DraftKings Week 11 Recap

Every week DraftKings pays out big prizes to winners of their contests. Most sites focus on what people did, and pick apart the best lineup. I’m not going to do much of that here. Instead I’ll show you what was the best lineup possible and analyze the strategies of top DFS players.

Quick Summary

  • BillyVonElds wins with 253.72 points
    • Read his Twitter
    • 20 Lineups Entered
    • Predicted breakout games for certain players
    • Won on a  Drew Brees-Tre’Quan Smith stack but actually played more of Carson Wentz-Nelson Agholor and Cam Newton-D.J. Moore
  • Defense DOES NOT Get Better as the Season Goes On!
    • Some coaches say it and you may think it about the Saints but it’s not true
  • T.Y. Hilton was the best pick at wide receiver
    • All of our better than winner lineups used T.Y. Hilton
  • 149.00 to cash
  • Best possible lineup: 278.72 points and a salary of $49,900

BillyVonElds Wins with 253.72 Points

BillyVonElds Winning Lineup 253.72 Points

He won with a Brees-Tre’Quan Smith stack but he was more into Carson Wentz-Nelson Agholor and Cam Newton-D.J. Moore. Take a look at his player pool.

QB QB Percentage RB RB Percentage WR WR Percentage TE TE Percentage DST DST Percentage
QB Cam Newton 20 RB Saquon Barkley 84 WR Nelson Agholor 49 TE Jordan Reed 24 DST Chargers 39
QB Carson Wentz 20 RB Dion Lewis 39 WR D.J. Moore 44 TE Ricky Seals-Jones 24 DST Texans 34
QB Drew Brees 14 RB Ezekiel Elliott 34 WR Tre’Quan Smith 39 TE James O’Shaughnessy 20 DST Panthers 10
QB Lamar Jackson 14 RB Christian McCaffrey 20 WR Corey Davis 29 TE Luke Willson 10 DST Steelers 10
QB Eli Manning 14 RB Alvin Kamara 20 WR Odell Beckham Jr. 29 TE O.J. Howard 5 DST Redskins 5
QB Josh Rosen 10 RB David Johnson 14 WR Seth Roberts 29 TE Evan Engram 5
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 5 RB James Conner 14 WR Alshon Jeffery 24 TE Greg Olsen 5
RB Melvin Gordon III 10 WR T.Y. Hilton 20 TE Jeff Heuerman 5
RB Alex Collins 10 WR Kenny Golladay 20
RB Mark Ingram 5 WR Michael Thomas 14
WR Mike Evans 10
WR Larry Fitzgerald 10
WR DeAndre Hopkins 10
WR Golden Tate 10

Very hot on Saquon Barkley, way to take a big risk and get rewarded.

Also notice that the first 3 WR’s were all risky WR picks that were all stacks with his top 3 QB’s. BUT the player pool doesn’t tell the whole story.

Saints Stacks

Looking at his stacks, we see Brees-Smith were used in 10% of lineups and Brees-Thomas were used in 10% as well. He played a lineup with both of them in a triple stack, and then 1 with each of them by themselves.

Brees-Ingram were never used but Brees-Kamara was a stack. Probably because of the pass catching prowess of Alvin Kamara

Wentz Stacks

Similar story with Wentz and Agholor, Jeffery, and Golden Tate.

 Jackson Stacks

Here we see Lamar Jackson used 3 times out of 20 but never with Alex Collins. This is probably deliberate.

Cam Newton Stacks

He stacked Cam with D.J. Moore in 3/4 Cam Lineups. And Cam with McCaffrey in half of those. BillyVonElds definitely views Ingram and Collins as different style running backs than McCaffrey.

Misc Strategy

From how complicated the overlap and stacks/anti-stacks are I’d reckon this guy used some manual intervention to enter these lineups.

On the season BillyVonElds has spent up to $400 each week.

paid won
week_num
1 300.0 4200.0
2 400.0 -180.0
3 220.0 -150.0
4 150.0 100.0
5 100.0 20.0
6 30.0 5.0
7 100.0 -20.0
8 100.0 20.0
9 60.0 20.0
10 200.0 -110.0
11 400.0 1001770.0
Totals 2060.0 1005675.0

Nice win. Good luck to BillyVonElds in the future.

My Thoughts on GuruElite

I’m a bit skeptical of the “Elite Mafia” and Tommy G, Jeff Mans etc.


My opinion is that GuruElite’s success is inflated by the amount of followers they have, nearly 40,000! If Tommy G or GuruElite was so great he should be winning more, or at least paying more than $100 a week to try.

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Take a look at TommyG’s performance.

