This is the simplest and hardest edition of WTL of the entire season. It’s the simplest from the standpoint of the small player pool and the ability to think through essentially every option and angle in play. And yet, at the same time, it’s the hardest to write because of how thin those overlooked plays may be. When we play to win a large DFS tournament, we play to roster players who can score two touchdowns, go over 100 yards rushing/receiving, or teams who can put up more than five touchdowns. We have all of those options this Championship Sunday, but since all of those players should pull decent ownership, the way we can differentiate (if playing for a solo ship, more on that in later and in The Oracle) is through roster construction. And yes, luckily this is where OWS thrives.
Before we start building lineups this weekend, I’m going to take you through the player pool exercise that I do each week in listing out all of the viable plays on this slate. With only two games, this becomes a quick and painless exercise (complicated slightly by players returning from injury: Darrell Henderson, Darrel Williams, and Mohamed Sanu). Below, I’ve listed all of the viable plays according to my pool, meaning players who should be seeing at least a 25% snap share and/or high value opportunities in these games. Here’s the list . . .
● Bengals: Burrow, Mixon, Chase, Higgins, Boyd, Uzomah
● Chiefs: Mahomes, McKinnon, CEH, Tyreek, Pringle, Hardman, Robinson, Kelce
● 49ers: Garoppolo, Mitchell, Juszczyk, Deebo, Aiyuk, Jennings, Kittle
● Rams: Stafford, Akers, Michel, Kupp, OBJ, Van, Higbee
* afternoon, 1/28/22
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Any of these players can score two touchdowns on Sunday. Say that out loud, and repeat it. Yes, even Kyle Juszczyk (look at his snap counts, and in a 49ers trailing game script who knows?). For me, step one is literally listing out the player pool as seen above. Step two in building rosters is actually envisioning the games, and how and where the touchdowns will come from. Take these games for a simulation run in your minds. There are only two, don’t be lazy. Does Cincinnati struggle early, then come roaring back? Does Kansas City start slow as we’ve seen many times before the Bengals spark them to life just like the Bills did? Can Garoppolo throw more than one touchdown in a pass-heavy game script for the Niners? Do the Rams ride Cam Akers to the Super Bowl like the 49ers did to the Packers with Raheem Mostert a few seasons ago?
Find your stories. Write them down and build accordingly. If we’re building for first place, we shouldn’t be scared to go where others won’t. Think about the narratives on each of these teams coming in, and be willing to lose.
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