The Reid Option: Week 10
So I was at a wedding this weekend, and I just so happened to be the Best Man. That was a huge honor and all, absolutely. My friend who got married has been one of my best friends for nearly 20 years, and I was deeply humbled that he chose me to be his Best Man. And now that we’ve got the obligatory “I’m so humbled and honored yadda yadda” out of the way, it’s time for some real talk: Being in the wedding party is the stone low.
You know I’m right. Going to a wedding is the nuts – you get dressed up like a swaggy boss, you drink a bunch, you eat like a king, you dance, and then you bounce whenever you feel like it. It’s the best!
But when you’re in the wedding party, it doesn’t go quite like that. You’ve gotta go get fitted for a monkey suit, and then you have to go back and pick it up and pay a bunch of money for it. You’re required to be at the wedding venue the day before for the rehearsal and the dinner and all. Then the day of the wedding, you have to get ready all early for pictures and whatnot. During the ceremony, you have to stand up front like a wax statue while everyone else gets to sit and chill, and you have to make sure you don’t lock your knees and pass out, lest you ruin the entire event and have everyone remember it for all time (this actually happened to one of the groomsmen at another friend’s wedding – they never forgave him).
Of course if you’re the Best Man, you also have to make a toast. This is actually pretty fun, but if you want to do a good job, it’s highly advisable not to get blotto before you do it. I was the Best Man for another friend back when we were all 21, and it was a complete zoo. I was double-fisting full bottles of wine the moment the ceremony ended, and by the time it was time for toasts, I was toast. Of course I didn’t have anything prepared – I was just gonna wing it! This turned out predictably disastrous, and someone ended up having to literally take the microphone out of my hand to put a merciful end to my sloppy, incoherent rant.
So, like I said, it’s best not to get drunk before the toast. And that means that while everyone else is drinking and being merry without a care in the world, you’re sitting there barely sipping your drink and making sure you know what you’re going to say.
Now (humble-brag incoming), I’ve actually been the Best Man four times in my day. And since the ill-fated double-fisting wine incident, I’ve learned some things about what makes a good toast. Here’s the rules:
1) Don’t go too long – we’re talking 5 minutes, max. We’ve all been at a wedding where the Best Man or the Maid of Honor went on for days and days, and at a point you just wish it would stop. Don’t be that guy or girl.
2) Stay relatively sober – you’ll have plenty of time to get Hemingway’d later.
3) Actually prepare a speech. Your boy honored you by making you the Best Man – honor him by taking a little time to put together a good toast in advance. Winging it is for rookies.
4) Roast your mate, but do it in a family-appropriate way. Making fun of him for still wearing tighty whities = good. Telling the story about the time he tried to rent a prostitute in Vegas but he got too drunk and puked on her before he could seal the deal, and then her pimp broke down the door and made him pay the full amount anyway plus $20 extra to dry-clean her leopard-print miniskirt = bad.
5) Don’t tell a bunch of inside jokes. Maybe one quick one is ok, but a speech full of stuff that only you and 5 other people at the wedding think is funny is actually #lame.
6) Do not, under any circumstances, mention any ex-girlfriends. There is no easier way to get a new bride big mad than bringing up a sore spot in front of everyone on her special day.
7) Say something heartfelt. Everyone likes getting laughs, and if you’re naturally hilarious you should have no problem with this. But make sure you get some realness in there – this is your opportunity to do it, and bonus points if you’re single since this will assuredly endear you to the bridesmaids.
Anyhow, I successfully followed the rules and nailed the toast. And then, at long last … it was time to get swizzy. The drinks flowed like a Niagra Falls in the summertime, and since the bar wouldn’t serve shots, we just ordered glasses full of tequila and ice (light on the ice – pro move). At the after-party, I downed shots of Patrõn like MrTuttle downs Trulys on the Swolecast.
I woke up Sunday morning minutes before lock in my dark hotel room – I had been smart enough to pull the curtains tight before passing out the night before. I was thirstier than Lawrence of Arabia after 6 months in the Rum Desert and my head pounded like a DJ Hype beat. I rolled over and opened my computer to check my daily fantasy football lineups. I had set them the day before, and I felt good about them. But then I did something very, very foolish: Right before lock, I panicked, and I made an epically fishy swap. Out went Mike Evans, D.K. Metcalf, Derek Carr, and D.J. Moore. In went Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, Matt Moore, and Curtis Samuel. That move cost me 61.76 DK points … NOT GOOD, BOB. I managed a break-even day, but it could have been lit if I had just not been a drool bucket and left things alone.
