Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
If you’re a single entry player, look away, this slate is not for you. In fact, with how recent weeks have looked pre-slate, this is the type of slate that twists you up in knots. First, there are more games to analyze than we’ve gotten used to (12), and more importantly, we finally have some real point totals expected with three games sitting around or over 50 points, along with a few games sitting prime in our Vegas zone between 46-49. We can play around with so much this week that it’s going to be very easy to start feeling analysis paralysis set in as we listen to and consume more DFS content. But don’t you worry, I’m here for you.
Here’s my advice this week: take your typical bankroll and do one of two things A) increase it by 50-100% to put more money in play spreading out over more game stacks, or B) take the same amount of entry fees and enter smaller buy-in contests to again spread out your entries. Your path to the best outcome this week is likely by embracing correlation and variance through exposure to more games. It’s as simple as that.
With many games jumping out as possible “had to have it” environments, I don’t want to act like I’ll be an expert in telling you which it will be. What I do know is that the general tendency of the field this week should be to overstack less. Once we get the QB + WR1 + Bring back 1 onto rosters, some will be hard-pressed to ignore other game environments. For instance, entries that want to hone in on Chiefs/Bengals may go Mahomes + Kelce + Chase or Higgins, but there will be a natural compulsion to then grab players in Chargers/Raiders or Dolphins/49ers to ensure they don’t get blindsided by the exciting games.
For any OG OWS members out there (2018), the GPP player block approach is a good one to deploy in this context this week. I’ll get more into it below but think of your rosters this week as one overall block, as JM used to preach, where it can move up or down in some places while having hedged bets in others. You are not going to be able to predict which of these spots will erupt on Sunday. If you want to go single entry/three-max this week, godspeed my friend. You may not want to watch the games.
This will be an exciting slate, I think we’ll get some 300-point DK scores taking down tournaments and the scoring overall should be wild. So, where will these mega scores come from and how can we position our rosters for first place? Buckle up.
The game total here is expected to be around 47 points. The Browns are currently sitting as the second highest expected scoring team behind the Chiefs on this main slate. It feels gross to roster some of these Cleveland players, but you may be wise to do so. The two best talent + matchups for any RBs on the slate this week are Nick Chubb against Houston (31st DVOA vs run) and Josh Jacobs (if he plays) against the Chargers (30th DVOA vs the run). Only one of these running backs is healthy, and despite his limited passing game role and high DK price ($8,000), Chubb is coming off his first-ever game where he commanded over 80% of the RB touches while playing with Kareem Hunt healthy (h/t Joe Holka on Twitter). If this is the start of a trend, it would be fun to be on early. I talked a few weeks back about the rushing yards crown and what it would mean to Chubb . . . he’s now third behind Henry and Jacobs (trailing by 120 yards).
Chubb should be less popular than teammate Deshaun Watson who has the narrative in his favor as we’re all curious to see how he looks in his first NFL start in nearly two years. I don’t love the play but I wouldn’t be surprised if plays more like a schoolboy this week and scrambles more frequently than he had in the past. With less polished pocket passers, even an NFL game can be like playing football at recess. If he does this, and we’re paying up for Chubb, why not lock onto Donovan Peoples-Jones. Amari Cooper will be the natural play, but DPJ has the long catch upside (remember the Watson to Will Fuller connection?), and with David Njoku out, there are fewer mouths to feed.
Finally, Dameon Pierce. You may have noticed the Chubb and Jacobs matchups above being against the 30th and 31st-ranked rushing defenses. And who do you ask is the actual worst defense at stopping the run? The Cleveland Browns. This is a get-right spot for Pierce. The Texans should be feeding him and ensuring they run their putrid offense through him in this spot. He’s a fun pairing with Chubb for the environment where both teams should have success on the ground, but in a larger stack, you can play this block and go chalk everywhere else and you’ll be extremely unique if this game goes over 50-55 points.