One of the reasons I have been playing more of the Primetime NFL DFS slates is because game theory becomes so much more important with such limited options. Ownership is more concentrated on a short slate with just two football games.
It makes it very easy to pivot off popular players if you think there is a chance they could be outperformed. Leverage plays become the most important aspect of roster construction with these short slates.
When it works out, it will usually end well.
For the Thursday-Saturday slate last week, I was fortunate enough to win a seat to the $4M Main Event for this weekend with $1,000,000 going to first place. I wanted to share with you all the lineup that I used, as well as review my process of picking players to explain how I used game theory to give myself a better chance of finishing with a high score in this contest.
First, I want to start with the Thursday night game which was LA @ SEA. Initially, I wanted to get some exposure to Tyler Lockett as he has always been a boom or bust guy with a high ceiling. I knew he would be one of the few guys that would not have high ownership on the Seattle side. Reports surfaced about during warmups that Lockett was lining up in two-wide receiver sets ahead of Jermaine Kearse.
This confirmed that Lockett was definitely the right play in this game as he should see more opportunities, giving him more of a chance to exceed value.
At the running back position, I decided to plug in Thomas Rawls because I projected him and Bilal Powell to be the two highest-scoring running backs over Todd Gurley and Jay Ajayi. I also played Jimmy Graham as the tight end position was brutal.
Lastly, I played the Seattle D/ST, regardless of them being projected to be the highest owned. I thought the Seattle at home against Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams offense, or lack thereof, was a must play with no other strong options.
Additionally, it gave me even more upside as I had them paired with Lockett on special teams. Turns out the Dolphins D/ST ended up outscoring them which shows just how volatile the D/ST position can be.
My decision to fade Russell Wilson was simple. As I alluded to earlier, these types of contests are super top-heavy so it is obvious that you are going to have to differentiate yourself from the field somewhere. I expected Wilson to be one of the heaviest owned players on the slate so I knew that was where I wanted to leverage the field. I wanted no part of Goff or the Rams, so that left me with Matt Moore and Bryce Petty.
Being that Petty sucks, it was a no-brainer.
Obviously I didn’t expect Moore to finish as a QB1, but it ended up working out in my favor.
Some people will view that as “getting lucky.” But I put myself in a position to be “lucky.”
The other guys who filled out my roster were the Dolphins main pass-catchers. Then I ran it back with Robby Anderson as he has been the main target in the limited passing attack for the Jets over the last few weeks. The final spot was for Powell who should have been considered a must-play with Matt Forte out and his cheap price tag.
Game theory is still important in large slates as well, but as I mentioned it is crucial on the shorter slates. Keep that in mind moving forward and see what kind of leverage plays you can come up if you plan on playing the short slates.
I’ll be sure to give you guys a lineup review of the Main Event on Saturday regardless of how I finish. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and I will post a link so you can sweat it with me. Good luck this week and Merry Christmas!
Categories: 2016 Fantasy Football DFS