Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
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Willing To Lose 5.23

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

The NFL ebbs and flows. It ebbs and flows. It ebbs, and then it flows. According to Oxford, for something to ebb and flow it means the “recurrent or rhythmic pattern of coming and going, or decline and regrowth.” This is the NFL. I’m writing this as I watch the 0-4 Chicago Bears lay a surprising smackdown on 2-2 Washington Commanders, and these are the only two words I can think of when describing what I am seeing. The NFL is covered inside and out, and with all the media surrounding a limited schedule, we love (as the public) to act and react to every high and every low. And yet, when we zoom out, the highs are rarely so high while the lows are really never that bad. Even when in the moment, they seem to be monumental or catastrophic. 

It takes real fortitude to go against a rising tide. So when these tides get going, (e.g. the Miami offense is unstoppable, and the Bears will never win a game) the simple thing to do is fall in line with this thinking and just go with it. To work against the common thoughts take independent thinking, and again, some guts. I’m not here to challenge how bold you can be in your DFS play this week. But what I can do is challenge you to constantly question active narratives, and more importantly, to recognize when we have situations right in front of our eyes that are being shaped by the world around us. In other words (and in a DFS context), we can analyze NFL games and predict how they will play out based on the most recent information only, disregarding how we may have felt about these teams, players, or coaches just one or two weeks prior, and then in hindsight kick ourselves for getting so off-track.

We’re officially in Week 5 so it’s the perfect time to clean this slate and look at it as if this were Week 1. We can’t fully disregard what has transpired over four weeks of football, but if we’re able to see through small sample noise, we’ll see through the lens of Week 5 in an entirely new manner. 

If this were Week 1…

Eagles and Rams

In Week 5, we’re given a four point spread and a 50 point total. We know the Rams offense is friskier than we originally thought while the Eagles run defense has been stifling, offsetting their mostly below average pass defense due to injuries. If this were Week 1, we’d be rolling out Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, and DeVonta Smith and playing games we played in August called, “Can you name a Rams defensive player outside of Aaron Donald? 

The point is, the Eagles are still set up to dominate this game in the trenches, as they would have been if this game kicked off on opening weekend. Their offensive line continues to be tops in the league, while their defensive line, anchored now by rookie tackle Jalen Carter, is difficult to run on. The Rams also still cannot pass block as well. The “new” pieces of news in this game are Puka Nacua, of course, as well as D’Andre Swift’s enhanced usage with Dallas Goedert’s low production. We could also throw in Tutu Atwell and Kyren Williams as surprising Rams who have changed this narrative from preseason to Week 5.

We have the Eagles indoors, in a high point total game that is expected to be close. They have advantages in the trenches on both sides of the football. The Rams may have a frisky offense, but their defense is still about what we thought they would be. If they can push the scoreboard, Hurts, Swift, Brown, Smith, and Goedert are all in play. Depending on the health and expected role from Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua is still my favorite Ram on the other side. A 3-1 Eagles stack makes some sense here.

Bengals and Cardinals

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