Fanduel and Draftkings are running their live finals and some big online championships this week. I wanted to make sure I got this out early so everyone could start doing some early game planning for such big events. That said that means things could change drastically from what I mention below. Especially, in terms of ownership. Be sure to check ownership updates throughout the weekend. Best of luck to everyone on some of the big prize pools this weekend.
This week I wanted to discuss late swapping. Late swap in DFS terms is changing your lineups for games that start later in the day after the first set of games starts. Last week was a perfect example of why late swap is important.
At the time lineups locked at 1PM ET, it was unknown if Josh Jacobs was going to play or not. However, what we did know was that if Jacobs was to miss the game Deandre Washington would be one of the better plays on the slate both in terms of ownership and value. To look at why this is the case I had Washington projected with slightly more points than Bilal Powell despite Washington costing more. For Draftkings Milly maker Washington was 1% owned whereas Powell was 31% owned. If we knew Jacobs status Washington should have been about 30x higher owned. This became even more important when Washington did, in fact, beat Powell in points scored 21 to 11. Those extra 10 points and $500 certainly could have come in handy.
So how should you handle situations like this? A couple of options you have are as follows
- Have a plan for what you are going to do if the questionable player sits. This is easy if you are running a single lineup but if you have more than 1 it gets exponentially more difficult.
- Purposefully draft more players that start after the slate starts. This would allow you to swap those players to the questionable player's backup.
- Leave additional salary on your team. This might allow you to make a more advantageous swap if the player is ruled out.
- Purposefully fade a high owned player at a similar price point from the early games that this player can replace. For example, instead of playing Powell take a chance that you are playing all Washington and leave some room left over to swap if it doesn’t come to fruition. The Titans WR’s were a good option last week.
- Build lineups that you like with a player(s) that have similar costs that you feel comfortable playing if the swap doesn’t come to fruition.
If you don’t play other DFS sports you may not be used to late swapping as big news like this doesn’t come up often in NFL, maybe once a year. Whereas it is a big part of the other sports. But when it does how prepared you are for it is one of the best ways to profit in that specific week. So try to think ahead if you see some players as questionable at kickoff.
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:
Similar to last week the QB ownership appears to be fairly flat across the industry with 6 players at greater than 8% but none greater than 10%. Of these players, the one that is most likely to raise over the next few days is Ryan Tannehill as I have already heard a couple of podcasts that I don’t normally listen to touting him. My guess is the public support for him will continue after crushing the Raiders for 391 yards and 3. Since starting in week 7 Tannehill has thrown for 2+ TDs in all but one game and most importantly for public perception he is 6-1 in those games.
This week’s matchup against the Texans will also look especially appealing after Drew Lock sliced up the Texans for 309 yards and 3TDs in his second career start. However, for the season the Texans haven’t been awful in the passing game. They rank 20th in Y/A and 22nd in points allowed. Neither are great but they aren’t the worst in the league either. If he stays under 10%, I think you can include Tannehill in your player pool but he shouldn't be a priority. If his ownership starts to take off like I think it might he is a fade for me.