Editors note. The following is our weekly winners recap from our new contributor James A Gagnon. James will be recapping each week of the NFL action at FanDuel and DraftKings.
New Millionaires at FanDuel and DraftKings
According to FanDuel’s facebook post here, this was the only entry jeremiah1974db has ever played. Ever. That’s incredible.
How The Winners Won
The way to win this week was easy; have as many Patriots and Steelers as you could afford. Oh, and Larry Fitzgerald (yup, Larry Fitzgerald). Of the 90 players rostered among the top-10 winners from FanDuel, 40 of 90 were from N.E. and Pitt, with 9 of the 10 teams rostering Larry Fitzgerald as well. On DraftKings, the numbers were almost identical with 40 of 90 players being Patriots and Steelers, and 8 of 10 with Fitzy.
Expected Ownership and How To Use It To Your Advantage
New England and Pittsburg are two of the top offenses in the game AND had a receiver who had a great matchup. Yet ownership was down for a few reasons.
First, New England was on the road in Buffalo. The Bills just came off an impressive win against a team in the Colts that were supposed to be an elite offense. Two weeks into the season and we haven’t seen that from Indy yet. But I digress; Rex Ryan is now at the helm for Buffalo, whose had success against the Patriots. The Buffalo fans were going to be rabid. These were all great reasons for owners to shy away from Patriots players…, then the game started and Tom Brady threw for almost 500 yards giving owners of him, Gronkowski, Edelman, and even Dion Lewis all a very happy feeling on Sunday.
As for Pittsburgh…what an offense, huh? If you’re reading this, you already have enough sports knowledge to know the strength of the Steelers has switched sides of the ball from Defense to Offense. But with the Steelers pitted against a San Francisco defense that looked great the previous week… a game we all got to see in a prime time Monday Night Football game… it deflated the ownership percentages of most Steelers.
DeAngelo Williams is currently the starting running back for one of the best offenses in the league. Both of the main sites use versions of PPR scoring, and DeAngelo’s always caught the ball well out of the backfield. Yet, his salary and ownership rate in DraftKings was $5,300 and 3.7% and $7,400 and 2.7% owned in FanDuel.
The last immensely important player to be owned this Sunday; a player on all three million dollar winning teams, is ol’ Fitzy. I like having fun with his name if you can’t tell. Larry Fitzgerald had the 12th highest scoring output on DraftKings in the last 2 years yet he cost a paltry $5,400 and $5,900 and was still only owned less than 6.5% in both leagues.
Contrarian Lineups Based on Expected Ownership
The reason I’m beating the low ownership rates like a dead horse is because expected low ownership can benefit you by submitting “contrarion lineups.” DraftKings provides a 7 Laws strategy article by Jonathon Bales that is extremely useful and written by an expert I highly suggest you use as a tool. The article gives 2 examples of the benefits of a contrarion lineup.
The 1st is where Bales analyzes the shrewdness of professional DFS professionals and how they might play a superstar who has a bad matchup. Let’s use Julio Jones as an example, if Julio’s matched up against Darrelle Revis, his ownership rates will undoubtedly drop. But Jonathon suggests not bailing ship on Julio because a stud like him will “get his stats on anyone.”
The 2nd example is pure numbers. If you own a player rostered in 30% of the lineups in last week’s DK $10M NFL Sunday, you and about 128 thousand other owners are all gaining the same ground. But if you hit on a guy owned in less than 10% of the lineups, then you’re jumping at least 90% of the contestants with every positive gain.
The last piece of advice regarding contrarian/low expected ownership players, is to obviously be smart with how many you play. Bales suggests 2 to 3 in football. Low ownership usually means lower salary to help play more studs anyway.
The other strategy employed by most of the top winners this week is called “stacking,” which is simply using 2 or more players from the same team. Usually, this is a QB and a WR or TE. There was Big Ben or Brady to a position player stack in 17 of the top 20 teams. 18 of the top 20 teams had at least 3 players from NE and Pitt. 14 had 4 or more. 3 had 5 or more.
