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The Scroll Week 8

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    Magico’s Money-Makers

    El Magico is a high-stakes tournament champion who focuses on single-entry/three-entry max // small-field play

    Through this article, I will be highlighting a small player pool that is composed of players that rank high in my proprietary model. There are several factors this model takes into consideration such as: DVP (Defense vs Position), OL/DL matchup, WR/CB matchup, game pace, Vegas totals, target share, value score, air yard opportunities and a few secret sauce metrics I can’t discuss further. As we move forward, I will do my best to point out some of the higher-ranked players for the OWS community to take into consideration as part of their own research. When it comes to game selection, I would encourage this player pool to be used in single entry, 3-Max smaller field tournaments. 

    QB:

    Sam Darnold: 

    Oh Boy! This is scary, but after all, it’s Halloween weekend, and here comes Sam Darnold topping the MMM model. Sure sounds scary to push the button on Darnold, but the matchup isn’t scary, and we are ready to pull some tricks this weekend. The Falcons offense keeps improving, yet their defense has remained their weak link. This dome game will be fast-paced and provide ample scoring opportunities for both teams as Falcons games are averaging the third-most plays per game and the fourth-most points per game in the NFL. I am looking for a vintage Sam Darnold to re-emerge in this matchup, and by vintage, I mean from four weeks ago.

    Consideration:  Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Carson Wentz

    RB:

    D’Andre Swift: 

    I will be honest, I have been extremely wary of playing Swift throughout the season, including best ball drafts, and that has been a mistake. That may change this week. It is hard to deny Swift’s historic usage thus far. Swift seems to be gaining control of this backfield and now faces an extremely favorable matchup, and this feels like a great play but the field tends to agree; hence, he will be highly owned this weekend but this could be some tasty chalk I don’t mind eating.

    Joe Mixon: 

    Mixon enters one of the most favorable matchups to running backs in the NFL, and on top of that, the Bengals carry one of the highest implied totals in the slate vs a Jets team that is falling apart as we speak (no Zach Wilson, no Corey Davis). This should be a game where the Bengals sit back and run run run the ball all day, and Mixon is our guy. A quick note from the “NFL Edge”: “the Jets are attackable on the ground (27th in DVOA) and through the air (28th in DVOA).” 

    Consideration:  Darrell Henderson, Chubba Hubbard

    WR:

    DJ Moore:

    The spring is coiling up for DJ Moore as he keeps racking up targets and air yards over the last few tough outings for the Panthers offense. This is the get-well spot, and Moore is topping the model due to several key metrics such as air yards, target share, game pace, and his individual metrics vs the Falcons pass defense. I feel very good about Moore this week and the model agrees.

    Michael Pittman:

    This could be a game that goes underlooked this week but there are several plays here that could provide slate winning scores and Pittman could be in line for such. The Titans corners do not match up well vs big-bodied Michael Pittman, and we have to mention that their already bottom-of-the-barrel secondary is extremely banged up. The Titans offense should keep rolling, forcing the Colts to try and keep up by turning to the passing game through an improving Carson Wentz and his alpha receiver Michael Pittman.

    Consideration: Calvin Ridley, Deebo Samuel, Mike Williams

    TE:

    Dallas Goedert: 

    Goedert saw elite usage last week in the post-Zach Ertz era in Philadelphia. Such usage should continue into this matchup vs the Lions, who keep finding ways to keep games competitive, like they did last week vs the Rams, forcing the Eagles to keep their foot on the gas. This game should remain competitive throughout, and the fireworks should be there.

    Consideration: Tyler Higbee, Dan Arnold

    Magic Stack: 

    Sam Darnold / DJ Moore / Calvin Ridley or Kyle Pitts

    #TheWorkbook

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    End Around

    Hilow is a game theory expert and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max

    MACRO SLATE VIEW::

    I almost get tired of saying this (just kidding, I love this stuff!) and you are probably tired of hearing me say this, but this is a super interesting and super unique slate (I know, I know, they all are!). The bigger aspect of this slate that I think will go missed by the masses is the high level of certainty the field seems to have in certain spots. Consider how much the simple act of a multi-touchdown game from Tyler Higbee or Van Jefferson would absolutely wreck the field this week (and all their certainty associated with that offense – we’ll cover this more below). Or, consider the field’s level of confidence in Josh Allen when they are seemingly paying little to no attention to the pass-catchers from Buffalo. Or, consider the field’s level of confidence in a $2,100 defense. Or, the field’s level of confidence in Dan Arnold. See where I’m going here? There is a much lower level of certainty than the field is giving credit for here, and we’re here to take advantage! Because there exists a high level of perceived certainty this week. We’ll cover some of the chalk pieces a little more in-depth than we normally would below.

    RESTRICTIVE CHALK VS EXPANSIVE CHALK::

    JAYLEN HURTS:

    Restrictive chalk. This is the first week in a while where we have two quarterbacks projected for more than 15% ownership. I wrote a blurb in the Oracle about the naked Hurts/D’Andre Swift pairing being a situation that could generate solid leverage, and that appears likely to be the case. The combinatorial expected ownership of Kenneth Gainwell, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert is currently expected to be around 38-40% so we can expect the majority of the Hurts rosters to utilize a stacking partner.

    JOSH ALLEN:

    Restrictive chalk. A quarterback in a soft matchup, on a team that doesn’t run the football frequently or very well, on the team tied for the highest Vegas implied team total. It makes sense that people are drawn to Allen this week. That said, Allen carries a little more risk than the field is likely to give credit for, as there exists a very real possibility that Allen would have to do his damage in three-quarters worth of play. Just something to consider here.

    DARRELL HENDERSON:

    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. The running back on the other team tied for the highest Vegas implied team total against the team ranked 31st in DVOA against the run. Again, makes sense. That said, would it surprise you to hear that Hendy has landed outside 16-19 running back opportunities in only one game this season (24 against the Giants in Week 6)? Now consider the opponent: a Houston team that allows only 63.6 plays per game to their opponents (19th in the league) because of their extreme pace-down and run-heavy approach, regardless of game script. Can Hendy “get there” on sub-20 running back opportunities? Sure he can, but he’s going to have to be the one doing the scoring. That is a high-variance situation for the player expected to garner the highest ownership on the slate at around 30%. I don’t think I will personally have any. If he rushes for multiple scores for the first time this season and hits the rushing bonus for the first time this season in the same game, I’ll just lose.

    D’ANDRE SWIFT:

    Restrictive chalk. This is the chalk piece that makes the most sense to me this week. JM covered Swift’s profile and fantasy expectation in-depth in the Tuesday training session, so I won’t regurgitate that here. What I will say is this: if we were still doing “good chalk vs. bad chalk,” Swift would be the most likely to land in the “good chalk” realm for me this week.

    TEE HIGGINS:

    Neither restrictive nor expansive chalk. Joe Burrow’s pass attempt numbers in inverse-chronological order: 38, 29, 38, 32, 18, 30, 27. Cincinnati’s situation-neutral pass rate from the first three games compared to the previous four games: 51% to 58%. Yes, the offense is opening up some as Burrow has proven his health, but this is not suddenly an extremely pass-heavy team. In a game in which we expect the Bengals to handle with ease, Burrow’s likeliest range of outcomes as far as pass attempts go is 28-32. Tee Higgins is coming off an absurd 15-target game last week (which is why he is drawing all this attention) but has seen target totals of 15, six, seven, 10, and five on the season. Six to eight targets are the likeliest range of outcomes this week considering likely game flow and offensive approach from the Bengals. I’m not in the business of playing the wide receiver (remember, high variance position) expected to garner the highest ownership at the position when that player is projected for only six to eight targets.

    CHRIS GODWIN:

    Restrictive chalk. Marshon Lattimore vs. Mike Evans. Got it. We’ll cover this situation a little more in the leverage section.

    COOPER KUPP:

    Restrictive chalk. The WR1 on the team tied for the highest Vegas implied team total that is putting up historical numbers at the position. Again, makes sense. But what we need to understand is how different the game environment will be for the Rams this week when compared to last week.

    DAN ARNOLD:

    I loved JM’s take on Arnold this week . . . until I looked at expected ownership. The top three tight ends in expected ownership this week: Dan Arnold at $2,800, Jared Cook at $3,400, and Ricky Seals-Jones at $3,800.

    WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM DEFENSE:

    Expansive chalk. Week 8’s cheapie, pay-down option at the defense position. Three or fewer sacks in all but one game, multiple turnovers in only three of seven games, only two of seven games allowing fewer than 29 points this season, against a quarterback who has turned the ball over in only three of his seven games. Doesn’t sound like a profile to get overly excited about, right?

    Chalk Build:


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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 ::

    Explained >>>>

    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

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

    Build-Arounds

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

    Bonuses

    :: these are 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 :: 1/2
    DK Salary Remaining :: $6.4K

    Teddy Bridgewater
    Michael Carter
    Jonathan Taylor
    Marquez Callaway
    Chris Godwin
    Quez Watkins
    Dan Arnold
    Jerry Jeudy
    Colts

    Correlated Bottom-Up Build :: 2/2
    DK Salary Remaining :: $6.4K

    Carson Wentz
    Michael Carter
    Jonathan Taylor
    Nico Collins
    A.J. Brown
    Michael Pittman
    Dan Arnold
    Jerry Jeudy
    Bears

    Find last week’s Bottom-Up Breakdown and join The Bottom-Up Build DraftKings Contest here!!


    Blue Chips

    A Note On This Week’s Player Grid:

    We’re getting to the point in the season where most players are priced pretty appropriately — which forces us to change our eye level of what a “Blue Chip” is for our builds. Technically, I consider Blue Chips to be players with a high price-considered ceiling and a low likelihood of price-considered disappointment. I challenge you to go through the slate this week, force yourself to poke holes in all the games/players, and see which ones still hold enough water to be considered Blue Chips in their Week 8 matchups, at their Week 8 price tags. (If you can find any such plays: congrats! Play those guys. I’m pretty strict about the players I list as Blue Chips; and for me, there are none this week.) There was a time, in the past, when I would write a note like this, around this point in the season, and explain that the players listed as Blue Chips were’t TRUE Blue Chips, by the definition of the category — but this left more “Blue Chips” who posted disapointing scores (because, again: they weren’t TRUE Blue Chips), which left casual Player Grid readers (those who don’t read notes like this) confused by the drop of quality in the categorization of players. Also, I realized I didn’t like listing players as Blue Chips unless I truly felt they were Blue Chips, by my strict definition of the category. And so — for the first time this season (but probably not the last) — we have no Blue Chips listed.

    “Light Blue” Chips
    Bills Passing Attack

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    The Oracle :: Strategy Q&A

    Welcome to 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 8 Topics

    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    2. The games that shape the slate

    3. Floating-play strategy, Week 8

    4. The gem that unlocks the slate

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


    The Oracle Is FREE Week 8!

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    1. What makes this particular slate particularly unique?

    The Question ::

    A weekly staple of The Oracle :: In no more than two or three sentences, tell us what makes this slate particularly unique.

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    I touched on this in the Angles email this week, but it’s somewhat interesting to see a Main Slate in which five of the seven highest-scoring offenses in the NFL are playing…and the next “highest-scoring offenses” are teams that rank 11th (Cleveland), 12th (New England), and 13th (Chargers), and are either spread-the-ball offenses (Browns/Patriots) or are in a below-average spot (Chargers). Which basically means we have five of the seven highest-scoring offenses in the NFL…and then the next team that stands out to us, through a conventional “team scoring” (and DFS production) lens, is a Colts team (vs Tennessee) that ranks 15th in the NFL in scoring. I always prefer to take a top-down approach to an NFL slate:: understanding the macro state of the slate before I start sorting through the micro. This is why the Angles email is structured the way it’s structured, and this is why Question 1 of The Oracle is structured the way it’s structured. There are plays from other games to consider; but as I consider those plays, I’ll be doing so against A) the backdrop of the fact that the Bills, the Bucs, the Rams, the Titans, and the Bengals have the best shots at leading the slate in Team Scoring this week…and B) the understanding that there is a definite gap between the upside-production of these teams and the other teams on the slate.

    Xandamere >>

    This slate feels like a “spread” slate in which ownership is going to be pretty broadly diversified across games. The Bills and Rams will be chalky as the only teams with totals over 30 (though perhaps the massive spreads will mitigate that somewhat), but when you look around for games to stack, nothing really jumps off the page. The Titans/Colts are the highest total on the slate and a close spread, but the Colts have been a hard time to target for fantasy production outside of Taylor and Pittman. Patriots/Chargers has a nice total but the Patriots are not the most stackable team. Same for Bucs/Saints. 

    So, this is a week in which I think the cores of our rosters can be based around a couple of different approaches:

    1. Try to identify the strongest in-a-vacuum plays, mix-and-match those plays with some QB/pass catcher pairings, hope you get everything right (this is what will be likely to win large GPPs this week, but is not the way I like to play because you’re trying to pick a whole bunch of things to go right…so I will not be playing large GPPs this week). 
    2. Try to build game stacks around games that could feasibly exceed their totals (Titans/Colts will be the most popular, but Eagles/Lions and Panthers/Falcons are plausible as well).
    3. Just build onslaughts with the best teams (Rams, Bills, Bucs, Chargers) and hope you can get three or four spots right on a single team (possibly without a bringback).
    Sonic >>

    This slate is unique because, as of Friday afternoon I’m not faced with any fade decisions. In MME, I’m always looking at ownership from a “step back and look at the slate holistically” standpoint and there appear to be no significant decisions looming. I don’t think Dan Arnold and the WFT DST really qualify as fade/lock commodities! Maybe Chris Godwin will get steamed to the point where he becomes a strategic piece. Instead, my thinking revolves mostly around players that are capable of 30 point outbursts and are not coming at high ownership. I may lean on a few of these with which to go 3 or 4 times the field on and build game stacks around them.  

    Hilow >>

    This feels like a slate where the masses are likely to struggle narrowing down the top plays in a vacuum, which in turn is likely to lead to rather spread ownership. On slates like this, it’s imperative to stick to the basics and attack game environments (which should go under-owned from a macro perspective). Running back also seems like a position where the possibility to gain leverage is fairly high.

    Papy >>

    This week is characterized by uncertainty. There isn’t a single player that I can’t make a reasonable case to fade, which is unique with 12 games on the slate. The three highest-priced players (Derrick Henry/Alvin Kamara/Cooper Kupp) are no sure bets, with the first two being in difficult matchups, and the third being priced extremely high for a WR in a game that shouldn’t be competitive. The Bills/Bucs/Rams/Titans/Bengals are the highest-scoring teams available, but each comes with their own concerns. The Bills have blowout worries, The Bucs are facing an above-average defense that has traditionally gotten up for this matchup, the Rams have blowout/defensive score worries, there is a chance the Colts strong run D plays the Titans tough, and the Bengals have similar concerns as the Rams. Despite a few warts, the “most confident” plays for me this week still come from those games. Diggs/Bills D, Godwin, Bengals D, and Henderson are likely to form the core of my rosters this week. That’s only five players, and two of them are defenses!  

    Larejo >>

    It’s the lack of high Vegas game totals to me this week. The last few weeks we’ve been spoiled with the Chiefs on the main slate (maybe not in hindsight), with multiple games sitting over 52 or 53 point totals. This week, our highest total is 51 currently with the Titans and the Colts. I assume this tells us we should see a lower total fantasy score winning tournaments though I am not sure that will be the case. Either way, lower totals and a lack of a clear “top game” should lead to more dispersed ownership.

    MJohnson >>

    My prediction for this week is that it will be the peak “Hindsight Week” of the year on Monday. What I mean by that, is that whatever happens this Sunday there will be easy things to point to and say “how did we not see that coming?!?” The reason I feel that way is that almost every offense that has been struggling or isn’t usually explosive is playing a bad defense, while there are also a lot of very good offenses who have matchups with tough defenses. The Bengals, Rams, and Bills are three clearly good offenses with good matchups — but will all draw heavy ownership in spots and have worries about whether their games will remain close enough to produce “had to have it spots”. Almost every other team has a reasonable “on paper” case to be made for why they will smash or why they will fail.

    Majesstik >>

    Even with the two extra games on this slate compared to the last two, we’re only seeing two games with an implied total greater than 50 points and another five that are below 45 points. However, the spreads are tighter this week so we can look forward to better “back and forth” type games and work toward building around those environments. Both of the games implied for over 50 looks to be competitive and three out of four of those teams have a narrow distribution of opportunities. The other, Indianapolis, could have a narrow range if T.Y. Hilton was to miss. For the most part, this week seems like a week to use more “skinny stacks” or “one-to-one” correlated plays.


