Daily Fantasy Sports

2019 NFL DFS Chalk Talk Week 10

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Welcome class to Week 10 of the 2019 NFL DFS Chalk Talk symposium!

This is our new weekly installment where I’ll discuss the chalky options and whether or not I believe they are worth rostering in GPP formats.

It is not a list of my favorite plays.

This is not a list of guys I don’t like.

Chalk is chalk for a reason. That reason is chalk is good.

There’s a lot of “bad chalk” that is still a must in cash even if I think they are bad GPP options.

Chalk 101

If we knew the results of outcomes, ownership wouldn’t matter and we’d just choose the highest-scoring lineup. But since none of us really know what the optimal lineup will be, it’s probably better to choose the player who will have less ownership where we share the prize with fewer people if he goes off.

For perspective, Yahoo will give 1 million dollars out to anyone who manages to submit a perfect lineup in their freeroll. They’ve been doing this for years now. Hundreds of thousands of lineups have been submitted into the Yahoo Cup each week and not once has anyone had a perfect lineup. Hence, why they feel so comfortable offering out that free million because they know that it’s extremely unlikely anyone will ever do it.

Since we can’t possibly know what makes a good lineup, we should at least submit the best possible one but hedge a little and try to get some guys who won’t be too popular along the way.

A Note About This Article

There’s going to be a lot of breaking news coming out in the next 24+ hours that will drastically change the definition of which players are or aren’t chalk. You should view this as a living article. We will be updating this report as more information becomes available.  This is especially true if you’re reading this before Sunday morning so if it’s not Sunday, bookmark and come back for an update.

This is not meant to be for any specific site since relative pricing varies quite a bit site to site. Furthermore, in GPP, the relative price of an individual isn’t that big a deal. If they are not efficiently priced on certain sites then that’ll help them be chalk, but for the most part, it really doesn’t matter if someone is the 4th most expensive QB or the 9th most expensive QB in regards to dramatically shaping GPP ownership.

We’re simply going to look at the players who I’ve seen get a lot of mentions and expect to be popular plays. It’s really hard to project who will be chalk and who won’t be. Even the sites that sell projections are still wildly inaccurate. So when in doubt, I’ll have too many guys listed than too few.

Year In Review

Here is a google doc with a review of the accuracy of all the predictions as well as each prediction and result as well.

I’ll be updating it each week.

For the year, these are the results.

Pass Projection = 52% Pass, 33% Meh, 15% Take

Meh Projection = 33% Pass, 42% Meh, 25% Take

Take Projection = 19% Pass, 34% Meh, 47% Take

Week 9 In Review

Week 9 was my best cash line to date. I managed to get in all the right pieces and it outscored the several dozen gpp lines I made altogether. Overall, it was a pretty good slate but it was a roller coaster through and through.

I had several lines do very well and finished as high as 8th in one gpp with several thousand players. Going into the final minutes of the slate, I still had several lines in the top 10 until the Seattle game went into OT and the Wilson and Metcalf chalk racked up the points with little left for the guys I had. It was a very demoralizing 50k swing but that’s DFS and on to another day.

The reason why it’s important to roll with these punches is my greatest week ever came on an overtime myself. I had rostered a ragamuffin by the name of Bilal who’d done basically nothing the entire game and then just went off in the 4th quarter, got a TD to send the game into OT and then grabbed another to secure the win and many first place finishes for yours truly. I wasn’t even paying attention, think I was playing softball or something and the next day when I went to check results was very surprised by a much larger number in my account.

My point is that we can’t get upset over these things, that 50k profit last week was never mine, I just allowed myself to believe it could have been if a few things managed to continue going well for me. I see a lot of anger and toxicity in DFS where people complain about making the wrong pivot, someone sitting out, or OT costing them money… but it’s important to remember these random acts are exactly why we both play and enjoy this game very much.

If you can’t handle the downswings in variance then perhaps you shouldn’t be playing a game that only exists due to these swings. In the end, I had some fun along the way and that’s what it should be all about.

2019 NFL DFS Chalk Talk Week 10

Click here for free updated NFL DFS projections and to take advantage of our free optimizer!

Note: I’ve been especially busy with work lately, this early one will be heavily data-dependent. I promise to come back later and expand upon the reasoning behind the original takes (and may even amend them once I look at the data first hand).

Quarterbacks

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Week 9 was excellent for us as we nailed QB once again going perfect with the exception of Rodgers and Rivers as mehs both failing badly enough to be passes.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers – Pass

It’s a tough matchup and Rodgers hasn’t exactly been wowing anyone this year. He’s a decent play because he could always have a huge game but Green Bay is happy to grind games out this year despite having an elite QB.

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Take

Excellent matchup. He’s in my top five this week.

I have always loved Jameis in DFS and this week will be no different.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – Take

Brees is back baby! Third best QB overall on the week according to my projections.

My only concern here is that it’s a blowout and they play it cautiously with his usage in the second half.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons – Pass

Health and matchup are both no bueno.

Even if healthy, Ryan is not even in the top 15 this week. Easy pass.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs – Meh

Tempted to make this a pass due to health concerns.

Model does project him as top QB if he’s healthy though…

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens – Take

Great matchup. He’s in my top five once again.

Only issue here is who do you pair him with and how you do you afford it?

Running Backs

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We had a pretty mixed bag last week with running backs. Our three takes had a pass, a meh and take so that’s not good at all. We also gave Jacobs and Henry a meh whereas they performed at take level. The rest were accurate but I feel very strongly it’s more important to get a take right than a pass or a meh.

Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets – Take

Decent matchup. At some point the volume he’s been receiving is going to translate to TDs. When that happens it’s going to be magical.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers – Take

CMC is always good chalk. It’s never a matter of him being good, it’s a matter of being able to find cheap pieces to be able to afford him.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints – Pass

Full disclosure, the model loves him. I’m still passing because it seems like he’ll be on a pitch count.

Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons – Pass

He’s cheap but in a bad matchup and uncertain timeshare.

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If it seems like Ito will miss another week then he’s going to get upgraded to meh.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants – Meh

His talent is undeniable but the production has been lacking. The matchup is also deceptively difficult.

Model loves him and has him in the top five but I think this is a reach for CMC or spend down week.

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts – Take (site-specific)

How many points receptions give determines whether he’s a take or a meh. But… he’s still poised to get enough yardage and TD equity anyway to be a decent play anywhere.

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Meh

He’s cheap and in a good spot but far from a lock.

Sure, he’s supplanted Barber as the top back but still only got 53% of snaps last game. We don’t need any further reminders how unreliable any RB is either on or facing Tampa.

David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals – Pass

I can’t seriously believe he might be chalk but I pray he is.

I believe in DJ, I actually have a number of season long prop bets on him. But I don’t trust him this week to have any sort of impact role regardless of whatever any coach may say.

Wide Receivers

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WR had it’s moments last week but also let us down in a couple spots as well. We were pretty wrong on a couple takes like Allen Robinson and Keenan Allen. Overall, probably our worst performance in predictions all year.

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Take

Elite receiver in a great matchup.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Take

See Godwin. Last week I followed a narrative but got some great advice from someone I deeply respect that narratives can change but talent remains.

Going forward, Evans and Godwin are likely going to be getting identical ratings.

Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers – Take (updated from Meh)

He seemed healthy last week but production was lacking, this requires a deeper look later in the week.

Edit: We’ve looked. 83% of snaps last week was a little less than normal but still a healthy amount. He also received 11 targets.

The main issue here was the passes he caught were very short. But so we’re the rest of Rodgers throws that day as well. This seems more like a reaction to the defense than a new offensive philosophy.

The model isn’t all that high on him (barely top 10) but I think a lot of that has to do with missed time and recent poor performance. I’m manually moving him up to a take here, especially at the sites where his pricing is drastically cut.

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints – Take

Elite receiver in a great matchup. #1 projected receiver on the slate. This is the safest receiver out there and his cost and ownership reflect that.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons – Pass (updated from Meh)

Sanu departure and QB situation requires a deeper look.

Edit: It’s only one week but it seems Julio’s snap count remains unchanged with the departure of Sanu.

While the model still loves Julio, it’s a difficult matchup, his QB may not play and he’s not even the clear top option in the passing game anymore.

Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons – Take

The cheaper and lower owned Atlanta option. Calvin was the main beneficiary of Sanu’s departure. He’s going to be uber popular, but if I’m game stacking, this is the most probable Falcon piece I’ll be grabbing.

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals – Take (updated from Meh)

The matchup is good but don’t think he can be trusted.

Edit: My lack of faith in him was grossly incorrect. Kirk is out there basically the entire game. He still gets inconsistent targets but the fewest he’s gotten all year is still a robust five.

Accounting for how juicy the game is and how cheap he can be acquired, I’ve updated his status to take.

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals – Pass

The matchup is good but wouldn’t even trust him as much as Kirk.

Edit: Larry stays on the field as much as Kirk but he hasn’t had more than four targets for three straight games now. He’s also 36 years old.

D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers – Take (updated from Meh)

Decent matchup. Comes in cheap. Plays 94% of snaps to Samuel’s 75%.  The TDs will come eventually.

Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers – Pass

Not even in my top 25, this warrants a further look into why.

Edit: He’s seeing reduced usage and inconsistent targets. He’s coming in cheap but there are a half dozen other cheap options with lower ownership that my model prefers.

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts – Pass

The heir apparent in Indy is already being priced as if he were bonafide rather than a contender.

Edit: 94% of snaps is impressive, he’s clearly the top wideout for the Colts. Having said that, how much is that really worth when Brian Hoyer is tossing the rock in a game where they will likely try to grind it out?

Tight Ends

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We’d been ignoring the data and embracing the talent on Ertz all year and were punished for it. Finally the model comes around, agrees that he’s no longer elite and he then goes and has the best performance of any TE that week. DFS is hard folks.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs – Take

It’s Kelce, relax. Top option on the slate once again regardless of whether or not Mahomes plays.

He’s a lock for 8+ targets and has a very safe floor to go with a huge ceiling.

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons – Take

I’m done underestimating how badly the Falcons want to make him the focus of the passing game.

Model likes him too as well, projecting him for seven targets and in the top 5 tight ends.

Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints – Pass

Cook is not good at fantasy this year. Not projected for the top 10 even. He’s had three games of three or less targets. That’s terrible.

I don’t care if Brees is back. Cook is not a focal part of this offense. One simply does not roster chalk if it’s not the focal point of the offense.

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts – Take

Not the safest but super cheap and best of the cheap options. He’s barely in the top 10 though so make sure you eat this chalk to get someone else and not because you actually want Doyle.

Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens – Pass

Nope, he drops plenty of passes and doesn’t play a dominant snap count as he’s part of a three-headed monster at TE for the Ravens.



He’s also coming off a three target game where he played 34% of snaps. Boyle played 84% and Hurst played 41% for comparison.


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About DFSx42

DFSx42 is a tech consultant who built his own models for DFS. He's a cash game specialist that primarily plays on Yahoo as "Adam" where you can see his H2Hs for every sport and every slate. Recently finished 5th overall in the Yahoo Cup, a season long DFS league with over 100k competitors. Yahoo Cup Standings

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