Welcome! Today marks the 1 year anniversary of when I wrote my first articles for TESD. I want to say thanks to each and every reader over the past year, I really appreciate all your support. Hopefully I’ve helped you win a bit of cash. Let’s try to keep that going into my 2nd year with TESD, as Thursday brings us a 4 game CSGO slate from IEM Cologne. Lock is at 10:45 am EDT, and the games are:

G2 (63% implied win probability) vs Complexity

Big (52%) vs VP

Vitality (63%) vs Furia

Navi (87%) vs Renegades

Sub Risk/Roster Changes

Don’t play Junior of Flamie. None of these teams sub.

Slate Analysis

This slate is absolutely loaded with studs. They studs feel a bit underpriced, but then there are also a ton of players priced in the midrange. Value in the $6.5k range or less is pretty scarce, particularly amongst the favorites. I prefer a fairly balanced roster construction today. I’ll of course take a few shots on the underdogs, but for the most part I’ll be trying to fit a stud or two and then a bunch of the middle priced guys.

More often than not, that “stud or two” will be Zywoo and/or S1mple. These guys are simply head and shoulders above the field in terms of FP/r, yet they’re priced right alongside the other studs. It’s like if there were 2 Jacob Degrom’s (who weren’t on pitch counts) and they were priced the same as non-sticky stuff Gerrit Cole. Sure, he’s still good, but he should never be priced close to Degrom. However, what that mispricing will do is keep Cole’s ownership low. Even if he only outscores Degrom 20/100 times, those 20 times if you have him in GPP’s over Degrom you’re set up for a ton of success. On this slate, guys like Niko, Xantares, Hunter, Electronic, and Kscerato are in the “Cole” position of the analogy I just made. If you’re building the “optimal” lineup you’re never going to use them over S1mple or Zywoo, but when you start to consider ownership and the best path to win a tournament, they become a lot more intriguing. I like all 5 of them as GPP pivots to S1mple and Zywoo.

Now in order to fit whichever stud or two you decide to play, you’re going to need some value. Like I mentioned, there are not a ton of underpriced guys on favorites Thursday. In my model, Tabsen, Perfecto, Boombl4, and Apex are the top rated “value” plays from favorites. Tabsen I actually inherently like, he’s an explosive player who has big upside, but the rest are mostly in play because of the lack of value. Even then Boombl4 is the cheapest at $6.2k, which is really not all that cheap. Because of that, I’m likely going to force a bunch of exposure to underdogs.

I’ll have some exposure to each of the 3 underdogs that aren’t Renegades. Renegades I’m really only interested in for one-offs or maybe a couple of stacks in MME. I was a little surprised when I saw that VP were underdogs to Big. Both teams haven’t been great lately, but I suppose VP have struggled a little more than Big. Jame is still Jame though, he’s going to get his kills and he’s going to run and hide when his teammates die. This is great for DFS as he is probably the safest player on the slate. He almost never has a truly bad game. I like him as a one-off and in VP stacks. As for his stack partner(s), I’m still looking to Yekindar. He has a brutal KD over the past 3 months (and past month) but if VP wins it’s likely because he has a good game. I have no interest in him at all as a one-off but I want him in nearly all my VP stacks.

I was also surprised to see that Col had the same odds to beat G2 as Furia did to beat Vitality. I don’t think either are off by that much, G2 should probably be more like 60/40 and Vitality should be more like 67/33, but it still struck my as odd. BlameF is pretty cheap and hopefully won’t get that much ownership since Col are underdogs. K0nfig is also on an absolute tear lately. He’s 4th on the slate in 1 month FP/r, trailing only S1mple, INS (whose games have primarily been in Australia) and Zywoo. I really like the two of them as a stack on this slate. Furia have basically turned back into the team they were in early 2020 in terms of FP/r. Kscerato and Yuurih are the clear top guys, while arT, Vini, and Honda lag behind. Now, it is worth noting that since Junior was benched, arT has been awping a lot more, and his FP/r has come up from .51 over 3 months to .61 over 1 month. Him, Yuurih, and Kscerato are the 3 Furia players I’m interested in, even in stacks.

One more random thing before I jump down to captains, don’t sleep on Misutaaa. He’s been a bonafide stud lately, he’s all the way up to 7th on the slate in FP/r over the past month. He’s ahead of guys like Yuurih, Niko, and Xantares. I think this is real too, and not just an extended fluke. Vitality have clearly switched roles around, and Misutaaa is being given his chance to shine, and boy is he seizing it.

Top Captains

I’m fine with either mid-range or studs at captain tonight. I think there’s merit to a 1 stud lineup with that stud at captain and a 2 stud lineups with a cheaper guy at captain.

S1mple and Zywoo are the obvious captain plays, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of each. Keep in mind that even though it’s a 4 game slate they’re going to be high owned, so make sure to differentiate somewhere else in your lineup if you play either at captain.

In the midrange I really like Misutaaa, K0nfig, Kscerato, and BlameF. All 4 guys can put up the top score on the slate if they bring their A game. I also like Tabsen a bit, as he’s fairly cheap and on a favorite. He too can have huge games, and actually leads the team in FP/r over the past month.

I don’t love anyone at a true “value” captain, so I’m going to do my best to stay away. You might see an Apex or Boombl4 lineup slip through from me, but with so many studs on the slate and the value being pretty bad fantasy players, I’m not super interested. I may also have a couple of Poizon captain lineups, or even arT because as I mentioned he’s been on the rise now that he’s back on the AWP, but I won’t have more than 10-20% of my lineups as a true “value” captain.

That’s it for me, good luck on Thursday!

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