NFL All Day – Playbook Week 1 Recap

NFL All Day – Playbook Week 1 Recap

We almost made it to the end of NFL Week 1 and it was definitely not short of fireworks! I think yesterday was a frenzy for everyone, and I’m hoping people were able to sell stacks and finish challenges at a profitable pace.

Today, I want to hit on two things as it relates to the Playbook. First, I want to recap this weekend’s challenges and the 100 yard journey as a whole. Then, I want to try and take some things we learned this weekend and talk through how we can apply these moving forward on the platform. I think this is the area that Momentum Labs subscribers will be able to capitalize on most, so I’m excited to dig in.

Wk 1 Playbook – Challenge Recap

Thursday Night Football – The first TNF challenge of the year was a bit of a snoozer, as the three favorites coming into the game ended up taking the podium for Top 3 receiving yards. You could argue that this was the top of the speculation/excitement/energy cycle this weekend. I have included three different shots from OTM for three different players in this game.

All three of these players have similar trajectories prior to kickoff. When the announcement happened, all of the prices spiked and then continued steadily growing. Then when the results were finalized, all three of them took very different paths. Knox was a full-time blocker on Thursday, and therefore his price dropped back down (or just below) where it started. Kupp was the clear favorite to finish in the Top 3, and he did just that, but due to his common supply (and Diggs as well) being more than 2X the amount as Davis, both of these players dropped down slightly from their pre-game speculation, but remained well above where they started pre-announcement. Finally we have Gabriel Davis, who will forever be known as the first NFL All Day Playbook bottleneck! He was definitely in the conversation to finish Top 3, but you could make strong cases for others as well pre-game. Because of that he doubled in price, but did not really take off until he was locked in. Then, because of his supply being half that of Kupp/Diggs, the bottleneck kept sky-rocketing and he finished 5X more expensive than where he started at. Current “cost” of completing the TNF challenge vs. selling ALL the pieces = $74.

Sunday Main Slate – I’ll spare the specifics of everything my brain went through on Sunday watching 13 games in the span of 8 hours while sweating DFS, Dynasty, Rumble, and Best Ball teams ALL WHILE thinking about my All Day collection. It got stressful at times. But I wanted to highlight the price movement from three different players, all of whom are in very very similar situations right now!

Christian McCaffrey only has one moment on the platform which is his ADD. As such, he was already more elevated before game time, so he didn’t rise up as much on speculation for the rushing challenge. Jonathan Taylor only has one common, which wasn’t his ADD, so he ran up a little bit more from $50 to $70. Saquon Barkley also only has one common, but he was a little bit more of the forgotten man this offseason due to injury concern. All that is gone after his Week 1 performance, but you can see he rose the most during pre-challenge speculation. The little dip in Saquon’s pricing after the morning games were completed and before his afternoon game kicked off is super interesting to me as well. Current “cost” of completing the Sunday challenge vs. selling ALL the pieces = $65

Sunday Night Football – This Sunday Night game caused a lot of people some stress as a majority of the superstar players in this game only had a Rare moment, however thanks to Julio Jones we lived to see another day. Again, we have a snapshot from three different players in this game and again we can learn a lot here from the price action.

CeeDee Lamb followed a similar path to Kupp and Diggs on TNF. He was the most predictable cheap piece, so he ran up a bit more but then fell off from speculation hype levels. Julio performed more similarly to Gabe Davis on TNF because he was the only requirement, so his pricing kept going up. Russell Gage’s price chart is a bit funky because there was a weird $25 moment stuck, but for the most part he jumped up from $13 to $40 all game and then finally paid people off with a 2nd half catch or two. The most important thing we can learn from this is that people do not yet read all the fine print of the challenges. For SNF you were able to stack multiple of the same player in the “at least one reception” category. That huge spike you see on Russell Gage at the end was when the challenge builder opened up and people realized they could go grab another of him instead of the guys at $60. I think this would have been really pronounced if there was only two cheap ones and the “third” was a rare. Can only imagine how many rares would have been bought prematurely. I find it fasciunating that even though CeeDee projected AND ended up having a smaller fall-off, people didn’t want to pay the extra $10 in challenge to save $20 after the challenge. Stacking CeeDee was the play as noted on my sheets! Current “cost” of completing the SNF challenge vs. selling ALL the pieces = $105

Week 1 – 100 Yard Analysis

It’s really a complex problem to try and solve when we are discussing the EV and/or profitability of these challenges for Playbook. Everyone has much different definitions of “cost”. Some people have most of the moments that are needed and are decided whether to sell or hold. Others need the moments and are deciding to buy or pass. Pretty much everyone falls somewhere in the middle. I want to caution, that when describing the 100 Yard journey this week, I will largely be talking in extremes…ie selling or buying ALL moments. I would encourage you guys to use the Playbook Tool and Projections to cater these calculations more towards your specific situation.

As discussed in the preview article, going for 40 yards was the major no-brainer of the week. Right now, that is looking like a +EV call anywhere in the $17 to $35 range based on whether you burned your Celebration Pack or not.

Then, it gets complicated. Knowing that this week’s End of Week Challenge (I bolded this because next week’s could be entirely more difficult) has a “cost” of roughly $10, there’s a couple of approaches we can review here.

