The Reid Option: Week 7

Among all the surprises of this football season, one of the biggest for me is how popular the Gillcast has become. If you’re not familiar with the Gillcast, it’s the weekend wrap-up podcast on the RotoGrinders Podcast Network that I do with Davis Mattek and Nate Nohling. We all get together on Sunday night without doing an ounce of preparation, and we just make fun of each other for all the dumb things we did in our daily fantasy football lineups that day. It’s basically the stupidest thing ever.

And for some reason, people LOVE it. I wake up every Monday morning to dozens of Twitter notifications about the show, and throughout the week people are hitting us up about it. Yesterday, Davis texted Nate and I: “The Gillcast is the best and worst thing to ever happen to my fantasy career. The upside: Everyone thinks it is hilarious. The downside: Everyone thinks I suck at DFS.”

Over the last week or so, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why the show has become such a thing, because it doesn’t really make a lot of sense – it’s mostly just three dudes calling each other fish for an hour. I mean, we definitely have good rapport with each other since we’ve been pals for several years. And we all have our different niches – Nate is the myopic projection model guy, I’m the game-theory guy, and Davis … uh … well, you know, he’s Davis. But there’s plenty of entertaining guys in the DFS industry, so what makes this show specifically resonate with people?

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think the reason people connect with the show comes down to two things: Transparency and relatability. We go over every play in our cash game lineups, why we played them, and what our scores were. And I think across the DFS industry, that kind of transparency is somewhat uncommon; in our space, we’re more used to touts dropping screenshots on Twitter when they win and radio silence when they lose. There are a few guys out there who are quite transparent – folks like Adam Levitan, Joe Holka, and RG’s own Jordan Cooper come to mind. Levitan is one of the few other analysts who does a weekly cash game lineup review on his pod (except his is actually prepared and well thought-out) and I think it’s great.

Of course, the show is always funniest when we lose, since the tilt flows like Coors at a cookout. And I think that’s what makes it relatable – we’ve all been tilted on Sunday night after getting rekt, so there’s comfort in knowing you’re not the only one going through it. And while you might think it would suck to do a podcast after you’ve had a bad day, it’s actually somewhat cathartic to do, and the truth is that it’s easier to be light-hearted about it when you recognize up front that there will be ups and downs during the season, but you’re confident that you’ll have a positive outcome when all is said and done.

Of course it’s not that hard to have a carefree attitude after just one or even two losing weeks, but three is a trend and I’m staring that reality straight in the face if I don’t get back on track this week. And frankly, it looks like another tough slate, so we’re gonna have to focus up and hunker down if we want to avoid wearing the clown suit this week. And of course, I want to provide that elite #content when I win and Davis and Nate lose, and I get to call them fish for the entire show – so let’s get to work.

(As always, odds are accurate at the time of writing and may shift throughout the week. The Reid Option focuses exclusively on the main slate.)

QUARTERBACK

Looking over this week’s QB options is kind of like looking over a group of sorority sisters from San Diego State – they all look good, but most of them have warts. Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, and Kyler Murray are elite bossanovas but they’re all expensive, on the road, and lack high-end implied team totals. Josh Allen has the mother of all matchups in a home game against the Dolphins and their toilet scum defense, but his season-highs are 254 passing yards and 46 rushing yards, and the Bills are such enormous favorites that he may not have to throw much. Jared Goff’s Rams has the highest implied team total of the week (28.5 points at most sports betting sites) and the Falcons are allowing their opponents to score on 52.5% of their drives (the league’s most pathetic mark) but the Rams offense has been out of sorts lately and they’re on the road in a loud dome where Sean McVay’s essential pre-snap communication with Goff can be compromised.

Don’t get me wrong – each of the aforementioned QBs has a ton of upside and could easily smash, but the guy I see that has all of the upside without much downside is Russell Wilson. R-Dub has been the highest-scoring fantasy QB of the season’s first six weeks, ranking 8th in passing yards and 5th in rushing yards while accounting for an NFL-high 17 total touchdowns. That party figures to keep rolling against a Ravens defense that is allowing 8.1 YPA (7th-most) and 6.3 total yards per play (3rd-most), while forcing QB hurries on just 7% of dropbacks (the 4th-lowest). I’ll have several different QB stacks in GPPs, but Wilson is the guy I want in cash.

