunday by throwing things at Bryce Young he didn’t know how to handle…but who doesn’t have anywhere close to the talent to hang with the best quarterback in the league. The Chiefs are implied to score 28.25 — and the Vikings could push them to do even more.

    There are 13(!) teams on this slate implied to score fewer than 22 points, though this includes a Falcons team that can put up points when they’re able to control games and run the ball, taking on the run-gashed Texans…with the exciting, upstart Texans offense on the other side, and it includes a few other teams that could find their way to enough points for players to matter at their salaries (Cardinals and Jets, in particular).

    We also have the Rams with Cooper Kupp likely to return (implied for 23.25 vs an Eagles defense that’s had a tough time working around the loss of Avonte Maddox in the secondary), and we have the Bengals with their gimpy, immobile QB implied to score 23.75 at the Cardinals, with an impossible “back of mind” thought of :: ‘What if the Bengals figure it out this week?’

    Look at this week the way my wife looks at movies.

    Maybe “the JMs” will only be able to focus on the flaws — but there’s a lot of fun stuff to play around with this week.

    Props Insider

    You may have noticed that Props Insider profit is now up to $7,967. A couple thousand dollars in profit(!) were added when MLB full-season bets closed. (It’s worth mentioning that Xandamere and the team have some incredibly sharp angles they play on full-season bets, making them consistently profitable. The ’23/’24 package also includes full-season bets for next MLB season!)

    Just a reminder, last year’s package made over $9,000 (90 units) in NBA alone(!).

    We have 212 spots remaining in the ’23/’24 package. We’ll probably have a price drop a couple weeks into NBA season (down to $799), but the first couple weeks of the season are typically great weeks for props, so if you’re wanting to get in on that, this is the best time to scoop a Props Insider spot. Remember: we also have an option to pay for Props Insider with six monthly payments, to spread out that hit.

    There’s a pretty good chance the “Props Insider profit” numbers look even more gaudy in a handful of weeks!

    That does it for this week.

    I’ll see you on the site throughout the weekend.

    And I’ll see you at the top of the leaderboards on Sunday!
    -JM

    The Workbook

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

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    Around The Industry

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

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

    NOTE 2: Full-PPR scoring

    Pro Tip: Turn phone horizontal if viewing on your phone

    End Around

    Hilow is a game theory expert (courses at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Northwestern) and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max

    MACRO SLATE VIEW::

    This slate is #fun. Beyond their being two games with a game total greater than 50 points, and beyond their being four teams with Vegas implied team totals approaching or surpassing four touchdowns, and beyond numerous games with large spreads, and beyond the fact we have just 10 games on this slate due to bye weeks and a London game, this slate is fun. Notice the emphasis on fun, and not gross, hard, or difficult to navigate. This slate is fun. We have yet another unique puzzle to figure out better than the field. That is the mindset we need to have on a slate like this one. From a macro perspective, five of the top 10 teams in points per game through the first month of the season are not on the slate (Buffalo, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles Chargers). But we also have the team averaging the most points per game (Miami) playing the team allowing the fourth most points per game (New York Giants) and much, much more to discuss. Let’s dive in!

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK VS EXPANSIVE CHALK::

    Quick explanation: Restrictive chalk is an expected highly owned piece that restricts the maneuverability of the remainder of your roster while expansive chalk is an expected highly owned piece that allows for higher amounts of maneuverability on the remainder of your roster. Classifying various forms of chalk as either restrictive or expansive allows us to visualize what it means for roster construction on a given slate and how restrictive a certain player might be meaning more of the field will look similar from a roster construction standpoint with that piece.

    DE’VON ACHANE

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. Achane carries an absurd 9.0 true yards per carry, 10.3 yards per touch, 45.7 percent juke rate, and 18.5 percent breakaway run rate into Week 5, all of which rank first in the league amongst qualified running backs. He has 16 evaded tackles on 27 carries and eight receptions, which is by far the highest per-touch elusiveness rating through the season’s first month of play. He also seemingly took over the lead back role in the Miami backfield in the second half of the team’s Week 4 loss to the Bills. The problem with assuming the workload will carry forward is the game environment in which it occurred, with a pure negative game script likely contributing to the second half snap rate split and touch dispersal between him and Raheem Mostert. In other words, did Achane supplant Mostert, or was his usage a product of the game environment? That’s an important distinction considering the vastly different game environment expected in Week 5 against the Giants. Finally, the Giants allow a ridiculous 1.80 yards before contact per rush against this season.

    WAN’DALE ROBINSON

    EXPANSIVE CHALK. Wan’dale Robinson was hand-selected by the current coaching regime as a second round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. His 28.2 percent targets per route run rate highlights his schemed usage in the offense. That said, Robinson carries a paltry 3.4 aDOT on 11 targets this season (6.2 aDOT in 2022) and played just 64 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in Week 4, splitting time with another hand-picked asset on the offense in Parris Campbell. Robinson is objectively underpriced (duh, he’s priced at the minimum on DraftKings) but has very little chance to provide anything more than a solid cost-considered salary multiplier in this spot.

    JUSTIN JEFFERSON

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK. He’s Justin Jefferson – the man is always in play. The other side of that argument is a Steve Spagnuolo defense that is designed to limit alpha wide receivers such as Jefferson. While that lowers his chances of putting the slate squarely out of reach (as in, you had to have him in order to win anything this weekend), Jefferson has still scored between 26.5 and 30.9 DK points in every contest this season.

