DraftKings Week 11 Recap
Week 11 is in the past. This week’s $1MM winner was RobKaufman. He entered 50 lineups and won with a millionaire maker outlier of 221.18 points.
Only 6 of his lineups cashed! (145.36 to cash in Week 11)
What a week for this guy. Here’s the usual look at how he engineered his lineups.
RobKaufman’s Winning Strategy
Player pool 49 players (this is somewhat similar to Al_Smizzle’s approach and suggests that Rob manually highlighted a subset of players).
His most used players were
Note that even Jay Cutler’s dreadful Week 11 performance (3 picks at half) could sink RobKaufman.
His largest stack was a RB-DST stack at 39% Kareem Hunt-Chiefs. Next up was Jay Cutler-Jarvis Landry at 33%.
|41||Jeremy Maclin, Rob Gronkowski|
|39||Chiefs , Rob Gronkowski|
|39||Chiefs , Kareem Hunt|
|37||Jay Cutler, Rob Gronkowski|
|37||Chiefs , Chris Thompson|
|37||Chris Thompson, Jarvis Landry|
|35||Chris Thompson, Jay Cutler|
|33||Chris Thompson, Jeremy Maclin|
|33||Jarvis Landry, Jay Cutler|
|33||Chris Thompson, Rob Gronkowski|
|31||Chiefs , Jeremy Maclin|
|31||Kareem Hunt, Rob Gronkowski|
|31||Cooper Kupp, Rob Gronkowski|
|29||Jay Cutler, Jeremy Maclin|
|29||Chiefs , Jay Cutler|
|27||Jeremy Maclin, Kareem Hunt|
|27||Jarvis Landry, Rob Gronkowski|
Now it’s possible those two stacks were deliberate but it’s tough to tell given the consequential frequent pairs. The biggest takeaway I see is that RobKaufman won by using a engineered player pool rather than adhering to common lineup stacks.
A Look at DFS Pros
As a group, the Rotogrinders top 50 entered 4,399 lineups accounting for 2.4% of all entries in Week 11’s Millionaire Maker. “TwoGun” was the highest placing “pro” with 198.66. ChipotleAddict finished 8th among pro’s with 191.68.
The top 50 lost $41,670 with only 3 pro’s making money on the contest.
|payout||payout per lineups entered|
Note: Grinderscal and cubsfan333 won earlier this year and are still playing. Also, this chart is ranked by winnings. I’d argue Bales and CSURAM88 did worse than Al_Smizzle because they entered fewer lineups and on average lost way more per lineup.
Summary statistics for the pro’s
The most common pro stacks used Tom Brady
|18||Jamison Crowder, Kareem Hunt|
|13||Jamison Crowder, Michael Thomas|
|11||Brandin Cooks, Tom Brady|
|11||Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady|
|11||Kareem Hunt, Michael Thomas|
|11||Drew Brees, Michael Thomas|
|10||Kareem Hunt, Rex Burkhead|
|10||Bruce Ellington, Kareem Hunt|
|10||Chris Thompson, Michael Thomas|
|10||Chris Thompson, Kareem Hunt|
|10||Jaguars , Kareem Hunt|
|10||DeAndre Hopkins, Kareem Hunt|
|9||Brandin Cooks, Kareem Hunt|
|9||Kareem Hunt, Tom Brady|
|9||Chris Thompson, Jamison Crowder|
|9||Jaguars , Jamison Crowder|
|9||Jamison Crowder, Rob Gronkowski|
Pro’s We’re Tracking
Jonathan Bales entered 20 lineups again. He lost $320 and did worse than the average non pro player.
