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The Scroll Week 6

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    Week 6 Angles ::

    OWS Fam!

    Welcome to Week 6.

    There are only two teams on bye this week, but with a London game, we end up with only 11 games on the Main Slate.

    Missing from the Main Slate are some marquee quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Justin Herbert, along with a pair of elite tight ends (Kelce // Andrews), and a couple alpha wideout options (Diggs // Keenan). One interesting component introduced by this list, however, is that these offenses are relatively narrow (in terms of upside production), which doesn’t actually remove a large volume of “pay attention to” names from the slate.

    Tony Pollard, Derrick Henry, and Austin Ekeler are missing from the running back pool, and running back pricing on DraftKings is finally starting to shake out a bit closer to what it should actually look like, with a large gap between Christian McCaffrey and all the other guys. With McCaffrey playing against the rugged Browns defense and plenty of mid-tier backs in solid matchups or game environments, the typical roster construction approach from the field should be relatively clear.

    Shockingly, this slate offers us only two teams with implied totals north of 24.75, with one of those teams being the Dolphins all the way up at 31.0 for their clash against the 0-5 Panthers. The Rams are the only other team within shouting distance of the Dolphins, with an implied total of 27.75 at home against the Cardinals. (It’s probably safe to assume that both of these running backs will be popular this week.)

    While the implied totals don’t look attractive away from these two offenses, we still have an interesting slate with plenty of opportunities for upside.

    From “game environment” perspectives ::

    The Commanders and Falcons carry a paltry Over/Under of 42.5, but the Commanders have seen 60+ points scored in three of their five contests, and they have allowed 33+ points to four of five opponents. The Falcons are capable of putting up points, and the Commanders have the firepower to keep pace if this happens.

    The Vikings are missing Justin Jefferson, and the Bears defense is trending more toward “below average” than “downright awful,” while the same could be said about a Vikings defense taking on an inconsistent Bears offense. The Over/Under here is 44.5…but would it surprise us if these two teams that have combined for seven games (in 10 tries) over that total end up playing to a higher-scoring affair?

    The Bengals defense appears to be rounding into form, but the Seattle defense is tough on the ground (second in run defense DVOA) and has been bad against the pass, and the Seattle offense is almost always going to find a way to keep pace when an opponent is scoring points. This game has an Over/Under of 45.0, but a much higher-scoring outcome is well within the viable range of outcomes.

    The Jags scored 31 points against the Colts the last time these teams met, and a similar outcome wouldn’t be surprising here. The Colts aren’t set up great for a similar output, but it’s still something they are capable of doing — especially if the Jags are paving the way on offense for this type of game environment to develop. This game has an Over/Under of 45.5, but a more exciting game could develop.

    And from an “individual player” perspective ::

    Tyreek Hill // Cooper Kupp // Ja’Marr Chase // Davante Adams // Puka Nacua // A.J. Brown // Amon-Ra St. Brown // Jaylen Waddle // Mike Evans // DeVonta Smith // Chris Godwin // DK Metcalf // Calvin Ridley // Chris Olave // D.J. Moore are all on this slate, and they all have 35 DK points within their ranges of outcomes. Some have a better shot at getting there than others, but this slate is full of interesting wideout options.

    Alongside these guys, we have Travis Etienne coming off a 39-point DK game, Alvin Kamara coming off back-to-back games with 24+ touches, Kyren Williams in a great matchup, Raheem Mostert potentially seeing a few more touches, and several other backs worth considering from there.

    Put it all together, and this shapes up as a really fun week. Although game totals are low, potential for 30-point scores feels high, which should make for fun tourney play.

    I’m looking forward to diving deeper into what this slate provides, and to hanging out with you on the site throughout the weekend.

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    Shoutout To Those Who Took The Plunge ::

    If you joined Props Insider last week and bet full units on all recommended bets, you paid for your subscription.

    Props Insider profit is now at $9,837 — before NBA has tipped off. Last year, we made 92 units ($9,200) in NBA alone!

    If you’re looking for edges and wanting to maximize the money you’re able to make through DFS and related areas, Props Insider is a good place to be. Remember: these inefficiencies in the prop-betting market might not be here in four or five years, so this is the time to maximize the money you can make in this area. (Those who bought this package at the beginning could legitimately end up making $15,000 to $20,000 on the year. From betting props. Which is absolutely nuts!)

    Along those lines :: the start of NBA season is typically a good time for exploiting inefficiencies. (As I learned last year: You don’t have to follow the sport; you just have to follow the bets!)

    Hopefully I’ll see you in Props Insider soon. (Only 204 spots left!)

    And I’ll see you at the top of the leaderboards on Sunday.

    -JM

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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

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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 you’ll see when you get to the section below, Week 6 is the week of running back chalk. There are currently seven (SEVEN) running backs that are projected to be on more than 20 percent of rosters in play, with one major fulcrum chokepoint in Chuba Hubbard (for his low salary). As for the state of the slate, we have zero games above a 50-point game total and there are only two teams with a Vegas implied team total approaching or surpassing four touchdowns – the Dolphins (30.75) and Rams (27.75). Every other team carries a Vegas implied team total of 24.25 (Bengals) or lower. But beyond that macro view, this slate is setting up to have a large portion of rosters put together via extremely similar roster constructions, which is something we will always look to leverage away from. As we have largely handled slates in this “down scoring” year, we can gain significant leverage and boosts to expected value (EV) by searching for teams that outperform expectations.

    On that note, I suggested in Discord recently that the dynamics of the running back position in DFS are likely changing. Basically, projection systems seem to have achieved the required sample size to back-test their algorithms enough to provide more narrowed median projections, leading to a state of equilibrium developing about the most projectable position – running back. Whether or not we have reached full equilibrium remains to be seen (still a relatively small sample size of 1.3 seasons, or about 24 iterations), but the recent hit rates of chalk at running back are startling. That said, we absolutely can’t simply look to ownership to judge a play. Rather, we should not let ownership scare us away from good on-paper plays simply for the sake of attempting to generate leverage, which would, by definition, simply dent expected value without generating an offsetting (and important) boost to expected value. For those who are familiar with my works in Game Theory (read my courses or listen to the Best Ball + series from this offseason) that should sound familiar. For those that haven’t, a quick crash course.

