DraftKings Week 1 Recap

The 2018 NFL season is here! I’m not quite sure why DraftKings is calling the Millionaire Maker “ROMAN” but we’ll go with it.

Friends ROMANS

FRIENDS, ROMANS, COUNTRYMEN, LEND ME YOUR EARS!

Chalk Wins with 301.18 Points

chalk's winning lineup 301.18

Chalk scored a whopping 301.18 points. His lineup was ~23 points away from the optimal score of  324.48.

Not many people saw Ryan Fitzpatrick dominating week 1. Or the Saints D giving up so many points but Chalk did.

Taking a closer look at his lineups, we see he only entered 5 lineups.

1 2 3 4 5
0 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick QB Tom Brady QB Patrick Mahomes QB Andy Dalton QB Deshaun Watson
1 RB Alvin Kamara RB Alex Collins RB Leonard Fournette RB Leonard Fournette RB Alex Collins
2 RB James Conner RB James Conner FLEX Saquon Barkley RB Saquon Barkley RB Lamar Miller
3 WR Michael Thomas WR DeAndre Hopkins RB James Conner FLEX Alex Collins FLEX James Conner
4 WR Mike Evans WR Chris Hogan WR Chris Hogan WR A.J. Green WR DeAndre Hopkins
5 FLEX Emmanuel Sanders FLEX Devin Funchess WR Devin Funchess WR T.Y. Hilton WR T.Y. Hilton
6 WR DeSean Jackson WR Emmanuel Sanders WR Tyrell Williams WR Tyrell Williams WR Chris Hogan
7 TE Jordan Reed TE Jordan Reed TE Travis Kelce TE Jordan Reed TE Ryan Griffin
8 DST Ravens DST Ravens DST Ravens DST Dolphins DST Ravens
Total 301.18 156.98 135.44 130.12 120.84

Few thoughts:

  • All of these lineups had QB-WR/TE stacks, inter-matchup stacks
    • This is a strategy with very high scoring potential.
    • In week 8 last year we saw the inter-matchup stack work wonders with Russel Wilson and Deshuan Watson. Chalk used a similar strategy.
  • He also used a QB/RB stack and a RB/DST stack.
    • Research shows mobile QB’s often have positive correlation with their RB’s e.g. Cam Newton, Deshaun Watson
  • Notice how players like Chris Hogan we’re used in a stack and also without. This is a great way to be hot on a a player but still open yourself up to a big win.
  • Chalk took some big, calculated risks. This is the way to play if you only enter 5 lineups.
    • Strategies used by players like CONDIA or Al_Smizzle require you to enter many more lineups to be effective.
      • Writeup on player strategies coming soon. For now you can read this.

All in all, congratulations to Chalk. He got the best score I’ve ever seen.

Best Possible Lineup Was 324.48

(This section has been updated thanks to an issue pointed out by reader Yves-Marie)

I’m quite confident in our lineup optimizer. We use a novel pruning algorithm to reduce the search space and have been able to find higher lineups than those shown on sites like DFSGold. After crunching almost 2 million lineups there were at least 478 lineups better than Chalks.

player_name position score salary team_name
Ryan Fitzpatrick QB 45.28 5000.0 TB
Alvin Kamara RB 46.10 8500.0 NO
James Conner RB 38.20 4500.0 PIT
Michael Thomas WR 42.00 7800.0 NO
Tyreek Hill WR 45.30 6500.0 KC
Emmanuel Sanders WR 32.50 5000.0 DEN
Will Dissly TE 22.50 2500.0 SEA
DeSean Jackson FLEX 34.60 4600.0 TB
Minnesota Vikings DST 18.00 3500.0 MIN
324.48 47900.0

Will Dissly was a huge surprise but besides that Chalk did a remarkable job.

