NFL DFS GPP Recap: Week 8
Do you remember that first weekend that you turned off your yearly home league and only paid attention to DFS? Or the time that you fought past your loyal allegiance to root for an opposing player? It’s a frequent occurrence for someone so invested in DFS and it happened again this week as I locked Arian Foster in my yearly lineup and promptly cheered every time the Saints gave up a TD to OBJ (they still won! Who Dat!). And can you fault me? Even Drew Brees’ own child won’t root for him (Dan Patrick interview with Brees here).
I know Brees hints that the reasons aren’t DFS related, but, it seems that Baylen could have been hedging his heart and pocket with a Giants stack this week.
Now for the good players from this week…
|Drew Brees||511 PaYds, 7PaTD, 1 RuYD||50.54||47.54|
|Todd Gurley||1RuTd, 133 RuYDs, 3Rec, 13RecYds||26.6||22.1|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||8Rec, 3RecTD, 130RecYDs||42||35|
|Julio Jones||1RecTd, 162RecYds,12Rec||36.2||26.2|
You’ll see those names a lot in the following lineups…
$4 Million NFL Sunday Million, $25 Entry, $500,000 to First Place
Team: Drew Brees, Todd Gurley, Ronnie Hillman, Stefon Diggs, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham Jr, Greg Olsen, Dan Bailey, Houston Texans
$300K Snap +World Fantasy Football Championships Q, $2 Entry, Ticket to First
Team: Drew Brees, Todd Gurley, Christopher Ivory, Odell Beckham Jr, Brandin Cooks, Tavon Austin, Benjamin Watson, Justin Tucker, St. Louis Rams
$650K Sunday Monster, $300 Entry, $75,000 to First Place
Team: Drew Brees, Todd Gurley, Jonathan Stewart, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham Jr, Michael Crabtree, Greg Olsen, Graham Gano, St. Louis Rams
Millionaire Maker, $20 Entry, $1 Million to First Place
Team: Drew Brees, Todd Gurley, Darren McFadden, Tavon Austin, Odell Beckham Jr, Julio Jones, Benjamin Watson, Jonathan Stewart, Texans
$15 Million Fantasy Football World Championships Q, $1,000 Entry, $1,000 + Ticket to First
Team: Drew Brees, Todd Gurley, Jonathan Stewart, Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, Brandin Cooks, Crockett Gilmore, Alshon Jeffrey, Raiders
$700K Blitz, $300 Entry, $100,000 to First Place
Team: Drew Brees, Todd Gurley, Ronnie Hillman, Odell Beckham Jr, Brandin Cooks, Julio Jones, Benjamin Watson, Nate Washington, Raiders
So What Happened This Weekend?
While last week was officially deemed chalk week in the NFL DFS world, the faint, milky white lines from the ground didn’t entirely vanish in time for games this week. Below I’ve included three of the most popular players from the two big tournaments this weekend as well as their respective ownership percentages. It’s important to point out, that fading these players remains a viable option in large field tournaments. A successful fade of a high percentage, “chalk” play can be largely rewarding, assuming the player performs below value. None of the three exploded, so it was conceivable that you could have won without them, but they also didn’t ruin any lineups they found themselves on.
Ownership levels taken from DK Millionaire Maker and FD Sunday Million.
DK Milly Maker
FD Sunday Million
|St. Louis Rams||50.1%||38.6%|
Side note: Given the inept play by most running backs this week, Gurley was the most “must have” of these three options. Up until the Sunday Night game, he was one of two running backs with a rushing touchdown.
Who Made The Difference?
Remember when we dismissed Brees and the Saints offense earlier this year? Well, I’m not ready to jump head over heels back in, but this week was a pleasant surprise. The Saints got back to running up and down the turf at home albeit against a putrid New York Giants defense. It seems as if some receny bias, coupled with the fact that there were other, cheaper quarterbacks in matchups similar to Brees (Rivers, Dalton, etc) led to such a low ownership percentage as he was 3.8 and 3.2 percent owned in the Sunday Million and Millionaire Maker respectively. Brees chucked seven touchdown passes and threw for over 500 yards, making him the preferred quarterback option this week. You might notice that he is the quarterback choice of all of the winning lineups that I showed above and his place atop notable lineups will be further noted in the “Quarterback, Schmaurterback” section below.