    Equilibrium occurs when no agent or player can gain an appreciable edge through taking an action away from theoretical optimal, which could be defined as “playing the best on-paper plays at the running back position” for this discussion. An exploit is defined as an action straying from theoretical optimal designed to take advantage of field tendencies through observations of other agents (or players) in a game. Typically, we take exploitative actions because we gain a boost in EV greater than the loss in EV from the exploit itself. Because every deviation away from theoretical optimal will dent EV, this boost is necessary for profitable play, otherwise, we should simply stick to theoretical optimal action. If projection systems are at or approaching equilibrium at the running back position, we theoretically cannot gain that boost to EV to offset the loss in EV from the deviation or exploit.

    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.

    RAHEEM MOSTERT

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. There are only two teams on this slate with a Vegas implied team total around or surpassing four touchdowns. The Dolphins lead the way with a hefty 30.75 team total (the other is the Rams at 27.75). No other team has an implied team total over 24.25 (Jaguars). The Dolphins are also expected to be extremely thin at running back with De’Von Achane now on injured reserve and Jeff Wilson likely not ready to be activated in time for Week 6. That leaves just Raheem Mostert, Salvon Ahmed, and Chris Brooks as healthy backs for Miami against the sieve-like run defense of the Panthers, who rank dead last in run DVOA, allow 1.46 yards before contact per carry (25th), and surrender 4.9 yards per carry this season. The Dolphins lead the league in explosive rush rate. It all adds up here. That said, Mostert is highly unlikely to see more than 20-22 running back opportunities, instead likely to cede work to some combination of Ahmed and Brooks, meaning there are at least some things outside of the matchup and previous production to think about.

    CHRISTIAN KIRK

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. Christian Kirk has seen 40 targets over his previous four games, during which time Zay Jones has either been out of the lineup or left early with injury. Jones will miss Week 6, leaving a combination of Tim Jones and Jamal Agnew to soak up the snaps leftover behind Kirk, Calvin Ridley, and tight end Evan Engram. The Colts play some of the heaviest rates of Cover-3 in the league, a defensive alignment that typically benefits opposing WR1s and the tight end, neither of which Kirk is. To put this play in context, Kirk has averaged 10 targets per game in his last four games, is priced at just $5,400, and plays for the team with the third highest Vegas implied team total. What is lost in that discussion is a modest (to put it lightly) 7.4 aDOT (87th), 1.84 yards per route run (41st), and elite man coverage route win rate (55.1 percent, sixth). The team’s zone-beater (and Cover-3-beater) is Calvin Ridley, who appears to be going largely overlooked on this slate.

    CHUBA HUBBARD

    EXPANSIVE CHALK. Per Draftsharks’ Jared Smola, Miles Sanders and Chuba Hubbard combine to average 19.2 carries and 7.6 targets per game this season. Sanders is out for Week 6 and head coach Frank Reich indicated this week that he expects Hubbard to soak up most of the backfield work in the absence of Sanders. While we can’t simply extrapolate those workload values to a backup running back on a team listed as the largest underdog on the week, we can expect lead back plus usage from Hubbard on a team that targets the running back position heavily. All wrapped up in a $4,300 salary on DraftKings. Can Hubbard reach the 100-yard rushing threshold, see four to six targets, and find paint in this spot (which would return a GPP-viable score)? His efficiency metrics this season seem to indicate it is well within his range of outcomes here, with the biggest uncertainty involving the expected game environment.

    KYREN WILLIAMS

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. Kyren Williams has scored multiple touchdowns in three of five games this season, one of which came while sharing the backfield with Cam Akers. Even so, he has broken 100 yards just once in five games (it took 25 carries), his 3.8 true yards per carry ranks 37th in the league, and he has just one breakaway run on 77 carries. The matchup is good, the opportunity is good, but he is lacking talent, leaving paths to failure that the field might not be fully accounting for in this spot.

    JA’MARR CHASE

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK. We have talked about Ja’Marr Chase and head coach/offensive play caller Zac Taylor more than any other team, player, or coach this season, and for good reason. Taylor has shown extreme inconsistency in game planning and game management, primarily struggling to exploit two-high defensive looks and Cover-3, of which he will see a ton against the Seahawks in Week 6. While Joe Burrow’s calf looked a little healthier in Week 5, he still played almost exclusively from the gun. That limits a few things against the previously mentioned defensive alignments. Expected yards per carry suffers, pre-snap motioning ability lessens, and the offense becomes more constrained to higher rates of short area work. That places an increased emphasis on stringing drives together and a need to overcome longer down and distance situations due to an ineffective run game. Those should only be amplified against an extreme pass-funnel Seahawks defense that ranks second in run DVOA. Can Chase (and Taylor) overcome those limitations? Sure, they can, they have in two of their previous three games! That said, when things don’t come together, the team and Chase could fail hard.

    JOSH JACOBS

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Josh Jacobs, like Kyren Williams, carries extreme usage and massive share of team running back opportunities but has struggled with efficiency this season. His 2.87 yards per carry is lightyears behind where he was in 2022 when he took home the rushing title. The matchup against a struggling Patriots defense is worse than perception as New England ranks ninth in run DVOA and is holding opponents to just 3.6 yards per carry behind 1.27 yards allowed before contact this season. Jacobs is unlikely to break 100 yards in this spot, meaning he is likely going to need robust passing volume and multiple scores to pay off his price tag in this spot. In other words, he is highly unlikely to sink you for playing him (due to volume) but equally as unlikely to return a ”had to have it” score.