It’s worth noting that Daniel Jones is just $7,200 on FanDuel, a huge value compared to his relative price on DK. If both Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley are back along with Golden Tate, the weapons around Jones are strong and this game profiles as a very strong offensive environment: The Cardinals and Giants rank 7th and 9th respectively in total plays allowed to opponents while both ranking tied for 3rd in total yards per play allowed, and per Ian Hartitz this tilt profiles as the highest-paced of the week. If you’re looking for a non-Rams/Falcons game to stack on both sides, this one is my favorite.

RUNNING BACK

CMC is again off the slate, but Fat CMC aka Leonard Fournette is available and is a cash-game lock. I figure everyone’s going to own him so you don’t need me to go on about it, suffice it to say that his insane usage (91.4% snap rate, 91.5% backfield opportunity rate) and matchup (the Bengals have allowed 136 more rushing yards than any other team) are #DopeAF.

Chris Carson remains underpriced for his usage and role; he’s a 3.5-point home favorite on a team with a 26.5-point implied team total, and over the past three weeks he’s played 80% of the team’s snaps and handled 83% of the team’s backfield opportunities. I’m a fish for not playing him in cash last week, and I don’t feel much like being a fish again this week. Ergo, into the old cash lineup Carson goes.

Whether I pay up or down for my 3rd cash game RB depends quite a bit on any value that opens up throughout the week, but I think it’s most likely that I’ll be paying down. The two value RBs that stand out are Devonta Freeman and Kerryon Johnson, and it’s a tough choice between them. Comparing their usage over the past three weeks, D-Free has played 62.2% of the snaps and handled 73.8% of the backfield opportunities, while over the same timeframe Kerryon is at 70.9% of snaps and 72% of backfield opportunities. Fairly even rates obviously, but I give D-Free the slight edge since he’s in the better game environment, plus he’s seen 17 targets in the past three games, while Kerryon has 13 targets this entire season. The counter-argument would be the goal-line usage; Kerryon has all 7 of Detroit’s RB carries inside the 5-yard line, while Freeman has just 1 of Atlanta’s 4, so I may split exposure on PPR and .5 PPR sites.

I don’t need to throw a bunch of stats around to explain why I like the expensive guys if I end up having room for them, but I will say that I’m not afraid to roster Saquon Barkley; I love the game environment, I love the player, and I’m not afraid of decreased usage – Saquon has been practicing fully this week and Wayne Gallman is still dubious to play with a concussion. And the reality is that Barkley’s normal workload is so bulbous that even a small decrease would still put him among the highest projected RBs on the slate. Even if I don’t get to him in cash, I’ll be sure to get some GPP exposure since I figure a lot of gamers will be hesitant to use him in his first game back.

Other RBs I’ll have in GPPs are Tevin Coleman (looks like the 49ers goal-line back in a game they’re projected to crush in) and Marlon Mack (the Colts aren’t projected to dominate the Texans but I think they could, and if they do, Mack would likely crush). And of course, if David Johnson ended up missing Sunday’s game, Chase Edmonds would be a lock in all formats.

WIDE RECEIVER

We’re six weeks into the season, a large enough sample to say with confidence that the high-priced wideouts aren’t doing a great job of providing value this season. Obviously Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins can go nuclear at any time, but in general the best value continues to be in the middle tier. To that end, that’s where I’ll be looking for the majority of my cash game exposure at the position.

One of the best values on the board is Kenny Golladay, who’s 5th in the NFL with a 26% target share and is also tied for 1st in the league with 7 targets inside the 10-yard line. Kenny G is just a complete beast and frankly I couldn’t give two squirts about the matchup unless it was against the Patriots, in which case I would give precisely one squirt.

T.Y. Hilton is also wildy underpriced on DraftKings, where he’s WR15 vs WR6 on FanDuel. I’m sure you already know that Hilton has fierce home/road splits, but since you’re too lazy to look yourself I’ll just tell you: In his career, Hilton has averaged 79.8 YPG, which would place him, oh, SEVENTH ON THE ALL-TIME YPG LIST. (I capitalized that to emphasize the point that it is good.) SO IT SEEMS FISHY TO NOT PLAY HIM IN CASH GAMES ON DRAFTKINGS (I capitalized that to emphasize that you are a fish if you don’t play Hilton in DK cash games.)

