The Reid Option: Week 7

Each week, Sammy Reid will break down each position in detail, pinpointing his favorite plays at various salary ranges. Who should we be focusing our core on this week? Read below to find out!

Week 7

We’ve all got stresses at work. When I’m at the poker table, it comes when someone makes a big raise and puts me to a tough decision. In fantasy, it comes in the hours before lock when I’m entering contests, fine-tuning my lineups, double-checking all my seasonal teams, tinkering with my spread picks – all while locking in sports-betting action. And at my day job (as an account manager for a pharmaceutical company), my biggest stress is when my boss does field rides with me, like he did this week. For two straight nine-hour days, he rolled around with me to all my accounts … looking, watching, judging.

It’s the worst. All day I have to make sure I always do and say the right things, all while making deathly sure I don’t do anything that’s non-compliant. Then afterwards, I get a corporate report about the field ride, grading all my competencies.

Gag me with a damn ladle.

The good part is that it forces me to do my job right. I have to plan out every call to the last detail, meet all of my daily goals, and follow our selling framework model perfectly. Basically, the things I should be doing all the time anyway. The better you plan and the better you practice, the better you perform.

We had a pretty big DFS stress last week as well. Last Sunday was the first Sunday where there was significant last-minute news that changed the DFS landscape. Dalvin Cook was ruled out and highly questionable guys like Paul Richardson and Isaiah Crowell ended up suiting up. An hour before lock, my plans were thrown into chaos and I was scrambling, completely up in the air with my cash game lineup.

Fortunately, I ended up making good choices. And I think that it was because I’d done my homework – understanding not just the players I liked but the feel of the slate as a whole, the depths at each position, and how the players at different price points worked with one another. If I had a DFS boss looking over my shoulder, I’d like to think he’d have given me some good corporate grades.

And really, that’s how we should treat DFS, even though for most of us it’s not our main job. It’s still something we put plenty of money on the line for, and something we’re passionate about. If we want to do well, we need to focus on it like we would our jobs. Be sure to know all the questionable situations and how you plan to handle the news on those players, either way it turns out. Will I play Player X if Player Y is out? If he’s in, where am I going at WR2? Even though I’m fine at TE, if extra value opens up, who would I want to upgrade to? Or, would I want to upgrade at QB instead? These are all questions you want to have answered by Saturday night, so you’re not scrambling on Sunday morning. Because at the end of the day, our corporate review is our account balance – and the only one who sees that is you.

On a typical NFL week I put together multiple cash game lineups across multiple sites which will have significant player overlap. I diversify to take advantage of different price points on different sites, as well as hedge on the players I don’t feel as strongly about to reduce variance in a game where it’s inherent. The players I feel strongest about will be in the majority of my lineups – these are my “high exposure” picks. The “moderate exposure” players will be in roughly half of my lineups, and the “GPP” picks are higher-risk, high-reward plays that I believe will be under-owned by the masses. I can’t write up every single player I’ll be using in time to put this column out on Thursday, but I’ll do my best to give you the most pivotal plays I can. The rest is up to you.

QUARTERBACKMODERATE EXPOSURE

JOE FLACCO vs NO – Flacco is what you’d get if Andrew Luck traded his talent for good looks, but kept all the pass attempts. Indeed, Flacco is 2nd in the NFL in pass attempts behind Luck – a fine match against a defense that has surrendered the 2nd-most fantasy points per pass attempt against. And unlike Tennessee last week, the Saints have the offensive firepower to keep the Ravens in throw-mode all game long.

BLAKE BORTLES vs HOU – Houston’s defense looks decent on the statsheet until you realize that they’ve been lucky to play the special-needs offenses of Tennessee, Buffalo, Dallas, and the New York Giants. Bortles might be a crappy real-life QB, but he’s still averaging over 300 ypg without Leonard Fournette in the lineup, and he’s also the only QB besides Cam Newton to rush for at least 20 yards in every game this season. I prefer Flacco at the same price point on DK, but it’s tough to beat Bortles’ $6500 tag on FanDuel.

