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High Priced Quarterbacks: The Best Strategy In DFS?

High Priced Quarterbacks: The Best Strategy In DFS?
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High Priced Quarterbacks: The Best Strategy In DFS?

As mentioned during the baseball season, many (including me) thought it would be a good idea to test high priced quarterback DFS lineups versus mid-tier options similar to the high priced pitchers study. As was the plan with baseball, each week, I will take two FanDuel and DraftKings lineups and use a high priced quarterback in one and a mid-tier option in the other.

It doesn’t stop there, because the real test is seeing if the savings benefit helps improve the team. Obviously, just testing the big guns versus mid-tier guys would result in the top guys winning out. But if we take the savings from the quarterbacks and improve the running back, wide receiver and even tight end position, would the scores improve?

Also, just as with baseball, you don’t save enough to increase the budget at every single position, so the ones I can’t afford to improve will have the same players in both lineups for a better comparison. Lastly, as a reminder, I’m not arbitrarily picking players. I will be using both my rankings and DailyRoto’s weekly cheat sheets to pick the best options, especially at quarterback… because if I always picked Aaron Rodgers versus Josh McCown, well, you don’t need to be told the expected result.

Normally, we’d wrap up the prior week and examine the results for those scores and overall. Since I’ve been in Toronto for the start of the season on set for the DraftKings show, this is actually the first piece of the season, so we have three weeks to cover. Hold on tight.

DRAFTKINGS

Week 1

Slaughtered. You may say, “Hey, Carson Palmer as top quarterback… what gives?” Well, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger were off the table thanks to Thursday Night Kickoff, and some of us believed in Palmer from day one. Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers were the other two top options, but as I said with baseball, I’m not going to blindly pick the most expensive quarterbacks if I believe there is a better play out there.

Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson have continued to disappoint. Johnson was actually the main improvement, but even Kendall Wright did than replacement Andre Johnson… another big disappoint this year.

Week 2

Not quite the dominance of Week 1 but still a win for team QB. Truthfully, it’s easy when Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown combine for 73.16 points, while Sam Bradford and Jordan Matthews get 50.86. The improvement at receiver didn’t make up for enough of the gap, even though Brandon Coleman and Charles Johnson did squadoosh.

Week 3

Gap widened a bit more here, as Aaron Rodgers went bananas. Randall Cobb had a big day, and yes, I even went full risk/contrarian and rostered James Jones too. Too bad the score-fest of Week 3 left this team barely banking money. Nevertheless, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins have been an utter disappointment. Jarvis Landry has be somewhat productive, but even going from Danny Woodhead to Adrian Peterson couldn’t overcome the monster night from the Packers.

FANDUEL

Week 1

Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are big disappointments. Oh, not just because both are on the shelf, but they far from dominated Week 1, and over on FanDuel, their lineup actually scored less than the Bradford/Matthews combo did. On top of that, swapping Eddie Lacy for Lamar Miller gave the mid-tier lineup another boost.

(FYI, DST and K never change between the two lineups, same for DST on DraftKings.)

Week 2

Team QB bounces back, thanks again to that Big Ben/Brown connection. I thought it would be difficult getting similar lineups on DK and FD, but the pricing is proportionate, so I can generally use similar strategies. In any case, the scoring difference was nearly the same, but unlike DraftKings, the boost came from Julio Jones stepping in at receiver.

Week 3

Better for the big guy, but not as big of a gap as DraftKings. Rodgers and Cobb put up huge scores, but no James Jones here. Kendall Wright stepped in (still did really well) for the high priced team. The main reason team mid-tier came closer though was I swapped in Jamaal Charles for Jonathan Stewart. Yea, when your running back replacement scores three times, it’s going to be a good night… although, not quite enough to catch the Packers duo.

YEAR TO DATE

So far, team high priced quarterback is winning. Only one out of six lineups fell in the matchups, and it would have been 0-fer if I had used Carson Palmer on FanDuel too. Dang you, you Cowboys temptresses! DraftKings lineups are averaging 26.36 more points and FanDuel 5.85. Compared to their average scores, DK sees an 18.5 percent boost and FD 4.7. The main difference is coming from that first week, so we’ll continue to study if high priced quarterbacks are the way to go. So far, signs are pointing to “yes”.

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