DraftKings Week 9 Recap

As a whole, DraftKings made $1,151,780 more than doubling last weeks total! Adaptive contest sizing is important ya’ll.

Here’s summary stats on lineups.

count 176470.000000
mean 130.826768
std 22.818957
min 0.000000
25% 115.280000
50% 130.660000
75% 146.920000
max 214.360000

The average score was 130.826 but you needed 149.14 to cash. Let’s look at Week 9’s Winner jamesgames44.

Jamesgames44 Wins with 214.36

Week 9’s winner was Jamesgames44. He entered 150 lineups and took home $1,000,920.

jamesgames44's Point Distribution

Look at that nice skew he got. What a week.

count 150.000000
mean 152.133867
std 22.762843
min 84.020000
25% 138.810000
50% 158.050000
75% 167.405000
max 214.360000

He used a lot of “chalk” plays but missed on 2 of his top 3 picks, Michael Thomas and Mark Ingram.

Percentage Player
64 Michael Thomas
62 Carlos Hyde
52 Mark Ingram
48 Todd Gurley II
48 Eagles
47 T.Y. Hilton
46 Jack Doyle
39 Doug Baldwin
39 Drew Brees
26 Vernon Davis
25 Javorius Allen
22 Jaguars
22 Christian McCaffrey
22 Russell Wilson
20 Robert Woods

But that’s why you’re better off max entering lineups in GPP’s. We looked at his stacks and they look pretty circumstantial besides Drew Brees-Michael Thomas at 35%. (By circumstantial I mean, the percentage utilization of his stacked players does not appear deliberate ala TommyG1979. You would expect an optimizer to get around the values we sa given the 1-pair percentages above).

Percentage Player
47 Carlos Hyde, Michael Thomas
38 Jack Doyle, Michael Thomas
36 Carlos Hyde, Jack Doyle
35 Drew Brees, Michael Thomas
34 Carlos Hyde, T.Y. Hilton
34 Carlos Hyde, Mark Ingram
31 Eagles , Todd Gurley II
31 Mark Ingram, T.Y. Hilton
30 Michael Thomas, T.Y. Hilton
29 Michael Thomas, Todd Gurley II
29 Doug Baldwin, Jack Doyle
28 Carlos Hyde, Todd Gurley II
27 Eagles , Michael Thomas
27 Doug Baldwin, Michael Thomas
27 Mark Ingram, Michael Thomas
25 Carlos Hyde, Drew Brees
24 Carlos Hyde, Doug Baldwin
23 T.Y. Hilton, Todd Gurley II
21 Jack Doyle, T.Y. Hilton
20 Eagles , Mark Ingram
20 Doug Baldwin, Eagles
20 Drew Brees, Eagles
20 Carlos Hyde, Jaguars
19 Mark Ingram, Todd Gurley II
19 Drew Brees, Todd Gurley II

Like most pro’s, he saw no issue stacking Mark Ingram with Michael Thomas. He also stacked Alvin Kamara-Mark Ingram in 6% of his lineups.

A New Meta: Jamesgames44 Wins with his Player Pool

We’ve seen CONDIA use 110+ players a week but Jamesgames44 only used 60 players across his 150 lineups, a similar approach to Al_Smizzle who we’ll talk about next. jamesgames44 did not do much stack manipulation like TommyG1979 so this means we have yet another DFS bettor archetype, the football guru optimizer guys. These players don’t get overly obsessed with stacks and rely on their superior football knowledge to pick the best players each week.

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Now Tracking: Al_Smizzle

One of our readers asked us to track Al_Smizzle and he sure was timely because Al_Smizzle took 6th in last weeks $1MM Maker with 207.92. If you don’t know “Al_Smizzle” check out his profile on Rotogrinders and read his own recap on his prior $1MM in 2016. He also was featured in this article questioning what it means to be a “sponsored DraftKings Player”.

He entered 150 lineups winning a cool $14,650.

count 150.000000
mean 147.486133
std 21.260935
min 99.820010
25% 133.525000
50% 147.320000
75% 160.300000
max 207.920000

His most used players last week were

Percentage Player
49 Michael Thomas
49 Dez Bryant
48 T.Y. Hilton
39 Mark Ingram
32 Lamar Miller
31 Jack Doyle
28 Tyreek Hill
26 Trey Burton
25 Rams
25 Dak Prescott
24 Terrance Williams
24 Kareem Hunt
22 Eagles
22 Todd Gurley II
22 Drew Brees

Already I see he’s ready to take calculated risks like T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle. Also, Al_Smizzle treats DFS like a job, waiting until the 12PM EST inactives report to come before finalizing his lineups. He correctly identified Trey Burton’s enormous upside with Zach Ertz out in spite of an Ian Rapoport “expected to play” designation.

