NFL Fantasy 2020 — Draftkings Showdown Milly Maker Winning Lineup Review — Week 1 – Thursday Night Showdown — HOU @ KC — September 10, 2020
In a full slate contest it’s very rare for the top prize to get split up between multiple entries. In Showdown however, it can happen. That’s often why a lot of dfs guides key in on leaving salary on the table and looking for the cheap low owned dude to differentiate your lineups. In reality, sometimes chalk hits and more importantly, having good well-reasoned plays should be the ultimate goal. In this contest with a top prize of $1 Million, the top lineup was shared by 36 different people, who each came away with a little over $37k. Not too bad!
First, let’s go over what we got right. Gamescript? Check. Everyone expected KC to win and most everyone hit the over on the -9 line, which is exactly what played out.
*ASIDE* A little bit of betting advice on this one: use live betting to your advantage when you see a fairly sizable line like -9. The Chiefs at this number was a pretty good pick, because the Chiefs are incredible and the line was based more on how good the team was than how bad the other team was expected to be. The next time these two play though, everything else being equal, Vegas would move this line to -9.5 or -10 or more… and despite how good the Chiefs are, that’s generally not a number you want to be a part of. They’re both professional teams and a full game blowout with a garbage time TD or two could bring the Texans within 9 and you with $0 in your account as a result.
In some situations, you’ll see a big spread of -9 or more when line-makers see a bad team and an ok team and they get a little ahead of themselves. This happened a lot in 2019 with teams like Miami, who isn’t necessarily a good team, but when they lost, they often kept the game close enough that as a bettor you could be right on the winning team but wrong on the spread. When you see any line -9 or higher, regardless of if it involves the Chiefs or anyone else, I recommend taking a moment to evaluate the betting decision and consider if a live bet makes more sense for ROI. In this game, we were unanimous in expecting the Chiefs to win, but a pregame wager at -9 on the Chiefs wasn’t as good of a bet as waiting to put money on the Chiefs immediately after the Texans scored the first TD of the game. As soon as the Texans scored, the line shifts and not only could the money you are live-bet placing on the Favorited Chiefs go further in terms of ROI, but your betting risk slides in your favor when the line moves closer to -8 or -7 or even -6 depending on the flow of the game.
The lean towards live betting in larger spreads is perfectly illustrated by the last Texans/Chiefs game on January 12, 2019. Going into the game, here was the spread: HOU: +9.5 (-105) | KC: -9.5 (-115). I know you all remember how this one went. We all expected the Chiefs to win, indicative of the Vegas spread, but the real money, the BIG money, was the live bet on the plus money Chiefs as soon as the Texans dominated the first quarter. The play was to throw down money when the Texans went up 7, and then even more down 14 and then probably a hold at 21-0, unless you’ve got balls of steel. You bet on the Chiefs before this game and you’re going to get pennies on the live-betting dollar you would have gotten on the Chiefs when they went down.
That was a really long aside, but I wanted ya’ll to take that mentality into any game where you see a large spread. Alright, back to the winning lineup.
Here’s what we said:
© Clyde Edwards-Helaire
“I’m looking first at Edwards-Helaire $8,800 to be on full display. He’s going to score his first NFL TD in the game, in my estimation by a pass from Mahomes and then fall into a 2nd TD later in the contest.”
Boy did we almost hit this right on the nail. He had a couple of touches at the 1 in this game that he wasn’t able to capitalize on otherwise we would have had this one perfectly pegged. We were wrong about how he was going to score, but right on how well we expected him to play in this one.
Statistically the Captain spot is where we want to use 5k or higher receivers or RBs and this is exactly the price range and player situation we were looking at.
“Based on the expected gamescript, Deshaun Watson at $11,800 is going to be throwing from behind“
He was a great pivot from Mahomes and we knew he’d be throwing, or in this case running. If we liked Clyde, which we did, then from a gamescript perspective we could rationalize that his TDs might come on the ground, like a normal running back, instead of trying to force our story line through Mahomes. Either way, the more Clyde scores, the more Mahomes has the ball kicked back to him.
Will Fuller V
“Fuller is going to be popular, at $8,000, and most likely the new #1 target in this game, he should be very popular. Primarily due to popularity and the fact that this dude is more likely to get injured than he is to catch a TD pass, I’m going to be very underweight. He’ll be in my player pool but I doubt I’ll play him much and if those KC corners find a way to keep him in check, we’ll have huge leverage on the field.”
