DFS Shark Tank Week 10: Player/Stack/Avoid Pitch for the $1M+ Open Tournaments
I (RC) am going to play one DFS lineup in a $1M (min.) contest each week to try and take a dart throw at the big money to fund three things: (1) Myself, (2) FFM, (3) my favorite charity.
The odds of hitting on one entry in a giant pool is near impossible…but that’s the fun of it, the lottery dream of it.
My plan to make a lineup is going to be ‘the fun’ here. I, myself, do not functionally play DFS myself…I get submerged in Fantasy and scouting and questions and shows and writing, etc., all day every day. I’m not an expert in the salary and stack aspects, etc., so I’m going to do the smart thing -- lean on two people who are more expert in it than I.
There will be five inputs to make my FF lineup for the million (or bust)…
1) FFM’s Ross Jacobs, who is taking a deeper dive into the world of DFS this year.
2) Andrew Duhan…known to us as ‘Andrew DFS’…one of the most expert DFS sources that I know.
3) My wife, who knows nothing about football, is going to make one random pick at a position (probably like DST…or from a group of top options of the other positions.
4) I will pick one favorite play/player.
5) I will let Advanced Sports Logic’s ‘DFS Optimizer’, which uses FFM projections correlated to the salary and instantly/AI’s the best spends to fill out as many positions (or all positions) as needed. More info on the program and subscribing to the DFS Optimizer on the ‘Optimizer’ tab on the FFM homepage.
But I will begin each week by consulting with my two experts, who I’ve asked to pitch four concepts…
1) Their best ‘stack’ play, and why.
2) Their best mid-range salary player I should have in my lineup.
3) Their best cheapo play I should have in my lineup construction.
4) The bigger name/salary player I should avoid -- for either game logic or DFS ‘ownership %’ logic (and we’ll explain what that means).
The two DFS experts are going to pitch me (a la a Shark Tank type pitch) their concepts Saturday night on a group chat, which will be posted in full below -- so you can see their picks/plays and logic to consider for your own lineup constructions in DFS. I don’t know who they are gonna pitch until they pitch it…and I’ll react to it, and we’ll group discuss it. They also don’t know who the other might pitch -- they may end up with the same exact concept/player…they won’t know until the chat starts.
We haven’t practiced this ahead, I just laid out the generic concept and we’re about to see where it goes. Forgive any typos…and good luck with your DFS plays this week!
*** Because of the injury to RC, there was no chat this week…so, the experts submitted their plays independent of each other (and there’s a reason I emphasize that this week…).
Here’s some of their DFS wisdom for this week’s slate…
There are currently three games in the mainslate with an over/under of 48 or more points: CHI vs DET, KC vs JAX, and MIA vs CLE.
CHI QB Justin Fields and KC QB Patrick Mahomes have a projected ownership percentage in excess of 15%. MIA QB Tua Tagovailoa on the other hand, has a more palatable ownership percentage of less than 10%. In cash games, it’s hard to argue against Justin Fields given his favorable matchup and salary. Keep in mind that Patrick Mahomes threw the ball 68 times last week which tied for third all time! There is a good chance KC puts the game early and perhaps the game script dictates more run plays than usual.
In a large tournament, my pick would be Tua. Low projected stack options with Tua are WR Jaylen Waddle (5-7%) and RB Jeff Wilson Jr. (2-4%); great bring back pieces in this game are RB Nick Chubb (2-4%) and WR Amari Cooper (8-10%).
If you’re looking for a riskier play in this slate, I would consider DEN QB Russell Wilson who has an ownership projection of less than 1%. The projections for his top two receivers (Sutton and Jeudy) are coming in at 5- 7%. Although DEN TE Greg Dulcich has one of the highest ownership projections in the slate, you can get away with stacking him with Wilson and a Broncos WR given their low projections. The Titans defense is coming off a game where they played 90+ snaps and had a heart-breaking loss on SNF; meanwhile the Broncos just had their bye week. The Titans will also be without one of their top players Jeffery Simmons. When defenses play more than 80 snaps the week before, it’s a good idea to bet against them the following week. CIN RB Joe Mixon had a historic 58-point performance against the Panthers defense that played more than 80 snaps the week before. Only four other players had 58 or more FF points since 2013.
DAL RB Tony Pollard (D$6,500) has an ownership projection of less than 1%. This low projection is due to the uncertainty behind Ezekiel Elliott’s status. Even if Elliott plays, it’s possible that Pollard leads the backfield against a Packers defense that has been decimated by injuries. If Elliott gets ruled out early Sunday, then Pollard’s ownership projection will sky rocket which will make him a less desirable large pool play but an excellent cash game play.
Excluding the game against the Eagles, PIT WR George Pickens (D$5,000; 3-5 %) was averaging 7 targets per week over the past five games. Pickens could be in line for a nice bounce-back week against a vulnerable Saints defense on the road. In addition to a favorable matchup, the following factors may also indicate that Pickens will have a nice week:
Steelers traded WR Chase Claypool the week prior.
RB Najee Harris’ role should be scaled back helping the offense function more smoothly
Steelers will be well rested coming off a bye week.
Player to avoid
In general, playing high field tournaments will require fading chalky players. The players with the top three ownership projections are HOU RB Dameon Piece, DEN TE Greg Dulcich, and TEN RB Derrick Henry. All three could have great weeks; however, there is minimal upside with selecting chalky players in large pool contests. Unless the player has an explosive performance, chances are that they will not be in the winning lineup.
With that being said, the one player that could have a poor FF output with an ownership projection greater than 20% is LAR WR Cooper Kupp (D$9,000). Not only is Kupp chalky but he’s also the second highest priced player in the slate. Kupp could be without QB Matt Stafford, and he’ll be going up against the best kept secret of the Cardinals defense: shutdown CB Byron Murphy. In Week 3, Kupp only had 4 catches for 44 yards against Murphy. The following receivers all fell victim to Murphy Island: LV WR Davante Adams (2 catches, 12 yards, 1 TD), PHI WR A.J. Brown (3 catches, 32 yards), SEA WR D.K. Metcalf (2 catches, 34 yards in the first game and 5 catches, 37 yards, 1 TD in the second game) and MIN WR Justin Jefferson (6 catches, 98 yards; not bad, suboptimal for his typical DK price tag). Paying up D$9,000 is an expensive one-way ticket to Murphy Island (count me out).
It may be a little blasphemous, but I like Trevor Lawrence this week for tournaments. The Chiefs are vulnerable through the air. They've given up over 300 yards passing in half their games this year. And while Lawrence has been shaky at times, I have seen some growth from him and some solid play at times, most notably the second half last week against the Raiders. He might flop here, but I like his chances off a big game where you know Jacksonville will be chasing. Obviously, you stack him with Christian Kirk and either Engram or Zay Jones would be my choice for secondary stack.
Best Mid-Priced Option:
Jamaal Williams for $5900 against one of the worst run defenses in the league feels like stealing. There's really not much to say about this one. It stands out head and shoulders above everything else.
Best Cheap Option:
Donovan Peoples-Jones is only $4300 against a Miami secondary that has struggled all year. DPJ has flown under the radar in large part due to Amari Cooper's success, but he's been quite solid the past 5 weeks. He's averaged 6 targets per game over that time frame and has gone over 70 yards in all but 1. He just hasn't found the endzone which is keeping him under the radar. I think he's got a fantastic shot to hit a big play TD here and pay off his cheap price tag.
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