Bye Week:

Willing To Lose 1.22

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

Infinite precision.

I became really interested in this term recently. If we think about the combination of these two words, it becomes fascinating when using them together. If any of us had infinite precision, we’d predict specific outcomes every minute of every day. The world around us would no longer be dynamic, it would become mundane and predictable (even though presumably we’d all be rich). I first heard this term in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Black Swan, which goes deep into “black swans” or the occurrence of extreme outlier events. And while there are many fundamental takeaways from this book, the two that I walked away with are A) always plan for black swans to exist and occur and B) understand that we live in a world with an infinite range of outcomes (essentially the opposite of having infinite precision). So while it’s great to feel like we have a handle on predicting the future, this is exactly why we rarely do it right.

Attacking an NFL slate can feel like trying to win a game with infinite precision. The tournaments and prize pools are the largest of the year, the players and coaches have seemingly all changed teams, and we have no recent data to help us feel comfortable when building lineups. But the more we read, and listen, and talk about the slate, the more comfort we build and the more confident we become that our lineups will crush this coming Sunday’s main slate. It’s important to recognize that this is the best we can do. As much as it can seem like we’re playing a game we will fail at conquering, every single other entry in that same tournament is in the same boat as you . . . trying to predict outcomes with specificity. And like we always talk about at OWS, it’s not about having to build the optimal lineups, it’s about building lineups that can beat everyone else and win first place !

So, when you attack this slate and all others this season, remember two things:

1) Build with an infinite amount of outcomes in mind.

2) When you walk away from this space saying, “I think Larejo has lost it, he’s nuts for recommending that!” then that is when we’re ready to win a GPP.

Week 1

We have an interesting dynamic on this slate, like many others, where the late afternoon games carry higher projected Vegas totals than most of the early games. We talked in this space last season about the many reasons for that, but the better quarterbacks and TV ratings are front and center in that rationale. The feature games are Raiders/Chargers and Chiefs/Cardinals as the only two games carrying expected totals north of 50. Your strategies in attacking these games will likely be a key decision point in your success on this slate (more on this in a bit).

As we look to identify some of the better game environments outside of the obvious ones, I like to focus on the “GPP Vegas Zone” of 47-49.5 points. And sitting pretty in that zone this week are two games: Packers at Vikings and Eagles at Lions (bet up to this zone from where it opened at 46.5).

Packers RBs and Kirk Cousins with Justin Jefferson

Let’s start with the easier play. The Rams former offensive coordinator, Kevin O’Connell, comes over to Minnesota as their new head coach to install his version of the “Cooper Kupp” offense. Jefferson is the clear best talent on the team. Camp reports coming out of Minnesota all summer talk about him lining up all over the line of scrimmage, and being used as Kupp-lite wherever possible. The Vikings offense was a concentrated bunch to begin with under previous HC Mike Zimmer, so it should be safe to say getting a brighter offensive mind in the room can only unlock more potential. Jefferson is maybe the safest play on the board this week at any position, and while he will carry high ownership, pairing him with Cousins at QB will carry higher upside (and downside) and bring down the Jefferson ownership ever so slightly.

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