Alright, so here’s what we missed on this one. Cooks plays. If Cooks is out, I stand firmly behind everything we wrote here. Fuller would have gotten the best defensive coverage, almost exclusively and almost everyone else on that offense gets a slight boost, as it trickles down. As soon as we found out that Cooks is in, the inexperienced would tell you to get off of Fuller and onto Cooks, when in actuality, the situation called for the exact opposite to be true. Cooks in, should have meant more fuller. Cooks played the decoy, as he always has when he played hurt in NE and in LA and the WR2 gets the easier coverage and the better looks. Lesson: keep an eye on questionable tags and HAVE A PLAN for when the news drops. I’ll try to do a better job of indicating a plan of action when there are important questionable tags going into a game.
“I’m a very big fan of $7,600 David Johnson. When healthy, this dude can catch out of the backfield about as well as anyone in the league and appears as healthy as he’s been in a long time. Plus, the head coach traded Hopkins for him and was criticized for that trade more than he could have possibly imagined and I’m sure he would love to get a win against KC through a solid performance from David. I think regardless of scoreline, the coach feeds the ball to the beast through a variety of dump off and short passes to get those stats flowing this season.”
We loved this guy going in. He was a smart play. Coach was going to show off his shiny new toy and Watson needed to get the ball out quick. 77 Yards, and 4 targets, could be just the beginning as he gets more comfortable with Watson. He’s someone to keep on our radar going forward. Please stay healthy.
“Watkins is incredibly priced at $5,800 and could be very popular. He’s certainly worth a look.”
We took projected ownership into account way more than we should have. Someone once said ‘just play the dudes’ and that’s what we and you should do. Forget about ownership in most instances and just go with the guy that makes sense for the situation. We knew that the KC defense is good and we knew that the Houston offense is likely to be bad without Hopkins. Kelce and Watkins are the two easiest passes to throw to past the line of scrimmage for Mahomes. Hill is 30 yards down field as soon as the ball is snapped and (he was so pricey) and honestly Mahomes could have dumped the ball to Watkins in his little 5 yard routes all night. Lesson: find what the easy play is for each offense in the particular matchup and just go with that. A lot of that.
“Ultimately I like the upside of Darren Fells between the two but where the salary meets your build, you could do an awful lot worse than taking Akins over Fells. If the dude falls into the end zone instead of Fells, you should have decent ownership leverage”
This was the one single play where we needed to zag when everyone else zigged, and we knew this. We expected the KC defense to do well and when that happens we should be targeting the easiest possible outlets, like the TE position.
We should mostly play all the dudes based on how we expect the game to play out and then look for a single guy to differentiate us exactly like Akins who had essentially the same number of receptions as the other more popular option at his position.
Good luck in your next showdown!
NFL Fantasy – Milly Maker Winning Lineup Review – Week 6
Up above these words is what a million dollars looks like. The winner could be an ordinary dude just like you and me who took the time to do a little research last week before he made 9 decisions and clicked submit. I love helping you guys with your research and doing everything in my power to get you closer to a million dollars or whatever top prize you’re after. One way I can do that is through my weekly game breakdowns another probably more important way I can do that is through my Milly Maker Lineup reviews. Game breakdowns help us a ton for one week, Lineup Reviews help us make better decisions for every week going forward. I’m going to do everything in my power to write up more of those for us.
Main Team Stack: Atlanta Falcons: QB, TE
We talked a lot about this ATL squad in our Game Breakdown article. This game ATL @ ARI had the second highest point total and so the DFS community felt great rostering both sides of this game. Have I ever told you how much I love the game on the slate with the 2nd highest point total? I’m telling you, that’s where it’s at. It’s always on the radar but not quite on the radar enough. Good usually happens when you pick the right sides of the 2nd highest point total. You’ll probably hear me tell you that many, many more times going forward.
Matt Ryan is playing so well this year. He’s hit 300+ yards in every single game so far and at 6400, come on now, that’s incredible value. Austin Hooper was a popular play as well at 37.3 percent ownership in this contest. That’s a heck of a lot of ownership. You know a lot of people go on and on about trying to avoid popular plays but that’s not what wins you the money. Winning involves drafting the right popular plays and the right unpopular plays, it’s a good mix of both that prevails. Everyone else thought they had to deep stack and generally a 3 man same team stick can workout very well, but this winner couldn’t decide who he liked on the ATL squad so he stuck with who he liked. He probably admitted to himself that he had no idea who else Ryan was going to lead into the endzone besides Hooper and was completely fine with getting a piece of each of those Touchdowns through Matt Ryan. The rest of us chose Julio or Sanu or Ridley (who did ok), but if we were honest with ourselves, we had no idea which one of those dudes was going to have an exceptional game. We did like Ryan though and we knew liked Hooper, next time we gotta admit what we know, accept what we don’t know, and then play the dudes who we feel confident about.
