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NFL DFS Week 1 GPP Recaps

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NFL DFS Week 1 GPP Recaps
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Deciding whether or not to pair a perceived run-first quarterback with one of their pass-catchers is a difficult decision and those who decided not to run a certain Ravens quarterback naked this week were heavily rewarded. NFL Analyst Warren Sharp has been banging the Lamar Jackson drum for quite some time suggesting he actually had a historically positive passing season. According to Sharp, Jackson was one of just 11 quarterbacks (QBs) in NFL history to attempt at least 150 passes in a season where they were 21-years old or younger. Of those QBs, Jackson ranked first in passer rating and second in both adjusted yards per attempt and completion rate. Those who took that advice and/or had faith in Jackson versus the tanking Dolphins were rewarded handsomely. The key was having the faith to pair him with a pass-catcher as well and rely on his arm as opposed to his legs.

Note: “FD” refers to FanDuel and “DK” refers to DraftKings throughout this piece

On Sunday, the aforementioned Jackson was all over leaderboards, but strangely the pass-catcher played alongside him to win $1 million was different between the two sites. On DK, user “TopCorner” paired Jackson with his wide receiver (WR) Marquise Brown who went absolutely crazy. Playing a Ravens onslaught had a chance to be successful in multiple different ways, as running back (RB) Mark Ingram scored twice as well, but TopCorner just rolled with a simple QB-WR connection. Brown was 0.3-percent owned and was the obvious key to the lineup but it should be noted the sub-4.5-percent owned, cheap 49ers defense was the secondary key. Otherwise, there was a fair amount of chalk eating in this lineup; Dalvin Cook was the highest owned player on the slate and Chris Carson/Christian McCaffery were both in the top seven overall of ownership as well. This lineup did not roll out any sort of RB/defense stack and it did not run back a Dolphin as part of a game stack. This was a simple QB-WR stack complemented with others who smashed:

In the $1.5M Wildcat on DK, “papagates” did not even need Lamar Jackson to ship it. He did, however, still take advantage of the Ravens domination by targeting the RB instead of the QB. The $1 million lineup on DK only included one player who scored over 38.4 fantasy points but he also rostered only one player who scored less than 25.1 fantasy points. However, papagates’ lineup was a bit more top-heavy, as he used three separate players who scored at least 39.4 fantasy points: Sammy Watkins, Austin Ekeler and Christian McCaffery (who was also in the $1 million lineup). Unlike TopCorner’s lineup, papagates’ did rely heavily on a single game stack, and he rolled out five players from the same game: Patrick Mahomes, Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, D.J. Chark Jr. and Dede Westbrook. Even with the Jaguars’ starting QB going down with a broken collar, papagates was still able to get a strong enough performance from the two Jaguars receivers to take down this contest.

Here was papagates’ $250,000 lineup in the Wildcat:

The amazing part is papagates was able to withstand the 11.8 fantasy point flop from Travis Kelce who was the most expensive tight end (TE) on the slate. Papagates rolled out 135 lineups in this contest at $333 per entry and most heavily exposed himself to chalky players such as Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffery Austin Ekeler and Chris Carson in those lineups. As both Drew Dinkmeyer and Mike Leone have talked about on the DailyRoto podcast, the RB position is often one where limiting the pool is preferable because the outcome is so heavily-reliant on volume (especially relative to price).

On the other hand, the key to winning the Sunday Million on FD proved to be Jackson-centric…and not just Lamar. Before getting to the other Jackson, it should be noted Marquise Brown was nowhere to be found in this winning lineup despite his two touchdowns (TDs). Instead, a long-time industry analyst from RotoGrinders “headchopper” paired Jackson with his TE Mark Andrews and locked in chalky, high-volume backs alongside the stack. This stack, unlike the winning lineup on DraftKings, included a RB/defense stack that paid off in a weird way. Normally, when targeting these sorts of stacks, the idea is that the team gets ahead early and then controls the game from there on out. In this game, the Jets got out to an early 16-0 lead, blew said lead and their defense still managed to be part of the winning strategy. The high-scoring recievers were necessary to complete this lineup as Sammy Watkins and DeSean Jackson barely combined for double-digit ownership. Watkins likely benefitted some from the shoulder injury to Tyreek Hill but it should be noted he was targeted early and often in this game (four first quarter targets prior to the Hill injury including two 49-plus yard TDs before he left). Game flow benefited the Eagles as they fell behind early and were forced to pass their way back into it. The Eagles were lacking a true downfield threat last year and Jackson filled that role remarkably well versus a defense that ranked 11th in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric versus the pass. This is what heachopper’s winning lineup looked like:

