Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
Have you ever had the feeling . . . that this is the week? I think it’s safe to say most of us have had that feeling. Why do we get this feeling? Usually, it’s because things just click. We have more time to devote to research and reading content. We listen to podcasts and go down deep Twitter rabbit holes. We run our own projections, we walk through the slate game by game, all thoughtfully and with purpose. And then what typically happens? We have a terrible week. This can be so demoralizing. When we’re truly engulfed in the slate, we can tell you our takes on almost every game and player, and the results should follow but they don’t. And the only reason why this happens is simpler than I thought originally. We’re too damn sharp for our own minds. When you’ve been in the DFS streets for years, you tend to get action and follow multiple sports and you have had a few notable payouts but there’s a dangerous trap we fall into . . . we outsmart ourselves.
I’d venture a guess that most of you reading this could glance at an upcoming Sunday main slate on the previous Monday morning (six days before kickoff), and build lineups just by scanning the games and they would outperform lineups you build later in the week. Because if you’re reading this, you’re an OWS member and with even just a few weeks of content consumption and understanding lineup strategies, you’re sharp as a nail. You’d be able to look at specific games and probably guess the over/unders within a few points before Vegas establishes them. You’d know who may have the nut matchups, which players are coming on, and who is due for positive regression. But, then we read more content. We let pricing influence our builds. We glance at ownership and it talks us onto or off of certain players who we liked at the beginning of the week. And then, at times, our lineups suffer. If you’re just getting into DFS, it makes all the sense in the world to devote the time, analyze each game slowly, and take as much advice as possible in building lineups that can win. But if you’ve been in the game awhile, you’re forming your own opinions even as you progress through The Scroll each week, thinking about what you’re reading, but also thinking for yourself. And my true advice this week is to keep on doing just that. Think, don’t overthink, for yourself. Just don’t be blindly stubborn.
On certain weeks when I can slow down my analysis, I love to literally write down the names of all viable players on a slate. It helps me recognize some names I wouldn’t have thought of, understand where there could be some opportunities, and identify the games I want to target. Below is my pool for BAL/PIT as well as KC/DEN:
Stare at those pools for a second. Specifically the BAL and KC rows first. Tell me exactly, where is the volume going? Tyler Huntley has a mess at running back if Dobbins returns, along with a cast of characters at WR and of course, Mark Andrews (who he has a clear affinity for). Andrews hasn’t hit his ceiling lately, but he’s been dropping touchdowns from Lamar on what seems like every week, and he’s still hitting a minimum of seven targets over his last three games. At just $6,500 on DK, his price is right (comparable WRs in this range include Chris Godwin, Christian Kirk, and Tyler Lockett) and even though his game environment is expected to be low scoring, he had 15 targets in this same matchup against Pittsburgh last season in Week 17 (Huntley at QB, duh).
Kelce is also a strong play this week in his own right. He’s averaged 78 receiving yards per game against the Broncos in his career, and he’s coming off two nondescript games (for his standards) where he failed to hit his point-per-dollar expectation. Ownership should be slightly depressed on him for this reason, and yet when he looks up, whether or not Kadarius Toney plays, he still does not have much competition for targets from Patrick Mahomes. But the best reason to play Travis this week? He had a costly fumble last Sunday in the game against the Bengals, and he is not happy about it. Extra motivation works for me.
Pairing these two together is where this block becomes intriguing for me. It feels like putting two adversaries on the same team, as typically when we play one, we don’t play the other, but volume and expected roles this week have me leaning into the TE in the flex spot on my rosters (Kelce, for the late game). I talked about the possible WR pivots from Andrews above in his price range, and for Kelce he’s right next to Amon-Ra St. Brown and CeeDee Lamb, and in a perceived tough matchup against the Broncos secondary. Play the volume. Forget the positions.