Sunday, Feb 12th — Late
Bye Week:
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Bills
Broncos
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Cardinals
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The Scroll Week 6

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    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.


    In This Week’s Angles Email:

    1. Props Update

    2. NBA Props(!)

    3. Week 6 Slate

    NFL Props Update

    Profit-To-Date:
    $1,378*

    Rest-of-season NFL Props Insider:
    $159

    The Math:
    ROS access toNFL Props Insider (13 weeks, + playoffs) costs 11.5% of our profit through five weeks of the season.

    If you still haven’t joined NFL Props Insider…I’m stunned. Really? Don’t you like clear edges? Don’t you like seeing your money grow over time?

    At least join us on a Week Pass ($19), and see what it’s all about.

    *Profit is calculated by assuming recommended units on recommended bets (duh)

    NBA Props

    NFL Props are great.
    NBA Props are better…

    You get a much larger sample size with NBA props, which means your profit piles up more quickly. This is where the real money is made.

    “Do I need to follow the NBA in order to make profitable prop bets?”

    Nope! You just have to follow the +EV bets that Xandamere and the team are finding each Monday through Friday.

    NBA Props Insider is the only thing you need.

    The Lay Of The Land ::

    Week: 6

    Total Main Slate Games: 11

    Slate Overview:

    We’ve made it!

    It’s here!

    The rematch of one of the greatest games of our lifetimes (regardless of when you were born) :: 13 seconds || Bills // Chiefs || 36-42.

    Last January, I rewatched that game twice, and I rewatched the last several minutes of that game an additional five or six times. I’ve had this weekend loosely circled since the NFL schedule was released, but it wasn’t until Monday — when I began getting my feet under me for this week’s slate — that I realized this contest would be featured on the Main Slate.

    We regularly talk about the idea of “being aware of the games you have to account for” — the games that have a relatively high probability of producing one, or two, or several tourney-winning scores — and we could say with a high degree of certainty, without even looking at the other games on this slate, that “Bills at Chiefs” is a game we have to account for.

    But in addition to this game being “obviously one we would have to account for” on any slate it might fall on, this particular slate gives us the following:

    Bills // Chiefs with an Over/Under of 54.0
    Cardinals // Seahawks with an Over/Under of 51.0
    Jets // Packers with an Over/Under of 46.0
    Vikings // Dolphins with an Over/Under of 45.5
    Ravens // Giants with an Over/Under of 45.0
    49ers // Falcons with an Over/Under of 44.5
    Five other games with Over/Unders of 43.5 or lower

    Holy my goodness.

    Holy chalk.

    How heavy will the field be on this Bills // Chiefs game???

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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::

    As we’ve covered around the site this week (and on various podcasts and videocasts) this slate opened with nine of 11 games with a game total of 45.5 or fewer, and two games on an island with game totals above 50.0 points. That hasn’t drastically changed throughout the week, leaving us in a situation where the field is likely to primarily pay attention to only two game environments. I’ve got news for you, one or two of the nine games with game totals in the sub-45.5 bucket are likely to pop off here. Also, the field doesn’t seem to be attacking the two high total games in the most +EV way.

    Furthering that assertion is the plethora of value options now available at the running back position, as there are no less than five backup running backs stepping into either featured or lead roles. That said, not all those options are created equal for us this week, so getting those spots right gains a bit of importance. I’ll spend a bit of extra time in the next section dissecting those plays.

    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.

    JOSH ALLEN

    Restrictive chalk. Allen is averaging 32.1 fantasy points per game and has scored more than 30 DraftKings points in four of five games. He has thrown for 300+ yards in three of five and scored multiple touchdowns through the air in four of five, adding 40+ yards rushing in four of five and two scores on the ground. There is nothing left to say about this man.

    ENO BENJAMIN

    Expansive chalk. Eno Benjamin is not explosive. He is not an amazing real-world NFL running back. That said, the Cardinals average 26.8 rush attempts per game, Benjamin has exactly four targets in every game he has played more than 14% of the offensive snaps, and Keaontay Ingram, a sixth-round rookie running back that has yet to be active this year, will be his only competition for touches this week. If Benjamin sees 80% of the yearly backfield usage for the Cardinals, he’s looking at a floor of 21 carries and 6 targets (41 running back targets through five games). All of that for a price of only $4,600 against the team allowing the second most DK points per game to opposing backfields (32.2) and second most points per game (30.8). Seattle has allowed 4.96 running back yards per carry on the season.