    BIJAN ROBINSON

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK. The electric rookie running back leads the league in reception amongst qualified backs this season and has rushed for 318 yards through his first four NFL games, the latter of which ranks third in the league. His 5.6 true yards per carry ranks sixth in the league. At some point this season, Bijan Robinson is going to find the end zone multiple times in a game regardless of the fact he has just one carry inside the 10 compared to five for Tyler Allgeier. The ticking time bomb could go off at any moment.

    JA’MARR CHASE

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Ja’Marr Chase is the unquestioned alpha for a broken offense, one that is severely limited by a quarterback who lacks any semblance of mobility in the pocket. That immobility has forced Zac Taylor to run an offense based exclusively out of the gun, which to this point in the season has limited his ability to generate much misdirection pre-snap via motion. Since the personnel on the roster precludes the Bengals from playing a true Z-type wide receiver, paired with the limited pre-snap movement, it allows opposing defenses to play more straight-up two-high defensive alignments, limiting the per-touch upside from the entire offense in the process. Enter a Jonathan Gannon defense that plays a modified two-high defensive scheme through shallow safeties (about 10-12 yards in depth beyond the line of scrimmage compared to the more natural 18-20 yards in other defenses around the league), which further limits the per-touch upside of all Bengals skill position players here. The injury to Tee Higgins could give Chase a clear path to 13-15 targets in this spot, but the limited upside lessens the chances of Chase burning you for not playing him.

    TYREEK HILL

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Wink Martindale, the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, has blitzed and run man coverage at the second highest rates in the league this season. Will that continue against the most dynamic offense in the league? Sheesh, I sure hope so! Tyreek Hill against primary man coverage over the previous two seasons with a healthy Tua Tagovailoa is one of the great cheat codes of modern football.

    BREECE HALL

    EXPANSIVE CHALK. First off, the comments surrounding Breece Hall and a potential easing of his strict snap count to this point in the season were vastly overstated by a major media outlet this week. That said, Hall ranks second in the league amongst qualified running backs in yards per touch at 6.8, behind only the previously discussed Achane. The matchup is also as pure as they come against a Denver defense allowing a robust 5.6 yards per carry. The Broncos also allow 1.50 yards before contact per carry this season, good for third worst in the league.

    MARQUISE BROWN

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. Marquise Brown has seen 27 targets during his previous three games. That’s the good. The bad is that his offense holds the second highest rush rate over expectation through four games (behind only the Falcons) and the Bengals allow 1.63 yards before contact per carry (second worst in the league). Those tendencies should allow the Cardinals the ability to control the game environment via a surprisingly dynamic run-blocking scheme.

    ALVIN KAMARA

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. 13 catches on 14 targets in his first game action of the season in Week 4 has the field giddy to shove Alvin Kamara into their rosters through a Vegas implied team total of just 19 points. For comparison, the Jets are projected for 20.5 points currently.

    TRAVIS KELCE

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK. We know the deal by now – by all means, play Travis Kelce, just ensure he is paired with Patrick Mahomes when you do.

    DAVID MONTGOMERY

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. The Panthers allow 1.50 yards before contact per carry this season, good for a tie for third worst in the league through four weeks. Amon-Ra St. Brown has been deemed doubtful while Jahmyr Gibbs popped on the team’s injury report on Friday with a new injury (never a good sign heading into the weekend). The Lions have one of the highest red zone rush rates in the league. Finally, Detroit is currently instilled as a 10 point home favorite. Everything lines up well for David Montgomery to approach or surpass his “healthy game average” of 26.5 carries and one target. Finally, Montgomery is on pace for two touchdowns per four quarters played, with five scores through 10 quarters.

    JOE MIXON

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. Joe Mixon’s 84.7 percent opportunity share ranks fourth in the league but is weighed down by a 4.1 true yards per carry, the latter of which ranks 29th. A 44.7 percent route participation rate could increase should Higgins miss.

    TITANS D/ST

    EXPANSIVE CHALK. Cheap chalk defense, you say? No, thank you, Titans, not today!

    CHALK BUILD::

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    JM’s Player Grid

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


    OWS Fam ::

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

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


    The Grid ::

    Bottom-Up Build

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

    Blue Chips

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

    Build-Arounds

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

    Building Blocks

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

    Bonuses

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


    Sunday Morning Update

    Nothing from my end looks particularly different from expectations.

    My highest-owned QBs are Dobbs, Stafford, and Mahomes, with the next tier belonging to Hurts // Tua // Daniel Jones, and the bottom tier of ownership on my end consisting of Richardson // Stroud // Zach Wilson

    The Cardinals’ core 4 (Conner // Hollywood // Michael Wilson // Ertz) are spread across my rosters, with plenty of rosters that have two of them, and the rest having one. These four cost $18k and have combined for 60ish points in two of their last three games, which is a reasonable expectation again in this spot. At 3.33x salary for the full block in two of three games, we have a pretty good shot at some solo shots or two-player pairings yielding 4x+. This angle aims to take advantage by mixing and matching and trying to land on the right combos with the right other pieces.

    At running back…

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    Bottom-Up Build

    Full breakdown (of what this is, and what the thinking is behind these players) can (and should) be found in the Angles Pod (on the One Week Season podcast feed).

