Week 6 DraftKings Optimal Plays

Week 6 DraftKings Optimal Plays

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Oct 10, 2013

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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 Bales on Twitter: @BalesFootball.

I’ve discussed my fondness for DraftKings for a few weeks, so I figured it would be cool to go through some values and give you guys a couple optimal lineups. If you recall, I like DraftKings specifically because of their new tournament structures, which typically pay out the top quarter of all entrants. No other site is doing anything like that, and it’s awesome.

The reason that it rocks is because, all other things equal, tournaments offer the best long-term money-making opportunity. There’s so much bad money in them that you can really profit in tournaments if you properly manage your money.

But the key phrase there is “all other things equal,” because tournaments and heads-up matches are far different animals. Most sites pay out only the top five or 10 percent of tournament entrants, which makes them really volatile. Even if you’re a total shark, you’ll pretty much never cash in more than, say, one in five tournaments on most sites over the long run.

To negate some of that volatility, it makes sense to play a larger range of lineups. That can enhance your probability of cashing, but it also decreases your long-term expected value. Remember, the primary benefit of playing in lots of heads-up leagues is that we don’t need to diversify our lineups all that much. We can play just one or two optimal lineups each week.

If you play just a single lineup in every tournament, though, there’s a better-than-average chance that you’ll lose all of your money in a given week. So on every site, you’re balancing the fact that you want to take advantage of the bad money in tournaments with the fact that you don’t want to start sub-optimal players.

DraftKings has changed the nature of daily fantasy strategy because now you can basically have your cake and eat it, too. There’s still lots of bad money in the tournaments (and often lots of overlay, too), so you’ll usually find yourself in a +EV situation.

But by paying out the top quarter of entrants, DraftKings allows you to still stick with your core group of values. You don’t need to submit an unnecessarily diverse arrangement of lineups to limit your downside. So you keep the high ceiling, you retain the positive expected return, and you get rid of the absurdly low floor. That’s a good deal.


DraftKings Week 6 Value Plays

QB Terrelle Pryor @KC $5900

On paper, Pryor looks to have a poor matchup against the Chiefs and their seventh-ranked pass defense. But Pryor is a unique player in that, because of his mobility, the matchup doesn’t matter as much.

Actually, Kansas City’s stout pass defense could help Pryor. If his receivers are covered, Pryor might be more willing to take off on the ground. And because the Chiefs play a lot of man coverage, it could open up things downfield. That’s what we saw in the Chiefs’ matchup with the Eagles, as Michael Vick ran for 95 yards on just five carries.


RB DeMarco Murray vs. WAS $6500

I’ve been really bullish on Murray this year and, despite only one great rushing game, he’s provided a good return. DraftKings is a full PPR site, and Murray currently ranks sixth among all backs in PPR points. Matched up against a defense that has allowed the 11th-most rushing yards in the NFL despite playing only four games, Murray is a solid bet for 100-plus yards on Sunday night.


WR Alshon Jeffery vs. NYG $5800

If you’re entering some leagues tonight, consider Jeffery. Despite his huge breakout last week, Jeffery is still just the 28th most expensive receiver on DraftKings, behind T.Y. Hilton.

I typically like to “buy low” on underperforming players, but that’s only because their salaries drop and are no longer reflective of their talent. You aren’t necessarily a sucker for jumping on a guy who just crushed it; it’s all about the price, and Jeffery’s salary is too low when you consider his talent and matchup.


TE Jordan Reed @ DAL $3000

When assessing the tight end position, your first question should be “Can I afford Jimmy Graham?” On DraftKings, he’s priced so much higher than every other tight end that it’s really difficult to justify the price. Graham costs $9300, compared to $5800 for Jordan Cameron against the Lions.

So it makes sense to scroll down the list of tight ends on DraftKings. And if you scroll, scroll some more, keep scrolling, and then stop, you’ll find Jordan Reed. He’ll be healthy this week and facing a Cowboys defense that has gotten decimated by the tight end this year. Reed’s the No. 2 tight end value on our DraftKings Value Report.


DraftKings Week 6 Optimal Lineups

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