    ALVIN KAMARA

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK. 24 running back opportunities in both games since returning to the team from his three game suspension speaks volumes for Alvin Kamara in New Orleans. The Texans hold opposing backs to 1.29 yards before contact per carry but have struggled with missed tackles at an elevated rate, leading to a “still not terrible” 3.9 yards per carry allowed. Their primary shortcoming against the run is the eight rushing scores allowed through five games, which is tied for 30th in the league. Kamara’s efficiency metrics have been down over the previous three seasons since taking on a larger rushing workload, which has remained true in 2023 with a 4.0 true yards per carry (31st), 3.7 yards per touch (42nd), and low 14.3 percent juke rate (39th).

    TRAVIS ETIENNE

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK. Travis Etienne has always had the burst and vision to rip off chunk gains. He had been missing volume, which he now holds in spades (80.6 percent opportunity share ranks fifth in the league). Still, he has seen just eight red zone touches through five weeks, three of which came in the team’s Week 5 game in London. Was that a signal of more red zone work moving forward, or was that noise associated with a single game sample size? Your guess is as good as mine, but questions still remain.

    EVAN ENGRAM

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. Evan Engram has exactly eight targets in each of his last four games, which aligns with the four games in which Zay Jones has either missed or not made it through due to knee injuries. As we noted above, Cover-3 defensive alignments typically filter additional volume to opposing tight ends, albeit with fewer chances for chunk gains and broken plays due to the increased number of defensive personnel in the middle of the field with their eyes in the backfield (on the quarterback). Consider Engram a high floor, moderate ceiling play against the Colts.

    JOE MIXON

    NEITHER RESTRICTIVE NOR EXPANSIVE CHALK. Really, we’re doing this again with Joe Mixon? Mixon has been one of the most inefficient backs during the previous two seasons and now must overcome taking most of his handoffs from a quarterback in the gun. He was stuffed two more times on goal-to-go attempts from the one last week.

    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


    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 :: $6.4K

    Desmond Ridder
    Chuba Hubbard
    D’Andre Swift
    Drake London
    Christian Kirk
    Josh Downs
    Jonnu Smith
    DJ Moore
    49ers

    Join The Bottom-Up Build Contest On DraftKings!

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    Sunday Morning Update

    As always, not much different from what was expected.

    Highest-owned QBs in my pool are Burrow // Stafford, followed by Fields. In a tier below, I have essentially equal shares of Trevor Lawrence, Josh Dobbs, Geno Smith, and Desmond Ridder.

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    Blue Chips

    D’Andre Swift

    Okay. So. Yeah.

    I’ll assume that most of you who actually read the Player Grid (rather than just glancing through the names) do your reading from the top down. Against this assumption, I’ll go ahead and use this space to provide some background for this week’s Player Grid.

    We know that touchdowns are the most unpredictable, high-variance element in statistical output. Obviously, we can pay attention to red zone (and inside-the-10) usage; we can pay attention to offensive philosophies; and we can pay attention to a team’s expected scoring output on the week. All of these can help. But our baseline, before these elements, should be recognizing that pre-touchdown fantasy production can be a useful metric in understanding a player’s true value. By taking away touchdowns, we’re able to better assess the floor from which a player’s (touchdown-driven) ceiling can spring.

    If you’ve been on OWS for any significant length of time, you’ve seen me use “pre-touchdown fantasy scoring” from time to time. This is a stat I’ll be leaning on in a number of areas this week…

    …and it’s this stat that has Swift popping as a Blue Chip for me.

    Some notable (per-game) pre-touchdown fantasy scoring numbers (DraftKings scoring)

    • 16.2 :: Josh Jacobs’ elite pre-TD fantasy scoring last year (he’s at 13.1 this year, in a small sample size)
    • 10.9 :: Kenneth Walker’s career pre-TD fantasy scoring (part of the reason I roster him less often than the field, and part of the reason he’s topped 20 DK points only three times so far in his career)
    • 8.2 :: Travis Etienne’s 2022 pre-TD fantasy scoring output (even this year, he’s only at 11.2; again, part of the reason I roster him less often than the field — though he’s a different case than Walker, as Etienne’s production tends to be more concentrated within individual games)
    • 15.4 :: Bijan Robinson’s borderline-elite pre-TD fantasy scoring output through the first five games of his career
    • 21.3 :: The “WTF” pre-TD fantasy scoring output for Cooper Kupp since the start of 2021
    • 19.3 :: The “WTF” pre-TD fantasy scoring output for Tyreek Hill since joining the Dolphins
    • 16.9 :: The “not as good as people might think, but still excellent” pre-TD fantasy scoring output for Ja’Marr Chase in 2022
    • 17.7 :: D’Andre Swift’s pre-TD fantasy scoring across four games as the Eagles’ lead back

    So…yeah. Swift a Blue Chip, because while we’re dealing with a small sample size here, it’s not as if we have these numbers skewed by “one outlier game,” or by a circumstance we’re unlikely to see again.

    To be clear, I’m not “playing Swift on 100% of rosters,” or even necessarily rostering him at a higher rate than the running backs in the Light Blue section. “Blue Chip” doesn’t signify that I’m rostering him at a particular rate, or that you should play him with absolute, unbreakable confidence, “knowing for sure he’ll have a big game.” I also don’t expect him to stay in the 17.7-point range for the entire season. But he can absolutely stretch a 15-point average across the season given his talent, role, and offense, which means he should be priced several notches higher than where he’s priced at the moment (low- to mid-$7ks). This makes him a play that stands out among the rest this week.

    “Light Blue” Chips

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    Build-Arounds

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    Building Blocks

    Home Warriors
    Ridder + London + Jonnu (or Pitts)
    Story:

    “Washington is awful against the pass”

    Why It Works:

    49.8 // 23.3 // 36.5 // 55.6

    Those are the combined scores of this block from Weeks 2 through 5.