    Bottom-Up Build
    DK Salary Remaining :: $6.3K

    Josh Dobbs
    Breece Hall
    Raheem Mostert
    Marquise Brown
    Garrett Wilson
    Nico Collins
    Zach Ertz
    Michael Wilson
    Patriots

    Join The Bottom-Up Build Contest On DraftKings!

    Buy-In:

    Free

    Rules:

    Build with a salary cap of $44k or below!

    Prizes:

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    Blue Chips

    Patrick Mahomes

    Mahomes has one of the stronger ranges of outcomes on this slate at the QB position, as the matchup is non-prohibitive, and the opponent is capable of scoring points (i.e., they don’t actually have to score points in order for Mahomes and the Chiefs to remain aggressive; the threat of Minnesota putting up points should be enough for the Chiefs to proactively chase a big number on the scoreboard).

    As always, the top pairing partner with Mahomes is Kelce (and if I’m playing Kelce, I’m probably playing Mahomes; see the Bink Machine section below), but you can also take shots on a popular Rashee Rice or an unpopular Skyy Moore, each of whom has relatively equal shots at being the rare wide receiver from the Chiefs to put up a tournament-worthy score.

    “Light Blue” Chips

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    Build-Arounds

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    Building Blocks

    “1989”
    Mahomes + Kelce + Addison
    Story:

    Taylor Swift.

    Also, “Mahomes and Kelce combine for 60+ DraftKings points in a game where Kansas City sets out to score as many points as they can, and then sell out to stop Justin Jefferson. Targets spill over to Addison as a result.”

    Why It Works:

    Mahomes + Kelce is an obvious way to go, but it’s tough to fit in high-upside players around this pairing, and things get especially restrictive if adding Justin Jefferson. There is value on this slate, but most of it is of the “can get you 12 to 15 points” variety, which creates opportunity to avoid the obvious value — something most Mahomes + Kelce rosters won’t be doing — and to grab some strong leverage off Jefferson.

    How It Works:

    This block has an outside shot at putting 85 to 90 points on your roster from only three spots, though a large chunk of those would be coming from Mahomes + Kelce, which won’t be especially sneaky. As such, I would still want to make sure I’m doing at least one or two other things on my “1989” rosters to differentiate me from the field.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

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

    “Duh”

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    Bink Machine

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

    Kelce + Mahomes

    “On 100% of Kelce rosters, play both players in this pool” :: Kelce Anchor + Mahomes — our classic bet of, “If Kelce is hitting, we’re probably getting Mahomes correct as well, so we should take advantage of that free square.”

    Duh

    “On at least 70% of Kupp rosters, play two players from this pool” :: Kupp Anchor || as explored in the “Duh” Building Block above, bet on Kupp being one of two high-priced guys on this slate to post a high-end score.

    Dobby Double Anchor

    “On 100% of Dobbs + Ertz rosters, include at least three players, and as many as four players, from this pool” :: This is not a hard-and-fast rule for me, but I wanted to show off the new “double anchor” feature in the Bink Machine (anchors on both Dobbs and Ertz); this rule would force Dobbs doubles and triples in any places where Ertz shows up on a Dobbs roster.

    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 ::

    Mahomes || Tua || Dobbs || Hurts || Stafford || Zach Wilson || Danny Dimes || Stroud

    RB ::

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    A Wrap ::

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

    -JM

    Mike’s Player Grid

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


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


    The Core

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

    Running Back ::
    David Montgomery

    ARSB is not going to play and Jahmyr Gibbs pulled his hamstring on Friday at practice. This is an elite matchup and Montgomery gets a ton of work near the goal line.

    Raheem Mostert/De’Von Achane

    This offense is insane and that’s especially true in soft matchups. It is likely that this backfield combines for 30+ points with a very good shot at 40, it’s just a matter of how those points get distributed. Mostert seems likely to catch more passes while Achane gets more red zone work. Both can score from distance as well but the Giants may give them a lot of short fields. I have some slight concern that if there is a blowout, the Dolphins could turn to Salvon Ahmed relatively early to conserve their dynamic duo. I would expect Achane to end up with lower-than-projected ownership while Mostert ends up higher than expected, as everyone will look at those projections and many people will take the obvious low-hanging fruit of “same backfield, same price, one at a third the ownership of the other.” I’d expect the result is it ends up much closer in ownership when the cards flip over.

    D’Andre Swift

     An elite talent in a fruitful game environment with a good matchup. Very hard to see him “failing” and a 30-pointer is very much in play.

    Bijan Robinson

    Has at least four receptions in every game so far. Elite matchup and his team has been struggling the last two weeks so it feels like he’s going to be the guy they look to as the engine of their offense. Zero touchdowns on 53 carries this season changes soon and he has yet to break a long one. Bijan seems like he could really separate at the RB position given the state of this slate without Ekeler, Pollard, CMC, and Jacobs. Ultimately, however, how profitable his lineups are will hinge on how he stacks up against the similarly priced WRs.

    James COnner

    Terrific matchup at home and has a reasonable price tag. Appears to be in store for modest ownership and while he’s not a guy I usually play, he is a guy who has multi-touchdown upside.

    Tight End :: 
    Travis Kelce

    Kelce seems due for a multi-TD game sooner rather than later. The other guys have done enough recently to where defenses have to account for them. Those things are often cyclical and Kelce should benefit now, especially if the Vikings blitz and leave him in 1-on-1 situations often.

    Sam Laporta

    Last year the Lions played a game around this time of year without Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift. TJ Hockenson and Josh Reynolds had massive games. This year LaPorta is in that role and while it feels awkward paying his elevated price tag for a rookie, he seems like he’s in a terrific spot.