To Gronk or Not To Gronk…
I know, I know – Gronk played on Thursday. Who cares!!!?? I love this section as it’s become entirely fascinating for me to watch what top players are doing at tight end each week, especially given their typical discrepancy in pricing as compared to the skill positions (most notably wide receiver). Given the fact that most teams use only one true pass catching tight end, it’s easy to see why the same few guys get used over and over again on our lineups. But even then, the decision to pay up for Gronk, Greg Olsen or one of the other premier tight ends or to punt, is a decision that must be made every week and has a lasting impact in tournaments.
Once again, the tight end position made a world of difference this week.
I sandwiched Greg Olsen in between two minimum priced guys just to show the comparison between the top and bottom. On a week with some tight end uncertainty, especially in the situation with Antonio Gates, around lineup lock we were left with only Greg Olsen as an elite tight end option (calm down Gary Barnidge fans). Thanks to the relative lack of options, a lot of people took it upon themselves to differentiate at the position and “punt” the position. It’s important to note that this is more possible on DraftKings thanks to late swap as well as the tight end pricing. FanDuel’s pricing ensures that even the lower end tight ends are too close relative to the elite options to make a punt more valuable than just paying at the position.
As a result, we saw ownership levels on tight ends like Benjamin Watson (12.7 on DK, 5.9 on FD) more than double on DraftKings as opposed to FanDuel where his “bottom” tight end salary presents more of an opportunity cost.
Don’t worry guys, Gronk will be back in the picture before you know it.
I’m 5’7’’, chubby and slow, so becoming a top NFL wide receiver was sort of out of the question at birth. Nevertheless, despite growing up a quarterback (laugh again, I was actually a pretty solid JV QB), on the playground, I lived to be a wide receiver. I always had this uncanny ability to jump a little higher than I was supposed to, so calling for jump balls over kids with zip-off jeans was like my favorite pastime.
I imagine that guys like Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr. were similar to me out on the playground, the only difference is, the NFL is still like recess to them. Take a look at what the best at the position did this week.
|Odell Beckham Jr..||42||35|
I left a lot of names off this list, but it was a week full of top receiver domination.
I’m going to be continuing this segment weekly in hopes of producing a larger piece on this deeper into the NFL season as the striking contrast in quarterback play has been a particularly interesting note thus far in the NFL season.
Below I’ve once again gone through the quarterbacks used in the top 20 lineups of both of the major tournaments on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Sunday Million, FanDuel : Two different quarterbacks in the top 20 lineups. SEVEN LESS quarterbacks than last week – Drew Brees and Eli Manning. Difference in highest and lowest score = 9.54(Brees – Manning).
Millionaire Maker, DraftKings: ONE quarterback in the top 20 lineups. THREE LESS quarterbacks used than last week: Drew Brees was the only quarterback in the top 20, therefore there is no difference between the top and bottom quarterbacks.
I mentioned above how important it was to have Brees this week and boy does this section truly show it. Your only chance of sniffing the top of a big leaderboard without Brees was on FanDuel, and even there you had to have a quarterback that threw six touchdown passes.
Keep in mind, that DraftKings uses a three point bonus for quarterbacks that throw for over 300 yards. Typically, those that are near the top of the leaderboard are ones that have eclipsed this mark, slightly inflating the difference between the top and bottom, and also the difference in point total from DraftKings to FanDuel.
Congratulations to all the winners from this week, and to the losers, sorry! Now watch this catch for a glimpse of what it was like to see me play in elementary school. (For the gullible crowd, this isn’t actually me, we had flag football, and I was indeed the quarterback)