And to fill out the DK value trifecta, there’s also Mr. Robinson

And here’s to you, Allen Robinson
Sammy needs you more than you could know
Woah woah woah
Go catch TDs, Allen Robinson
My bankroll needs a boost in the worst way
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey

We’d like to show a little faith and play you for that price
We’d like to watch you burn the Saints defense
Look around you all you see are some pathetic guys
Scroll around you’ve found a steal for elite volume

And here’s to you, Allen Robinson
Sammy needs you more than you could know
Woah woah woah
Go catch TDs, Allen Robinson
My bankroll needs a boost in the worst way
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey

Dive into exciting plays that are on the Buy-Low
Put him in your lineup now for f***‘s sake
He’s a little secret cuz of Lattimore’s impair
After all, cornerback matchups are for fish

Coo coo ca-choo, Allen Robinson
Sammy needs you more than you could know
Woah woah woah
Go catch TDs, Allen Robinson
My bankroll needs a boost in the worst way
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey

Sitting on my sofa on this Sunday afternoon
To watch my fantasy updates
Cry about it, tilt about it
When I see the news
If you don’t smash this week I’ll lose

Where have you gone, all you volume whores
His WOPR now ranks third among all dudes
Woo woo woo
You’re gonna slay, Allen Robinson
Davis and Nate are fish and gonna fade
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey

Of course, there are several good pivots at this price point as well: Golden Tate had 9 targets and 105 air yards last week and is a slick leverage play off of the sure-to-be popular Evan Engram in tournaments. Terry McLaurin leads the NFL in team air yards share (52%) and as 10-point underdogs, the Redskins should have to throw quite a bit against the 49ers this week. D.J. Chark was shut down by Marcus Lattimore last week, but he still has a .60 WOPR and every Bengals CB worth a salt is dust; a Minshew/Chark stack is cheap, sneaky, and swaggy as all getout. And right about now people are good and fed up with Brandin Cooks ‘ s*** – which is exactly the time to take a chance on him. He still leads the Rams in air yards and the Falcons couldn’t cover a sloth on ketamine; my bold call of the week is that Cooks gets loose for a deep tuddy.

My opinion on Allen Lazard is this: If both Geronimo Allison and Marquez-Valdes Scantling are out, I’m in on him at minimum price and would even highly consider him in cash. If not, I’m probably cool outside of a couple GPP shares.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to use RotoGrinders’ new NFL odds comparison tool to look at NFL Week 7 lines across the industry and find out what sportsbook has the best price for your favorite NFL betting picks.

TIGHT END

Every Sunday morning, without fail, right when I’m in the middle of the grind – tinkering with lineups, regging for games, updating inactives, and railing news reports – my wife asks if she can commandeer my computer for a few minutes to build a DFS lineup that I can put in a low-dollar GPP. And of course, I always oblige, even though by now she’s wasted enough money to buy a vacation home on Nantucket Island (all figures approximate). She doesn’t even know who half of the players are, so she spends the whole time asking me if this guy is a good play or that guy is a good play. And my guess is, even she’s going to play Evan Engram this week. Don’t get me wrong – he’s a very good play. But I don’t think he’s the best value for cash games and I’m guessing that his ownership will be up at a level that I’ll mostly be looking to pivot in GPPs.

The guys I really love are quite a bit cheaper, starting with Darren Waller, who is 2nd behind only George Kittle in weighted opportunity rating among all TEs. If Green Bay fulfills their Vegas destiny of soundly beating Oakland, there should be plenty of targets coming his way, an effect which could become amplified if de facto #1 wideout Tyrell Williams can’t sort himself out.

I’m guessing that a lot of daily owners will gravitate towards Hunter Henry in cash games, which in my humble opinion is just plain sharp. Henry is a legitimate stud, ranking 1st among all NFL tight ends in fantasy points per target and 2nd in fantasy points per snap from 2016-2017, and in his two healthy games this season he has 14 targets, 12 receptions, 160 yards, and 2 TDs. Seasonal fantasy owners were well aware of his talent this draft season when he was drafted as the TE6 despite missing all of 2018, and we need to be taking advantage of this value-laden price tag before its inevitable space shuttle-launch rise.