The player pool of these better than the winner lineups is shown below

Name Usage
Alvin Kamara 1.000
Ryan Fitzpatrick 1.000
Tyreek Hill 0.935
James Conner 0.801
Michael Thomas 0.699
DeSean Jackson 0.559
Will Dissly 0.550
Cleveland Browns 0.523
Minnesota Vikings 0.477
Emmanuel Sanders 0.446
Kenny Stills 0.331
Mike Evans 0.236
Rob Gronkowski 0.228
Melvin Gordon 0.205
Chris Thompson 0.161
Austin Ekeler 0.138
Joe Mixon 0.119
Eric Ebron 0.119
Jordan Reed 0.103
Phillip Dorsett 0.075
Ted Ginn Jr. 0.071
Phillip Lindsay 0.059
James White 0.025
Willie Snead 0.023
Jakeem Grant 0.023
Cole Beasley 0.023
Dante Pettis 0.021
Ryan Grant 0.017
Tyler Lockett 0.017
Javorius Allen 0.015
De’Anthony Thomas 0.002

Contest Facts

  • 180.34 points to cash.
  • DraftKings wins big taking home a whopping $629,900 on 281,923 entries

Pro Spotlights

It’s always good to look at what some of the big names are doing in DFS. They may not always win but over time many of their strategies work out. Below is a look at the top performing players from the Rotogrinder’s Top 50.

payout lineups_entered payout/num_entries
screen_name
zoltar91282 46970.0 70 671.000000
teejayortj 15345.0 150 102.300000
wakeywakey 10820.0 150 72.133333
mrnastytime91 8870.0 150 59.133333
biesterfield 8045.0 92 87.445652
brandonadams -1990.0 150 -13.266667
chess_is_ok -2170.0 150 -14.466667
petrgibbons -2180.0 150 -14.533333
youdacao -2320.0 150 -15.466667
papagates -2495.0 150 -16.633333

Some new names are at the top of the list while familiar names like chess_is_ok, youdacao, and papagates are on the bottom.

Don’t let this surprise you. GPP’s, especially the Milly Maker, have a very nonlinear payout structure. That big win is what most pro’s are after.

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We only track a few players at this time: saahilsud, bales, tommyg1979, chipotleaddict, and Al_Smizzle. I think we’ll change the list this season because Bales has been pretty boring and players like chess_is_ok are more active. Anywho here’s a closer look at some of these players.

Bales

Bales entered 17 lineups and took home $140. A fine performance but nothing to phone home about.

Points
count 17.000000
mean 164.332941
std 37.595226
min 98.260000
25% 134.460000
50% 166.760000
75% 184.080000
max 250.460000

He went big on a Kirk Cousins-Adam Thielen-Stefon Diggs triple stack, using them in a whopping 30% of his lineups! Bales used Kirk Cousins exclusively with this stack

Top players by usage

QB Percentage QB RB Percentage RB WR Percentage WR TE Percentage TE DST Percentage DST
30.0 QB Kirk Cousins 35.0 RB James Conner 41 WR Stefon Diggs 24.0 TE Jordan Reed 30.0 DST Steelers
18.0 QB Philip Rivers 35.0 RB Rex Burkhead 41 WR Adam Thielen 24.0 TE Jack Doyle 24.0 DST Patriots
12.0 QB Drew Brees 30.0 RB Alvin Kamara 30 WR Marquise Goodwin 18.0 TE Rob Gronkowski 18.0 DST Panthers
12.0 QB Tom Brady 24.0 RB Melvin Gordon III 24 WR Kenny Stills 12.0 TE Travis Kelce 12.0 DST Ravens
12.0 QB Deshaun Watson 24.0 RB James White 24 WR Keelan Cole 12.0 TE Mike Gesicki 12.0 DST Saints
12.0 QB Andrew Luck 24.0 RB David Johnson 24 WR Bruce Ellington 12.0 TE George Kittle 6.0 DST Broncos
6.0 QB Ben Roethlisberger 18.0 RB Alex Collins 18 WR Michael Thomas 6.0 TE Tyler Eifert
12.0 RB Christian McCaffrey 18 WR Kee Allen
12.0 RB LeSean McCoy 18 WR Emmanuel Sanders
12.0 RB Carlos Hyde 18 WR DeAndre Hopkins
6.0 RB Kareem Hunt 12 WR Antonio Brown
6.0 RB Ezekiel Elliott 12 WR A.J. Green
6.0 RB Leonard Fournette 12 WR T.Y. Hilton
6.0 RB Dalvin Cook 12 WR Chris Hogan
12 WR Jarvis Landry
6 WR Ted Ginn Jr.
6 WR Mike Evans
6 WR Demaryius Thomas
6 WR Tyreek Hill
6 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
6 WR Dede Westbrook