Kathy843 Used Both Strategies to Almost Perfection
One team utilized both of the above strategies and found a way to own 7 players from the Patriots and Steelers. Even with the matchups being tough, these are still very popular teams with great offenses, so those 7 players cost Kathy843 $42,00, leaving only $8,000 to fill 2 positions; RB and Flex. Those positions were filled with Danny Woodhead($4,000 – 16.4pts.) and Michael Crabtree($4,100 – 29.1pts.).
Kathy843 finished 4th overall for a check worth a quarter of a million dollars, and 0.03 points more would’ve made that a half million dollar check.
The overlay in DraftKings this week was horrible for them but GREAT for us!!! Overlay, as it refers to DFS, is any time a guaranteed contest doesn’t fill which increases the odds for us to win.
In DraftKings’ $10M NFL Sunday Millionaire Makers, it requires 572,500 entries for them to make their desired profit. If they pay out 125,700 of those nearly 600K entries, then that means you have to finish in the top 21.96% to win anything. They didn’t fill in either week, which increased the odds of winning:
- Week 1, DK only filled 520,448 of 572,500, which increased the chance to place in the money from the 21.96% to 24.15%.
- Week 2 was even worse for them as they only filled 426,105 of 572,500, raising your chances to an absurd level of 29.92%.
Week 2 was a great opportunity to take advantage of the low entries. And DraftKings is no dummy… they’re losing money, so their current largest NFL tournament has been downgraded to a $7 million pool with 1st prize being $1.2 million. Max entries for this contest is now 400,700 and they only payout the top 83,000, which does drop the previous percentage to win money from 21.96% to 20.71%.
Key Differences in Big Money GPP’s at DK and FD
DraftKings is taking the marketing strategy of higher top-end payouts, which in turn, affects their payout structure at the bottom. FanDuel still has the $1Mill top prize, but they spread the wealth much more evenly through the rest of the structure. The basics of each payout structure are as follows
- $25 entry
- 229,865 max entrants
- $1,000,000 top payout
- Finish in the top 13.05% to double your entry
- $20 entry
- 400,700 max entrants
- $1,200,000 million top payout
- 7.49% to double your entry
Fun Facts For Week 2 Fantasy Football
- In DraftKings, the Flex spot was used with WR’s and TE’s in 9 of the top-10 winnings teams. This goes back to last week’s article referencing the semi-new Air-It-Out NFL.
- Travis Benjamin; owned by 8 of 20 top teams was the best value play, costing only $95.77 per point. He scored 35.50 points with a salary of $3,400.
- Matt Jones was the 8th highest scoring player in DraftKings in week 2 and was owned by a whopping 0.00%.
Other top scorers who were owned by less than 1.3% of entries were:
- 3rd – Allen Robinson – $4,900 – 0.60% – 36.50 pts.
- 4th – Travis Benjamin – $3,400 – 0.80% – 35.50 pts.
- 8th – Matt Jones – $3,500 – 0.00% – 31.60 pts.
- 11th – Colin Kaepernick – $6,600 – 0.90% – 30.50 pts
- 12th – Derek Carr – $5,500 – 0.00% – 30.34 pts.
- 14th – Michael Crabtree – $4,100 – 0.40% – 29.10 pts.
- 15th – Torrey Smith – $5,400 – 0.40% – 29.00 pts.
- 16th – Tyrod Taylor – $6,200 – 1.30% – 28.98
- 17th – Cam Newton – 7,200 – 0.60% – 28.40 pts.
- Dexter McCluster, previous do-it-all for the Chiefs, but now with the Titans, scored 16.40 points at a salary of $3,000.
- Julian Edelman is somehow priced as the 11th most expensive WR. Yet, he’s currently the 3rd highest scoring WR in DraftKings.
Ladies and gentlemen, remember to keep it fun first and foremost. But after that, do your best to demolish everyone!
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