DraftKings Week 14 Recap
Week 14 was a week when the winning lineup benefited from player replaceability. Brett Hundley (A-A-RON out), Giovani Bernard (Joe Mixon out), Trey Burton (Zach Ertz Out). In Week 7, we saw this strategy back fire but it panned out well in Week 14.
<scroll down to the bottom for more thoughts on player replaceability>
- Winner 220.60 TwoGun used an optimizer plus player exposure strategy
- 147.66 to cash
- Best lineup possible 266.98
- Poor week for us humans. There were at least 197,628 better lineups than the winner!
Let’s begin by looking at TwoGun’s lineups.
TwoGun’s Winning Lineups
TwoGun entered 57 lineups and drew heavily on Giovani Bernard. Here’s his top picks.
|47||Todd Gurley II|
|24||Will Fuller V|
It looks like his Giovani Bernard near-lock dominated his lineups. His stacks are shown below
|52||DeAndre Hopkins, Giovani Bernard|
|40||Giovani Bernard, Todd Gurley II|
|27||DeAndre Hopkins, Todd Gurley II|
|27||Giovani Bernard, Mike Evans|
|25||Giovani Bernard, LeSean McCoy|
|25||Giovani Bernard, Travis Kelce|
|20||Giovani Bernard, Kareem Hunt|
|20||Giovani Bernard, Will Fuller V|
|18||DeAndre Hopkins, Kareem Hunt|
|18||Giovani Bernard, Packers|
|17||Demaryius Thomas, Giovani Bernard|
|17||Giovani Bernard, Golden Tate|
|17||Adam Thielen, Giovani Bernard|
|17||Giovani Bernard, Larry Fitzgerald|
|17||Giovani Bernard, Keenan Allen|
I’d like to say that he deliberately set Giovani Bernard-Kareem Hunt at 20%. But looking at only one week is not enough! However, I’m confident he manually set Giovani Bernard player exposure.
Thankfully, we are now tracking QB stacks a bit more dilligently. Like last week’s winner, TwoGun forced his QB-WR’s to stack.
|6||Giovani Bernard||Carson Wentz|
|6||Nelson Agholor||Carson Wentz|
|11||Giovani Bernard||Marcus Mariota|
|10||Delanie Walker||Marcus Mariota|
|13||Golden Tate||Matthew Stafford|
|11||Giovani Bernard||Matthew Stafford|
|6||Giovani Bernard||Nathan Peterman|
|11||DeAndre Hopkins||Tom Savage|
|10||Giovani Bernard||Tom Savage|
|8||DeAndre Hopkins||Trevor Siemian|
|8||Demaryius Thomas||Trevor Siemian|
How to read this: Blank player means that the percentage of QB usage across all lineups. When it’s the same as a pair that is a surefire forced stack! (In the future I’ll start to display this table a bit better)
I also want you to look at TwoGun’s point distribution.
If you’re entering multiple entries into a big tourney, you want high variance. Look at how TwoGun had lineups below 100 and above 200! It won’t always work out that way but if you have a spread (top lineup – worst lineup of around 30 you aren’t taking nearly enough risk.)
What We Know About TwoGun
All in all we know
- [very likely] Manually set player exposure
- supporting evidence: 97 players in his player pool yet Bernard in 90%, round number
- opposing evidence: his projections source could have favored Giovani Bernard just 90% of the time
- [definitely] Forced his QB’s to stack
- evidence: QB’s stacked
- [likely] Optimizer plus player exposure class of DFS player.
We’ve seen a lot of these optimizer plus player exposure guys win but that doesn’t mean it’s the best strategy. It could be more indicative of one of the major trends in the DFS world.
Pro Player Leaderboard
CONDIA is back!
Well CONDIA only made $160 but still won something. Al_Smizzle had another bad week. And ChipotleAddict fluctuates a ton! Besides that tommyg1979 only entered 3 lineups.
CONDIA Strategy Checkin
CONDIA used Trevor Siemian and Demaryius Thomas as a surefire stack in 11% of his lineups, that means he always played Siemian and Thomas together.
He only played 94 lineups so now we get to see how his lineups change versus the number of lineups. Sure enough they did.
Normally CONDIA plays QB’s in ~8% of his lineups. A quick computation 150/94*(standard_percentage) shows that we’d expect him to play QB’s around ~12.7% if his risk function is linearly based on his lineups.