And his top 2 player groupings

Percentage Player
30 WR Adam Thielen, WR Stefon Diggs
30 QB Kirk Cousins, WR Adam Thielen
30 QB Kirk Cousins, WR Stefon Diggs
30 WR Adam Thielen, WR Marquise Goodwin
24 DST Patriots , WR Stefon Diggs
24 DST Steelers , RB James Conner
24 WR Marquise Goodwin, WR Stefon Diggs
24 QB Kirk Cousins, WR Marquise Goodwin
18 RB James Conner, WR Adam Thielen
18 RB Alvin Kamara, TE Jordan Reed
18 RB Melvin Gordon III, WR Stefon Diggs
18 DST Patriots , WR Adam Thielen
18 DST Patriots , QB Kirk Cousins
18 QB Philip Rivers, RB Melvin Gordon III
18 RB Melvin Gordon III, WR Kee Allen

I think it’s interesting to see that he used RB-DST stacks and by what’s not in this table, a high percentage RB-RB pairing. Bales used 11 different running backs and viewed it as a risky position in Week 1.

Percentage Player
35 RB Rex Burkhead
30 RB Alvin Kamara
30 RB James Conner
24 RB Melvin Gordon III
24 RB James White
18 RB Alex Collins
12 RB David Johnson
12 RB Carlos Hyde
6 RB Christian McCaffrey
6 RB Leonard Fournette
6 RB Dalvin Cook

We’ll still look at Bales but won’t write anything next week unless it’s interesting.

Al_Smizzle

Al_Smizzle entered 150 lineups and took home $325.

Al_Smizzle's Point Distribution

Points
count 150.00000
mean 173.67400
std 33.14482
min 88.98000
25% 147.69000
50% 181.04000
75% 195.13500
max 235.16000

He didn’t hit it big but didn’t lose anything either. Here’s his player pool

QB Percentage QB RB Percentage RB WR Percentage WR TE Percentage TE DST Percentage DST
16.0 QB Andy Dalton 51.0 RB Alvin Kamara 57 WR Keelan Cole 31.0 TE Jack Doyle 35.0 DST Ravens
15.0 QB Philip Rivers 51.0 RB James Conner 41 WR Kee Allen 26.0 TE Rob Gronkowski 31.0 DST Patriots
15.0 QB Drew Brees 35.0 RB David Johnson 31 WR A.J. Green 20.0 TE Delanie Walker 15.0 DST Bengals
15.0 QB Kirk Cousins 31.0 RB Christian McCaffrey 26 WR Michael Thomas 17.0 TE Ricky Seals-Jones 14.0 DST Panthers
15.0 QB Cam Newton 29.0 RB Melvin Gordon III 21 WR Chris Hogan 7.0 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins 6.0 DST Redskins
15.0 QB Tom Brady 26.0 RB Alex Collins 19 WR John Ross 7.0 TE Ryan Griffin
15.0 RB Rex Burkhead 17 WR Antonio Brown
15.0 RB Jordan Wilkins 16 WR Stefon Diggs
12.0 RB Kareem Hunt 15 WR Bruce Ellington
11.0 RB Royce Freeman 15 WR Chris Godwin
13 WR Tyrell Williams
12 WR Emmanuel Sanders
10 WR Austin Carr
10 WR Adam Thielen

Al_Smizzle used 41 players (this is normal for him and player pool selection seems to be an integral part of his process as opposed to more optimizer only driven pro’s).