RUNNING BACKHIGH EXPOSURE

TODD GURLEY @ SFHe’s what I got

Gurley in the morning, I’m wise he’s gonna eat
Light me up that cigarette while he smash that Niners D
Got to ride his szn, Gurley szn is so strong
Got to find a reason why my boy is so bomb
I’ll get palpitations if he don’t score high
It will be so bizarre if he don’t just straight bull’s eye it

Well careers are short so ride him while he’s hot
Cuz he might get concussed or his achilles might pop
Never start no scrubs I got to ride out with the best
Never go to battle with an RB who gets rest
Take a small example take a tip from me
Instead of fading Gurley give your money to charity

Todd is what I got
40’s within his reach
And his running style will make the Niners drink bleach
The points come back to you, you’ll finally win like you deserve
You try to fade him, you gonna get merked
Todd’s what I got
Gon’ buy a sick yacht
The late game hammer is hot, hot

Crush it, with my boy Todd
I said remember that
Crush it, with my boy Todd
And remember that
Crush it, with my boy Todd
I said remember that
Crush it, with my boy Todd

I don’t cry when Todd sits out a play
I don’t get angry that I spent nine-point-eight K
I don’t get angry when they throw with Goff
They bomb it deep and then go right back to Todd
Rush it, catch it, it’s all the same
Gettin’ Gurley in the zone is the only way the Rams play
Let the touchdowns let the touchdowns come back to me

Crush it, with my boy Todd
I said remember that
Crush it, with my boy Todd
And remember that
Crush it, with my boy Todd
I said remember that
Crush it, with my boy Todd
I said remember that

PEYTON BARBER vs CLE – With this week’s pricing looking tighter than a 18th-century corset, we’re gonna have to get a little ugly in our lineups to make things work. Exhibit A is Peyton Barber, a play so ugly he’d make a Garbage Pail Kid nauseous. I have more bad things to say about him than good, but he’s an RB who’s received 70% of his team’s backfield opportunities and the Bucs are a 3-point home favorite with a 26.5-point implied team total – the 2nd-highest on the main slate. As of this writing, Isaiah Crowell had still not practiced, and should he miss this game Bilal Powell would immediately jump into play as a low-priced back who should see 15+ touches as well.

T.J. YELDON vs HOU – If you close your eyes and play “random mid-priced back who gets 72% of his team’s snaps as a 5-point home favorite” instead of “TJ Yeldon”, it feels a lot better, trust me. In the four games that Leonard Fournette has missed, Yeldon has averaged 8.8 rushes and 7.0 targets per game. That’s not a huge workload on the ground (although he did get 18 rushes in Week 5 when Fournette got hurt during the game), but his work through the air and near the goal line should play well in this matchup.

WIDE RECEIVERMODERATE EXPOSURE

ADAM THIELEN @ NYJ – Everybody’s favorite receiver of the week, and for good reason. He leads all NFL WRs in pretty much every advanced metric that matters, and most importantly he’s seen double-digit targets in every game this year. I list him under moderate exposure bc of lineup construction; because there’s currently so little value at RB this week, I may choose to run Ezekiel Elliott or Christian McCaffrey out at RB2 and go cheaper at WR, limiting my Thielen exposure.

JERMAINE KEARSE vs MINQuincy Enunwa is dust and Terrelle Pryor is A) bad and B) highly questionable for Sunday’s game, leaving Kearse as the defacto #1 possession receiver for the Jets. Kearse went 9-94 on 10 targets last week when Enunwa got hurt mid-game, and I expect him to be a big part of the passing gameplan this Sunday as well.

DEANDRE HOPKINS @ JAX – Most people see a WR against Jacksonville and go running for the hills. I see a WR who’s 3rd in the NFL in weighted opportunity rating, receptions, and receiving yards and #1 in targets inside the 10-yard line for just $6900 on Draftkings. I know the matchup is rough, but we’re already getting compensated for that with the price. If you play Hopkins in cash you’re either you’re stupid or you’ve got balls, and in my case, probably a bit of both.