He’s also not afraid of RB-WR stacks, taking Mark Ingram-T.Y. Hilton in 18% of his lineups.

Percentage Player
24 Lamar Miller, T.Y. Hilton
21 Michael Thomas, T.Y. Hilton
21 Dez Bryant, Mark Ingram
21 Drew Brees, Michael Thomas
18 Dez Bryant, T.Y. Hilton
18 Dez Bryant, Lamar Miller
18 Dez Bryant, Michael Thomas
18 Mark Ingram, Michael Thomas
18 Mark Ingram, T.Y. Hilton
17 Jack Doyle, Michael Thomas
16 Javorius Allen, Michael Thomas
16 Dez Bryant, Jack Doyle
16 Cameron Brate, Drew Brees
16 Cameron Brate, Michael Thomas
14 Michael Thomas, Rams

Typically, RB-WR is a negatively correlated pair and it didn’t do great last week. Alvin Kamara did much better than Ingram and Michael Thomas continued running cold.

season week_num player_name points salary
2017 9 Mark Ingram 8.9 7600.0
2017 9 Michael Thomas 14.5 7200.0

Besides that RB-WR stack note, I couldn’t gleam much else from Al_Smizzle’s 2 pairs. The percentages look more circumstantial than deliberate. This suggests Al_Smizzle has faith in his optimizer or heavily engineers his player pool. Sure enough, Al_Smizzle used the leaset number of players across any of his 150 lineups than we’ve seen so far. Only 48 players! CONDIA will play 110 or more. Glad we checked 😛

We’ll keep tracking Al_Smizzle as we prepare for our DFS Shark Strategy Series, where we will use our analysis from the season to construct informative statements about the professional sharks and their DFS strategies.

Other Pros

CONDIA Took a Vacation from the $1MM Maker

Saahil Sud Was Another No Show

Bales Entered 18 Lineups

He lost $235 with a top score of 177.32 points despite some good picks in his player pool.

Percentage Player
38 Mark Ingram
32 T.Y. Hilton
32 Carlos Hyde
32 Michael Thomas
27 Jack Doyle
27 Marqise Lee
27 Todd Gurley II
27 Dez Bryant
27 Javorius Allen
21 Julio Jones
21 Devin Funchess
21 Robert Woods
21 Alshon Jeffery
21 Chris Ivory
21 DeSean Jackson

If only he max entered, Bales might have generated a gem lineup with these. (Woot-woot I did better this week with my 20 lineups)

CSURAM88 Entered 8 Lineups

Lost $35 on a Ezekiel Elliott heavy player pool.

Percentage Player
74 Ezekiel Elliott
49 T.Y. Hilton
49 Broncos
49 Trey Burton
49 Dez Bryant
37 Jack Doyle
37 Drew Brees
37 Alvin Kamara
37 Todd Gurley II
37 Lamar Miller
37 Eagles
37 Michael Thomas
37 DeSean Jackson
24 Jared Goff
24 Robert Woods

TommyG1979 Only Entered 20 Lineups

TommyG1979 lost $85 on 20 lineups. True to form, he used a bunch of stacks.

Percentage Player
59 Seahawks
44 Todd Gurley II
44 Chris Thompson
34 Christian McCaffrey
34 Michael Thomas
29 Alvin Kamara
29 Doug Baldwin
29 Julio Jones
29 T.Y. Hilton
24 Cam Newton
24 Sterling Shepard
24 Mike Wallace
24 Ted Ginn Jr.
24 Ezekiel Elliott

Chris Thompson really hurt and so did Julio Jones big drop.

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You wouldn’t expect that player pool to do so bad but take a look at these 9% 7 player groupings.

Percentage Player
9 Alvin Kamara, Cameron Brate, DeSean Jackson, Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Seahawks , Ted Ginn Jr.
9 Alvin Kamara, Cameron Brate, DeSean Jackson, Drew Brees, Eddie Lacy, Michael Thomas, Seahawks
9 Alvin Kamara, DeSean Jackson, Drew Brees, Eddie Lacy, Mike Evans, Seahawks , Ted Ginn Jr.