    Dallas Goedert

    His usage and production haven’t been great but he’s an every-down player for a team that could put up 40 points any given week. I think he’s talented and I don’t think his early season production holds. I’ll be playing him.

    Bargain Hunting

    My cognitive biases won’t let me play Zach Ertz over Kyle Pitts. If looking for a cheap tight end, Pitts is my lean but I’d imagine there are a lot of others who will think the same. All jokes aside, Ertz is in play along with Tyler Conklin. Stacking the position with your QB is never a bad decision if you’re stuck on what to do.

    Defense :: 
    Dolphins

    If you have a television and a pair of eyes, I don’t need to explain.

    Chiefs

    Kirk Cousins in a marquee matchup where he might fall behind and be heavily pressured. Chiefs are reasonably priced and should be low-owned.

    Panthers

    The Lions will be without and/or missing several key offensive players. Carolina’s defense isn’t great, but it isn’t as bad as advertised either. They held the Vikings to 14 offensive points just last week and are my favorite cheap defense.


    GPP Stack Of The Week

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    Papy’s Pieces

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

    The Board

    Welcome to Week 5 DFS! This week is defined by three attractive game environments. KC // MIN (53) tops the slate, PHI // LAR (50) is second, and then the blowout risk game of NYG // MIA (47.5).  Beneath those are seven games with totals ranging from 38-44.5 that carry upside in certain spots but are all at risk of producing a dud. Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, and Tua Tagovailoa are projected to be the three highest owned QBs, which gives us a pretty good idea that chalk is going to form around the top three games. While they’re all good spots, there is a lot of uncertainty around the offenses involved. KC is spread out behind Kelce, the Vikings get a tough KC defense, Philly spreads out their groundwork, Kupp clouds the Rams target allocations, the Giants offense stinks, and the Dolphins might not need to stay aggressive to win. That isn’t to say you should avoid the higher total games but it is worth considering that there will be a lot of fragile chalk this week. With that in mind, let’s get to Week 5’s pieces!

    Pawn – WR Jalin Hyatt ($3,600)

    Wandale Robinson ($3,000) is expected to be one of the chalkiest plays on the slate. It makes sense. He has the upside for 20 points, a reasonable chance at 15, and is likely to get 10. That’s a nice range of outcomes for someone who is min-priced. I’ll have some Robinson myself but the truth is we are all playing him because he’s safe. He’s a slot WR with limited upside but we know he’ll be involved and we know that if he gets 15 points we won’t look back on him as a “reason we lost.”  But will we look back on him as a reason we won? The Giants top three WRs in order of snaps last week were Slayton (88%), Robinson (64%), and Hyatt (60%). That’s a big jump for Hyatt who was playing 30% of the snaps for the previous three weeks. He’s an absolute burner (4.31) who was known for being a deep ball specialist in college. Imagine a game where Robinson finishes with 8-70 on 10 targets at 25% ownership and Hyatt finishes with 3-140-2 on six targets at 1% ownership. Even though Robinson wouldn’t be a bad price considered piece, he wouldn’t be what you needed to win a tournament. That man could be Hyatt this week.

    Knight – WR Nico Collins ($5,600) 

    Nico has been kind to me in Best Ball and DFS so far this year and I’m going to keep riding the train until his price catches up to his role. He has been a top 10 WR through the first four weeks and is still priced like a midrange WR2. He’s seen 9 // 3 // 9 // 11 targets and it’s astonishing his price hasn’t gone up more. The Falcons defense isn’t the pushover they were last season and there is some concern that they might be able to run on Houston easily and take the air out of the ball, but Nico’s price is too mismatched from his role to ignore. As a bonus, the Falcons call man coverage at a top 10 rate, and Nico has some of the highest ratings against man coverage in the league.

    Bishop – WR De’Andre Hopkins ($5,700) 

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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

    Sweat Equity

    We play this game for money, right? Of course…but I must admit, it’s the sweat that attracts me to this game. That’s probably why I insist on stacking almost every quarterback at least once. If a certain game goes off, I at least want a piece. FOMO is bad because it expands your player pool so much, but NMO (Not Missing Out) is so FUN! 

    Last Sunday was awesome. One of those days I’ll never forget. 

    But we’re on to Week 5. 

    I love this slate. I didn’t at first because the smaller size (10 games) makes it harder to find low-owned pieces that the field hasn’t discovered. This gives OWS a distinct advantage over the field because we aren’t just player-pickers. We’re roster constructors. We’re going to eat plenty of chalk this week, but if we do so in a thoughtful way, we won’t feel the need to shower after each click. 

    Image

    I’m clicking David Montgomery. Chalk be damned!

    Secondary Core-Relations

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

    Justin/Justin

    “Stars and Scrubs” rosters will be prevalent this week, so I’ll be using mostly players that cost between $4800 and $7500. But I’m not leaving this slate without some Patrick Mahomes/Travis Swift lineups. I’m not crossing off Jalen Hurts/A.J. Brown. Hell no. We’ll need to dip into the bargain bin to some extent. For large-field MME play, I’ll be trying hard to be different. 

    Justin Jefferson will be around 20% owned this week. That means he’ll be featured in approximately 40,000 lineups in the Milly. How much of the public will feel compelled to pair JJ with one (or both) of Wan’dale Robinson/Kalif Raymond? Well, I was told there would be no math…but it’s more than we want to play into. 