TommyG1979 2018 Milly Maker Performance

paid won
week_num
1 400.0 -280.0
2 600.0 -230.0
3 400.0 -140.0
4 200.0 -140.0
5 100.0 70.0
6 30.0 -30.0
7 140.0 -140.0
8 60.0 -60.0
9 100.0 -40.0
10 100.0 -60.0
11 100.0 -60.0
Totals 2230.0 -1110.0

This is worse than VonElds in just about every week. And TommyG certainly doesn’t throw down in the Milly Maker. He seems more like the guy that covers the board in roulette and brags about the chips he gets back (it looks like he bets on a ton of different sports based on his twitter). Still, I haven’t analyzed enough data on TommyG to be sure either way. But based on what I’ve seen this far I think he’s significantly overhyped.

Optimal Lineup: 278.72 Points

A bit of a lower scoring week. The top possible lineup on the main slate was

player_name position score salary team_name
Drew Brees QB 33.52 6500.0 NO
Ezekiel Elliott RB 36.10 8500.0 DAL
Saquon Barkley RB 38.20 8700.0 NYG
Mike Evans WR 33.00 7300.0 TB
T.Y. Hilton WR 39.50 6100.0 IND
Tre’Quan Smith WR 34.70 4000.0 NO
Antonio Gates TE 19.00 2500.0 LAC
D.J. Moore FLEX 31.70 4200.0 CAR
New Orleans Saints DST 13.00 2100.0 NO
278.72 49900.0

The Saints D was a big shocker this week. Many thought Carson Wentz would do well against a D that has let up a lot of big scores this year. But keep in mind mean reversion. The Saints were projected to have a good D in the offseason and have been under performing.

Defense DOES NOT Get Better as the Season Goes On!

Some people say that defenses get better as the season goes on. And while that could be true it doesn’t hold for points allowed or for DraftKings points scored.

Below I’ve plotted the median in blue and average in orange.

DST DK Points By Week

In the case of the Saints D injuries and mean reversion were the most likely the biggest factors.

Better Than Winner Player Pool

There were at least 2,308 lineups better than the winner’s 253.72. The player pool of these better than winner lineups is shown below

Name Percentage team_name position opp_name salary predictedScore
T.Y. Hilton 1.000 IND WR TEN 6100.0 39.50
Tre’Quan Smith 0.827 NO WR PHI 4000.0 34.70
Saquon Barkley 0.811 NYG RB TB 8700.0 38.20
D.J. Moore 0.667 CAR WR DET 4200.0 31.70
Ezekiel Elliott 0.581 DAL RB ATL 8500.0 36.10
Drew Brees 0.510 NO QB PHI 6500.0 33.52
Mike Evans 0.509 TB WR NYG 7300.0 33.00
Antonio Gates 0.439 LAC TE DEN 2500.0 19.00
Jordan Reed 0.404 WAS TE HOU 3800.0 20.10
Kenny Golladay 0.403 DET WR CAR 5800.0 28.30
Houston Texans 0.361 HOU DST WAS 2600.0 15.00
Phillip Lindsay 0.287 DEN RB LAC 5200.0 26.60
New Orleans Saints 0.282 NO DST PHI 2100.0 13.00
Indianapolis Colts 0.263 IND DST TEN 2500.0 13.00
Mark Ingram 0.252 NO RB PHI 4700.0 25.30
Cam Newton 0.240 CAR QB DET 6200.0 28.48
Gus Edwards 0.203 BAL RB CIN 3000.0 22.50
Ben Roethlisberger 0.191 PIT QB JAC 5800.0 26.66
Peyton Barber 0.177 TB RB NYG 3600.0 22.00
Denver Broncos 0.094 DEN DST LAC 2000.0 7.00
Jared Cook 0.088 OAK TE ARI 3900.0 12.10
Leonard Fournette 0.086 JAC RB PIT 6900.0 22.10
O.J. Howard 0.069 TB TE NYG 4900.0 12.80
Lamar Jackson 0.056 BAL QB CIN 4700.0 19.70
Curtis Samuel 0.051 CAR WR DET 3700.0 16.50
Adam Humphries 0.033 TB WR NYG 3800.0 15.00
Tajae Sharpe 0.032 TEN WR IND 3500.0 14.70
Melvin Gordon 0.026 LAC RB DEN 8900.0 21.60
Dontrelle Inman 0.024 IND WR TEN 3200.0 13.40
Bruce Ellington 0.010 DET WR CAR 3000.0 11.20
Brandon LaFell 0.008 OAK WR ARI 3400.0 10.90
Marcell Ateman 0.005 OAK WR ARI 3000.0 9.00
Seth Roberts 0.004 OAK WR ARI 3000.0 7.80
Colt McCoy 0.003 WAS QB HOU 4400.0 9.66
Mike Williams 0.003 LAC WR DEN 3600.0 7.60

Thanks to Jason of The Perfect Lineup Podcast for the suggestion to add salaries to the above table.

