DFS Shark Tank Week 11: 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…
QB stack of the week:
Josh Allen and Justin Fields are projected to have the highest ownership percentage (op%) in this week’s slate. Both QBs have a favorable matchup in a dome stadium and have the highest over/under. One QB that will draw less attention is Jalen Hurts. Additionally, his wide receivers AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins are not chalky plays this week. Going with Watkins is risky, however TE Dallas Goedert got injured last week which could increase the target share for Philly’s wide receivers.
There are plenty of bring back pieces you can use in this stack including Michael Pittman and Jonathan Taylor. Parris Campbell will be a chalky play but given that the Philly stack is low owned, you can get away with starting him. Campbell has had great fantasy outputs over Matt Ryan’s last few starts.
Mid-play of the week:
My mid-range play of the week is Devin Singletary (D$5,800). If Singletary has a good day, chances are that he’ll be taking TDs away from Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. Both players are projected to have the highest op% at their respective positions. The Bills may revert to a run-heavy script given their lack of practice/preparation this week. Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson had their way with the Browns run defense; look for Buffalo to run more than usual in this game.
Cheap play of the week:
Quez Watkins and Parris Campbell are two cheap plays that were mentioned as part of the QB stack. Nico Collins (D$4,100) is also another good low budget play. Collins drew ten targets against New York last week and is starting to become the focal point of Houston’s passing attack. This week Collins is going up against a weak Commanders secondary and can provide great ROI for his salary. Donovan Peoples-Jones (D$4,600) can be utilized in Bills stacks; keep in mind that David Njoku is slated to return this week, which could temper DPJ’s output.
Chalk to avoid:
In large pools, you almost always want to fade players with large op%. These type of players/ownership%...most can’t help you gain advantage over the rest of the pool unless they have ridiculous performances. Out of all the players that have an op% in excess of 20%, I think RB Josh Jacobs is the most likely to have a disappointing performance. The Broncos offense is abysmal, but their defense is one of the best in the league. They held Derrick Henry in check the week before and should be able to do the same to Jacobs.
Lots of good options this week but I think I like Dak Prescott paired with your choice of double stack. Lamb is always a safe choice, but Gallup and Schultz make great second options, or you can pair those two for a cheaper overall play. The Minnesota defense is weak, especially the pass defense, but it's been hidden by a relatively weak schedule and the fact that the team keeps winning.
I also think the Dallas defense is starting to come apart, particularly in the secondary, so I could easily see this game turning into a shootout. Cousins would be a good play in that scenario as well, but I lean Dak over Cousins because he has a little more potential to run for a few yards or even a short TD.
Best Mid-Price Option:
Brian Robinson at $5300 feels like stealing. I'm sure he'll be rather chalky going up against the now notoriously bad Houston run defense, but sometimes you just have to play the obvious. Gibson might cut in on his fun, but Robinson projects for around 20 carries and has a great shot at going over 100 yards and nabbing a TD or two to boot.
Best Cheap Option:
I'm going off the rails with this one...please note, it is not for the faint of heart, this is definitely a hail mary trying to hit that one goofy player that nobody else has which can help win you a big tournament. The mystery player? Ben Skowronek at $3900.
I know it sounds crazy but hear me out. Stafford is back at QB this week and the Rams have absolutely no run game...they have to throw. Allen Robinson is going to draw top coverage against a good Saints pass defense and he hasn't done jack all year anyways. I don't expect his role to change much. Van Jefferson might be the guy that gets more targets but I think he might be the deep threat McVay uses to try and open up coverage a little. They have been missing that aspect so far this year and neither Robinson or Skowronek has that kind of speed. That leaves Skowronek as the most likely candidate to replace the "Cooper Kupp" role.
Now I'm not saying Skowronek suddenly gets 12+ targets and breaks big plays like Kupp did, but I do think there's a better than 50/50 chance he gets 8-9 targets and turns them into a decent stat line. At $3900 we don't need him to have a Kupp level game, we just need him to have a very solid game, maybe 20ish points and he could easily get there if he goes something like 6-74-1 and there's always the chance he outperforms what even I think could happen and then you've got a real winner. It's a nice cheap gamble that almost nobody else will be on. It might not hit but it might win you $1 million too.
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