    At $13.2k in salary, the first and fourth scores are at or above a 200-point pace, while the second and third scores are roster wreckers.

    Commanders games have had 60+ combined points in three of five games, and the Commanders have allowed four of five opponents to score 30+. While they rank 16th in DVOA against the run, they rank 28th against the pass. Desmond Ridder has also topped 30 pass attempts in four of five games this year, after doing so in only one of four games last year. It won’t be surprising if this block hits for 50 to 55 points in about half their games the rest of the way this year…and at these salaries, that would mean “a 50% chance at a 200-point pace.” You can’t find that in many other places.

    How It Works:

    While a 200-point pace is nice, 50 to 55 points from three players isn’t in the range of “separators,” which means you’ll still need to do something different in other spots on your roster. If this block hits, however, you have a really nice starting point from which the rest of your roster can be built.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

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

    Run It Back

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    Bink Machine

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

    Jags Pass Spread

    Ridley // Kirk // Engram cost $16.6k in combined salary and have combined to average 37 pre-touchdown DraftKings points per game (effectively making them a full block that’s “a bit underpriced relative to usage-driven floor,” with plenty of touchdown-driven ceiling from there). On a concentrated offense, with Zay Jones off the field, it’s likely that at least one of these guys posts a really nice price-considered (or price/position-considered) score, with a decent shot at two of these guys producing. In spots like this, I like to take all the players from the block and spread them across my builds, knowing that this positions me for “everything to line up” on whatever rosters have “the guy who hits” (or “the guys who hit”) at the highest levels. You could obviously force this setup with min/max exposures on the individual players, but this particular rule ensures that you won’t have two of these players on a roster together, and ensures that at least 70% of your builds will have one of these three guys.

    Notice, there is no anchor set on this rule. This rule says, “On 70% of my rosters, make sure that exactly one player from this pool is represented.”

    Vikings Pass Spread

    Interestingly, this block of players costs almost the exact same as the Jags block (Jags block is $16.6k; Vikings is $16.7k). This group of players PLUS Jefferson has produced 45.8 pre-touchdown DK points per game. The loss of Jefferson could comfortably be said to take about four completions and 40 yards away from Kirk Cousins’ production, (putting this group in the same general range as the Jags pieces), but with this production likely to settle on this group of three guys, it’s likely that one or two ends up posting a really nice score. Same as the Jags rule above, this forces exposure to this pool of players across a set of builds.

    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 ::

    Ridder || Dobbs || Stafford || Burrow || Fields || (I may end up adding some Tua to tighter builds as well)

    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 ::

    There are stark differences this week in how pricing sets up between the sites (Fanduel and Draftkings), so I am going to list which RBs I prefer on each this week. The order of preference may change slightly before lock, but these are the pools I’ll primarily be looking to use on each site::

    Draftkings
    • Raheem Mostert – The best offense in football facing the worst run defense in football while the Dolphins will be without two of their top three RBs leaving Mostert in a clear lead role. Not a lot to dissect here, Mostert is a terrific play whose Draftkings price is very affordable. The biggest “risk” is probably the Dolphins getting out to a huge early lead where Miami is able to protect him for half the game.
    • Kenneth Walker – Walker has handled 17 or more opportunities in every game this year and his offensive line is now healthier than it has been all year in a matchup against a bottom-3 run defense by most metrics.
    • Kyren Williams – Williams is seeing over 80% of the RB work for the team with the second-highest implied total on the slate. Arizona’s defense has been exposed in consecutive weeks and Williams has an affordable price.
    • Alvin Kamara – Talent, volume, and matchup are terrific for Kamara. The potential game environment isn’t great with a game total of only 43, but there are only two games on this slate with totals over 45, so I’m not as worried about that as I might normally be.
    • Chuba Hubbard – Very cheap and in a workhorse role. Hubbard has two or more targets in every game this season in addition to the 24 targets of Miles Sanders. Hubbard has also been surprisingly efficient this season and this game could get opened up in a hurry. Hubbard should have every opportunity to get 80-100 yards from scrimmage with a few catches and the potential to score a touchdown simply by being on the field so much.
    • D’Onta Foreman – Foreman is a talented running back who was very good last year. He should handle the overwhelming majority of backfield work for the Bears in a non-prohibitive matchup at a very low price tag.
    Fanduel
    • Travis Etienne – Etienne has been terrific this season and is seizing control of the backfield. This offense is starting to hit its stride and is coming off a huge win over the Bills and heading into their bye week. The Colts are not an imposing run defense and Etienne has one of the best workloads in the league.
    • Bijan Robinson – I still believe in Robinson as a stand-out talent and he is now priced in the middle tier of his position on the site. Bijan is simply too good to not have a game with 2+ touchdowns eventually and what better time for it than against a team giving up 30+ points every week?
    • D’Andre Swift – An elite talent with a good matchup and the Eagles offense is due for some positive TD regression soon. The Jets defense is pretty beat up right now and this could be the spot where Swift really takes advantage of his bell cow role for the Philadelphia offense. 
    • Joe Mixon – Mixon is the bell cow for a very good offense in a good matchup. I don’t dislike him on Draftkings, but the salary savings on that site from Mixon to Hubbard and Foreman is significantly more than what you save on Fanduel. He’s seeing enough volume and the offense is good enough that he should have some TDs coming soon (remember his 5 TD game last year?), so given the scoring settings he’s a guy I’m fine banking on here.
    • David Montgomery – In what is expected to be a very competitive game, Montgomery should be heavily involved both on the ground and in the passing game. He has 6 TDs through four games and is a good bet for one or two more this week. 
    • Chris Brooks // Salvon Ahmed – Fanduel’s minimum price for running backs was $4,500 for many years but this year they changed it to $4,000. Both of these backs are priced below the old minimum and it’s very likely that one of them gets extensive work in a blowout. Ahmed entered the season ahead of Brooks but was a healthy scratch last week in favor of Brooks who now appears to have the upper hand. Look for reports out of Miami heading into the game, but these price tags are incredibly low and I can’t imagine the Dolphins give Mostert more carries than they have to as they face the Eagles next week.

