WEEK 6 ROSTER BREAKDOWN
Point Total: 162.66
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.
30.46 – Matt Ryan
5.9 – Chris Carson
31.9 – James Conner
25.2 – Tyler Boyd
27.3 – Julio Jones
15.5 – Chester Rogers
11.4 – C.J. Uzomah
10.0 – T.J. Yeldon
5.0 – Bears
Results :: This team was good for profit in most tourneys. The two variations I built of this team (detailed below) outscored this Main Team slightly, finishing 85th to 90th percentile in tourneys, leading to a solid all-around weekend.
What I Wrote Before Kickoff:
As I mentioned last week in the NFL Edge: my main focus in Week 6 was the $3k Milly Maker on DraftKings, where I built three teams. I landed on one “main team” (which I entered in a few other contests on Sunday morning), with the other two as slim variants of this one. I’m not sure this team quite has the legs to make it to first place, but it has a shot. I like the ceiling on this squad quite a bit, and there is enough floor to still give me a shot at profit if a few things don’t go according to plan.
I did not spend a ton of time on the quarterback position this week after writing the NFL Edge, as I feel comfortable that Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan carry the clearest shot at the top score at the position, and additional study/thought time could be poured into other positions. This is a “don’t overthink it” spot for me, in a clear shootout with two defenses that should have a difficult time stopping one another. I had no trouble fitting in Ryan with a team full of players I wanted to use, so I’m taking the safety and upside here.
While “game flow” and “lack of pass game work” are concerns for Carson, we are realistically stuck with plenty of question marks at any player in this price range — and Carson carries more ceiling than most of his contemporaries. This game sets up great for him, and I like the floor/ceiling I’m getting in this price range.
Conner rose up my list on Thursday when I read the NFL Edge and began thinking through the ways touchdowns were likeliest to be scored vs the Bengals this week. Because the Bengals allow long, sustained drives (closed out with poor red zone defense), this game sets up great for multiple Conner scores. His touches give him a nice floor. His scoring position usage gives him a nice ceiling. And the matchup sets up perfectly. This is one of my favorite “process” plays on the weekend, and I’ll be fine with it regardless of the final box score numbers.
I kept “not wanting to play Boyd,” but realistically, he was one of only six guys who made my “Tier 1” list after my first read-through of the NFL Edge on Thursday. It sometimes feels strange to “pay up” for a guy you could get for cheap before, but Boyd is still a little underpriced, and this matchup sets up great for him, as the way to attack Pittsburgh is over the middle of the field. Boyd adds nice floor and ceiling to this roster.
With Julio :: I’d rather bet on the explosion than bet against it. If he “misses,” he likely doesn’t sink my roster. If he hits, the 50% to 70% of the field that fades him could fall out of the running, as he can hit for a higher score than anyone else on the slate.
Chester Rogers appears to be the ultimate “volume matters” play, with his aDOT of only 6.3 — but when you dig into “how he got such a low aDOT,” that pure number becomes less concerning. Rogers is seeing a lot of passes at or behind the line of scrimmage (guaranteed points — with potential for big plays if the blocking is there on these wide receiver screens), and he is then seeing two to four targets 15 to 20 yards downfield. This is a great blend for floor and ceiling, and he is the de facto number one receiver on a fast-paced, pass-heavy team, taking on a banged-up secondary. I like what he provides for my roster this week.
Tight end was such a crap shoot this week, I actually ended up in the Resources & Glossary page on the site, reading the piece I wrote before the season on what to do when there is no clear value — to remind myself of the best way to play this spot. Ultimately: bet on the lowest-priced guy who has a shot at matching or passing the “bad chalk.” It appears Austin Hooper is going to be popular this week — and while he “could hit,” there is nothing that suggests he will hit, and there is nothing that makes him a better play on paper than Uzomah, Vance McDonald, David Njoku, and a few other cheap options. Uzomah was a wide receiver in high school, and the knock on him coming out of college was that he wouldn’t be able to develop into a blocking tight end at the NFL level. Doesn’t bother me! While watching recent film on the Steelers for totally different reasons, it kept standing out to me how attackable this team is with tight ends — and this is something other teams have noticed, and have been hammering each week. The Bengals’ staff will notice it as well, and — as noted in the Player Grid — I’m banking on Uzomah seeing a rise in schemed targets this week, hopefully giving him a healthy four to seven looks to work with.
I kept coming back to Yeldon as a guy who just “makes too much sense to pass up.” Pass-catching back vs a team that filters targets to running back — with an 80% snap rate behind him. Plenty to like in this spot.
DST :: Bears // vs Osweiler. I had the Bears locked in already, but Osweiler starting just simplifies things. I could try to “guess” in another spot and hope to beat the score I can get here; but guaranteed points are always valuable, and there was no other defense I felt great about throughout the week, so I’m fine sticking with the chalk in this spot.
On Team 2, I dropped from Matt Ryan to Jameis Winston, and I moved up from Chris Carson to Tyler Lockett.
On Team 3, I dropped from Matt Ryan to Jameis Winston, and I moved up from Chris Carson to Marshawn Lynch.
I love that game in London, but game flow could get one of these guys in trouble, so this was a great way to hedge. If the game stays close, I actually expect all three of Carson/Lockett/Marshawn to hit. But if Seattle falls behind, my Carson team takes a hit while my other two get a nice boost. And if Marshawn gets sunk, it’s likely because Lockett and Carson are doing well.
I wanted to use Lockett’s speed against this bad Raiders pass rush and slow Raiders defense. I wanted to use Lynch for his sneaky 100-yard, two-touchdown upside.
I’m wrapping up this writeup with six minutes to spare until kickoff.
The process has been strong this week. We’ll see if the results follow — but I’m feeling great about the builds regardless of how things work out. These teams would be locked into profit if we played out this slate a hundred times — with opportunities for a few huge weekends.
When I build the NFL Edge, I dive into the research each week with no preconceived notions, and with no predetermined opinions about the slate. This allows me to position the research to influence my thoughts, rather than putting myself in a position where my thoughts will influence the research.
As I move game by game, I discover not only which players I am likeliest to prefer that week, but also what the slate looks like as a whole. And it was instructive this week to realize — after I had researched the first four or five games on the 10-game main slate — that this is one of the most unique weeks I can remember. For the first time this season, there are no “gimme” games — no spots that stand out at first glance, and that yield a number of quality foundation plays to DFSers who have lesser research (or even no research at all). This week, there are almost no “easy plays,” which makes things far easier on us.
I love weeks like this — weeks in which most people will be guessing across the board, while we can dig into the research and uncover the top options available — and I seriously cannot recall a weekend in the past that set up quite so beautifully in this exact way. If we were fortunate enough to play out this exact slate a hundred times, we would all be nicely profitable with this type of setup. Now, the key is turning that “large sample size edge” into the largest possible edge we can carve out in the small sample size of a single week.
Let’s get to it!
Carlos Hyde Traded (Oct. 19)
Theo Riddick Out (Oct. 19)
Paul Richardson Doubtful (Oct. 19)
Melvin Gordon Looking Unlikely (Oct. 20)
Rob Gronkowski Doubtful (Oct. 20)