    2. The games that shape the slate

    The Question ::

    Game Environments, Week 8: This week provides us with a healthy spread of games, with six games (out of 12) in a relatively tight range of game totals, ranging from 47.5 to 51.0. With that said, however (as we know!), not all game totals are created equal. The Rams and the Bills are expected to win handily; and while each team warrants strong consideration, we also know that back-and-forth games are A) likelier to create late-game aggression, and B) likelier to yield macro game environments that soar above their projected total. In that category, we have one game that clearly stands out above the others, with the Titans and Colts boasting a one-point spread, and each team capable of putting up points. Additionally, we have some sneakier spots that have outside-shot shootout potential, with Philly/Detroit likely to be competitive throughout, and with Tampa favored by only 5.5 against the Saints in a game in which both teams should be passing plenty. If we take the Bills and Rams out of this conversation, is there a game (or two) that stands out from the others from a shootout and/or strategy perspective?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    Well. I guess I’m the one who comes up with these questions, right? So it makes sense that I love this question this week.

    If you tuned into this Tuesday’s Inner Circle segment, it’s interesting/instructive to me that these are the spots we were talking about, without having looked at Vegas totals. As we noted in that segment: thinking through thoughts BEFORE looking at Vegas totals can allow you to have more confidence in your expectations for games, especially at those times when Vegas begins to tell a different story than the one you were seeing.

    With the craziness (on my end) of travel prep on Tuesday and a full day of travel Wednesday, I won’t have a clear sense of exactly what my rosters will look like until Saturday night; but given everything I was exploring “in a bubble” at the front end of the week (as discussed on Tuesday), and given what Vegas is also saying, I expect my rosters to be heavily focused on the Bills, the Rams, the Titans/Colts game, the Eagles/Lions game, and the Bucs/Saints game.

    As also discussed Tuesday: there is an obvious way to play the Titans/Colts game, and to feel like you’re outmaneuvering the field along the way:: “Everyone thinks of Derrick Henry when they think of the Titans. But the Colts have a good run defense, and their pass defense has struggled. Also, Carson Wentz has played well, and Parris Campbell is out, and T.Y. Hilton is likely to be out, which makes something like Wentz // Pittman // AJB both sharp and somewhat sneaky.” I’m on board with this. But as we also found in that Tuesday segment, there’s another layer here. What if the Colts (favored at home, and with a defense that is capable of making an opponent one-dimensional and then forcing mistakes from there) give the Titans’ offense a really difficult time? If that one thing happens, a Colts + Jonathan Taylor pairing becomes a high-probability way to capture a lot of points from this spot. People will have JT. Not many will have him paired with the Colts, betting on this particular story.

    Eagles/Lions is another one I like plenty, with Hurts // Devonta // Reagor // Quez // Goedert // Swift // Hockenson in the mix. No major strategy angles stand out to me from this game (in terms of placing overlooked bets that also make plenty of sense), but the key pieces from this game are in the mix for me.

    And I’m especially drawn to the Bucs/Saints game, around a story that says something like, “Maybe this is a breakout game for Jameis.” You cannot run against either defense, so we should expect a pass-heavy attack on both sides of the ball. With Antonio Brown looking unlikely to play and Mike Evans locked up on Lattimore, we could narrow our focus on the Bucs side of the ball, while taking some shots on the ways in which Jameis and the Saints might put up points through the air.

    Xandamere >>

    Titans/Colts is probably the best environment but JM described that one in detail, so I’ll go over to Eagles/Lions. Both teams boast poor defenses and offenses that can, at least on a good day, appear quite competent. The Lions have also been operating with a pretty narrow offense, which lets us focus on just Swift, Hockenson, and maybe a wide receiver (Raymond? Though I think Tyrell Williams is coming back this week…). On the Eagles side, you’ll need to employ more guesswork, with Smith and Goedert the best on-paper options but Watkins and Reagor are certainly in play as well. Or you could just play Hurts naked and hope none of his receivers really goes off, which is an entirely plausible outcome. The game total is 48, so only three points behind the highest-total game of the week. From a strategy perspective, stacking this one makes plenty of sense. 

    Sonic >>

    In MME, this question will always revolve around ownership. With all things being uncertain, I’ll gravitate towards the games that will benefit from the uncertainty the most. This week’s games that appear to be falling under that category are Dolphins/Bills and our late game hammer WFT/Broncos. There are ZERO wide receivers in either of these games that project to be over 11% (only the Bills guys are in that range) and ZERO RBs that are projected to be over 5%. The chalk here is at TE with Ricky Seals-Jones and freaking Tommy Sweeney. I think these games will be fun to stack while avoiding the thin chalk-ish plays and hammering the low-owned pieces.   

    Hilow >>

     I have a good deal more interest in the TEN/IND game today than I did when I wrote that game up (when it looked like Julio and TY Hilton would play). We now get a tighter range of expected target distribution, which was the biggest piece missing for me earlier in the week. That said, it feels like the optimal way to play that game is through correlated pairings as opposed to game stacks. As for game environments I feel could go overlooked, the two mentioned in the question stand out to me the most as games that might not get enough attention (minus one-offs).

    Papy >>

    With no sure things, and ownership likely to be spread out this week, the game that shapes the slate the most for me is the Broncos/Football Team. I did the write-up for this game, and you can find my full thoughts there, but I believe this game has more of a chance to open up than the total is predicting. The Washington Football Team is one of the clearest pass funnel defenses in the league and while it’s always risky to assume rational coaching, I’m leaning towards giving the Broncos staff the benefit of the doubt here. If the Broncos come out firing, there is a good chance Teddy Bridgewater and at least one of his pass catchers post a strong score. I’d rather pay up for Sutton on rosters that can afford him, but I don’t mind playing Jeudy on rosters that can’t. Fant is also in play, but the appeal of saving salary at TE will likely lead me elsewhere on my core rosters. Speaking of “cheap TEs”, RSJ is a viable bring back on rosters that stack this game, as is F1 if you want to spend most of your salary here. This game could be a low scoring, sloppy game, as the total is predicting, or it could become a gem that won’t draw much ownership. 

    Larejo >>

    It’s either the highest or second-highest game total on the board depending on when you are seeing it, but the Bucs and Saints is my favorite game to target this week. The pass-funnel nature of the Bucs defense always drives more plays for the opposing team, and along with their potent offense, it forces aggressive plays from their opponents. Jameis Winston and aggressive actually go together pretty well, in theory. I will not be betting on Jameis but if I were MME this week I’d have plenty of him. I like a full stack of Brady/Fournette/Godwin/Gronk on one side and/or Kamara/Callaway/Smith on the Saints side. This should be the last game to conclude on Sunday, so it does also play to my natural affinity to have something left in the tank when most of the games are over.

    MJohnson >>

    The game that shaped the slate in Week 5 was Browns/Chargers. The game that busted open the slate in Week 6 was Cowboys/Patriots. In Week 7, the Patriots scored 54 points and the Chargers had a bye. Now it is Week 8 and the Patriots play the Chargers in a game with a spread under one score and the game is tied for the second-highest game total on the slate at 49.5. Despite all of that, the ownerships on this game appear extremely low and I’m not seeing it talked about anywhere across the industry as of Friday.

    The Cleveland offensive line is back to full strength and Nick Chubb practiced in full on Friday. Pittsburgh’s defense has been good, but it isn’t the stalwart unit that their name makes you think of historically. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s offense has concentrated volume, is coming off a bye, and is facing a Cleveland defense that will be missing Denzel Ward and possibly Jadeveon Clowney. This game has a low total but has more paths to a 28-24 type of game than most people will see with some clarity on which plays would be the ones to get it there.

    Majesstik >>

    Sans Bills and Rams, the two 50+ point games are interesting in that they are both tight on the spread. Something I like to look for when looking at these games is Drive Success Rate and look for matchups where the offense and the defense they are playing are both conducive to a back and forth matchup. This is a part of #TheWorkbook and it’s right in the “Game Environment” section of the Matchup Chart. The Titans and Colts have a nice shade of green in three of the four boxes for this matchup, meaning neither should be too much resistance for the other defensively and both have offenses that will be able to take advantage of the matchup.

