Welcome to the first ever slate analysis for Valorant DFS. If you’re unfamiliar with Valorant I encourage you to check out the introduction piece I wrote to give you a quick primer on the game itself. Since these teams are new to most people, I’ll give a breakdown of who plays for what team, and who the top fraggers should be. The games on Thursday start at 3pm EST, and they are:
Immortals (63% implied win probability) vs Xset
NRG (58%) vs Gen.G
Envy (70%) vs Andbox
Sentinels (71%) vs Luminosity
I do want to be clear that Vegas is not the well oiled machine when it comes to Valorant as it is for traditional sports NFL or NBA. Massive line swings are not uncommon, as Vegas is still figure out exactly how to handicap these games. For example, on Tuesday night, Gen.G was the favorite against NRG, with a 57% implied win probability. As of Wednesday at around 2pm EST that’s now swung all the way to the odds listed above, 58% implied win probability in Gen.G’s favor. It is worth noting that NRG did sweep Gen.G just a few days ago, which is likely influencing the odds being bet into their favor but didn’t seem to influence the opening line much. What I’m trying to say is, the odds here are kind of like T3 CS:GO, they’re likely to dictate ownership pretty heavily, but likely much less accurate than a traditional sport. In GPP’s especially we can use this to our advantage.
For all these teams I’m going to list each player, and then their KD in the form of [Kills per round, Deaths per round]. This should at least give everyone a baseline for who the top players are on each team, as we work towards comprehensive projections like we have for CS:GO. I’ll also list the agent(s) each member plays most often. Generally speaking, if you see someone plays Jett that usually means they are the OPer (sniper), although because the OP is $5.0k to buy while the rifles are only $2.9k, a lot of the time even the OPers end up playing quite a few rounds on rifles every game, many more than in CS:GO. Also, players who play a lot of Sage or Omen are often bomb carriers, and while that will be baked into the projections eventually, I don’t think we should spend much time looking at it when selecting players as a plant is only worth 1 kill and defuses are completely random as to who gets them. Plus there’s no guarantee that the originally intended planter actually ends up planting as they can easily die before getting the chance to plant.
One more note on the stats, I’m personally mostly using them to compare within a team. Some of these top tier teams have mostly played other top tier teams while the lesser known teams have beat up on worse competition. This might cause stats to be inflated or deflated a bit when comparing across teams.
If you played much CS:GO, particularly early on back in April and May of 2020 you’ll likely recognize a lot of these names. Many of the Valorant pros were at one time CS:GO pros, with a few coming from other games and of course some who are completely new to the pro scene. Anyways on to the teams:
jcStani – $10.7k – [.72, .71] – Omen
Genghsta – $10.9k – [.69, .61] – Sova, Sage
ShoT UP – $12.0k – [.92, .69] – Reyna, Phoenix
NaturE – $9.9k – [.78, .69] – Killjoy, Cypher
Kehmicals – $11.5k – [.82, .67] – Jett, Raze
As we can see, the top fraggers of ShoT UP and Kehmicals (OPer) are appropriately priced up, while NaturE looks a bit underpriced at only $9.9k.
PureR – $10.2k – [.85, .73] – Jett
thwifo – $8.5k – [.71, .65] – Cypher, Breach, Sage
AYRIN – $11.7k – [.76, .72] – Raze, Killjoy
BcJ – $8.3k – [.78, .67] – Sova
Wedid – $8.8k – [.72, .69] – Omen, Viper
PureR is fairly cheap for a top fragger, as for whatever reason it’s AYRIN was given the top fragger pricetage. BcJ sticks out as being underpriced in this spot.
Daps – $9.6k – [.67, .63] – Omen, Brimstone, Sage
s0m – $11.9k – [.80, .68] – Raze, Phoenix, Reyna
eeiu – $10.5k – [.82, .66] – Sova, Omen
Shanks – $11.3k – [.78, .72] – Jett
Infinite – $9.2k – [.73, .64] – Killjoy, Cypher, Skye
Pricing here overall seems decent, eeiu may be a bit cheap relative to his teammates and Infinite is also likely a bit underpriced, especially relative to Daps, who has continued his bottom fragging ways across games.
gMd – $9.4k – [.79, .67] – Omen
huynh – $10.3k – [.77, .65] – Jett, Sage
MkaeL – $8.5k – [.68, .66] – Sova
Shawn – $11.7k – [.85, .67] – Raze, Phoenix
koosta – $9.0k – [.66, .65] – Cypher
Koosta is likely to have the highest name recognition of anyone on the slate, and is cheap. However, his transition to Valorant hasn’t exactly been dominant, as he’s barely over a 1.0 KD. I’m not going to hold that against him, as he just starting playing the game seriously a month or two ago, but for now it could lead to him being overowned in these initial slates. Shawn is the play from Gen.G and gMd makes for a nice stacking partner.
