TJ's Take: Week 6 NFL DFS Recap

Oct 16, 2018
TJ's Take: Week 6 NFL DFS Recap

Week 6’s winning lineups from the biggest contests on FanDuel and DraftKings can be used to tease out lineup-building strategies and offer clues on how you could have landed on a similar team. Reviewing your hits and misses each week is imperative if you want to be a profitable DFS player but examining winning lineups is also a useful exercise in cultivating a winning approach.

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DraftKings Week 6 Millionaire Winning Lineup

Davematt123 bested a field of over 400,000 entries by offsetting one of the chalkier lineups you’ll see atop a leaderboard with a stack owned in less than one percent of lineups and embracing correlation with three pairs of teammates. Targeting an unpopular stack and rotating in your core plays—as Pat James points out each week—is much easier to hit on than trying to nail down a handful of dart throws with no correlation. While traditional stacks are commonplace for most DFS players, having multiple sets of teammates in the same lineup is a strategy that isn’t often discussed and one that makes a ton of sense when there are multiple teams projected for inflated point totals, as was the case in Week 5.

As always, the review process on DraftKings should go beyond just the winning lineup and look at the player portfolio of each week’s winner, since DraftKings allows owners to easily access a csv of every lineup entered into any contest. Davematt123 took a somewhat unique portfolio approach, using 12 different quarterback stacks despite playing only 34 lineups in the Millionaire. This case is a bit on the extreme end of the spectrum but in weeks where your player pool is relatively tight, increasing your number of quarterback stacks is an effective strategy to improve your chances of taking down a large GPP since it is easier to “cover your bases” than in weeks where you have a large player pool.

What Were the Indicators for the Low-Owned Plays?

Swapping in a player because of late-breaking injury news to a starter is a popular strategy in DFS but it’s rarely a lock play outside of a running back expected to see high volume. Brock Osweiler is almost never going to be a popular play but when it’s announced less than an hour before kickoff that he’ll be starting you’re almost guaranteed to get a player at the ownership we saw this week. That, of course, isn’t enough to make someone a viable play but there is something to be said for any quarterback that a defense likely didn’t prepare for that week.

While Chicago has one of the best pass rushes in the league, they still went into the week ranked in the bottom third of defenses in fantasy points allowed per pass attempt. Albert Wilson was coming off of a week where he played 91 percent of team snaps and was going into Week 6 with the most targets among non-running backs on the team. Anyone taking a shot on the late-breaking quarterback news could have quickly looked to volume to decide which player to pair with Osweiler. At the very least, pairing these players together was a very cheap play that allowed for multiple studs in the same lineup in a week where that was tough to accomplish.

Regardless of how you get there, this isn’t the type of play to hang your hat on and Davematt123 rolled out just one Miami stack. That one stack accounted for about three percent of Davematt123’s lineup, making him overweight on the field by a comfortable margin.

FanDuel Week 5 Sunday Million Winning Lineup

skyfraz used a chalky quarterback in a popular game but was able to differentiate his lineup with a very unique game stack—rather than pairing Jameis Winston with one of his pass catchers, skyfraz rolled out a “naked” quarterback with a chalk receiver from the opposite team. This plan can work when your quarterback spreads the ball around and Tampa Bay went into the week with just one player who had a target share above 15 percent. Like we saw on DraftKings, skyfraz included a pair of teammates that had no correlation with his primary game stack.

What Were the Indicators for the Low-Owned Plays?

Prior to Chicago’s bye week, Jordan Howard ceded a huge percentage of touches to Tarik Cohen and Miami is a defense that has been consistently beaten by running backs both on the ground and through the air. Another trend that has been emerging in Chicago is the consistency of Taylor Gabriel—going into Week 6, Gabriel had seen at least seven targets in three straight games and he was a near-perfect price pivot off of Keke Coutee, who was one of the more popular value receivers of the week.

TJ’s Final Take

If you’re reading this, you probably read my take on the importance of red zone opportunity in this week’s DFS newsletter. While red zone opportunities are important, they don’t always tell the entire story—a target from the 20 isn’t the same as a target from inside the five, for example. That’s why I created Red Zone Expected Value (Red Zone EV), a metric that takes historical scoring rates from every yard line in the red zone for each position and quantifies a player’s exact scoring expectation based on opportunities inside the 20-yard line.