    Q. Who played the most snaps of any Chiefs receiver last week? Rashee Rice? No. It was Justin Watson. The Chiefs are gradually coming into form, learning what works and who they can trust. One Watson TD from distance could leave Wan’Dale and Kalif rendered limp.

    Is this a play a bit on the thin side? Yes, but low-owned, cheap pieces with the upside to catapult past thousands of similar rosters are going to come with their share of risk.

    Puka Nacua/DeVonta Smith

    The downside of this play is the cost. Paying $15,100 for this pairing puts you on the hunt for value. The good news is that they’re ownership averages about 5%, allowing you to grab one or two of the chalky value plays without feeling like you’ll be holding hands with thousands of casual Milly hopefuls. Also, both guys can break a slate. Is it less likely with the presence of AJB and Cooper Kupp? Yes, but low-owned receivers with massive upside on a 10-game slate are going to come with their share of risk.

    Derrick Henry/Michael Pittman

    Of all the less-sexy game environments, this one appears to have a sneaky path to exceed expectations. The Colts offense may open up with the added inspiration of backfield threat, Jonathan Taylor. Pittman put up a dud last week but put up 8/97/1 in Anthony Richardson’s last (mostly) healthy game. If this game does catch fire, these two would be likely sources of the spark. 

    I like this one on FanDuel because the Colts have been susceptible to rushing TDs this year and Henry will be only about 10% owned, providing leverage against his chalky teammate, DeAndre Hopkins.

    Raheem Mostert/No One

    Last week in this space I mentioned Nico Collins as a lower-owned, high-upside piece to play opposite the Steelers guys that were projecting as chalk. Keeping with the theme of putting your money where your mouth is, I played 23% Nico at 5% ownership, and believe it or not, it didn’t help me much at all. Yep, across the two main sites, I had 69 Nico lineups and somehow none of them appeared in the rosters that contributed to my Sunday winnings. Why? Over-correlation. I went too crazy with pairing Collins with a Steeler, the Steelers died, and I was left with a shit-ton of min-cashes and near-misses.

    The GPP mind in me didn’t even like those Steeler guys. All were fragile and over-owned on an offense that can be easily diagnosed by defenses. Yuck. 

    So, this week my favorite MME play is the lower owned of the two Dolphins running backs without anyone from the other side. The highest-owned secondary stack on this slate will be De’Von Achane/Wan’Dale Robinson, and for good reason. They both project ridiculously well for their price. But be warned, this pairing will not only be duped a gazillion times, but it will also lead you to a roster construction that will be far from unique. These two may appear together in some of my lineups, but only ones that are otherwise very contrarian. I just built a Ravens/Steelers stack where the first four pieces averaged 5.2% projected ownership. That’s WTF I’m talking about. 
    I’m legit scared that Mostert’s current ownership of 7.4% ends up more like 14% because literally every podcast I consumed this week mentioned him as the obvious leverage play. We shall see.

    Lower-Owned Treasures

    Running Back

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    Willing To Lose

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

    The NFL ebbs and flows. It ebbs and flows. It ebbs, and then it flows. According to Oxford, for something to ebb and flow it means the “recurrent or rhythmic pattern of coming and going, or decline and regrowth.” This is the NFL. I’m writing this as I watch the 0-4 Chicago Bears lay a surprising smackdown on 2-2 Washington Commanders, and these are the only two words I can think of when describing what I am seeing. The NFL is covered inside and out, and with all the media surrounding a limited schedule, we love (as the public) to act and react to every high and every low. And yet, when we zoom out, the highs are rarely so high while the lows are really never that bad. Even when in the moment, they seem to be monumental or catastrophic. 

    It takes real fortitude to go against a rising tide. So when these tides get going, (e.g. the Miami offense is unstoppable, and the Bears will never win a game) the simple thing to do is fall in line with this thinking and just go with it. To work against the common thoughts take independent thinking, and again, some guts. I’m not here to challenge how bold you can be in your DFS play this week. But what I can do is challenge you to constantly question active narratives, and more importantly, to recognize when we have situations right in front of our eyes that are being shaped by the world around us. In other words (and in a DFS context), we can analyze NFL games and predict how they will play out based on the most recent information only, disregarding how we may have felt about these teams, players, or coaches just one or two weeks prior, and then in hindsight kick ourselves for getting so off-track.

    We’re officially in Week 5 so it’s the perfect time to clean this slate and look at it as if this were Week 1. We can’t fully disregard what has transpired over four weeks of football, but if we’re able to see through small sample noise, we’ll see through the lens of Week 5 in an entirely new manner. 

    If this were Week 1…

    Eagles and Rams

    In Week 5, we’re given a four point spread and a 50 point total. We know the Rams offense is friskier than we originally thought while the Eagles run defense has been stifling, offsetting their mostly below average pass defense due to injuries. If this were Week 1, we’d be rolling out Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, and DeVonta Smith and playing games we played in August called, “Can you name a Rams defensive player outside of Aaron Donald? 

    The point is, the Eagles are still set up to dominate this game in the trenches, as they would have been if this game kicked off on opening weekend. Their offensive line continues to be tops in the league, while their defensive line, anchored now by rookie tackle Jalen Carter, is difficult to run on. The Rams also still cannot pass block as well. The “new” pieces of news in this game are Puka Nacua, of course, as well as D’Andre Swift’s enhanced usage with Dallas Goedert’s low production. We could also throw in Tutu Atwell and Kyren Williams as surprising Rams who have changed this narrative from preseason to Week 5.

