Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
October 14th, 2018. Week 6 of the NFL season. The Miami Dolphins are going into Chicago to take on the Bears, without starting QB Ryan Tannehill. Backup QB Brock Osweiler was due to make his first start of the season and his first start as a Dolphin. The Bears defense was top-five at the time and would finish the season first overall in total points allowed. What happened? The Dolphins win in overtime, 31-28, and an Osweiler (380/3) and Albert Wilson (6/155/2) stack wins the DraftKings Milly Maker. Collectively, in the $10 DK MM, these two were just barely over 1% owned.
Why do I bring this up? I remember it fairly well, but it sent me down a rabbit hole thereafter, in trying to win this tournament to go after the sub-1% owned players. And predictably, this led me to some very poor finishes. But the better takeaway from the Osweiler million is that anything can happen on any Sunday. Heck, if anyone had played Mike White last weekend (he was 0.17% owned in the MM), we could have had this exact scenario play out again. This is an important reflection, and although I’m writing this in Willing to Lose, as opposed to Missed Opportunities, I’m doing so intentionally. We’ve been talking all season at OWS about playing fearlessly. Well, sticking a backup QB into your lineup, who is making a road start against a top-five defense is certainly fearless.
We don’t need to go digging to find those completely off-the-board plays, but we should consider why and how tributary outcomes occur. The term tributary literally means a river or stream which flows into a larger stream, river, or lake. It’s the uncommon path less traveled that can still connect multiple points. When we build rosters on any slate, we need to open our minds to new ways to reach first place. It may have been an approach you’ve done before, or seen in the past, or it may be one you’ve never really considered. But, no matter how you build, consider how the lineup fits together, the ceilings on each play, and how it’s projected to stack up against the field. Your lineups don’t need to have the lowest collective ownership of any roster in the GPP, but small tweaks to your process to differentiate ever so slightly can sometimes lead to first place. And for me, this week this leads me to overstacking . . .
One of the unfair aspects of reading any DFS content writer is that the reader is not always privy to where the writer’s biases lie. When I read an article, it would behoove me to know how this writer has won in the past: what strategies did they deploy, what players did they play, late swap? Did they punt TE or defense? To come clean with you here, if you don’t know, my top ten finish in the Milly Maker came with a six-man game stack. It’s a strategy I naturally anchored on most of the rest of the 2019 season, and have since realized it’s more of the four or five-man stacks which can keep my upside intact while also giving my rosters the opportunity for first place. So, when I talk about overstacking, it should have an asterisk that I’m biased toward this strategy.
While I may have a bias to identifying game environments, pursuing this guess-less-and-correlate-more strategy has paid off for many more DFS players than myself. Last week’s big OWS winner MattyP landed in first place with a four-man game stack. We also had an OWS $100K win from Ringostar back in Week 6 with a four-man game stack. I can go on and on but I absolutely subscribe to the fewer spots you can unlock on your roster, the better. And for this week, with pricing tight and many of the top offenses off the main slate, I’ll be skipping out on looking at ownership (though I will see it indirectly in the GPP Ceiling Tool), and instead, lean into the environments I trust with game overstacks. I’ll be hovering around three primary game environments this week: Eagles/Chargers, Bengals/Browns, and Raiders/Giants. Of these three, my guess is we’ll see the highest combined ownership in Eagles/Chargers, while the Bengals/Browns should be the lowest and the Raiders/Giants somewhere in between.
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