Unlike Bales, there were no discernible stacks in Al_Smizzle’s lineups. The player pairing looks to be generated by an optimizer without any manually stack filters.

Tommyg1979

Tommyg1979 was a baller on a budget this week. Only 20 lineups and he lost $280 on them.

Points
count 20.000000
mean 146.021000
std 32.337676
min 89.560010
25% 129.315000
50% 143.560000
75% 163.620000
max 218.660000

Not great but he broke 218.66. Sadly a lot of people did too. Here’s his player utilization.

QB Percentage QB RB Percentage RB WR Percentage WR TE Percentage TE DST Percentage DST
15.0 QB Tom Brady 25.0 RB Kareem Hunt 20 WR Kee Allen 15.0 TE Benjamin Watson 25.0 DST Browns
15.0 QB Kirk Cousins 20.0 RB Leonard Fournette 15 WR Michael Thomas 15.0 TE Rob Gronkowski 15.0 DST Patriots
10.0 QB Drew Brees 20.0 RB Alvin Kamara 15 WR A.J. Green 15.0 TE Tyler Eifert 15.0 DST Cardinals
10.0 QB Case Keenum 20.0 RB Alex Collins 15 WR Emmanuel Sanders 10.0 TE David Njoku
10.0 QB Ben Roethlisberger 15.0 RB Carlos Hyde 15 WR Kenny Stills 10.0 TE Jack Doyle
10.0 QB Andrew Luck 15.0 RB Christian McCaffrey 15 WR Demaryius Thomas 10.0 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
15.0 RB Lamar Miller 15 WR Adam Thielen 10.0 TE Travis Kelce
15.0 RB Ezekiel Elliott 15 WR Stefon Diggs
15.0 RB David Johnson 15 WR Chris Hogan
10.0 RB Derrick Henry 15 WR Pierre Garcon
10.0 RB Melvin Gordon III 15 WR DeAndre Hopkins
10.0 RB Royce Freeman 10 WR Tyreek Hill
10.0 RB Saquon Barkley 10 WR Mike Evans
10.0 RB Kenyan Drake 10 WR Antonio Brown
10.0 RB Dalvin Cook 10 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
10.0 RB LeSean McCoy 10 WR T.Y. Hilton
10 WR Doug Baldwin
10 WR Keelan Cole
10 WR Phillip Dorsett
10 WR Larry Fitzgerald
10 WR Jarvis Landry
10 WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Like Bales, and true to his normal form, Tommyg1979 used a Kirk Cousins-Adam Thielen-Stefon Diggs triple stack in 15% of his lineups.

Brady drew a few different stacks

Percentage Player
10 QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski
10 QB Tom Brady, WR Phillip Dorsett
10 QB Tom Brady, WR Chris Hogan

Better luck next time.

ChipotleAddict

ChipotleAddict won a respectable $1,700 on 150 entries.

Points
count 150.000000
mean 156.527733
std 30.135933
min 84.440000
25% 134.650000
50% 154.730000
75% 173.500000
max 267.180000

That top score of 267.18 really helped him out and won him $3,500 (remember he paid $3,000 to enter all of his lineups).