    Tight End :: 

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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 6 DFS! This week features a lack of high total games. The two slate toppers are CAR // MIA (47.5) and ARZ // LAR (48.5), both of which feature a team that is favored by over a touchdown. The highest total projected competitive game SEA // CIN (45) comes in third and is expected to draw significant ownership. This week is going to feature a lot of fragile chalk. However, what really defines this week isn’t the lack of high total game environments, it’s injuries as all of James Conner, Justin Jefferson, Devin Achane, Jeff Wilson Jr., Kahlil Herbert, Roschon Johnson, Travis Homer, Zay Jones, Jahmyr Gibbs, Miles Sanders, Anthony Richardson, and Deshaun Watson are all expected to miss this week. Their absence opens an opportunity for a plethora of mispriced guys who can all factor into lineups. With that in mind, let’s get to this week’s pieces!

    Pawn – RB D’Onta Foreman ($4,400)

    There is no one else left in the Bears backfield. After being brought in as a free agent (one year, two million), and being draft around pick 165 in Best Ball drafts, D’Onta Foreman has been a surprisingly healthy inactive the last four weeks. Expected to compete for touches, and even the favorite to win a goal line role, Foreman clearly fell out of favor with the coaching staff. Cue injuries to Kahlil Herbert, Roschon Johnson, and Travis Hosmer, and Foreman is currently the only healthy back on the Bears roster other than Khari Blasingame (a blocking fullback) and Robert Burns who is a practice squad player. Foreman is in line for 20 touches because the ball must go somewhere, and that kind of volume, in a good matchup, can’t be ignored at near min price.

    Knight – TE Evan Engram ($4,500)

    IND // JAX is a great game environment and I debated recommending Trevor Lawrence, Christian Kirk, Calvin Ridley, and Josh Downs in one of these spaces. Ultimately, Engram made the cut as the absence of Zay Jones and a heavy zone scheme from the Colts put the mispriced-for-PPR tight end over the top. Engram has seen eight targets per game the past four weeks and feels like a lock to produce 10 DK points with Zay set to miss this game. Engram still hasn’t found the end zone this year, and whatever game he ends up scoring, he’ll be an incredibly valuable play. This week is as good a bet as any that Engram finds the end zone. He’s an upside piece, with a safe floor. 

    Bishop – RB Raheem Mostert ($6,400)

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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

    Play Em’ All

    Damnit! I told Mrs. Sonic that I’d lighten my DFS load this week and take her out for an extended Saturday night date. But after delving into this slate, I’ve realized that I want as much exposure to these games as possible. Sadly, this makes it less likely that I’ll be exposing myself to Mrs. Sonic. 

    This is a tough game we play. 

    There are plenty of good plays on this slate that will come in at double-digit ownership. We’re going to want plenty of those guys. Our mission here is to find some contrarian spots and correlations to offset our chalky pieces.

    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.

    Nico Collins/Chris Olave

    These two appear to be falling into my “ride or die” bucket this season. They both have those attributes that make for a great GPP play. 

    • Ascending NFL talents heading toward “alpha” status
    • Capable of achieving tournament-winning scores on less than three plays
    • Both under 8% ownership

    I don’t want to watch these guys catch back-to-back long touchdowns on Sunday, only to scramble to my laptop and see that I’m under the field.

    Jakobi Meyers/Mike Gesicki

    In three games where they were both on the field, Jimmy Garoppolo has targeted Meyers 10, 12, and 10 times. This has resulted in non-touchdown DK scores (shoutout to JMToWin) of 17.1, 15.5, and 14.5 points. Add the fact that six of Jakobi’s targets have come inside the 10-yard line, and we have a solid play at $5800 and 11% ownership.

    Yes, the Josh McDaniels/Jakobi Meyers/Jimmy G trio would love to pile up points against the Patriots and kick Bill Belichick while he’s down. But it’s not even necessary to put faith in revenge narratives here. It’s clear that Jimmy loves Jakobi like Joannie loves Chachi. 

    Gesicki is just here because he’s a cheap tight end ($2600). New England clearly spent this week searching for touchdowns and big plays, and Juju Smith-Schuster and Demario Douglas are both out. Kendrick Bourne is projecting among the top five owned receivers, while Gesicki should be around 3%. Do I think Bourne has 5x the chance of producing a ceiling game? No.

    Jaylen Waddle/Adam Thielen 

    This is a large-tournament, ownership-driven, leverage-against-teammates play. 

    Yes, I get paid by-the-hyphen. 

    The Dolphins don’t need the Panthers to keep pace to eclipse their implied point total, but it sure would help. There will be three significant chalk pieces in this game with Raheem Mostert (27%), Tyreek Hill (18%), and Chuba Hubbard (25%) drawing clicks. 

    Waddle is currently projected for less than 3% ownership. No one is going to want to have multiple Panthers in a lineup, so Thielen’s number shouldn’t get much higher than 10%. 

    We’re still waiting on the Waddle breakout, but at 13% ownership combined, he and Thielen make for an interesting pairing.

    Amon-Ra St. Brown/Mike Evans 

    This game is supposed to be a slow-paced slog, but what if it isn’t? These are the guys that would ignite this environment. 

    • Each capable of earning 8+ targets
    • Under 10% combined ownership

    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

    One of the most undervalued powers we all possess is our power to think. But the levels at which we think can vary. For most people, our daily and weekly routines don’t require very complex and original thinking. That’s why they are called routines. Most of us can typically get through and even excel in our day-to-day operations just by observing and acting. Thinking can be basic and thin or leveled and deep, and in the game of DFS, I’ll argue the best type of thinking is leveled, and deep.

