Know Your Opposition
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.
Slate Overview- Dealing With Motivation
What we love about DFS is that each week is a unique puzzle that we are all trying to crack with its different challenges and opportunities. Some weeks like last week, we had to play part-time amateur meteorologist, most weeks we have to attempt to be part-time statisticians in factoring in game theory, and this week we get to play psychologist. In the second-season of the 18 week schedule, we are really going to start to see how teams start to react to the overall situation that they are currently in.
While it does not appear that any team is going to outright rest their starters as we will likely need to deal with that next week, it does appear that some teams have zero motivation to give their top players a full workload based on important games next week, or their playoff seeding mostly locked in.
Christian McCaffrey- The big question this week is what the 49ers do with Christian McCaffrey. They’re mostly locked into the 3 seed, but could jump up to the number 2 seed if they win out and Minnesota loses one of its last two games. Coach Kyle Shanahan has come out and said “You need to be smart” which seems to indicate that Christian McCaffrey who has had injury problems in the past two seasons may not get the full compliment of touches he otherwise would get in a normal week. The 49ers are extremely banged up and if something were to happen to McCaffrey, it would drastically change their outlook for a Super Bowl.
Travis Etienne- This is a weird one. Jacksonville is essentially in a win and get in next week against Tennessee, so logic tells you they should be resting their starters. Doug Pederson has come out and said that there are no meaningless games and that they are going to play their starters. If we know that Etienne is getting a full compliment of snaps, he would vault up the board as a top play this week against Houston.
All other teams besides San Francisco and Jacksonville fall into the low concern category. These are professional athletes who want to be out playing the game and coaching staffs that do not want to mail it in with two weeks to go as they’re either playing for a job, or even if they are on a bad team and are expecting to get fired, they want to put on a good showing for future opportunities.
There likely will be one or two teams that completely lay an egg this week, and just do not come out motivated, or play a backup more than what we had otherwise expected. The team’s that are the most likely to do this are likely going to be the teams that we are not going to be playing otherwise such as Denver or Arizona.
While everyone seems to want to stack the Detroit Lions, this is an opportunity to get the Buccaneers at a crazy low roster percentage that would qualify for “Under the Radar”, but this is one that also rates out as a top stack. There are a number of things going for the Buccaneers this week. First and foremost, Tom Brady is at home where he is averaging 308 passing yards and 2 touchdowns per game.
This week, the Panthers will be without their best corner in Jaycee Horn and the Panthers have been one of the better run-stopping units in football this season so expect the playoff chances for the Buccaneers to come down to the right arm of Tom Brady. The Panthers struggled mightily stopping the pass last week allowing 355 yards and 3 touchdowns to Jared Goff last week. In the first meeting between these teams, Brady had a season high for road passing yards with 290 at Carolina back in Week 7 as the Buccaneers were completely unable to run the ball against the Panthers front. Chris Godwin leads the team in red zone targets and has established himself as the clear number one target for Brady this season as Mike Evans has seemingly disappeared at times and has not caught a touchdown since Week 3. For Godwin to only be $300 more expensive than Evans is just not enough of a savings to be contrarian and go with Evans in the stack given the already low roster percentages of this game.
On the other side of the ball, the Panthers are somehow still in the playoff race despite having started three different quarterbacks this season. DJ Moore has been the one constant in this offense and despite him disappearing when the season was not going well and never finding a true chemistry with Baker Mayfield, he has bounced back nicely as he has 70 yards and a touchdown in three of his last four games with the only game he failed to do so he was injured early in the contest. In those three games, Moore has averaged 41% of the passing yards from Sam Darnold as he is clearly the number one target in Carolina this season.
If you wanted to double stack the Buccaneers, you could look towards Leonard Fournette this week who has caught 6 or more passes in three of his last four games.
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