    The other one that looks semi-attractive from this lens is the Patriots at Chargers game where each has an offense that does well at what the opposing defense is weaker at. Chargers struggle to stop the run and cover tight ends, which is where the Patriots are strong on offense. The Patriots defense tends to allow opponents to gain rush yardage between the 20s then force the opponent to score through the air in the red zone. Well, Ekeler is a great between the 20s RB running and catching the ball and can be a pass-catching asset in the red zone, while Keenan Allen can take advantage of the Patriots in the red zone with their loss of Jon Jones at nickel corner. The Patriots are likely to be more concerned with keeping Mike Williams from hitting explosive plays that these two should put up solid scores.


    3. Floating-play strategy, Week 8

    The Question ::

    Floating Plays, Week 8: In Question 2, we focused on three game environments :: Titans/Colts // Eagles/Lions // Bucs/Saints (while noting the strength of players from the Bills and Rams). If we were to take those five games off the slate, who are some of the “floating plays” (or even “floating stacks”!) that you would be likely to find yourself moving toward this week?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    Honestly, there are some pretty interesting pieces across the board this week.

    It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Teddy Bridgewater throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns against Washington…which not only keeps Bridgewater stacks viable, but also brings Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Noah Fant in the “floating play” mix for me this week.

    The Seahawks may not scorch the scoreboard against the Jags, with Geno Smith under center, but Alex Collins and James Robinson are both in the mix in this game, while Marvin Jones maintains sneaky 30-point upside if everything breaks his way.

    Austin Ekeler is unlikely to go overlooked, but he’s the Chargers’ best means of moving the ball against a Patriots defense that will have an easier time “chess mastering” Keenan and Mike Williams out of some plays than they will Ekeler.

    Carolina // Atlanta is a sneaky game environment as a whole, with two solid offenses that have deeply concentrated and bankable touch distributions.

    Speaking of “concentrated and bankable touch distributions” :: Najee/Diontae/Claypool are the Steelers entire offense. It’s not a great spot against the Browns, but one of these three (and possibly two of these three) will nevertheless have a solid shot at a very strong raw score.

    Khalil Herbert is very interesting to me against the 49ers, after taking over as a true all-purpose back (after 34 catches in his entire college career, he’s posted seven catches the last two weeks).

    And of course, anyone from the Bengals can smash against the Jets.

    Xandamere >>

    I’m definitely going back to the well on big Mike Williams this week. He’s only had two bad games all year, one when he didn’t play much as he was clearly hobbled with an injury from the prior week. He’s healthy now, and the whole “Patriots take away the opponent’s best weapon” is a narrative that is super common around the DFS space but is not at all supported by the data. He’s my overall favorite wide receiver “floating play.” It’s impossible to ignore what Ja’Marr Chase has done this season, and he’s in the mix, but Tee Higgins has seen plenty of volume as well and should come in fairly low owned since he hasn’t put up a strong score yet this season. Also, at some point Robby Anderson will actually catch some footballs, or I’ll go broke. I’m not sure which will happen first.

    At running back I’ll go with Joe Mixon (massive favorite against a bad defense), Chuba Hubbard (still getting all the RB work despite no big score the last couple of weeks), and Khalil Herbert (18, 22, and 23 touches in the last three games, with pass game work increasing each week). 

    Tight end is gross, especially with several games already checked off the list. I like Noah Fant but he’s hard to make a case for at his price with Jerry Jeudy coming back. Kyle Pitts is obviously awesome and I’ll play him a fair bit. Hunter Henry has scored a touchdown in four straight weeks and the Patriots should be in catch-up mode for much of this game. Ricky Seals-Jones is still playing almost every snap (remember LT3 last year, where we kept playing him because his role was so strong and it took FOREVER for him to finally start hitting…but then he did? RSJ is in the same role). 

    Sonic >>

    I’m going to stay on brand here and praise Deebo Samuel. I was sad earlier in the week that he was developing into chalk but those projections seem to have calmed. I know he’s priced up but I’m still going to be 2x on Jamarr Chase if it appears he’ll be only owned in the 10% range. Same with Terry Mclaurin and Mike Williams who are sitting below the 5% mark right now. I know matchups might not be perfect and they are somewhat pricey, but these are players that are capable of 30 points! 

    Hilow >>

    Although I don’t expect them to go entirely overlooked, the correlated pairing of Calvin Ridley and DJ Moore is likely to go under-owned (Most people that play either are likeliest to do so either as one-offs or paired with either quarterback).

    Another correlated pairing I feel might be misplayed is Jalen Hurts with a D’Andre Swift bring-back (each can “get there” in any game environment and the field is likely to force a pairing with Hurts).

    Jamison Crowder was all the way up to an 80% snap rate last game, indicating he’s both fully healthy and a large member of this Jets offense. With Corey Davis out, Crowder should provide enough volume in a likely extremely negative game script to return a viable cheap option (possible “key that unlocks the slate”).

    Papy >>

    I use a lot of floating plays/skinny stacks on my tighter builds, as I must really love a game environment to totally stack all its players. I typically reserve those types of “total” stack rosters for MME play. This week appears to be a good week for floating play, as we don’t have an obvious game to target for total stacks. I’ll play any of the mentioned core players for me this week (Diggs/Godwin/Henderson), by themselves (Henderson will almost always be without other Rams), and the WRs will only include their QBs if it makes sense for that lineup. Deebo Samuel has floating play appeal, as he is a part of what is expected to be a very poor game environment, but things are so concentrated on him that he is still likely to succeed. Michael Pittman (especially with TY out) is an appealing one off but is also pairable with Wentz. Dionte Johnson is a one off for his high-volume role, in an offense where you probably don’t want to also bet on Big Ben’s noodle arm.  You can get creative with one off RBs this week, as several RBs in poor game environments are mispriced for their roles. Kahlil Herbert and Michael Carter stand out to me as the best examples of RBs that could be played as one offs. Neither should draw much ownership. 

    Larejo >>

    Beyond those games, floating plays on the Bengals is the place where I will start. Chase makes the best case, especially if he’s looking like he will be lower-owned than Higgins. Joe Mixon is next up there as well. Both could and should have touchdowns on Sunday.

    Noah Fant keeps popping up for me as well. JM and X talked about him above and I understand the reasoning of having a lesser role with Jeudy coming back, but his athleticism hasn’t led to that blowup long TD yet as his longest catch of the season is 26 yards. I like him to have a TD catch of 40 yards or more this week.

    I’m going to also list the Rams defense as a floating play. They cost $5,100 on DK but if I can fit them, I am going there for all the reasons noted in this week’s Missed Opportunities.

    MJohnson >>

    CAR/ATL:: Calvin Ridley, DJ Moore, Chuba Hubbard

    NE/LAC:: Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, Justin Jackson/Joshua Kelley

    PIT/CLE:: Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Nick Chubb, OBJ

    WAS/DEN:: Antonio Gibson, Jerry Jeudy, Ricky Seals-Jones

    JAX/SEA:: Laviska Shenault, Tyler Lockett/DK Metcalf

    Majesstik >>

    Joe Mixon stands out as a nice floating play. The last time he played a team this bad against RBs was Week 6 in Detroit and he went for 26.3 DK points. The Jets are allowing the highest per game points (39.1) and targets (10.5) to the RB position. James Robinson and Alex Collins in the Jaguars at Seahawks game are both great looking plays on paper. Deebo Samuel is another floating play in a great spot between playing a terrible secondary and him being his team’s only hope of moving the ball through the air this year. I also really like the Steelers receivers (Johnson and Claypool) against the Browns, who take away the run and force passes. Chris Godwin looks like he’ll be busy against the Saints, who also take away the run and force the pass, and Lattimore has taken Mike Evans out of these games leaving just Godwin to be the major producer. 


    4. The gem that unlocks the slate

    The Question ::

    Value Plays, Week 8: This week appears to provide a lot more “value” flexibility than last week, with very little in the way of “guys who are obviously mispriced,” but with a decent number/range of options that could go for scores well above what their price tags would indicate. Are there any value players and/or approaches that you have consistently found yourself considering this week?

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    From an “approaches” standpoint, there are some interesting stacks that could cover two or three spots on your roster while freeing up salary for other spots. One of these approaches is to stack Josh Allen with his two lower-cost pass catchers (Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley). Another is to stack Teddy Bridgewater with two of Sutton/Jeudy/Fant. Wentz/Pittman is a very sexy two-man stack ($11k in DK salary), with a Titans pass-catcher bring-back making a lot of sense here. Jameis + Callaway requires a lot of faith, but Callaway has 15 targets the last two weeks, and Jameis could easily post a season-high in pass attempts against the Bucs. This is another stack that would provide plenty of upside and free up salary (with clear bring-backs available on the other side of the ball). And if you want to get particularly frisky, Sam Darnold + Robby Anderson would fail far more often than not…but it would also hit for a monster price-considered score far more often than ownership will indicate.

    From a one-off value approach, Quez Watkins and Brandon Aiyuk require things to break their way (for Quez, he’d need to take advantage of his blazing speed on what will likely be only four or five targets, vs a defense that is susceptible to players like him; for Aiyuk, he’d need to actually see some looks), but both are intriguing. And Dan Arnold is only $2.8k on DraftKings, and can easily see the same number of targets, and post a similar score, to any of the guys in the “below $5k” tight end range.

    Xandamere >>

    JM cheats by filling out his answers first. I don’t think I will go with Jameis personally, though I see the case for it, but Callaway is entirely viable. I’m not really seeing anything below $4.5k or so at wide receiver that JM hasn’t mentioned already beyond Van Jefferson, whose deep role gives him plenty of ceiling on limited volume, but comes with a high degree of volatility. 

    At running back I’ll reiterate Khalil Herbert as a play who is just underpriced for the volume he’s seeing, while at tight end I’ll note RSJ again and also concur with JM on Dan Arnold, who has been highly involved in the Jags offense since coming to town and is in a nice matchup. 

    Sonic >>

    Yeah, it could easily flop but this WFT/Broncos game is super cheap. Stacking this game solves your price and ownership problems in one swoop. Just add whatever pieces you want to them and you’ve built some ugly lineups that could blossom into the best kind of beauty. Other value that is coming in at reasonable ownership includes Trevor Lawrence (and stacking teammates), Myles Gaskin, Zack Moss, Van Jefferson, Jonnu Smith (or if he doesn’t play Hunter Henry) because Chargers are yielding 21.3 fantasy points to tight ends over the last four weeks. Honorable mention goes to David Johnson (pukes a little) who, if he receives extra snaps vacated by Mark Ingram, could see some extra dump-off in a Rams/Texans blowout. Keep an eye on the status of Austin Ekeler in Los Angeles. If he sits, value could open up if we can get a read on how the workload will be distributed.

    Hilow >>

    Not to repeat myself too much here, but Jamison Crowder is super interesting as a “zero ownership” piece that should see eight to 12 targets. If he’s able to score, that kind of expected volume at his price tag could prove extremely useful.

    Although not terribly cheap, Rob Gronkowski jumps out to me as a piece likely to go relatively overlooked in his first game back from injury (assuming he plays). The salary isn’t overbearing and while everyone looks to Chris Godwin, he could provide one of the cheaper ways to get exposure to that

    Papy >>

    The guy I’m going to be most overweight on compared to the field is James Robinson ($6,600). I’m going to deliver “the dissenting” opinion here from the edge game. I’m currently seeing Robinson projected for 4% ownership on the OWS ownership tool, and that appears to be in line with the industry, as the most aggressive ownership percentage I’ve seen for Robinson is 8%. I’m not sure why. What criteria should we use to evaluate an RB play for DFS? Opportunity, matchup, game environment, price, ownership, talent level, in that order. Robinson has played over 85% of the snaps in the Jags past two games and is coming off a bye, where he got a chance to rest. During the past four weeks Robinson has never seen less than 15 carries, is the clear goal line back, and has averaged over three targets per game (read the way I framed these stats, but please also read the way these same stats are commented on by JM in the Edge. We are both right. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics). The past four games have produced DK scores for Robinson of 25.4/20.6/24.7/19.1. Opportunity, check. The Seahawks are 11th in DVOA against the run (the Jags are 2nd in DVOA running the ball), but the Hawks have given up a lot of points to RBs, yielding a 31st in the league 70 rec yards per game to the position. They are coming off a Monday night game, and the Jags are coming off a bye. Matchup, check. The game environment is a concern, but it’s not one of the poorest on the slate, and if Geno Smith can find success against the Jags pathetic secondary then this one could be destined for the over. Robinson rarely comes off the field, so the game environment isn’t likely to phase him out either way. Game environment, good enough. Robinson is priced as the RB10 on the main slate, and while not cheap, his cost is in no way prohibitive. An RB playing 85% of the snaps priced under $7,000 is always a play I’ll gravitate towards. Price, check. Robinson is projected to be 5% owned. Ownership, check. If you haven’t watched a lot of James Robinson the past two seasons because the Jags are rarely on primetime, you’re missing out. During the past four weeks (and all season), Robinson hasn’t rushed for below 4.3 YPC. He dropped a whopping 8.3 YPC on 18 totes against the Titans in Week 5. The Cardinals also got abused for 5.9 YPC on 15 gallops in Week 3. Robinson has seen 22 targets on the year, and he has caught an astounding 17 of them! Good for a 77% catch rate. The past four games, he’s been even better, bringing in 12 out of 13 targets. TDs aren’t “repeatable”, but some players are simply tough around the paint. Robinson is a fireplug that has turned his redzone role into four straight games with a touchdown (two in Week 4 against the Bengals). Want advanced stats? Of course, you do! Robinson is number one in the league in DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement). DYAR measures a player’s performance running and catching the ball against a replacement level player, like WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in baseball. Second through fifth place on the DYAR list are Ekler/Henry/Taylor/Zeke. Robinson isn’t just in first place, he’s in first by a mile, with over 10 more DYAR yards than second place. Talent, check.

    Larejo >>

    Tee Higgins on DK has to be the leader in the clubhouse on underpriced guys this week. Especially coming off a 15-target game. Robby Anderson is also lower than he should be, but it’s based on his lack of production this season so he’s a gamble as always. At RB, Mixon is cheaper than he should be given the matchup, Chuba is too cheap for his locked-in role, and James Robinson could be argued for as well. My favorite value play of the week, however, is Jamal Agnew, along with his Jacksonville defense and special teams.

    MJohnson >>

    We don’t get these chances often, but with Austin Ekeler likely out and both Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley at min-price this is an opportunity to lock up all of the Chargers RB touches in one player block. Ekeler was priced at $7,900 and was only playing 60-70% of the snaps as it was. Larry Rountree played zero snaps Week 5 and was a healthy scratch Week 6, so a Jackson/Kelley split of the backfield seems likely. If Ekeler misses, the Patriots will likely divert most of their attention to slowing down Herbert and the passing game, which would leave a lot of meat on the bone for “LAC RB”. If you play that player block, you can do pretty much whatever you want with the rest of your roster.

    In past weeks I have talked about playing the popular/high game total wide receivers as a stack but replacing their quarterback with a cheaper option to differentiate. This week, there appear to be some cheaper, somewhat condensed target share passing games in good spots that you could stack the cheap pass catchers and then play them with one of the premium QB’s. Teams with options I see that would fit this mold:: DEN, PHI, CAR, JAX, TB

    Van Jefferson played 94% of snaps in Week 7 and Desean Jackson is gone now, meaning that is going to continue. He has seen 4+ targets in each of the last five games, plays one of the worst pass defenses in the league, and costs $3,900 on DK. This doesn’t have to be so hard sometimes.

    Majesstik >>

    The value plays I’ve found puzzling-in my builds have been Alex Collins ($5300) and Jamal Agnew ($3700) who has 6 and 7 targets as the new slot receiver for Jacksonville, and I like JM’s call on Dan Arnold in this game, too. Arnold has 15 targets through three games with the Jags and has last week’s bye to assimilate even further into this offense. I always like Quez Watkins who is going to see the field a lot more with Ertz gone and more 11-personnel looks coming. He’ll face off against veteran doormat Daryl Worley for most of his game. Tommie Sweeney and Jonnu Smith are interesting value plays at TE, along with Arnold. Sweeney is taking over a role that has seen Dawson Knox catch 5 TDs in. Last week, Patriots teammates said Jonnu’s breakout game is coming. If his teammates believe it, I’m going to pay attention, as his price has gone nothing but down and he’s in a prime matchup to exploit against the Chargers TE funnel defense.


