DraftKings Week 16 Values and Top Plays

DraftKings Week 16 Values and Top Plays

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Dec 18, 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’m a big fan of multi-entry in tournaments on DraftKings. There are a few reasons I like to fire a lot of bullets into tournaments—a strategy that I believe gets a bad rap. