DraftKings Week 8 Recap

The two biggest themes this week were rain and inter-game stacks, cough cough HOU@SEA. Let’s begin starting from last weeks winner, Cubsfan333.

Cubsfan333 Wins


Cubs Win

October ended on a high note for this Cubs fan. I’m sure he doesn’t mind the Cubs losing the Pennant know that he has won a cool $1,152,775 in Week 8’s Millionaire Maker on DraftKings.

Cubsfan333 Winning Lineup

Not only did Cubsfan333 take first but he also placed second!

Week 8 Standings

All in all, Cubsfan333 entered 67 lineups paying $1,340 in entry fees. His lineups exuded a beautiful property, a lot of “OK” lineups<150 points and then quite a few over 175!

Cubsfan333's Point Totals

count 67.000000
mean 121.803581
std 37.869429
min 79.160000
25% 95.240000
50% 114.560000
75% 134.780000
max 247.880000

If he only entered one lineup I doubt he would of won top prize. Big GPP’s are a pay to play environment.

Cubsfan333 Lineup Strategy

Looking at Cubsfan333’s top 2 lineups, you’ll see he had quite the afternoon. In his winning lineup, 7 of his players came from the Texans@Seahawks game. And he swapped Russell Wilson with Deshaun Watson who both had similar days.

Here’s his top players by utilization

Percentage Player
46 Joe Mixon
39 Jimmy Graham
36 DeSean Jackson
34 Mike Evans
33 A.J. Green
31 LeSean McCoy
28 Jordan Reed
27 Kelvin Benjamin
24 Bengals
22 Christian McCaffrey
21 Eagles
19 Cam Newton
19 Seahawks
16 Hunter Henry
15 Tyler Lockett

I’ve highlighted the players who who were used in his top 2 lineups. Even though he had a few big misses, Joe Mixon and Jordan Reed, he had the nerve to create two lineups that were big on the Texans and Seahawks.

Matchup Heavy Lineup Construction

Because he had 7 players from one game, I wanted to check and see if that pattern held for any other lineups he created. Sure enough, he also went heavy on the Raiders@Bills matchup but the Seahawks game was his big winner.

Cubsfan333 Didn’t Care About the Rain

The big story leading up to Week 8 was the storm on the east coast. In spite of the forecast for the Eagles and Redskins games, he still selected players from those matchups. Non-rain players were used way more but not selected exclusively.

So either he isn’t a big believer in rain or didn’t check the forecast.

My Thoughts on Rain

I’m a big believer in rain changing games but I still need to did into the data more. I think Dak Prescott’s performance was certainly hurt by the rain last week and Elliott helped by it. However, to say rain completely hurts passing is too simplistic. I think it makes long passes tougher but also increases the likelihood of an explosive play (fumble, slippery missed tackle, falling etc). I’d bet volatility of fantasy points increases in the rain but the expected point totals decrease for QB-WR-TE. Will get back to you on what the data says once we add weather data to Sports Data Direct.

Cubsfan333’s Stacks/Player Pairings

His biggest stacks that we’re probably deliberate are highlighted below.

Percentage Player
21 DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans
19 Joe Mixon, Mike Evans
19 Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans
19 Christian McCaffrey, DeSean Jackson
18 DeSean Jackson, Kelvin Benjamin
16 A.J. Green, Jimmy Graham
16 Joe Mixon, Jordan Reed
16 Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin
16 Christian McCaffrey, Kelvin Benjamin
16 Christian McCaffrey, Mike Evans
16 DeSean Jackson, Joe Mixon
15 Bengals , Joe Mixon
13 Jimmy Graham, Joe Mixon
13 Jimmy Graham, LeSean McCoy
13 Joe Mixon, LeSean McCoy

Again, you don’t see much of his winning lineup here. And Cubsfan333 only played 3 lineups with Will Fuller V (one of the best players last week). Makes you wonder if that decision was manual or a stroke of luck from his optimizer that used 90 players across 67 lineups.

CONDIA’s Week 8 Lineups

Soft week for CONDIA. He entered 150 lineups and lost $1,520, coming close with a lineup of 202.06.

CONDIA's Point Totals

Not as nice of a blip as Cubsfan333

count 150.000000
mean 121.327333
std 23.674824
min 76.020000
25% 105.675000
50% 117.570000
75% 134.465000
max 202.060000

Mostly Standard CONDIA Strategy

Consistent players up top. Only deviation I see is that he liked Ted Ginn Jr. at 22% utilization

Percentage Player
28 Eagles
25 Matt Forte
25 A.J. Green
24 LeSean McCoy
24 Tyler Kroft
24 Jordan Reed
22 Ted Ginn Jr.
21 Ezekiel Elliott
18 Doug Baldwin
17 Cam Newton
17 Kelvin Benjamin
17 Joe Mixon
17 LeGarrette Blount
17 Mark Ingram
17 Devonta Freeman

Doug Baldwin over Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson hurt big this week but as CONDIA is well-aware. Sometimes she goes and sometimes she don’t.

Fucking Way She Goes

RIP hope he’s enjoying Florida ya Bub

The Eagles D was a good choice.

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CONDIA Might Believe In Rain (but not that much)

I think CONDIA looked at the weather but that didn’t stop him from jumping on Jordan Reed over Jimmy Graham. Still, the next rain affected WR/TE taken was Rob Gronkowski at 12% followed by Chris Hogan at 9%. Biggest takeaway here is that CONDIA may think that WR is the most volatile skill position in rain. Eagles D probably bolstered by rain against the 49ers.

He still was OK selecting QB’s Kirk Cousins, Dak Prescott, and Tom Brady but markedly less than other weeks. His favorite QB, Drew Brees, made another appearance at 9% utilization (for more on QB analysis check out our How Sharks Approach Quarterbacks Article)

His biggest QB stacks was like normal around 6-7% but he played many smaller stacks than normal suggesting that there was no clear cut pairing this week (sadly he didn’t really expect the Texans and Seahawks game to play out as it did).

  • Andy Dalton – A.J. Green 6%

All in all, a standard CONDIA week. Just didn’t work out as well as it did last week.

Tommy G’s Week 8 Lineups

Tommy G entered 107 lineups losing $920.

TommyG1979 Point Totals

count 107.000000
mean 131.268972
std 18.605244
min 92.160000
25% 118.580000
50% 131.880000
75% 144.250000
max 171.980000

Like CONDIA, Tommy G liked Doug Baldwin this week.

Percentage Player
71 Doug Baldwin
68 Russell Wilson
47 Jordan Howard
42 Mark Ingram
41 Joe Mixon
37 Chris Thompson
35 Zach Miller
31 Devonta Freeman
30 T.Y. Hilton
27 Ezekiel Elliott
27 Kelvin Benjamin
23 Tyler Kroft
23 Cowboys
21 Amari Cooper
19 Jets

Unlike CONDIA, Tommy G goes all out when he likes something, using Baldwin in 71% of his lineups. Zach Miller hurt here, but not as much as Miller was feeling when he nearly lost his leg last week.

Zach Miller Leg

Ouch. And then the touchdown was overruled.

Percentage Player
68 Doug Baldwin, Russell Wilson
44 Doug Baldwin, Jordan Howard
44 Jordan Howard, Russell Wilson
33 Doug Baldwin, Joe Mixon
33 Joe Mixon, Russell Wilson
31 Doug Baldwin, Mark Ingram
31 Mark Ingram, Russell Wilson
29 Doug Baldwin, Zach Miller
29 Russell Wilson, Zach Miller
29 Chris Thompson, Doug Baldwin
28 Joe Mixon, Zach Miller
26 Doug Baldwin, Ezekiel Elliott
26 Ezekiel Elliott, Russell Wilson
26 Chris Thompson, Russell Wilson
26 Devonta Freeman, Doug Baldwin

As you’d guess, Russell Wilson-Doug Baldwin was his biggest stack checking in at 68%. Unfortunately, Baldwin wasn’t the play this week as we mentioned during our analysis of Cubsfan333.

Tommy G definitely, didn’t expect the Texans to do well this week. He didn’t play DeShaun Watson or Will Fuller V. DeAndre Hopkins was used only in 4% of lineups while the Seahawks D was used in 5% of lineups.

Rest of Pro’s

Bales lost another $300 in the $1MM maker

Bales had a big win over at FanDuel a few weeks ago but this week was another poor showing for him on DraftKings.