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

    The Question ::

    A weekly staple of The Oracle :: highlight one or two of the games, teams, or players you feel could leave people saying at the end of Week 7, “That was so obvious, how did I not see it?”

    The Answers ::
    JM >>

    “Of course the spots everyone in the industry was talking about were not as ‘guaranteed to hit’ as they were all making it seem.” (I could add this answer every week, and it would always fit.)

    “Of course Josh Allen was going to be the highest-scoring fantasy player of the week.”

    “Of course Brandon Aiyuk was eventually going to post a big game. How did I not see that one coming?” (Fingers crossed…)

    “Of course Robby Anderson was eventually going to turn his insane volume into insane production.” (If we post that enough, it’ll eventually be true.)

    “Of course Jameis Winston was going to throw three touchdown passes against the Bucs.” (Okay. So…not “of course.” But no one is going to be surprised if it happens.)

    “Of course I should have embraced a bit more uncertainty, and bet a bit more on ‘things that hadn’t happened yet, but could happen,’ instead of clinging so tightly to what logic and ‘past performance’ were pointing me toward this week.” Hopefully that’s what the field will be saying, as you cruise to victory on more aggressive play.

    Xandamere >>

    Copy/paste on Josh Allen, Brandon Aiyuk, and Robby Anderson!

    “Of course Derrick Henry was going to score three touchdowns again, he’s already done it three times this year”

    “Of course a full onslaught of <insert Bills or Rams here> took everything down, they were projected to score over 30 points against a helpless opponent, I should have just played <QB + 2 receivers + RB + DST>”

    Sonic >>

    “Of course Deebo was going to smash. Who the hell else do they have?”

    “Of course Jalen Hurts was going to fall short eventually. He couldn’t keep bailing us out in the 4th quarter every week. He was a nice play at low ownership, but  at 17% ownership…not so much for MME”

    “Of course Robby Anderson was going to get his head out of his ass eventually. Why did I remove him from my MME pool at $4700 against the Falcons?”

    “Damnit! I should have been above the field on Noah Fant. Dude was super low-owned and playing WFT who is yielding 8.29 targets per game to tight ends. I guess I was afraid Juedy would steal his targets.”

    Hilow >>

     “Of course the PHI/DET game hit the over, the Eagles don’t run the football and the Lions are playing hungry.”

    “Of course Rob Gronkowski came back from a punctured lung and fractured ribs to score two touchdowns. We knew the Bucs would be passing and that dude is the football Superman!”

    “Of course Jamison Crowder saw 11 targets, CD was out and Crowder saw an 80% snap rate last game!”

    Papy >>

    Disclaimer: I don’t feel great about this theory, and I will only be betting a small amount on this play myself.

    Heaven help me for saying this, but Odell Beckham is only $4,600 and I have an interest at that price. It’s hard to believe such a talented player has fallen to the pricing of an average ancillary piece. OBJ is still supposed to be the WR1 in this offense, and there is a chance he could see a spiked target week in a game where the Cleveland RBs are either banged up or coming off injury. If the Browns elect to target the relative weakness of the Steelers defense, there is a chance OBJ is the benefactor and delivers a big game, on low salary, at minimum ownership. How could we not play OBJ for $4,600 in a matchup where we knew they were going to throw! We might all scream on Monday.

    Larejo >>

    “Of course the expensive pass-catching running back outscored the expensive yardage and touchdown running back this week (Kamara vs. Henry)”

    “Of course a million dollars was won with a correlated WR, who returns kicks or punts, and a defense. Double points for a return touchdown on the road to $1M”

    MJohnson >>

    “Why do I keep overthinking these smash spots like Bills and Rams?” 

    • If the ownership projections I am seeing are right, these spots are not going to have anything close to prohibitive ownership in them. I honestly don’t understand why so many people are so focused on ways to get *off* these games.

    “Of course Jameis Winston was going to throw four interceptions against the Bucs.”

    • I literally copy and pasted JM’s comment and changed this from TDs to INTs….it just seems so unlikely he plays an “average” game in this spot and the Bucs D is starting to look like themselves again.

    “Of course I should have played Najee Harris, who has averaged 28.5 carries plus targets over the last four games, at moderate ownership for $7,500 on DK.”

    “Calvin Ridley. Still good.”

    “Why does Mike Williams keep having single digit ownership?”

    “D’Ernest Johnson smashed the Broncos who are down EIGHT linebackers right now, including six on Injured Reserve….of course Antonio Gibson was going to go nuts now that he’s finally off the injury report.”

    Majesstik >>

    Of course there wasn’t an obvious game environment for people to flock to so ownership was so spread out that the obvious one-offs and/or skinny stacks were the way to go instead of betting on game stacks.

    -and-

    Of course I wasted those one offs and skinny stacks by betting on the Jaguars again only to watch them “snowflake” my rosters.

    Thanks for hanging out with us in The Oracle this week!

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

    Willing To Lose

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

    Has anyone else ever been building a roster, almost clicking on a player’s name and saying to themself, “that’s what the old me would have done” and then move on to the next, better play? That’s growth as a DFS player. I do this all the time, for the record. It doesn’t so much matter how much profit you’ve made in your “new” phase, because if you feel like you can see first-hand how your decision-making is changing, then you are progressing. And it’s always on your metric, not someone else’s. I would also argue that if/when you are growing, that is when you should feel like your next big win is right around the corner. Noticing first the change in your decision-making precedes the big win. It should because, in a new phase, you’ll need to sharpen those decisions too. It’s an evolving game we all play, and we love it because of the challenges it presents us. And because we can make life-changing money while doing it!

    Week 8 Overview

    I’ll lead into the plays this week by saying my intent is to get weird this week. Not weird in the way where we’re going to play Jets stacks, the Texans defense, or two cheap tight ends not named Tommy Sweeney. But weird in a way where we can all but guarantee we’re hitting low-owned plays with a higher likelihood of producing a tournament-winning score than ownership would indicate. If we can achieve this, we’ll feel irrationally confident about our rosters at roster lock, regardless of outcome, which is a feeling we should all be playing for.

    Bengals Onslaught (Burrow, Chase, Mixon) + Elijah Moore

    Well, I have to stay on brand! Many people will focus on the Bengals offense this week. But, as is the case in many expected lopsided games, we should have many rosters using the Bengals as one-off floating plays. As of late Thursday, expected ownership looks to be gathering heavily around the underpriced Tee Higgins, then Joe Mixon around 10% with the thriving combination of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase seeing single digits. If we are seeing ownership this low, we can all but guarantee their collective ownership will be rare.

    There is no reason (even considering price) that Higgins should be getting 3X the ownership of Chase. There’s an amazing tweet of just how easily Chase gets open found here. I encourage you all to watch it. The reality is he is for real, and he’s about to have his easiest matchup of the season with the Jets. We can tell a similar story for Burrow. What if Mac Jones had thrown four touchdowns last week (he threw two), instead of the Patriots running four TD’s on the ground? That would have all but guaranteed Burrow carrying much more ownership this week. The Jets defense is equally vulnerable through the air and on the ground. There should not be much resistance all around, no matter what the Bengals do. Their implied team total is 26.75, but I see no reason why they can’t get to 30 points. If they get to 35 (five touchdowns), this three-man combination (while expensive) gets you access to all of their scores.

    If we want to spend on this three-man Bengals block, we’re looking at $21.5K on DraftKings, leaving us with $4,750 per player for the rest of our lineup. We will need to go hunting for cheap upside. And if we get this tributary to play out, coming back with a cheap Jets piece with upside brings me to Elijah Moore. What the Jets are doing on offense right now is not working. Moore represents one of their few game-breaking talents, who last week showcased his speed on a 19-yard end-around he took in for a touchdown. At his price, coming off 57% of the offensive snaps, he’s mostly game script-proof, as the Jets should leave him out there to get reps if the score gets out of hand. He also should have better chemistry than the veteran Jets wideouts with backup QB Mike White, who will be starting this game. Add to all of this a new Corey Davis injury that popped up on Thursday, and it’s possible Moore is a larger part of the Jets game plan this week. At only $3,900 on DK, he adds much needed flexibility to a Bengals overstack.

    Jamal Agnew + Jags Defense

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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


    Hey OWS Fam…and a special welcome to those who are reading this for the first time this week!

    This part of The Scroll is where I ponder each player on this week’s slate and lay out some news, pros, cons etc. 

