Week 7 DraftKings Optimal Plays
From this week’s FanDuel Optimal Plays article:
The ultimate goal isn’t to maximize value. It’s to maximize projected points, and that’s important to remember. Sometimes—lots of times—it’s okay to trade in value for pure points.
And the more points a player is expected to score, the more we can overlook moderate value. It’s not like we ever want to choose players listed at the bottom of the value reports, but we can move down them a bit in an effort to optimally balance value and production.
That’s why when a high-priced player is near the top of the value reports and he’s surrounded by min-priced guys, that’s a sign he’s probably a really great value that week. If he returns two points more than his projection, that’s way, way more valuable than a min-priced player returning two points more than his projection.
Another aspect of the point/value balance that I want to touch on is that, when I create my optimal lineups, my goal is not to maximize the projected points at all costs. I want lineups that will at least be near the maximum projection, of course, but sometimes they just don’t work out the right way. It would be foolish to blindly start your true max-projected lineup no matter what.
If my max-projected lineup had Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Brandon Jacobs in it, I personally wouldn’t roll with that player combination. I can probably create 1,000 different lineups that will come within a point or two of the max, so all I’m really doing is choosing a quality lineup that I like from a multitude of possibilities.
So, let’s get into some of the top values on DraftKings who I won’t actually start this week, for various reasons. Here are the DraftKings “sneaky” sits. . .
Week 7 DraftKings “Sneaky” Sits
QB Brandon Weeden @ GB $5600
Weeden is the top quarterback value in the DraftKings Value Report, but he won’t be in any of my lineups this week. One reason is that there are some higher-upside passers with comparable value—Eli Manning, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson among them.
Another reason is that he’s Brandon Weeden.
RB Joique Bell vs. CIN $3000
Bell is an example of how min-priced players who figure to see any sort of playing time almost always offer value. His ceiling is probably slightly higher than your typical backup in a PPR league, but he’s not really a viable option when Reggie Bush is healthy. Remember, all a guy like Bell needs to do is rush for 40 yards and catch three passes for 30 yards to return decent value, but that’s not actually going to help to maximize your final score.
WR Vincent Brown @JAC $3600
The only reason to jump on Brown is to be a contrarian with a lot of people figuring to use Keenan Allen this week. But just because you might be fading one player doesn’t mean you need to be bullish on one of his teammates.
The top of the DraftKings’ wide receiver value report is littered with low-priced guys like Brown ($301 dollars per point), but you don’t need to move too far down the list to see comparable value in Vincent Jackson ($333 DPP), Josh Gordon ($335 DPP), and Reggie Wayne ($336 DPP), all of whom are better options because they possess a much higher probability of producing at an elite level.
TE Heath Miller vs. BAL $3600
Miller is the top tight end value, but nipping at his heels is Jordan Cameron. The Browns tight end costs $1300 more than Miller. That’s not chump change, but I don’t think you’ll find the same sort of difference in ceiling at any other $1300 deviation in price. Miller is an option in head-to-head leagues, but Cameron is almost a must-start in DraftKings’ tournaments.