DraftKings Week 2 Values and Top Plays

DraftKings Week 2 Values and Top Plays

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last updated Sep 13, 2014

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Jonathan Bales is a DraftKings Pro and the author of the Fantasy Football for Smart People book series. His latest book, How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports, is a data-driven guide to winning on DraftKings. He is also (unofficially) sponsored by GrubHub.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @BalesFootball.

My Week 1 DraftKings Values and Top Plays had some hits and misses, which is pretty much going to be the case every week, but hopefully the recommendation to play Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson in your tourneys worked out for you. The idea behind that pairing was that, in addition to elite upside pretty much every week, I figured Stafford and Johnson would have fairly low usage—usage too low for a pair whose production is so connected.

That was indeed the case, likely because of the salaries. Stafford appeared to be an obviously poor value, and he was just 3.0 percent owned in the Sunday Million. Megatron was the most expensive wide receiver, which is understandable, but he was $700 more expensive than Demaryius Thomas. If you were looking for value in your tourney lineups, you were going to go with Thomas over Johnson; Thomas was in 13.4 percent of lineups, while Megatron was in just 7.3 percent.

I actually thought the differential would be larger, but in any event, I wasn’t afraid to pay up for Johnson in tournaments to help differentiate my lineup. The extra $700 was worth getting the top receiver in my lineup when only one-in-13 others had him. I actually had a Stafford/Johnson lineup in position to win the Sunday Million with a combined 35-point performance from Ladarius Green and Danny Woodhead in the final Monday night contest.

So, yeah, I wasn’t close.

This week, study the salaries not just for value, but to see where you might be able to exploit minor pricing differences between players to gain edges in usage. When two comparable players are priced near one another, it can make sense to actually pay up in tournaments for the one who represents “worse value” because it will ultimately help your win probability.

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Week 1 Values on DraftKings

High QB: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs NY Jets, $7900

The fact that Rodgers is the seventh quarterback in terms of salary is crazy. DraftKings clearly weighted Week 1 performance very heavily in their Week 2 pricing, so this is a really smart time to buy low on some players who underachieved last week.

Rodgers is such a sensational value that I’m going to play him in my GPPs, even though I think usage is going to be pretty high.


Low QB: Tom Brady, New England at Minnesota, $7000

This is the perfect storm of Week 1 overreaction—a potentially elite quarterback who stank it up versus a poor defense that wildly overachieved. The Vikings were arguably the worst pass defense in the NFL last year, so it’s not like this is a suddenly reborn unit.

My concern with Brady is that he’s overly reliant on Rob Gronkowski for his own production, particularly in the red zone. As of right now, though, I’m buying in on both guys at their reduced price tags. I think the Brady-to-Gronk stack is probably a smart one in tourneys.


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Filed Under: w2, 2014

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