So that leads me to Rule #8: Don’t tinker with your lineups right before lock. I’ve done the math, and it turns out that 96.4% of last-minute swaps lose points (all figures approximate). You’ve already done the research and all the work of putting it together in a cohesive lineup, all under no duress. Don’t screw it up by making a panic switch at the last second under a time stress when you’re not thinking as clearly as usual.
I’ve been very good about refraining from the Sunday morning tinker over the past couple seasons, and it’s been great for my results. This past week I strayed, and for it I payed. I forgot the rules – and I won’t do it again. And hopefully now that you know the rules, you won’t either. So let’s move forward and raise our glasses to having a great week.
(As always, all odds are accurate at the time of publishing, and may shift throughout the week. The Reid Option focuses exclusively on the main slate.)
We’re actually at the point where paying top dollar for a QB is not just acceptable, it’s advisable in the case of one Lamar Jackson. The dude is basically an RB1 who also throws for 225 yards per game, and he’s facing a Bengals defense that allows the most yards per play (6.6), net yards per pass attempt (8.3), AND yards per rush attempt (5.1). Do you know how hard that is to do? That’s basically the holy trinity of ineptitude, and I for one am here for a quarterback that can do everything against a defense that can’t stop anything.
Of course, there are several potential nukes in the silo for just a bit less: Jameis Winston and Kyler Murray play each other in a game filled with defensive travesty, and for good reason this tilt is tied for the week’s highest over/under at 51.5. Both defenses are bottom-5 in passing yards per game allowed, and the Cardinals have surrendered an impossible 24/2 TD/INT ratio to villain QBs. Because of his elite air yardage numbers, elite receiving weapons, and sick implied team total (28 points), Jameis gets the nod as the optimal option here, but a Kyler/Kirk stack while bringing it back with Evans or Godwin is a strong contrarian way to get exposure to this game.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Drew Brees, a man who has thrown for 370+ yards in both of his full games this season and draws a matchup against a Falcons D that has allowed the 2nd-highest NYA (8.1) in the league and is the NFL’s only unit allowing the opposition to score on more than half of their drives (52.5%). He gets hurt for a few games, and all of a sudden people Forgot About Brees …
Y’all know me, still the same old Brees
But I been low key
Hated on by most of these owners
With no cheese, no rake deals, who win no G’s
No skills, no trophies
No GOATs, no chrome wheels, and low T
Mad at me ‘cause I can finally afford
To provide my teams with no worries
Own a lib with my ‘folio and it’s all full of stacks
To add to that Kamara is back
Hookin’ up it’s so flawless in the back of the zone with MT
Y’all think I’m gonna fret my mole freeze? Ho please
Falcons gon’ bow down on both knees
Who you think taught you to throw TD’s?
Who you think rosters the oldies?
Sammy Reid, sharp dudes, and RG peeps
Gon’ sweep double-ups G
And the dude who said, “heads up invite me”
Give you a slate where your boy sweeps
To punk all the trolls up in your hood
And when your lineup builds weren’t doin’ no good
Who’s the lock Sammy told you to go see?
Y’all better listen up closely
All you fishes that said I fell off
Or the Saints flop
Y’all are the reason Payton been gettin’ no sleep
So good luck y’all, all y’all
If y’all don’t like me then fade me
Y’all are gonna keep payin’ down at QB
And turn me back to the old Brees
Now’days everybody wanna talk like they got some winning play
But nothing binks out when they enter it
Just a bunch of min-cashes
And MF’ers act like they forgot about Brees
Now’days everybody wanna talk like they got some winning play
But nothing binks out when they enter it
Just a bunch of min-cashes
And MF’ers act like they forgot about Brees
If you do end up paying down, the cheap option I dig is < checks notes > Ryan Tannehill. Ryan Tannehill? Is that right? < Double-checks notes > Yeah, I guess so. The truth is that Tanny has been pretty damn good since leaving the failure-cloaked Dolphins, and he’s hit the 300-yard bonus in two of three games since taking over the starting QB role for Tennessee. I wouldn’t call the Chiefs the easiest matchup out there, but it’s a home game for Tannehill and the return of Patrick Mahomes makes it more likely that the Titans will have to throw to stay in the game. KC is also one of seven teams with a pressure rate under 20%, which should help Tanny get the ball downfield to Corey Davis and A.J. Brown.