A different setup took down the $600K FanDuel monster and this lineup was actually won by a naked Jackson. Like the $1 million winning lineup on FD, the $100,000 winning Monster lineup featured a RB/defense stack, but a totally different one. Whereas headchopper faded the Chris Carson chalk, user “cjv23” rode the Carson/Tyler Lockett/Seattle Defense stack to glory. In a contest with only 1,457 total entries, there was more margin for error, as this lineup included two players who did not even manage 10 fantasy points (and Lockett barely cracked the double-digit plateau). The three Seahawks were the only players with any sort of correlation in the lineup and yet the lineup was strong enough to hang on. There are many ways to skin a cat and here is how cjv23 did it:

Of course, DailyRoto’s own Drew Dinkmeyer struck gold on Sunday as well, winning the $400K NFL Blitz. Congratulations to him as he rode a Carson Wentz/DeSean Jackson/Zach Ertz stack to the top of the leaderboard. While Ertz was not incredibly productive, Drew was one of the few who strung together the Ekeler/Watkins/Jackson trio which proved to be enough in a contest of 2,480 participants. In order to construct this roster, Drew simply played DailyRoto’s third best QB value, three of the top seven RB values, a top three TE value, a top five defense value and then mixed in high-upside WRs.

Drew’s lineup consisted of several strategies laid out for subscribers in our GPP Strategy Guide including the Wentz double stack, and a contrarian pivot at wide receiver onto Desean Jackson. Another win for the DailyRoto family in what is hopefully just the start of an extremely productive football season!

This article will track the correlations of tournament-winning lineups throughout the course of the season and this week there was no harmonious theme between the winners of all the contests examined in this article other than all their lineups included 2/3 between Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffery and Austin Ekeler.

Pro Spotlight

Each week, this article will take a look at how a specific successful pro approached the week, and this week “rikkiedee” was selected due to his success. When all said and done, rikkie heavily exposed himself to two players: Zach Ertz and Austin Ekeler. Otherwise, he did not have over 30-percent exposure to any player in his pool and was exposed to 88 players total. Here were the players he had the most exposure to (in order):

  1. Zach Ertz (100-percent)
  2. Austin Ekeler (91.3-percent)
  3. Carson Wentz (30.0-percent)
  4. Le’Veon Bell (27.3-percent)
  5. Marvin Jones (27.3-percent)
  6. Amari Cooper (24.0-percent)
  7. Kerryon Johnson (23.3-percent)
  8. Tyreek Hill (22.0-percent)
  9. Sterling Shepard (20.7-percent)
  10. Chris Carson (17.3-percent)
  11. Sammy Watkins (17.3-percent)
  12. Alshon Jeffery (15.3-percent)
  13. Larry Fitzgerald (15.3-percent)
  14. Christian Kirk (14.0-percent)
  15. San Francisco Defense (13.3-percent)

The noteworthy aspect to his ownership percentages were the heavy commitments he made at the top. Mass multi-entry is designed to help fantasy owners cover bases but this should be a reminder that you will also want to play your convictions. Edges are difficult to find in daily fantasy, so if you believe you have found one, you will want to exploit it. Another intriguing aspect of the build is the fact that rikkidee was able to overcome the injury to Hill and multiple flops in his top 15 (Johnson, Shepard, and Kirk to name a few). He also was extremely underweight on many of the chalky backs who smashed and still proved to be successful. Well played, rikkidee.

Congratulations to all the winners and better luck to all who did not win a million dollars next week!

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