Sunday, Feb 12th — Late
Bye Week:
49ers
Bears
Bengals
Bills
Broncos
Browns
Buccaneers
Cardinals
Chargers
Colts
Commanders
Cowboys
Dolphins
Falcons
Giants
Jaguars
Jets
Lions
Packers
Panthers
Patriots
Raiders
Rams
Ravens
Saints
Seahawks
Steelers
Texans
Titans
Vikings

The Scroll Week 7

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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:

    Wow!

    Week 7 Slate

    Wow! ::

    NFL Props Profit:
    $1,329*

    NBA Props Profit:
    $1,230*(!!!)

    The early returns from NBA ($1,230 profit through two days — 4x the $299 price tag on Props Insider!) are a reminder of how powerful a package like this can be for a “daily” sport.

    If you’re like me, you may not even follow the NBA…

    If you’re like me, that really shouldn’t matter to you.

    Not every day will be as hot as Days 1 & 2 of NBA (NFL started with a couple of slightly down weeks before the profit started rolling in, and there will obviously be days like that during NBA), but props are very +EV when approached correctly; and Props Insider puts you in position to approach things correctly.

    Translation: don’t expect me to stop hammering this throughout the remainder of the season!

    These numbers will continue to grow.

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

    The Lay Of The Land ::

    Week: 7

    Total Main Slate Games: 11

    Slate Overview:

    While there are six teams playing in Island Games and four teams on bye (giving us 10 teams missing from the Main Slate in all), we are missing only two of the top nine offenses in “points per game” :: the Bills (second), and the Eagles (fourth).

    The seven offenses in the “top nine” who are playing on this slate? ::

    Chiefs
    Lions
    Ravens
    Raiders
    Browns
    Falcons
    Seahawks

    While we can look at that list — heading into the seventh week of the season — and nod our heads along with it (“Yup, I get that this team is in the top nine in points per game…”), the implied team totals on this slate throw a handful of curveballs at us (or…that is to say, the implied team totals on some of these teams play closer to the public’s perceptions than to the reality of what these teams have done through the first 33% of the season).

    Here is that list again, with implied team totals attached:

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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::

    First off, my threshold for identifying chalk, and then writing it up, is 20% expected ownership. As you’ll see here shortly, there aren’t many that satisfy that threshold this week. The ones we do have are uber-mega-silly chalk, which we’ll get into more about below. From a macro perspective, the slate shapes up as one of the more unique slates we’ve had this season, with three games with game totals of 49.0 points or more, three games in the mid-range of game totals, and FIVE games with game totals of 43.0 points or below. We know the top three expected game environments are going to garner a lot of interest on a slate like this, where top game environments are at a premium, so navigating those games is of great importance. Furthermore, hunting for “hidden” or underutilized upside, either of the one-off variety, correlated pairings, or full game environment bets, gains further importance as well with such concentrated chalk up top.

    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 JACOBS

    Neither expansive nor restrictive chalk. Jacobs has been a much bigger part of the Las Vegas offense than we thought coming into the year, with a 74.6% snap rate (fourth at the position), 84.0% team backfield opportunity share (third at the position), and an increased route participation rate (53.5%, 11th at the position). He now gets the distinct pleasure of playing the team allowing the most DK points per game to opposing backfields at 31.6 and is priced at “only” $6,500. Jacobs has seen running back opportunities of 34 and 26 over the previous two weeks. He has seen 16 targets over the previous three weeks. That profile would 100% be classified as “good or sharp chalk.”

    KEN WALKER

    Expansive chalk. Walker saw 24 running back opportunities last week in his first game as the unquestioned lead back in Seattle, narrowly missing the 100-yard rushing bonus and getting into the end zone. His 11.4% breakaway run rate ranks third at the position, which is important considering his opponent this week, the Chargers, have given up the highest rate of explosive runs this season, including the third most fantasy points per game to opposing backfields (30.1). His projection is more fragile than Jacobs, which expected ownership reflects.

