Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
I refuse to speak in a detrimental manner about “the field” . . . because I am part of “the field.” So, if I start picking on the field, then I’m really just picking on myself. You are part of the field too. We all are. It’s what makes building tournament rosters in DFS such an exciting puzzle to solve. The field consists of the pool of entries in any event, but when we say the field will see this spot as this, and the field will see this spot as that, and then we talk about how we can exploit it, we’re actually just directing ourselves on how we should outsmart ourselves.
It’s one of the great ironies of DFS, mainly in tournament play. We all have human thoughts and we all make human errors. Each one of us can’t fight our gut reactions to players, coaches, games, and more. But what we can do is train, train, train. And that’s what OWS is for. Repetition retrains the mind and body. When we build rosters and have a thought that feels likely to happen at first glance, most of the time, this is the same exact thought our opponents will have. Fighting urges and tendencies are how you win GPPs. Rosters should make some sense but they shouldn’t look perfect before kickoff. They should feel a bit uncomfortable. They should feel like someone else built them for you. Because they literally are that! The old you wants to stack up the WR1 with his QB in a matchup as 10-point favorites against the 31st-ranked DVOA against the pass. The new you realizes you can play the same QB with his RB1 because all the touchdowns could come on the ground, and the game script could lean toward fourth quarter carries in a 10-point spread. The old you sees a 42-point game total and thinks, eh, RBs and defenses only. The new you sees the condensity in the offense and sees low ownership on high volume players in the same matchup. You get the point.
So, you changed the lens through which you are seeing these games play out. Keep thinking about how to defeat the old you in fighting the urge to bet all three favorites on this Thanksgiving Slate. It’s likely all three teams favored won’t win. It’s likely some games will go over and some under their totals. But the best part about DFS is no matter how you see these games, if you’re thinking for yourself, it’s going to be uniquely your thoughts. Don’t think of the field as lesser thinkers than yourself. The field is you, after all.
The best slates to build around are the ones we can digest, pun intended. A three-gamer on Thanksgiving falls right into that category. Let’s look for a little data, let it guide us with the masses, and then angle our rosters toward first place. Let’s go!
The Vikings defense has given up at least 300 yards passing in four of their last five games. Mac Jones is gross, that was what you just thought. But, he could also be the lowest owned starting QB on the slate. And I’ll just say it, but it’s possible he has met his match in the Vikings defense. Bill Belichick is famously adaptable to an opponent-specific game plan, and while the Minnesota defense is average across the board, they have given up some extra large box scores specifically to opposing QBs and WRs over the course of this season. In Week 6, the Dolphins torched this secondary with Tua/Tyreek/Waddle for GPP-winning scores. DeAndre Hopkins hit them for 12/159/1 in Week 8. Stefon Diggs for 12/128/1 in Week 10. To say they are susceptible when describing their secondary is an understatement. And this should be the lowest owned passing game on this slate.
So if you decide to go with the Patriots coming in with a pass-heavy game plan, the two logical players to pair with Mac are Meyers, who was on the field for 95% of the snaps last week, and Stevenson, who led the Patriots players in catches last week with six. Rhamondre would also play well in a positive game script for the Pats, so going to this unit is enough leverage in and of itself, we can simply play the best plays once we’re here. Lastly, we saw what the Cowboys defense did to Kirk Cousins last week. It’s important to note the ‘Boys D is first in pressure rate this season at 28.6%. The team that ranks second on that list? Patriots defense at 28.5%. I’m going to be interested in projected ownership on defenses but what a beautiful thing (not for Kirk).