Percentage Player
54 Robby Anderson
45 Joe Mixon
36 T.Y. Hilton
32 Chris Thompson
32 LeSean McCoy
27 Bengals
27 Josh Doctson
23 Keenan Allen
23 Mark Ingram
23 Jordan Reed
23 Amari Cooper
23 Hunter Henry
23 Panthers
18 LeGarrette Blount
18 Doug Baldwin

He went heavy on Mixon and stayed away from much of non-RB’s in rain affected games

CSURAM88 won $1,355

Glad to see this guy showing up in the black again. He had quite the range of lineup scores.

CSURAM88's Point Totals

count 150.000000
mean 131.275333
std 34.016207
min 63.940000
25% 104.805000
50% 124.780000
75% 162.455000
max 206.580000

CSURAM88 had faith in Zach Ertz and the Saints offense.

Percentage Player
46 Alvin Kamara
40 Jimmy Graham
39 Mark Ingram
37 Amari Cooper
33 Joe Mixon
25 Keenan Allen
23 Zach Ertz
22 Russell Wilson
22 Doug Baldwin
21 Jordan Howard
21 Will Fuller V
21 John Ross
21 Wendell Smallwood
21 Jets
21 Christian McCaffrey

Wendell Smallwood was a non-factor but his gutsy pick of Ertz in the rain worked. A new thing I learned about CSURAM88 this week is that he is OK playing 2 RB’s from the same team. He used Alvin Kamara-Mark Ingram in 9% of his lineups. Ended up working out fine as they both got TD’s.

Here’s CSURAM88’s biggest stacks/player pairings

Percentage Player
18 Alvin Kamara, Amari Cooper
17 Jimmy Graham, Mark Ingram
16 Amari Cooper, Jimmy Graham
15 Alvin Kamara, Jimmy Graham
15 Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon
15 Jimmy Graham, Russell Wilson
15 Doug Baldwin, Russell Wilson
15 Jimmy Graham, Will Fuller V
13 Jimmy Graham, Joe Mixon
13 Amari Cooper, Joe Mixon
13 Joe Mixon, Keenan Allen
13 Jimmy Graham, Jordan Howard
13 Paul Richardson, Russell Wilson
13 Jets , Mark Ingram
12 Jimmy Graham, Keenan Allen

Trying 3 Russell Wilson stacks helped him out big! I bet he’s thrilled he chanced on Richardson that much while other pro’s like CONDIA and TommyG didn’t.

Now Tracking: ChipotleAddict

User “djrocstar” recommended we start looking at a few more players. We hope to continue adding more players but for now we’ve selected ChipotleAddict (if anyone knows him, let me know what he thinks about the queso. I just sold my CMG stock because of how shitty I thought it was).

Anywho, in Week 8 he entered 150 lineups and won $270.

count 150.000000
mean 127.281333
std 30.558333
min 73.260000
25% 103.945000
50% 122.470000
75% 150.120000
max 204.980000

Random note: It’s impressive how many pro’s broke the 200 point cliff this week. Here’s ChipotleAddict’s most used players

Percentage Player
74 Joe Mixon
67 T.Y. Hilton
48 Rob Gronkowski
43 Jordan Howard
37 DeAndre Hopkins
31 Chris Thompson
27 Tyler Lockett
25 Christian McCaffrey
25 Buccaneers
24 Brandin Cooks
23 Panthers
22 Russell Wilson
22 Zach Miller
22 Philip Rivers
21 Michael Thomas

Surprisingly, I looked at ChipotleAddict’s top 40 most used pairs and couldn’t find a QB stack anywhere. He had Russell Wilson-DeAndre Hopkins at 21%. His most used stack was Drew Brees-Michael Thomas ~12%.

Perhaps ChipotleAddict prefers the less discussed intra-matchup stack than a QB-WR. He could employ a complicated over-under hedge strategy and/or have an edge predicting big fantasy games.

We’ll keep an eye on ChipotleAddict and continue refining our thoughts on his analysis throughout the season.

SaahilSud Has Another Poor Showing

Saahil Sud entered 150 lineups and lost $2,620. Before questioning his prowess, like I did with Bales last week, I took a week at Saahil Sud’s biggest wins. This guy hasn’t truly been a top dog since the 2015 NFL season.

count 150.000000
mean 112.339733
std 18.792380
min 78.400000
25% 96.410005
50% 111.360000
75% 127.020000
max 165.120000

Saahil Sud’s most used players are below. Notice the potentially deliberate 5% difference between usages. He probably manually set those percentages.

