TJ's #Taek: 2020 NFL DFS Tournament Recap

Dec 29, 2020
TJ's #Taek: 2020 NFL DFS Tournament Recap

With this being the final TJ’s #Taek of the season, we’ll use this space to take a zoomed-out look at how DFS players won the biggest tournaments in 2020 by highlighting ownership percentages, salary allocation and which stacks were found in first-place Millionaire and Sunday Million lineups. This offseason I will do a full analysis of this data like I did leading up to this season, but for now, take a look at the trends used by this year’s biggest winners to see if you were on the right track in your process.

2020 Winning DraftKings Millionaire Trends

Weekly Ownership Percentages in Wining Lineups

Note that designations such as RB1 and WR1 refer to the highest-owned player at the position on each roster. Consequently, the RB1 in terms of salary may not necessarily match up with the RB1 in terms of salary below. The Flex was defined as the lowest-owned RB3 or WR4 on a roster.

Week QB RB1 RB2 WR1 WR2 WR3 TE Flex Flex Pos DEF Average
1 2.6 25.4 8.4 19.0 10.1 8.3 3.4 2.9 WR 7.9 9.8
2 11.2 9.2 8.9 17.5 13.4 11.9 11.9 5.1 TE 3.0 10.2
3 15.8 11.7 2.4 23.3 17.9 6.8 1.7 1.9 RB 10.1 10.2
4 8.7 19.0 16.7 15.8 10.3 9.1 17.1 3.8 RB 18.7 13.2
5 13.5 13.3 4.4 30.4 29.9 18.0 12.0 1.2 WR 6.5 14.4
6 4.2 26.1 9.2 13.3 9.8 4.0 1.4 4.1 RB 4.8 8.5
7 6.3 36.9 10.2 23.2 10.0 9.6 2.8 5.0 WR 25.7 14.4
8 8.7 27.7 10.4 15.4 12.7 12.2 9.7 2.4 WR 12.7 12.4
9 7.0 38.6 6.3 14.5 10.7 7.6 6.0 0.6 WR 12.2 11.5
10 18.6 13.5 4.5 16.1 10.8 4.5 3.5 4.3 WR 3.5 8.8
11 17.7 42.5 8.5 24.7 14.7 14.3 12.1 7.8 WR 6.8 16.6
12 1.2 29.0 12.3 21.6 20.8 3.0 12.0 7.0 RB 26.6 14.8
13 4.9 13.0 11.3 23.2 17.4 9.1 21.0 9.0 TE 5.1 12.7
14 0.8 26.4 22.9 6.1 5.8 1.4 9.2 1.0 TE 15.6 9.9
15 11.1 7.1 5.6 10.5 7.0 6.0 5.6 2.5 WR 10.7 7.3
16 7.9 43.7 14.0 16.7 15.9 10.1 6.3 5.3 WR 2.2 13.6
Average 8.8 23.9 9.8 18.2 13.6 8.5 8.5 4.0 10.8 11.8

Weekly Salary Allocation in Winning Lineups

Week QB RB1 RB2 WR1 WR2 WR3 TE Flex Flex Pos DEF Total
1 $6,300 $6,800 $5,800 $7,300 $6,700 $6,100 $4,000 $4,900 WR $2,000 $49,900
2 $6,800 $7,100 $6,000 $6,800 $6,300 $4,700 $7,000 $2,600 TE $2,500 $49,800
3 $7,300 $7,800 $4,000 $6,500 $6,400 $5,500 $4,400 $4,000 RB $4,100 $50,000
4 $7,200 $5,800 $5,700 $6,700 $5,800 $5,400 $5,200 $4,700 RB $3,400 $49,900
5 $7,700 $5,700 $4,600 $6,900 $5,900 $4,800 $6,400 $4,100 WR $3,900 $50,000
6 $6,600 $7,300 $6,000 $6,700 $6,000 $4,600 $4,700 $4,500 RB $3,600 $50,000
7 $8,000 $6,000 $4,000 $8,200 $7,900 $6,600 $2,500 $4,200 WR $2,500 $49,900
8 $8,100 $8,000 $7,500 $7,500 $3,500 $3,200 $6,600 $3,100 WR $2,400 $49,900
9 $5,200 $8,500 $8,200 $7,000 $6,500 $4,700 $3,900 $3,200 WR $2,700 $49,900
10 $8,000 $8,200 $6,500 $7,700 $5,200 $4,700 $3,300 $3,500 WR $2,900 $50,000
11 $4,800 $9,000 $4,800 $7,400 $6,300 $5,900 $3,800 $5,000 WR $3,000 $50,000
12 $5,300 $7,900 $6,300 $7,800 $6,300 $5,200 $2,800 $4,600 RB $3,800 $50,000
13 $5,800 $7,300 $6,300 $6,900 $5,900 $5,100 $6,100 $3,700 TE $2,400 $49,500
14 $6,000 $8,700 $6,500 $7,300 $6,800 $4,700 $4,500 $3,100 TE $2,400 $50,000
15 $5,900 $7,000 $6,400 $8,200 $5,800 $5,700 $4,000 $3,900 WR $3,100 $50,000
16 $7,600 $7,700 $6,100 $6,200 $4,700 $4,500 $5,700 $4,100 WR $3,300 $49,900
Average $6,663 $7,425 $5,919 $7,194 $6,000 $5,088 $4,681 $3,950 $3,000 $49,919

