James Gagnon continues with our weekly winners roundup for FanDuel and DraftKings. He pulls no punches this week, enjoy the read!
There’s a lot of turmoil going on in DFS these days and I’m not the type to just sweep all of that under the rug, so I get into some of that further into the article. Until the walls come crashing down though, I’m going to continue to have a blast at DFS and bring you some tidbits that hopefully help you have a good time yourself.
Week 6 Notes and Overview
WR Trend Continues
6 of the top-10 scorers in DraftKings in week 6 were wide receivers; D Hopkins, M. Bryant, K. Allen, A. Jeffery, John Brown, and MegaTron, all scoring over 30 points.
As a matter of fact, outside of DaVonta Freeman(#1), Brady(#3), and Rivers(#8), 7 of the top-10 scorers on the season are WR’s;
2 – D. Hopkins
4 – Julio Jones
5 – B. Marshall
6 – Fitzgerald
7 – K. Allen
9 – J. Edelman
10 – S. Smith Sr..
There’s something to be said here, because when you have to roster 3 WR’s(and possibly a 4th as a Flex in DraftKings), as opposed to only 1 QB, it is much more important to hit on your receivers to ensure a win. And I’m not just talking about hitting on one or two of them, but all 3, and possibly that 4th.
Find Value At Quarterback and RB…
While Tom Brady outscores the next highest scoring QB, Phillip Rivers, by 4.5 points, he also costs $2,000 more in salary than Rivers. Brady sits atop the week 7 QB’s with 27.5 Fantasy Points Per Game… but there are 13 QB’s within 10 FPPG of him. 10 points per game is nothing to scoff at, it’s a huge number that can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even just placing in the money. But 6 of those 13 QB’s cost over $2K less than Mr. Brady.
This means there’s value at quarterback.
As for RB’s, I’m going to leave Devonta Freeman out of this as he’s an extreme outlier with 30.2 FPPG scored this season. For the sake of this argument, LeVeon Bell is the top RB in FPPG for week 7 with 22.9.
There are 14 running backs within 10 points of the “leader.” Bell($8,400) and Freeman($7,900) are the two most expensive backs, even with somewhat tough matchups. Again though, there are guys like Doug Martin, who has come on strong over the last two games and is only scoring 4.9 points less than Bell, but costs a full $3,500 less. Theo Riddick(#14 in FPPG) costs $5K less than Bell at $3,400 and is playing at home with an increased role in the offense.
11 of the 14 running backs cost $2,000 or less than Bell. Value, Value, Value.
…Because There’s Far Less Value At WR
DeAndre Hopkins is scoring 28.1 FPPG and there are only 9 WR’s within 10 points of his weekly output; not including Martavis Bryant’s one week and Stefon Diggs’ 2 weeks of action. There are 10 receivers in the next 5 point range. That’s only 19 WR’s within 15 points of the leader, with the most expensive WR, Julio Jones, costing $9,100. Of those 9 WR’s within 10 ppg of DeAndre, only 3 of them cost less than $2K than him, leaving a ton less value at the position.
As a matter of fact, the 3 most expensive players for week 7 are WR’s, reiterating the importance of filling out a good corps of pass-catchers.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t any value, it just means that you should spend a little more time building your wide receiver corps.
Some current value plays are guys like Stefon Diggs($4,200). His coming out game was against Denver, in Denver, with 6 receptions and 87 yards for 14.7 points…and followed it by posting his first 100 yard game(in only his 2nd career game) against another AFC West defense Kansas City by posting a line of 7 – 129 – 0 for 22.9 points. Charles Johnson who?
Steve Smith Sr.($6,200) is tied for 5th in targets per game, yet still costs almost a full $3K less than Julio Jones($9,100). Senior has a tough matchup playing in Arizona, but Baltimore’s defense has been giving up a ton of points and playing the catch up game all year long.
Travis Benjamin($5,400) has a very tough matchup against St Louis, but he’s averaging over 5 receptions per game and almost 100 yards per game with 4 TD’s on the season. That price tag is almost insulting.
Rishard Matthews($4,300) has totaled 18 – 313 – 2 in 3 of his last 4 games, and has a home game against Houston. The Texans are the 4th worst Pass D, giving up almost 300 yards per game against the likes of Jax, KC, Car, and TB. Jarvis Landry($6,200) hasn’t performed at the same level of Rishard recently, but still faces the same defense and doesn’t cost a ton. You might as well throw in Ryan Tannehill($5,700) while you’re at it and stack the Dolphins.