Percentage Player
70 Jordan Reed
65 A.J. Green
55 LeGarrette Blount
45 Joe Mixon
40 LeSean McCoy
40 Jason Witten
34 Seahawks
29 Brandon LaFell
27 Doug Baldwin
27 Mike Evans
25 Russell Wilson
23 Patriots
22 Amari Cooper
21 T.Y. Hilton
21 George Kittle

He went heavy on Jordan Reed, betting that he would return to form in spite of the rain. He also took Amari Cooper over Michael Crabtree.

Saahil Sud is also OK with RB-WR stacks, playing Joe Mixon-A.J. Green in 11% of his lineups. Here’s his top player pairings

Percentage Player
45 A.J. Green, Jordan Reed
36 Joe Mixon, Jordan Reed
36 A.J. Green, Jason Witten
35 Joe Mixon, LeGarrette Blount
33 A.J. Green, LeSean McCoy
26 Jordan Reed, Seahawks
25 Jordan Reed, LeGarrette Blount
25 Jordan Reed, LeSean McCoy
25 Jordan Reed, Russell Wilson
25 A.J. Green, Russell Wilson
25 Joe Mixon, Mike Evans
24 Jason Witten, Jordan Reed
24 LeGarrette Blount, Mike Evans
23 Doug Baldwin, Jordan Reed
23 Jordan Reed, Mike Evans

The Pro Meta

This is a new section where we’ll look at the lineups used by all the pro’s we’re tracking (usernames: CONDIA, SaahilSud, Bales, CSURAM88, Tommyg1979, ChipotleAddict).

In Week 8, none of these pro’s did great. On aggregate they lost $4,005 on 579 entries.

Pro Point Totals

count 579.000000
mean 123.482141
std 25.991015
min 60.800000
25% 105.120000
50% 120.360000
75% 138.300000
max 206.580000

The pro’s used these players the most

Percentage Player
34 Joe Mixon
31 Doug Baldwin
29 Russell Wilson
29 A.J. Green
27 Jordan Reed
23 LeSean McCoy
23 Mark Ingram
21 Amari Cooper
20 LeGarrette Blount
19 Jordan Howard
18 Seahawks
16 Keenan Allen
16 Alvin Kamara
16 Kelvin Benjamin
16 T.Y. Hilton

Doug Baldwin was a rough pick and Joe Mixon didn’t live up to the hype in Week 8. As you can imagine, Wilson-Baldwin was the most used stack. A.J. Green was the most used “consistent/top WR” this week.

Percentage Player
21 Doug Baldwin, Russell Wilson
14 A.J. Green, Jordan Reed
12 Jordan Howard, Russell Wilson
12 Doug Baldwin, Joe Mixon
11 Doug Baldwin, Jordan Howard
11 A.J. Green, LeSean McCoy
11 Joe Mixon, Jordan Reed
10 Amari Cooper, Joe Mixon
10 Joe Mixon, LeGarrette Blount
10 A.J. Green, Jason Witten
9 Joe Mixon, Russell Wilson
9 A.J. Green, Russell Wilson
9 Mark Ingram, Russell Wilson
9 Doug Baldwin, Mark Ingram
8 Joe Mixon, Keenan Allen

Pro’s weren’t scared by rain, using Jordan Reed, Jason Witten, and Keenan Allen in typical amounts.

The Herd Meta

While the pro’s didn’t show the rain much respect, the herd did moreso. The herd pick was the Bengals Offense vs the Colts

Percentage Player
32 Joe Mixon
32 A.J. Green
27 LeSean McCoy
23 Doug Baldwin
21 Tyler Kroft
20 Chris Thompson
18 Ted Ginn Jr.
17 Mark Ingram
17 Andy Dalton
16 Ezekiel Elliott
16 Christian McCaffrey
16 Kelvin Benjamin
16 Jordan Reed
15 Bengals
14 Eagles

