The DFS Report: Week 11
The coffee wasn’t ready.
That’s how all this started.
But the story, really, has to begin farther back…
For a couple years – about 13 years ago – I really enjoyed Coldplay. That’s not my style of music (though longtime readers have seen me write articles about The Beatles, about Nas, about Kings of Leon, and about Lorde – so what is my “style of music,” really?), but I enjoyed their sound.
It wasn’t a hip sound – these poorly philosophical lyrics over rudimentary and simplistic piano/guitar, drums, and bass. Their sound was clearly not something they played “because we know it will sell well.” Instead, they played a unique style of music that was simple and fundamentally unimpressive, yet somehow sonically pleasing and unique among mainstream music at the time. People liked it, and it sold well – but it didn’t sell well “because they tried to write what people will like.” It sold well because they played what they wanted to play, and people happened to like it.
The other night – rather randomly (i.e., “God, my brain hurts from working on rosters – I need to take a break for a few minutes and do something pointless before getting back to it”) – I decided to listen to the number one single from each Coldplay album. In order. From oldest to newest.
Actually, I just now remembered something. I read an interview with Chris Martin (in an honest-to-goodness, physical newspaper – God, the world has changed in the last 10 years) when Viva La Vida came out, in which he mentioned that their previous album, X&Y, was more driven by “what their producers wanted them to play” and “what they thought would sell” than by what they wanted to play themselves. This was evident in ‘Speed of Sound’ – the lead single from that album.
But it was also evident in ‘Viva La Vida,’ and in ‘Violet Hill’ – the lead singles from that fourth album.
It was evident in ‘Magic,’ from the Ghost Stories album.
It was evident long after I gave up on them, and they started doing songs with Rihanna and Beyonce.
Listen, I like Rihanna and Beyonce as much as the next guy (actually – as I apparently aim to use this space to ruin any credibility I have as a man: I like Rihanna more than the next guy). But Coldplay was a three-piece band built around crappy lyrical songwriting and simplistic guitar/piano, drums, and bass. Now, they’re all electronic pop-rock and sound effects and autotune.
I hate when artists do this.
But the coffee wasn’t ready. And while I waited for them to brew a new batch at the Starbucks up the road from my apartment, that Taylor Swift song about Kanye West – like nails on a chalkboard – played from the speakers. And then, this song was followed by another new T-Swift song I had not yet heard.
‘…Ready For It?’
That’s the title of the song.
And my answer to Taylor’s question is: No. I was not ready for it at all.
By the time my coffee was ready, I didn’t want to leave. I lingered at the door to hear a few more seconds of the song (surely I would never listen to it by choice, right? – so those few seconds in the Starbucks doorway might be my last chance to ever hear it), and then I walked home…
‘…Ready For It?’
I listened to it again before getting back to work on my Week 10 rosters. This electro-pop anthem from a former acoustic guitar-slingin’ “country” music singer.
I paused a bit later to listen to that song three or four (or eight) more times.
I listened again before I went to bed.
I listened the next afternoon.
I was hooked! I loved it. It was like Justin Bieber’s song ‘Sorry’ – like, “Wait, what? I like this?”
And then…I listened to it today. And I was no longer ready for it. Instead, I was completely over it. The song sucks. I have no desire to ever hear it again.
I guess it was a “Week 10” song only – and that made me think about just how often we try to force a play to carry over from one week to the next, long after that play has ceased to be any good.
Some call it recency bias.
Some call it “point chasing.”
I call it “The …Ready For It? Effect.” (Okay, I don’t really call it that. But we can pretend.)
Here are eight things standing out to me as we move into Week 11:
1) Recency Bias is still king
Last week, Mark Ingram was 2% owned in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker. As I pointed out in the Week 10 NFL Edge and again on the Friday night Round Table: Ingram’s role had not changed. If you were playing him before, there was every reason to keep playing him last week. It’s crazy how high or low ownership can climb based solely off what a player did the week before.
2) Recency Bias is still still king
Recency Bias works both ways – with people chasing the big game the player posted the week before. Look, you liked a Taylor Swift song last week. Just because it worked out doesn’t mean Taylor Swift is now your favorite artist. Listen to that song again in the context of a new week, and see how things look on this side of Sunday.
3) Recency Bias is still still king
You know who was popular last week and had a disappointing game? And has a far better matchup this week? And better weapons around him this week? That’s right: Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’ll concede that Fitzpatrick looked legitimately – capitals warranted – BAD last week. He’s no lock this week. But against a pass-funnel Miami defense with an atrocious secondary, and with Mike Evans on the field with him, Fitz is a tremendous tourney play at a tiny fraction of the ownership he carried in Week 10.
4) I am not still king of CVR Accuracy Standings
I spent six weeks as the most accurate FanDuel ranker in our Consensus Value Rankings accuracy standings. Last week, I fell to second place. Now, I sit at fourth place. The top three in the NFL standings currently look like this:
5) Squirrelpatrol is still king of NBA – sort of
Last year, squirrelpatrol was our most accurate NBA ranker at the end of the season – for both DraftKings and FanDuel. Crazy! This week, he’s sitting in first place on DraftKings at the moment, but he has some spots to climb on FanDuel.
6) Where is all the offense?
This week, five of the 12 games on the Sunday slate have an early-week Over/Under below 42.0. That is an insane number of insanely low-total games – though this continues a trend we have seen for much of the season.
Perhaps the most appealing of these games is Jacksonville at Cleveland. I expect Deshone Kizer to struggle against the ferocious Jacksonville defense, but that doesn’t make this game a complete loss. On the other side, Blake Bortles – who may not be good, but he’s also proving he’s not bad this year – has some excellent weapons, especially with Dede Westbrook set to make his NFL debut. The Browns are number one in the NFL against the run (according to both DVOA and yards allowed per carry), and they are poor against the pass. Giddy up!
7) But for real, though: Dede Westbrook
Westbrook is probably my favorite point-per-dollar play in Week 11. He led the entire NFL in #preseason receiving yards (hashtag courtesy of Adam Levitan), and he won the Biletnikoff Award last year as the nation’s best wide receiver in college. Allen Hurns is set to miss, Jason McCourty is set to travel with Marqise Lee, and Dede is set to feast – a few days early.
8) See you in Nashville?
If you’ll be in Nashville for the RotoGrinders/Draft party this weekend, come say what’s up! I’ll be there hanging with some of my favorite people in the world – hopefully you included.
And of course, if I don’t see you there, you know where I’ll find you this weekend:
At the top of the leaderboards, where I fully expect you and me to be hanging out together.