This is, instead, a look at the player pool I’ll be fishing.
:: 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”; also, it is highly recommended that you join in our “Bottom-Up Build Challenge” on Twitter // DraftKings! — first prize is an Everything NFL bundle!)
:: 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
:: these are games, offenses, situations, or scenarios I’ll be looking to build around across my rosters
:: 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; essentially, these are the leftover “Tier 2 // Tier 3” guys from the old Player Grid verbiage; ones who don’t otherwise fit into the Bottom-up Build or a “build-around” spot
9/19/20 :: 2.36 PM Pacific
Some bonus thoughts.
9/20/20 :: 4.05 AM Pacific
Lengthy! (Faster play speed is your friend, given that this is Sunday morning.) But if you’re interested in what I’m seeing and where I’m ending up on things: worth a listen. If you don’t have time(!), the thoughts above mostly mirror the Grid below, but I get deeper into what I’m seeing in some spots, and I’m able to provide a clearer look at my exposures. Let’s go! (Note :: We’re now pinning notes in Discord on Saturdays/Sundays that help wrap OWS Team thoughts, etc. Even if you’re not hopping on Discord to post anything, keeping an eye there is worth doing.)
Run To Daylight (hosted by TodFromPA || presented by OWS!) will be live at 8 PM Eastern.
Hilow will be on.
Lex will be on.
I’ll be on.
Let’s have some fun!
(Note: the podcast runs live, but it will be archived shortly after it finishes.)
And with that, let’s get to the Player Grid!
DK salary remaining :: $9200
Full breakdown (of what this is, and what the thinking is behind these players) can (and should) be found in the Angles Pod
Kenyan Drake (can swap for Jonathan Taylor in cash!)
Miles Sanders (can swap for Jonathan Taylor in cash! :: more on this at 53.49 in the Angles Podcast)
Remember all those weeks when I had, like, three Tier 1 plays, and everything else was Tier 2 // Tier 3? Yeah. This is one of those weeks for me. There aren’t a ton of individual players I feel just have a clearly-superior floor/ceiling combo compared to the players around them. But…that doesn’t mean there are a limited number of pieces to consider here.
Normally, this would be the “quarterbacks” category; but with Lamar the only Tier 1 piece for me (as is often the case), we’ll just list his name. In fact, we could just about rename this category. On a week with salary to spare and (pricing psychology!!!) plenty of mid-range guys at RB/WR (and even low-cost guys at WR) who could easily outscore their high-priced counterparts, I won’t mind paying up for Lamar on 25% to 33% of my builds. (That is to say: “price-considered score” becomes less of a consideration for me on a week like this; and his raw floor/ceiling is always the highest on the slate.) If you want to differentiate: a Lamar // Will Fuller stack is a risky, but high-upside play that will set you apart from the field. If Fuller hits, it increases the chances of a big game from Lamar.
Still very much in play on FD. He doesn’t stand out quite as much on there with pricing at wide receiver a little more bunched-up.
If you asked me, after I read through the NFL Edge and made my notes, who my Tier 1 wide receiver plays were, I would not have said Mike Evans. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I’d have more than a few rosters with him until putting together the Player Grid and realizing that, in my notes, I essentially had him higher-ranked on DK than just about any other wideout. “Blue Chip” (or “Tier 1”) means not only a slate-breaking ceiling, but also a low likelihood of price-considered failure. And since the only sample size we have so far of Brady+Evans is their broken Week 1, I’m obviously fine with you moving Evans down to “Tier 3” for your builds (high ceiling, but uncertain floor). But with Godwin set to miss, I have a hard time seeing fewer than eight targets for Evans; and given the internal drama around Evans’ Week 1 usage, I’m comfortable betting on double-digits.
Humorously, I was actually going back and forth with Scott Barrett after our podcast on Monday, stating my case that Evans will finish the season with 7.5 or fewer targets per game (Scott disagrees, btw). But with Godwin out and the Bucs coming off a loss and the Panthers on deck, this is the perfect spot for Brady and Evans and Arians to make a concerted effort here to get this connection off the ground.
I guess I’ll have a little more of Evans than I was thinking.
(Note :: I also like the idea in tourneys of taking a shot on both O.J. Howard and Rob Gronkowski. I expect around 10 targets split between these two, and one or the other is likely to have a nice day at low ownership.)
After Xandamere asked me on Discord about Tyron Smith’s potential absence:
For the full explanation of how I’m looking at this spot, you really should just listen to what we covered in the Angles Pod (start at 1.10:58). But suffice it to say, this is a true top-of-the-slate game for me, and is a different setup/scenario than most other high-total games. With the condensed distribution of touches on the Cowboys and the too-low prices, I’ll treat my “roster block” as an opportunity to bet on the Cowboys in this game. In other words: If I were playing single-entry or three-entry max, this would be my starting point for my own rosters this week; and it’s a strong enough starting point (with few enough paths to disappointment) that I’ll likely treat my 14 to 19 rosters the same way. If this game breaks into one of the slim tributaries that could turn it into a dud, and all my 14 to 19 rosters are washed out as a result, I’ll be okay with that, as the chances of multiple Cowboys pieces hitting high price-considered scores are high enough that I want to attack aggressively in this spot. If this game hits, all my rosters will be well-positioned.
I’ll likely have at least one of every possible combination (Dak + Zeke || Dak + Amari || Dak + Gallup || Dak + CeeDee || Zeke + Amari || Zeke + Gallup || Zeke + CeeDee || Amari + Gallup (almost certainly with Dak) || Amari + CeeDee (almost certainly with Dak) || Gallup + CeeDee (almost certainly with Dak), and then I’ll have some Cowboys exposure sprinkled throughout my other builds.
