It’s 2020: another week of football brings another week of failed highly owned RBs. Derrick Henry and Davonte Booker were the two highly owned failures this week on DraftKings with a combined 38.8% ownership and only a combined 13 DraftKings points despite their games totaling 135 actual points scored. Overall, with the highly owned players delivering solid performances, scoring was up significantly this week over the past month. Maybe the biggest story of the week though was how the Jets almost lost their stranglehold on the 2020 Tank for Trevor leaderboard but managed to retain their spot by giving up a 46-yard touchdown to Ruggs with only five seconds left on the clock. That was way too close for comfort for Jets fans everywhere. The Giants taking down the Seahawks just sealed the day as a major success for the New York football market.
NFL $3.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st]
On DraftKings, the million-dollar winner was “jgii” with a score of 258.44 points. This was the third single entry million-dollar winner of the year. Their “single stack and bring no one back” of Carr and Waller provided a 83.74 point core to build around on the way to the big win. Waller’s 200 yard, 48 point performance should have been the story of the slate but the 31 point performance from the Patriots defence really was the difference maker in MME. Only 9% of the field had Waller in their lineup but just 5.1% of the field had the Patriots who faced a previously formidable Chargers offence. They scored more than double the points of the next closest DST on the slate and at near minimum salary. The winning lineup also included a mini stack from the expected high scoring affair between the Vikings and Jaguars with Robinson and Jefferson who combined for 231 yards and a touchdown in the overtime game.
While most lineups opted for either extremely high priced RBs in Cook or Henry, or low priced popular RBs like Montgomery, Gaskin, or Booker, the winning formula for “jgii” was mid priced players across the board instead of the usual “Stars and Scrubs” builds that have won the big MME for most of the 2020 season. The high salaries for Cook and Henry led many players to the 2020 traditional punt of the TE position with Firkser, Akins, or Rudolph but spending up for Waller and his comparatively enormous $6100 salary coming off a total failure in Week 12 was the only route to a big win on Sunday. The fact a two TE lineup won a million dollars on Sunday will only increase the tilt for those who generally punt the position.
NFL $300K Game Changer [$50K to 1st, Single Entry]
In the world of high stakes single entry contests on DraftKings, “paratrooper49” was the big winner of $50K with a score of 211.7 points. Their “single stack and bring no one back” of Rodgers and Adams was a popular one as the two carried a combined 45.3% ownership. Adams had at least one touchdown in his 7th straight game – 13 total TDs this season – on his way to a 37.1 point performance versus a hapless Eagles defence. Rodgers and Adams weren’t the only highly owned players in the lineup though as the winning lineup used six of the top 11 owned players in the contest. The only player rostered under 5% ownership was the Dolphins DST at 1.1% ownership that had a solid outing in the juiciest matchup of the week. Likely the $4400 price tag was the only thing that held ownership down in single entry contests. The mini stack of that DST with Gaskin may not have been a big difference maker but it worked. Other important pieces of the $50K puzzle included Coutee (25.1 points) who led Texans in receiving with Will Fuller suspended for the rest of the season for PEDs, and Cory Davis (38.2 points) who was lowest owned player in the lineup at 9.9% in an unexpected 76 point shootout with the Browns. Playing two Titans pass catchers without Tannehill – who was actually the third highest owned QB in the contest at 11.79% – was an interesting move that paid off due at least in part to their relatively low salaries.
As was the story for the million dollar winner, passing up on a $9500 Dalvin Cook at 46.7% ownership and $9200 Derrick Henry at 14.1% ownership proved to be a difference maker in getting leverage on the field. Cook wasn’t the coffin he was in Week 12 but again, amazingly, playing a $9500 RB owned by half of the field was not the right move in tournaments.
$2M NFL Sunday Million ($500K to 1st)
On Fanduel, the big MME winner was “rmerc007” with a score of 228.54 points. The correlations in this lineup were the least traditional of any winner this season as the core of the lineup was a naked Deshaun Watson – despite the availability of a cheap Keke Coutee – rounded out with two Packers (Jones and Adams) and two Raiders (Ruggs and Waller). Both the Packers and Raiders were expected to win going away but it was Ruggs late game touchdown with five seconds left actually made the difference for the Raiders and “rmerc007” on Sunday evening. Corey Davis and the Patriots DST showed up from other winners today along with David Montgomery who was finally able to cash in on the massive volume afforded him for the past month and a half despite Cordarelle Patterson taking 10 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown himself.
As was the story in many winning lineups on Sunday, having pieces of the Brown/Titans shootout was an essential piece of the winning formula and 48.2 combined points from relatively low priced players like Davis and Higgins and relatively low ownership sealed half a million dollars for “rmerc007”.
$250K Sun NFL Rush ($50K to 1st)
In the $9 entry MME on Fanduel, our very own “drewby” was the $50K winner. His “single stack and bring no one back” of Carr and Waller gave him a 71.2 point core to build around on his was to a total 217.34 point winning score. All of Gaskin, Thomas, Kupp, and Cook failed to score a TD which would usually be the kiss of death in Fanduel’s TD heavy scoring, but the massive yardage totals from Waller and Davis along with two special teams TDs from the Patriots DST managed to save the day. A 31 point performance from a 2.2% owned DST is pretty much a slate breaker regardless of the scoring system for the rest of the players.
While on DraftKings, playing a WR in flex usually provides the most upside, the TD heavy scoring on Fanduel means RBs have as good a shot or better to crack the winning lineup in the flex position. Cook didn’t manage to score despite his redzone opportunities, but Drewby came out the big winner none the less. Playing in slightly smaller MME fields, like this 33K entry contest versus the 536K entries in the $4.44 MME can make a huge difference in just how perfect a winning lineup needs to be to win the contest. Having to beat just 6% as many lineups to win the top prize makes a big difference when contest payout structures are as top heavy as they are in the current DFS landscape.
Being well overweight on all of Carr, Montgomery, Gaskin, and Davis put “drewby” in a great spot to find success on Sunday evening and the Patriots DST and Waller funnel up into the right lineup made him $50K richer.
Congratulations to Drewby and all the other big winners from Week 13 of the 2020 NFL DFS season!