Sam’s Matchups, Stacks, & GPP Breakdown – NFL Week 4 - DFS Karma
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Sam’s Matchups, Stacks, & GPP Breakdown – NFL Week 4

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There are certain types of contests on both DraftKings and FanDuel (as well as other Daily Fantasy sites) where ownership, across any sport, is not something to focus on. Head to heads, double ups, 50/50s, or a contest with less than 20 entrants, however, when playing large field GPP tournaments and gunning for that $1 million prize, or even just a top 10 in a contest of 100k+ entrants, ownership is imperative when constructing your rosters. While I would never make the argument that ownership is everything, or the most important aspect of playing/winning DFS, I think many more people than we think overlook it and fall into groupthink more often than they should as a fear of “a cheap guy going off” or playing someone at 50% or more projected ownership to ensure not getting dusted by the field. Again, in cash games or very small field tournaments, I get that idea, as playing an obvious backup RB who’s locked into an every down roll and 20+ touches and is the min $4,000 on DraftKings and is going to be owned by 45 of 50 players in a tournament… yes, I would probably play him since you have just about 0% chance of cashing if he goes off. This article will be focused around listing the Top 10 projected owned guys by each position on both DraftKings and FanDuel and weighing what chalk I will be eating, my general thoughts on the slate, and listing my leverage/pivots by position as to where we can differentiate ourselves on the main slate. The last thought to keep in mind, and perhaps the most important, is being contrarian does not mean making a lineup of 9 guys less than 5% owned… that is not by any means optimal and not a +EV strategy in any DFS sport. What I like to do each and every week is use a strategy by one of the pioneers of DFS Football, Adam Levitan (check out their stuff at EstablishTheRun because their team is very, very sharp), which is figure out my ACO, or “Average Cumulative Ownership,” on all my tournament teams. To calculate that is simple, add up all 9 players ownership, and divide by 9 and look to target somewhere in the range of 9-16% (16% is the absolute max that I will have) for your whole team. If CMC is going to be 35% owned, that doesn’t mean an auto fade, it just means you have to differentiate elsewhere because his ceiling is insane and he’s not someone to fade just because “he’s chalk.” That’s enough rambling, let’s get to the picks!


Key Takeaways:

  1. Everyone will (and should) want exposure to this game but it’s obviously very expensive… my favorite way to stack this game is to go back what would have worked last week in something like a Josh Allen/Devin Singletary/Gabe Davis or Stefon Diggs stack as it helps save salary, get access to the high-powered Bills offense (and team total) without eating all the chalk or using so much of your total lineup salary
  2. Lamar once again looks like the “leverage” QB off Hurts/Allen, coming in around 5% pOWN% as of this writing (Friday morning); everyone loves Andrews, but a double stack is almost always unique with Lamar… Bateman has an aDOT of 17.6 this season (Top 5 of WRs on the slate) and seeing 5-6 targets a game, 30% of the Air Yards, & has a ran a route on 96% of Lamar’s drop backs thus far
  3. Both teams through 2 weeks are in the Top 6 in PROE (Pass Rate over Expectation); Bills are #1/Ravens #6
  4. Isaiah McKenzie saw 9 targets last week (plus 1 rush attempt), has run a route on 98.8% of Lamar’s drop backs and has seen more targets/run more routes than Crowder in all 3 games this year… only 5100 and will be under 3% owned



Key Takeaways:

