This year there has been a player or more, that has “broken the slate” pretty much every week. By breaking the slate, I simply mean that you have to have that player in your lineup or you need perfect roster construction elsewhere to make it into the top 100 of a big GPP. Examples of these players include:
Week 2 – Austin Ekeler, Patriots Defense
Week 1 – Christian McCaffrey
While there are normally players that break the slate every year this year has been a little more so than in years past, especially week 5 which was the highest I have in my database. Weeks 2 and 6 were extremely broken as well. The higher the slate breaking week the “flukier” it is that you win. The reason is that if you had perfect insight into the future on all the players but the slate breaker you could still end up losing that week. Whereas without a slate breaking week you would likely crush. Since we can’t have perfect accuracy on all players every week, we should diversify our player pool in case there is a slate breaker or more so we have a good shot of getting them in our lineup.
For example, last week maybe Stefon Diggs wasn’t your favorite player because the Vikings have been trying to run the ball more this year and you thought he was overpriced. On the other hand, maybe you believed in the “squeaky wheel” narrative going around that insinuated Diggs would get more targets since he had been complaining to the coaching staff, Kirk Cousins, and media.
No matter what your stance was, the best answer is if you are making 10+ lineups you shouldn’t be crossing him off your player pool or you shouldn’t have been locking him into all your lineups. Without perfect hindsight vision, there is a likelihood that he does what he did or a chance that he busts with 2 targets for 10 yards. If you ignored him or went all-in on him you could have busted your lineups even if you nailed the rest of your player pool.
This process of diversity is talked about a lot in finance and DFS circles but the year to date results have shown just how important it is if you want to be a successful player and properly manage your bankroll.