Friday brings us what should be another 3 game slate from ESL. We have 2 EU games followed by 1 NA game scheduled for the afternoon. I say scheduled because it’s definitely a possibility that EG/Furia gets postponed as a part of the protests against police brutality and systemic racism here in the US. Obviously the significance of our Draftkings lineups pales in comparison to the protests, but it’s definitely something I will keep an eye on, and probably make several 3/3 stacks from the EU games as a just in case. The games are:
G2 (64% implied win probability) vs OG
Astralis (66%) vs NiP
EG (60%) vs Furia
From a strictly team perspective the pricing on Friday makes sense, the favorites are priced up, the underdogs are priced down. However, when you look within some of the teams, things get a little weird. I’ll dive into the specifics in a minute, but from a high level this means that underdogs are likely to go underowned, especially now that we are into the playoffs and as the odds show these teams are much closer in skill than some of the early round matchups. It also means that the mispriced players are going to create mega-chalk on the guys who are underpriced and virtually no ownership on the guys who are overpriced.
Let’s start with Astralis, as they have by far the worst pricing on the slate. This reminds me of when CS:GO first came out and Draftkings seemed to be picking numbers out of a hat to determine the pricing within teams. Device at $10k, sure that makes sense. It’s a little high compared to the top players on the other favorites but he is the top fantasy scorer over the past 3 months for Astralis. es3tag at $9.2k and the 2nd highest player on the slate though??? He has been the worst (by far, .14 behind 4th, granted the raw number of .65 isn’t bad Astralis have just been really good and it’s a tiny sample size) fantasy performer in the 2 matches Astralis have played since he officially joined the team. I expect him to come in with virtually no ownership as everyone will flock to Device or his cheaper teammates. Those cheaper teammates include Bubzkji at $7.6k and Dupreeh at $6.8k. All 4 non-es3tag players have been between .79 and .83 fantasy points per round in their 1st 2 matches with this group of players, yet Bubzkji, Dupreeh, and Magisk are all way less expensive than Device. Magisk’s 3 month numbers still aren’t great, as he really struggled to frag when he took over as IGL so I get his $7.8k price, but both Bubzkji and Dupreeh being this cheap makes no sense. I expect both to carry very high ownership, both in the flex and captain slot. They are hard to avoid if you play Astralis lineups, but pivoting to es3tag if you can afford it will definitely differentiate your lineups. Personally, I plan to eat the chalk in my Astralis lineups and try to differentiate elsewhere.
The other team that has 1 glaring “error” is EG. I asked this as a trivia in our Discord today and we were probably 10+ guesses deep (out of 30 on the slate) before someone (shoutout Hodge) guessed correctly, but the top player in fp/r on the slate over the past 3 months? None other than Ethan from EG. You wouldn’t know based on his price though, as he sits at $7.2k, 11th on the slate and a full $1k behind teammate Cerq (and $800 behind Brehze). Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s going to be as sneaky as say arT was a couple of times recently, as everywhere I’ve looked has his projections reflecting his superb play of late. I expect him to have a ton of ownership, but again in my EG lineups I’ll have plenty of him too.
G2’s pricing looks pretty much accurate, and pricing for the underdogs doesn’t really matter because you can fit whoever you want when you play them. So the question really boils down to, which underdogs do I want to play? The short answer is all of them, as I’ll likely be over the field on all 3. I think most people will turn to Furia if they play an underdog. Furia has the best odds to win, and typically scores a lot of fantasy points when they win. I’ll try to pivot away from the field, and play more OG and NiP.
Ethan will likely come in as the highest owned captain on the slate. He’s definitely been playing really well recently, but this core has been together for a lonnnnng time. He’s been playing with Cerq and Brehze dating back to the beginning of 2018 in their NRG days. That’s forever in the gaming world. Do I really think he just suddenly flipped a switch and is now the best player out of that trio? Not really. It’s possible with the new coach that he’s just being put into better positions to succeed, but I am personally going to bet on some regression to the averages here. I’ll have plenty of Ethan in my flex, but give me Brehze or Cerq at lower ownership as my captains from EG on Friday.
On the other side of that matchup, Furia’s scoring is truly all over the place. arT now leads the team over the past 3 months, while Vini leads them over the past month. That is not a sentence I ever thought I would type, but it is 2020 after all. Vini in particular seems to become a god on Inferno, and I would expect that to be one of the maps in this series, as it is the most played map for both teams over the last 3 months (both have strong win rates). I don’t expect any of these players to have high captain ownership, and I’ll probably stay away from Vini and arT in this series. I expect Vini to return to earth sooner or later and even if Furia wins I don’t expect his hyper-aggression to be as effective against EG as it is the lesser teams in the region.
Going back the the EU games, from Astralis I expect Bubz to carry quite a bit of captain ownership. I’ll certainly have some, but I prefer either Dupreeh or Device. I think Dupreeh will go overlooked as everyone flocks to the shiny new toy in Bubz, and Device is just about the only cost prohibitive player to captain on the slate. I’ll be sure to force him into some lineups in the captain slot.
On the other side of that matchup I’ll run either Plopski or Nawwk in my captain slot. I’ll probably only have a few lineups of either as the team tends to be lower scoring as a whole and spreads the points they do score around quite a bit.
From G2, Nexa has been the best player over the past 3 months and since the player break ended. I expect Hunter to get more attention in the captain spot, as he’s the bigger name, so I love Nexa as a captain play on Friday. I may have 1 or 2 lineups of KennyS captain, but he hasn’t shown much fantasy upside of late.
From OG, it’s Mantuu or Valde at captain for me. Valde has been the best player of late although Mantuu retains the top fp/r mark over the last 3 months. If they pull off the upset look for a big score from one or both of these guys.
That’s it for today’s article, good luck Friday!