    RHAMONDRE STEVENSON

    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. The Patriots average 29.8 carries per game and are playing the team ranked 32nd in run DVOA, ceding 5.32 adjusted line yards on defense and 5.94 running back yards per carry to opposing backfields. Stevenson has averaged 5.5 yards per carry and should see the bulk of the work in New England’s backfield with only rookie Pierre Strong as backfield competition with Ty Montgomery still on IR and Damien Harris expected to miss multiple weeks with a hamstring injury.

    KENNETH WALKER

    Expansive chalk. Should be the unquestioned lead back for a Seattle team averaging only 22.0 rush attempts per game through five weeks. The Cardinals rank 12th in run DVOA, third in power success rate allowed, and sixth in stuffed rate, allowing 4.49 running back yards per carry. As you can probably tell by the tone, the situation is much worse for Walker than for the previous two backs.

    DARRELL HENDERSON

    Expansive chalk. Henderson will now get the bulk of the opportunities for the Rams after Cam Akers was ruled out for personal and/or team reasons. The Rams average the least rush attempts per game at 19.4 and have fed their backs only 20 targets all season (four per game). Their opponent, the Panthers, allows 4.81 running back yards per carry and 27.6 DK points per game to opposing backfields. Again, the situation is much worse for Henderson than the first two backs mentioned.

    TYLER LOCKETT

    Expansive chalk. The Cardinals have locked down opposing WR1s all season, meaning the field is likely to view Lockett as being in a blow-up spot with DK Metcalf likely to see Byron-Murphy-plus coverage. That said, the Cardinals allow only 30.6 total fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers and Lockett has seen double-digit targets only twice all season, scoring only two times along the way (both touchdowns came last week). Lockett has not suddenly become a volume wide receiver, meaning we should be looking to attack him at low ownership and look elsewhere at high ownership (his ownership this week is expected to be the highest of any wide receiver of any week this season).

    RONDALE MOORE

    Expansive chalk. Moore returned to the lineup in Week 4, immediately stepping into a near every down role (85% and 91% snap rates over the previous two weeks). That said, Antman has a stunningly low 20.0% targets per route run rate and a putrid 5.6 aDOT (hey, at least it’s in front of the line of scrimmage). He’s going to need to break a long one or score multiple times to provide a GPP-worthy score here.

    STEFON DIGGS

    Restrictive chalk. Diggs’ team target market share ranks 17th in the league (26.7%) and his route participation rate is hilariously low for an alpha wide receiver (81.6%, 52nd in the league). His unreal 36.7% red zone target rate makes up for a lot of that, but he’s going to need the crack the 100-yard bonus and score multiple times to return a viable score on his current salary. While that is within his range of outcomes, it’s closer to an 80%+ outcome than the field believes.

    TYLER HIGBEE

    Expansive chalk. The double-digit targets in three of five games are nice, but the 4.0 aDOT is not-so-nice. He has exactly one deep target on the season. His solid 20.8% red zone target rate means he likely has positive touchdown regression coming at some point, keeping him on the fringe for me this week.

    CHALK BUILD::

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    Relative Value Breakdown

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

    Better Play on Draftkings or Fanduel?

    Week 6

    Pricing can change the value of a play between Draftkings and Fanduel. Recognizing what plays are better values on each site based on scoring rules, the amount of cap space a player takes up, and points per dollar can create a sizable edge when building rosters. Here are Week 6 players that are best utilized on Draftkings or Fanduel.

    Geno Smith: FD $7.4k, 12.3% // DK $5.7k, 11.4% // Value on DK

    Smith has the second highest salary multiplier (3.7x) of all QB’s based on his average production (21.2) and price this week. He takes up .9% less of the cap on Draftkings and is the 10th priced QB. On Fanduel, he’s the ninth priced QB.

    Eno Benjamin: FD $6.3k, 10.5% // DK $4.6k, 9.2% // Value on DK

    James Conner is questionable this week and if he can’t play, Benjamin should get a lot of usage. He’s a good value on both sites, but he’s a little better on Draftkings where he’s only $4.6k. Benjamin is the 37th priced RB on Draftkings, but the 19th on Fanduel.

