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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 again.

And again.

And again.

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:

FanDuel:

headChopper
meansy53
squirrelpatrol

DraftKings:

Notorious
meansy53
ChrisGimino

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.

FanDuel:

SBK
kirkdiese
dean78904

DraftKings:

squirrelpatrol
a25smith
kirkdiese

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.

About the Author

  • JM Tohline (JMToWin)

  • JM Tohline (Tuh-lean) – DFS alias JMToWin – is a novelist and a DFS player who specializes in high-stakes MLB and NFL tourneys, with a strategy geared toward single-entry play in multi-entry tourneys. He joined the DFS scene at the beginning of the 2014 MLB season, and has since won five DFS championship seats and two separate trips to the Bahamas. His tendency to type a lot of words leads to a corresponding tendency to divulge all his DFS thoughts, strategies, and secrets…which is exactly what he does in his RotoGrinders articles and RotoAcademy courses. You can find JM on Twitter at JMToWin.

Comments

  • hautalak

    Well written article and yes “nails on a chalkboard” is a perfect way to describe any new Taylor Swift. It turns me into Mr. Hyde and I want to inflict violence on something.

    I still can’t get a grip on that Saints backfield. They really make you question if you “need” them or not. And which one? Hopefully we can get back on track this week.

  • GrindingAndGrinning

    Except the song “Better Man” – of course she didn’t sing it , she wrote it for the group Little Big Town…however JM, Maroon 5 fell into the same trap. Songs About Jane is clearly their definitive work, as well as their debut album, and one of the defining albums of the new millennium at the
    time (does anybody even know what an album is anymore? 😜). Every song inspired by the same woman – and the memory of her. Sure you might get a music critic here and there that’ll pan the album but heck Rolling Stone Magazine used to trash everything Led Zeppelin released, how’d that work out? The point? Levine had fresh, original, inspiration and that album sold because he wrote what he felt and “people happened to like it” not because the producers forced them to put out what would sell…it was fresh, original, inspiring, the success was the icing….now, in my opinion, they’re putting out hamburgers for the apocalypse. Thank you for the article. I enjoy your depth of thought!

  • Sakelele

    Hi JM,
    Totally agree about the Fitzpatrick take. In fact, that game has good shootout potential, and Evans is as reliable as anyone this week to get into the end zone. I somewhat disagree with the take on the browns. Their defense is sneaky elite as a whole. Their biggest weakness has been to Elite slot receivers, and they have conceded many TD’s to the pass game (Mainly to Tight End – although Not concerned with Mercedes Lewis); but even with TD upside, they aren’t giving up yards to these receivers and tight ends. Their main issue has been one of field position due mainly to turnovers and their offensive failures. Duke Johnson will be key for them in this game as he is the type of player that fits the profile for success against jacksonville. If they go run heavy, and roll out with 2 TE sets with Devalve and Njoku, and alot of Duke Johnson (expect him to get alot of volume this week), and avoid turning the ball over, this crappy Cleveland offense has the right pieces and profile to grind out a win here. Either way, this game sets up really well for Cleveland defense, and love their defense as a streamer this week (great upside and sneaky bet for defensive TD this week – I hate thinking someone is ever due, but Jacksonville hasn’t given up a DST score, other than kick returns or blocked kicks, all season – Look for Bortles to start showing his true colors this week). Dede will have to wait another week, which is fine for us, because they play the cardinals the following week and Patrick Peterson should be lined up with marqise lee, leaving a potential breakout for Dede at lower ownership to pick on Tramon Williams.

  • Bucsfan2332

    JM, great article. Love reading your stuff every week. I’ve been hearing for about a month about how great the Friday night experts round table show is that you do, but can’t seem to find it. Where can I find it?

  • JMToWin

    RG Premium Content Director

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    @Sakelele said...

    Their defense is sneaky elite as a whole. Their biggest weakness has been to Elite slot receivers, and they have conceded many TD’s to the pass game (Mainly to Tight End – although Not concerned with Mercedes Lewis); but even with TD upside, they aren’t giving up yards to these receivers and tight ends. Their main issue has been one of field position due mainly to turnovers and their offensive failures.

    Sounding like a Premium subscriber, my man!

    I’ll dig into this in the NFL Edge this week, and there is a strong chance I will change my mind (these are obviously early-week, first-glance thoughts). But I’ll counter your excellent points by noting that the Jags rank sixth in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate. That’s why Bortles has looked better this year – he has time to throw. And I expect that to still be the case this week.

    Gonna be interesting to dig into, for sure!

  • JMToWin

    RG Premium Content Director

    • 2016 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

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    @Bucsfan2332 said...

    JM, great article. Love reading your stuff every week. I’ve been hearing for about a month about how great the Friday night experts round table show is that you do, but can’t seem to find it. Where can I find it?

    It’s on GrindersLive at 8 PM EST on Friday night. The video is archived there afterward, and the podcast can be found in the RG podcast feed!

  • JMToWin

    RG Premium Content Director

    • 2016 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

      DraftKings FBWC Finalist
    • 2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

      DraftKings FBWC Finalist
    @GrindingAndGrinning said...

    Levine had fresh, original, inspiration and that album sold because he wrote what he felt and “people happened to like it” not because the producers forced them to put out what would sell…it was fresh, original, inspiring, the success was the icing….now, in my opinion, they’re putting out hamburgers for the apocalypse.

    Yes!

    Other than Moves Like Jagger, I don’t think I’ve ever even heard one of their songs since then.

    The first album was so unique, and so smooth.

  • Maddad2020

    So for a fantasy league question, is Zeke done for the season once and for all or is there any possibility he plays before week 14?

  • MojaveWolf

    I don’t know which Maroon 5 album is which, but I loved loved loved Won’t Go Home Without You; have been very “eh” on the rest of their stuff I’ve heard.

    But . . . the reason for the Maroon 5 comment . . . all this discussion about musicians losing their identity to go corporate combined w/talk of Maroon 5 suddenly reminds me of the scene in Jennifer’s Body where the Adam Brody is trying to convince a suddenly reluctant member of “Low Shoulder” to go through w/human sacrifice, and his pitch is “Don’t you wanna be big, like Maroon 5?” * & **

    • I think a member of Maroon 5 actually played one of the band members, iirc
      • “Through The Trees” was actually a pretty terrific pop song.

    And as long we’re at it:
    I think Taylor Swift’s first hit was “Our Song”? Terrific. I liked most of her country (or, mostly, country-pop) stuff, with my favorite probably being the duet w/Tim McGraw, “Highway Don’t Care.”

    Her (highly successful) efforts at pop superstardom I’m mostly less fond of, with a couple of huge exceptions—Blank Space is an amazingly good song, imo, and Out of the Woods really works for me as well.

    (and before everyone heaps scorn on my mainstream musical tastes, my SiriusXM favorite songs/artists includes Sisters of Mercy, Souxsie and the Banshees, Concrete Blonde, My Life w/the Thrill Kill Kult, and probably some others most of y’all never heard of—as well as Taylor Swift, Katy Perry & Pink and country artists like Miranda Lambert and the Dixie Chicks and Gloriana & musicals like Wicked and Les Miz—so there)

  • Yolkix

    • 263

      RG Overall Ranking

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    Kirk was top two in NBA last year also, why don’t we get to see more of him?!

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