Weekly Stacks Used in Winning Lineups

Week Primary Stack Secondary Stack Third Stack Correlated Players
1 QB/WR/WR/Opp WR WR/Opp TE 6
2 QB/WR/WR/Opp WR 4
3 QB/WR/WR/Opp WR 4
4 QB/WR/WR/Opp WR RB/DEF 6
5 QB/WR/TE RB/WR RB/Opp WR 7
6 QB/WR/TE/Opp WR RB/Opp WR 6
7 QB/WR/Opp WR RB/WR 5
8 QB/WR/TE/Opp WR WR/Opp WR 6
9 QB/WR 2
10 QB/WR/Opp WR 3
11 RB/WR/Opp WR 3
12 QB/WR/Opp RB RB/Opp RB WR/TE 7
13 QB/TE RB/Opp WR 4
14 QB/WR RB/WR/Opp TE RB/WR 7
15 RB/WR RB/WR 4
16 QB/RB/WR/Opp WR 4

2020 Winning FanDuel Sunday Million Trends

Weekly Ownership Percentages in Wining Lineups

Note that designations such as RB1 and WR1 refer to the highest-owned player at the position on each roster. Consequently, the RB1 in terms of salary may not necessarily match up with the RB1 in terms of salary below. The Flex was defined as the lowest-owned RB3 or WR4 on a roster.

Week QB RB1 RB2 WR1 WR2 WR3 TE Flex Flex Pos DEF Average
1 2.9 36.7 22.4 18.7 13.8 12.7 0.6 1.8 WR 3.1 12.5
2 11.0 35.5 26.8 17.8 11.9 9.9 3.2 12.2 RB 2.8 14.6
3 18.0 37.2 23.6 34.7 21.3 6.0 0.9 14.7 RB 20.0 19.6
4 12.8 25.2 16.2 16.5 13.1 9.4 9.1 3.5 RB 1.7 11.9
5 10.2 34.7 0.8 20.5 18.4 0.5 12.0 8.8 TE 7.9 12.6
6 3.7 31.4 19.3 20.4 15.9 5.9 2.8 10.8 RB 5.1 12.8
7 15.0 15.7 5.2 19.7 13.1 9.2 2.2 8.5 WR 12.1 11.2
8 12.9 19.0 8.7 16.0 13.8 7.3 5.9 1.4 RB 2.3 9.7
9 0.7 43.0 6.2 10.4 9.2 8.6 2.8 6.0 WR 0.2 9.7
10 9.7 16.5 6.8 18.2 9.1 2.5 3.4 6.6 RB 7.2 8.9
11 18.0 14.6 13.9 26.7 13.6 10.7 68.1 8.3 WR 1.7 19.5
12 17.7 20.2 10.9 26.6 19.7 14.6 1.4 1.4 RB 0.8 12.6
13 7.3 25.9 9.8 20.4 8.1 3.4 16.0 0.7 WR 2.4 10.4
14 0.9 35.2 26.2 12.4 9.8 0.4 6.4 9.8 RB 11.4 12.5
15 10.7 33.5 14.4 30.1 11.0 10.9 20.3 1.0 RB 2.3 14.9
16 10.1 24.0 14.3 16.8 11.9 10.2 35.8 7.8 WR 5.4 15.1
Average 10.1 28.0 14.1 20.4 13.4 7.6 11.9 6.5 5.4 13.0

