Friday brings us yet another 4 game slate from ESL Pro League. It’s still 3 EU games and 1 NA. The games are:
Navi (60% implied win probability) vs Ence
BiG (65%) vs OG
Heroic (78%) vs AGO
EG (73%) vs 100T
Pricing for Friday is back to being pretty tight. To make lineups with only favorites you pretty much have to use at least at least one 4th/5th fragger from a team.
Heroic come into the slate as the cheapest favorite, and also the biggest favorite. That my friends, is a recipe for chalk. I expect all 3 of Niko, Teses, and Stavn to be over 30%, maybe even 40%, and Cadian in the mid 20’s. They are definitely a good play as they should win and all 4 of those players score decently well, but in tournaments I’m going to try to play more of some of the other favorites simply for ownership leverage and potentially a bit more upside, as Heroic does spread the points around pretty often.
One of those teams where the points are a lot more concentrated is Navi. S1mple is still under $10k, which means he’s still a good play. His fantasy points per round over the past 3 months are way higher than anyone else on the slate except for mhL, and mhL is of course on the biggest underdog on the slate. Last time we saw S1mple, his ownership was definitely suppressed by a lack of value, he came in at just over 30% in the big GPP. I’d expect a bit higher than that Friday after he put up a monster score last time around, but probably still only 40% or so. Electronic is still too cheap at only $7.8k. He has the 6th best fp/r over the past 3 months on the slate, but is tied for the 9th most expensive player, and 2 of the players with better fp/r are actually cheaper than he is because they are on huge underdogs (mhL and jks). Now, if you want to fit both S1mple and Electronic that means you need to find value somewhere. There’s only a couple places you can look. You don’t want to go to Ence of course as that’s Navi’s opponent. That leaves only OG for teams that aren’t massive underdogs. I expect the Navi/OG pairing to be extremely popular because of this. I plan to mix my Navi exposure mostly with Ago and 100T for this reason. The other thing worth pointing out is that Flamie is priced as the cheapest Navi player, all the way down at $5.4k. He is Navi’s 3rd best player. It’s an incredibly distant 3rd, but if they win he should put up 50-60 points with upside for a bit more. With the tight pricing that may actually be enough on Friday, so I actually don’t hate the Navi 3 stack even on a 4 game slate. I’ll be running it a little bit myself.
BiG have struggled a bit of late, and are the 2nd smallest favorite on the slate, yet have 3 guys priced at $8.6k or higher. I expect them to be the least owned favorite, and I’ll definitely try my best to come in over the field here. All 3 of Xantares, Tabsen, and Syrson are strong plays, although fitting 2 of them is definitely challenging.
EG find themselves as the 2nd biggest favorite, yet the 2nd cheapest. All 3 of Cerq, Brehze, and Ethan find themselves priced under the big 3 of BiG. I expect them to be the 2nd most popular team on the slate, and Ethan possibly the most popular individual player. He has been on point lately, averaging the 3rd most fp/r in the past 3 months on the whole slate. Yet much like Electronic, he comes in at only $7.8k, tied for 9th on the slate. I plan on fading Ethan for the most part. I think he’ll be overowned, and I have a hard time believing that after years of he, Cerq, and Brehze playing together he has suddenly surpassed the other two. I’ll have more of those two than Ethan in my EG lineups.
Even some of the underdogs aren’t really priced down on Friday. All of Allu, Mantuu, and Valde are at $7k or higher, so you barely get any savings there. Issa and Jamppi are priced down, and I expect both to be pretty popular salary savers. For that reason I’ll be mostly staying away myself, as their ownership will likely be higher than their chances to have a tournament winning performance. I am personally going to be running a lot of 1 offs of mhL. His insane stats haven’t come from beating up on lesser competition, AGO has only won 53% of their maps in the last 3 months while mhL has a .80 fp/r over that time period, good for 2nd on the slate. Even if they lose mhL could put a good enough score to pay off his $6.6k salary. I’ll have a few AGO stacks in case they keep it competitive enough to score close to Heroic. If they can do that I should gain a massive edge on the field, as I already mentioned how popular Heroic is likely to be. I’ll also be running a bit 100T lineups. While I don’t expect them to win, I do think they are too big of underdogs in their matchup with EG. This is a solid team and they’re being given odds akin to a T2 team. The odds should help keep their ownership super low, as they are priced right along the underdogs with better odds.
S1mple is once again my favorite captain on the slate. His upside is much higher than anyone else, and he should come in fairly low owned in the captain slot yet again. You’ll need to use some combination of Flamie and/or AGO/100T (or OG, specifically ISSA, but I am going to try to stay away from that) to make it work, but I’m happy to do that. I also think Electronic cpt with S1mple flex is a good play. If Electronic can score even close to S1mple the savings are worth it, I’ll have a few lineups with that setup. While I’m willing to play Flamie because of his price, I just can’t stomach Flamie cpt, his upside is just too low to take down a big tournament.
Between S1mple and all the cheaper favorites, captain ownership from BiG should be almost non-existant. Xantares, Syrson, and Tabsen are all fine captain plays, and I’ll have a little bit of each.
I already mentioned I am planning on fading Heroic, so while no one except Borup from them is a “bad” captain play, I won’t have any myself. Their collective ownership will likely be very high and I would rather go other places for my upside Friday.
From EG, the same logic as above applies to Ethan, but I will run some Cerq and Brehze captain. Their ownership should be fairly low, and they have huge upside.
My favorite underdog captain is mhL. If they can keep it close or even beat Heroic, he’s likely to have one of the best scores on the slate, he’s cheap, and should have very low ownership. In my 100T lineups, I’ll also run a little jks captain. That’s all I’m going to run for underdogs, but all of Mantuu, Valde, and Allu make for solid plays if you believe their teams are going to win/keep it close.
That’s it for today, good luck Friday!