    Aaron Jones: FD $7.3k, 12.2% // DK $7.6k, 15.2% // 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 :: $6.2K

    Tom Brady
    Eno Benjamin
    Rhamondre Stevenson
    Mike Evans
    George Pickens
    Wan’Dale Robinson
    David Njoku
    Isaiah McKenzie
    Dolphins

    Join The Bottom-Up Build Contest On DraftKings!

    Buy-In:
    Free

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

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

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    Week 5 Winner:

    Astryk :: 207.2 points scored with $6k in cap space left over

    Zappe // Jeff Wilson // Breece // Lockett // Olave // Jakobi // Otton // Fournette // Cowboys


    Blue Chips

    Rhamondre Stevenson

    “Don’t complicate things that are simple.”

    New England has the eighth lowest pass rate over expectation, the number three offensive line by adjusted line yards, and a third-string rookie QB under center.

    The Browns rank dead last in both adjusted line yards on defense and run defense DVOA.

    Rhamondre played 54/54 snaps last week without Damien Harris. His backup this week will be rookie Pierre Strong, who has yet to be given a single snap on offense.

    Can this play disappoint? Absolutely. It’s not inconceivable that Rhamondre goes for 75 yards on the ground and 3-25 through the air, without scoring any touchdowns. You can make a case for not going here in tourneys (as you can with any player). But this is also sharp chalk, on a player who should see 25+ touches at an affordable price tag in a great matchup.

    “Light Blue” Chips

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    Build-Arounds

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    Building Blocks

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

    Mahomes + Kelce + Duvernay
    Cost: $20.5K DK // $23.1K FD
    Story:

    “Kansas City keeps pace with (or outscores) Buffalo, and Duvernay takes away points from Andrews to maximize your paths to a first-place finish.”

    Why It Works:

    I love this pairing because it doesn’t appear correlated, but it is. To be clear, it isn’t correlated in the conventional sense (“This player is doing well, so it increases the chances of this other player doing well”) outside of the obvious (Mahomes + Kelce), but it is correlated in terms of the deeper layers of DFS we always want to think about for our rosters :: “If I invest a lot of salary into this particular bet, what is my clearest path to a first-place finish?” If you invest a lot of salary into Kelce/Mahomes, your clearest path to a first-place finish is the other high-priced tight end (Andrews) coming in below expectations; and the likeliest way for that to happen is for Duvernay to be taking away points from him.

    How It Works:

    From my DFS Interpretations for this game :: when Kelce hits, Mahomes almost inevitably hits as well (Kelce’s last seven “hits,” starting from his most recent and going back to Week 1 of last year: 33.5 // 24.2 // 29.1 // 44.1 // 22.9 // 26.9 // 25.6 || Mahomes’ scores in those games :: 30.5 // 24.4 // 37.9 // 34.6 // 39.2 // 28.0 // 36.3), which means that if I’m playing Kelce, I’m likely playing Mahomes.

    Said differently: if you get your Kelce bet correct, Mahomes is practically a free square for you, which means it’s somewhat nonsensical to play Kelce and not take advantage of the big score you could automatically generate for your roster at QB — especially when you consider that most people don’t realize this, and therefore don’t complete their Kelce bet.

    While Mahomes is less likely than Josh Allen to have a big game, and Kelce is less likely than Mark Andrews to have a big game, the lower ownership we’re getting here makes this attractive, and the “if this, then this” bet that allows us to get two spots correct with one bet increases that attractiveness. Adding Duvernay gives you a really nice path to a first-place finish.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

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

    Brady + Evans + Pickens

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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 ::

    Josh Allen || Patrick Mahomes || Tom Brady || (Daniel Jones)

    RB ::

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    A Wrap ::

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

    -JM

    Mike’s Player Grid

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


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


    The Core

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

    Running Back ::
    Alvin Kamara

    We saw a vintage game and almost 30 touches for Kamara last week and his price barely moved while ownership looks modest. Taysom Hill won’t smash every week and the Saints are hurting for weapons. I’ll be going back to the well on Kamara.

    ENO BENJAMIN

    He’s a very solid player in close to the best possible matchup. His passing game chops make him fantasy friendly and his “base case”, barring injury, gives you a very solid score with a lot of upside for more.

    Rhamondre Stevenson, Kenneth Walker, Darrell Henderson, Breece Hall

    Let’s call a spade a spade. These guys are all going to be heavily owned but all have paths to failure (three of them are on teams that are underdogs). This makes it easy to say “fade the chalk!!”. The reality, however, is that it’s very unlikely they all fail given their price points, matchups, talent, and projected workloads. Each lineup will have its own story, but you need to be aware that if going outside the box at RB this week then if even two or three guys from this group plus Eno go for 20+ points, you’re going to need some monster RB scores from whoever you play in order to keep up.

