Studs and Duds 2022 – Volume 1 – Mark Andrews and Rondale Moore

by Jackson Sparks, May 23, 2022

I saw Mark Andrews as an efficient target hog who operates down the field with a top-five fantasy finish already on his resume. Looking back, I regret not pounding the table for him more. However, we can’t simply ignore the effects of preseason injuries to J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards that certainly influenced Baltimore to air out the football more often.

Rondale Moore was barely old enough to vote and produced 1,471 yards of offense. I’m far from a film grinder, but his freshman tape is beyond impressive. I learned not to buy into purely the landing spot and especially not to obsess over coach-centric analysis. I already knew better than that, but I fell into the trap anyway. No matter what I believed about Moore, his 9.4 (1st-percentile among qualified wide receivers) College Yards Per Reception should’ve been a red flag.


Ambiguous WR Situations: A Fantasy Football Skeleton Key

by Joel Ybarra, May 22, 2022

No less than three league-winning wide receivers emerged from ambiguous situations in 2021. You won’t have trouble naming them. Cooper Kupp, Ja’Marr Chase and Deebo Samuel all recorded top-5 fantasy seasons in 2021 and ascended to wide receiver royalty. They all came from truly ambiguous WR situations: 2021 was just one season. But over the last six, trends have developed which have implications for fantasy WRs in the future. More top-scoring players will emerge from ambiguous WR situations in 2022 and beyond.

The rookie hype is real in fantasy, but the hype is well-founded. The NFL is enamored with rookie wide receivers, too. There were 17 wide receivers taken in the first three rounds of the 2022 NFL draft, tied with 1994 and 2007 for most rookie WRs drafted in the first three rounds ever. Fantasy drafting is all about finding edges. Many fantasy managers move away from ambiguity because they equate it with uncertainty. Actually drafting wide receivers from ambiguous situations is a surer thing than seemingly more certain situations.  Move toward ambiguity when drafting receivers!


The Playoff Pareto Principles: Conference Championship DFS Preview

by Jakob Sanderson, January 28, 2022

The final Pareto Principles of the year is underway. This column focuses primarily on the strategy and game theory elements of DFS. I do not discuss the individual matchups of players. Instead I am basing my stances on what the field is expected to do, and how to capture a similar ceiling with a unique build.

The conference championship is no time to cling to summer romance. Since returning from injury in Week 17, Elijah Mitchell has just six catches in four games for 18 yards. He also has just one score in that time, losing high-leverage carries to Deebo Samuel and all passing downs to Kyle Juzczyk. His high carry total provides a floor but not an insurmountable one if he’s kept from the end zone.


Making a Cocktail From the Conference Championship DFS Slate

by Chase Vernon, January 28, 2022

There are three quarterbacks in this Conference Championship round with three stacks you can feel confident in for DFS. If you want to get spicy, you could even include Jimmy Garoppolo in hopes the 49ers can’t run the ball, George Kittle gets involved, and Deebo Samuel takes a couple of dump-offs to the house. However, in the playoffs thus far, you haven’t won money unless your quarterback put up over 30 points.

The Sazerac has two possible bases to start with, pending on who you ask. Some believe the official cocktail of Louisiana and staple of New Orleans used a cognac due to the area’s connection to French spirits. Others believe it was made with rye whiskey and is currently is the more popular build. It’s the perfect cocktail to discuss the Conference Championship for DFS. Make the base with your liquor preference as long as it’s one of the two, just as this slate will likely have two options to stack.


The Playoff Pareto Principles: Divisional Round DFS Preview

by Jakob Sanderson, January 21, 2022

Prior to the year, our excitement regarding Ryan Tannehill was based in his high-efficiency paired with elite weapons. For the first time since Week 7, all of Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Julio Jones will on the field for the Titans. While I am loath to attack the first game of a playoff slate, my exception may be with Tannehill. Play the former Aggie stacked with A.J. Brown and a bring back of your choice and you ride with a unique construction generating leverage off Joe Burrow and Derrick Henry.

Packers-49ers is a high volatility game with two slow-paced teams. However, the high-level skill players in this game provides a ceiling which will not be efficiently rostered in DFS contests. In their earlier meeting, these teams lit up the scoreboard for 58 combined points. In a similar shootout,  it is plausible Davante Adams and Deebo Samuel are the two highest scoring receivers on the slate. I will also be over-weight vs. the field on Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle in this game which offers asymmetric upside for its projected ownership.


Making a Cocktail From the Divisional Round DFS Slate

by Chase Vernon, January 21, 2022

Joe Burrow creates an interactive situation being the first game on the slate. If he crushes and puts up over 30 points to start the week, you can optimize your lineups to make a run in the bigger tournaments. On the other hand, if he is mediocre, you could pivot to play it safe and end in the green, or ultimately sell out for a volatile option who may or may not hit. If you don’t start him and he puts up 40, you can adjust your other lineups knowing Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen are must-plays because none of the other quarterbacks have it in their range of outcomes.

Finding pieces to compliment the skinny stacks aren’t tricky; I expect all these games to put up at least 48 points. The key to this is maximizing the opportunities each player sees. Players like Tee Higgins and Julio Jones will be utilized in the lineups where I want stronger running backs. Meanwhile, I will maximize the exposure to primary pass catchers. 


Making a Cocktail From the Wild Card DFS Sunday Slate

by Chase Vernon, January 15, 2022

Building the Saturday slate was painful. It reminded me of a bar guest telling me, “I like everything” when asking what spirit they prefer. At first, you feel like you can do anything your heart desires, only to find out they only like vodka when you grab a bottle. Well, the cocktail I’m going to build for the Wild Card DFS Sunday slate will be a little more fun. 

The Wild Card games seem like a week where some of these players who have been on the cusp of breaking out could actually break the mold for DFS on Sunday. Of course, it doesn’t mean you should load up on these players, but if it improves the flavor, a rinse could be ideal. Tyler Johnson and Quez Watkins both have favorable matchups. Both are seeing the snaps but get used differently. Regardless, a touchdown for either one of these players could return on the investment. 


The Playoff Pareto Principles: Wild Card Weekend Preview

by Jakob Sanderson, January 14, 2022

Reduced slates are my favorites to play. With fewer games to analyze, the threshold on playable options increases as you require less ceiling from each play to plausibly wind up in the optimal lineup. With fewer options to construct lineups, popular builds and players are further consolidated by the field. This leads to clear strategic inflection points.

In traditional slates, stacking hits a point of diminishing returns. Even in a shootout, the third or fourth highest scoring position player on a team is unlikely to produce enough raw points to ever hit an optimal lineup. The shorter the slate the more you pick ‘games’ over players.