Finally, I want to go on record as saying that Patrick Mahomes may be the best GPP play of the week, since he’s A) the best QB in the NFL and B) isn’t going to be widely owned at all; Mahomes to Kelce may be my highest-owned stack of the week.
The great social experiment continues as CMC is listed at $10,500 on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The reality is that there’s no clear line in the sand where Dairy Sanders is playable or not; the context of each slate needs to be taken into consideration. Last week where there were multiple good cheap value plays like D.J. Moore, Jaylen Samuels, Derek Carr, and Jack Doyle / Noah Fant, paying five figures for Pale Sayers made sense. This week, I’m not so sure it that does. It’s possible that Pearl Campbell is the best fantasy player we’ve seen since prime LaDanian Tomlinson, so while I will be trying to fit him in my cash game builds, at this point I’m not optimistic it’s going to happen.
The other part of this is that there are multiple strong plays in the mid-tier that make a lot of sense. David Montgomery has played 72.7% and 73.8% of the Bears’ snaps over the past two weeks, garnering 41 rushes and 9 targets combined. The Bears are 2.5-point home favorites on the NFL odds board, and the Lions D is averaging the most missed tackles per game (8.9) in the NFL. We’ll also have the reanimated corpse of Ronald Jones at our disposal, though his toe tag does read “use with caution”. Jones did play only 53% of the snaps last week and received just 2 targets, but the projected gamescript and scoring environment – plus the soft matchup and his low price – make him a reasonable play.
One of the most interesting inflection points of this slate revolves around the $5700 David Johnson on DraftKings dot com. Coach Kliff Kingsbury has already talked about being cautious with DJ, and Kenyan Drake was exceptional in handling the bellcow role last week against the 49ers. That said, DJ ranked 3rd among all RBs in targets before getting hurt, and in a game that should have a lot of points and a lot of plays, DJ has major risk-reward appeal at this price point. Devin Singletary is another person of interest; he has seemingly usurped the elderly Frank Gore as the Bills lead dog, garnering 20 carries and 4 targets in last week’s game while playing 66% of the team’s backfield snaps. Of course, this was in an ideal gamescript; Buffalo led against the Redskins from the jump, and things don’t set up quite so swimmingly this week on the road against Cleveland. That said, any reasonably-priced back that can get 20 touches for cheap is in play, especially if they see work in the passing game – and Singletary has 10 targets over the past two weeks.
I tend not to play ground-n-pound backs very often (since they offer no receiving floor to speak of), but this week I’ll be fairly invested in Marlon Mack in GPPs. A home game against the Dolphins is like spinach to Popeye, star power to Mario, or hookers to Charlie Sheen. They’ve allowed 31.8 rush attempts per game and over the past four games, Mack has handled 81.3% of the team’s RB totes. As a double-digit home favorite and backed by a strong 27.3-point implied team total, Mack is as likely to hit 100 rushing yards with multiple touchdowns as any back on this slate.
Finally, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the health of the Steelers backfield; even with his sick pass-catching role, Jaylen Samuels is too expensive for me if he’s splitting time. But if James Conner, Trey Edmonds, AND Benny Snell are out … well then, we runnin’ it back fam.
Michael Thomas is just a stone lock – he’s pacing for 146 receptions (which would be the most in NFL history), and if you think the Falcons are going to slow him down, I’ve got some Ethereum to sell you. Despite him being the lock of all locks, like 30% of people won’t play him in cash, so it is nice to know that at the very least your rake will be paid for this week.
Aside from MT, all the usual suspects are in play: Julio Jones on the comeback of your Saints stacks, Cooper Kupp against a team that can’t defend the slot, and the twin towers of terror Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. I won’t waste your time (ok, my time) dropping stats about why they’re good, suffice it to say that if you think I’m afraid of playing Godwin after Evans cucked him the past couple weeks, you’re out of your skull.