    SIDE NOTES::

    • Christian McCaffrey – CMC has looked very good this year, the environment has just been really bad. His price is down to manageable levels and while he won’t be overlooked, he also won’t carry much ownership relative to his ceiling and his floor is really high given his pass game role. I think change is good in this scenario with PJ Walker getting him the ball and a new coaching staff.
    • Nick Chubb – he’s basically the ultimate leverage piece off Rhamondre Stevenson.
    • Jonathan Taylor – If we knew Jonathan Taylor was fully healthy and Nyheim Hines was out, he’d be a terrific GPP play at single-digit ownership and a $2k discount from his Week 2 price tag.
    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


    Welcome to PMR week! So much ownership and focus on the late games presents us with our most advantageous late swap week of the year. 

    I’ll be creating some clones that feature some lower-owned plays from the early games with the express purpose of building rosters before the lock of the late games. The informational advantage gained by knowing the results of 66% of the slate is one that the average DFS player is not utilizing nearly enough.

    Take a peek at my article from last season for a full explanation on my “Attack of the Clones” process.

    Thanks for your support last week. I’ll meet you in Discord on Sunday and we’ll tilt our faces off!

    Namaste n shit

    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

    Too hot, too cold, and just right. It’s Week 6 in the NFL season and I can say I’ve experienced each of these types of weeks through the first five main slates so far. Even if my “just right” might be slightly different than how you would define it.

    What is a lineup that is “just right” in DFS? Is it a tournament takedown? Is it giving yourself a chance to finish in the top 1% of a tournament before luck takes over? Is it finishing dead last in any GPP? I’ll argue it’s all three of these outcomes, at least it is for me. Too hot can be when we enter a GPP and we have a lineup that is duped (I’ll give up on DFS if that ever happens to me), and too cold is when we strayed WAY too far from the herd in order to build extremely low likelihood rosters. We always want to be in the just right state – embracing variance, being different in OUR own unique ways, and creating just the right combinations of off-the-radar plays coupled with some likely chalkier matchups. This is just right.

    Week 6

    When you enter lineups this Sunday, ask yourself, what you are doing differently than the field. Are you accepting this is Rhamondre Stevenson’s week and building around Buffalo and Kansas City? If you are, where are you finding cheap values and how thin are those players going to be? Are you ignoring the Eno Benjamins and Kenneth Walkers who provide salary relief in projected workhorse roles because paying up at running back will be different yet again this week? What about Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson? Can we fade them? And the same for Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews? DFS is hard. It should be. There are always going to be infinite questions around how we build. I will tell you what the answer to how you can successfully be different than the field will be this week . . . do not say no to all of these questions. There is a reason chalk is chalk. A reason Vegas stamps over/unders on games. A reason why value running backs complement a DFS lineup so well. Don’t be too cold and ignore all of these. Don’t be too hot and embrace all of these (not possible, but you catch my drift). Try to be just right by being unique, accepting risk, and if things break your way, maximizing your profit in the process.

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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 6 Topics

    1. Bye-Bye-Bye

    2. The Game Of The Year

    3. Rising Up

    4. Floating Plays, Week 6

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


    1. Bye-Bye-Bye

    The Question ::

    Our first week of “byes” in the 2022 season, the slate is down to 11 games this week and we also are starting to see injuries pile up around the league. These two factors of a smaller team/player pool and more clear “value” opportunities will likely lead to more “chalk” spots than we’ve seen in the first few weeks of the year. 

    Adding to that, we are coming off a week with a lot of high scoring and production coming in a lot of ways that we expected. The result of this was a very high rate of “chalk” hitting – with what basically amounted to one of the more popular cash game lineups of the week finishing in a 30+ way tie for 91st place in the Milly Maker and the Milly Maker winner having no players under 7.5% owned, something we rarely ever see. This also isn’t the first time this year we’ve seen a lot of “chalk” hitting, with Week 1 having a lot of chalk hit and Week 4 the super popular Lions pieces all went off, becoming a key to winning GPP’s.