Now over a third of the way into the season, we can start looking at red zone work to get an idea of which players should be scoring the most and those who might be playing above their head.

The following is every player’s red zone scoring expectation compared to their actual scoring output. Underperformers may be primed for a breakout and could make for great GPP options in Week 7.

Red Zone EV = Expected Red Zone TDs * 6; Actual Red Zone Points = Red Zone TDs Scored * 6; Click headers to sort

Quarterback Red Zone EV
Player Red Zone Attempts Red Zone EV Actual RZ Points Diff.
Deshaun Watson 39 69.94 42 -27.94
Andrew Luck 50 69.90 84 14.10
Drew Brees 47 63.85 48 -15.85
Derek Carr 38 60.31 42 -18.31
Jared Goff 41 59.60 48 -11.60
Patrick Mahomes 40 56.71 72 15.29
Philip Rivers 32 53.90 60 6.10
Joe Flacco 35 53.47 42 -11.47
Aaron Rodgers 38 52.21 54 1.79
Ben Roethlisberger 39 51.60 30 -21.60
Case Keenum 32 48.52 18 -30.52
Matt Ryan 33 48.33 60 11.67
Andy Dalton 34 46.76 60 13.24
Eli Manning 33 44.60 30 -14.60
Mitch Trubisky 29 43.59 54 10.41
Tom Brady 30 42.12 54 11.88
Kirk Cousins 28 37.96 48 10.04
Blake Bortles 22 36.67 24 -12.67
Dak Prescott 26 35.14 30 -5.14
Matthew Stafford 25 35.06 30 -5.06
Ryan Fitzpatrick 21 34.67 30 -4.67
Baker Mayfield 19 34.33 18 -16.33
Carson Wentz 30 33.54 42 8.46
C.J. Beathard 14 28.64 18 -10.64
Russell Wilson 19 27.11 54 26.89
Cam Newton 19 24.83 30 5.17
Sam Darnold 21 24.76 18 -6.76
Alex Smith 17 24.33 24 -0.33
Marcus Mariota 14 21.11 12 -9.11
Josh Allen 11 19.66 6 -13.66
Jameis Winston 11 14.83 30 15.17
Sam Bradford 7 13.72 0 -13.72
Josh Rosen 8 11.80 0 -11.80
Brock Osweiler 6 8.27 12 3.73
Ryan Tannehill 7 8.16 18 9.84
Blaine Gabbert 3 1.98 6 4.02
Tyrod Taylor 2 1.32 6 4.68
Running Back Red Zone EV
Player Red Zone Opportunities (Targets + Carries) Red Zone EV Actual RZ Points Diff.
Todd Gurley 50 60.1 66 5.9
Alvin Kamara 38 38.9 24 -14.9
James Conner 22 36.7 36 -0.7
Melvin Gordon 27 29.1 54 24.9
Carlos Hyde 18 27.8 30 2.2
Kareem Hunt 18 27.4 30 2.6
David Johnson 19 24.9 30 5.1
Sony Michel 21 22.1 18 -4.1
Alex Collins 16 20.3 30 9.8
Marshawn Lynch 20 19.8 18 -1.8
Saquon Barkley 20 19.7 18 -1.7
Javorius Allen 14 18.4 24 5.6
Alfred Morris 12 18.1 6 -12.1
Adrian Peterson 17 16.6 18 1.4
Ezekiel Elliott 19 15.7 18 2.3
Joe Mixon 14 14.5 18 3.5
Jordan Howard 13 13.8 6 -7.8
Lamar Miller 15 13.6 6 -7.6
T.J. Yeldon 14 13.3 18 4.7
Peyton Barber 13 13.3 6 -7.3
Tevin Coleman 11 12.3 18 5.7
James White 15 12.1 24 11.9
