Sam’s Matchups, Stacks, & GPP Breakdown – NFL Week 9 - DFS Karma
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Sam’s Matchups, Stacks, & GPP Breakdown – NFL Week 9

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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. After some lackluster games (to say the least), the Chargers look to be in a prime spot even without Keenan/Big Mike as they rank 5th in the league in PROE and facing an ATL defense that’s 2nd to last in EPA/Play allowed on defense, 4th to last in EPA/Dropback allowed, and 7th to last in EPA/Rush allowed
  2. Despite having the 2nd highest implied Team Total on the slate (26.5), the Chargers only have Ekeler/Josh Palmer projected for over 10% ownership (Ekeler: 18%/Palmer: 11.3%); Herbert is currently projected for 5%, DeAndre Carter, the de facto #2 WR now at 2.5%, and Gerald Evert 4.2%
  3. Speaking of Everett, the Falcons have allowed the most targets/game to opposing TEs thus far this season, an average of 9.1 targets for 70 yards; in a spot where the Chargers are missing their top 2 WR and a terrific matchup, I love Everett again this week at low ownership and solid upside after seeing 33% of the EZ targets in their last game and averaging 6.4 targets through the team’s first 7 games
  4. Austin Ekeler is expensive and will be around 20% owned, but for good reason… he leads the slate in Wtg. Opportunities/Game (21.5), over 2 more than the next closest RB, Mixon (19.3); Ekeler also ranks 1st on the slate in High-Value Touches (“HVTs”; Ben Gretch), with 8.3 per game, and averages the most targets/game as a whole by over 3 over Mixon as Ekeler has seen 8.7 per game (including TWENTY-EIGHT) over his last 2 games/39 targets over his last 4
  5. On the Atlanta side, despite Arthur Smith’s obsession with sticking to the run, no matter what the game script calls for, there is opportunity on the Falcon’s offense with the Chargers defense sporting a bottom 7 defense in EPA/Play allowed and EPA/Rush allowed
  6. The Chargers defense has been gashed for nearly 129 rush yards/game to opposing RBs thus far (2nd worst in the league) and has yielded just under 7 targets and 68-70 yards to opposing TEs on the passing side
  7. Not sure I have much excitement about the Falcons offense given their commitment to the run and slow pace of play but Drake London is now under 5k ($4,900 on DK) and has seen 5+ targets in 6/8 games this season and has run a route on 90% of Mariota’s drop backs (per Dwain McFarland, PFF) over the last 3 games




Key Takeaways:

  1. The Packers are in shambles but couldn’t get a much better spot to (try) and get right than the Lions defense; the Lions defense is dead last in EPA/Play and EPA/Drop back allowed, 3rd to last in EPA/Rush allowed, and have surrendered over 420 yards to opposing offenses per game through their first 7
  2. It won’t be a secret and he’ll be owned I would assume in the 17-20% range, but Aaron Jones is primed for a blowup game; averaging just under 6 yards/rush attempt, 4.8 targets per game, and ranks 4th in the league in Missed Tackles Forced (PFF stat) as he continues to be the lone explosive piece in the Packers offense
  3. Further, the Packers don’t boast an “elite” OL, especially if Bakhtiari misses again (DNP Thursday), but the Lions have a bottom 5 defensive line and will likely be run all over at will as they have in most games this season
  4. Allen Lazard is most likely returning this week after missing their Week 8 game, which does hurt the upside of Romeo Doubs who saw a 19% target share and 51% air yards share when Lazard was sidelined (also 50% of EZ targets)
  5. On the Lions side, Amon-Ra St. Brown has gotten hurt in 3 of 7 games, missed 1 full game, and has maintained a Yards/Route Run (4for4; shoutout Sam Hoppen!) of 1.86, a Targets/Route Run (PFF) of 31% and that was before Hockenson got traded to the Vikings, freeing up 6-7 targets (17% target share) per game
  6. ASRB should benefit (even on top of already elite usage/performance) as well as Josh Reynolds who hasn’t put up any jaw-dropping fantasy stats, but has run a route on 87% of Goff’s drop backs through their first 7, seeing a 30% air yards share, and a huge 40% EZ target share; also worth noting if trying to stack, Kalif Raymond has run a route on 93%+ of Goff’s drop backs over the last 3 weeks and is only 4k on DraftKings at 3.5% pOWN%



Key Takeaways:

  1. I was concerned about the return of Travis Homer for the usage of Kenneth Walker III but those were put to bed as K9 played on 77% of the snaps, saw 78% of the team rush attempts, ran a route on 54% of drop backs, played on 100% of the “short and distance” (per PFF; 2nd/3rd/4th down with 2 or fewer yards to go), and had 100% of the <5 yard carries in Week 8… so no, I don’t think Homer is threatening his role
  2. Is there a better story in the NFL right now (at least at QB) than Geno’s 2022 season? Currently PFF’s 3rd ranked QB in terms of pass grade (Tua #1/Hurts #2) and 4th in Adj. Completion % among current starting QBs; through the first 8 weeks, the Seahawks rank 9th in the league in PROE
  3. Despite a strong EPA/Rush allowed on defense (5th best), it’s worth noting that 1) they’ve faced less than league average in terms of rush attempts/game and have surrendered 110+ rush yards/game on defense
  4. Both Lockett and Metcalf have great matchups and are near equals, combining for 51% of the targets, 73% of the air yards, and both have a Yards/Route Run >2 and have each run a route on 93% of Geno’s drop backs thus far
  5. The Cardinals are hard to figure out because they have talented guys yet are hindered by (sometimes) bad Kyler play, but mostly by Kliff being an awful (fake sharp, tbh) head coach
  6. While not an attempt to overrate either defense, in my research this week I was surprised to see that when pressured, Kyler ranks 24th of 25 QBs in PFF passer rating this season, but jumps up to 7th overall when kept clean; the Seahawks defense has been much better (at least in my opinion) than expected and ranks 10th in the league in Adj. Sack Rate
  7. I don’t care how popular he is because Hopkins is still under 8k on DraftKings and has seen 27 (!!!) targets since returning to the team in Week 7 and a whopping near 60% of the team’s air yards; Hopkins Yards/Route Run is 3.2 through 2 games




Key Takeaways:

  1. For starters, I have zero idk what the hell happened to Derek Carr and the Raiders last week when they got destroyed 24-0 and had basically zero offensive abilities
  2. Josh Jacobs is shaping up to be chalky again (currently 23% pOWN%) and has undoubtedly had a great season/great usage; however, it’s worth noting that when the Raiders trailed most of the game by 7+ points, Jacob’s snap share dropped to his season low (54%)
  3. Per Brandon Thorn’s (ETR) rankings, he has the Jags DL ranked as 8th best in the league vs. the Raiders 23rd ranked OL and is one of his bigger mismatches of the week
  4. Both QBs should be kept relatively clean and not face a ton of pressure despite the OL/DL ranks as the Raiders rank 4th to last in Adj. Sack Rate and the Jags 3rd to last
  5. With Adams burning people last week (Me) and Jacobs shaping up to be 20+% owned again, Adams is once again in a supreme leverage spot as a WR with a top 3 ceiling on the slate but only the 5th most expensive and as of now 5.1% projected ownership on DraftKings
  6. If Waller misses again, I like going back to Foster Moreau who ran a route on 95% of Carr’s drop backs in Week 8 and tied Mack Hollins for most targets (8), which he turned into 6 receptions for 75 yards; only 3200 on DraftKings
  7. My GUY, Zay Jones, is shaping up to be the chalk/cheap WR of the week (or one of them) and that stinks… but DK messed up the pricing on him as Zay has run a route on 83% of drop backs this season, 21% of the air yards, 33% of the EZ targets, and 7.1 targets per game against a very poor Raiders secondary
  8. Surprisingly Engram is getting some buzz at the TE spot (which doesn’t feel like good chalk LOL) but he’s only 3300 and has seen 6 targets/game, 18% of the team targets, and has run a route on 80+% of drop backs in every game this year (LV has also allowed above average targets and yards per game to opposing TEs)


GPP Leverage/Low Owned Plays

D’Onta Foreman: Foreman could get more buzz with Hubbard officially ruled out again, but on a week with very few “value” RB options (i.e. I don’t see anyone I want to play at RB under 6k), Foreman is a very viable GPP option despite the state of the Panthers skill positions; with Hubbard out last week, Foreman handled 70% of the snaps, 70% of the rush attempts, and ran a route on 55% of Walker’s drop backs; Foreman also played on 100% of the short down snaps, had 67% of the <5 yard carries, and 80% of the 2 minute snaps (per Dwain McFarland; PFF)

Antonio Gibson: J.D. McKissic has been ruled out and while I don’t love Gibson as a “smash” play by any means, he did out snap Robinson last week, saw the same % of rush attempts, and ran a route on 33% of drop backs vs. only 8% for Robinson; this was with JD McKissic still mixing in for 1/3 of the snaps and commanding a near 20% target share so I like the idea of Gibson’s target share increasing, if nothing else, with McKissic out in a game we can expect the Commanders to be trailing

Jakobi Meyers: The Pats offense looks boring and non-imposing this season but Jakobi Meyers has maintained his consistency from last season/early this season and has seen fantastic usage since returning from injury; running a route on 93% of drop backs, 7.5 targets per game, and a significant 32.5% air yards share through the Pats first 8 games; Meyers should mostly avoid the coverage of Gilmore and face a much less intimidating much in the slot with Kenny Moore

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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