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All roster percentages cited below are based on Devin Knotts’ projections which are refined and updated throughout the week. Click here or use our Lineup Optimizer to make sure you are using the latest projections before setting your lineups.
KNOW YOUR ENEMIES
If you want to finish at the top of the standings in a mid-to-large field GPP, your roster has to stand out from the crowd. Studying a list of projected roster percentages is a helpful first step, but it lacks the context of how the most popular players fit together under the salary cap.
To gain some insight into how the majority of entrants will allocate their cap space, so you can spend yours differently, let’s think about how the public is most likely to attack roster construction at each position.
Similar to the Week 12 main slate, the quarterback position is dreadful. Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes II, and Dak Prescott play in primetime for a second consecutive week. Aaron Rodgers is on bye. And Kyler Murray ($7,500) and Lamar Jackson ($7,800) are overpriced in low-total games. It leaves Tom Brady ($7,200) as the clear-cut chalk, followed by Justin Herbert ($6,700). A sneaky-high 49.5-point over/under should propel Derek Carr ($6,000) as the public’s favorite value play.
Flip the Build: Jackson and Murray are each contrarian options who have overall QB1 in their range of possible outcomes, but their salaries and game environments leave plenty to be desired. Kirk Cousins ($6,500) is in a better spot for offensive production vs. the Lions, but his price is inflated in a matchup that profiles as friendlier for Alexander Mattison and the Vikings’ running game. You probably don’t need to get too different at the position, but you can consider Carson Wentz ($6,100) vs. the Texans and hope touchdown variance strikes Jonathan Taylor down. Tua Tagovailoa ($5,500) has played exceedingly well since returning from injury, though it hasn’t shown up in the box score. Perhaps the counting stats will come in a home matchup against the injury-depleted Giants?
Common roster builds will diverge at running back, and that is before several key injury situations are settled. We know Taylor ($9,200) is chalk against the Texans’ bottom-five rush defense, and Mattison ($7,600) is set up to crush the Lions. These two will appear together in RB-heavy builds and alone as RB1s in more balanced lineups. Regardless of cap allocation at other positions, we can safely expect running backs to be used in the flex position more often than not. Elijah Mitchell is only $6,000, coming off a huge week (30.8 DraftKings points), and facing Seattle’s league-worst rush defense. Jamaal Williams ($5,400) is about $1K too cheap standing in for the injured D'Andre Swift. Optimal construction can be thrown into complete disarray if Miles Sanders and/or Darrell Henderson suffer injury setbacks in practice on Friday.
Flip the Build: If the masses are paying up to Taylor and Mattison, and down to Mitchell and Williams, the middle salary range is ripe for the picking. Antonio Gibson ($5,700) is the most intriguing option based on his matchup and recent usage. Hopefully, J.D. McKissic clears the concussion protocol to further shade Gibson’s roster percentage. James Conner ($5,900), Josh Jacobs ($6,000), and David Montgomery ($5,600) are also positioned for heavy workloads, and none should exceed a middling percent-rostered.
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