  1. The Detroit Lions, in 2022, Week 4, have the highest implied team total on the slate (wow)
  2. The Lions currently rank 3rd in the league in Seconds per Play (Situation Neutral; per FootballOutsiders)
  3. With Amon-Ra St. Brown officially OUT and Swift likely OUT as well, we have around 13-18 targets to be distributed in this game (ASRB averaging 11 per game; Swift 4) with boom/bust/high aDOT Chark likely to see an increased role as well as Hockenson, who when looking at route trees via NextGen, are quite similar to ASRB
  4. Jamaal Williams is shaping up to be 30+% owned… the usage should be there and he leads the league through 3 weeks in carries in the RZ and carries inside the 10… auto play in cash but nearing an auto FADE in GPPs at that kind of ownership
  5. Shockingly, with Russ gone, NOW Pete Carroll has decided to try throwing the ball as SEA ranks 12th in PROE through the first 3 weeks; I expect Lockett to get fed targets with Okudah likely on DK Metcalf most of the game
  6. My favorite way(s) to attack this game are a stack with Goff/DJ Chark or Josh Reynolds/TJ Hockenson with a bring back of either Lockett (may be chalky) or if you want to get FUNKY, Rashaad Penny at only 4900, as Detroit has given up the 2nd most fantasy points in the league to RBs this year (per game)



Key Takeaways:

  1. Both teams rank Top 7 in seconds per play (JAX 7th/PHI 2nd) and both are averaging 68-70 plays per game
  2. The consensus seems to be that people are scared of the Jaguars defense… they’ve looked good but what if it’s a small sample against not great teams? Interesting to see Hurts obviously getting ownership but as of this writing, I have AJ Brown projected <10% pOWN and Devonta Smith (who just exploded last week) at 5-6%
  3. Zay Jones’ price stayed around the same despite a strong showing last week… he’ll be owned but not mega chalk and is seeing 8 targets a game while running a route on 93% of Lawrence’s drop backs
  4. It’s possible we see a lower scoring game with the Jags currently ranking 2nd in EPA/Rush on defense while Philly is a bit of a run funnel (against small sample), ranking 7th best in EPA/Play on defense, 3rd best in EPA/Drop back, but 28th in EPA/Rush



Key Takeaways:

  1. Both teams here have had quite a rough start to the season; the Broncos 2-1 despite Russ looking lost and Hackett looking like the worst coach in the league… while the Raiders seem to have forgotten the last 2 weeks that they have Davante Adams on their team
  2. Not for the faint of heart, and more likely to fail than win you big money (at least per probability), but we’ve seen what Russ can do and any stack of his should be around 1% owned… my favorite is Russ/Javonte/Sutton as the RB/WR have combined for 49.5% of the targets through 3 games
  3. Certainly a different game environment and much better defense, but if Renfrow misses (looking likely), Mack Hollins isn’t dirt cheap but still only 4200 with 6.3 targets per game, 20% of the team’s RZ targets, and has a run a route 91% of DBs
  4. Taking pieces from the Raiders passing/receiving side, either a full stack, mini correlation, or one off, seems +EV as we’re looking at another Josh Jacobs chalk week (HARD PASS) on top of people mad that Davante hasn’t done much the last 2 weeks and the Broncos very strong defense… we know what Davante can do against ANY CB, ANY TEAM…
  5. My favorite play in this game overall is Courtland Sutton who has seen 9.3 targets per game, 46% of the team’s air yards, 23.5% of the RZ targets, and a healthy aDOT of 12.6



Key Takeaways:

  1. Both teams, mainly the Browns, are dealing with injuries on defense and both teams love to run as the Browns rank 30th in the league in PROE while the Falcons rank 29th
  2. We know the explosiveness and upside the Chubb brings even with next to zero passing work against anyone… now he faces the Falcons 32nd ranked (as in dead last) EPA/Rush defense… on offense the Browns have a Top 3 Offensive Line and rank 1st in EPA/Rush on offense (YIKES)
  3. Njoku, if he plays, is probably too cheap and a strong play but I would be wary of people chasing the game he had in primetime last week as historically he’s been a volatile player (at least in terms of fantasy points)
  4. Drake London appears to be the alpha of the ATL offense, seeing 8.7 targets a game, 34% of the air yards, 30% of the RZ targets, and is possibly too cheap (at least this week) for the current role
  5. One of my favorite leverage spots is to go back to Cordarrelle Patterson who is averaging over 6 yards per attempt on the ground (16-18 attempts per game), 2-4 targets per game, and 62% of the RB snaps (double the next closest, Tyler Allgeier, who has averaged around 34% the last 2 weeks)