Generally I’ll tell ya’ll to run your main stack with a guy from the other side but with the David Johnson uncertainty and the expensive Fitzgerald pricing, it was hard to feel good about anyone but QB Kyler Murray and we didn’t have any vacancy at the QB position. So this guy took Ryan/Hooper, accepted what he didn’t know and moved on to the RB positions
RB / RB
Chris Carson was a very popular play. Obviously so, he was 25.6% owned. Again, there’s no reason to get away from high ownership if the play makes sense. We knew Carson was going to see a ton of carries against a very poor run defense. He gets targets, he gets carries, he gets goal line work, and at 6k against the Browns, he made so much sense. This is the type of play that often works out and you should have a lot of in your lines. It’s not a perfect play, no play is perfect, but a clear RB1 with a 6k pricetag against a poor run defense is something you want to be a part of more often than not. Carlos Hyde is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t be picking players by their fantasy points so far this year, and instead picking players based on their usage and their current matchup. We knew Carlos was super cheap this week at 4400 and was expected to get a heavy workload in the highest game total on the board. Going into the game, we all expected him to get a ton of carries if the Texas could get ahead in the game so as to keep the ball out of the hands of superstar Patrick Mahomes. The price was great and the volume from Week 5, with 21 carries, clearly showed that Hyde was being given the opportunity to succeed for us. Knowing all of that, sometimes it’s easy to hear about a player, admit he’s in a great situation and then look at his stats to that point and see no fantasy-point specific indication that he’ll hit the value you want him to at his price, because he hadn’t done it before! Anyone can look at a boxscore for Christian McCaffrey from last week and tell you that he’s going to score another TD or two in his upcoming game. The people who succeed in this type of competition are those that can look at a boxscore of a player who has yet to hit 4x value of his current pricetag or hasn’t in quite some time, and still feels confident in drafting the guy based on his usage rate and his current situation.
WR / WR / WR
Stefon Diggs was highly touted this week in the fantasy football community. He’s been in a weird situation/relationship with his QB and his team. He’s been injured too. So it’s been hard to feel confident in drafting the guy. After the passing game explosive of the MIN offense last week and the success that brought with it, we knew that Cousins and co. would be repeating the gameplan. We wrote up in our weekly breakdown how MIN Dalvin Cook would be held in check by PHI who has the #1 rush defense in the league. That was expected. So what does that mean for the offense? MORE passes! This made Cousins and naturally his WR1 a fine play, but it also made Stefon Diggs an incredible too because he would see additional volume redistributed to the pass offense from Cook’s workload just as much as Thielen would, and he’s faster than every player in the PHI secondary. His speed in relation to the PHI was talked about a lot in the fantasy community this week too, in just about every podcast we listened to. The problem was, all of the problems going in with the volume and the team chemistry, etc., but as we saw with Hyde a good play is a good play. In reading interviews from very successful Draftkings players, they usually mention something similar to “usually the best lineups are the ones that make you a little bit uncomfortable”. I think is what they meant. They’re not talking about stacking every MIA player and Bengal, they’re talking about this type of situation: Stefon Diggs who’s underperformed thus far but undeniably has plenty of skill and finds himself in a great situation where his QB has to be throwing more.
Next WR is Terry McLauren. Man… I swear when I saw this pricetag, I knew this dude was going to do well. That price seemed outrageously steep when it came out. 6000! McLauren was 6000 in a game with a low point total playing for a team that said it was going to run the heck out of the ball, oh and also has a terrible QB throwing to him. This is another one of those, where adding him to your lineup you say to yourself “wow, does this feel uncomfortable right now”. Why? Why did this make sense. Well, we knew RB Adrian Peterson was going to get huge volume and at 4500 we were still hesitant to play him. Why was that? Well as a clear RB1 going into the week, knowing that his coach wanted to give him the ball, we still had reservations about drafting him because we didn’t think he was going to hit value. At 4500, in that situation, and still hesitant? That should have been our cue that if WAS was going to win, which I think we and Vegas expected, the WAS offense was going to have to throw the ball to do so against a putrid MIA D and McLauren is the WR1 of that squad. Clear and away, he is the WR1. When we saw 4500, and hesitated on AP, if we still felt like WAS was going to win the game, that would have put us on Scary Terry McLauren. I’m certain that was the thought process in this million dollar winning lineup.