    We have the Eagles indoors, in a high point total game that is expected to be close. They have advantages in the trenches on both sides of the football. The Rams may have a frisky offense, but their defense is still about what we thought they would be. If they can push the scoreboard, Hurts, Swift, Brown, Smith, and Goedert are all in play. Depending on the health and expected role from Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua is still my favorite Ram on the other side. A 3-1 Eagles stack makes some sense here.

    Bengals and Cardinals

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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 5 Topics

    1. Unique Slate

    2. Bounce Back SZN

    3. The Gem That Unlocks The Slate

    4. Floating Plays

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


    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    The Question ::

    I feel like this week if I ask “what makes this slate particularly unique?” we are likely to have pretty similar answers about this being the first bye week, two high total games in the afternoon slate, and only having 10 games on the slate rather than the 12 or 13 that we’ve had the first four weeks. With that in mind, I will make this question a bit more direct this week::  

    How does your play or approach differ when evaluating players and game environments on a smaller slate like this? Taking that a step further, is there anything that stands out to you in terms of how the field approaches a smaller slate that provides an opportunity for us to find an edge?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    I’m probably a bit unique among “sharp DFS players” in that I “focus more on me than on the competition.” I say that to say, I don’t necessarily have thoughts off the top of my mind regarding “how the field approaches a smaller slate,” but I do know that I tend to have my highest ROI, over time, on slates of 10 to 11 games than on slates of 13 games.

    So for me, then — in the context of this question — becomes, “Why is that the case?”

    Broadly speaking, I tend to be pretty good at stacking all the games and players on a slate against one another and getting a good sense of what the TRUE ‘top plays’ or ‘top spots’ are; so at a very simple core, having fewer games makes it easier for me to do this, as there is less to trip me up.

    Expanding this to ‘why this might be an edge against what the field is doing?’ — I would say that because chalk tends to develop regardless of slate size, and regardless of what a slate provides, a smaller slate makes it a bit easier to separate the “sharp chalk” from “the chalk that is really only chalk because of what this slate provides.”

    As we know, every slate is unique in its own way. But these seem like elements that are pretty common among smaller-sized slates.

    Xandamere >>

    First off, recognize that the smaller the slate, the more valuable raw points are. This means that someone like Justin Jefferson scoring 30 or 33, which isn’t really a GREAT score based on his salary, is much more likely to be optimal (even necessary) than on a larger slate. 

    Two, the smaller the slate, the chalkier the chalk becomes. A chalk play that is 25% on a 12 or 13-game slate might be 30-33% on a 10 game slate because there just aren’t as many guys to choose from. 

    So with that in mind, my overall approach is simple: embrace positions where I think I can get a lot of raw points, even if the scores I’m hoping for might be elite from a salary-multiplier perspective, and second, the fewer games on the slate, the more important it is to think about lineup differentiation (which, of course, peaks in Showdown, where differentiation is just SO critically important). 

    Hilow >>

    I made the decision to shift the bulk of my play to MME this week. I simply love this slate too much and didn’t want to restrict my play to five to nine rosters (I’ve also been flirting with large scores for the previous year and a half without hitting the right nine players on a single roster). It made sense for me to then shift to a heavier emphasis on MME play on a slate likely deemed “ugly” by the field. There are a lot of interesting angles to play this week, which I will break down in great detail in the End Around and X and I will jam about on The Slate podcast Saturday morning.

    Mike >>

    The smaller slates during the bye weeks have been where I have historically been the most successful. I think the reasoning for that is that the naturally condensed overall player pool makes it easier for me to create a tight player pool for myself and take more “directed shots” and stay disciplined to my process. As Xandamere brought up, the smaller slate also creates two different dynamics in that it makes “raw points” more valuable and condenses the chalk to a smaller pool of players while allowing some players to get into some very high ownership levels – whether they deserve to or not. Being aware of those factors allows us to adjust our mindsets and approach the slate in the correct way while our opponents do not. 


    2. Bounce Back SZN

    The Question ::

    There are five teams on this slate who entered the season with relatively high offensive expectations and hype but have significantly disappointed in the first four weeks. Those teams are::

    • Bengals
    • Steelers
    • Giants
    • Saints
    • Panthers

    I didn’t include the Jets because obviously the injury to Aaron Rodgers changed their outlook significantly. The Bengals have a great matchup this week and look like they will be a condensed offense with Tee Higgins battling a rib injury. Of the remaining four teams, are there any who you think are ready to bounce back this week? If not, are there any in that group who you have more confidence in to figure things out in the near future?