Weekly Salary Allocation in Winning Lineups

Week QB RB1 RB2 WR1 WR2 WR3 TE Flex Flex Pos DEF Total
1 $7,500 $10,000 $8,200 $8,000 $6,800 $6,600 $4,000 $5,500 WR $3,400 $60,000
2 $8,300 $8,600 $7,700 $7,400 $7,100 $5,200 $5,800 $5,800 RB $3,900 $59,800
3 $8,700 $8,200 $7,500 $6,800 $6,500 $5,700 $5,100 $6,700 RB $4,800 $60,000
4 $8,200 $8,700 $6,800 $7,100 $6,600 $5,600 $7,400 $6,300 RB $3,300 $60,000
5 $8,300 $6,800 $5,900 $8,700 $5,800 $4,900 $7,800 $6,800 TE $4,900 $59,900
6 $7,400 $9,000 $5,900 $8,600 $8,200 $5,900 $4,700 $5,800 RB $4,500 $60,000
7 $8,400 $6,400 $4,800 $9,000 $8,900 $7,400 $5,100 $5,400 WR $4,600 $60,000
8 $8,400 $9,200 $5,900 $7,800 $7,400 $5,400 $5,900 $4,600 RB $4,800 $59,400
9 $7,300 $9,500 $9,300 $7,200 $5,900 $5,700 $5,700 $5,500 WR $3,900 $60,000
10 $8,700 $9,000 $7,500 $7,900 $6,100 $5,400 $5,500 $6,000 RB $3,500 $59,600
11 $8,500 $8,200 $6,500 $8,000 $7,900 $6,400 $4,500 $5,900 WR $4,100 $60,000
12 $9,000 $8,400 $7,400 $8,600 $7,000 $5,900 $5,400 $5,000 RB $3,300 $60,000
13 $8,200 $8,400 $6,200 $9,500 $6,100 $5,400 $7,000 $5,400 WR $3,700 $59,900
14 $6,600 $9,600 $7,000 $9,000 $7,000 $4,900 $5,700 $6,600 RB $3,500 $59,900
15 $6,900 $10,200 $5,100 $8,600 $6,900 $6,100 $8,500 $4,700 RB $3,000 $60,000
16 $8,500 $7,000 $6,700 $7,000 $6,000 $6,000 $8,800 $5,800 WR $4,000 $59,800
Average $8,056 $8,575 $6,775 $8,075 $6,888 $5,781 $6,056 $5,738 $3,950 $59,894

Weekly Stacks Used in Winning Lineups

Week Primary Stack Secondary Stack Third Stack Correlated Players
1 QB/WR/WR/Opp WR RB/Opp RB TE/DEF 8
2 QB/RB/WR/Opp WR RB/DEF 6
3 QB/WR/WR/Opp WR RB/DEF 6
4 QB/WR/WR/Opp WR RB/DEF 6
5 QB/RB/WR TE/Opp TE 5
6 QB/WR/WR/Opp WR 4
7 QB/WR/WR/Opp WR 4
8 QB/TE/Opp RB RB/WR RB/Opp WR 7
9 QB/RB WR/DEF 4
10 QB/WR/WR RB/DEF 5
11 QB/WR/WR TE(QB)/ DEF 5
12 QB/WR RB/Opp RB WR/Opp WR 6
13 RB/WR WR/Opp WR WR/TE 6
14 QB/WR/TE/Opp WR RB/WR 6
15 QB/Opp WR RB/Opp WR RB/Opp WR 6
16 QB/RB/WR/Opp WR 4

TJ’s Final Final #Taek

Every week is its own beast, but there are some themes that come up repeatedly when reviewing the best DFS tournament lineups. Here are some that came up most often in 2020:

  • Stacks on stacks on stacks. Correlation has always been a talking point in DFS, but 2020 took it to another level. In addition to team and game stacks, the vast majority of tournament winners used a secondary mini stack and often a third stack. On average, Millionaire winners used five players with some correlation to another player in the same game while Sunday Million winner averaged six.
  • It doesn’t take an uber-contrarian approach to win even the biggest DFS tournaments. Across both tournaments studied each week, winners had just four players, on average, with single-digit ownership.
  • Finding leverage opportunities is huge. The most glaring leverage spot this season was when Aaron Jones went off in Week 2 while Davante Adams was chalk, but there are similar—albeit less extreme—examples almost every week. We can predict high-scoring games fairly confidently but knowing exactly how those points will be scored in a single game is almost impossible. Leverage that uncertainty in DFS.
  • Following usage leads to outcomes that seem unpredictable but really aren’t. Every week, this space has a “What Were the Indicators for the Low-Owned Plays?” section and it is almost always filled with players who were seeing significant usage but just hadn’t found the end zone. The public loses confidence in those types of players quickly.
  • Unique salary builds are a great way to be contrarian. When a studs-and-duds build is an obvious lineup approach, making a balanced roster can set a lineup apart from the field and vice versa.
  • Just like fantasy projections are simply a median representation of a potential range of outcomes, so are ownership projections. While tournament lineups should account for unexpected fantasy outcomes, they should also be built with the knowledge that we can’t perfectly predict how the public will act.
  • On a related note, the public is generally bad at properly reacting to late-breaking news. There is an edge for DFS players who build around new values leading up to kickoff.
  • I’ll leave you with this until next year. Late swap is the most underutilized strategy in NFL DFS.

Even if late swap won’t win a tournament for you in a given week, it can be the difference between being in the black and being in the black come season’s end.

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