How They Won – Winning FanDuel and DraftKings Lineups
DraftKings Winner – Dirty6613 – Well if this lineup isn’t enough proof for you, then I don’t know what is. Dirty6613 won with 4 “stud” wide receivers; Hopkins, Jeffery, Johnson, and Senior. Dirty spent 55% of his budget on the 4 receivers, who accounted for 50.3% of his point output. Those 4 WR’s cost an average of $6,875, while the remaining 5 players cost an average of $4,500.
Another thing you can see in the image is the number in parenthesis next to Dirty6613(2). That indicates the number of entries Dirty had in the tournament. While not all “sharks” enter tons of lineups, most enter more than 2 if they decide to enter a GPP. This is a good indicator that regular guys like you and me can still pull down these tournaments.
FanDuel Winner – adrianbeatyerson
adrianbeatyerson won by going against every rule in the book. They went way too far with “differentiation,” by rostering 6 players at 5.2% or less ownership, with their running backs rostered by less than 20%, and the one main guy had to obviously be DeAndre Hopkins at 32.2%.
There was no QB-WR/RB/TE stack, though he did go with the very viable and highly used QB-D stack. I joke, there is actually a positive correlation when using the quarterback and defense from the same team, so it’s not completely unheard of. Still…
The last thing adrian did that was a little against the grain was not using a Monday Night player. The “Monday Night Bullet” strategy doesn’t work as well on FanDuel with the roster lock, but going into the Monday night game with no one left to go is the ultimate sweat, and adrianbeatyerson was most definitely sweating as they pulled out the win by less than 1 point. Can you imagine watching that game with all those lineups within points of you?!?!? Every reception, every yard, every field goal, every defensive play possibly being the play that costs you that million dollar prize. I shudder at the thought!
The Elephant in the Room
It might seem like my job here is to filter all of you to the DFS sites and spend your hard earned money, but it’s not. My job is to give you tidbits of info that you add to other tidbits of info that hopefully give you an edge and earn you some money while having fun at the same time. With that being said, the blinders are coming off of the general public on a daily basis as to the true goings-on’s of these daily fantasy sites.
DFS games is gambling, pure and simple. Don’t lie to yourself. Then again, so is every single one of those yearly leagues you’re in.
DFS is overrun by “sharks.” Some of you remember the heyday of online poker, some of you were really good, and some of you were barely average but if you paid any attention, you began noticing the same names in tournaments who always seemed to win.
Then “the Fed” froze the sites and these guys were left floundering for a new source of income. Until DFS came along. A lot of the players kept their poker monikers, either out of habit or out of pure hubris, but it still lets some of us know that they’re right there at it again. The way the “sharks” take advantage in DFS is the same way they did in poker; it’s their job, they spend hours upon hours analyzing data and using homemade formulas to enter lineups.
And then they throw a ton of money at it because, again, they’re working the odds. As you saw with Dirty6613, this doesn’t mean you can’t win, it just lessens your chances.
There seem to be some improprieties by both sites’ employees. So far, the independent investigations have dispelled those accusations. One thing remains, those employees only had access to certain info. Beneficial info, yes, but there’s still no way to predict a player’s performance. An “average Joe” can still choose the winning lineup with a single entry.
Lastly, local and federal regulators are beginning to investigate the legality of DFS sites. DFS sites swear what they’re doing is legal. They swear their setups are nothing like the offshore poker sites. The best we can hope for is more transparency and stricter regulations to benefit the regular guy.
With revenues declining for the first time ever, and money spent on advertising being slashed, there seems to be a reason for concern.
The best we can hope for is more transparency and stricter regulations that enhance the game for the everyday player.
But make no mistake, there is a chance that these sites go the way of the Dodo and online poker.
It’s Still Fun
No matter what you think this is still one of the most fun ways to spend a little money and hopefully gain a return.
A positive of some of the negative publicity lately is that entries are down. A lower amount of entrants obviously gives you a better chance at winning, but coming along with the lower entries means lower payouts.
DraftKings still has a $1 million to 1st tournament, with 343.5K entries. Their opening week Millionaire Maker had almost 600K entrants.
FanDuel has dropped their $5M Sunday tournament to a $4M pool, with 1st getting $500K instead of $1M; with entrants dropping from 229K to 184K.
You still have to finish in the top-20%(ish) to place in the money, but the score required to do so will be far lower. So that week where your team put up 175 points and finished out of the money by a point; that’s far less likely to happen again.
You just have to go build one of those lineups again.
There’s a quote I love from Dazed and Confused that sums up how I feel about life and the possible end of DFS,
“ all I’m saying is that I want to look back and say that I did it the best I could while I was stuck in this place. Had as much fun as I could while I was stuck in this place. Played as hard as I could while I was stuck in this place…”
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