Sam’s Matchups, Stacks, & GPP Breakdown – NFL Week 8 - DFS Karma
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Sam’s Matchups, Stacks, & GPP Breakdown – NFL Week 8

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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. 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 ACO, 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 breakdown!


Key Takeaways:

  1. In their 6 games this season, the Lions have a combined MoV (Margin of Victory) of -51 when playing away and a +3 MoV when playing at home
  2. Tua/Mostert/TyScum/Waddle all project for double-digit ownership while ARSB is the only player on the Lions projecting for double-digit (10.7%) ownership
  3. The Lions rank dead last in the league in EPA/Play and EPA/Dropback allowed on defense and 2nd to last in EPA/Rush allowed on defense; the Dolphins rank 6th to last in EPA/Dropback on defense and 21st of 32 in EPA/Play allowed
  4. Through the first 7 weeks, TyScum and Waddle have combined for just under 20 targets per game, or a 52.6% target share
  5. Raheem Mostert has fully taken over the RB1 role in Miami as he’s played on 70+% of the snaps in 3 of the last 4 weeks, taken 67+% of the rush attempts in all 4 of his last games, and facing a Lions team that’s yielded 30+ DK Points/Game through their first 6, or put a different way, they’re giving up (on average), 130 rush yards/1.7 rush TDs per game to opposing RBs thus far
  6. Miami has surrendered 8 targets per game (5th most) to opposing TEs, a 40% higher rate than league average; Hockenson is my #1 ranked TE on the main slate with 6.5 targets/game including 27% of the RZ targets




Key Takeaways:

  1. Chris Olave has seen a 25+% target share in 5 of 6 games he’s played this year, which includes a game that he left early; his air yards share over the full season sits at 42.1%, good for 9.5 targets/game
  2. Alvin Kamara still sits too cheap at $7,100; he’s first on the slate in Wtg. Opps./Game (20.8), 3rd in High-Value Touches (“HVTs”; Ben Gretch) per game
  3. The Raiders have yielded 6 TDs thus far to TEs and have been one of the worst teams in slot coverage… Juwan Johnson has lined up in the slot on over 70% of his snaps this season without MT/Landry and is coming off a 2 TD game; through the first 7 Saints games Johnson is seeing 4.3 targets/game, 15% of the RZ targets, and has run a route on 90% of the team’s drop backs (4th highest route participation of TEs on main slate)
  4. Not as absurdly cheap as last week, Jacobs is probably still a good value but will most likely come with higher than expected ownership due to last week’s blow up… he ranks 1st on the slate in HVTs/Game, 6th in Wtg. Opps./Game, and has seen the 3rd most rush attempts/game of RBs on the main slate
  5. Playing Dalton doesn’t sound appealing; however, playing a 2 man player block of Olave/Kamara would cost 17k of your salary and you would get a combined 47% target share (16-18 targets on average) and most likely most of NO’s offense volume and fantasy points
  6. Davante Adams appears to be coming in under 10% owned again (is fighting an illness this week) and is a perfect leverage option off of what should be a 20% or higher owned Jacobs + a chalky Kamara/Olave pairing



Key Takeaways:

  1. Per PFF, Kirk Cousins goes from the 6th ranked QB in Passing Grade when not blitzed to 42nd when he is blitzed; the Cardinals through 7 games have blitzed more than any other team on defense
  2. DeAndre Hopkins is way too cheap following his performance/usage last Thursday… Hopkins saw 14 targets for a 60% target share and brings a Top 3 WR ceiling as only the 7th most expensive on the main slate
  3. If you remove (or try to weigh less) the Cardinals first game against a very strong KC offense combined with numerous injuries, their defense has steadily improved, especially in the run game, where they are the 2nd best team in EPA/Rush allowed through their first 7 games
  4. The Cardinals have been smoked by opposing TEs thus far, yielding 9 targets a game to the position and an average receiving line of 7.3 receptions/77 yards receiving/0.9 receiving TDs; Irv hasn’t lit it up, but has maintained a steady 4-6 targets per game, a 20% EZ target share, and the Cardinals, once again, are giving up 21 points on average to the position
  5. Priced at 9100 on a slate that is very tight for pricing, I think JJ stays under 15% and has seen 38% of the team’s air yards, Thielen has looked old, and despite not getting the same buzz as last year, JJ is the WR4 in PPR leagues thus far…




Key Takeaways:

  1. With Toney being traded to KC, Wan’Dale is now the de-facto WR1; in his 2nd game returning from injury last week, he ran a route on 81% of Daniel Jones’ drop backs for a 25% target share and should be Jones’ top option for the foreseeable future (along with Barkley, obviously)
  2. With Metcalf set to miss, Goodwin showed last week he can be the 2nd man in 2 WR sets as after Metcalf excited in Week 7, Goodwin commanded a 20% target share, 37% air yards share, 100% of the EZ targets, and caught 2 TDs
  3. Geno has proved everyone (including me) wrong, and then some, this season… Geno ranks 5th of QBs on the slate in Fantasy Points/Drop back (Per PFF), has the 6th most rush attempts/game of QBs on the slate, and a near 80% Adj. Completion % through the Seahawks first 7 games
  4. He will be chalk, but Kenneth Walker III is still too cheap at 6500; 73% snap share, 68% share of the team’s rush attempts, and ranks 1st in Missed Tackles forced Per Rush (Per PFF) of all RBs this season; over his last 3 games (Penny’s injury came 3 weeks ago), KW III has 350+ yards rushing and 4 rushing TDs
  5. It’s worth noting here that this game is one of only 4-5 games on the main slate with a team total of 45+ and the only guys projecting for chalk at KW III and Noah Fant (punt TE for cash); with no Metcalf, Lockett is only projected right now for 13-15% ownership


GPP Leverage/Low Owned Plays

Derrick Henry: With the lack of value (seemingly) anywhere on the slate, Derrick Henry will be owned but should be held in check in the 13-17% range (maybe 20% or so in smaller field/higher stakes); the Houston Texans have allowed 33.4 DK points per game to RBs this season; more specifically, the Texans have allowed 135+ rush yards/game, 7+ targets per game, and they get a Titans team with a non-fully healthy Tannehill that should rely on Henry and his 23+ touches per game

Jonathan Taylor: The Colts eased JT back into work after he returned from injury last week but he wasn’t a total bust as he played 55% of the snaps, 63% of the rush attempts, and saw 8 targets, catching 7 for 27 yards and adding 58 yards on the ground… this week he’s projecting for 5% ownership with the Colts starting a rookie QB and has the potential to be a slate breaker and one of the better leverage options of the season if the pOWN% holds

Tyler Higbee: TE is even a bigger wasteland than usual this week and Higbee is coming off his worst game of the season 2 weeks ago (BYE last week); I’m willing to risk going back to Staff’s 2nd favorite target as Higbee came into that matchup with an injury… before that he was averaging 8+ targets per game, 20% of the RZ targets, and one of the higher targets/route (PFF) of any TE in the league (24%)

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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