NFL GPP Week 10 Recap: I Liked That, Captain Kirk
Kirk Cousins dominated this week. Of course it was against my favorite team, but he did it anyway and it was glorious. The best part about it, is it let me include the now famous clip below and it actually applies given the fact that Cousins helped win someone one million dollars. That’s a lot of money…he probably liked that.
|Kirk Cousins||4PaTD, 324 PaYds||31.96||28.96|
|Jeremy Langford||73RuYds, 109RecYds, 7Rec, 1RecTd, 1RuTd||40.2||33.7|
|Adrian Peterson||1RuTd, 203 RuYds, 13RecYds, 2Rec||32.6||28.6|
|Antonio Brown||10Rec, 139RecYds, 2RecTd, 1 2Pt||40.9||32.9|
Others that “liked that”…
$3 Million NFL Sunday Million, $25 Entry, $500,000 to First Place
Winner (and second place): jtppick6
Cam Newton, Mark Ingram, Jeremy Langford, Antonio Brown, Brandin Cooks, Martavis Bryant, Greg Olsen, Chandler Catanzaro, Pittsburgh Steelers
$12M WFFC Q, $300 Entry, Ticket to First Place
Team: Kirk Cousins, James Starks, Charcandrick West, DeAndre Hopkins, Pierre Garcon, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers
$600K Sunday Monster, $300 Entry, $75,000 to First Place
Team: Joe Flacco, DeAngelo Williams, Todd Gurley, Antonio Brown, Kamar Aiken, Brandin Cooks, Jordan Reed, Cairo Santos, Tampa Bay Bucs
Millionaire Maker, $20 Entry, $1 Million to First Place
Team: Kirk Cousins, Jeremy Langford, Adrian Peterson, Kamar Aiken, Martavis Bryant, Allen Robinson, Rob Gronkowski, Charcandrick West, Bengals
$15 Million Fantasy Football World Championships Q, $1,000 Entry, $1,000 + Ticket to First
Team: Blake Bortles, Todd Gurley, James Starks, Mike Evans, Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson, Jordan Reed, Jeremy Langford, Buccaneers
$650K Blitz, $300 Entry, $100,000 to First Place
Team: Eli Manning, Adrian Peterson, James Starks, Odell Beckham Jr, Martavis Bryant, Jarvis Landry, Heath Miller, Rishard Matthews, Chiefs
So What Happened This Weekend?
Scratch everything I’ve been saying about the chalk in previous weeks because this week, NFL DFS was chalk-intolerant. It wasn’t just one “no-doubter” play that burned us in tournaments and cash games, it was a whole position. Literally every running back that you would have been contemplating prior to setting your lineups was terrible and those that you glanced over a time or two spent the weekend laughing in your face. Take a look at the value running backs below that we were anticipating big weeks from along with their ownership percentages and point totals from the million dollar tournaments.
DK Own% / Points
FD Own% / Points
|DeAngelo Williams||41.8 % / 7.9||43% / 7.4|
|Darren McFadden||20.8 % / 8.8||11.4% / 7.3|
|Mark Ingram||10.9 % / 12.8||12.8 % / 11.3|
If you told me you weren’t using any of these three in tournaments at all, I wouldn’t have told you it wasn’t smart. I’ve mentioned in the past how much we can separate ourselves from the field by avoiding highly owned plays, but given the volume and prices that this trio took on this week, it was expected that they would certainly be worth their price tag (or at least close). If you avoided the death trap, you probably put yourself in a much better position to succeed.
Who Made The Difference?
Although three of the favorites heading in to the week had disappointing performances the difference makers in GPPs this week were also running backs – albeit ones that reached value.
Take a look at the lines from Jeremy Langford and Charcandrick West.
DK Points / Own%/ Salary
FD Points/ Own%/ Salary
|Langford||40.2 / 4.7% / $4,800||33.7 / 3.7 % / $6,200|
|West||31.1 / 1.9 % / $4,800||29.6 / 1.2% / $6,400|
By using Ingram, DeAngelo and McFadden we were aiming to achieve exactly what Langford and West achieved – a fair amount of fantasy points given their salary. Although the matchups were not particularly appealing, it is head scratching that the ownership percentages on this pair of running backs were so low. Both West and Langford were in line for the bulk of the carries and are both relevant in the passing games of their respective teams. Add in the fact that they presented a lot of value for the volume of touches that they would get as compared to their salary and it makes me scratch my head that I didn’t consider them more.
But by not using either of them, did you do something wrong? Not necessarily, but you missed out on the opportunity to do something right! Does that make sense? Essentially this is a chance to point out that regardless of public perception or matchup, taking players that will frequently have the ball in their hands isn’t a “bad” decision. It was well known that the other running backs would dominate the ownership percentage category this week and that West and Langford would be relatively contrarian. Contrarian running backs that cost less than 10% of the salary cap and are in line for a ton of touches? What is not to like about that ?
Remember this for next time, but don’t automatically lock these two in next week (recency bias is bad too!).
To Gronk or Not To Gronk…
This was the first week in a while that you had to contemplate quite hard on whether or not to use Rob Gronkowski at his price against the New York Giants or to try and find value elsewhere. In recent weeks, the Patriots game plan plus solid matchups for cheaper tight ends made it a tad bit easier when creating your tournament lineups. This week though without one of the best options at the position (Antonio Gates) the choice at tight end was made a tad bit more difficult.
Here’s a look at how some of the best performed.
Jordan Reed was undoubtedly the chalk option at the position this week and he didn’t disappoint. This section however, is about Gronk and this week was a week to Gronk. Most often I’m trying to compare Gronk’s performance and his salary vs. the other comparable tight ends in terms of ownership percentage and their value as compared to their salary. While you might note that Reed was better by PT/$ basis, when you factor in his 38.7 and 27.9 percent ownerships on FanDuel and DraftKings respectively, I think it’s acceptable to give the nod to Gronk. If you were truly trying to separate yourself from the field, especially on such a low scoring week, the difference between Gronk and Reed was magnified thanks to a lower ownership percentage. If you paid up for Gronk and hit on the right value running backs ( a tough task), you put yourself head and shoulders above other members of the field.
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 : SEVEN different quarterbacks in the top 20 lineups. THREE More quarterbacks than last week –Cam Newton, Kirk Cousins, Joe Flacco, Johnny Manziel, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers. Difference in highest and lowest score = 14.6 (Kirk Cousins – Drew Brees).
Millionaire Maker, DraftKings: NINE quarterbacks in the top 20 lineups. FOUR MORE quarterbacks used than last week: Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning. Difference in highest and lowest score = 14.94 (Cousins – Bortles)
Wow. If the research question associated with this section was, “does the quarterback position matter in large field GPPs,” you might be saying, “um, probably not.” Although I have been using the difference in point totals between the highest and lowest QB to show that the spectrum of possible scores for quarterbacks is smaller than that of skill players, this weeks unusually high difference actually makes me feel stronger about the “negligible” nature of the quarterback position in tournaments. While you would have undoubtedly been better off using Kirk Cousins rather than Blake Bortles on DraftKings, the fact that a team was able to crack the top-20 with Bortles in his lineup points to the strength of the rest of his team. In this situation, it’s not the quarterback that is separating him from 286,000 teams, it’s the explosion of his skill position players. There has not been a single occasion yet this season (aside from the week where Drew Brees threw six touchdowns) that you won or lost a GPP thanks to quarterback play. They have an incredible built in floor because they literally touch the ball on every single play. It’s cliché to point it out, but yes, there are only two players that touch the ball every play, the center and the quarterback, and well, you’re not getting any points from Max Unger.
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!