For the first time this year, every single tournament covered in this article featured a different quarterback (QB) that led the winning team to victory. Skill position players were much more important this week, which makes sense, especially on DraftKings, where passing touchdowns (TDs) are only worth four fantasy points. The fantasy point differential amongst the top QBs and average QBs on a week-to-week basis is nowhere near the disparity between top wide receivers (WRs) and/or running backs (RBs) and average ones. To put it differently, smash skill position players typically score 40-plus fantasy points whereas the best QBs normally sit in the low-to-mid 30s of fantasy points (and typically have close competitors). Week 16 was a prime example since there was no continuity of QBs between the different contest winners and yet a relatively non-chalky Saquon Barkley (NYG) was 100-percent necessary to win big. Barkley finally put his “first overall pick in fantasy football” talent on display as he gained a season-high 279 yards from scrimmage and scored twice. His first TD, a 67-yard rush, set the tone for a massive day against a team that ranked 24th in rushing defense heading into this one, per Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric. Tyler Boyd (CIN)was the other necessary piece, as he was an important part of the Bengals’ magnificent 23-point comeback, scoring two late TDs. The combination of those two won folks a lot of money this weekend but the rest of winning lineups consisted of moving pieces…
On DK, user “youdacao” was able to overcome a Matt Ryan (ATL) mediocre performance as seven other players on his roster scored 18-plus fantasy points and six others topped 26 fantasy points. The Barkley/Boyd duo was obviously the main highlight but rostering Ryan brought youdacao into Julio Jones (ATL) exposure and he too went crazy: 10 receptions (RECs) for 166 yards en route to 29.6 fantasy points. In the low-owned department, Miles Sanders (PHI), Mike Gesicki (MIA) and Colts Defense (IND) all ended up under 8.0-percent owned and each one crushed. The Colts were especially deadly as they scored two defensive TDs, registered five stacks and finished with a whopping 30-points. While defenses may feel random, outlier defenses are often needed to ship tournaments of all sizes, so getting them correct is as important as any other position. Here was the lineup youdacao rode to glory:
In the $300K Wildcat, a Lamar Jackson (BAL)-Mark Andrews (BAL) stack was the stack of choice for “Brunoruno” whose lineup scored just five fantasy points less than the $1 Million lineup. Typically, the disparity is closer to 10-15 fantasy points, and has been as high as 30 fantasy points in previous articles. This week, the scoring was high even in higher stakes contests as seven teams on Sunday’s main slate scored at least 31-points and six scored 35-plus….and that is before talking about all the teams who scored in the mid-to-high 20s. Jackson struggled mightily until late in the second quarter when he threw two TDs to Andrews in just over a minute. Steven Sims Jr. (WAS) proved to be a nice correlation play on the opposite side of the game as Barkley as he caught six passes for 64 yards and two scores (one from each Washington QB that played). Otherwise, the only other noteworthy aspect of the lineup was the two tight end (TE) set, as Jacob Hollister (SEA) was deployed in the utility spot:
Over on FD, a three-lineup chain took down the $1.2M Sunday Million, with all three users splitting the top three prizes to take home $90,000 a piece. On a site that prioritizes TDs, it was no wonder Andy Dalton (CIN) ended up in the winning lineup since he threw for four TDs, coverted two two-point conversions and oh, by the way, he nearly racked up 400 yards passing along the way. Dalton builds naturally brought users into the tournament-winning Boyd and Gesicki was one of the logical run-back options in the stack. Not only was Gesicki cheap but he caught a career-high two TD passes and came in at just 4.1-percent ownership. There were pregame reports about potential wind issues in this game that moved the masses off the passing games and that proved to be a grave mistake. Despite a windy atmosphere, the QBs in the game combined to throw for over 800 yards and eight TDs.
In the $250K Monster, “booourns” finished comfortably in first by a whopping 20 fantasy points with Drew Brees (QB) as his QB. Michael Thomas did Thomas things aka 12 RECs for 136 yards and a score and this user also ran back a stack with the opposing TE: Jonnu Smith (TEN). Although Smith did not match Gesicki’s fantasy point output, he did finish with 63 yards receiving and a score, and booourns still benefited from the Dolphins’ passing attack in the form of DeVante Parker (five RECs, 111 yards and a TD). DeAndre Washington (OAK) was popular on both sites, because he was a cheap back projecting to receive a lion’s share of the team’s touches, and that is exactly what ended up happening. It took 23 carries for Washington to reach 85 rushing yards but he did find the end zone and was targeted three times as well. He was slightly pricier than Dion Lewis (TEN), who was also present in this lineup, and Lewis proved to be the letdown of the cheap, chalky backs. With a lineup like boourns, the letdown did not matter:
Each week, this article will take a look at how a specific successful pro approached the week, and this week “PetrGibbons” was selected due to his success (as his top lineups finished ninth and 10th in the Main Event Championship). When all said and done, PetrGibbons most heavily exposed himself to a chalky, cheap DeAndre Washington (OAK) which made a lot of sense (because he was too cheap for the expected volume he was set to receive in Week 16). His top three exposures were interesting as they consisted of two cheap complement plays and Michael Thomas (NO) who was priced at $9,300. Here were the players he was most heavily exposed to (in order):
- DeAndre Washington (90.0-percent)
- Larry Fitzgerald (55.0-percent)
- Michael Thomas (55.0-percent)
- Julio Jones (42.5-percent)
- Leonard Fournette (40.0-percent)
- Denver Defense (37.5-percent)
- Mike Gesicki (32.5-percent)
- Alex Erickson (30.0-percent)
- Christian McCaffery (25.0-percent)
- Phillip Lindsay (22.5-percent)
- Miles Sanders (20.0-percent)
- Chris Carson (20.0-percent)
- Devonta Freeman (17.5-percent)
- Jack Doyle (17.5-percent)
- Russell Wilson (15.0-percent)
There were no obvious noteworthy aspects to this build as there have been in weeks past. Top receivers and backs were scattered throughout the top 10 in ownership but Barkley was noticeably absent. This user ran into some good luck as neither of his top 10 finishing lineups had Barkley and were still able to smash because of the Thomas-Boyd-Gesicki trio. Sometimes a nice core can lead to a nice week even when missing one of the most important pieces but Barkley missing from the build prevented PetrGibbson from shipping. Nice work anyways, PetrGibbons.
Congratulations to all the winners and better luck to all who did not win a million dollars next week!