NFL DFS

2019 NFL DFS Chalk Talk Week 11

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Welcome class to Week 11 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 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 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 = 54% Pass, 32% Meh, 14% Take

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

Take Projection = 20% Pass, 33% Meh, 47% Take

Week 10 In Review

Week 10 was pretty good for me. Despite pivoting up from Kyler to Jameis in cash at the 11th hour, it was still an excellent line overall.

Week 10 was pretty polarizing in the sense that there was a narrow range of positive outcomes.  This meant that despite our projections being overly optimistic and being generally pretty off on the week, we still did well because we happened to nail the small amount of chalk that did pay off.

I imagine this upcoming week there should be a more diverse range of big scoring plays so it should be business as usual.

2019 NFL DFS Chalk Talk Week 11

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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

QB was one of the lone bright spots where we only missed on Brees and Mahomes. If we were to redo the week over again, I’d still comfortably list both as they were originally labeled. That was easily Bree’s worst game in recent years and the extent of Mahomes’ injury combined with his price tag made pursuing the other smash spot guys who were healthy much better options.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens – Take

#1 projected QB on the slate in what is a deceptively easy matchup. As always, he’s a nightmare for stacking and probably works best naked instead of in stacks.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – Take

A few years ago people would be scared off of Brees after his awful game last week. Now it’s 2019 and people see the matchup and play him anyway.

He’s in the top five for my weekly projections and primed for a great game.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons – Pass

Away game, tough defense, possibly still hurt. Despite winning last week, he didn’t have that great a fantasy game.

Easy pass in a difficult matchup.

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans – Take

If you can’t quite afford Lamar, this is a decent consolation prize. It’s not the most difficult matchup and he could be forced to air it out plenty.

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders – Meh

Incredibly soft matchup but the volume just isn’t there. It’s very unlikely Carr piles up heavy yardage unless the Bengals manage to keep pace with the touchdowns.

Edit: despite the lack of volume, the matchup is incredibly good and he’s super cheap. I’ll be rostering him a bit in GPP but it’s more due to salary considerations and stackability concerns.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots – Meh

Narratives about pass funnels aside, this is still far from an easy matchup and it’s incredibly difficult to guess which Patriot players will be viable from week to week so stacking is problematic.

Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers – Pass

He’s cheap but he’s cheap for a reason. He hasn’t had a DFS viable showing since Week 3. However, that was against a pretty soft defense so while it’s possible he could have a good week, that’s true for any QB.

If he’s going to be chalk, I’d rather roll the dice on other cheap QBs that could easily give a good performance as well.

Running Backs

While none of our takes panned out, really none of the chalk running backs performed well so it was survivable this week even if you went with the chalk RBs. Our 3 passes were indeed all quite awful so while overly optimistic on the whole, our model was still dead-on in predicting relative value, which is nice.

Brian Hill, Atlanta Falcons – Take

He’s not in my top 10, but if you need salary relief, this is your guy. Coming in on relief last week he still got an astounding 20 touches. I don’t care if it was a grind out the clock game script, 20 touches is 20 touches.

The matchup is pretty decent as well.

Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets – Take

He keeps getting the volume but his team has been so bad that his TDs have been missing.

Last week he got the TD but missed out on the yardage. This could be the week he finally puts it all together and stops disappointing fantasy owners.



Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers – Take

Despite being just simply good instead of great last week, CMC is always good chalk and is very unlikely to skunk you. With him, it’s always a matter of budgeting and cost-efficiency.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints – Pass

The model loves him again this week but it loved him last week as well.

TB is strong against the run, he’s clearly in a committee and unlikely to see the volume to pay off his ownership and price.

Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders – Take

This is the week for Josh Jacobs, perfect matchup and a team that already gives him massive volume. Lock and load.

Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers – Pass

The matchup is great but he’s far from a lock to get heavy volume. If he’s going to have a lot of ownership, I’m looking elsewhere.

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings – Take

The second-highest projected guy on the slate. It’s a tough matchup but the Vikings should win by double figures and he could easily get more than 20 carries once again.

Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills – Pass

Great matchup but unreliable situation. If he’s going to carry heavy ownership, I’m not flipping a coin to determine if I get more than 10 carries or not.