So say you get in the stack you like, then you fill it out with some high-priced studs, and then you decide you want to pay up for that Buffalo DST … and then you realize you have almost no money left for your tight end. No worries, my good chum! Just plug in Luke Willson and tilt for 2 hours while he catches nothing, only to rejoice when he catches a short touchdown in the late 3rd quarter. EZ game.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

“You’re always going to have problems lifting a body in one piece. Apparently, the best thing to do is cut up a corpse into six pieces and pile it all together. And when you’ve got your six pieces, you’ve got to get rid of them, because it’s not good leaving it in the deep freeze for your mum to discover, now is it? Then … I hear the thing to do is feed them to pigs.

You’ve got to starve the pigs for a few days … then the sight of a chopped up body will look like curry to a pisshead. You gotta shave the heads of your victims, and pull the teeth out for the sake of the piggies’ digestion. You could do this afterwards of course, but then you don’t wanna go sievin’ through pig s***, now do you? They will go through bone like butter.

You need at least sixteen pigs to finish the job in one sitting, so be wary of any man who keeps a pig farm. They will go through a body that weighs two hundred pounds in about eight minutes. That means that a single pig can consume two pounds of uncooked flesh every minute – hence the expression, “as greedy as a pig”.

This delightful little passage by Brick Top from “Snatch” reminds me of this 49ers-Redskins matchup, with the Washington offense playing the part of the corpse and the Niners D-line playing the part of the pigs.

Obviously the Bills look like a complete tsunami against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins, and while they may be too expensive for cash game construction, their upside as a slate-breaker means that a full GPP fade could leave you broke and sad. If you’re looking for something more affordable, take a look at the Chargers. Yes, they’re on the road and yes, they’re a 2-point underdog to the Titans. But what I want you to do is close your eyes and imagine the sight of Joey Bosa chasing down Ryan Tannehill like a lion taking down an antelope in the open plains. Then I suggest you go bet the Chargers before the line shifts too much (no refunds, sorry).

If you’re going bargain shopping on DraftKings – something I will highly consider doing again this week in cash games – the Colts stand out as the best low-priced option to me. The Colts are a small home favorite (-1) while the Texans have surrendered the 8th-highest adjusted sack rate (8.3%), and even a small smattering of sacks should support the strategy of spending sparingly.

Thanks for reading, 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.

Comments

  • scottvillain

    I gotta say I was really surprised to hear you say you struggled after mentioning both McLaurin and Diggs, great recommendations man.

  • ssilberman2012

    great read as always

  • SammyReid

    @scottvillain said...

    I gotta say I was really surprised to hear you say you struggled after mentioning both McLaurin and Diggs, great recommendations man.

    Haha thanks for remembering my good calls – had too much Boyd tho

  • redskinoscar

    Week to week the best content on the site by far

  • Pick1979

    Thank you

    Do you like Gallup , Boyd and or Brown (bills) this week …please

  • IrishCarBomb9

    After consuming a ton of DFS articles and podcasts each week in prep they all become somewhat similar. Listening to ten different guys talk about a certain dvoa or whose on a buy low model or whose in a smash spot is helpful but gets kind of stale and repetitive. What makes the Gillcast so good is it’s genuineness and sort of “yolo” style approach. It’s like 3 guys sitting at the bar watching the SNF game together after a few cold ones shooting the sh*t about what happened on the day’s slate. It’s super relatable especially when we all have down weeks together. Keep up the awesome stuff you washed up Sean McVay fish.

  • sfcruiser

    Sammy- Always look forward to the Reid Option. Great write up this week for Cash games.

  • boogereatingmoron

    • 2017 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    • 2019 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    Great stuff as always Sammy. Love the wife building lineups story. My wife built her first lineup earlier this year during a live final I was at and won some money. So now she thinks it’s easy and can’t understand how I could possibly have a losing week.

  • jesstrieb

    Boyd killed me last week! I thought he was a lock!!

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