    I tend to save my Bold Green plays for the less chalky tournament plays…although I tend to play plenty of chalk at the RB position.

    There is no shortage of effective plays and strategies available on this slate so I strongly suggest you be yourself and attack in a way that makes you feel unique and not simply following the herd. 

    Hope this helps give you a “at a glance” overview and helps you organize your thoughts a little. 
    See you at the Top!


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    SuperDraft Strategy

    Xandamere is one of the most respected Showdown minds in DFS, and focuses his Main Slate play on mass-multi-entry

    Week 8 and we’re almost halfway through the NFL season. I’ve already almost binked the Superdraft GPP twice and I’m determined to do it this year. Maybe this is the week! 

    Also, apologies for no article last week. There was an editing error that resulted in the article I wrote being overwritten, and I didn’t have time to redo it. Won’t happen again!

    Before you read this article, you should read my NFL Superdraft Primer to get a basic understanding of the site, how it’s different from Draftkings and Fanduel, and the strategy elements that come into play. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can get $100 free with a minimum $100 deposit!! (Promo Code :: OWS)

    First, all the normal NFL strategy about stacking and correlation still applies. It definitely makes sense to strongly consider pairing your QB with a receiver. Game stacks are entirely viable here. The good news is you don’t have to change your entire approach to be successful on Superdraft. All you have to do is change your mentality of player selection, since the multiplier introduces so many different strategy dynamics, as the primer goes over. With that, let’s take a look at Week 6. I’m not going to go game by game here (we have the Edge for that!), but rather, position by position, trying to spot where I think there are good opportunities to leverage attractive scoring multipliers. 

    Quarterback:

    Jalen Hurts is my top projected quarterback of the week, which I love because I also want to stack that game. He also brings a high floor thanks to his rushing so everything lines up for him. If you want to play Josh Allen and a Bills stack, despite the 1x multiplier, I wouldn’t argue as Allen projects so well that he’s my 2nd-highest QB. Carson Wentz at 1.4x in a likely shootout, Jared Goff with a sexy 1.6x multiplier on the other side of the Philly game, and Sam Darnold at 1.45x against Atlanta are my other higher-multiplier favorites, while Teddy Bridgewater looks interesting against Washington’s awful secondary. Tom Brady has shown he can get there in any game despite a low multiplier, and then of all the things that make me hate myself, Geno Smith actually projects well because of his 1.65x multiplier and a matchup against the atrocious Jaguars. I don’t want to do this . . .

    Running Back:

    My highest projected running back is Alvin Kamara, but recognize that the Bucs defense is smarter than the Seahawks and they won’t just leave him open to catch 10 passes for 100 yards or whatever he did against Seattle, there’s risk here. Austin Ekeler is my second highest projected back in a much better environment. D’Andre Swift looks great paired with Hurts or Goff, while Darrell Henderson failed last week but is back once again as a bell cow back in a good matchup with a huge team total. In the higher-multiplier range, Khalil Herbert at 1.75x is awfully attractive as his role has been growing week over week with more pass game involvement. Najee Harris and Joe Mixon have great volume and strong upside, while Jonathan Taylor is in an awesome matchup but will have to get there on efficiency. You can also include Chuba Hubbard, James Robinson, and Alex Collins at high multipliers, although those would be “sprinkle” guys for me rather than someone I’d want to go in heavily on. Kenneth Gainwell is in a similar boat, as I would think he’s first up with Miles Sanders hurt, but Boston Scott will be involved, and Hurts is probably the favorite to lead the team in rushing. Oh, and Derrick Henry has a 1x multiplier but he can score 40+ anyhow, despite a tough matchup (I’m probably not using him at all, but he’s worth mentioning as he does have the ceiling you need).

    Wide Receiver:

    As always, I’ll discuss stacking options later but in this section, I’ll just highlight receivers I’m comfortable using as floating plays in any roster:

    • Mike Williams is, once again, my favorite wide receiver of the week. He’s still sitting at a 1.45x multiplier, which is ridiculous considering the season he’s having. I’m in.
    • Michael Pittman should see plenty of work in a great matchup and Colts receivers are dropping like flies. His 1.65 multiplier is sexy.
    • Cooper Kupp has a 1x multiplier but good grief he seems to go for 100+ yards and two touchdowns every freaking week.
    • Ja’Marr Chase against the Jets? Yeah, I’ll play that.
    • Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, because Antonio Brown is still out and it’s awfully hard to run against the Saints. Yes, Marshawn Lattimore has clamped down on Evans in the past, but every game is different.
    • DJ Moore against the Falcons, yum yum. 
    • AJ Brown against the Colts and their outstanding run defense. 1.4x for a top-5 NFL receiver? Yes, please.

    Tight End:

    Tight end looks horrendous this week. Kyle Pitts has a 1x multiplier, normally reserved for guys like Travis Kelce or maybe Darren Waller. Eww. Other multipliers are being squeezed as well, with Dallas Goedert at 1.05x, Mike Gesicki at 1.1x, and T.J. Hockenson and Rob Gronkowski both at 1.15x. Any of those guys could put up the highest tight end score on the slate (which will probably be not very many points. I would absolutely, positively not play double tight end on Superdraft this week). I really don’t like anyone here outside of game stacks besides those dudes, and then Ricky Seals-Jones, who is in an every-down role but still sitting at a 1.75 multiplier; and then Dan Arnold at a whopping 2x multiplier with 13 targets in the last two weeks as a heavily-involved member of this passing attack.

    Overall Strategy:

    One thing that’s tougher about Superdraft sometimes is adjusting to the format when thinking about game stacks. Multipliers can attract us to different game stacks than we would use on a salary-based site, as just looking at projections makes “weird” things like Geno Smith look viable. You can choose to trust the projections and use plays like that, but personally, I have a hard time seeing a ceiling there. I try to combine players who project well in Superdraft’s scoring format while also playing what I consider to be strong overall plays based on game environment, talent, and matchup. It’s more art than science sometimes (i.e. Geno Smith projects well by median outcome but does he really have the kind of ceiling we need in tournaments even at a high multiplier? I’d guess no, but could be wrong). Here are some stacks I think look attractive this week:

    • The PHI/DET game looks tasty on Superdraft. Hurts and one of his receivers with Swift, Hockenson, or even a Detroit wide receiver coming back looks very attractive, and going the other side with Goff works too.
    • Wentz to Pittman is the single best projected QB/WR combo and I’m on board with it. Both have played well and shown legitimate ceiling this season. I have a harder time using Derrick Henry as a bring back with his 1x multiplier, but you could play this without a bring back, or use AJ Brown.
    • I’m on board with a Bills onslaught, but don’t really have much interest in any Dolphins.
    • Teddy Bridgewater to Courtland Sutton looks solid, and if we get news that Jerry Jeudy is going to play a full complement of snaps he can also be considered.
    • There are some other viable options that if you’re doing MME you could consider in your pool, such as: Rams or Bucks onslaughts; Burrow to Chase or Higgins; Darnold to Moore; Tannehill to AJB; or Trevor Lawrence to Marvin Jones, but the ones listed prior to this bullet point are the primary stacks I’m going to be targeting this week.

    Edge Bets

    Jreas11 leverages research from the NFL Edge in order to replace DFS cash game play with profitable prop betting


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    Access my Personal Prop Betting Sheet Saturday Nights for all the +EV Prop Bets I’ve found leading up to lock, updated throughout Sunday Afternoons as late news is announced.


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    Week 7 Recap

    EDGE BETS Week 7: 2-1
    EDGE BETS 2021 Results: 10-14

    Matt Ryan: Over 34.5 Pass Attempts

    Result: Win (40 Pass Attempts)

    Tua Tagovailoa: Over 33.5 Pass Attempts

    Result: Win (40 Pass Attempts)

    These lines got steamed a bit after a few hours but after an initial push settled in the 34.5-35.5 range across all sites. No matter what number you found during your process, Matt Ryan and Tua Tagovailoa delivered in a game The Edge writing crew discovered early. These teams threw the ball a combined 80 times with strong numbers across the board in a matchup that had both teams playing the type of football they prefer to execute. Matt Ryan continued his streak of 35+ attempts in every game this season, while Miami has thrown the ball 39+ times in 5/6.