QB Percentage QB RB Percentage RB WR Percentage WR TE Percentage TE DST Percentage DST
16.0 QB Ryan Tannehill 71.0 RB David Johnson 65 WR Kenny Stills 24.0 TE Travis Kelce 35.0 DST Patriots
13.0 QB Kirk Cousins 47.0 RB James Conner 35 WR Marquise Goodwin 14.0 TE Delanie Walker 18.0 DST Cowboys
12.0 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 33.0 RB Melvin Gordon III 29 WR DeAndre Hopkins 13.0 TE Tyler Eifert 14.0 DST Steelers
8.0 QB Jimmy Garoppolo 29.0 RB Ezekiel Elliott 23 WR Stefon Diggs 12.0 TE Jordan Reed 12.0 DST Cardinals
7.0 QB Andrew Luck 23.0 RB Christian McCaffrey 22 WR Odell Beckham Jr. 10.0 TE Jack Doyle 6.0 DST Chargers
7.0 QB Case Keenum 23.0 RB Rex Burkhead 21 WR Tyler Lockett 9.0 TE Kyle Rudolph 6.0 DST Ravens
7.0 QB Russell Wilson 19.0 RB Saquon Barkley 18 WR Demaryius Thomas 7.0 TE Ryan Griffin
7.0 QB Eli Manning 10.0 RB Alvin Kamara 12 WR Michael Thomas
6.0 QB Deshaun Watson 9.0 RB James White 10 WR Mike Evans
8.0 RB Alex Collins 9 WR A.J. Green
6.0 RB Dalvin Cook 9 WR Danny Amendola
6 WR T.Y. Hilton
6 WR Doug Baldwin
6 WR Keelan Cole

ChipotleAddict faded Deshaun Watson thanks to his Patriots DST play. And he used a good amount of chalk but wouldn’t “lock” anyone.

It’s also interesting how James Conner was consistently played around 35% by a few pro’s. I would have expected more deviation like how David Johnson was used in 71% of ChipotleAddict’s lineups.

Good week ChipotleAddict

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Notable No ShowsPlayers

CONDIA was a no-show (I think he is retired)

SaahilSud was another no-show (he’s focused more on his site RotoQL I think– see this shade thread). I’ll let you know if he pops onto the NFL scene again. Personally I think he is better at finding good contest opportunities rather than the big name ones like the Milly Maker so be weary if you find him in one of your contests.

Pro vs Herd

This section is where we break down what the Rotogrinder’s Top 50 did compared to the rest of the field.

Point Totals

metric Points_herd Points_pro
count 278052 3623
mean 157.255569 173.500513
std 31.787610 35.550265
min 7.000000 70.780000
25% 134.860000 147.020000
50% 156.560000 172.800000
75% 178.820000 199.330000
max 301.180000 282.480000

Big win for the little guy this week. The herd took home the top prize but as usual the “professionals” outpaced the herd by ~20 points.

Here’s a table showing pro favoritism or lack there of. The biggest surprise was how much better pro’s handled Chris Hogan and Alex Collins.

lineup_hash Percentage Pro Percentage Herd pro_favoritism
Chris Hogan 8 19 -11.0
Alex Collins 8 17 -9.0
Deshaun Watson <5% 10 -7.0
Leonard Fournette 6 13 -7.0
Devin Funchess <5% 8 -5.0
JuJu Smith-Schuster <5% 8 -5.0
DeAndre Hopkins 9 14 -5.0
Jarvis Landry 5 9 -4.0
Kareem Hunt 6 10 -4.0
Andy Dalton 8 11 -3.0
Alvin Kamara, James Conner 14 8 6.0
Michael Thomas 24 18 6.0
David Johnson, Kenny Stills 10 <5% 7.0
James Conner 34 25 9.0
Melvin Gordon III 24 14 10.0
Rob Gronkowski 30 20 10.0
Rex Burkhead 17 7 10.0
Kenny Stills 19 9 10.0
David Johnson 30 19 11.0
Patriots 22 6 16.0

The full table is in the appendix.

Look how much more love pro’s had for James Conner or another chalky play like Kenny Stills. I think the herd either doesn’t know about studs like James Conner or is too contrarian. Interestingly enough, only 380 lineups included Le’Veon Bell so the contrarian, out-think yourself argument may have merit as to why James Conner had such less usage.