    Taking all of that into account, how does it shape your approach to this week in terms of player selection and roster construction?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    Personally, it shapes my approach zero-percent. In my show with Overzet on Friday, I described the way I see it as…

    Essentially, you should have a style of play that is distinct to you. Every different “style of play” could be envisioned as occupying a space on a wheel, and each new DFS week, the wheel spins and lands on a particular spot on the wheel. Because I know what my “established style of play” is, I’m going to assess the unique components of every week and adapt accordingly, but I’m always going to do so through “what makes this slate unique through the lens of my style of play.” When “the wheel” misses my style of play, that’s fine, because on the weeks when it lands on my style of play, I’ll be there ready to take advantage.

    Said differently: I always adapt to the slate, but I never adapt to “what has happened most recently on the wheel.”

    Xandamere >>

    Look, we know the field as a whole has gotten better identifying “good chalk.” We’ve also seen the field getting somewhat smarter about building rosters when considering ownership…at least ownership of individual players (we see a lot of players in the mid ot high teens and a few in the low 20s, which is a far cry from Ye Olden Days of DFS when the chalkiest plays would get up to like 35-45% ownership, even in the Milly Maker).

    Chalk isn’t necessarily any more likely to hit than it used to be, but subdued ownership of chalk (except for the very “best” on-paper plays) and the infrequency of legitimately “bad” chalk does mean that we should be a little less sensitive to ownership than we should have been a few years ago. The game evolves, folks, and our ability to evolve with it (ideally, ahead of it!) is what makes us long-term profitable players. Ok, broad strokes stuff over.

    With regard to this week, lots of strong value at the RB position means a couple of important things: first, that a lot of rosters will look very similar with two or three of the chalk cheap RBs, and second, that because of the prevalence of these cheap chalk RBs, that draws ownership away from other strong plays at the RB position. This to me is the single largest distinguishing feature of the slate – lots of RB value means lots of rosters spending $6k or below on at least one RB spot, if not both. Just be aware of that dynamic, and if you build with 2x cheap RBs, make sure you’re doing different things elsewhere, while if you build without any of the cheap chalk RBs you can basically do whatever you want with your roster without worrying about ownership.

    Hilow >>

    As I’ve mentioned multiple times this season (in various places and forums), the field is much better at identifying good plays compared to even just a couple of years ago. That said, there are still places that the field has gone that I had considered “bad chalk” this season (Jamaal Williams two weeks ago, Jeff Wilson last week, etc etc). So, while we have to acknowledge the fact that the field is better at identifying plays in today’s DFS landscape, we also have to realize that there have been some higher-than-normal levels of variance at play early in the season this year. This has led to a lot of people around the industry generating some pretty knee-jerk (and sweeping) reactions to the chalk and its success rates early in the year, and I’m not convinced it is a sticky trend, rather high levels of variance.

    Through the lens of this week, most of the chalk at running back is “better chalk” than the past couple of weeks. Rhamondre Stevenson should see a floor of 22-25 running back opportunities in the nut matchup on the ground, with a legitimate ceiling for much, much more – at a price of “only” $6,000. Eno Benjamin provides a much higher floor than any other player priced below $5,000 and carries legitimate, touchdown-aided upside at cost. Ken Walker and Darrell Handerson are more in the “bad chalk” realm and are easy “if they beat me, so be it” fades to me.

    The final piece of this puzzle (and inarguably the most important) is the state of the slate. With only two games with notable game totals on the slate, we can be fairly certain where a good chunk of the ownership will be going – meaning it doesn’t take a whole hell of a lot to build around alternate game environments or do things the field isn’t doing. The decision matrix involves so much more than simply classifying plays as “good chalk” or “bad chalk,” which is why I made the switch from including those classifications in the End Around this year. Basically, on this particular slate, I feel we can make smart decisions elsewhere on rosters and not have to worry as much about differentiating rosters through the use of salary allocation. All of that was a lot of words to say “it depends, but on this slate I don’t see the need to get cute away from cheaper/value running backs.”

    Mike >>

    My approach doesn’t really change based on those results and recent trends. I believe my greatest strength is in building high upside rosters and understanding range of outcomes for teams and games, as well as identifying spots where players are most likely to hit their ceilings. I build with all of that in mind and ownership/”chalk” as an afterthought. Because of that, some weeks my lineups appear very “chalky” and other weeks they appear wildly “contrarian” – and I’ve had some monster weeks in both scenarios.