He fell into the Rex Burkhead trap, using him half of his lineups
But the Lion’s Defense was a solid pick. He went super heavy on Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski and was really hoping they’d go off.
|29||Jamison Crowder, Michael Thomas|
|19||Jamison Crowder, Rex Burkhead|
|19||Amari Cooper, Rex Burkhead|
|19||Amari Cooper, Lions|
|19||Lions , Rex Burkhead|
|19||Amari Cooper, Brandin Cooks|
|19||Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady|
|19||Michael Crabtree, Rex Burkhead|
|19||A.J. Green, Chris Thompson|
|14||Bruce Ellington, Jamison Crowder|
|14||Bruce Ellington, Chris Thompson|
|14||Amari Cooper, Chris Thompson|
|14||Bruce Ellington, Tom Brady|
|14||Amari Cooper, Tom Brady|
|14||Lions , Tom Brady|
|14||Rex Burkhead, Tom Brady|
|14||Brandin Cooks, Lions|
Unfortunately, Tom Brady-Brandin Cooks was the better play. NOTE: this is why checking pairs of players is important. Both Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski were used the same amount but because Gronk and Brady were always played together, Bales missed out on Brandin Cooks.
This begs the question: Why doesn’t Bales play more lineups? He’s written books about DFS and sold a company (Fantasy Labs) but won’t play more than 20 lineups each week in the $1MM Maker. If he added 4 lineups and played Cooks in all of them, to mirror his Gronk utilization, he would have been able to capitalize on the predictable event that some Patriot’s player would catch a TD and rack up yards.
CSURAM88 Only Cashed 1 Lineup out of 12
Glossing over him this week. He played like Bales with a Gronk-Burhead heavy player pool.
Tommyg1979 only enters 54 Lineups
He lost $435 and played less than the week before. Maybe he has some Christmas shopping to do or is focusing on other contests.
TommyG outplayed the herd but didn’t beat the rake
He had Tyreek Hill in 95% of his lineups.
Gronk didn’t help either. TommyG had Brady-Gronk in 36% of his stacks.
ChipotleAddict Lost $1,125 on 150 Lineups
Like TommyG, ChipotleAddict beat the herd but not the rake.
He had a nice little bump around 175 points but it wasn’t high enough this week.
LeSean McCoy was his top RB.
|22||Todd Gurley II|
And ChipotleAddict was hot on the Redskins offense. His highest stacks used Kirk Cousins (other pro’s favored Tom Brady)
|21||Jamison Crowder, Michael Thomas|
|20||Kirk Cousins, Michael Thomas|
|18||DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas|
|17||Michael Thomas, Vernon Davis|
|16||DeAndre Hopkins, LeSean McCoy|
|16||DeAndre Hopkins, Jordan Howard|
|14||LeSean McCoy, Michael Thomas|
|14||Jamison Crowder, Kirk Cousins|
|13||Jamison Crowder, LeSean McCoy|
|13||Kirk Cousins, Vernon Davis|
|13||DeAndre Hopkins, Vernon Davis|
|13||DeAndre Hopkins, Emmanuel Sanders|
|13||DeAndre Hopkins, Joe Mixon|
|12||DeAndre Hopkins, Jamison Crowder|
|12||Chris Thompson, DeAndre Hopkins|
|12||DeAndre Hopkins, Jerick McKinnon|
|12||Jerick McKinnon, Michael Thomas|
So good work picking Kirk Cousins over Tom Brady but it wasn’t enough for ChipotleAddict.
Al_Smizzle: Mr. Player Pool Continues His Strategy
He lost $330 on $3,000, putting him among the best as a high volume player. Al_Smizzle used Rex Burkhead the most but was saved by Brandin Cooks in 50% of his lineups.
He only used 41 different players. As someone who uses optimizers, this makes me believe he puts less faith in optimizing lineups versus generating lineups subject to constraints.
For those of you who aren’t that familiar with optimizers, typically you’d take the top 150 lineups ranked by predicted score or, better yet, predicted lineup “portfolio” performance. By reducing his player pool to 41 players, there are still about 200,000 valid lineups in a given week. But if you’d use 95 players there are 10+MM possible lineups. While 200,000 is a big number, it allows Al_Smizzle to not blindly trust an optimizer that might underplay a high upside player like Brandin Cooks because Rob Gronkowski is projected 1 higher point. The flipside is that picking the best player pool is tough.
Al_Smizzle’s NFL strategy is a lot of work to replicate if you play every day like in the NBA but may be the best approach for NFL where predictions are harder.