I’ll also likely have some level of exposure to ::
Re: the deeper guys on that list, I’ll only have a small amount of exposure. But ultimately, I want to access the upside available in this game.
More thoughts from Discord ::
Jack Doyle is out. Trey Burton is out. Michael Pittman is banged up. And Zach Pascal is a role piece for whom Frank Reich does not actively design plays. Last week, each of these wideouts saw nine targets working in the intermediate areas of the field. The floor is solid on both guys (neither is quite Blue Chip // Tier 1; but neither is too far off at their price tags), and there is clear ceiling in play.
(Note :: If you want to be ballsy, Mo Alie-Cox could see four to six targets here at nonexistent ownership. The Colts like him, and an end zone target is not unlikely given the way the Colts like to use tight ends. Consider him a risk/reward option for tourneys. Note 2 :: I don’t expect to have Vikings. But I always like Dalvin, if you like him this week. And while I have a rule for Thielen this week of “Only roster if rostering a Colts wideout as well,” he certainly could have a place on that type of roster.)
I’ll let Hilow push you onto Aaron Jones in his Collective, but he’s in the “turn off logic to capture sky-high upside” bucket for me, and he’s great leverage off likely sky-high Davante Adams ownership.
MVS has such a downfield-focused role that floor is always a concern; but ceiling is tantalizing in this spot. He can get 100 yards on only four catches with the way he’s being used; and another five to seven targets is his likely range here.
Cephus saw 10 targets last week, and should see seven to 10 looks yet again. These looks are coming downfield; so while Marvin Jones is clearly in play as well, Cephus is the guy I’ll likely isolate myself.
(Note :: Read the Edge writeup of this game. There are plenty of other pieces that can be viably considered, including the quarterbacks, T.J. Hockenson, and several other pass catchers. I’m playing this slate a bit differently; but if this slate had shaken out another way, I could definitely see myself ending up heavy on this game.)
I’ll have some focus on the quarterbacks in the Falcons // Cowboys game, and I’ll have some Lamar; but I’ll likely wrap up my QB exposure with these two guys: betting on the rushing upside and the net-positive matchup each guy has.
With his limited pass game role and his reliance on touchdowns at his price, I cannot, in good conscience, call Derrick Henry a blue chip play. Like Josh Jacobs last week: he’ll be highly-owned, and he has clearer paths to a “miss” than most will be assuming. And yet, like Jacobs last week, he still has a clear shot at a big game in this spot.
We like teams with a narrow distribution of touches, and that’s what the Eagles have. From a “matchup + price” standpoint, none of these guys pop; but from a “talent + opportunity” standpoint, all four are in play; and all four have a clear shot at outproducing their salary on the available volume. Jalen Reagor can also be swapped in for DJax in large-field play. DJax has the highest raw upside. Sanders is the best all-around play (with a ton of talent, a role that should yield 18+ touches, and likely low ownership).
Drake should see 18+ touches; and with both of these teams playing fast, it wouldn’t be a shock if he saw 23+. Washington is susceptible on the ground, and the public is overlooking Drake this week. All of this adds up to a nice spot for tourneys.
Gibson only played 18 snaps last week, but he saw 11 touches. Washington is going to get him 10+ touches no matter what, it seems; and in a game with extra plays and the D.C. Football Team likely trailing, 15+ touches wouldn’t be surprising. With ownership plunging after last week’s high-owned disappointment, it’s a good time for me to grab my first bit of Gibson exposure. I’ll probably have four or five Kyler rosters and four or five Drake rosters. A splash of Gibson on those may be a direction I go.
I didn’t cover these guys, but I also like:
We covered Thomas in the bottom-up build (eight targets last week; a great matchup; a clear path to seven or more targets again), while Herndon is nearly a lock for seven or more looks (with legitimate upside for double-digits), as the Jets are missing Le’Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, and Denzel Mims. The matchup isn’t great; but the volume trumps the matchup.
With the CEH price tag rising, nearly everyone will jump ship this week. He’s a clear leverage play on the other high-owned backs as a guy who should see 18+ touches on the best offense in the league. If he were popular, he’d be a clear fade for me, as this isn’t the best spot for him to pop. But any spot is viable for a high-usage Chiefs player, and I may mix him in a bit.
Everyone will also jump ship on Ekeler after he burned the field last week while seeing only one target. As explored in the Edge: it makes sense for us to expect Ekeler’s targets to decline this year. But that’s still something we think we know, rather than something we truly do know.
Henry, of course, is a solid all-around play. He’s the best means for ball movement on the Chargers through the air; he’s talented; and he should see seven or more targets in this spot.
(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:
Lamar || Dak || Matt Ryan || || (Allen || Kyler)
Zeke || Derrick Henry || Aaron Jones || Miles Sanders || Kenyan Drake || || (Austin Ekeler)
Mike Evans || All Cowboys || Julio (in Cowboys stacks) || Ridley (in Cowboys stacks) || T.Y. Hilton || Parris Campbell || MVS || Quintez Cephus
Hunter Henry || Logan Thomas || Chris Herndon || Eagles
No idea! If I get a sense of a defense I really like, I’ll let you know. But I may be mixing and matching this week. A bit of pay-up, as there are spots that could pay off. A bit of pay-down, as it’s always nice to save at defense. A bit of “grab aggressive defenses that others won’t be playing” (like the Bucs, as laid out above). There aren’t any “top plays” for me at defense this week.
Remember to check out the Run To Daylight Pod to hang out with Tod, Hilow, Lex, and me from 8 PM to 10 PM Eastern.
And remember to check back on the Player Grid on Sunday morning. (Probably eight or nine weeks out of the season, we add late-Saturday-night/early-Sunday-morning notes to the top!)
I’ll see you at the top of the leaderboards this weekend!