Auden Tate is the last WR pick of this lineup and he was a pretty easy selection in hindsight too. His CIN Bengals were playing against a funnel Baltimore Defense who can stop a run game in its tracks but would let a middle school squad throw all over them. We knew BAL was going to pound the rock on offense, take the lead early and then CIN spend the rest of the game abandoning the run to play catch up and throwing from behind a ton. Auden Tate has emerged over the 2 weeks going into this game that he was the clear WR2 behind Tyler Boyd. He was getting targets and he and Dalton were developing a consistent rapport. We also knew that Tate was super chalky last week and let everyone down. These are the types of plays that are really good to jump on after they bite the chalk dust, because ‘the what have you done for me lately’ mentality can somehow convince a person that he’s a perfect pick one week and then not even worth our time the following week after a down game. This new millionaire knew that this guy was going to get targets as his team was throwing from behind and he knew that he was going to be low owned because he burned everyone the previous week. I don’t think he chose him because of his low ownership, it was just a nice bonus.
Ezekiel Elliott was the most expensive back on the board and had the highest projected volume of all the backs. He was coming off of a few down weeks by his standards and we knew that after a loss, he would get extra opportunity as the team’s top offensive weapon, to try to lead his squad to victory. He gets the catches in the backfield, he gets the goal line work, he gets a ton of carries. It’s surprising that he was under 10% owned when so much RB value opened up salary for a player of this caliber to be squeezed in.
Honestly, I think new millionaire BBcombes got on the 49ers Defense here because they fit his remaining salary. Going into it, I think he’d agree with me saying that this was the biggest gamble he took in this lineup. He saw the 49ers embarrass the Browns and hoped for lightning to strike again, this time against a Rams squad with a lot of offensive weapons and a pocket passer that doesn’t make the best decisions under pressure. It worked out for him. Other defenses scored more points, but he didn’t need much more from the defense than allowing him to fit the rest of his lineup together and not killing him. They certainly fit the bill.
Now, on to Week 7!
NFL DFS – Milly Maker Winning Lineup Review – Week 2
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what a million dollars looks like. From afar it just looks like 8 players and a defense, but if we dive deeper, we can learn a little bit about why this lineup was successful. Let’s start with the team stack.
Before I begin I want to quickly mention ownership and how its determined. Ownership projections are important when constructing a GPP winning lineup. It’s literally impossible to know exactly how highly a player is owned, but you can get a pretty good indication of a player’s draft popularity by reading a lot of articles and listening to podcasts. I do a lot of that and thus I’ll do a lot of that for you and will mention the popular players, also referred to as ‘Chalk’ when I do my Game breakdowns going forward. OK, back to the breakdown.
Last week the KC @ OAK had the second highest O/U point total on the board at 52. The NO @ LAR total was the only one higher and just slightly so, at 53. Obviously that NO @ LAR ending with such a low score helped a ton. Both teams combined for a 38 point clunker as the Rams won 27-9. NO starting QB Drew Brees got hurt and so the entire offensive game plan for the Saints changed. Kamara barely got the ball and QB2 Bridgewater played like a backup QB.
Now, in hindsight, this game probably should not have had a higher projected point total than any game the Chiefs are involved in. Other than their matchups against BAL in Week 3, 9/22 and with CHI in Week 15 on 12/22, the Chief games should have the highest point total on the board. Their offense has given no evidence to the contrary and their offense is off the charts good right now. Mahomes is on another level right now. He’s also trying to break TD records, and season passing records. He and his offensive coaching staff are trying to help him get there, so he’s going to be motivated for stats alone in every game he plays.