mummAy – $11.1k – [.76, .64] – Jett
FNS – $9.9k – [.66, .69] – Cypher
kaboose – $11.6k – [.74, .73] – Omen
crashies – $12.0k – [.75, .65] – Skye, Sova
food – $10.6k – [.78, .67] – Sage, Phoenix
Envy are a bit of an odd team in that it’s not uncommon for them to only run Jett as a duelist (and that is the Oper). Their top riflers (crashies and food) instead play initiators or sentinels. Regardless, food looks underpriced relative to his teammates in this spot.
yay – $10.1k – [.83, .63] – Jett, Breach
ANDROID – $11.6k – [.89, .66] – Raze, Phoenix
POACH – $8.2k – [.63, .62] – Viper, Sova
seb – $8.7k – [.70, .64] – Cypher, Killjoy
b0i – $8.4k – [.67, .65] – Omen
Andbox rely heavily on their top 2 fraggers, ANDROID and yay. yay looks a bit underpriced at only $10.1k. seb might be worth a look down at $8.7k, but he’s a distant 3rd fragger for them.
ShahZaM – $9.6k – [.81, .66] – Jett
SicK – $11.8k – [.81, .63] – Phoenix, Breach, Sova
sinatraa – $11.2k – [.79, .72] – Sova, Raze
zombs – $9.2k – [.63, .66] – Omen, Brimstone
dapr – $10.5k – [.73, .66] – Cypher, Killjoy
ShahZaM is definitely underpriced here. Sentinels are the biggest favorite on the slate and he’s one of their top fraggers. I’m not going to worry too much about ownership since this is the first slate and I expect a lot of people to not know what they’re doing, so I’m going to have plenty of ShaZaM here. Really everyone except zombs is squarely in play from Sentinels.
aproto – $11.8k – [.82, .71] – Cypher, Raze
stellar – $9.4k – [.67, .65] – Omen, Sage
thief – $8.6k – [.82, .74] – Reyna, Phoenix, Jett
moose – $9.1k – [.65, .62] – Sova, Omen
YaBoiDre – $10.3k – [.77, .72] – Raze, Omen
Thief looks pretty underpriced relative to his teammates in this spot, and the agents he plays back up the idea that he is supposed to be a top fragger for this Luminosity team. He and aproto are my favorite targets here.
After looking at how the scoring works a bit more, I’ve come around a bit to the idea of game stacking. With no RNP for winning a map quickly, only a 15 pt bonus for sweeping, and scoring being set up to generally give more points (more points for kills, spike plants/defuses giving points, 3k’s getting a bonus) than DK CS:GO scoring (what I’m used to), a match that has 3 close maps is likely to score a lot more overall points than a quick 2-0. I’m going to game stack somewhere in the ballpark of 3-5 of my 32 lineups, but I do think it’s worth looking at.
I’m going to basically treat all these games like they’re 50/50’s when I build lineups. Sentinels are the biggest favorites on the slate yet Luminosity, their opponent Thursday, beat them in a best of 5 series on January 13th. All of these teams are live to win. My lineup building approach is going to be basically the same as with CS:GO on Draftkings in that I’m likely to run 3/2/1 lineups without any opponents. The team slot is obviously a new wrinkle, but I’ll likely include them as a part of either my 3 or 2 stack, or maybe as the 1 if salary dictates it. The possibility of a 4/1/1 is also interesting with the team slot of course being a part of the 4, but I’ll likely stick to the 3/2/1. Note that on Fanduel you cannot run 3/3 as you must play players from at least 3 different teams. Also the captain slot is 1.5x the points but the price stays the same as normal, so there is no reason to put anything but top fraggers as captain.
Overall I think the pricing is actually really solid. There aren’t a ton of guys who are drastically mispriced in either direction. They did price everyone as if they are pretty much in 50/50 games, which should lead to underdogs with very low ownership and overowned favorites. This makes the underdogs great GPP plays.
There are a few guys a bit underpriced for their role. My favorites are:
My overall top plays, in terms of raw point potential are:
You may notice that there are a bunch of crossovers, guys who make both lists. Those will almost definitely be my highest owned players, as they possess both raw upside and strong point per dollar potential. My MVP (captain) player pool will be the 2nd list, as like I mentioned since there is no price multiplier I’m only looking for players I think can put up the top overall score.
Good luck on Thursday, let’s get those tournaments filled up!