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I was hot on Deshuan Watson but the pro’s all saw the Patriot’s besting him.

It could also be because of the survivorship bias from using Rotogrinder’s Top 50 after they are updated with weekly results. Next week we’ll try to see how good Rotogrinder’s rankings actually are by saving the Week 1 rankings.

Worst Entries

These players all struck out and actually entered 150 lineups. Like with players and everything.

payout lineups_entered payout/num_entries
screen_name
carissamoore -3000.0 150 -20.0
sflzach -3000.0 150 -20.0
coachs111 -3000.0 150 -20.0

Shit happens. Better luck next time.

Announcements

Thanks for reading! I’m considering creating a strategy article for NFL playcallers or some interactive website using play by play data. I will get around to a better player strategy article soon. Last season I thought we came up with a good set of play-styles used by pro players and I hope to expand on that this season.

Let me know if you have any ideas on new content pieces or things to add to these recaps. ESPECIALLY if you think a section is unnecessary or redundant. These articles take me a lot of time to make.

Appendix

Full Herd vs Pro Table

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lineup_hash Percentage Pro Percentage Herd pro_favoritism
Chris Hogan 8 19 -11.0
Alex Collins 8 17 -9.0
Deshaun Watson <5% 10 -7.0
Leonard Fournette 6 13 -7.0
Devin Funchess <5% 8 -5.0
JuJu Smith-Schuster <5% 8 -5.0
DeAndre Hopkins 9 14 -5.0
Jarvis Landry 5 9 -4.0
Kareem Hunt 6 10 -4.0
Andy Dalton 8 11 -3.0
Delanie Walker <5% 6 -3.0
John Ross <5% 6 -3.0
DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson <5% 6 -3.0
Saints 5 8 -3.0
Ravens 17 20 -3.0
Kee Allen 18 21 -3.0
Chargers <5% 5 -2.0
Carlos Hyde 5 7 -2.0
Philip Rivers 9 11 -2.0
Antonio Brown 11 13 -2.0
Tom Brady 6 8 -2.0
Adam Thielen <5% 5 -2.0
Alex Collins, Ravens <5% 5 -2.0
Alvin Kamara, Chris Hogan <5% 5 -2.0
Chris Hogan, James Conner <5% 5 -2.0
Jaguars <5% 5 -2.0
Dalvin Cook 9 10 -1.0
T.Y. Hilton 5 6 -1.0
Tyreek Hill 8 9 -1.0
Kirk Cousins 5 6 -1.0
A.J. Green, Andy Dalton 7 7 0.0
Danny Amendola 9 9 0.0
Alvin Kamara, Stefon Diggs 5 5 0.0
Drew Brees 11 11 0.0
Kee Allen, Philip Rivers 7 7 0.0
Royce Freeman 6 6 0.0
Tyler Eifert 6 6 0.0
James Conner, Ravens 7 6 1.0
A.J. Green, Alvin Kamara 6 5 1.0
Alvin Kamara, Kee Allen 6 5 1.0
Alvin Kamara, Drew Brees 6 5 1.0
A.J. Green 20 19 1.0
Alvin Kamara 34 33 1.0
Keelan Cole 15 14 1.0
Joe Mixon 6 5 1.0
Alvin Kamara, Ravens 7 6 1.0
Odell Beckham Jr. 6 5 1.0
Lamar Miller 5 <5% 2.0
Travis Kelce 5 <5% 2.0
Keelan Cole, Ravens 5 <5% 2.0
Jack Doyle 21 19 2.0
LeSean McCoy 5 <5% 2.0
James Conner, Philip Rivers 5 <5% 2.0
Russell Wilson 5 <5% 2.0
James Conner, Stefon Diggs 5 <5% 2.0
Bengals 5 <5% 2.0
Ravens , Stefon Diggs 5 <5% 2.0
Tyrell Williams 5 <5% 2.0
Browns 10 8 2.0
Ryan Tannehill 5 <5% 2.0
Cardinals 5 <5% 2.0
Ezekiel Elliott 9 7 2.0
Mike Evans 5 <5% 2.0
Ryan Fitzpatrick 5 <5% 2.0