***Game Theory Break***
To win one of these large GPPs takes a lot of luck, a lot of research and a lot of game theory. This week’s winner stacked the 2nd highest projected point total while the masses were stacking the highest total of Saints and Rams. This was a calculated move and the type of move we should implement in our own gameplans. We need to ask ourselves what game everyone else wants to stack and then zig while they zag. It doesn’t have to be a complete fade, we can still get a small piece of the highest projected total, but if the game we stacked, that less people were fully invested in, ends up with more fantasy points overall then our lineups are going to be stepping over a lot of people. Keep this in mind when using point totals. Vegas is often incorrect in their assessments and projections. They give a general indication of games to target and that’s exactly how they should be used. We’ll use the point totals as a starting point to find out where the public wants to invest and we can adjust our plan accordingly.
***End Game Theory Break***
Main Team Stack: Kansas City Chiefs – QB, TE, WR3
Alright, now back to the lineup itself. The lineup had a quality 3 player stack of the Chiefs, the best offense in the league. It has the highest priced QB in the league, Patrick Mahomes, highest priced Tight End in the league and an experienced wide receiver with opportunity due to a teammates injury. There’s a lot of nuance to this stack on its own. If you read any of the fantasy analysts opinions before this game, many of them were suggesting to target their young stud rookie receiver Mecole Hardman who had 0 receptions for 0 yards in Week 1, who was playing a new, fairly complex offense, that also happened to be filled with plenty of veterans anxious to capitalize on more playing time due to the WR1 Tyreke Hill injury.
Ok, so, if we had decided to stack this team. We would the QB, check, we would his top consistent receiver, All World TE Travis Kelce, who by the way averages somewhere around a TD a game and over 100 yards a game (in week 2 he had 1 TD and 107 yards) and didn’t get in the endzone last game, so was a very easy pick to add to the stack for positive regression’s sake. And then the 3rd guy, Demarcus Robinson, who in week 2 was the million dollar separator at 0.6% owned, he had 38.2 fpts with 2 TDs and 172 yards.
QB / TE / WR
I like stacking 3 deep: either QB and two receivers or QB, TE and a Receiver. Statistically there’s great correlation and if you pick the right offense and make the best educated guesses with target volume then things tend to work out very profitably. If we stacked this game, right off the bat without thinking, we pick QB Mahomes and his top target which is very consistently Travis Kelce. Now, a lot of people would error and say that Sammy Watkins should be a part of the stack along with these dudes or Kelce’s place following his Week 1 – 9 reception, 198 yard, 3 TD game. Picking Watkins in the game after he sets a career best in pretty much every category is called ‘Chasing points’ and it usually never ends well. Athletes don’t become twice as good as they have been for their entire careers overnight. AND Sammy Watkins is historically inconsistent. Kelce is Mr. Consistent. He has the same upside and was coming off of a game with below average fantasy points, so again, without thinking too much you already have a fantastic 2 man stack: QB, TE.
Now for the 3rd player to pair with this offense, you’ve already crossed off Sammy Watkins, so as to not chase points, and you know that RB1 Damien Williams and RB2 Lesean McCoy are in a timeshare, so they steal stats from one another, you have to go with a receiver. Everyone else is talking the rookie Hardman but the smart play was the experienced receiver in the offense who stands to see an increase in playing time with Hill out and Watkins due for an off game. The only guy who fits that description remaining in the receiver corps is Demarcus Robinson at a measly $3500. There is no possible way to know that he would be so successful in this game, but he was the right play using all of the information we had at our disposal and he just happened to ball out. Going forward, his price is going to rise and should we play him in the next game? No. We should not. He’s not that guy. But you know who is? The guy that we knew not to play after a career day. If we stack KC again next week, Watkins should be our man, even in a one off. These tiny instances where we connect the dots as we think through our decision-making is what will set us up for success.