The three most common stacks we’re

  • Andy Dalton- A.J. Green 11%
  • Russell Wilson-Doug Baldwin 8%
  • Tyler Kroft-Bengals DST 8%
  • Andy Dalton-Tyler Kroft 6%
  • Andy Dalton-Joe Mixon 6%
  • Cam Newton-Kelvin Benjamin 6%
Percentage Player
13 A.J. Green, Andy Dalton
11 A.J. Green, Joe Mixon
9 Doug Baldwin, Joe Mixon
8 Joe Mixon, LeSean McCoy
8 Doug Baldwin, Russell Wilson
8 A.J. Green, Tyler Kroft
7 A.J. Green, LeSean McCoy
7 LeSean McCoy, Tyler Kroft
6 Joe Mixon, Kelvin Benjamin
6 Joe Mixon, Tyler Kroft
6 Bengals , Joe Mixon
6 A.J. Green, Chris Thompson
6 Andy Dalton, Tyler Kroft
6 Andy Dalton, Joe Mixon
6 Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin

Best Lineup Possible: 275.98

We had a glitch with our lineup optimizer using teams not in the $1MM slate this week and will update this section when it’s done running (even after pruning players based on salary/points scored there’s 10,000,000 lineups to check!). For now take a look at DFSGold although I’ve found them to be off by ~3 points on the best possible lineup for some weeks. 

Updated: The best lineup was 275.98 points and used a salary of 50,000.

player_name position score salary team_name
Dallas Cowboys DST 19.00 2300.0 DAL
Melvin Gordon RB 23.90 8100.0 LAC
Robby Anderson WR 25.50 4200.0 NYJ
Deshaun Watson QB 38.78 6400.0 HOU
DeAndre Hopkins WR 39.40 7500.0 HOU
Paul Richardson WR 31.50 4000.0 SEA
LeSean McCoy RB 32.30 8700.0 BUF
Jack Doyle TE 33.10 3500.0 IND
Will Fuller FLEX 32.50 5300.0 HOU

The player pool of the lineups that would have beat Cubsfan333 is shown below

Name Percentage
4 DeAndre Hopkins 0.997
7 Jack Doyle 0.936
8 Will Fuller 0.659
5 Paul Richardson 0.628
0 Dallas Cowboys 0.523
6 LeSean McCoy 0.520
9 Russell Wilson 0.491
3 Deshaun Watson 0.483
10 Philadelphia Eagles 0.438
2 Robby Anderson 0.347
12 Jamison Crowder 0.342
14 Ezekiel Elliott 0.304
13 DeAndre Washington 0.234
11 Lamar Miller 0.227
16 Tyler Lockett 0.197
18 Jimmy Graham 0.179
1 Melvin Gordon 0.166
20 Travis Benjamin 0.144
21 Mohamed Sanu 0.128
15 Mark Ingram 0.110
17 Jordan Howard 0.099
25 Rex Burkhead 0.091
19 Alvin Kamara 0.088
24 Marlon Mack 0.088
30 Andre Holmes 0.078
26 Frank Gore 0.072
22 Tre McBride 0.054
23 Josh Malone 0.046
29 Rob Gronkowski 0.040
35 San Francisco 49ers 0.039
34 Jonathan Stewart 0.032
27 Tyler Kroft 0.031
28 Eric Tomlinson 0.031
31 Tre Madden 0.022
37 Ryan Grant 0.021
38 Brandon LaFell 0.019
32 Jamize Olawale 0.018
33 Josh Hill 0.015
40 Ed Dickson 0.014
39 Corey Clement 0.013
42 Andy Dalton 0.009
43 Josh McCown 0.008
36 Jacoby Brissett 0.008
41 Austin Ekeler 0.007
44 Mitchell Trubisky 0.001

DeAndre Washington jumps out at me as a sneaky good pick. 8 receptions with Marshawn out is huge on DraftKings.


  • Millionaire Maker tourney size reduced yet again
    • Last week DraftKings only made $421,140 because they were 10K missing lineups in the guaranteed prize pool.
    • The total prize pool will now be $3MM (down from $3.6MM).
  • Was the Texans performance great or a solid indicator of the decline of the Legion of Boom?
    • Time will tell and we’ll track their usage by pro’s next week
    • Personally, I don’t think the Seahawks have an elite defense anymore.
  • Pro Meta Next Week will cover top 50 players listed on rotogrinders!
  • Are you a new reader?
  • DFSGold Best Lineup not optimal
    • The true best lineup for the main slate on DraftKings was 275.98, not 266.78!

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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

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