We have one last 4 game EU + NA slate starting Friday morning (it does look like there should be some 4 game NA only slates next week). We’re now really approaching the end of the group stage, and teams are starting to either clinch or get eliminated from playoff contention. While I don’t think this should impact the gameplay in terms of effort, it could impact map choice or even playcalls within games. Teams may want to test some new strategies in mostly meaningless games. The games are:
Mouz (51% implied win probability) vs Spirit
Faze (70%) vs NiP
Astralis (70%) vs Fnatic
Liquid (76%) vs Cloud 9
Couple of player notes today. First, for god knows what reason, DK left es3tag out of the player pool. He’s started 4 straight and there is no reason to expect he won’t start tomorrow. Bubzkji is likely the player who will sit (as he has the last 4) so play him at your own risk. I won’t have him in any lineups myself.
The 2nd note is that Nawwk is taking a break for medical leave. It doesn’t appear to be anything serious, but with NiP all but eliminated from playoff contention there’s no reason to risk it turning into something serious. In steps Threat, the NiP coach. Threat is 32 years old and hasn’t played professionally since 2016. Even when he played professionally he wasn’t all that good, with a career kills per round of .53 and deaths per round of .67. NiP are effectively playing this game 4v5 (and the odds definitely strongly reflect this).
Pricing is fairly loose on this slate. Faze in particular are super cheap with the exception of NiKo. DK must have taken their time machine back to April when they priced him because he’s the most expensive player on the slate ($10.0k) despite averaging the 18th highest fantasy points per round over the past 3 months. Broky is basically tied with him in that stat yet comes in at only $7.4k. Faze to be super high owned as a team, beyond probably only Liquid.
As is tradition, Liquid has 2 players who are priced up, and then 3 who are cheap. Why is this the case? I have no idea. Twistzz remains criminally underpriced at only $7.4k, as he has the 2nd high fp/r on the team (trailing Elige) over the past month (I don’t really look at 3 month data right now for Liquid because the complection of the team changed drastically with the addition of Grim/loss of Nitro. They’ve played a ton of counterstrike since then so I’m not overly worried about small sample sizes). On the other hand their is Grim. He somehow still has a 3 month fp/r of .82, an elite mark carried by his Triumph days. His 1 month fp/r though? .46. He’s the bottom fantasy performer on Liquid (just behind Stewie) during that period. His 3 month mark still carries his projections though, so he’s likely to come in with decent ownership. I haven’t decided whether I am going to fully fade him yet or simply limit him to somewhere in the 5-10% range (I am definitely not playing him at cpt), but either way I plan on coming in well under the field on Grim. He’ll be my least owned player on Liquid.
Astralis also come in pretty underpriced across the board. Of course, es3tag has been one of their best performers, so not being able to play him is really unfortunate. All have plenty of Device, Magisk, and Dupreeh Friday, with a little bit of Glaive mixed in. As I mentioned in a previous article, Glaive’s 1 month and 3 month stats are the same since he just came back from being on break, and both consist of a small sample size. The stats have normalized a bit so he’s not way overprojected any more, but he is the clear bottom fragger most of the time on this team. Since he doesn’t come at a discount, I prefer the other 3 that are actually on the slate.
The cat is out of the bag on Mouz being a not bad, dare I say good, actual Counterstrike team after their 2-0 victory over Complexity the other day. They still project terribly for fantasy, although their stats are starting to rise a tiny bit. Ropz should carry some decent ownership, but the rest of the squad should still come in low. With how cheap they are, I don’t mind mixing in some Bymas, Frozen, or even ChrisJ in stacks.
On the other side of that matchup, Spirit are priced like they are the favorites even though they are a coinflip/trending towards being an underdog in the matchup. That should keep their ownership down a little, but I’m still not crazy about the play here. I’ll have a few Spirit lineups, but I think there are better spots to target (all of the team’s I’ve already mentioned) on Friday. *UPDATE* I’ve actually come fully around on this to where I now like Spirit better than Faze as a play, and I’ll have plenty of them. Mir and iDisbalance in particular project really well and should they win here are likely to have excellent scores. Also FaZe are simply not good right now so even with NiP’s coach playing I think it’s closer than the line indicates.
NiP is obviously in a tough spot as a team, with their coach stepping in to play. There are a couple ways this could go. The most likely scenario is they get stomped by FaZe in effectively a 4v5. However, FaZe have looked truly awful lately themselves. NiP will likely send Threat in as a human sacrifice to gather information/be bait, which could set up the rest of their players to have strong games. Look for Twist to be back on his awp, which should really help him from a fantasy perspective. I think NiP has a better chance than the odds are giving them to keep this close enough to put up good fantasy scores, so I’ll definitely come in over the field here (don’t play Threat though, he is likely to have one of the worst fantasy performances in DK history).
I have very limited interest in either Fnatic of Cloud 9. Astralis are back in top form and Fnatic, well they aren’t. I’ll have almost no exposure to Fnatic Friday. Cloud 9 a little bit interesting, as oSee and Floppy have both shown they can put up numbers even in a loss, and provide nice salary relief. I’ll definitely have a few one-offs of each and maybe a few stacks.
We went from a slate with 3 (maybe 5 depending on who you ask) of the top fantasy players in the world to a slate where none of the favorites have a single clear cut top performer except for Mouz/Spirit, but that game is a coin flip. From Faze it’s likely to be either Broky or NiKo who top frags, but from Astralis it could be literally anyone, although Glaive is least likely. Same goes for team Liquid, but in their case with Grim and Stewie being least likely.
My two favorite captains are actually Ropz and mir. My hope is that since the game is a coinflip, most players will towards captains from the “safer” teams, However, both Mouz and Spirit have a much more concentrated kill share than any of the favorites. For Mouz it’s the Ropz show and for Spirit it’s the mir with a side of Idisbalance show. Whoever ends up winning, their best player has a really good shot at putting up the best score on the slate.
I’ll mix in some Broky and Niko from Faze; Some Device, Magisk, and Dupreeh from Astralis; and some Elige, NAF, and Twistzz from Liquid.
Lastly, in my NiP lineups, my hope is that Nawwks kills will flow towards Plopski, Rez, and or Twist. I don’t know if I’ll actually captain Twist as just having him in the flex will be leverage, but I’ll definitely have a bit of Plopski and Rez.
That’s it for me, good luck on Friday!