DraftKings Week 12 Values & Top Plays

DraftKings Week 12 Values & Top Plays

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Nov 20, 2014

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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 play a lot of satellites on DraftKings. Some players hate satellites, arguing that you get raked twice (the rake to win a ticket and then the rake in the tournament in which you use that ticket). I disagree completely; in many satellites, you don’t even get raked once.

That’s because satellites are the most likely league type to offer overlay. Seemingly every week, you can enter satellites for Millionaire Maker tickets, for example, that fill to only 80 percent. DraftKings is losing money on these leagues (kind of), so unless you’re as horrific of a player as my Uncle Bruce, you’re +EV right out of the gate. And we know that the Millionaire Maker offers overlay each week, so DraftKings is basically paying you to try to win those tickets.

Think of it like this: if you’re ever going to buy into a tournament directly, it always makes sense to try to win tickets through a satellite if you think you’re a profitable player. Actually, you can be average and still win the tickets at a much cheaper price than if you buy in directly, assuming there is overlay. Here’s the math:

Let’s say it costs $5 to enter a Millionaire Maker satellite that gives a ticket to the top 16.1 percent of entrants (which is about right), assuming the league fills. Well, if the league fills to only 80 percent capacity, which happens all the time, the chances of winning a ticket shoot up to 20.2 percent.

So let’s say you enter a Millionaire Maker satellite 10,000 times (nbd) over a long period of time. If there’s overlay, you’d lose 7,980 times, but you’d win 2,020 tickets worth a total of $54,540. Since it cost you only $50,000 for 10,000 entries, you ended up paying only $24.75, on average, for each $27 ticket. Bingo bango (what?).

So yeah, I like satellites. They are admittedly a low-percentage proposition since the chances of actually making money are the odds of winning a ticket multiplied by the probability of cashing in the subsequent tournament. That’s usually around 1-in-25 as an average player, which means you need to be careful with your bankroll when entering satellites. I think placing between a half-percent to one percent of your bankroll into satellites each week is fine, which should ultimately allow you to realize a return on your investment.

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DraftKings Week 12 Value Plays

High QB: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis vs Jacksonville, $9700

Yo, guess what? I’m pretty sure I don’t like a single quarterback this week. The cheap ones are unreliable and the expensive ones are really poor values. DraftKings has shifted pricing a bit this week such that there simply aren’t good top-priced values at the quarterback position.

I made a video showing how the tighter cap and the way quarterback salaries are distributed has increased the value of going cheap at the position.

I’ll still probably pay up for a passer in most cash games, in which case Luck is my man due solely to the safety and workload.


Low QB: Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia vs Tennessee, $6800

I’m betting on Chip Kelly, not necessarily Sanchez. In his two games as a starter, Sanchez has 37 and 44 attempts with two touchdowns in each contest. I think there’s an unusually high floor here for a low-priced quarterback. I also like how Philly’s inability to run the ball in the red zone should increase Sanchez’s share of the team’s scores.


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