Here’s his stacks
|31||Brandin Cooks, Rex Burkhead|
|24||Jamison Crowder, Travis Kelce|
|22||Jamison Crowder, Rex Burkhead|
|20||Brandin Cooks, Jamison Crowder|
|20||Rex Burkhead, Travis Kelce|
|20||Brandin Cooks, Jaguars|
|19||Jaguars , Rex Burkhead|
|18||Brandin Cooks, Travis Kelce|
|18||Brandin Cooks, Tom Brady|
|18||Kareem Hunt, Rex Burkhead|
|17||Jaguars , Jamison Crowder|
|17||Brandin Cooks, Kareem Hunt|
|17||Evan Engram, Rex Burkhead|
|16||Michael Crabtree, Rex Burkhead|
|16||Bruce Ellington, Travis Kelce|
|16||Jamison Crowder, Melvin Gordon|
|16||Jarvis Landry, Kareem Hunt|
Nothing jumps out as overly deliberate, which continues to suggest that Al_Smizzle spends the majority of his time finding ~40 players to use in all of his lineups versus optimizer/lineup engineering.
I’d guess Al_Smizzle knows the most about football out of all the DFS Pro’s.
Notable No Shows
CONDIA missed the last few weeks. Why?
On the other hand, SaahilSud might be back again after entering 1 lineup and cashing with 153.36. He used a hefty dose of the Patriots.
RB Alvin Kamara RB Kareem Hunt WR Roger Lewis DST Chargers WR Amari Cooper TE Jared Cook QB Tom Brady FLEX Rex Burkhead WR Brandin Cooks
The Herd Meta
The herd won the $1MM maker in Week 11. But on average, performed worse.
Here’s the herds player pool compared with Rotogrinder’s Top 50
|lineup_hash||Percentage Pro||Percentage Herd||pro_favoritism|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||5||5||0|
|Todd Gurley II||14||6||8|
The pro’s did better identifying Lesean McCoy and Kirk Cousins but missed on Michael Thomas and Joe Mixon.
Like the pro’s, the herd used Tom Brady in the majority of their stacks.
|12||Brandin Cooks, Tom Brady|
|12||Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady|
|9||Brandin Cooks, Kareem Hunt|
|9||Rex Burkhead, Tom Brady|
|9||Jamison Crowder, Kareem Hunt|
|8||Brandin Cooks, Chris Thompson|
|8||Jaguars , Kareem Hunt|
|8||Kareem Hunt, Tom Brady|
|8||Brandin Cooks, Rex Burkhead|
|8||Kareem Hunt, Rex Burkhead|
|8||Bruce Ellington, Kareem Hunt|
|8||Kareem Hunt, Michael Crabtree|
|7||Chris Thompson, Rob Gronkowski|
|7||Chris Thompson, Kareem Hunt|
|7||Jeremy Maclin, Kareem Hunt|
|7||Rex Burkhead, Rob Gronkowski|
|7||Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski|
The best and worst non-pros.
isupol took the worst spot losing $2,970 on 150 lineups. Ouch.
Best Possible Lineup: 237.08 Points
This week, there were at least 1,645 better lineups than RobKaufman. The player pool of these better lineups with utilization percentages is below
|Los Angeles Chargers||0.459|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0.047|
|New York Giants||0.005|
Kenny Stills was the only unanimous perfect pick and Kirk Cousins was the best QB.
The best lineup was
After the NFL regular season is over we will be working on a few articles. So far we’re planning
- A look at how $1MM players do after winning the big prize
- How much to cash every week
- Pro and Herd Short Term Trends (how things like recent performance affecting the two groups differently)
- Our thoughts on DraftKings GPP’s being skill or luck
- Past pro’s like Bales, CSURAM88, CONDIA, and SaahilSud don’t appear to do significantly better than the other $1MM players
- NBA Recaps
I know last time I said we’d finish the WR post for How Sharks Approach DFS but it’s going to take another week #ThanksgivingCreptUp
Good luck in Week 12. Our fade of the week is Todd Gurley II.
Our past recaps can be found archived here. We also have a “How Sharks Approach DFS Series” and if you really love these please consider supporting us on Patreon and sharing with your friends using one of the buttons below.