    CEEDEE LAMB

    Restrictive chalk. Lamb leads the league in team target market share at a robust 33.3%, including an elite 33.1% targets per route run rate and 97.8% route participation rate (13th). He is highly unlikely to crater rosters this week, but I have pause for concern here. Per Fantasy Points’ Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB on Twitter), Lamb has posted 16.6 fantasy points per game over the last six games with Cooper Rush at quarterback and 9.3 fantasy points per game over the last six games with Dak Prescott at quarterback. Realize that five of the last six games with Dak at quarterback also included Amari Cooper still on the roster, but the data serves to highlight the fact that Prescott is an above-average NFL quarterback that gets through progressions well, not force-feeding the ball to his top wideout, while Cooper Rush hones in on his first read (very often his first read if CeeDee Lamb). Also, consider that the field seems to think the return of Dak Prescott will directly correlate to increased aerial aggression from the Cowboys, when the fact of the matter is that they have held pass rate over expectation (PROE) values below league average in every game this season. I strongly doubt a game against a Lions team that can be beaten anywhere on the field pushes the Cowboys into increased aerial aggression. Again, he is unlikely to crater lineups this week, but notable, nonetheless.

    PAY-DOWN TIGHT ENDS

    Expansive chalk. Rookie tight end Greg Dulcich is priced at the bare minimum of $2,500 and scored on national television last week. Cameron Brate is out for the Buccaneers and rookie tight end Cade Otton is priced at only $2,700. Darren Waller is out for the Raiders and backup tight end Foster Moreau is priced at only $2,800. All three are expected to combine for over 30% ownership this weekend.

    Tampa Bay tight ends have commanded just 16.6% of Tom Brady’s 247 pass attempts through six weeks, which leaves Otton with an expected range of outcomes of six to eight targets considering expected game environment.

    Dulcich has played one professional game and was in a route at a 71.4% clip, seeing a below-average 15.0% targets per route run rate. He scored a touchdown on a busted coverage play on national television, steaming him up for a game against a Jets team allowing 12.8 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.

    The dynamic Darren Waller has averaged just six targets per game over four fully healthy games this year. A valid expectation of four to six targets for Moreau is likeliest considering the expected game environment against the Texans.

    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 7

    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 and points per dollar can create a sizable edge when building rosters. Here are Week 7 players that are best utilized on Draftkings or Fanduel.

    Jimmy Garoppolo:  FD $7.2k, 12.0% // DK $5.5k, 11.0% // Value on Draftkings

    Garoppolo has yet to hit the 300-yard pass bonus on Draftkings this season, but his pass yards have gone up in every game so far (296 yards last week). Playing Garoppolo on Draftkings versus Fanduel saves 1% of the cap. He’s the 10th highest priced QB on Fanduel, but only the 16th on Draftkings.

    Joe Mixon:  FD $7.4k, 12.3% // DK $7.0k, 14.0% // Value on Fanduel

    Mixon is the 13th highest priced RB on Fanduel, but ninth highest on Draftkings. His salary takes up only 12.3% of the cap on Fanduel, but 14.0% on Draftkings. Mixon has received 82% of the Bengals red zone rush attempts and his 18 attempts are tied for fourth in the league. Touchdowns are important with Fanduel scoring and they should start coming with the amount of red zone usage Mixon has seen this season.

    Josh Jacobs:  FD $8.6k, 14.3% // DK $6.5k, 13.0% // Value on Draftkings

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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
    Kenneth Walker
    Justice Hill
    Mike Evans
    Donovan Peoples-Jones
    Kalif Raymond
    George Kittle
    Hunter Renfrow
    Jets

    Join The Bottom-Up Build Contest On DraftKings!

    Buy-In:
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    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!