T.Y. Hilton was the unanimous best player in the better than winner player pool (we use a pruning algorithm to ensure the player pool contains the optimal lineup. This pruning does cut down on the number of lineups we generate but guarantees we get the best score).

Drew Brees was the best QB and blast from the bast, Antonio Gates and Jordan Reed we’re the best TE’s.

Player Spotlight

Standings

Player Number of Lineups Paid Won win/entry
mallen21 150 3000 4625.0 1.541667
Slaytations 53 1060 1490.0 1.405660
Nickelback4Lyfe 150 3000 -780.0 -0.260000
scout326 150 3000 -850.0 -0.283333
ending 150 3000 -1150.0 -0.383333
Bearsfan247 150 3000 -1240.0 -0.413333
bales 12 240 -100.0 -0.416667
papagates 150 3000 -1580.0 -0.526667
Al_Smizzle 150 3000 -1590.0 -0.530000
petrgibbons 150 3000 -1680.0 -0.560000
tommyg1979 5 100 -60.0 -0.600000
csuram88 12 240 -150.0 -0.625000
chess_is_ok 150 3000 -2145.0 -0.715000
Awesemo 150 3000 -2210.0 -0.736667
chipotleaddict 150 3000 -2460.0 -0.820000
davematt123 26 520 -520.0 -1.000000
rcrumpto 3 60 -60.0 -1.000000
bassinmatt 1 20 -20.0 -1.000000
saahilsud 0 0 0.0 NaN

Mallen21, a suspected tout or overrated player by one of our readers, has another good showing. He’s on the list of players we’ll review further but so far he is looking good.

Slaytations, the Week 5 winner and a reader of this blog, did well again. Here’s a look at how all the 2018 Milly Maker Winner’s fared in Week 11.

Week Winner Player Number of Lineups Paid Won
1 Chalk 1 20 10.0
2 JEREMYHEIN 68 1360 -1090.0
3 TheHodgesFactor 5 100 -30.0
4 Nickelback4Lyfe 150 3000 -780.0
5 Slaytations 53 1060 1490.0
6 davematt123 26 520 -520.0
7 bassinmatt 1 20 -20.0
8 LolololoLola 3 60 -60.0
9 jab76r 108 2160 1195.0
10 BearDown247 7 140 825.0

jab76r cashes again. Nickelback4Lyfe (another reader) continues to max enter. He’s come close to cashing most weeks and seems to outperform “pro’s” like Awesemo so keep at it and good luck Nickelback4Lyfe.

TommyG1979

From what I could gleam from GuruElite last week, D.J. Moore was one of their big picks. Tommy G played D.J. Moore in 2 lineups but was actually more into Tyrell Williams, playing Williams in 3 lineups and 2 lineups for Moore. Tommy G only entered 5 lineups though so it’s hard to gleam much. He lost money for the 10th time this year on the Milly. Maybe he’ll have a big hit soon but 2018 is a far cry from 2017 when he would enter closer to 100 if not 150 lineups.

Pro vs Herd

Here is the section where I compare the Rotogrinder’s Top 50 with everyone else (their rankings are heavily skewed to high volume players but it’s the best we have… for now).

Pro Leaderboard

payout lineups_entered payout/num_entries
screen_name
wakeywakey 90.0 3 30.000000
jayk123x 80.0 150 0.533333
hoop2410 10.0 1 10.000000
3rd_and_schlong -20.0 1 -20.000000
healybj19 -20.0 1 -20.000000
aejones -20.0 1 -20.000000
brandonadams -40.0 150 -0.266667
jbcjbcjbc -1725.0 150 -11.500000
teejayortj -1735.0 150 -11.566667
chess_is_ok -2145.0 150 -14.300000
awesemo -2210.0 150 -14.733333
chipotleaddict -2460.0 150 -16.400000

chess_is_ok, awesemo, and chipotleaddict all are starting to look like permanent fixtures on the bottom of these standings.

Herd Leaderboard

payout lineups_entered payout/num_entries
screen_name
billyvonelds 1001770.0 20 50088.500000
colesmashyou 99970.0 3 33323.333333
dynastyed 40160.0 5 8032.000000
gearedup 25005.0 142 176.091549
chlumecky06 20425.0 4 5106.250000
loubk 14890.0 7 2127.142857
buddhaedwards 9970.0 5 1994.000000
xralius -2770.0 150 -18.466667
timpayne1 -2800.0 150 -18.666667
hy3lif3 -2840.0 150 -18.933333
dirty6613 -2910.0 150 -19.400000
cubasugar1 -3000.0 150 -20.000000

cubasugar1 takes home the worst lineups prize. Created 150 lineups and lost on all of them 🙁 Go pour yourself a legitimate Havana Club instead of that Bacardi version and I bet you’ll feel alright.