Phillip Lindsay 13 11.5 6 -5.5
Chris Thompson 8 11.1 6 -5.1
Matt Breida 12 10.9 12 1.1
Ito Smith 16 10.9 18 7.1
Jordan Wilkins 8 10.9 0 -10.9
Wendell Smallwood 15 10.6 12 1.4
Alfred Blue 9 9.8 6 -3.8
LeGarrette Blount 8 9.5 12 2.5
Christian McCaffrey 12 9.4 6 -3.4
Chris Carson 9 9.2 6 -3.2
Isaiah Crowell 14 8.9 18 9.1
Duke Johnson 5 8.1 0 -8.1
Devonta Freeman 4 8.0 0 -8.0
Austin Ekeler 12 7.9 6 -1.9
Corey Clement 12 7.7 12 4.3
Tarik Cohen 9 7.5 6 -1.5
Derrick Henry 10 7.4 0 -7.4
Nyheim Hines 10 7.3 18 10.7
Royce Freeman 9 7.3 18 10.7
Giovani Bernard 7 7.1 18 10.9
Jamaal Williams 8 7.0 0 -7.0
Frank Gore 8 7.0 6 -1.0
Mark Ingram 3 6.9 12 5.1
Mike Davis 7 6.8 18 11.2
Ty Montgomery 4 5.9 6 0.1
Marlon Mack 7 5.8 0 -5.8
Kenyan Drake 8 5.5 6 0.5
Bilal Powell 11 5.3 0 -5.3
Aaron Jones 5 5.2 6 0.8
Jalen Richard 4 5.0 0 -5.0
Latavius Murray 5 4.2 0 -4.2
Dion Lewis 7 4.1 6 1.9
Theo Riddick 7 3.7 0 -3.7
Chris Ivory 4 3.5 6 2.5
Kyle Juszczyk 4 3.4 0 -3.4
Dalvin Cook 4 3.2 0 -3.2
Kerryon Johnson 5 2.6 6 3.4
LeSean McCoy 7 2.4 0 -2.4
Rashaad Penny 1 2.3 0 -2.3
Rod Smith 3 1.3 0 -1.3
Wayne Gallman 4 1.3 0 -1.3
Ronald Jones 3 1.3 0 -1.3
Devontae Booker 2 1.1 0 -1.1
C.J. Anderson 3 1.1 0 -1.1
Doug Martin 3 0.8 0 -0.8
Leonard Fournette 3 0.7 0 -0.7
Nick Chubb 1 0.7 0 -0.7
Wide Receiver Red Zone EV
Player Red Zone Targets Red Zone EV Actual RZ Points Diff.
JuJu Smith-Schuster 17 21.8 12 -9.8
A.J. Green 13 20.5 18 -2.5
DeAndre Hopkins 10 19.1 12 -7.1
Michael Thomas 12 18.8 18 -0.8
Davante Adams 15 17.0 36 19.0
Sterling Shepard 10 16.5 12 -4.5
Chris Godwin 8 16.4 24 7.6
Cooper Kupp 11 15.2 18 2.8
Jarvis Landry 9 14.5 6 -8.5
Marvin Jones 8 13.3 12 -1.3
Demaryius Thomas 7 12.5 12 -0.5
Odell Beckham 8 11.7 0 -11.7
T.Y. Hilton 6 11.6 12 0.4
Corey Davis 6 11.1 6 -5.1
Adam Thielen 9 10.6 12 1.4
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 6 10.5 6 -4.5
Quincy Enunwa 8 10.4 0 -10.4
Antonio Brown 9 10.4 6 -4.4
Kenny Golladay 5 10.4 12 1.6
Donte Moncrief 5 10.3 6 -4.3
Robert Woods 5 10.3 12 1.7
Antonio Callaway 5 10.3 0 -10.3
John Brown 6 10.3 6 -4.3
Jordy Nelson 6 10.3 18 7.7
Tyreek Hill 7 10.2 18 7.8
Taylor Gabriel 5 10.1 12 1.9
Brandin Cooks 7 9.2 0 -9.2
Mohamed Sanu 5 9.0 6 -3.0
Michael Crabtree 6 8.7 12 3.3
Allen Robinson 6 8.4 12 3.6
Alshon Jeffery 7 8.4 18 9.6
Sammy Watkins 7 7.9 6 -1.9
Tyler Boyd 7 7.9 18 10.1
Mike Williams 5 7.8 12 4.2
Emmanuel Sanders 5 7.8 0 -7.8
Ted Ginn 5 7.7 6 -1.7
Julian Edelman 4 7.5 6 -1.5
Keenan Allen 5 7.5 6 -1.5
Stefon Diggs 5 7.5 6 -1.5
