This week the byes are hitting us a bit harder with four teams on bye as well as the Jaguars and Texans playing the early Sunday morning game in London which takes them off the main slate. Not only is it six teams missing from the slate but it includes a lot of big names that have been staples in our lineups during the first half of the year. Guys like Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, Leonard Fournette, Alvin Kamara, Tyler Boyd, Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, Todd Gurley, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and all pass catchers playing the Falcons. Even Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, the Patriots Defense, and the tight end going against the Cardinals defense are on the showdown slates.
With a lot of our consistent scorers out this week, I think it could be a great week to play GPPs and to go a bit contrarian instead of paying up in terms of salary and ownership for players that are a bit less proven and maybe not in the most ideal place. As such I think this could be a great week for our Footballguys subscribers as you will be armed with great GPP coverage from our staff, great point projections, and the most accurate ownership projections in the industry!
If you are playing GPPs this week I want to make sure that you are paying attention to how much of the prize pool is going to first place. As the season goes on the sites across the industry are hesitant to decrease how much they are awarding to first place finishers but will continue to shrink the overall prizes for the contest because if they didn’t they might not fill which causes the sites to make less money. When looking at contests we should want to see about 10% of the prize pool going to first place. That has become less and less frequent in today’s DFS environment so you may not find many of those. If you do that would be one of the first contests to join. If the percentage to first starts getting much over 20% I would recommend avoiding that contest. It would be nice to be able to win a lot of money winning first place. But most weeks you won’t win first place. In fact, you could be a really great player and go a lifetime without winning first as you are competing against so many players. By playing a tournament with less going to first you will give yourself a chance to continue to fight for that big payout since you will win more on weeks you don’t win it all.
How to play the chalk
One of the biggest decisions each week is how to handle the chalk on the slate. The chalkiest players are typically the ‘best’ plays on the slate if you are trying to maximize your total points produced. However, if you are looking to win a big tournament you can gain a lot of ground on your competition if you choose a player that outperforms there. If that player is in a lot of lineups you can pass a lot at one time. Balancing scoring the most points and playing against your competition is the toughest part of DFS. In this section, we talk about how to handle the toughest decision of the week. What to do with the chalk:
The name everyone is going to want to click on first, second, and third this week at quarterback is Russell Wilson. Wilson is not only the biggest name on the slate as he tries to make a run at the league MVP. But he also gets the best matchup on the slate going against the Buccaneers. Through 7 games the Buccaneers have allowed the third-highest points per game and have allowed slate breaking games to Daniel Jones, Jared Goff, as well as multi-touchdown games to lowly Ryan Tannehill and Kyle Allen the last two games.
It shouldn’t be difficult for Wilson to put up a lot of points on this Buccaneers team and if Winston doesn’t throw multiple interceptions this is the game on the slate that is most likely to shoot out. As such, I wouldn’t completely fade Wilson. But since his ownership is currently at about twice that of the rest of the players on the slate, I am likely going to be looking elsewhere more often than not. As I mentioned last week the Seahawks are the second heaviest run team when accounting for game situation. So, they may build a lead and rely on the run to close out the game. If I am building one lineup for the week it wouldn’t have Wilson in it. In fact, I would be more willing to have his opponent, Winston, or my contrarian pick. If his ownership ticks down a little closer to the rest of the slate I will make him a core play.