    Note: To help you get the best lines possible, OWS has added an @EdgeBets tag on Discord (nearing 100 members already!). To be added, look under the OWS Announcements channel and fire up those money bags emoji! The team will be using this tag moving forward to alert the community in real-time as bets are found throughout the week. Big shoutout to @Roto_Maven and @AmundDFS for getting this set up!

    Justin Fields: Over 217.5 Passing Yards

    Result: Loss (184 Passing Yards)

    Justin Fields continued to look lost at the NFL level while throwing three interceptions, taking four sacks, and fumbling three times (losing two) last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game environment that set up perfectly for Fields to get there. The Bucs took a 21-0 lead into the second quarter and had multiple injuries across their back end, but it still wasn’t enough for Fields to show much passing prowess. While he did set a new career-high in attempts (32) out of necessity, the Bears continued to run the ball after the game was out of reach simply to save their “franchise” quarterback from himself and catch the plane home more quickly. The Bears next three weeks look tough from a scheduling perspective, but hey, maybe we’ll come back for another beating when Fields plays the feisty Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.

    Personal Player Props Bet Week 7

    Week 1: +10.0 Units

    Week 2: -1.1 Units

    Week 3: 0.0 Units (No bets placed, family weekend)

    Week 4: +4.65 Units

    Week 5: +3.1 Unit

    Week 6: +2.4 Units

    Week 7: -0.3 Units

    2021: +18.75 Units

    All of my Personal Player Prop Bets are added Saturday Night and updated through Sunday Morning. I strictly bet player props, avoiding sides and totals, using my previously allocated Cash Game Bankroll. While Sportsbooks are gradually improving their Prop Bet Market with added  Prop Bet content being produced in 2021, I believe there is and will continue to be strong +EV Bets available each week, with a noticeable edge when compared to DFS Cash Games. There will be no better time to make the switch from DFS Cash to the Prop Betting market. DM me through Discord  (Jreasy) or on Twitter (@FriendofFantasy) with any questions on how to get started. Best of all, OWS has some great promo partnerships with numerous books with generous deposit bonuses for first-time users!

    Week 8 Edge Bets

    Myles Gaskin Over 64.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards

    Book: DraftKings (-105), Bet Rivers (-113), Bet MGM (-111)

    By MJohnson:

    “Ingredients are here for an uptempo and high-volume affair as Miami throws at the highest rate in the NFL while the Bills play at one of the fastest paces in the league.”

    “Miami will likely have little choice but to continue throwing the ball at a high rate and will need to get the ball out of Tua’s hands quickly if they want to keep him upright.”

    “The Dolphins do have some playmakers among their skill players, but this Bills defense was built specifically with the Chiefs in mind and their scheme and personnel are tailored to neuter pass-heavy offenses.”

    “The matchup on paper of a fast-paced, high-powered offense against a pass-happy bottom-feeder sets up for an extremely high play volume game.”

    Reasy’s Reasoning:

    While Myles Gaskin should not be looked at as a staple in your DFS lineups, he is an interesting prop play with upside as backfield mate Malcolm Brown hit the IR this week with a quadriceps injury that will cost him at least the next three games. While this week’s matchup against the elite Buffalo Bills defense does not bode well for a ceiling game, there are things working in Gaskin’s favor that could lead to a 65+ yard day for the likely 1A back. Gaskin out carried expected Week 8 change-of-pace complement Salvon Ahmed, 15 to seven, after Brown’s departure last week (after five snaps). He has out targeted Ahmed 36 to 15 so far in 2021, including a 10 catch performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5. With the Dolphins expected to be trailing for much of Week 8, and the added focus on getting the ball out quickly after Tua Tagovailoa’s Week 2 injury against the Bills fresh in the coaching staffs minds, we can expect Miami to use Gaskin in the passing game close to the line of scrimmage as an extension of the running game and a blitz neutralizer. Expect Gaskin to handle the majority of the carries early as Miami tries to keep the Bills high-powered offense on the sidelines; in addition to getting second half passing game involvement as the Dolphins try to play catch up in this fast-paced affair.

    Michael Carter Over 68.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards

    Book: DraftKings (69.5 (-115)), Bet Rivers (-113), Bet MGM (69.5 (-118))

    By Alex:

    “Michael Carter has led the RBs in snaps and targets since Week 4. His touch count vs. the next highest RB on the team since then: 14-5 // 13-6 // 19-11.”

    “CIN ranks 18th against RBs (25.3).”

    By Papy324:

    “Michael Carter is underpriced for his role.”

    “Michael Carter pulled away in usage last week, seeing a season-high 73% snap share.”

    “White was also much more conservative than Wilson, and his frequent check-downs led to nine targets for Carter.”

    “We can’t project nine targets again, can we? Well, Carter’s playing time spiked last week, he is known as a skilled receiving back, his team is expected to be losing, he looked like check-down Charlie last week, and the Bengals give up the seventh most receiving yards per game to RBs. Maybe we can.”

    By JM:

    “If all three Jets backs are active this week, I may not be able to pull the trigger. But if it’s just Carter and one other guy, I’ll again expect Carter to see over 70% of the snaps, and the fact that he’ll likely be involved in the pass game against a Bengals defense that has allowed the most targets and receptions to the position makes him actually pretty interesting.”

    Reasy’s Reasoning:

    The New York Jets will be without Telvin Coleman once again this week. It is also looking doubtful Corey Davis will be active after suffering an apparent injury in Thursday’s practice, and sitting out practice on Friday. Zach Wilson will also miss his first start, leading to Mike White making the first start of his career. Michael Carter has appeared to have taken over the now two-headed backfield in New York, and can expect to see over 70% of the snaps this week with Ty Johnson handling the remainder. Cincinnati funnels 24% of targets towards the running back position (#TheWorkBook) leading to over nine targets a game resulting in 339 yards on 53 receptions. While we don’t have much tape on Mike White, the tape we do have shows a check-down machine with a high completion percentage when targeting the running back position. If White does have a strength, it appears to match up well with a Cincinnati weakness; or, at least matches the way they wish to funnel opposing offenses.

    Nick Chubb Under 18.5 Rushing Attempts

    Book: DraftKings (-110), Bet Rivers (-105), Bet MGM (-105)

    By Hilow:

    “Ridiculously slow expected combined pace of play, particularly in the first half.”

    “The Browns rank 30th in the NFL in situation-neutral pace of play, 30th in second half pace of play, and 31st in situation-neutral pass rate.”

    “It takes a bit of ‘reading between the lines’ but I wouldn’t expect Chubb to return to more than his usual 50-55% snap rate workload.”

    “When we combine the tendencies from each of these teams, we’re left with a scenario where the first half is likely to be played at a snail’s pace. Combined, these two teams run about 128 offensive plays per game this season.”

    “I would feel a great deal more confident in Nick Chubb were he not coming off of two missed games, which, to me, leaves him less likely to see an increased workload when compared to his seasonal usage.”

    Reasy’s Reasoning:

    If we rewinded to Wednesday of Week 7, before D’Ernest Johnson made the most of a primetime Thursday night opportunity, in which he broke on 24 opportunities resulting in 168 total yards and a touchdown, I would be excited for Nick Chubb to come back to the Cleveland Browns and handle a massive workload. Unfortunately, D’Ernest Johnson looked more than capable to replace injured 1B back Kareem Hunt’s workload, especially in Chubb’s first game back, versus a very strong Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line, and coming off of a multi-week calf injury. In a game between two offenses responsible for an average of 63:18 minutes of possession per game, we can expect a dip in season norms for most players in what is sure to be a slow-paced slugfest. The Steelers average just 21.2 running back carries per game, with just 55.3 total plays allowed (Week 8 low). While Baker Mayfield is a boon for the Cleveland Browns offensive efficiency, it will be hard for Chubb to accumulate 19 carries with both play total and snap percentage concerns working against him, despite not carrying an injury designation into this matchup.

    Good luck this week! Be sure to check out my personal player props bet for a wide range of +EV Bets, as well as check the Discord early next week for the EdgeBets in real-time!

    ActionLabs Props Tool

    One of the major advantages of online sports betting is that you can carry accounts with multiple sports books in order to quickly/easily shop for the best line for the bet you want to place. Every week in Edge Bets, you’ll have access to this Player Props Tool from our friends at ActionLabs (click the orange “LABS” below), in which you’ll be able to see at a glance where the Best Lines are.


    Thanks for hanging out with us in The Scroll this week!

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