Larry Fitzgerald 7 5 2.0
Jordan Reed 14 12 2.0
Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill 5 <5% 2.0
Michael Thomas, Rex Burkhead 5 <5% 2.0
Jordan Reed, Stefon Diggs 5 <5% 2.0
Kee Allen, Tyreek Hill 5 <5% 2.0
Patriots , Rob Gronkowski 5 <5% 2.0
Emmanuel Sanders, Jack Doyle 5 <5% 2.0
David Johnson, Jack Doyle 5 <5% 2.0
James Conner, Kee Allen 8 6 2.0
Alvin Kamara, Keelan Cole 9 7 2.0
Alvin Kamara, Jack Doyle 9 7 2.0
Alvin Kamara, David Johnson 7 5 2.0
Alvin Kamara, Kenny Stills 5 <5% 2.0
James Conner, Kenny Stills 5 <5% 2.0
Christian McCaffrey, Kenny Stills 5 <5% 2.0
Jordan Reed, Kee Allen 5 <5% 2.0
Christian McCaffrey, David Johnson 5 <5% 2.0
Emmanuel Sanders, Michael Thomas 5 <5% 2.0
Drew Brees, Michael Thomas 9 6 3.0
Christian McCaffrey, Jack Doyle 6 <5% 3.0
Jack Doyle, Patriots 6 <5% 3.0
Jack Doyle, Melvin Gordon III 6 <5% 3.0
Melvin Gordon III, Patriots 6 <5% 3.0
David Johnson, Michael Thomas 6 <5% 3.0
Christian McCaffrey, Melvin Gordon III 6 <5% 3.0
Melvin Gordon III, Michael Thomas 6 <5% 3.0
Kenny Stills, Rob Gronkowski 6 <5% 3.0
Melvin Gordon III, Rob Gronkowski 6 <5% 3.0
Bruce Ellington 6 <5% 3.0
James Conner, Melvin Gordon III 6 <5% 3.0
Michael Thomas, Rob Gronkowski 6 <5% 3.0
James White 10 7 3.0
David Johnson, Rob Gronkowski 6 <5% 3.0
A.J. Green, Jack Doyle 6 <5% 3.0
Emmanuel Sanders, Melvin Gordon III 6 <5% 3.0
Jordan Reed, Ravens 6 <5% 3.0
Christian McCaffrey 25 22 3.0
Patrick Mahomes 6 <5% 3.0
Keelan Cole, Rob Gronkowski 6 <5% 3.0
Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey 8 5 3.0
Alvin Kamara, Rex Burkhead 6 <5% 3.0
A.J. Green, James Conner 8 5 3.0
Stefon Diggs 21 18 3.0
Emmanuel Sanders, Rob Gronkowski 7 <5% 4.0
James Conner, Michael Thomas 9 5 4.0
Alvin Kamara, Rob Gronkowski 7 <5% 4.0
Christian McCaffrey, Patriots 7 <5% 4.0
Jack Doyle, Michael Thomas 7 <5% 4.0
Christian McCaffrey, Rob Gronkowski 7 <5% 4.0
Alvin Kamara, Melvin Gordon III 7 <5% 4.0
Demaryius Thomas 7 <5% 4.0
Tyler Lockett 7 <5% 4.0
Cowboys 7 <5% 4.0
Saquon Barkley 10 6 4.0
Marquise Goodwin 12 8 4.0
Christian McCaffrey, Emmanuel Sanders 7 <5% 4.0
Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas 8 <5% 5.0
Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas 8 <5% 5.0
James Conner, Patriots 8 <5% 5.0
David Johnson, Patriots 8 <5% 5.0
Christian McCaffrey, James Conner 8 <5% 5.0
David Johnson, Emmanuel Sanders 8 <5% 5.0
Michael Thomas, Patriots 8 <5% 5.0
Kee Allen, Ravens 8 <5% 5.0
David Johnson, James Conner 8 <5% 5.0
James Conner, Keelan Cole 8 <5% 5.0
Emmanuel Sanders, James Conner 9 <5% 6.0
James Conner, Rob Gronkowski 12 6 6.0
Alvin Kamara, Emmanuel Sanders 12 6 6.0
Alvin Kamara, Patriots 9 <5% 6.0
Jack Doyle, James Conner 9 <5% 6.0
Emmanuel Sanders 23 17 6.0
Alvin Kamara, James Conner 14 8 6.0
Michael Thomas 24 18 6.0
David Johnson, Kenny Stills 10 <5% 7.0
James Conner 34 25 9.0
Melvin Gordon III 24 14 10.0
Rob Gronkowski 30 20 10.0
Rex Burkhead 17 7 10.0
Kenny Stills 19 9 10.0
David Johnson 30 19 11.0
Patriots 22 6 16.0