    Join Here


    Blue Chips

    Mark Andrews

    Andrews ranks third in the NFL among all players in team target market share — trailing only CeeDee Lamb and Cooper Kupp — while gathering target counts on the season of 7 // 11 // 13 // 5 // 10 // 11. Only five players have seen more red zone targets, and only Travis Kelce has more red zone touchdown receptions. Andrews is the focal point of this offense, and is in a spot where A) the Ravens are likely to lean into their passing attack given the state of their backfield, and B) the matchup is pristine vs a Cleveland defense that ranks 27th in pass defense DVOA. Andrews’ floor and ceiling, at a thin position, make him stand out this week.

    “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

    Andrews + Amari
    Cost: $13.5K DK // $15.7K FD
    Story:

    “Andrews does what he’s been doing…and this puts Amari in position to keep doing what he’s been doing”

    Why It Works:

    Andrews is carrying “moderate for him” ownership at this point in the week (as of Friday night, he’s projected at 12.9%), while Amari is projected for only 5.9% ownership. A lot of the Amari ownership is likely to be uncorrelated, and if it is correlated, it’s likely to be paired with Andrews/Lamar builds, making this particular pairing very unique.

    How It Works:

    Andrews can go for 25 to 30 in a “standard upside game” (with pathways to higher, break-the-slate type scores), while Amari has quietly compiled 20+ DraftKings point in three of six games, including games of 26.1 and 28.1. This is not a building block that “allows you to do whatever you want on the rest of your roster” (i.e., you can get 50+ points from these two — which would be tremendous — but you’ll still likely need to do at least one other thing differently on your roster in order to clear your path to first place), but it can become a very nice starting point, and it works well together. If Andrews is hitting for his high-end score, the chances of Amari posting a fifth game of double-digit targets increases, thus increasing the chances of him complementing Andrews’ big score with a big score of his own.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

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

    Mahomes + Kelce + Deebo + Duvernay
    Cost: $27.9K DK // $30.4K FD
    Story:

    “Mahomes beats this tough matchup through Kelce, the 49ers respond with Deebo, and Duvernay takes points away from the other high-priced tight end”

    Why It Works:

    Mahomes + Kelce will be relatively low-owned this week, and while Deebo is the most obvious bring-back, the pricing constraints created by this block will lead most people to move off it. Adding Duvernay (not necessary, but a nice bonus) accounts for the fact that this stack loses some of its power if Andrews is also hitting — which means that this roster’s clearest path to first place is for Andrews to disappoint…and the easiest way for him to disappoint is for the points on the Ravens to flow elsewhere. If Bateman is active, he can step in for Duvernay in this block. The Ravens running backs are also candidates to steal touchdowns from Andrews.

    How It Works:

    Given the large chunk of salary taken up by this block, and the low ownership it will see, you’ll be sitting very pretty if it hits the high end of its range of outcomes. As such, you can essentially “do whatever you want” on the rest of this roster. Obviously, the tight pricing you’re creating will force you onto a couple tough decisions elsewhere, but you can play as much chalk as you want // are able, as this block “hitting its ceiling” would put you in clear position for a first-place finish without needing to worry about being too different elsewhere.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE:

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

    CeeDee + ARSB

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    Bonuses

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    NFL + NBA Props Profit :: $3,305

    (Updated 10/22)

    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 ::

    Lamar Jackson || Geno Smith || Justin Herbert || Patrick Mahomes || Tom Brady

    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 ::
    Josh Jacobs

    Elite workload, modest price on DK, elite matchup. Don’t need to overthink it.

    Joe Mixon

    Last season, Mixon averaged a touchdown every 21 touches. This season, Mixon has 2 touchdowns this season on 128 touches (4 TDs less than last year’s pace). The Falcons pass defense has struggled and I expect with them facing the Bengals, they will drop a lot of men in coverage given their inability to get pressure on the quarterback. This should result in softer boxes for Mixon. This will create a situation for the best efficiency and most scoring opportunities Mixon has had all season.