    Poker players know what I am talking about when I talk about the levels of thinking. This is put simply by David Sklansky in his book No Limit Hold’em: Theory and Practice (there are actually six total, but three make the point). Here are his levels of thinking in poker: 

    • Level 0: No thinking
    • Level 1: What do I have?
    • Level 2: What do they have?
    • Level 3: What do they think I have?  

    We want to be Level 3 thinkers at all times. DFS is a game, and since we are striving to beat many, many different rosters in tournaments, we have to know our rosters, think about theirs, and think about what they are not thinking about to outmaneuver the competition. This is why I write Willing to Lose. It’s to explore the edges of thinking required to make you feel uncomfortable because we either A) haven’t seen it before; B) haven’t seen it in a while; or C) haven’t even thought about it happening.

    I play DFS for this excitement. To watch so-called chalk players succeed and fail. To watch games ignite into unexpected shootouts, and to do this with a modest bankroll since this is intended to be fun and competitive while getting immersed in the allure of making a lot of money while we play. For these consistent reasons, here are some players and overlooked spots I am seeing this Sunday . . . 

    Bijan Robinson + Davante Adams

    For a Sunday slate, the running back pool is thin at the top where it’s Christian McCaffrey and then everybody else. But if we’re looking for a guy to put in a tier near CMC, it’s Bijan this week. He was my first thought this week for the following reasons: disappointment at chalk last week, the “he splits carries with Tyler Allgeier” narrative, and his insane explosiveness. Ownership aside, this is everything we look for to target players in this space every week. He was chalky last week for good reason (matchup vs. Texans) and disappointed with their focus on stopping the run and making Desmond Ridder beat them. Spoiler alert: he did.

    On the fact of whether or not Robinson splits carries with Allgeier, he does in neutral or Falcons-leading game scripts, and inside the five yard line, but overall it’s really not a contest. Sure, we’d feel more comfortable if Allgeier’s snap rate declined a bit but in most metrics that matter, this is Bijan’s backfield. For comparison, I used Fantasy Life’s neat Player Comparison tool:

    Lastly, on Bijan’s explosiveness, he fits the mold of a running back we know is capable of going over 100 yards even with limited opportunity. In fact, I did a quick search on RBs to have over 100 yards rushing with 15 or fewer carries in a game in the last two seasons and there have been 18 instances, including Bijan in Week 4. Others on this list include De’Von Achane, Nick Chubb, CMC, Austin Ekeler, Tony Pollard, and many more (mostly trusted fantasy running backs along with a few outliers like Kenyan Drake and Chuba Hubbard). We want guys who can explode on limited volume. Bijan fits the mold every week, and while he won’t be completely overlooked this week, the timing is right to be overweight on him in a low(ish) total game vs. Washington. 

    Davante Adams is the other player who jumped off the screen to me this week when thinking about this Week 6 slate. He effectively busted on Monday Night Football in what should have been his Green Bay revenge game on National TV (4/45/0). He also has a game this season of 20 targets, with 13 catches against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who play a lot of man coverage. This week he gets Bill Belichick and the Patriots man-heavy defense who are undermanned, even if we think they can scheme to stop him.

    Just thinking about the player, salary, and ownership notwithstanding, he’s in another boring matchup featuring two of the league’s bottom three scoring teams. He’s coming off a sub-par game in front of many and has a matchup he can consistently win. Without Christian Gonzalez, and with last week’s game script dictated by the Saints dominance, New England didn’t need to be passed all over. Fair to say many will like the matchup on paper for Davante this week but being similarly priced with Ja’Marr Chase, and just above AJ Brown, Puka Nacua, Jaylen Waddle, and ARSB, I like the odds that most will click elsewhere leaving Adams at modest ownership on a condensed Raiders target tree.

    Tua + Raheem + Waddle

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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. A Tradition Unlike Any Other

    2. Running Back Bonanza

    3. Pretender // Sleeping Giant

    4. Floating Plays

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


    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    The Question ::

    A weekly staple of The Oracle, what makes this slate particularly unique?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    There are three things that really stand out to me about this slate as being “particularly unique.”

    Firstly, we’re missing Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert, while Jalen Hurts is facing the Jets and Tua Tagovailoa is in a spot where A) the Dolphins should be in control, and B) it’s easier to run than it is to pass. Obviously, this isn’t to say that Hurts and Tua can’t hit, but we have a squeezed-down week at QB, where the eye is more drawn toward the middle range of pricing.

    Secondly, we’re missing Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry, and Austin Ekeler, and DraftKings is finally starting to price running backs more appropriately for their roles in the modern NFL. The one true “do it all back” (CMC) is priced well above the other guys, in a matchup and game environment that might not be conducive to a “had to have it” game. Same as Hurts and Tua: this isn’t to say CMC can’t hit, but we have a squeezed-down week at RB, where the eye is more drawn toward the middle range of pricing.

    Thirdly, we have a wide-open WR week, where there seem to be viable “upside options” across the pricing ranges.

    Definitely a unique setup compared to what we have in a typical DFS weekend.

    Xandamere >>

    We have a LOT of value, and, there are a lot of really strong plays. It’s the first week that, to me, is just chock-full of really strong plays in strong spots, all the way up and down the pricing spectrum. Because of that, even though a lot of these plays are obvious and are attracting ownership, the chalk is getting spread out because there are just SO many strong options. What this means is that you don’t have to worry about going as off the board in tournaments, but…there are also some really strong pivot options that are in the same game environments as the chalky plays but they are just not attracting the same level of ownership (Jaylen Waddle on Miami, TJ Hockenson on the Vikings, etc.). You don’t have to delve into weird spots like the Browns to try and find “sneaky” upside – the sneaky upside this week is really just hanging around the best games.

