Much like last week, there were several notable players that went down with injury this week. LeSean McCoy, Ben Roethlisberger, Dion Lewis, Teddy Bridgewater, and Latavius Murray all suffered injuries. In your season long leagues, this is relevant because of the waiver wires, but it is just as important in DFS. Injuries have a great impact on numerous deciding factors when finalizing your lineups. For example, LeSean McCoy was injured during this week’s game against the Dolphins and his status is uncertain for Week 10.
If you haven’t looked at the prices for next week, you wouldn’t have noticed that Karlos Williams, the running back who would get the start if McCoy can’t play, is $3800. Williams has scored a touchdown in every game he’s played in this season. He’s proven that he’s fully capable of handling the workload and being efficient. At that price, he essentially becomes a chalk play regardless of matchup. You know he will have high volume and won’t need much to hit value. Stevie Johnson ($3200) and Jeremy Langford ($4000) are also good examples of this. Both were underpriced for their projected roles and in plus matchups.
There’s also another way to look at this. For example, Antonio Brown and Stephon Diggs take a hit in their fantasy value because they both lost their quarterback for Week 10, or at least Brown did for sure. Teddy Bridgewater’s status is uncertain at this time, but if he misses, Diggs takes a step back. That being said, Brown is coming off a 17 catch and 286 yard game where he scored nearly 49.6 fantasy points. His matchup is good and his price isn’t awful, but without Big Ben this season he’s struggled and that could be the case this week. Diggs is coming off of his worst game of the season as he scored just 7.5 fantasy points in a tough matchup against the Rams. This week he has a good matchup, his priced dropped $200, and recency biased could have played a role here and potentially lower his ownership percentage. However, his stock instantly plummets without Bridgewater under center and what would have been a good value play this upcoming week, becomes an unappealing play. Understanding the impact injuries have in DFS is very important. It will make you aware of great value spots and also open your eyes to situations that might be better off left alone.
Something that you may have heard or read about while doing your research is correlations. To be honest, it took me some time to understand it and it wasn’t until I read Jon Bales newest fantasy football book (I highly recommend it), that I began to fully get the grasp of it. You see, we kind of use this concept in our season long leagues, but don’t realize that we do. How many times are you drafting and don’t draft the number one receiver and starting running back from the same team? How often don’t you try to pair up your quarterback with his stud receiver? In DFS it’s very similar. Before I continue, here are a couple negative correlations: RB and RB of opposing team, QB and opposing DEF, and RB or WR and opposing defense. Here are some positive correlations: RB or WR that returns kicks or punts and the defense he plays for (in DFS we call this double dipping), QB and WR1, QB and WR2, and QB and TE. Pairing a quarterback with a receiver of his team, or also known as stacking, is probably the most obvious positive correlation because any time they connect for a touchdown it is an automatic 10 points. Some of these correlations increase your upside, while others limit your ceiling. Understanding the difference is very important.
There are some instances where using a negative correlation, might not be such a bad idea. For example, a RB and WR from the same team may not be a positive correlation, but when you have a running back like Danny Woodhead and a receiver like Keenan Allen (when healthy) at good prices and in plus matchups, it may be wise to roster both of them in tournaments. They both have a big role in this offense and both see plenty of targets to justify using them. Another example is using a tight end and wide receiver from the same team. Case and point, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. These two receive a good amount of targets on a weekly basis and provide safe floors. In fact, they represent 46 percent of Tom Brady’s targets this season. While these are unique situations, taking this approach allows you to create unique lineups and be contrarian. The majority of the people will take one or the other and are hesitant to roster both. This only makes sense in scenarios like I mentioned before and once you’ve taken matchup, price, Vegas lines, and potential game flow into consideration. You also have to be aware that taking this approach limits your upside, because if the team doesn’t do as well as planned, you then have three players with a capped ceiling that week.
That’s all for this week. Good luck to all in Week 10!