DraftKings Week 7 Recap

Every week we look at Millionaire Maker’s on DraftKings to analyze the winner, the professional sharks, and what the best lineup would be. We were late on Week 6’s but you can view our past recaps here.

We also analyze how sharks like CONDIA and Jonathan Bales approach lineup construction week in and out — read How Sharks Approach Daily Fantasy Sports.

Random Note: Damn Amari Cooper

I’m so pissed. Amari Cooper played on Thursday and I only do Sunday slates. Cooper was begging for a breakout game and there it was. I know I’m only saying this after the fact but damn. His salary was so low and everyone seemed to forget just how much upside he can have. Now in Week 8, I have to decide should I fade him against the Bills or not.

Anyways let’s get this recap going.

ROB2622 Wins with 229.66 Points

ROB2622's Winning Lineup

He only entered one lineup and it was money. I checked all the other Millionaire Maker’s and this looks like his first time playing for $1MM. He used a little played Wilson-Baldwin stack that helped separate him from 2nd place by a whopping 15 points. Congrats.

Best Possible Lineup: 260.56 Points

There were at least 4201 better lineups than ROB2622. The best one was

player_name position score salary team_name lineup_id
3 Russell Wilson QB 29.36 6400.0 SEA 0
4 Aaron Jones RB 25.80 5200.0 GB 0
6 LeSean McCoy RB 28.20 7400.0 BUF 0
1 Ted Ginn Jr. WR 24.10 4100.0 NO 0
2 Kenny Stills WR 26.50 4400.0 MIA 0
5 Julio Jones WR 24.90 8500.0 ATL 0
7 O.J. Howard TE 27.80 2600.0 TB 0
8 Ezekiel Elliott FLEX 43.90 9000.0 DAL 0
0 Chicago Bears DST 30.00 2200.0 CHI 0

Not many expected the breakout game for O.J. Howard (.07%) or the Bears D (6%) to dominate but they did.

The player pool of these winning lineups is shown below

Name Percentage
8 Ezekiel Elliott 0.999
0 Chicago Bears 0.998
7 O.J. Howard 0.920
2 Kenny Stills 0.640
1 Ted Ginn Jr. 0.566
5 Julio Jones 0.500
15 Travis Benjamin 0.373
13 Allen Hurns 0.369
6 LeSean McCoy 0.331
11 Todd Gurley 0.323
4 Aaron Jones 0.302
9 T.J. Yeldon 0.290
3 Russell Wilson 0.243
10 Dak Prescott 0.231
19 Brandon LaFell 0.229
12 Jameis Winston 0.224
17 Le’Veon Bell 0.207
16 Latavius Murray 0.197
22 Chris Moore 0.192
14 Josh McCown 0.170
23 Keelan Cole 0.136
20 James White 0.107
21 Austin Ekeler 0.101
18 Blake Bortles 0.094
25 Anthony Fasano 0.086
24 Matt Moore 0.037
26 Orleans Darkwa 0.035
27 Rod Smith 0.033
28 J.D. McKissic 0.022
29 Kerwynn Williams 0.019
30 Andy Janovich 0.013
31 Bobby Rainey 0.011
32 Cody Kessler 0.002
33 Atlanta Falcons 0.002

The clear cut players that did superb are the Chicago Bears DST, Ezekiel Elliott, and O.J. Howard.

The Herd

With Leonard Fournette out, the herd decided Chris Ivory was their man.

Percentage Player
37 Chris Ivory
29 LeSean McCoy
25 Demaryius Thomas
22 Ezekiel Elliott
22 Pierre Garcon
22 Adrian Peterson
18 Dez Bryant
18 Antonio Brown
17 Michael Thomas
16 Le’Veon Bell
15 Mark Ingram

Unfortunately for them, T. J. Yeldon ended up being the better play. And Emmanuel Sanders was out too. So people slated Thomas for a big game and he got a dreadful 2.9 points.

If you really wanted to run with the sheep, you could have played Chris Ivory-Demaryius Thomas. The second highest used pairing this week.

Percentage Player
11 Chris Ivory, LeSean McCoy
11 Chris Ivory, Demaryius Thomas
9 Chris Ivory, Pierre Garcon
8 Chris Ivory, Dez Bryant
8 Antonio Brown, Chris Ivory
8 Demaryius Thomas, LeSean McCoy
7 Chris Ivory, Ezekiel Elliott
7 LeSean McCoy, Pierre Garcon
7 Chris Ivory, Michael Thomas
6 Chris Ivory, Le’Veon Bell
6 LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Taylor

Ouch. Not a good day for the herd. I’m going to keep an eye on this trend of picking other players when a starter gets injured and see if it’s a good general rule of the herd in the current DraftKings DFS “meta”.

CONDIA: Top 5 Finish

Like last week CONDIA entered less lineups. Last week 80, this week 76 in the $1MM Maker.

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Injuries were the theme this week. Like the herd, CONDIA picked Chris Ivory to be in 28% of his lineups and Demaryius in 27%.

Percentage Player
44 Le’Veon Bell
33 LeSean McCoy
28 Mark Ingram
28 Chris Ivory
27 Antonio Brown
27 Demaryius Thomas
25 Ezekiel Elliott
25 Kyle Rudolph
23 Allen Hurns
20 Frank Gore
20 Adrian Peterson

So even pro’s aren’t immune to the powers of the herd. Notably, he broke his ~27% max player exposure guideline, going with 44% on Le’Veon Bell, a consistent RB.

But with Willie Snead out he did something different for the dilemma: Ted Ginn Jr. or Michael Thomas? CONDIA went and used both in his player pool.

Percentage lineup_hash
12 Ted Ginn Jr.
8 Michael Thomas

CONDIA placed 5th this week with his Ted Ginn Jr. lineup!

