Man it would have been very interesting had yesterday’s Chargers-Chiefs game been on the main slate. That’s because Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were all fantastic plays (particularly Keenan Allen, who Rudy’s projections had as the #1 WR on the slate by far), and would have all had significant ownership. You’d be looking at many lineups with a bad performance (Kelce and his 9.2) and a complete dud (the zero from Allen as he got hurt). You’d also be looking at a lot of lineups that picked either Jackson or Damien Williams, but not both, and the difference (27.3 for Williams, 16 for Jackson) would likely put the Jackson lineups drawing very thin, and possibly render them drawing dead if they played Allen and Kelce with that money. Alas, the game was on Thursday, so while it made for great TV, and made for an interesting showdown slate, only those who played the full Thursday-Monday slate care about it’s effects on a full slate. If you did play the Thursday-Monday slate, and you played Keenan Allen (and you did not play Jackson or Williams), I’d highly suggest pivoting your lineup to high-upside non-chalk plays to try to make up the lost ground.

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For this week’s article I am going to try something new. Let’s get a conversation going on a topic that’s DFS-related but not particularly substantive (and thus probably won’t be the topic of discussion anywhere else). Is it a good thing that the Rams/Chiefs game won’t be on the main slate? I’m not talking about the general point about the value of having the MNF game on the slate (as they used to do a few years ago), rather, just specifically the Rams/Chiefs game, which has the highest total since 1986 and would have had numerous guys who would have been main cogs of your lineup had the game been on the slate (Gurley, at his slightly lowered price of $10,600, and Tyreek Hill at $7,900 would have been two monster plays, Kelce at $7,800, Woods at $7,500, and Cooks at $7,800 would have been expensive pieces but reasonable plays, Josh Reynolds at $5,000 would have been an interesting punt, and while Patrick Mahomes at $9,500 may have been priced out of viability, Jared Goff at $8,300 would certainly be in the conversation). So, what say you, my loyal readers? Feel free to post as to whether you think it’s a good thing or a bad thing that the Rams/Chiefs game isn’t on the slate (or if you think it’s good for cash games, bad for GPPs, or vice versa, that’s certainly an interesting take too). I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion on this…

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Well dear readers, let’s just get right to the good stuff today.

QB

Ryan Fitzpatrick, $7,600 – “Bucs QB” would be worth playing since you wouldn’t have to deal with the possible benching. Ryan Fitzpatrick, on his own, carries some risk of being benched. But that risk is entirely outweighed by the fact that he’s the starting QB in Air Monken. And Air Monken throws a lot. And volume is king.  

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The baseball article I write during the baseball season has a section “Doing Lines In Vegas” but here in NFL season, we’re “Doing Lines With cinthree.” If anyone is willing bet me that Nathan Peterman will outscore the Chicago Bears defense in fantasy points tomorrow, I will take that bet. Peterman’s not going to break 10 and the Bears are probably putting up 12-15 (which makes them a bad play in DFS).

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We finally have a decision on Todd Gurley. He’s been an absolute stone cold mortal lock so far this season given that he’s been under $10K for most of the season and was only $10.2K last week – an insanely cheap price given the team he plays for and the role he has on it (namely, that once the Rams get into the red zone, something they do with insane frequency, they just give it to Gurley and let him run it in, and also, they’re the best team in football so they have a big lead late and let Gurley get all the kill-clock yards in the 4th quarter). FanDuel finally jacked his price up to something like $1,000,000,000 (note – it may just be $11,000, as I may be exaggerating for comedic effect). Now it becomes a decision. He’s still an absolute monster. But is he worth it? Ultimately it’ll come down to how comfortable you are with the value that you’ll need to play to roster him. And if you’re unsure on who to play, check out Rudy’s projections here at Razzball!

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The start of this week had no RB value and it just looked like a stuff Gurley, Zeek and McCaffrey into lineups week, but that’s the fun of the NFL. We saw the Browns make a good trade and get rid of Hyde to let Chubb and Duke run wild (though i’m still skeptical that coaching staff can figure out how to use those two). Theo Riddick is out, opening up Kerryon Johnson as a 3-down back and I became way more OK with Peyton Barber value as the week progressed. All this value opening up combined with a lot of the elite RBs not being on the main slate means that we might, for the first time, all season, have a WR in the flex and win the million dollars. So while normally I’d say if you’re rolling a WR in flex in FanDuel GPPs, it’s 100% wrong, the lack of stone cold locks at RB this week means you can probably get away with a WR and in fact you could conceivably place high and maybe even win. But if one or two of the value RBs go off, you’re going to need them and odds are your WR-as-flex GPP is in a boatload of trouble.

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If you saw the arguments this week on twitter, then you know there’s a question. Does defense matter for overall fantasy production? Most of the reason why people say defense doesn’t matter is because the way we measure defense is pretty terrible, and until we can measure true talent defense much better, the appearance of being a good or bad defense is super noisy and the amount of signal there is very very low. And in terms of how to predict the production for fantasy, teams vary what they do (and some teams do this randomly and are bad at it), and you would need to know what their scheme is and what player(s) they plan to exploit, and then the adjustments on the initial game plan come into play. If you have that information, first, please share it with me, and second, you’d probably be able to obliterate DFS (and Vegas, for that matter). But if you have that information, you’re not reading this article right now. So for those of you without it – let’s attack this slate with what we do know – namely, #NeverRun, offenses score points when they throw a lot, and one of the only ways we legitimately do see defenses mattering is in pass rush versus protection – it’s hard to score points when you’re being thrown down to the ground before you can throw a pass. 

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