Here’s what CONDIA did with his QB’s, min significance 5%
(12.7% is a a bit hairy but it roughly fits the data). More convincingly, he took more risk at QB this week. None of these QB’s are truly top tier. Smith stands out as the best while the others can be very hit or miss.
CONDIA’s single player utilizations were far riskier than normal too.
|28||Todd Gurley II|
In past weeks, we haven’t seen any of his players over 40% utilization. Maybe he’s taking some big risks before retiring this year? Hope he keeps playing
Al_Smizzle What You Doin?
Al_Smizzle’s player pool is consistent around 43 players (this week it was 44). But he’s just not picking the right player right now.
|54||Todd Gurley II|
Sterling Shepard ouch. Same goes for Bengals D. Al_Smizzle’s strategy requires a bit of luck and football savyness. Perhaps his winning observations haven’t hit in recent weeks. We’ll try and find out what his go to players are after the season. For a pro like him, I’d assume he sticks to a strategy rather than chase things.
Bales Enters 18 lineups again
This guy loves spending $360. 18 seems like a lucky number. Here’s his single player utilization
|27||Todd Gurley II|
His top lineup was 196.14 and worst was 96. So he got quite the spread from his 18 entries.
Pro and Herd Meta
The pro’s beat the herd by a solid 3 points on average.
The biggest difference between the herd and pro’s was Josh Gordon.
|lineup_hash||Percentage Pro||Percentage Herd||pro_favoritism|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||12||13||-1|
|Todd Gurley II||28||15||13|
While most will agree Josh Gordon had a good week, compared to his salary there were better choices. And Josh Gordon wasn’t in our better than the winning lineup player pool.
The pro’s played Giovani Bernard 9% more than the herd! But more importantly, their devotation towards TGII has been paying off.
The herd’s biggest stack was Alex Smith-Travis Kelce at 8% and they used 347 players across their 172,652 lineups.
The pro’s biggest stack was Jameis Winston-Mike Evans at 8% and they used just 188 players across their 3,818 lineups.
Interestingly, the pro’s stacked Blaine Gabbert-Larry Fitzgerald in 5% of their stacks and Blaine Gabbert was used in 5% of lineups making that a potential surefire stack. (potentially only because I round my percentages to the nearest number.)
Best Lineup Possible: 266.98
At least 197,628 better lineups than the winner’s 220.60!
The best possible lineup scored 266.98 while using a salary of just $43,500.
Optimal player pool is shown below
|Kansas City Chiefs||0.147|
There’s a few strange names on there, Elijhaa Penny and Rod Smith especially. After the season, I’d really like to look into how many repeat players are in these top player pools.
Also notice that Josh Gordon is not on this list!
Thoughts on Player Replaceability
First off, can we all agree that Ezekiel Elliott is overhyped as a top RB? Alfred Morris is averaging 5 YPC with 97 touches and Eliott has 5.1 with 322 touches. And Rod Smith (who?!?) dominated last week. The Cowboys rushing attack has looked only a half-step worse with him out.
Zach Ertz is a bit trickier than Elliott. Ertz doesn’t seem like a game breaker and has played similarly most of his career. Although this season, Wentz has helped him get more touchdowns. To complicate things further Trey Burton seems to do well with Ertz out. But should you play Burton like you would Ertz?
And it certainly looks like people play replacements more than they would the starter. I seriously doubt Joe Mixon would have gotten more than 25% usage and Giovani Bernard is more like a 10% used player at best. Yet he got played in 50% of lineups last week!
You’d think the proper percentage should be less than adding the two normal percentages together because the defense can key in on one player. But perhaps there is some nonlinear relationship that comes into play because of touches. (In our optimimal lineups, Giovani Bernard was used 16% not 50%. Jordan Howard was a better play — I wonder if that has to do with time of possession differences when the opposing team can’t run as much, the Bears played the Bengals.
Or is that just a crappy narrative I’m trying to fit to one week of data.
The Almighty Belichick
Bill Belichick is a master of understanding who is replaceable and who isn’t. While I think thinking you know everything about football can backfire, I did try it. Here’s some books I bought (if anyone has some other good ones please share. I’m always interested in Matt Bowen type analysis and books like the ones below.)
Thanks for reading! I continue to tweak the content of these posts. If you really miss a section that I used do more of let me know.
I’d love to hear your ideas on how to make these the best they can be.