Wide Receivers

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WR was a mixed bag last week but even a bunch of the takes that credited with pass ratings still produced near double-digit fantasy points. They were fine performances, but just not what you look for when investing so much salary in a marquee receiver, hence when Julio, Godwin, & Evans all got passes assigned despite having decent games.  Luckily, our model took a liking to Kirk as it got more data later in the week and we upgraded him to a take (always double-check this article a few hours before lock).

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Meh

It could be a shootout but it’s not a good matchup and this is probably one of the “guess the receiver” kinds of games.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Meh

See Godwin.

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints – Take

Elite wide receiver and the top guy on the slate facing an incredibly good matchup.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons – Take (updated from pass)

The model loves him but it’s a tough matchup and his cost and ownership sets a very high bar to make rostering him worth it.

Edit: the main problem for Julio this year has been losing targets to Austin Hooper. Without Austin Hooper and a blocking TE in Stocker picking up the slack, this could be the week he finally reclaims his spot at the top of the food chain in Atlanta.

Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons – Meh (updated from take)

The cheaper and lower owned Falcon I’d prefer.

Edit: Yet my model keeps on pumping out heavy ownership of Jones and very little of Ridley so bumping him down to Meh.

Russel Gage, Atlanta Falcons – Meh (updated from take)

Highest projected player in his price range but still not even close to sniffing being a good play. Good as salary relief and not much else.

Edit: while crafting 150 lineups for MME, he rarely pops up despite my best efforts to include him so need to downgrade to meh.

D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers – Take

Great matchup, fantastic pricing and averaging 10 targets a game in the last four games.

Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers – Meh

Not nearly as productive and a good tier below Moore in my projections. Yet his price and ownership will only be slightly lower.

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnatti Bengals – Take

Absolute smash value but it certainly comes with plenty of risk.

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers – Pass

He’s cheap but that’s about it. Hard to get excited for someone just as likely to get nothing as put up a good game.

I project him for five targets as of this moment but will take a deeper look at the team situation and possibly upgrade him later in the week.

Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders – Pass

Great matchup but he has simply not been getting the target volume to justify the ownership hit unless you’re game stacking and want to pivot off Waller.

Hunter Renfrow, Oakland Raiders – Pass

Like Tyrell but everything is downgraded.

DeAndre Hopkins – Take

Gets an absurd amount of targets. Lock him in.

Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars – Meh (updated from pass)

It’s a bad matchup and a very uncertain role.

Edit: while I am skeptical about his health, it’s been argued that his skill set is ideal for this matchup. That combined with a projected seven targets and I’m happy to give him a boost up to meh. h/t u/fantasyfootballguru on reddit

Mohamed Sanu, New England Patriots – Meh

Last week got targeted a silly amount of times but it’s doubtful to be sustainable.

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins – Take (updated from meh)

It’s a tough matchup but he manages to perform decently each week.

Edit: as the week progresses my model absolutely loves him and would naturally put him in about 90% of lineups if I didn’t put in artificial exposure limits. He’s a great piece that should get plenty of volume at a low price.

Yes the matchup sucks, but it’s not that much of a barrier to hitting value when he’s this cheap.

Tight Ends

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Mark Andrews once again shows us all the fancy analytics in the world sometimes just can’t outperform throwing habits and matchups. Once again, he got third-most snaps of any tight end… on… his own… team.  Barely playing 24 snaps, he still magically got eight targets and turned them into two touchdowns. Simply amazing.

Andrews was out-snapped by more than 25 other tight ends last week (nor for the year) and yet still dominated all tight ends in fantasy production. He keeps doing it to the point that maybe I just gotta toss out all normal projection metrics for Andrews and lock him in.

Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints – Meh

He’s cheap and in a good matchup but can’t be relied upon for heavy volume of targets.

Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens – Pass

If he somehow performs well again this week then I’ll just ignore the model and all logic and give him an automatic take each week.

Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders – Take

Great spot to perform but it seems as if defenses are keying in on him now as his volume is dropping. Something tells me the Bengals defense is going to be overwhelmed to do anything about shutting anyone down.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers – Take

Cheap and played the entire game last week. He’s proving that he’s back despite his week to week inconsistencies.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles – Pass

I’m still a little skeptical the old Zach Ertz is back and against the NE defense, I’m happy to let other people pay the price to find out.



O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Meh

He’s still cheap and facing a difficult matchup. I’ll go here for salary relief in game stacks but he needs to show me something before I buy into him being a big part of the passing game again.


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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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