    Kenneth Walker

    Walker is an explosive runner who should see 20+ opportunities against a porous Chargers run defense and is playing in the highest total game of the week. Talent, volume, game environment, matchup.

    Derrick Henry

    Henry is the focal point of his team’s offense and has 25+ DK points in three straight games. Coming off a bye in a game with huge divisional implications, Henry should be leaned on for the biggest workload of any RB on the slate. Henry has 27 or more touches in five of his last six games against the Colts, with the only game he failed to reach that mark being a Thursday night game on short rest where he still touched it 20 times.

    SIDE NOTES::

    • Austin Ekeler – Ekeler’s workload has been terrific the last three weeks, averaging 14 rushes and 8 targets. His team is projected for the most points on the slate and he has scored touchdowns at a high rate since the start of last season.
    • Travis Etienne – Etienne’s workload and efficiency continue to improve and he now faces the Giants who are dead last in the NFL in yards per carry allowed. His price is low and this is a week where there aren’t many good options to pay down at RB, giving Etienne additional value in the way in which he alters the structure of your lineup.
    • D’Onta Foreman – Foreman is likely to split work with Chuba Hubbard, but should be the “lead back” and get the goal line work (if there is any). This isn’t an exciting or pretty play, but at min-price on Draftkings Foreman opens up a lot of possibilities, is likely to see 12 to 18 touches, and if anyone scores a TD for the Panthers, it is most likely to be Foreman. Let’s also not forget that Foreman had three games over 100 rushing yards last season and had a receiving TD this preseason.
    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


    OWS FAM! 

    I’m sitting outside on a cloudy Saturday in California, hand building copious amounts of Milly rosters. 

    Life is good.

    I feel like anything can happen this week so I’m stacking several different games in hopes of having some type of sweat on Sunday. It feels like a perfect week to correlate so I’m embracing my inner control freak and adding secondary and even third correlations to my QB stacks. 

    Hope my notes below provide a good “at a glance” point of reference to how myself and our OWS big brains are seeing this slate. 

    Embrace the uncertainty and let it rip, Gang!

    Cya in the gameday-chat channel. LFG!

    Sonic


    QB:

    RB:

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    Willing To Lose

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

    Welcome to the meat and potatoes edition of Willing to Lose! It’s Week 7, and we’ve had some hors d’oeuvres, enjoyed the appetizers, and dabbled with an entree or two. But now comes the main course we’re all looking forward to, and we’re primed and ready to crush it.

    This is a silly analogy, but a fair one. By Week 7, we’ve made some mistakes, we’ve learned about critical strategy, we’ve had some wins and losses, and we should be in a great place to build our best lineups yet. As we look at this slate, it shapes up nicely, in my opinion. So many places to attack, and like last week, these seem to be places where the field may not be. Let’s get right to it.

    Tom Brady + Mike Evans (and much more)

    Brady is one of those people who turn red things green. Despite losing a few Super Bowls, and an allegedly impending divorce, it’s safe to say Brady has done pretty well in this world. And for people like him, even when the going is tough (which it seems to be right now), we have to believe he’ll catch a break. Then we look at the NFL schedule and see . . . Carolina Panthers coming up as his next opponent. After last week’s debacle in Pittsburgh, it’s undeniable right now the team that would be first on any opponent’s wish list right now is the 1-5 Panthers. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles for Mr. Brady. And we should be capitalizing on this situation in DFS this week.

    Narratives aside, this is the absolute perfect setup. And this week, we should let others spend time questioning “how much will the Bucs let off the gas” and “will they run up the score.” The answer is an unequivocal yes. And even if Tampa does not choose to play with pace (1st in the NFL), the damage that Brady and Co. can do in three quarters still justifies a click on this low-scoring slate. There are many, many examples of this type of game in Brady’s career, but back in Week 16 of the 2020 season, Brady led a 47-7 rout of the 5-9 hapless Detroit Lions. In that game, he threw only 27 times, but for 348 yards and four touchdowns . . . in the first half (tweet for context).