GPP Leverage/Low Owned Plays

Justin Herbert: The top 3 priced QBs this week should absorb a lot of the ownership (along with on the cheaper end Mariota/Geno Smith/Daniel Jones), but Herbert is in no man’s land and offers fantastic leverage at 7100 and most likely 3-5% ownership max… still fighting (admirably) through his injury, Herbert still had 47 drop backs last week and threw for nearly 300 yards with a 1 TD/1 INT as they were trounced by the Jags; I actually think the Texans D is slightly underrated with the exception against RBs, as they’ve given up the most DK points per game to the position but 1) in a dome, 2) Herbert should continue, week by week, to get healthier, and 3) Chargers should come back firing after a bad loss with hopefully the return of Keenan Allen… love stacking Herbert with 2 of Ekeler/Mike Williams/Everett/Keenan/Palmer with a bring back of Collins or Pierce

Devin Singletary: A little surprising to me the lack of interest in Singletary this week… yes, Josh Allen is the main attraction and the Bills suck at running; however, Singletary has run a route on 78% of Allen’s drop backs this year and is coming off a 10 target game last week against Miami… the fun part is that he’s now facing a Ravens defense that 1) sucks and 2) has faced the 2nd most RB targets in the league this year (34; over 11 per game!)

Rhamondre Stevenson: Not a commanding role, but Stevenson has out snapped Damien Harris the last 2 weeks (62% of snaps in each; Harris 40%/38%) and now has Brian Hoyer at QB against a Packers defense that is strong against the pass but weak against the run (GB is Top 10 in EPA/Play and EPA/Drop Back on defense) as they’re 20th in the league in EPA/Rush on the defensive side; a lot of unknowns with a different (dust) QB at the helm, but it’s encouraging to see his snap counts above Harris and that he’s run a route on 85.5% of QB drop backs this season

Robbie Anderson: I love CMC every week (and you should too), but he’s minorly injured/will prob get some ownership… then we have DJ Moore who is certainly too cheap but is getting steamed up a bit… enter Robbie (still don’t know why we changed up the spelling) Anderson who has seen just 1 less target than Moore, 33% of the team’s air yards (vs. 32% for Moore), and the higher aDOT aka low floor/high ceiling play; the Cardinals D is horrendous so if Baker can get him some semi-decent passes, he has massive upside and should be in the 3-5% ownership range vs. DJ Moore 15% and CMC 10-15% pOWN

George Pickens: Dart throw due to the fact that Mitch is awful and Pickens is still the clear #3 WR on the team; however, he’s only 3800 this week and has seen an increase in routes run over the first 3 weeks; with a high aDOT of 15.4, 3-5 targets per game, and a route run on 93.5% of Mitch’s drop backs (which is around the same as Diontae/Claypool FWIW), I think he makes for a solid leverage piece in a mini stack or as a one-off flier

GPP and Ownership Overview

Overall, don’t fade someone just because of ownership and don’t try to make your whole roster contrarian. There’s a ton of value at all positions and I think the most likely route I’ll go is fading the super cheap RBs and maybe the chalk defenses, or only play one cheaper RB in one lineup and pivot elsewhere to not have a chalky lineup(s).

I think it always make sense to stack the popular games, but if playing 3-5 lineups, or even 20, try out a leverage stack. I think many, including myself, get caught up in trying to target games and stacks based on what “should” happen but rather what “could” happen that most of the public won’t target. There’s always an edge as 90+% of DFS players will base stacks off of Vegas totals and good/bad defenses, but always be looking for games with low combined ownership and grabbing pieces of a game that maybe don’t need a QB stack. If a game has a high Vegas total, sure the game can shootout, but not everyone can explode for 30+ fantasy points as there just isn’t enough plays and touchdowns so try to get different while still attacking the fast paced/high scoring matchups. As I always say, you don’t need to make your entire lineup contrarian, just a couple pieces that differentiate you but keep you in that average cumulative ownership range. Good luck this week!

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