DraftKings Week 15 GPP Breakdown

Dec 18, 2015
DraftKings Week 15 GPP Breakdown

Week 14 Millionaire Maker winner TheBrewster took home the grand prize on the back of a Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin stack and some great contrarian plays at RB.

Frequent readers of this column will notice that unlike most winning lineups, The Brewster's has two extremely low owned RBs. While this may seem to go against the lessons we've learned up until this point, a closer look reveals it makes perfect sense.

The reason there is usually at least one (sometimes two) highly owned RBs in winning lineups is because at RB, you're looking for cheap volume. Most weeks, there is one, and sometimes more, obvious cheap RB plays slated to get heavy volume because they are filling in for an injured starter. Eddie Lacy and Isaiah Crowell ended up being cheap sources of volume, but since they had been inconsistent incumbents rather than "shiny new toys" thrust into starting roles, they were mostly overlooked.

One of the main takeaways we've come away with from studying winning lineups is that they tend to pay up at WR and find cheap volume at RB, which TheBrewster did. It just so happened he found a supply of cheap volume where others didn't.

Why does cheap volume at RB tend to give you a leg up? Because it's hard for RBs to differentiate themselves. Twenty carries at 6.0 yards per carry is only four fantasy points more than 20 carries at 4.0 yards per carry, for example.

Selecting a pool of players to target in GPPs is only half the battle; you also have to put them all together. With that in mind, I’ve revamped the format of this column. With an eye toward lineup construction, I’ve grouped players to target by lineup slot.

I’ve also created a “profile” for each position and lineup slot. This specifies the salary range and ownership level that will generally give you the best odds. These profiles reflect data I have compiled from each of the 14 lineups of this year’s Millionaire Maker, DraftKings’ largest GPP. You will see the information reflected in the profiles, but I want to point out some important trends from the winning lineups before we get into the plays.

  • Go contrarian at QB: QBs in winning lineups have an average ownership of 7.5%, the lowest of any position group by far.
  • Pay up at WR: On average, the most expensive WR in a winning lineup costs $8,300 and the second-most-expensive WR costs $6,900. No other lineup slot has an average of over $6,200.
  • One chalk play at RB, WR is OK: The average highest-owned RB in a winning lineup was owned 27%. The average highest-owned WR was owned 31%. Those represent huge drop-offs from the other RBs (13% including flex) and WRs (12% including flex).
  • RB has a slight edge over WR as the best flex option: RBs were in the flex spot of the winning lineups 57% of the time, WRs 43%, TEs 0%.
  • Salary Allocation: The average salary allocation per lineup slot, from highest to lowest is WR1, WR2, RB1, QB, WR3, RB2, TE, FLEX, DST
  • Make the chalk work for you; also know where to go contrarian: The average ownership per lineup slot, from highest to lowest is WR1, RB1, WR2, D, RB2, TE, WR3, QB, FLEX.

When a player is listed under a heading with multiple lineup slots, i.e. "WR 1/2", it means that player can be used to fill either slot.

I also list the (projected) chalk plays -- defined as the highest owned player at a position or any player projected to push 20% owned -- at each slot, gleaned from my Tournament Ownership Outlook column. Listed chalk plays are still recommended plays unless they do not appear in bold. However, you should generally limit yourself to one chalk play apiece at RB and WR and generally not have more than three chalk plays total in a lineup.

My hope is that casual readers will now have more direction as far as how to actually construct a winning GPP lineup, rather than just identify players to target. On the other hand, more advanced readers who prefer to do further independent research can still use the profiles as a lineup construction template even if they do not agree with some of the listed plays.

A note on pairing the players from the same team/game: In general, players from opposing passing games should be paired up whenever possible. Obviously, QBs and WRs on the same team should be stacked whenever possible, as should RBs and defenses on the same team. QBs and RBs on the same team have a slightly positive correlation and should not be avoided. RB and WR has a slight negative correlation, but it's so small that the pairing should not be avoided either.

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QB Profile: Median salary $6,200, average ownership 8%. QBs are generally under $7,000 and under 10% owned.

Chalk (You generally want less exposure to chalk at QB than at other positions): Russell Wilson $7,000 (He was owned more than twice as much as any other QB on Thursday FanDuel slates and doesn't come cheap; there's more to be gained by fading him than by playing him.)

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