    Hilow >>

    This is the first true slate this season with legitimate value options available, primarily at the running back position (plus wide receivers like Josh Downs and K.J. Osborn), meaning we’re likely to see the chalk build involve more of a “stars and scrubs” approach as people look to spend up at the wide receiver position. That said, there are numerous options in the sub-elite pricing tier at wide receiver that offer elite upside on this slate, most of whom are likely to go largely overlooked. From a macro perspective, this slate is ripe for leverage potential. From a micro matchup perspective, there aren’t any “jump off the page, must-have, can’t-miss” spots on this slate, which could lead to some suboptimal roster construction tendencies from the field.

    Mike >>

    The biggest thing that stands out to me about this week’s slate is the lack of a clear premium game environment. The games with the highest total on the slate are the Cardinals // Rams game at 47.5 and the Panthers // Dolphins game at 48. It is rare that we have no game over 50 and this week provides a unique situation where there are eight of the 11 games that have totals between 40 and 45, which means there is the potential for several games to be the one that breaks the slate.

    From a player perspective, Hilow hit the nail on the head in terms of this being the first time we have legitimate value options to consider, and with CMC plus the “Big 3” wide receivers (Tyreek, Kupp, Chase) on the slate, it will certainly drive roster construction in a certain direction.


    2. Running Back Bonanza

    The Question ::

    The NFL season is in full swing and nothing reminds us of that more than when the injuries start piling up and we have to try to figure out how teams will adjust to their personnel changes. As it currently stands, there are four teams with big question marks around their running back situations:

    • Chicago will likely be without three running backs, leaving D’Onta Foreman ($4,400 on Draftkings) as the likely lead back after being a healthy scratch the last three weeks.
    • Miles Sanders hasn’t practiced yet this week and is in danger of missing the Panthers game against the Dolphins, which would leave Chuba Hubbard ($4,300) as the top running back.
    • De’Von Achane was placed on injured reserve and Jeff Wilson ($4,300) may be returning to a role in the high-flying Dolphins offense.
    • James Conner was placed on injured reserve, leaving Keaontay Ingram ($4,500) and Emari Demarcado ($4,900) to fight for the backfield.

    Draftkings is often very good about pricing up backup RBs, so this week is very unique in the fact that we may have so many situations of huge salary saving opportunities at the position on RBs who could reasonably touch the ball 15 or more times. This question is not necessarily about how you view the individual players listed above, but rather how this dynamic affects the macro state of the slate. In other words, how do you plan to handle all of this excessive running back value and will it have an effect on the way you build your rosters?

    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
    • We once again have four games with one of those games (ARI // LAR) standing out above the rest with a game total of 48.5. The other three games all have totals of 41 or 42. This creates a fragile scenario where if that one game disappoints and one of the three “lower tier” games erupts, there is a clear “flip” to the slate. I doubt the Rams and Cardinals game will totally flop, but definitely something to consider when building.
    • There are very clearly two teams who will be the least popular to play on this slate – the Patriots and Jets.
    • Last week, we had late injury news on Javonte Williams which made Jaleel McLaughlin a very popular player on the Afternoon Only slate while he was under 3% owned in most Main Slate contests. There don’t appear to be any situations like that brewing for this week but it is something to consider and be aware of for future weeks. The one spot that I could see changing after the early games start would be the Arizona backfield. It wouldn’t be shocking for news to come out on one of Demercado or Ingram working as the “lead back” as we get closer to that game’s kickoff.
    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 6 has several high-powered offenses off the main slate including the Chiefs, Bills, Chargers, and Cowboys. With these teams not in the player pool, the field finds itself missing many pay-up options at two key positions: QB (Mahomes/Allen/Herbert/Lamar), and TE (Kelce/Andrews). Along with these exclusions, no Pollard, Henry, or Ekeler makes for a huge gap in the RB pricing, with a $2,200 difference between CMC and the next highest tailback, David Montgomery. In terms of roster construction, this will likely have a lot of the field building in a similar fashion – rostering a mid-priced QB (ex Burrow/Stafford), two RBs in the $6,000 to $7,300 range, a TE between $3,500 and $4,500 and then differentiating at the WR spots as there are enticing options at every price range. We’ll discuss below how we can utilize that knowledge to our advantage as there are 4 games in the late window this week, and many viable options.

    Important Early Outcomes to Watch:
    • Travis Etienne, Christian Kirk, and Evan Engram – With Zay Jones ruled out, the Jaguars become a more condensed offense while sporting the third-highest team total on the slate (behind MIA and PHI). One of these three (or Calvin Ridley) is reasonably likely to put up a strong price-considered fantasy score.
    • Joe Mixon and Ja’Marr Chase – Both these Bengals are projecting as two of the three highest in overall ownership with Tee Higgins still questionable after missing last week. Chase went for 55 DK points last week on 19 targets while Mixon had 25 rushing attempts to go along with 4 receptions.
    • Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert, and Jaylen WaddleThe Dolphins are a condensed offense and have the largest team total on the slate (by a field goal), yet none of these three potential slate breakers is projected at top-five ownership at their position.
    • Slate Breakers such as Ja’Marr Chase’s 55.2 DK point performance last week.
    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 6!

    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 my review of the top Battle Royale rosters in 2021 and 2022.

    Looking at Week 6

    QB and TE are depleted of studs this week but the WR and RB depth is incredibly strong.