    2. The Game Of The Year

    The Question ::

    Just nine months ago, we were treated to one of the most entertaining football games we will likely ever see with the Bills and Chiefs trading blows in the AFC Divisional Round and combining for 78 points – 47 of which came in the last 21 minutes of the game (from the 2:06 mark in the 3rd quarter until the game ended just over four minutes into OT). Now in Week 6, we get the rematch and the NFL did us a solid by leaving it on the main slate. While these teams are still great offenses and rank 1st and 2nd in the league in scoring, a lot of things have changed since January. The Bills defense is much healthier and in sync than it showed in that meeting, allowing only 61 points through five games this year, and the Chiefs offense is very different due to the loss of Tyreek Hill – Hill had 11 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown in that game, while KC receivers have yet to have a 90+ yard game or catch a touchdown in the 2022 season. 

    Given the excitement surrounding this game and the fact that it is clearly the highest total game on the slate with only one other game even close to it – BUF // KC has a total of 54, ARI // SEA has a total of 50.5, and every other game on the slate has a total of 45.5 or less – how we approach this game is one of the critical decision points on the slate. 

    What are your expectations for this game and how do you expect to approach it in your builds?

    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.


    Back In The Bayou::

    Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase return to Louisiana where they each had incredible collegiate careers, setting records and winning a national championship. They will be greeted in their return by a Saints defense that has surrendered 20+ points in every game this season, including an average of 30 points per game over the past two weeks. The Saints will also be without top cornerback Marshon Lattimore and have multiple other defensive starters whose status is in question. Chase is a player that we know will have peaks and valleys due to the nature of his game, so finding a spot like this where he can erupt at a reasonable price tag is perfect for DFS tournaments. Tee Higgins is looking questionable at best heading into the week, further helping the cause of Chase’s potential target share – in the two games that Higgins left early with injury this season, Chase averaged 13 targets while averaging only 8.3 targets when Higgins plays full games. Last season we saw Joe Burrow’s monster games tied closely with Chase’s blow-ups, so stacking the two is especially wise in this spot with Burrow sure to be low-owned. You could even add Hayden Hurst to the mix, especially if Higgins is ruled out.

    Keeping Up With The Jones-es::

    Aaron Jones is a player with wild spike week potential, having several games of three or four touchdowns throughout his career. Now in a home game against the Jets defense that ranks 29th in the league in yards per carry allowed and coming off his season high in snap rate, Jones is in a prime eruption spot. The Packers are coming off an ugly loss to the Giants and have a lot of reasons to force the ball into the hands of their best playmaker, especially near the goal line. Jones is underpriced on Fanduel, making him an exceptional play. On Draftkings, Jones is overpriced for what he’s done this season and with all the RB value on the slate it makes him really hard to play – but that is precisely what makes him a great tournament option at sub-3% ownership with slate-breaking potential.

    Getting Defensive ::

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    Afternoon-Only

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

    Finding an Edge

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

    Ownership Strategy

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

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

    QB STRATEGY

    My guess on the order of QB ownership:

    1. Josh Allen ~35-40%
    2. Geno Smith ~20%
    3. Kyler Murray ~10-15%
    4. Patrick Mahomes ~10-15%
    5. Matthew Stafford ~10%
    6. PJ Walker ~3%
    • Once again, we are looking at a situation where over half the field will be building their lineups around one game. The ARI // SEA game should also be pretty popular, with the CAR // LAR game accounting for a very small percentage of lineups at the QB position (which we know most people then build the rest of their lineups around). 
    • A really cool way I am seeing to attack this slate and get unique is to build lineups around that BUF // KC game but then substitute Kyler Murray in for Allen or Mahomes. In Murray’s games where he scores in the 30-point range, he usually does a lot of damage with his legs which means he could match Allen and Mahomes while giving you around $1k extra in salary to play with for the rest of your roster, and he could do so while not bringing much with him from his own game. Something like Kyler + Eno + ARI D with no WR or TE from the Cardinals and no bring back from the Seahawks, and then 2 players from each of BUF and KC would be really unique and basically just tells the story of “Arizona wins handily, none of Seattle pieces have monster games, and BUF // KC meets game expectations but Kyler matches Allen // Mahomes.” 
    • As we talked about last week, playing the “low owned” game (likely the Rams side) only has value for making you unique if you do some other things in a creative way. This is because of the clear path for the rest of your roster that you are put on once you start out with Stafford + Kupp, because of the high price tags, and the likelihood that most other rosters on the short slate look very, very similar.

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