Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
Bye Week:

Willing To Lose 6.23

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

One of the most undervalued powers we all possess is our power to think. But the levels at which we think can vary. For most people, our daily and weekly routines don’t require very complex and original thinking. That’s why they are called routines. Most of us can typically get through and even excel in our day-to-day operations just by observing and acting. Thinking can be basic and thin or leveled and deep, and in the game of DFS, I’ll argue the best type of thinking is leveled, and deep.

Poker players know what I am talking about when I talk about the levels of thinking. This is put simply by David Sklansky in his book No Limit Hold’em: Theory and Practice (there are actually six total, but three make the point). Here are his levels of thinking in poker: 

  • Level 0: No thinking
  • Level 1: What do I have?
  • Level 2: What do they have?
  • Level 3: What do they think I have?  

We want to be Level 3 thinkers at all times. DFS is a game, and since we are striving to beat many, many different rosters in tournaments, we have to know our rosters, think about theirs, and think about what they are not thinking about to outmaneuver the competition. This is why I write Willing to Lose. It’s to explore the edges of thinking required to make you feel uncomfortable because we either A) haven’t seen it before; B) haven’t seen it in a while; or C) haven’t even thought about it happening.

I play DFS for this excitement. To watch so-called chalk players succeed and fail. To watch games ignite into unexpected shootouts, and to do this with a modest bankroll since this is intended to be fun and competitive while getting immersed in the allure of making a lot of money while we play. For these consistent reasons, here are some players and overlooked spots I am seeing this Sunday . . . 

Bijan Robinson + Davante Adams

For a Sunday slate, the running back pool is thin at the top where it’s Christian McCaffrey and then everybody else. But if we’re looking for a guy to put in a tier near CMC, it’s Bijan this week. He was my first thought this week for the following reasons: disappointment at chalk last week, the “he splits carries with Tyler Allgeier” narrative, and his insane explosiveness. Ownership aside, this is everything we look for to target players in this space every week. He was chalky last week for good reason (matchup vs. Texans) and disappointed with their focus on stopping the run and making Desmond Ridder beat them. Spoiler alert: he did.

On the fact of whether or not Robinson splits carries with Allgeier, he does in neutral or Falcons-leading game scripts, and inside the five yard line, but overall it’s really not a contest. Sure, we’d feel more comfortable if Allgeier’s snap rate declined a bit but in most metrics that matter, this is Bijan’s backfield. For comparison, I used Fantasy Life’s neat Player Comparison tool:

Lastly, on Bijan’s explosiveness, he fits the mold of a running back we know is capable of going over 100 yards even with limited opportunity. In fact, I did a quick search on RBs to have over 100 yards rushing with 15 or fewer carries in a game in the last two seasons and there have been 18 instances, including Bijan in Week 4. Others on this list include De’Von Achane, Nick Chubb, CMC, Austin Ekeler, Tony Pollard, and many more (mostly trusted fantasy running backs along with a few outliers like Kenyan Drake and Chuba Hubbard). We want guys who can explode on limited volume. Bijan fits the mold every week, and while he won’t be completely overlooked this week, the timing is right to be overweight on him in a low(ish) total game vs. Washington. 

Davante Adams is the other player who jumped off the screen to me this week when thinking about this Week 6 slate. He effectively busted on Monday Night Football in what should have been his Green Bay revenge game on National TV (4/45/0). He also has a game this season of 20 targets, with 13 catches against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who play a lot of man coverage. This week he gets Bill Belichick and the Patriots man-heavy defense who are undermanned, even if we think they can scheme to stop him.

Just thinking about the player, salary, and ownership notwithstanding, he’s in another boring matchup featuring two of the league’s bottom three scoring teams. He’s coming off a sub-par game in front of many and has a matchup he can consistently win. Without Christian Gonzalez, and with last week’s game script dictated by the Saints dominance, New England didn’t need to be passed all over. Fair to say many will like the matchup on paper for Davante this week but being similarly priced with Ja’Marr Chase, and just above AJ Brown, Puka Nacua, Jaylen Waddle, and ARSB, I like the odds that most will click elsewhere leaving Adams at modest ownership on a condensed Raiders target tree.

Tua + Raheem + Waddle


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