Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
In DFS tournaments with entries in the thousands, and tens of thousands, on paper matchups do not mean much. I talked in this space a few weeks ago about how to successfully leverage JM’s concept of biased discomfort plays by stating that inherently, this means playing some guys with light reasoning. If you want to be contrarian and find the leverage plays which you can attack, you cannot come to this space expecting multi-level, logical reasons why player X or player Y is due to hit at low ownership on Sunday. Biased discomfort gets into the fact that clicking on a player’s name makes you feel thin and fishy. But often, it’s those plays (Cordarrelle Patterson and Randall Cobb last week, for instance) that can help you win tournaments.
As you read the NFL Edge and the other amazing pieces each week on OWS, you should not search for three or more reasons why a player can blow up. If there are underlying stats, and three or four or more reasons why a player is going to have a good game, then that player should be chalky. If I were giving you Randall Cobb last week, it could have been as simple as Marquez Valdes-Scantling is out, one less body on the field, and Aaron Rodgers historically trusts Cobb in the red zone. Similarly, on Cordalle Patterson, the argument would have been the Falcons scheme him touches, he has a solid receiving floor, and if the defense hones in on Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts, then Patterson could break out. Some weeks the explanations will be long (with advanced metrics plentiful), and some weeks they will be short. Sometimes, the more concise and basic the reasoning for teeing up a player, the better that play can be to help you take down a tournament.
Remember last week, when we all logically thought through how the Packers would attack Pittsburgh, after placing MVS on IR? The logical places to go were the best WR blocker in the league, Allen Lazard, and our 2020 darling, tight end Robert Tonyan. And then Cobb showed up, played less than half the snaps, and scored two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Tonyan and Lazard were on the field 78% and 79% respectively. The Packers seemed to have deployed Lazard in the MVS role, and kept Tonyan on the field for his highest snap rate of the season. With TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick to contend with last week, the high snap rate for Tonyan probably wasn’t going to matter as he was asked to chip the edge rushers and covered by Minkah a fair amount. This opened things up for Aaron Jones and Cobb.
Fast forward to this week, and a matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. They should get Jessie Bates back this week at safety, but it’s safe to say Tonyan’s matchup is much improved. We haven’t seen his red zone role grow yet, he has ZERO green zone targets through four weeks. But I fully expect the Bengals to focus on bracketing Davante Adams, which should leave Tonyan in man coverage often. At his elevated snap rate, I like his odds of paying off his salary this week.
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