WEEK 5 ROSTER BREAKDOWN
Point Total: 125.44
Reminder: I always write my initial diagnosis of my roster right before games kick off, in order to capture my honest thoughts on the build. Here are those thoughts.
Second reminder: this is my DraftKings roster, as that’s where the majority of my play goes; but the breakdown of thought process is beneficial for all sites and styles of play.
18.14 – Kirk Cousins
12.90 – Austin Ekeler
22.00 – Melvin Gordon
21.60 – Stefon Diggs
27.60 – Adam Thielen
8.50 – Dede Westbrook
1.60 – Vance McDonald
6.10 – Marshawn Lynch
7.00 – Jets
Results :: This team had a disappointing performance in Week 5. I’m not taking too much out of that, as Week 5 was a really, really strange week.
What I Wrote Before Kickoff:
My roster had an interesting journey this week — circling a number of different ideas before settling where things settled.
Originally, I thought I would go Raiders-heavy. On Friday night, I even wrote the following — about my Carr // Marshawn roster:
“Unless the first four weeks of the season for this Raiders offense have been absolutely fluky, or unless the first four weeks of this Chargers defense have been a mistake, we are looking at a comfortable, no-nonsense projection for these two combined of 40 to 50 points. I don’t know where the points are coming through the air, so rather than trying to pick and choose among pass catchers on this team, I’m taking the sure floor and ceiling with these two. Any time you can lock in a clear look at 4x in salary, it just makes sense to take it.”
As the week progressed, however, I kept getting more and more drawn toward this Cousins // Diggs // Thielen pairing, as such a unique DFS situation. This is a trio that has already combined for games of 92 and 110 DraftKings points. From three players. And we’re only four weeks into the season. With 75% of the air yards on this team going to these two guys, and with the Vikings having no run game, against an Eagles defense that teams don’t even try to run on, there is so much opportunity for points. My projections for a “disappointing, 20th percentile” game for these three still comes out to about 70 points. This passing attack is just too good for me to not use against a pass-funnel defense. Projections for “total points” in this game are lower than in some other spots; but projections for fantasy points are actually higher on Cousins // Diggs // Thielen than for any other pairing. These three cost almost exactly the same as Matt Ryan // Julio Jones // Calvin Ridley, and while projections come out close on either side of that, the Vikings trio comes out on top.
Regarding the Vikings, I jotted this down in my phone late Friday night, for this breakdown:
“It finally came down to: if the Vikings “miss,” they’ll still have me in position to scrape profit as long as other things on my roster go according to plan; and if they hit, it’s slate-breaking. They already have a game this year of 92.2 combined points among them and another game of 110.5 (not a typo). That’s roughly 4.5x salary to 5.5x salary as a clearly visible ceiling, which is difficult to find at any price range, let alone the highest range, and let alone on three players at once. If they miss, I can live with it. If they hit, I want to be there.”
I wanted to stick with my Raiders exposure through Marshawn at running back, and this became easier once news emerged that Joe Mixon was not expected to take on a full workload. I paired Marshawn with the Chargers backs, to bet on that game going the way I expect. Here’s what I wrote about Chargers backs toward the back end of the week:
“The Chargers should have about 150 rushing yards. That’s a no-joke projection. That’s 15 points, and you can tack on 1.5 points for at least a 50% likelihood that they grab a three point bonus. Tack on a comfortable projection of two touchdowns between the two (up to 28.5 points by now), and then swing over to their work in the pass game. Six catches for 40 yards for Gordon is at the low end of his average so far, and we can comfortably expect three catches for 25 yards from Ekeler. Around 44 points here (almost the same projection I landed on for Carr/Lynch, in fact). That’s 3.4x their combined salary — and while they might have a tougher time climbing to 4x, this fills out a lot of certainty on two spots that are important to get right (high-priced difference-maker and the low-priced guy who allows you to fit him). Naturally, in betting on this game environment, I’m hoping all these guys pop off for an even bigger game than that.”
By Saturday, these six had become my core. All that was left was tight end, lower-priced wide receiver, and DST.
Vance McDonald was the clearest cheap tight end play for me this week. He’s difficult to project, as he’s not schemed the ball often, but he should comfortably pick up nine or 10 “floor points” in this spot, and he’s one of the few tight ends on the slate who can really go for 25.
As we reached the latter half of the week (as I mentioned in both the Player Grid and the #OWSChatPod), I started coming around on the Jaguars passing attack more and more. Using Marshawn instead of Mixon enabled me to take Dede Westbrook instead of Marquez Valdes-Scantling. I expect something like four catches for 50 yards on MVS, which is about Dede’s floor. I’m hoping Dede pops off for 20+ while MVS stays in that expected range; but if MVS scores a touchdown or breaks a long play, Dede can keep pace, and he’ll still have a shot to outscore him.
The Jets were the best of a bad bunch for me down low. I could also have gone MVS/Titans over Dede/Jets, but I am betting on MVS seeing seven or eight Cobb-replacement type targets. He has the speed to post some nice YAC, but as long as he’s not seeing his work downfield, I just like the upside on Dede so much more, as a potential alpha. Close to the goal line for Green Bay, MVS will be the third or fourth option.
Last week, I felt on Sunday morning that I had built one of my best rosters ever. I was almost right. I scored over 200, and had I used Melvin Gordon and Eric Ebron over Jarvis Landry and Jimmy Graham (the obvious move — and one I have come around to admit would have been the clear correct move as well), I would have landed a $35k to $40k weekend.
This weekend, I once again feel that I have built one of my best rosters ever. I landed on this roster early enough that I was able to punch at it from all angles and look for ways to improve it. The only spots really up in the air are tight end, final WR, and DST — but I made the highest-upside plays there, and I can live with the results.
Welcome to Week 6!
This is an interesting week — one that should lead to a lot of concentrated ownership, making it an interesting spot for tourney play. As of Tuesday afternoon, there are only seven teams on the entire Main Slate (FanDuel/DraftKings) with a Vegas-implied total of 24.0 or higher: The Vikings at 26.75 in their home game against the hapless Cardinals // the Seahawks at 25.5 in London against the Raiders // the Rams at 29.75 in Denver // and potential shootouts in the Steelers (25.25) at the Bengals (27.75) and the Buccaneers (27.0) at the Falcons (30.5). (FantasyDraft also includes the highest-total game on the weekend: Chiefs at Patriots.)
There are six games on the main slate in which each team has a Vegas-implied total under 24.0. In fact, there are five games in which neither team has crept above 23.0 at the front end of the week. (We also have a Bills vs Texans game that currently has no line, as Vegas is waiting to make sure Deshaun Watson will be healthy enough to play.)
Naturally, the games with higher Vegas-implied totals will be likelier to produce big fantasy games — but as always, we can uncover a few gems in the lower-total games, and these just may end up being the keys to the weekend. Some chalky plays are likely to hit in these shootouts, but it will be nailing the right salary-savers or pivots that will really help to make your weekend.
This week, I’ll be taking a slightly different approach than normal in my own play. DraftKings is running a pair of Milly Makers this week: their standard $20 buy-in contest, and a special $3k buy-in Milly Maker with 1,111 entries. I’ll be pouring three teams into that tourney this week and focusing aggressively on my play in that spot. It’s a fun weekend for tourney play. Let’s make it a fun weekend for results!
Dalvin Cook Expected To Play (Oct. 13)
Isaiah Crowell a GTD (Oct. 13)
Derrick Willies Out (Oct. 13)
Kupp & Cooks Cleared (Oct. 13)
Cobb/Allison GTDs (Oct. 13)