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All roster percentages cited below are based on Devin Knotts’ projections which are refined and updated throughout the week.
To finish in the top 1% of the field, your lineup must be a unique paring of correlation, quality one-offs, and low ownership. We'd all be millionaires if it were as simple as playing the highest projected lineup with the lowest projected ownership.
The first step in the process is identifying the roster construction the field will likely land on so you know where you need to pivot.
Without any weekly trends to rely on, the field is leaning into the comfort of the high-priced quarterbacks. Justin Herbert ($7,600/12.6%), Kyler Murray ($7,200/11.4%), and Patrick Mahomes II ($7,700/9.3%) are projected to be the most rostered amongst the top-tier quarterbacks. Jalen Hurts ($6,800/5.3%) will likely be the most rostered cash game quarterback, raising his tournament roster percentage throughout the week.
Heavy spending at quarterback, paired with a top-heavy running backfield, will lead to an increased roster percentage for mid-to-low priced wide receivers.
The obvious counter to the high-priced quarterbacks will be the low-priced quarterbacks. Daniel Jones ($5000/1.2%) and Jameis Winston ($5,300/1.6%) are both great values. With so much attention being drawn to the high-priced quarterbacks and the subsequent reaction which may shift the field to the low-priced quarterbacks, I am looking to the middle-tier.
When saving at quarterback, I am looking for either rushing upside or 300-yard-bonus upside. For rushing, we have Trey Lance ($6,000/2.6%). For a shot at the 300-yard-bonus, we have Derek Carr ($5,900/6.2%) and Joe Burrow ($6,400/3.2%). While Carr has the best game environment for fantasy production (LV +3.5, O/U 52), Burrow projects the best of the bunch. Lance is a wild card who could make us all look silly for passing on a $6,000 rushing quarterback in a Kyle Shanahan offense.
There is a world where Lance is one of the most obvious plays of every slate for the rest of the year, so he is worth taking a swing on early before anyone else is willing. He is in about as poor of a game environment as one could be in (SF -6.5, O/U 40), but given his numerous avenues to success as a rushing quarterback, he could be immune.
Running back landscape
The first question to answer at running back is whether you play Christian McCaffrey ($8,500 / 7.8%) or Jonathan Taylor (34.2%). While Taylor is in a great match-up (IND -8, O/U 45.5), McCaffrey is simply too cheap, rostered too little, and should be a staple in your lineups until his price reaches the $10,000 range.
Next up are the high point-per-dollar options in Joe Mixon ($7,100 / 14.2%), Travis Etienne ($5,100 / 18.1%), and Alvin Kamara ($7,600 / 13.8%). Mixon does not catch quite enough passes to be viable in a Bengals stack, so he is relegated to one-off status. He has a higher price tag and roster percentage than multiple backs in the $6,000 range, including Najee Harris ($6,400, 6.5%) and Saquon Barkley ($6100, 6%). Etienne can be viable on passing work alone, but to truly hit his ceiling, he needs red zone opportunities over James Robinson, who is considered the starter, with no limitations in week 1. Kamara is worth his price and roster percentage, but there are equally promising options at lower roster percentages in his price range.
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