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NFL DFS has become so scripted. Roster Tood Gurley against anyone, take Devonta Freeman every week and make sure that you have DeAngelo Williams whenever Le’Veon Bell is out.

The script has solidified a “chalky” movement throughout NFL DFS, but the real winners are still carving out victories with “tournament” plays and low owned GPP targets. If you don’t believe me, look for yourself…



DK Points

FD Points

DeAngelo Williams 170RuYds, 55RecYds, 2Rec, 1 2Pt, 2RuTd 41.5 37.5
Antonio Brown 284RecYds, 17Rec, 22RuYds 49.6 37.1
Delanie Walker 7Rec, 95RecYds, 2RecTd, 1 2Pt 30.5 27
Marcus Mariota 4PaTd, 371 PaYds, 5RuYds, 1 2Pt 36.34 33.34

And the winners…


$3 Million NFL Sunday Million, $25 Entry, $500,000 to First Place
Winner: rtoraine
Team: Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, DeAngelo Williams, Randall Cobb, Jordan Matthews, Antonio Brown, Delanie Walker, Josh Brown, New York Giants
Score: 229.18

$75K Bootleg, $5,300 Entry, $35,000 to First Place
Winner: dbonelover
Team: Ben Roethlisberger, Jeremy Langford, Christopher Ivory, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Amari Cooper, Delanie Walker, Dan Bailey, Philadelphia Eagles
Score: 180.36

 $500K Sunday Monster, $300 Entry, $100,000 to First Place
Winner: mbomb44
Team: Marcus Mariota, Lamar Miller, Adrian Peterson, Emmanuel Sanders, Eric Decker, Delanie Walker, Matt Bryant, Philadelphia Eagles
Score: 206.24


Millionaire Maker, $20 Entry, $1 Million to First Place
Winner: skeener917
Team: Marcus Mariota, Chris Ivory, DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Brown, Michael Crabtree, Julian Edelman, Delanie Walker, Lamar Miller, Eagles
Score: 271.14

$15 Million Fantasy Football World Championships Q,  $1,000 Entry, $1,000 + Ticket to First
Winner: EmpireMaker2
Team: Marcus Mariota, Mark Ingram, Jeremy Langford, Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon LaFell, Delanie Walker, Julio Jones, Eagles
Score: 240.24

$650K Blitz, $300 Entry, $100,000 to First Place
Winner: jbarton324
Team: Ben Roethlisberger, Jeremy Langford, Darren McFadden, Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffrey, Jordan Matthews, Delanie Walker, DeMarco Murray, Jets
Score: 248.36

So What Happened This Weekend?

The chalk has made a fairly solid run recently and it didn’t stop this week. Although this week included many more “tournament plays” in the winning lineups, there was still an infusion of players with notable ownership levels that were almost “must haves.” Both Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams, the spearheads of a Steelers offense without Le’Veon Bell, were over 20% owned in each of the million dollar contests this weekend and if you weren’t one of the owners, you probably couldn’t have won.

I showed both of their point totals in the top-performers table, but take a look at the ownership levels from this week:


DK Ownership

FD Ownership

Antonio Brown 31.5 25.1
DeAngelo Williams 20.1 26.5

It’s not often that the correlated positions in a successful tournament lineup are wide receiver and running back, but with all the volume expected to come their way, it wasn’t a bad move this week…obviously.

If you were part of the 60-70% of lineups that didn’t include these guys, you put yourself in a deep hole – one that I’m not sure anyone could have climbed out of.

Who Made The Difference?

You had to have Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams, but I think that the difference was made by a Tennessee Titans stack of Marcus Mariota and Delanie Walker. While the combo actually produced less Fantasy points than Brown and Williams combined, it was their ownership level that really made the difference. I’ve included yet another ownership table below to let you get a feel for just how much of a difference these players made in a large field tournament:


DK Ownership

FD Ownership

Marcus Mariota 1.8 1.1
Delanie Walker 7.6 6

Despite a great matchup against a putrid Saints defense, the pair essentially went overlooked at two positions that I’m always touching on in this recap – the quarterback and tight end spots. As I’ve shown in recent weeks, there is often great variance at these positions and taking advantage by “not paying up” or merely differentiating has been quite successful this season, as it was this week.

To Gronk or Not To Gronk…

Gronk was back this week guys and despite a cake matchup, he disappointed. It’s actually better for this section when he does disappoint because then I can point to the other tight ends that it made sense to have, which is a little easier than rationalizing paying top dollar for Gronkowski, who has had an odd Fantasy year to date.

You already know about Delanie Walker, who has been touched upon in multiple sections, but take a look at some of the other tight ends that actually put up comparable numbers for much less of your salary cap.


DK Points

FD Points

Martellus Bennett 19.7 15.7
Jordan Reed 10.8 9.3
Rob Gronkowski 8.7 6.7

Now, I only included two other tight ends, plus the Walker mentions, but Gronk was obviously bad this week. Despite a high total from a Patriots offense that has focused on letting Tom Brady chuck the ball into the end zone, Gronk was still not worth his price. While Gronk is undoubtedly the best tight end in the league, right now I’m not even sure it makes much sense to roster him in tournaments despite a scarcity of “elite” options at his position. His price tag presents such a discrepancy and crunch on your cap that you need his point total to be well above that of the other tight ends. Given the way tight ends are priced on the sites (especially on DraftKings where you can essentially bottom out) there seems to be no reason to roster him. Let’s see if this changes next week.

Quarterback, Schmaurterback

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 : FOUR different quarterbacks in the top 20 lineups. TWO More quarterbacks than last week – Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, Drew Brees and Cam Newton. Difference in highest and lowest score = 7.24 (Newton – Carr).

Millionaire Maker, DraftKings: FIVE quarterbacks in the top 20 lineups. FOUR MORE quarterbacks used than last week: Marcus Mariota, Ben Roethlisberger, Derek Carr, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton. Difference in highest and lowest score = 11.6 (Rodgers – Roethlisberger).

This continues to be my favorite section of this piece weekly, as I’ve become fascinated with the use of the quarterback position in large field tournaments. I touched on just how lowly owned Mariota was, but both Derek Carr and Cam Newton – the other two that were included in both sets of the top 20 – combined for just barely over 10% in ownership on both sites. In all of the weeks of doing this GPP recap, I’m not sure that there has ever been a chalk QB in the top 20 lineups.

Is that because differentiating from the masses and choosing lower owned quarterbacks allows you to separate yourself from the field? Or is it the fact that the quarterback position has a lower discrepancy in ceiling in floor as compared to the other positions?

We’ll have to wait and see what next week brings.

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!

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1 Comment

  1. cortiz50

    November 14, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Interesting read. I looked at the winning DK milly maker lineups from 2014 before this year started. The funny thing is that the QBs were almost always upper tier guys. Not only that but many had won Super Bowls (8/11). I think a factor that may be overlooked is the pricing….especially on DK. It felt harder to me to fit in the studs last year but maybe I\’m just a better player this year and know more. Whatever the reason, its part of the DFS puzzle that makes it fun.

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