    This game sets up as a perfect team stack opportunity. Papy wrote this up in context and in great detail in the NFL Edge, but Brady + Mike Evans is the starting point here. Leonard Fournette, Chris Godwin, and Cade Otton (if Cameron Brate remains out) are all also viable. The Bucs defense can also be played here. We don’t need to drop any Panthers bring-backs, but I don’t have to tell you it’s now just DJ Moore if you go there (as I am writing this, the CMC news breaks!).

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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 7 Topics

    1. Bye Week Blues

    2. NFL Scoring Amber Alert

    3. A Class Act

    4. Floating Plays, Week 7

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


    1. Bye Week Blues

    The Question ::

    There seem to be a lot of moving parts this week and with a few of the “premium” offenses in the league on bye it forces us to think more creatively about situations, ownership, etc. With that in mind, what is it about this slate that you find particularly unique?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    This is the classic, “It’s an ugly slate…but it’s ugly for everyone” type of setup. The running back chalk is “not bad,” but it might not be quite so chalky on other slates. The tight end value is standing out to the field, but it’s not as if it’s on players anyone is actually excited to play. The most popular passing attacks look relatively easy to fade…but then you scroll through the other quarterbacks available and realize it’s sort of “not scary to fade” across the board.

    On a slate like this, I tend to want to avoid “imposing my will” on my rosters. What I mean is this:: there is a lot of ugliness and uncertainty on this slate, but we tend to want to “make firm decisions” when we play DFS, making it tempting on a week like this to overthink everything and tie ourselves in knots when, realistically, you’re going to have some plays that feel icky or uncomfortable regardless of whether you’re on the chalk or not. As such, there are no players I’m forcing, and I’m instead finding interesting starting points (stacks, player blocks, unique pairings, etc.), and then allowing salary and “if this, then this” type of thinking to guide me toward the other plays on that particular build. I’ll have plenty of chalk sprinkled across my builds, but I’ll also have plenty of rosters (both with and without chalk) that look very unique.

    Xandamere >>

    Xandamere will return next week!

    Hilow >>

    Right off the rip, there are a ton of game environments with extremely low game totals. It’s normal to see one or two games with game totals under 43.0 points – it’s super rare, especially in today’s pass-heavy game, to see FIVE games with game totals under 43.0 points. There are four games with game totals of 47.0 or higher, which is a nice number – even more importantly, we know almost exactly what pieces are going to draw ownership from the field from those games, and all four involve a rather wide range of potential outcomes. That means the leverage we can generate on this slate should come fairly naturally. Also, there is one running back expected to be on over ⅓ of rosters in play this week, which is an absolutely absurd number for a single player – more on this in the End Around and on The Slate podcast.

    Mike >>

    The two highest implied team totals on the slate (Chargers and Cowboys) have a lot of uncertainty around them with Keenan Allen a game-time decision and multiple other Chargers skill players out this week, and Dak Prescott playing his first game since Week 1. Also, the next two highest team totals (Bengals and Raiders) are facing run-heavy teams who tend to slow the pace down. Finally, the 5th and 6th highest team totals (Bucs and Ravens) are favored by a touchdown or more. This makes for a lot of uncertainty and tough decisions, which we can leverage for an advantage. Situations where the field appears to have a high degree of “certainty”, we should be less certain about…..situations where the field is scared off due to “uncertainty”, we should be embracing and putting ourselves in a position to prosper.


