This past week in DFS was the very definition of a mixed bag when it came to my roster construction.
My typical approach is to weigh three factors: talent, opportunity and matchup. I don't want to get too much in the weeds here, but I give the greatest weight to opportunity. In other words, how many times are my skill-position players going to touch the ball?
At running back, I need 20-25 touches. At wide receiver, it's a bit of a sliding scale depending on salary, but my high-priced guys should see 8-10-plus targets, mid-priced wideouts 6-8, and lower priced wideouts at least five.
There are always exceptions, of course. If you listened to this week's Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football podcast, you heard my co-host, Kyle Nabors, give the argument to play Tarik Cohen instead of Jordan Howard. Cohen rarely touches the ball more than 10 times a game, but he's always interesting for tournaments because of his talent to create explosive plays. Kyle's words stuck with me after the podcast, and once Isaiah Crowell was officially active on Sunday, I pivoted off Bilal Powell to Cohen, who cost $100 more.
And, 24.1 points later, that process worked. So did the process for Jameis Winston (play QBs against Atlanta until further notice), James Conner, Ezekiel Elliott, Tyler Boyd, and the few Todd Gurley shares I had.
But then there were plays that just didn't work. By Sunday morning, injuries to the Browns and Washington started piling up, and I made several pivots. On the Cleveland side, I ended up with a lot of Jarvis Landry and some shares of Antonio Callaway and David Njoku. Of Baker Mayfield's 46 attempts, 31 of them went to those three players. That's a nice sized market share and it was predictable.
Unfortunately, Njoku was the only one who saw paydirt. Landry caught just two of nine targets, while Callaway caught two of 10.
I would make this play 100 times out of 100, despite the result, and that's the lesson here. Landry and Callaway are talented wideouts who we knew would get opportunities, in a matchup that wasn't terrible. It's a good process that didn't work out.
The Browns get Tampa Bay this week. I'm playing Mayfield and having some exposure to Landry and Njoku, and Callaway if Rashad Higgins remains out.
Washington was in a similar injury situation at their skill positions on Sunday morning, and left me wondering, who does Alex Smith throw the ball to against Carolina?
The tight end, where the Panthers had given up two touchdowns and almost 200 yards in the past three games.
Jordan Reed was my play.
Alex Smith then threw a touchdown to Vernon Davis.
Reed ended with a team-high nine targets, but couldn't convert it into more than 36 yards.
Again, I would make that play 100 times out of 100.
Trust your process, and if it's sound, variance won't get you every week.