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From the Slot – NFL Week 3

Nolan Kelly

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Week two review

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What went right

Last week, I went full-fade on all the chalk TEs. Jonnu Smith, George Kittle, Jared Cook and Jack Doyle,  combined paltry for 9 receptions and 103 yards. I also recommend a contrarian stack of Nick Foles, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz which earned a respectable 63 points (or one Patrick Mahomes) on DraftKings.

What went wrong

A case of overreacting to a dominating performance by the Washington Football Team over the Cardinals in week one, I thought an Alex Smith (last week: AA,AA) led stack set-up nicely against a terrible Colts pass defence. That did not go as planned.

As well, Pierre Garcon (last week: AA,AA) was a huge letdown in a smash spot at low ownership. Unfortunately, there is just no go-to receiver in that 49ers lineup right now – that offense spreads the ball around far too much to stack with any conviction. I’ll be keeping an eye on the health of the Marquise Goodwin in the lead-up to the impending shootout in Kansas City this week. That ‘Questionable’ tag could lower his ownership.

The Milly Winner – Analysis

The winning Milly was surprisingly far from perfect, with a 15 point performance from Kareem Hunt, and the Buccaneers D. A key pivot gave JEREMYHEIN the winning formula: he opted to fade Tyreek Hill and Antonio Brown, but still stack the Kansas City offence. That alone freed up the cap space to after other strong slate options, including Christian McCaffery and Stephon Diggs. That’s a viable strategy going forward. I like the idea of stacking the highest game totals of the week, with some of the lower-owned players within those games (Watkins, Hunt, James), then giving yourself the salary cap room for other elite plays that might be on the chalkier side (Gurley, Gordon, McCaffery).

Let’s dig in to the Sunday slate… Awesemo’s DraftKings Grades and Values are in brackets, beside the player names.

Week three

Strategy this week

With eight teams projected to score more than 27 points this week, there are going to be a lot of options for game stacks. Because of Kareem Hunt’s (DK: A, A, FD: A, A) low price and amazing value, he’s shaping up as the highest owned Chief this week, which makes a Patrick Mahomes stack more viable in GPPs. I don’t hate using the same strategy as the Milly winner last week for large GPPs – choosing periphery players from high game totals and pairing them with high grade chalk. Likely, the key to getting a 49ers/Chiefs game stack right will be figuring out who to bring it back with. Your guess is as good as mine, but mass-multi entering to find the right combination, might be the best way to go.

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The Q’s

A list of players who’ve had “questionable” tags all week, but are likely to play but might have lower than expected ownership as a result:

Leonard Fournette, Will Fuller, Marquise Goodwin, Marshawn Lynch, Larry Fitzgerald

The plays

The Jaguars backfield

Watch how this shakes down on Sunday Morning. If Leonard Fournette (DK: B,B, FD: A,B) is good to go, and TJ Yeldon isn’t, you’re getting a bell-cow at a reduced price, and no ownership as a 10-point home favorite. If Fournette or Yeldon aren’t able to suit up, Corey Grant is a lock in cash and GPPs. I like taking a flier on Grant in large GPPs even if Fournette plays. In the event that Fournette isn’t 100% or has to leave the game early, Grant would get a huge workload, and would be less than 1% owned. Both sides of this are appealing and make for strong contrarian plays. Pair them with the Jags DST against half of Blaine Gabbert.

Contrarian stack

Kirk Cousins, Stephon Diggs and Adam Thielen are all coming in at around 5% owned. For a team with the second highest implied total on the slate, that is a ridiculous ownership bargain. This will likely be the highest leverage opportunity on the slate. To boot, Buffalo had the highest pace in the NFL last season when trailing by 7+ points. I’m not sure you need to bring it back with anyone, given Buffalo’s 11 point team total, but if you do, Kelvin Benjamin at or Zay Jones make sense. Somebody’s gotta catch a ball or two in that Buffalo offence…. Right? Right???!!

Contrarian stack #2

How about the Eagles, welcoming back Carson Wentz (DK: B,A, FD: B, A) to the fold? He’s insanely cheap and their offence looks fairly concentrated right now. Expect about 65% of the passing game to go through Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor. Bring it back with TY Hilton or Eric Ebron (or both) and you’ve got yourself a cheap, under-owned stack in a game with the fourth highest total of the week.

Low-owned GPP flier

Give me Odell Beckham Jr. at a quarter of the Julio Jones ownership. OBJ can break one at any time and the Giants as seven point road dogs, will likely have to throw the ball. I love the idea of bringing him back in a Texans stack or just going naked Odell (eat your heart out, Lena Dunham).

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Fade of the week

I’m fading Jordan Howard (DK: CC, FD: BB) this week. The Bears have a cross country trip on a short week against a defence that has a bright green “32nd” beside their name, who are coming off back-to-back road games against run-heavy offences (LA, WAS). As well, each of these teams ranks in the bottom three in offensive pace. Howard has benefited from solid game scripts the first two weeks of the year, but I think Arizona surprises here and keeps it close. I’m going to sprinkle in some David Johnson (DK:B,C, FD: BC) at $7200 and just 6% ownership. The Cardinals have been historically bad this season, but  that has to regress at some point. With the Larry Fitzgerald injury and that Bears pass rush, expect the Cardinals to game plan around getting the ball out quickly and into the hands of their star back.

Ownership fade

At $4300 on DraftKings, a lot of DFSers are going to be dialing up the Cory Hotline (555-cory) this week, with Eagles RB Corey Clement (DK: C,A, FD: C,B) penciled in as the best RB value on the slate. And why shouldn’t he be. With Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles out, Clement the lone back left of the three-headed platoon that started the season. Still, there’s plenty of reason to fade him in large GPPs. First, he’s projected as the highest owned player on the board this week, at just under 30%. Second, Clement has an under-reported quad injury that as him limited this week. Couple that with Doug Pederson’s desire to limit Clement’s workload, and we might not have the smash-spot, bell-cow back that everyone assumes they’re getting. For the bare minimum, you can have Wendall Smallwood at 2% ownership, or for just $700 more, you can get a guaranteed workload from Lamar Miller, (DK: B,A, FD: B,B) who is a seven-point home favorite, at half the ownership.

Comments? Questions? Wanna tell me I suck? Give me a shout on twitter @nolan__kelly

I've been obsessed with fantasy sports since as long as I can remember. Back in 1993, while seated in the last row of Mr. MacMillan's math class, I'm fairly certain a few buddies of mine and I invented daily fantasy sports -- popping down our fivers and using nothing more than a newspaper box score, we'd make our NHL player picks for the night's action. Twenty years later I started out playing DFS on DraftStreet, when three-max tourneys with 490 people were a big deal, and I've been hooked ever since. More than anything, I'm interested in using my technical writing skills to articulate and clarify our content in order to help you become a better fantasy sports players player. Armed with Awesemo's grades and the projections from our experts, we're here to help you take the next step. You can contact me by emailing [email protected].

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