    The Answers ::

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    Thanks for hanging out with us in The Oracle this week

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

    Afternoon-Only

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

    FINDING AN EDGE

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

    This Week’s Slate
    • This week’s late slate has four games and three of them are arguably the best game environments on the entire slate. The Jets and Broncos game is probably the least appealing of the four but even that game is interesting considering how awful the Broncos defense has looked this year and the signs of life Zach Wilson has shown.
    • Given the context of the previous point about the best environments, building rosters for the main slate from only late games is a very viable and potentially a very profitable strategy this week. My big win on the late slate in 2021 was a roster that would have won several GPPs on the main slate as well. It was a similar spot to this week with a high percentage of the week’s total games playing late and several of them being appealing matchups. The natural tendency for people building lineups is to “account for” all the top spots, so even though these afternoon games will carry a lot of ownership on the main slate, very few rosters will actually have zero players from the early games, which makes it an underrated way of “getting unique.”
    Ownership Strategy
    • Ownership will be higher for pretty much every player on “short slates” just because there are fewer players to choose from. This will be especially true for “chalky” players from the main slate.
    • This means getting these players right is even more vital than on a main slate. There are fewer alternatives to choose from so if they have a big game and you aren’t on them it is much harder to find other ways to make up those points.
    • This also means it is easier for lower owned players to pay off, as there are fewer players at their position that they need to have “fail” for them to be worth the risk.
    • Correlation is even more important than on the main slate because the useful fantasy games that pay off for the slate are likely to be clumped up from the same games. I always make lineups with a game stack (QB + at least one pass catcher + at least one opponent) and then one or two “mini-correlations” from other games.
    QB Strategy

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    Late Swap

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

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

    Outlook – Late Games:

    Week 5 offers us one of the smallest main slates of the season, with just 10 games, as the Bills and Jags are in London coinciding with the start of bye weeks. The reduced slate size inherently leads to condensed ownership as there simply aren’t as many options to choose from. This is obvious on two or three game slates, however, a reduction from 12 games down to 10 is a 17% decrease in viable options at both the QB and TE positions (from 24 to 20).

    Four games fall into the late window this week and carry some of the highest projected ownership, including six of the eight highest individual team totals on the slate. The two outlier teams of the afternoon games (the Cardinals and Jets), feature Garrett Wilson and Marquise Brown (both projected as top 6 WRs in overall ownership), as well as Breece Hall and Zack Ertz, who also project for double-digit ownership. And this isn’t even mentioning teams full of potential fantasy goodness on the late slate like the Chiefs, Eagles, Vikings, Bengals, and Rams. This will likely put a high emphasis on the ability to pivot/swap as tournament-winning scores of the afternoon only slate (4 games) have a chance to compete with the tournament-winning scores of the full 10 game slate once everything is said and done.

    Important Early Outcomes to Watch:
    • David Montgomery & Jahmyr Gibbs (if active) – The Lions are 10-point home favorites and the Panthers have been gashed on the ground. Detroit is also likely to be without alpha WR Amon-Ra St Brown. This should lead to 25+ rushing attempts between the pairing who are likely to carry 25% or more combined ownership.
    • Dolphins vs Giants – Featuring several highly owned pieces (Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, De’Von Achane, and Wan’Dale Robinson) in the best on-paper game environment of the early slate. The most intriguing to me is Robinson, who is projecting around 20% at min salary ($3,000). If he puts up 20 points, he’s almost certainly going to be on winning lineups.
    • Slate Breakers such as Tyreek Hill’s 47.5 DK point performance in week 1. 
    Price Range Breakdowns (Late Games):

    $7,100 and up:

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    Battle Royale

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

    Welcome to Week 5!

    If you are new to this contest or just want to get a bigger picture of the first two years of the contest, here is how to access my article reviewing 2021 and 2022 top rosters:

    OWS → Archives → The Scroll Archives → Week 1, 2023 → Battle Royale (at bottom) (or click the link)

    This was an atypical weekly preview as it was more of a primer for the contest than about anything Week 1 specific; so if you’d like to access it, then that is the easiest way to do it.

    For this week, I’ll be hitting on some of my thoughts on each position and updating some trending stats. Let’s get started!

    Reviewing Week 4

    Notes:

    • As I suspected, it took a super high score to win Week 4, with the 182.1 winning score being the 4th highest score in 40 contests.
    • Back-to-back weeks with the rare QB double in first place (Justin Fields – DJ Moore – Cole Kmet).
    • QB stacking (28 of 40 winners) has not required runbacks (4 of the 28 stacks included an opposing player) to be successful to this point
    • RB at FLEX has maintained a 68% rate on top-5 rosters.
    • Week 5 sets up almost the exact opposite, with a higher chance of a lower scoring 1st place.

    Looking at Week 5

    QB:

    Notable QBs missing from the slate: Josh Allen, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Herbert, Justin Fields, Geno Smith, Dak Prescott, Jordan Love

    Top 6 by ADP: Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, Tua Tagovailoa, Anthony Richardson, Kirk Cousins

    Notes:

    • Patrick Mahomes at MIN: Huge favorite to lead the slate at QB; attempt to stack with Kelce whenever given the rare chance. Playable across MIN pieces, but none of the KC WRs are worth stacking in this offense in this contest (Rashee Rice and Jerick McKinnon are the only two I’ll even be considering in a 12-man draft.
    • Tua Tagovailoa: MIA has three guys going in the top 15 picks (Tyreek Hill – De’Von Achane – Jaylen Waddle) due to the highest implied total on a slate lacking many elite offensive players. Tua doubles are in play this week with any of the 4 MIA guys (+ Raheem Mostert) making it onto my rosters. 
    • Jared Goff vs CAR: DET is implied for 27 points at home, and his RB David Montgomery is getting drafted in the top 10. Goff stacked with St. Brown, Jahmyr Gibbs, and/or Sam LaPorta all provide some leverage on Montgomery (who’s still a strong play himself).
    • Josh Dobbs vs CIN: Dobbs has 25, 17, and 23 fantasy points in his last 3 games, and now catches a Bengals team that has struggled to move the ball through Joe Burrow’s injury. If that continues, ARI will have a lot of driving opportunities against a defense that while solid, is no better than the DAL and SF defenses Dobbs just played well against. Watson and Lamar ran for a combined 99 yards + TD vs CIN; Dobbs has rushing totals of 41:1, 55, and 48 in his last 3 games.
    RB:

    Notable RBs missing from this slate: Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, Tony Pollard, Kenneth Walker, Josh Jacobs, Travis Etienne, Aaron Jones, Saquon Barkley(?)