Pro vs Herd Point Distribution

index Points_other Points_rg_top_50
count 172891.000000 3463.000000
mean 129.395835 135.874144
std 25.798595 23.366022
min 43.940000 57.540000
25% 111.600000 120.370000
50% 128.720000 136.460000
75% 146.220000 150.900000
max 253.720000 215.580000

The rg_top_50 did better on average but it was the other guys, the “herd” that took home top prize.

Pro vs Herd Player Pool

lineup_hash Percentage Pro Percentage Herd pro_favoritism
Cardinals <5% 17 -14.0
Ezekiel Elliott 13 25 -12.0
Amari Cooper 16 28 -12.0
T.Y. Hilton 5 15 -10.0
Alshon Jeffery <5% 12 -9.0
Mark Ingram 7 14 -7.0
David Johnson 24 31 -7.0
Steelers <5% 9 -6.0
Alvin Kamara 14 20 -6.0
Golden Tate <5% 9 -6.0
Drew Brees 9 14 -5.0
Nelson Agholor 7 12 -5.0
Demaryius Thomas <5% 8 -5.0
Sterling Shepard <5% 8 -5.0
Lamar Jackson 5 9 -4.0
Texans 8 12 -4.0
Zach Ertz 16 20 -4.0
Dak Prescott <5% 7 -4.0
Carson Wentz 7 11 -4.0
Evan Engram 5 8 -3.0
Vance McDonald <5% 6 -3.0
Broncos <5% 6 -3.0
Eric Ebron <5% 6 -3.0
Christian McCaffrey 15 18 -3.0
Tre’Quan Smith 5 7 -2.0
Marcus Mariota <5% 5 -2.0
Panthers <5% 5 -2.0
Alex Collins 11 13 -2.0
Larry Fitzgerald <5% 5 -2.0
Bengals <5% 5 -2.0
Austin Hooper <5% 5 -2.0
Ravens <5% 5 -2.0
DeSean Jackson 5 6 -1.0
DeAndre Hopkins 13 14 -1.0
Deshaun Watson 5 6 -1.0
Melvin Gordon III 6 7 -1.0
Tevin Coleman 6 6 0.0
Michael Thomas 27 27 0.0
Kerryon Johnson 6 6 0.0
Matt Ryan 5 <5% 2.0
Peyton Barber 5 <5% 2.0
D.J. Moore 5 <5% 2.0
Jaguars 7 5 2.0
Antonio Brown 8 5 3.0
Redskins 6 <5% 3.0
Brandon LaFell 8 5 3.0
Cam Newton 10 7 3.0
Eli Manning 11 8 3.0
Jack Doyle 6 <5% 3.0
Devin Funchess 7 <5% 4.0
Ryan Fitzpatrick 9 5 4.0
Dion Lewis 30 26 4.0
Odell Beckham Jr. 23 19 4.0
Ben Roethlisberger 8 <5% 5.0
Lions 8 <5% 5.0
Jalen Richard 8 <5% 5.0
Julio Jones 10 5 5.0
Ricky Seals-Jones 21 15 6.0
Seth Roberts 12 5 7.0
Giants 10 <5% 7.0
Emmanuel Sanders 11 <5% 8.0
Jared Cook 14 5 9.0
Jordan Reed 18 7 11.0
Keenan Allen 19 6 13.0
Theo Riddick 21 8 13.0
Kenny Golladay 31 18 13.0
Saints 18 5 13.0
Saquon Barkley 44 29 15.0
Corey Davis 36 19 17.0
James Conner 34 14 20.0

In spite of Corey Davis and James Conner the average pro score beat the herd. Barkley and Saints probably played a big factor in that. The Saints we’re a really good pick.

On the other hand, the herd was hot on the Cowboys. Elliott was a good pick but Cooper was not. Same goes for the Cardinals (I had the Texans and Cardinals D last week so I definitely got burned a bit too).

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T.Y. Hilton was the biggest pick by the herd.

Misc

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. When you miss a player in your lineups be thankful you’re not a turkey.

Turkey Meme

..

.

The above meme is not true but I hope it made you laugh.

Speaking of Turkeys A Note on Inference

People like to think cause and effect is something you can tell with certainty. Spoiler alert, you can’t.

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Consider the weight of a turkey. Starts off around 5lbs and keeps growing each year until… BAM dead turkey. It’s Thanksgiving and it goes to 0 as people devour it.

How the hell do you predict that?

Sure you might understand turkey and thanksgiving but many data problems are the equivalent of forecasting the turkey’s weight when all you have is a chart of turkey weight (looking at you financial markets). Be wary about inferences you take and trust you place in forecasting models like predictions.

This example was inspired by one of Nassim Taleb’s books who I believe had his example inspired by someone else.

 

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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