Zay Jones 5 7.5 6 -1.5
Nelson Agholor 6 7.4 6 -1.4
Phillip Dorsett 5 7.0 12 5.0
Will Fuller 3 6.8 12 5.2
Mike Evans 4 6.5 6 -0.5
Devin Funchess 5 6.4 6 -0.4
Amari Cooper 4 6.3 6 -0.3
Pierre Garcon 4 6.3 0 -6.3
Courtland Sutton 4 6.3 6 -0.3
Chester Rogers 6 6.1 6 -0.1
Kelvin Benjamin 3 6.0 6 -0.0
Cordarrelle Patterson 3 6.0 6 -0.0
Keke Coutee 3 6.0 6 -0.0
Tyler Lockett 4 6.0 12 6.0
John Ross 4 6.0 6 0.0
Cole Beasley 5 5.4 12 6.6
Julio Jones 3 5.3 0 -5.3
Calvin Ridley 5 5.1 24 18.9
Kendrick Bourne 2 5.1 12 6.9
Trent Taylor 3 5.0 6 1.0
Anthony Miller 3 4.5 6 1.5
Jamison Crowder 4 4.4 6 1.6
Golden Tate 2 4.3 0 -4.3
Ryan Grant 3 4.2 6 1.8
Larry Fitzgerald 3 4.2 0 -4.2
Taywan Taylor 4 4.2 6 1.8
Terrelle Pryor 4 4.2 12 7.8
Josh Gordon 3 4.0 6 2.0
Martavis Bryant 3 3.7 0 -3.7
Keelan Cole 4 3.6 0 -3.6
Christian Kirk 2 3.5 0 -3.5
Geronimo Allison 3 3.5 0 -3.5
Seth Roberts 2 3.2 6 2.8
David Moore 2 3.2 12 8.8
Brandon Marshall 3 3.2 6 2.8
Doug Baldwin 2 2.7 0 -2.7
Kenny Stills 2 2.7 6 3.3
Dede Westbrook 1 2.5 0 -2.5
Tyrell Williams 1 2.5 6 3.5
Chris Hogan 2 2.5 6 3.5
Willie Snead 2 2.0 6 4.0
DeSean Jackson 2 2.0 0 -2.0
Randall Cobb 2 1.7 0 -1.7
Cameron Meredith 2 1.7 6 4.3
James Washington 2 1.7 6 4.3
Albert Wilson 1 1.0 0 -1.0
Marquise Goodwin 1 1.0 6 5.0
Jakeem Grant 1 0.7 6 5.3
Rashard Higgins 1 0.7 6 5.3
Tight End Red Zone EV
Player Red Zone Targets Red Zone EV Actual RZ Points Diff.
Jared Cook 11 22.6 12 -10.6
Eric Ebron 14 20.8 30 9.2
George Kittle 8 18.0 0 -18.0
Zach Ertz 11 16.5 12 -4.5
Jeff Heuerman 8 14.0 0 -14.0
Travis Kelce 9 14.0 12 -2.0
Ryan Griffin 9 14.0 0 -14.0
Austin Hooper 7 13.4 12 -1.4
Antonio Gates 4 11.8 6 -5.8
Ben Watson 5 8.9 0 -8.9
Jimmy Graham 5 8.8 6 -2.8
Trey Burton 4 8.7 12 3.3
Kyle Rudolph 4 8.3 12 3.7
Cameron Brate 4 6.2 18 11.8
Geoff Swaim 2 5.9 6 0.1
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 2 5.9 6 0.1
Virgil Green 3 5.4 6 0.6
Erik Swoope 3 5.4 12 6.6
Rhett Ellison 3 5.0 6 1.0
Jesse James 3 5.0 0 -5.0
Ricky Seals-Jones 2 4.9 0 -4.9
Mike Gesicki 3 4.6 0 -4.6
Charles Clay 2 4.2 0 -4.2
Jordan Reed 2 4.2 6 1.8
O.J. Howard 3 4.0 6 2.0
Tyler Higbee 2 3.8 6 2.2
Jack Doyle 3 3.3 0 -3.3
Ian Thomas 3 3.3 0 -3.3
Garrett Celek 2 3.2 6 2.8
Vance McDonald 2 3.2 0 -3.2
C.J. Uzomah 1 2.9 6 3.1
Josh Hill 1 2.9 6 3.1
Dallas Goedert 3 2.9 6 3.1
Tyler Kroft 2 2.8 0 -2.8
Niles Paul 1 1.2 0 -1.2
Rob Gronkowski 1 0.8 0 -0.8
Nick Vannett 1 0.8 0 -0.8
Evan Engram 1 0.8 6 5.2
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