    The top 3 RBs being drafted right now are Bijan Robinson, De’Von Achane, and David Montgomery, so welcome to Week 5.

    Notes:

    • Derrick Henry at IND: Not the easiest matchup on the ground, but volume is king, and we can expect King Henry to get 20+ touches here minimum. Jonathan Taylor is going to climb draft boards this week with positive news, but the Titans are favorites to be in control of this game, and Henry is the biggest driver/beneficiary of that.
    • Breece Hall at DEN: Hall has been flowing up the board all week due to his matchup and positive coachspeak about his workload. DEN has been absolutely terrible on defense, and Hall’s explosiveness is expected to grow each week further removed from last year’s ACL injury. Still, questions remain about his workload so you are really banking on hitting big plays or an increase in touches.
    • Raheem Mostert vs NYG: Achane has shot all the way up to RB2 this week! He may well have taken the “main” job over Mostert, but it’s been one bad week for Mostert after they both went off in Week 3. Are we so sure Mostert can’t still lead the way here?
    • Joe Mixon at ARI: Behind the mess of the passing game, Mixon has quietly been playing good football as he maintains control of the backfield. ARI has really struggled against RBs to start the year, giving up 8 TDs already to the position. They can still both have strong games together, especially in the absence of Higgins, but provides some leverage off 1st-round Chase given that there have only been so many TDs to go around in this CIN offense to start the year.
    WR:

    Notable WRs missing from this slate: Stefon Diggs, Calvin Ridley, Davante Adams, Ceedee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Terry McClaurin, DJ Moore, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin

    Notes:

    • Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle vs NYG: I’ve basically been taking Dolphins in every lineup approach so far, trying to get at least one of these two or an RB on every team. Both are set up to feast against this weak, heavy-blitzing defense.
    • Cooper Kupp vs PHI: Kupp is coming back to take his volume throne (health permitting). The discount on him is only decreasing by the day as positive news comes out about him playing. One of the most bankable players in fantasy when healthy.
    • Deandre Hopkins at IND: Hasn’t had a big game yet, but he’s getting a great share of TEN passing work, and is further removed from the ankle injury. IND has been getting torched by wideouts all year and is good enough offensively to push TEN to score. Works well across from Anthony Richardson given that he’d still be a favorite to outscore Ryan Tannehill in a good Hopkins game.
    • Zay Flowers at PIT: The Steelers secondary has been giving up huge games to WRs all year. Mark Andrews has historically been held in check by PIT. The other two starters are still questionable to play, and Flowers is the #1 guy regardless. 
    • Jordan Addison vs KC: Has seen more time on the field when MIN is trailing, and playing against Mahomes with a bad defense is likely to create that scenario here. Has already shown a propensity for big plays, and KC has been allowing strong production to WR2s. Leverage off Jefferson going at #1, and can be fit across a KC stack.

    TE:

    Notable TEs missing from this slate: George Kittle, Evan Engram, Cole Kmet, Logan Thomas, Jake Ferguson

    Notes:

    • Travis Kelce at MIN: I want Kelce or Tyreek in every draft possible. Chance to be a slate where no other TE can compete with his score.
    • TJ Hockenson vs KC: Second highest ceiling, good matchup/environment, great leverage off Jefferson when paired with Tyreek.
    • Tyler Higbee vs PHI: PHI has been struggling against TEs, and Higbee has yet to score on the season despite strong usage. Kupp’s return means a lot of targets going his way, but also might open up the defense more for Higbee opportunities.
    • Zach Ertz vs CIN: Seeing a lot of volume, a better matchup than the WRs.

    Underowned Combos:

    • Josh Dobbs + Zach Ertz + Ja’Marr Chase/Joe Mixon
    • Joe Burrow + Ja’Marr Chase + James Conner/Zach Ertz
    • Anthony Richardson + Derrick Henry + Deandre Hopkins
    • Tua Tagovailoa + RB + WR
    • Jahmyr Gibbs + Sam LaPorta
    • Breece Hall + Garrett Wilson/Tyler Conklin

    Notable Stats

    1st place performance:

    • 27 of the 40 teams had at least one flex player score 30+ half-PPR fantasy points
    • 18 of the 40 teams had all flex players score at least 20+ half-PPR fantasy points
    • 36 of the 40 teams had all flex players score at least 15+ half-PPR fantasy points

    Stacking and Correlation:

    • 22 of 40 had a QB paired with just one teammate
      • WR (17), TE (3), RB (2)
    • 6 of 40 had a QB stacked with two teammates
      • WR-RB (3), WR-WR (2), WR-TE (1)
    • 4 of those 28 QB stacks had a runback (Opposing player)
    • 39 of 40 had at least one game correlation
    • 13 of 40 had two different game correlations

    FLEX usage:

    • 136 of 200 top-5 rosters have had two RBs (68%), meaning they chose RB at FLEX over WR and TE.
    • The other 64 top 5 rosters all used WR at FLEX, meaning there has yet to be a single roster to place top 5 using double TE.

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