Alright, that was a lot of words about the 3 man deep, KC stack. What surprised me most was that he didnt game stack that game, which is something that he should have done and you should too in a game like this. On the other side of the ball, OAK is going to get scored on a lot and thus will have plenty of opportunity to rack up stats as well. Everyone in the fantasy community was talking up WR1 Tyrell Williams because he had such a great game in Week 1 and ALSO because he was so cheap at $4400. In fact, in the $20 Milly Maker contest he was owned by 30.34% of entrants (Bad Decision – Sammy Watkins was at 25.17%). In Week 1, he had 6 receptions, 105 yards, and 1 TD. Now that’s a solid line, especially at a very similar price level. If you were team stacking with Carr, which was a very reasonable decision, then Tyrell had to be in the mix. But we did expect Williams to be popular. 30 percent ownership is huge, and it was expected. Just like game theory suggests that we stack the KC/OAK game as the 2nd highest point total instead of the LAR and NO game, we should have a similar mindset going in to stack in this game. Under the assumption that Tyrell Williams DOES NOT get the catches, yardage and points that everyone expected of him, someone on the Raiders was still going to get those stats because OAK would still have the ball so often, with KC scoring so quickly, and were still going to have to throw because they’re going to be playing from behind all game against a bottom 10 defense. So who else on the offense gets targeted the most besides T. Williams? TE Darren Waller, thats who. He had 7 catches that went for 70 yards in Week 1 (Tyrell had 6 catches). In week 2, he had 6 catches and 63 yards. Granted, he was a popular play too, at 24.72% ownership, but his price tag was so cheap at 3300. The OAK offense after Antonio Brown’s dismissal is very limited and Waller was going to get just about any target that Williams didn’t get it. There’s really no one else. Also, after T. Williams 100+ game it’s easy to expect the KC defense to try to double cover or at least have a second defender leaning in his direction making Carr go through his progressions only to find the easiest check down target available, his TE, Waller. In a general context, with a lower expected point total, and the same super high ownership, Waller may not be the play, but if you’re stacking this game, heavy on KC, then he should be a part of this stack every time.
Waller was not in the winning lineup, but if you had drafted the exact same lineup as the winning lineup but had him in your gamestack along with your KC guys, he or Kelce would have been in the Flex and you would have outscored the lineup that ended up winning the contest.
What I find most interesting about doing this analysis and making these lineups is working through the thought process and the stat analysis and seeing how your stacks can almost build themselves if you let them. It’s also nice to see mistakes in the million dollar lineup or common sense ways where we could have beaten it. It’s all hindsight and I get that, but gamestacking with educated game theory would have improved on his lineup point total and that kind of thinking might be what separates our next millionaire winning lineup from the guy in 2nd place.
Ok, back to the lineup review. Thus far we have 3 positions filled. What we have remaining: RB, RB, WR, WR, FLEX and DEF positions.
RB / RB
In the RB position, this guy chose Zeke Elliott and Derrick Henry. Zeke was not really a great play. At $8700, after signing a long term deal after a long holdout, when he shares an equal amount of carries as his backup in week 1, he’s not a great play value-wise. Any running back who was out of training camp or for any extended period of time who just signed a long term deal should not be expected to have a full workload the second week after he returns. That doesn’t make sense from an injury risk standpoint to put a player in that position. Injuries can happen anytime but they’re more likely to occur after an extended period away from football. He should have been eased into the role, just like he was in this game. He’ll be an every down back again in maybe week 4 or 5 and onward but until then, it behooves the coaching staff to build up to that workload. You should never spend $8700 on a player who should not see a full workload. The only thing that made Elliott the right play in this lineup is that he was the perfect pivot off of the more popular RB on the slate, NO Alvin Kamara, who usually has the same upside and was $500 cheaper at 8200. Alvin Kamara was 39.18% owned in this contest. That ownership is just too high. I mean, he’s a good way to get a piece of the Saints game, but he’s just too highly owned on a full slate. When you know a guy is going to be this popular on a main slate, then your job is to pivot to someone else, generally right around the same price range. Elliott was 8.47% owned. He was around the same price range as Kamara and had more or less similar upside, even though he should have low volume. We know he gets all the goal line work, and that along with the expected ownership is what should have taken us off of Kamara and put us on someone like Elliott. It looks like at $7400, Dalvin Cook was the right pivot. His upside was the same as these two, less ownership and full workload. You don’t have to be perfect in these pivots if you get some of them dead on right, then you’ll leave a little room for error. Elliott was not the right play but he helped make a millionaire in a day.
Derrick Henry. Solid play. Usually, it’s a good idea to consider stacking one of your RBs with your defense because of the positive correlation. If a running back scores a lot and/or does a great job with dominating the time of possession then the opposition is going to be trying to throw from behind and generally that increases the possibilities for turnovers for a Defense to receive points for. And if a Defense is doing a great job, then the RB1 is usually going to get more snaps as the game progresses as his team runs out the clock. TEN was playing in a game with one of the lowest projected point totals against a backup qb with interception issues, so Derrick Henry made complete sense. In many instances a stack of Henry/TEN would have been solid. EXCEPT for this week, because the slate had one of the most unique matchups the league has seen in quite some time.