First up, the person who made a bet that the MNF and EOW challenge would be easy and skipped the TNF and Sunday Main spots. At 60 yards, they can break even if the MNF challenge is $60. If they wanted to go for 80 yards, they had to complete the SNF challenge, so they break even if the MNF challenge is $30. At 100 yards, they cannot complete because they only have 3 challenges available.

Second off, the person who decided to skip the TNF game, but that was the farthest they were willing to risk it. At 60 yards, they can lock in neutral EV by completing EOW and Sunday. At 80 yards, they can break even if the MNF challenge is $60. However, if they complete both challenges yesterday, they are coming into MNF taking a $40 loss at the 80 yard marker, However, they can break even or be in the positive at 100 yards if the MNF challenges stays under $120.

Finally, the person who was a. either too excited to not complete challenges this weekend (me) or b. too nervous to skip one because they thought the other’s would be harder. At 60 yards, they would take a $70 loss if they stopped there because they completed TNF and Sunday Main. At 80 yards, they are also taking a hefty loss because they had to complete the SNF challenge so they are in for a $100 loss. However, at the 100 yard mark they get totally bailed out by the EOW challenge and can lock in $40 of profit.

As you can see, there’s a ton of ways to play this each week which makes it incredibly hard to give advice on. The sweet spot this week looks to be those that completed TNF, Sunday Main, then read EOW and MNF, decided to skip SNF, completed EOW, and then are just hoping that MNF comes in under $100 of “cost” (what SNF is currently at). Again this “cost” metric and all the ones I used above is based on what you could have sold every moment for if you didn’t complete the challenge.

How to Play this Moving Forward

With these five rapid fire challenges in a row, I think we got a really nice feedback loop that can help us make some strategies for how to play the market over the next few weeks. Here are my main takeaways.

It is generally the same money moving around. For the most part, players are dropping back down to (or sometimes below) pre-challenge/spec levels once the challenges are complete. This is pretty crazy to me because depending on the certain dynamics/players that hit in the challenges a large majority of these moments could bottleneck. We’ve seen a lot of the Bills players drop back down in price even though they play next MNF. I would try to take advantage of buying post-challenge or post-speculation dumps of players who are really likely to hit in multiple challenges per week moving forward.

Everyone is going to target the Island Games. For those not familiar with this, island games refer to TNF, SNF, MNF aka the games played on an island when all eyes are watching. I’m sure you will still find some deals if you are looking at next weeks island games, however maybe starting to look into Week 3 through 5 is best. Be careful though, injuries, playing time shake-ups, and more supply will all happen before then. I think it’s better to try and speculate on the Sunday main slate. As part of the Rumble projections, I will be adding a “Sunday Main” tab, which helps remove all the primetime games and can help us group players into rushing, receiving, and passing projections. On Sunday mornings, I will have full statistical projections available prior to the NFL All Day announcement.

Pay attention to circulation. This is what we learned from Gabe Davis in our TNF lesson above. The Momentum Labs All Day (Beta) tool is a really good resource for this. See below for a quick glimpse at the circulation numbers from the SNF game last night. We currently have more conviction that the low circulation players will maintain or increase in value during the challenge than the higher circulation players.

Start to develop your internal sell thresholds during speculation periods. What we learned from the 3 stud RBs in the lesson from the Sunday Main slate lesson above, is that similar tier of players, with a similar “moment situation” (aka just one common), will all trend towards a similar speculation threshold prior to challenges. From there, given the circulation data we have above, we can almost predict what is going to happen to a guy like Christian McCaffrey EVEN IF he hits in the challenge. We can say, “ok CMC has run up to $70 pre-game like we are used to”, however due to his circulation and/or popularity and/or now this being his 3rd time speculated on, even if he hits he will probably be out-bottlenecked, so he should drop about $10 during the challenge.” This is a clear sign to sell during the speculation. On the flipside, we can make the same case for the Gabe Davis, D’Andre Swift, Julio Jones types who will keep going up during challenges and who maybe have a different decision point during speculation.

Develop your own plan for how you are going to attack Playbook. We are working with really small sample sizes here, but there are a couple definitive takeaways I have after Week 1. First, the jump from 80 yards to 100 yards is massive. Your reward value almost doubles between these two yardage markers. Second, if typical challenges stay in the $70 to $100 range, we will probably always need one freebie (like the EOW in Week 1), to help us lock in guaranteed +EV. Third, I think there’s going to be a real chance that multiple players can be used in multiple challenges each week and even have chances to hit 4 challenges in 2 weeks or 8 challenges in 4 weeks kind of thing. This is personally why I’m not getting too hung up on the buy/sell opps right now because as the weeks go on these “costs” kind of go away and the “rewards” start paying off even more. Even if this sort of thing isn’t really trackable.

Not many people have numbers to back up their Playbook decisions. After reading this, you are probably thinking to yourself “Well I have numbers, they are all just confusing as shit”, but hey that’s alright…it’s a start! We kind of learned in our SNF lesson that people are really winging it in the market before the challenge builders go live. This is to say that there’s a real chance that community sentiment has more of a play on the market than the cold hard numbers. That’s nice in times like these where everyone is jacked out of their shorts and the money is flying. But there could easily be a couple of weeks in a row where people start to get shit packs and the Playbook loses its luster with the larger public who is just buying blindly right now. Just something to be aware of and a reminder to always find ways to take profits in moments of pure euphoria.


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