    2. NFL Scoring Amber Alert

    The Question ::

    The 2022 season has been the lowest scoring season we have seen in quite some time and now that we are six weeks into the season it is safe to say those results are getting to the point where the sample size is relevant. We talk often about targeting potential high scoring environments and the need to think about which teams can score four or more touchdowns in a given week. That is still certainly the case, however, given the recent trends it has become much harder to find those wildly fruitful scoring environments and, with less scoring across the league, we have seen some weeks where less correlated lineups are finding more success than we have seen in recent years. Just last week we saw a popular Bills // Chiefs game go 10 points under its projected total and there were still SIX players from that game who ended up on top-10 lineups in the Milly Maker. In past years, that would seem unthinkable but the low scoring nature of the league and the offensive production, even with lower point output, from that primary game was enough to provide many usable DFS scores. 

    Two part question here::

    First, what do you think are the biggest factors contributing to the downturn in scoring?

    Second, we always need to be reevaluating the state of the NFL and trends in DFS – does this recent trend have any effect on your strategy or approach going forward?

    The Answers ::

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    Sunday Crunch

    Sunday Crunch is an Inner Circle feature that can be found late on Saturday nights and non-IC members can receive a chunk of the content each week. Mike also posts updated thoughts to Discord on Sunday mornings for Inner Circle members.

    Pat’s Place::

    Reading Larejo’s Willing To Lose article in The Scroll really got me thinking more about this Chiefs // 49ers afternoon game. What this spot reminds me of is last year’s Week 14 Bills // Bucs game when the already pass-happy Bills faced one of the top run defenses in the league. The Bills already weren’t fans of running the ball so they said “forget it” altogether, handing the ball off to running backs on only 7 of 76 offensive plays, meaning they called a pass or run with their QB on 91% of their plays. Wild. While I don’t think the Chiefs necessarily get to that level, I do think we could see a similar “why run our weakness at their strength” approach in this spot, and if you can get around 50 pass attempts from Patrick Mahomes at the sub-5% ownership he is projected for on Draftkings, you probably should, especially on a slate that is missing Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen. In Mahomes lineups, I would use two of Travis Kelce (duh), JuJu Smith-Schuster (maybe he just had a rough start and will now become the alpha WR people thought he would be?), and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (it’s coming, it has to be).

    Sicko Mode::

    Remember when Travis Etienne was being drafted in the 3rd round of Best Ball drafts just six weeks ago? He is now the RB27 in Draftkings pricing, facing the Giants 30th ranked defense in Football Outsiders DVOA, which also ranks dead last in yards per carry allowed, and Etienne has averaged 111 yards from scrimmage over the previous two weeks. Etienne has yet to score a touchdown on 67 touches this season, something that is going to change sooner rather than later as he gets acclimated to the NFL in what amounts to his rookie season after missing all of 2021 with a foot injury. James Robinson dominated the backfield to start the season, but the two backs have split carries evenly over the last four weeks and Etienne is the primary pass catching RB. It takes a bit of a leap of faith, but players like this are ones you want to be ahead of, not behind.

    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. Geno Smith ~25%
    2. Derek Carr ~20%
    3. Justin Herbert ~17-20%
    4. Patrick Mahomes ~10-15%
    5. Jimmy Garoppolo ~8-10%
    6. Davis Mills ~3-5%
    7. Brett Rypien ~2%
    8. Zach Wilson ~2%
    • Pretty much no one is going to play the QBs from the Jets // Broncos game and Davis Mills will be mostly ignored as well.
    • Relatively flat QB ownership compared to the last couple of weeks and no “can’t miss” stud situations like Allen and Hurts, where it makes QB an easier spot to take a stand this week.
    • None of these QBs do much of their damage with their legs, making stacking more crucial than usual on this slate.
    Defense Strategy
    • The inverse of the QB situation, as the Jets and Broncos will almost surely be the highest owned defenses on the slate.
    • The Chargers are the most interesting defense to me, particularly if Lockett misses the game or reports come out he will be substantially limited (which I think he will).
    • The Texans are a nice cheap defense facing a team that is a little beat up (no Waller, Renfrow missed practices) and provides leverage off the massive chalk.

    HOW I’M APPROACHING EACH GAME

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