Cameron Brate, DeSean Jackson, and Mike Evans all did terrible. Not to mention Alvin Kamara was the only player in these groups to really go off.

Better luck next week TommyG.

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ChipotleAddict Lost Big

ChipotleAddict took some big risks but missed the mark, losing $2,880 on 150 lineups. He drew heavily on Chris Ivory and Trey Burton as the inactive report came in. We’ll keep note of this and see if he always plays the replacement starter for surprise inactives or if there was more at play here.

Percentage Player
72 Carlos Hyde
64 Chris Ivory
55 Tyreek Hill
50 Mike Evans
40 Trey Burton
34 Demaryius Thomas
28 Texans
28 Dak Prescott
26 Dez Bryant
25 Mark Ingram
23 Alshon Jeffery
22 Falcons
22 Chris Thompson
22 Michael Thomas
19 Ezekiel Elliott

Heavy Stacks by ChipotleAddict

Take a look at these two player stacks

Percentage Player
42 Carlos Hyde, Chris Ivory
38 Carlos Hyde, Tyreek Hill
38 Carlos Hyde, Mike Evans
35 Chris Ivory, Mike Evans
32 Chris Ivory, Tyreek Hill
24 Carlos Hyde, Trey Burton
22 Trey Burton, Tyreek Hill
22 Carlos Hyde, Demaryius Thomas
22 Dak Prescott, Tyreek Hill
20 Mike Evans, Trey Burton
20 Carlos Hyde, Texans
20 Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill
19 Dez Bryant, Tyreek Hill
18 Chris Ivory, Trey Burton
18 Demaryius Thomas, Trey Burton

Carlos Hyde and Chris Ivory formed the base of all his lineups. He really liked Tyreek Hill too but it didn’t pay off in Week 9.

Percentage Player
25 Carlos Hyde, Chris Ivory, Mike Evans
18 Carlos Hyde, Chris Ivory, Tyreek Hill
14 Carlos Hyde, Dak Prescott, Tyreek Hill
14 Carlos Hyde, Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill
13 Carlos Hyde, Trey Burton, Tyreek Hill
12 Carlos Hyde, Mike Evans, Trey Burton
12 Chris Ivory, Dak Prescott, Tyreek Hill
12 Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant, Tyreek Hill
12 Chris Ivory, Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill
11 Carlos Hyde, Chris Ivory, Texans
11 Carlos Hyde, Texans , Tyreek Hill
11 Carlos Hyde, Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant
11 Carlos Hyde, Dez Bryant, Tyreek Hill
11 Chris Ivory, Dez Bryant, Tyreek Hill
11 Dak Prescott, Jason Witten, Tyreek Hill

Although ChipotleAddict lost big, he will also win big once his 25% 3 player stacks go off.

Rotogrinders Top 50 Meta

New section where we look on how the top 50 ranked DFS players on Rotogrinders did. On aggregate, the top players lost $15,680 on 4,299 entries.

The top pro lineup was 5th place 208.26 points, scored by spx333. Al_Smizzle followed with 6th.

count 4299.000000
mean 129.202680
std 24.176063
min 49.080000
25% 113.170000
50% 129.380000
75% 146.460000
max 208.260000

Todd Gurley was the top RB and Michael Thomas the top WR. As a group, 5 of the top 6 most used players were “misses”.

Percentage Player
38 Todd Gurley II
34 Michael Thomas
33 Ezekiel Elliott
31 Dez Bryant
26 Lamar Miller
24 Mark Ingram
23 Carlos Hyde
21 Drew Brees
20 Kareem Hunt
18 Travis Kelce
17 T.Y. Hilton
17 Vernon Davis
17 Doug Baldwin
16 Jaguars

The most common pro stacks were

  • Drew Brees-Michael Thomas 16%
  • Dak Prescott-Dez Bryant 10%
  • Dez Bryant-Ezekiel Elliott 9%

I think it’s pretty clear how most of the pro’s missed the mark in week 9. Drew Brees was the top QB and pro’s faded T.Y. Hilton compared to Dez Bryant.

The Herd Meta

The herd saw T.Y. Hilton as a great value pick at $4,900 salary and played him a commiserate amount.

Percentage Player
35 Todd Gurley II
32 T.Y. Hilton
29 Michael Thomas
29 Dez Bryant
26 Ezekiel Elliott
24 Adrian Peterson
24 Kareem Hunt
23 Jack Doyle
23 Tyreek Hill
21 Eagles
20 Drew Brees
18 Devin Funchess
18 Lamar Miller
18 Mark Ingram

The biggest herd stacks were:

  • Drew Brees-Michael Thomas 12%
  • Dak Prescott-Dez Bryant 9%
  • Dez Bryant-Ezekiel Elliott 5%

Jack Doyle, T.Y. Hilton, and Adrian Peterson were the biggest difference makers between the herd and the sharks. This week, the herd won.