    QB:

    Notable QBs missing from the slate: Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott, Daniel Jones

    Top 6 QBs by ADP: Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields, Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence, Matthew Stafford

    Notes:

    • Tua Tagovailoa vs CAR: While CAR may have a weaker run defense than pass defense, they have significant injuries in the secondary and just got torched by Jared Goff last week. Achane on IR means the usage should be even more concentrated on his stacking partners, and MIA has the highest implied team total by a country mile.
    • Matthew Stafford vs ARI: The last time Stafford and Kupp were healthy together in 2021, the two were actually the most frequent pairing to make a top-5 roster in this contest. The TDs have yet to really pile up for Stafford this year, but a full complement of weapons and a weak defense is the best spot yet for him to have a big game. I will talk about Dobbs too but the matchup sets up well enough for ARI to push this game on the other side as well.
    • Josh Dobbs @ LAR: The Rams have been run all over by Richardson and Hurts the last two weeks, and Dobbs has run for 40+ yards three times already. It’s unlikely LAR will not score a good deal of points on the other side, so can expect the Cardinals to need to be aggressive all game. Losing Conner hurts the offense as a whole, but may place the ball in Dobbs hands even more than before.
    RB:

    Notable RBs missing from this slate: Austin Ekeler, Tony Pollard, Aaron Jones, Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Isaiah Pacheco

    Notes:

    • Alvin Kamara @ HOU: Has 25 opportunities in two straight games, in a favorable matchup against a defense that likes to force you to play in front of them through the air, carries multi-TD upside, and has two starting teammates dealing with injuries (Olave and Johnson).
    • Josh Jacobs vs NE: Not a matchup to typically target, but NE has significant injuries and has allowed nice days already to Mostert and Kamara. Jacobs is being drafted too late for an RB with such a big role in this concentrated offense.
    • Rhamondre Stevenson @ LV: This is not a good RB defense, and Stevenson is coming off a brutal stretch of matchups for this NE offense to start the season. Chance to get back on track here in a game environment that carries some upside given the depleted state of the Patriots defense.
    • Jonathan Taylor @ JAC: Certainly not without risk, but this is a 1-2 round player going undrafted because of role uncertainty in his recent return. The matchup isn’t a plus one, and Moss has played well enough to warrant touches, but the Colts just paid their main man significant dollars and he’s going to take control eventually. Might be your last chance to draft Taylor in this range.
    WR:

    Notable WRs missing from this slate: Stefon Diggs, Ceedee Lamb, Keenan Allen, Deandre Hopkins, Zay Flowers, Gabe Davis, Christian Watson, George Pickens

    Notes:

    • Tyreek Hill, JaMarr Chase, Cooper Kupp: I want any of these guys any time I have the opportunity to draft them.
    • Jaylen Waddle vs CAR: With Devon Achane going on IR, I expect more plays designed for Waddle. Hasn’t popped yet this year, but a big game is always in his range of outcomes.
    • Amon-Ra St. Brown @ TB: Has typically required a high-scoring environment to put up a tourney score, but with Gibbs and LaPorta both questionable, his target share is likely to be even bigger than normal. DET’s secondary injuries and TB’s weapons also have the potential to push this game to a bigger score.
    • Jordan Addison @ CHI: The ball has to go somewhere, and Addison and Hockenson are going to be Cousins’s and O’Connell’s preferred places to get the ball in the passing game. Jefferson’s defensive attention makes Addison’s life easier and MIN harder to defend, but Addison is clearly talented and an expected increase in volume could be enough to offset the decrease in efficiency.
    • Chris Godwin vs DET: My initial thought on Tuesday was that I was going to play a lot of Mike Evans with DET’s secondary banged up, but it’s clear his hamstring is still an issue. Evans is still a good play himself if he plays, but the week is so stacked at WR that I’d prefer to take my chance on the guy without the hammy scare. Both teams are more likely to find success through the air in this matchup, giving this game a chance for significant points.
    • Jakobi Meyers vs NE: Chance to stick it to his previous team that didn’t want to pay him, in a super concentrated offense, playing against a defense missing its best players.
    • Michael Thomas @ HOU: The Texans defense sets up much better for how Thomas is used in the short-intermediate range. Has yet to score this season, but has always found the endzone throughout his career. His team’s WR1 is dealing with a lingering toe injury.

    TE:

    Notable TEs missing from this slate: Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, Dalton Kincaid, Jake Ferguson

    Notes:

    • TJ Hockenson @ CHI: The obvious top TE on a week down Kelce and Andrews and with Kittle playing CLE’s tough defense with all SF’s weapons healthy. No Jefferson hurts the offense, but he will have plays designed for him as arguably the top receiver on the team now. Good TE matchup so far in 2023.
    • Evan Engram vs IND: One of the most consistent target-getters at the position. Two teammates are going in the first couple of rounds.
    • Hunter Henry @ LV: Already shown solid usage to start the year, and finally gets an easier matchup after a string of really tough ones.
    • Logan Thomas @ ATL: A good TE spot so far in 2023, and Thomas has displayed upside in this offense.

    Underowned Combos:

    • Josh Dobbs + Zach Ertz + Cooper Kupp/Puka Nacua/Kyren Williams
    • Matthew Stafford + 2
    • Justin Fields + Jordan Addison + TJ Hockenson
    • Baker Mayfield + Chris Godwin/Mike Evans + Amon-Ra St. Brown
    • Tua Tagovailoa + 2
    • Trevor Lawrence + Christian Kirk + Travis Etienne
    • Mac Jones + Hunter Henry + Josh Jacobs/Davante Adams

    Notable Stats

    1st place performance:

    • 28 of the 41 teams had at least one flex player score 30+ half-PPR fantasy points
    • 18 of the 41 teams had all flex players score at least 20+ half-PPR fantasy points
    • 37 of the 41 teams had all flex players score at least 15+ half-PPR fantasy points

    Stacking and Correlation:

    • 23 of 41 had a QB paired with just one teammate
      • WR (17), TE (4), RB (2)
    • 6 of 41 had a QB stacked with two teammates
      • WR-RB (3), WR-WR (2), WR-TE (1)
    • 5 of those 29 QB stacks had a runback (Opposing player)
    • 40 of 41 had at least one game correlation
    • 13 of 41 had two different game correlations

    FLEX usage:

    • 139 of 205 top-5 rosters have had two RBs, meaning they chose RB at FLEX over WR and TE.
    • The other 66 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!