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Daily Fantasy CFL DraftKings – Chalking It Up to the Game

Daily Fantasy CFL DraftKings – Chalking It Up to the Game
Chris Kay
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If you ask the DailyRoto team, tournaments are the way to go when it comes to Daily Fantasy CFL. With only four games per week, variance plays far too big a role to consistently win in cash game in this sport. The juice just isn’t worth the squeeze when it’s all said and done.

Part of playing tournaments in any sport is determining chalk and finding low owned plays. Today, I want to talk about chalk and if it’s beneficial to embrace it or to fade it. We only have two weeks of data to determine this, so we’re also embracing the “small” sample size, but I think this info will give us a good idea of how to attack chalk in tournaments.

With four-game slates, there are plenty of options each week that are highly owned. Through two weeks of the $4 big tournament from DraftKings, we have seen 12 different players come in at 25% owned or higher, a number I feel is “chalk.” Eight of those players have had a 30% ownership level or higher.

Whether fading one player or another is a great choice is determined by the final outcome of the play. It’s difficult to give a basic formula for value due to salary differences and what you expect out of each end of the spectrum, but for this piece I’m going to use “2x +5.” In this equation, “x” is equal to the player’s salary divided by 100. This means that you’ll divide a player’s salary by 100, multiply it by two and then add five to determine what the fantasy points a player needs to generate to reach his value threshold. If a player has a salary of $10,000 then we’re looking at 25-Fantasy points needed to hit value (2*10 + 5).

Enough of the boring stuff! Let’s get to the data points that we’ve been given after two weeks of action…

There were 12 players that were owned at a 25% rate or better in the first two weeks of the season. The highest ownership we have seen this season is 56.2% (Marquay McDaniel in week two), while the lowest numbers in the data set are 25.1% and 25.4%. We have seen prices as high as $10,400 (Bo Levi Mitchell in week two) and as low as $4,400 (Brandon Zylstra in week one).

Not surprisingly, five of the 12 players that made the cut played for Edmonton. The Eskimos are known for their up-tempo offense that is led by an elite QB/RB/WR combo in Mike Reilly, John White and Adarius Bowman. So, it’s not a surprise to see that fantasy players have made it a point to throw them into their lineups. Another non-surprise when looking at the chart is the amount of receivers that made the list. With two starting spots given to receivers and two more Flex positions, you can roster up to four each week.

When it comes to looking at the numbers that really matter, playing chalk has been fairly –EV. Eight of the 12 players didn’t reach value with 75% of those players missing out on value by 10+ points. So, not only did that player not reach his value threshold, he missed it by a rather large margin.

Looking at the top 10 for each week’s big $4 tournament, we see that fading the chalk has proved extremely beneficial. Not including defenses, we see that 16 of the total 120 positions were filled with a player owned at 25% or higher. Just 13.3% of the positions used were filled by chalk plays, and of those 16 chalk plays, 13 of them reached their value threshold. So, these top 10 finishers really were being perfect when it came to their lineup.

In conclusion, fading chalk plays has been extremely beneficial so far in 2017. Looking at two weeks of data though is not going to give you concrete details and facts, but it’s this kind of analysis that gets the brain moving in the right direction when putting together a tournament lineup. Have any thoughts on whether to fade chalk or to embrace it? Head to the forums to speak your mind!