NFL DFS Week 11: It’s A Trap!
November 14, 2014 | Renee Miller
Editor’s Note: Check out our DFS Cheat Sheet!
People that know me know that I’m no good at small talk, idle conversation, or saying things that don’t matter or mean anything. I just can’t do it for more than a sentence or two. When I meet someone new, we’re either in some super animated, deep conversation within three minutes or done talking to each other. There has to be substance to a conversation or I simply don’t know what to say.
I’m sure this attitude comes largely from my scientific training. Nothing is taken lightly in science. When someone says “Hey, maybe it’s vaccines that cause childhood developmental disorders”, we say, “Where’s the evidence for that statement?”. Then we go on to collect evidence upon mountain of evidence that no such link exists, because we’re not the type to just say, “That’s stupid, there’s no way vaccines cause autism”. Backing up ideas and statements with data is how scientific research is done. Looking for underlying meaning, coming up with possible ideas of what that meaning is, and then testing those ideas with sound methodology is a substantive process.
Proving your point is much harder in fantasy sports, because all the evidence in the world doesn’t make an outcome certain. One of my (former) twitter followers is of the belief that the biggest trap play of the week is the one that everyone is touting. He had this brilliant Monday morning take three weeks in a row after Jerick McKinnon, Jeremy Hill (Week 10 version), and Bobby Rainey disappointed DFSers who rostered them in droves at their rock bottom prices.
Three things are true here. One is that these players were widely touted and recommended by those, including me-especially in Hill’s case (Weeks 9 and 10), who write about DFS picks and strategies. Second is that they were all heavily owned in cash games and GPPs. Third is that they were bad. If you add in Jordy Nelson, who was actually the highest rostered player in Week 8 when he put up 5.5 fpts, the most used players in large field games (eg, World’s Biggest 50/50 on DraftKings) the past three weeks have been a disappointment.
This ex-follower of mine would like to, or insomuch as I could gather from his tweets at me, would like me to incorporate these facts into my analysis. This is completely absurd to me; the idea that the number of people who roster a player for DFS in any way affects his performance on the field is ludicrous. For as many revenge game, bobblehead night, family present, or birthday game narratives that act as tie breakers when deciding between NBA or MLB players for DFS that we’re aware of, we need to also be cautious about the narratives that drive us off players.
If you’re buying it anyway, it’s shaping so the guy to avoid using this week is Alfred Blue. He’s just $3000 on DraftKings almost surely starting at Cleveland. I was prepared to be all in on Arian Foster if his groin cooperated, but alas. Blue’s rushing lines have ranged from 9/9 to 13/78, with his most recent outing in Week 9 coming in at 7/13. He’s catching about one pass per game, and has one total TD, a reception. At minimum price, he’s worth a flier in a GPP lineup on DraftKings. I think you have to keep expectations in check, but if he can break 20 carries, a 100 yd day with a TD is not out of the question against the Browns. I will say however, that the Browns run defense has performed a lot better in the past six weeks, allowing only that one huge game to Denard Robinson. The play in this game is honestly the Browns D. Getting Ryan Mallett’s debut and Blue… at home… in the cold. I’m on it. Maybe they’ll be the high owned disappointment this week instead of Blue :/.
I feel compelled to mention Travis Kelce. The man is a PPO god. I love him. Everyone in sports loves him. Except the people calling the plays in KC. Will this be the week that his usage approaches what it should be? I mean, I selfishly feel like 80% of the offensive plays should be called for Kelce, but like I said, that’s selfish. With Anthony Fasano most probably out, it’s a possibility that he can go from 2-3 targets a game to the 8-10 that he minimally deserves. Forgive me for not completely trusting Andy Reid to do so, however. Fasano was primarily a blocking TE and hasn’t had more than four catches in any game yet this season. The opportunities to get Kelce more involved in the offense have existed, given the dearth of other options in KC. Still, he’s too good to not play, so Andy Reid, I will walk willingly right into your trap (in maybe 15% of my games). I still really like Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski this week, and am not having a terrible time fitting either into my DraftKings or FanDuel lineups.