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. Poojan Thakrar says:

    Hi! My name is Poojan and I just stumbled upon your blog via Reddit. I just wanted to ask a few questions
    1. You reference certain people/usernames often. Are these people you track over time, like throughout games and seasons? Are these experts you know? Are these just random people on the internet that consistently perform well?

    2. What data and programming languages do you use to do this analysis? Is this data public?

    Thank you so much! I really liked what I read and would love to read more of your work

    • Matteo Hoch says:

      Thanks!
      Yes these are people I track over time. I started focusing in on famous pro players that have been featured in the news or sell their own fantasy sports products. The main ones here are CONDIA (won a ton of money but recently retired), SaahilSud (lot of money and RotoQL), Jonathan Bales (Active in DFS and NFL Blogging, a few big wins and started Fantasy Labs), and Al_Smizzle (involved in a draft kings scandal a few years back regarding data access). I’m starting to shift gears and focus in on more of the silent players that play more.

      I use data from DraftKings (free) and also store historical data on contests and entries. This is for sale at https://www.sportsdatadirect.com with an emphasis on being ready to use for analytics or you can just message me for a specific dataset. I also have historical odds information.

      Not all my code is public but you can see examples here https://github.com/SportsDataDirect/python_tutorials (the code I use to analyze lineups involves some data mining algorithms and is built from the lineup optimizer in the linked repo). I’m developing a python for sports analytics course that will cover these algorithms in more detail and hope to have it out sometime during the football season.

      Thanks for reading! I have another blog over at https://www.ergosum.co with git repo https://github.com/rogerfitz/tutorials. I appreciate the comment and support

  2. Yves-Marie says:

    Hello Matteo,
    I am following your blog from last year, keep up the good work! I have shared it with a football fan friend of mine with whom I play casual fantasy and he immediately pointed out what about Will Dissly?
    In fact, it looks like your algorithm missed on Tyreek Hill as well (seems weird…). Replacing Gronk, Tedd Ginn and Stills by Dissly, Hill and Sanders respectively you reach 324.48 with $2,100 left in salary. So I am sure there may be an even more optimal lineup.
    As for the content can you keep track of the scores to cash and 50/50 in the contests? It would be good to have a feel of the score to achieve on a weekly basis to place, but also year on year to see NFL scoring effects or Draft Kings difficulty level changing.
    Hope this helps.

    • Matteo Hoch says:

      Oh interesting. Thanks for telling me that! I think the algorithm must have printed the next highest instead of showing all the lineups. I will get this fixed for next week and try to update this post.

      I’m storing historical contest data. I’ll keep tracking score to cash and by 50/50 do you mean turn $20 into $40?

      I remember you from commenting last year. Thanks for following my blog!

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