Let’s talk about the more interesting plays where the value lies: Tyler Boyd is 8th in target share (27%) over his past four games and literally has two games all season where he hasn’t seen 9+ targets. His touchdown equity isn’t very high, but that kind of floor at $4700 on DK is just oozing with value. At the same price point, DeVante Parker offers a bigger risk/reward proposition, which is more appealing for GPP formats. Preston Williams had been smashing the team WOPR but he’s now dust, leaving the Ryan Fitzpatrick /Leroy Jenkins role open for Parker to slide into. I expect some heavy air yardage to come Parker’s way here in a game Miami rates to trail in – the only real question is if he can actually convert them into real-life fantasy points.
For just a few hundred bucks more, we have the Valuetown trifecta of D.J. Moore, Christian Kirk, and Zach Pascal. Of the three, I give the overall edge to Moore; over his past four games he has a 29.4% team target share, which is exactly the same as Mike Evans. I would be a sick fish to suggest he’s in Evans’ league (I am a sick fish but am not suggesting this), but the point stands that he is a true lead WR and continues to be underpriced. Kirk is a really interesting play, although I will probably reserve him for my ARI/TB GPP stacks. He had seen 11+ targets in 3 of 5 games coming into last week, but in that game he was shifted more out of the slot and to the perimeter, and only garnered 5 looks. Even so, Arizona only attempted 24 throws last week, so I’m not going to over-rate it, and I want as many cheap shares of this game as possible in tournaments.
You may remember this stat from last week: In 2018, Travis Kelce ranked 3rd in the NFL in targets inside the 10-yard line (1st among TEs), and converted 5 of those 12 targets into touchdowns. This season, he leads the NFL in targets inside the 10-yard line, and he has converted zero of his 9 targets into touchdowns. Positive regression is coming my friends, and there’s no better time to bet on it than when Patrick Mahomes is back and Kelce is at his lowest price point on DK since Week 5 of 2018 (per Justin Bailey).
Outside of Kelce, I’ll probably slum it with the skanky TEs yet again. Mike Gesicki has played 76% of his snaps as a true WR (per Ian Hartitz), and he’s #3 among all TEs in air yards since the Dolphins’ Week 5 bye (per Evan Silva). Preston Williams also leaves behind 38.5% of Miami’s Red Zone targets, elevating MGzero’s TD equity a bit. He’s my preferred cash game option, but if things get sketch I’ll also consider Rhett Ellison, who’s min-priced and filling in for Evan Engram. Ellison is a slow, lumbering doof of a man, but Engram was averaging 8.5 targets per game and Ellison saw 7 targets of his own when he filled in for Engram in Week 6.
Finally, I’ll be kicking myself in the nards and using O.J. Howard in several of my Cards/Bucs stacks. I have no statistical evidence to back up why this is a good idea (because, you know, IT DOESN’T FREAKING EXIST), but the thinking is that he has talent and is a cheap, contrarian way to get exposure to a chalky game. Now, in b4 Breshad Perriman goes 7-120-1 while OJH drops a goose egg on my face.
The high-priced DSTs like the Ravens, Saints, and Colts are surely #good. You don’t need me to tell you that. So let’s talk about the value, starting with the (gulp) New York Jets. Yes, they are awful, but their sucktitude pales in comparison to that of Danny Grimes. DSTs against the Giants since he took over the starting job have averaged 3.7 sacks, 2.6 turnovers, and an astounding 14.1 fantasy points per game.
I’ll also be considering the Browns at home in the lowest projected scoring game of the week (40 points). Buffalo has allowed the 6th-highest adjusted sack rate in football (9%) while Cleveland’s D has posted the 5th-highest (8.8%). In GPPs, I’ll be going back to the Steelers, presumably at miniscule ownership. Even though Pittsburgh is an underdog, their defensive front vs the Rams’ dusty o-line is one of the week’s biggest mismatches: Pittsburgh ranks 2nd in the NFL in pressure rate (30.3%) and adjusted sack rate (10%), and since their trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick, they’ve allowed just 309 total YPG and 17.5 points per game. We all know that Jared Goff is a world-class bungler on the road, and there’s a GPP-winning scenario here where Pittsburgh gets ahead and Goff crumbles into pieces like Humpty Dumpty … and I am extremely here for it.
Thanks for reading, everyone! Let’s go make some money in Week 10.