Week 2 had one of the highest point spreads we’ve ever seen. I heard on a podcast I can’t recall the name of, that the NE @ MIA game had one of the highest point spreads since the 1980s, with a spread that hovered around NE -19. That’s a lot of games over a long time. But the game this week had arguably the best team/best coached team in the league playing against the consensus worst team/worst coached team in the league. MIA is tanking and several players have been in the media asking to be traded. This game was definitely a blowout just like everyone expected, 43 – 0. The starting QB for the MIA team, Fitzpatrick, is interception prone and quite frankly has played on so many teams that maybe he gets confused sometimes who he should be throwing to. The Patriots defense was the highest owned defense at 20.39% and made complete sense. It was pricey, at 3700, but it made complete sense. For some reason, many analysts expected the MIA offense to get at least one or 2 TDs against the 5th string roster that comes in at halftime but the Dolphins literally gave up. The MIA offense played so poorly that the NE defense literally broke the slate. You almost had to have this defense in your lineup if you wanted anything close to a top prize. Under normal circumstances, you want to draft a defense a low owned defense, under $3K, against a QB who tends to throw a pick or two, preferably a young QB or backup QB. But when a match like this comes around only once every 30 years or so, you gotta capitalize on it like this winner did and draft them.
WR / WR
We know we had Robinson from KC in the Team stack, so we’re left with the 2 other WR positions to fill. Generally, those positions should be used to grab a piece of another game we really like, either a high scoring game like what we expected from the NO and LAR game or by drafting a WR1 – the WR who gets the most targets on a team. One of the other offense stacks we liked this week was the BUF squad playing against one of the worst defenses in the league who just got murdered by the DAL team in week 1. Any time a generally average QB has a career game against a defense, with a perfect QB rating, that’s the kind of defensive squad you want to target against. Dak Prescott looked superhuman last game and so the Buffalo offense was bound to hit above their averages as well. The top receivers on the Bills in week 1 were John Brown at 10 Targets, and Beasley at 9 Targets. Either one of these guys would have been a great choice but the winning lineup had John Brown in it most likely just because the winner had the extra cash to afford Brown who was $5200 and the deep ball threat and clear WR1, while Beasley was a solid, high volume, short pass catcher, money saver at $3800. We were on this game, and we had a lot of Beasley and/or Brown and/or Josh Allen stacks so we got that one right.
The last of the specific WR positions was filled by Emmanuel Sanders. This was a really odd pick in some respects because he was a part of the game with the lowest projected point total on the board. Generally, that’s not really a game you want to target an offensive player from, against a tough defense, with so many other options available. But he is a clear WR1 in the DEN offense and he’s very talented. If anyone scores a TD or two in that game, he’d be one of if not THE top offensive player to do so. The ownership was going to be low because of the point total, he was owned by a whopping 1.84% of lineups, and despite the situation he’s still a number 1 receiver, and at $4700 . Game theory-wise, this pick makes sense. It’s still weird though.
And the final play of the day, Miami’s own Preston Williams, at 0.6% owned. The mindset needed to make this pick is the same mindset we would have used to pick Waller who outscored this dude in our gamestack of KC/OAK. This guy was chosen because he’s one of the receivers on the Dolphins squad who was going to get plenty of reps on offense after NE scored another TD on them. And this reason this guy was chosen, even though he’s more of a WR3, instead of more targeted players on the MIA offense, was based on the defensive strategy of the New England Patriots. Every single game, the Patriots defensive game plan is to take away the primary offensive threat on the opposing team. If they play GB they double Adams, if they play NO they limit Michael Thomas. They always do this and that strategy has been successful for years. Now what this does is increase the expected targets for any secondary or tertiary targets of any Patriot’s opponent. That’s why of all the players on this tanking MIA team, this lineup included a talented under the radar receiver that the Patriots would never have game-planned for. He was 0.6% owned and just did enough, with 10.3 fpts to work out for this lineup. Again, MIA is so bad that we would never have played this dude and would have outscored this FLEX pick with Waller, but this pick was one of 9 picks worth a million bucks.
35.62 – Patrick Mahomes – $7500
23.00 – Zeke Elliott – $8700
17.30 – Derrick Henry – $ 6000
14.20 – John Brown – $ 5200
38.20 – Demarcus Robinson – $ 3500
28.80 – Emmanuel Sanders – $ 4700
26.70 – Travis Kelce – $7300
10.30 – Preston Williams – $ 3400
37.00 – NE Defense – $ 3700
Total Cost – $50000
Total Fpts – 231.12