CONDIA's 5th Place Lineup

Notably, his biggest player pairing used Ezekiel Elliott-Le’Veon Bell at 14%.

Percentage Player
14 Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell
14 Demaryius Thomas, Le’Veon Bell
14 Chris Ivory, Demaryius Thomas
14 Demaryius Thomas, LeSean McCoy
14 Demaryius Thomas, Kyle Rudolph
14 Allen Hurns, Le’Veon Bell
12 LeSean McCoy, Mark Ingram
12 Antonio Brown, LeSean McCoy
12 Kyle Rudolph, Le’Veon Bell
12 Kyle Rudolph, Mark Ingram
12 Kyle Rudolph, LeSean McCoy

I think CONDIA would agree that RB and TE are the most predictable positions. Like normal his QB stack was ~6-7% with Drew Brees-Michael Thomas coming in at 6%.

DraftKings Changing the $1MM Maker

Reduced Size $1MM

Another bad week for DraftKings. This time they only made $393,790 in fees. For week 8, they’ve reduced the contest size to fewer entrants but are keeping the $1MM prize.

Other Pro’s: The Lineup Optimizer Founders Are Struggling.. at least on DraftKings

Bales continues to do poorly in the $1MM maker, entering 27 lineups and losing $420. Is his heart still in it? Is he making money in other contests? I’m at a loss. UPDATE: Bales recently won 197K on Fan Duel on 10/15/2017. Smaller contest with 1481 entrants and $333 entry fee but huge win nevertheless, I retract my prior statement. Bales is still a boss. (Thanks Reddit user CeroMiedoFTW for the tip!)

In another bad day for professionals with lineup optimizer sites, Saahil Sud didn’t enter any lineups in the $1MM maker.

Overall, CONDIA is lord, at least on DraftKings. Anyone else you think worth tracking here?

UPDATE 10/26: Now Tracking Tommy G

One of our readers asked us to start looking into Tommy G so here it is! BTW: I found this article about him to help give you some background.

From just looking at Week 7, Tommy G is an exciting player to watch. First off, I found out this guy is on Saahil Sud’s level of risk taking. He went heavy on Chris Ivory and had some bad busts with Carson Palmer, Cam Newton, and Ivory.

Percentage Player
79 Chris Ivory
74 Le’Veon Bell
44 LeSean McCoy
36 Larry Fitzgerald
34 Cam Newton
28 Demaryius Thomas
21 Evan Engram
18 Eric Decker
17 Carson Palmer
16 T.Y. Hilton

Conventional wisdom says you take Ivory but like we already talked about, Yeldon stole the show. He also played the Chicago Bears DST in 15% of his lineups. As for his stacks/common pairs see below

Percentage Player
68 Chris Ivory, Le’Veon Bell
38 Chris Ivory, LeSean McCoy
35 Chris Ivory, Larry Fitzgerald
34 Larry Fitzgerald, Le’Veon Bell
33 Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy
33 Cam Newton, Chris Ivory
32 Cam Newton, Le’Veon Bell
18 Cam Newton, LeSean McCoy
18 Chris Ivory, Demaryius Thomas
18 Demaryius Thomas, Le’Veon Bell
17 Carson Palmer, Chris Ivory
17 Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald
16 Chris Ivory, Evan Engram
16 Cam Newton, Larry Fitzgerald
16 Carson Palmer, Le’Veon Bell

Tommy G entered 150 lineups losing $1235. He had 128 players in his player pool so he definitely uses a lineup optimizer. Here’s his overall lineup performance

count 150.000000
mean 118.839067
std 26.223653
min 71.680000
25% 99.390010
50% 118.640000
75% 136.825000
max 188.860000

Quick Takeaways about Tommy G:

  • Doesn’t pair QB against D
    • Bears D 15% used and not with Cam Newton 34%
  • Knowingly stacks
    • Carson Palmer – Chris Ivory – Larry Fitzgerald – Le’Veon Bell 16% and equal to amount of exposure of smaller pairs Palmer-Fitzgerald, Palmer-Ivory etc…
    • Cam Newton stack show below. Same exposure as Palmer stack.
Percentage Players
16 Cam Newton, Chris Ivory, Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy
16 Cam Newton, Chris Ivory, Larry Fitzgerald, Le’Veon Bell
16 Carson Palmer, Chris Ivory, Larry Fitzgerald, Le’Veon Bell
  • Tommy G takes big risks. Will be exciting to track his heavily engineered lineups week in and out.
    • Thanks Kristopher for the tip to start watching Tommy G!

Call For Input

What other professional players should I track? CONDIA is the most consistent top dawg right now.

If you haven’t already, check out our past recaps and our How Sharks Approach Daily Fantasy Sports series. Next up, we’re going to be taking a look at the QB position.

Matteo Hoch

Matteo Hoch is the founder of Sports Data Direct and maintains a personal blog called Ergo Sum where he writes about data visualization and coding. You can generally find him in the DraftKings Sunday $3 early only contests under username mhoch2

4 Responses

  1. Kristopher Pittillo says:

    I would like to see TommyG tracked

  2. djcrocstar says:

    Great stuff, love the content every week.

    A few pros to track:

    – al_smizzle
    – Awesemo
    – ChipotleAddict
    – CSURAM88
    – ehafner
    – moklovin
    – Msteinberg09
    – papagates
    – PetrGibbons
    – rayofhope
    – themasterson
    – tinderella
    – underjones
    – youdacao
    – GrindersCal

    • Matteo Hoch says:

      Thanks djrocstar! Can’t promise I’ll be able to track all these pros off the bat but I’ll definitely add a few!

      In the NFL offseason, I’m hoping to create a tool that allows you to automate the analysis I do every week.

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