Best Lineup Last Week: 244.34 Points

The best lineup in week 9’s Sunday slate was 244.34 points and used a salary of only $45,700.

player_name position score salary team_name
Jared Goff QB 31.44 5500.0 LAR
Corey Clement RB 25.60 3400.0 PHI
Alvin Kamara RB 32.20 6300.0 NO
Alshon Jeffery WR 26.40 5300.0 PHI
Doug Baldwin WR 26.80 6900.0 SEA
Terrance Williams WR 26.10 3300.0 DAL
Travis Kelce TE 20.30 6700.0 KC
T.Y. Hilton FLEX 37.50 4900.0 IND
New Orleans Saints DST 18.00 3400.0 NO

There were at least 17,402 lineups better than jamesgames44’s 244.34 points. The player pool for these better lineups is below

Name Percentage
7 T.Y. Hilton 0.979
1 Alvin Kamara 0.849
8 Jared Goff 0.679
6 New Orleans Saints 0.548
0 Corey Clement 0.522
5 Terrance Williams 0.491
2 Alshon Jeffery 0.476
4 Doug Baldwin 0.470
9 Todd Gurley 0.383
10 Robert Woods 0.340
12 Carlos Hyde 0.303
13 Marqise Lee 0.288
3 Travis Kelce 0.269
14 Adrian Peterson 0.264
15 Demaryius Thomas 0.243
16 Julio Jones 0.203
20 Jacoby Brissett 0.198
11 Evan Engram 0.181
18 Los Angeles Rams 0.180
21 Washington Redskins 0.158
17 Jack Doyle 0.125
26 Indianapolis Colts 0.114
19 Vernon Davis 0.104
22 Trey Burton 0.091
23 Delanie Walker 0.084
24 Ben Watson 0.076
25 Jimmy Graham 0.068
27 C.J. Beathard 0.066
28 Tavarres King 0.057
29 Joe Flacco 0.051
30 Thomas Rawls 0.026
31 Brian Quick 0.017
32 Peyton Barber 0.016
33 Keelan Cole 0.016
34 Cody Latimer 0.014
35 De’Anthony Thomas 0.014
36 Curtis Samuel 0.012
37 J.D. McKissic 0.006
38 Brock Osweiler 0.006
39 Shane Vereen 0.006
40 Eddie Lacy 0.006

Trey Burton makes the list with Ertz out but it was Corey Clement who benefited the most. Clement proved to be the ultimate sleeper pick with only 24 lineups out of 176,470 playing him!


Where else should we share these DFS recap articles?

New moderation at /r/dfsports is relegating us to the minor leagues, going as far as blocking comments on our last post. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit miffed because a lot of our posts have been the top post on the sub and received very favorable comments saying to keep posting.


So, we’re actively looking for supportive environments to share these strategy recaps going forward and would appreciate your help. Leave your input in the comments or email matteo@sportsdatadirect.com your thoughts.

If you haven’t already, please share these recaps with your DFS friends.

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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

3 Responses

  1. Matteo Hoch says:

    Where else should we share these?

  2. Yves-Marie says:

    Excellent work, I have just discovered this blog and I can see the quality of the content is increasing week by week!
    May I suggest to overlay the pros lineup scores distribution with the one of the “herd” to see at a glance how they perform vs. the rest of the world? I have always been wondering if the pros win with “one-offs” or are statistically better than average week-on-week, so perhaps this makes even more sense at the year scale rather than for a single contest?
    Also really like the scores to 50/50 and cash in Milly maker. It would be great to see the trend since the beginning of the year (50%, 75% and Max score vs. week).
    Hope this help, keep up the great work!

    • Matteo Hoch says:

      Thanks Yves-Marie! I really appreciate your feedback.
      So, I looked at the pro and herd charts for this week and the pro’s we’re pretty in-line with the herd. But you saying all this makes me excited to do a season end recap where we can try and put some data in front of those questions. I would be very interested to see if the pros win with “one-offs” or are statistically better in important aspects like you mentioned.
      I’ll keep tracking the scores to 50/50 plus the max score each week and make sure they make it in some of the season end recaps.

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