TIGHT ENDHIGH EXPOSURE

DAVID NJOKU @ TB – Through five games, the defunct Bucs defense is on pace to allow an astounding 115-1,555-10 line to opposing tight ends, which is basically what you’d expect if Travis Kelce played a whole season on a power play against a 10-man defenses. Enter Njoku, who has a 23% team target share in Baker Mayfield’s three full games and is just $4200 on Draftkings and $5700 on FanDuel. For cash games, I’m not looking anywhere else.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMSMODERATE EXPOSURE

COLTS vs BUF – Everyone knows the Bills offense is a mound of steaming feces, a true double-threat that has scored the fewest points per game (12.7) while allowing the highest adjusted sack rate in football (11.1%). What some might not realize is that the Colts defense is actually pretty good, thanks to a breakout season from Margus Hunt and a breakthrough from rookie linebacker Darius Leonard. The team is top 10 in both takeaways (10) and adjusted sack rate (7.9%) this season and while they’ll be tough to get to on Draftkings, their $4100 price tag on FanDuel is easily affordable.

GPP PLAYS

BAKER MAYFIELD + JARVIS LANDRY + ANTONIO CALLAWAY @ TB – Both Landry and Callaway are featured on Josh Hermsmeyer’s Buy Low Model with weighted opportunity ratings of .48 and .47 respectively since Mayfield’s ascension to starter, although neither has been producing fantasy stats at a high rate. That could serve to suppress their ownership while the shameful Bucs defense should serve to let them hit their potential. I’m stacking this game up every which way but don’t fret, when the Browns win me a million dollars I’ll still come write stupid songs for this column every week.

TARIK COHEN vs NE – You know, I’ve never been a big Cohen guy. He’s a pass-catching platoon back on a bad team who doesn’t get goal-line work. However, in the past two game the Bears have revamped their offensive identity by spreading the field out and playing Cohen on 49% of the offensive snaps while giving him 56% of the team’s backfield opportunities, including 8.5 targets per game. The Bears have scored 76 points in those past two games after putting up 63 over their first three, and that positive reinforcement should keep the status quo rolling this week against a very slow New England defense.

STEFON DIGGS @ NYJAdam Thielen projects to be one of – if not the – highest-owned WRs this week, which makes his partner in crime perhaps the best leverage play on the board at a $1400 discount on Draftkings dot com. While Thielen’s overall target share numbers are quite a bit higher, a huge part of that discrepancy came last week when Patrick Peterson shadowed Diggs. Overall, Diggs has had a greater or equal number of targets in half of Minnesota’s games this season – something we want to take advantage of when both ownership and price are in favor of it.

BRANDIN COOKS @ SF – Right now, everyone is focusing on Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds, and while they are both good plays in their own rights, it seems as though Brandin Cooks is the forgotten man in Rams land. On the season he has a nearly identical weighted opportunity rating to Woods (.62 to .63) but is likely to be half as owned; that’s a prime situation to take advantage of in large-field tournaments.

GEORGE KITTLE vs LARMarquise Goodwin will get a lot of attention after his monster Monday night against Green Bay, and I’m expecting Njoku to be the chalk at TE. That leaves Kittle – who’s 3rd among all TEs in weighted opportunity rating – behind only Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce – as a prime suspect to smash GPPs in the highest projected scoring game on the main slate.

Good luck everyone! Let’s go make some money in Week 7.

About the Author

  • Sammy Reid (SammyReid)

  • Sammy is a former online poker professional and Hearts champion who has been playing competitive fantasy sports for more than 15 years. A student of both sports and game theory, Sammy has been grinding DFS cash games since 2013. You can find more of his work in the 2017 edition of Joe Pisapia’s Fantasy Black Book, at FantasyInsiders.com, RosterCoach.com, and the Baseballholics Anonymous podcast.

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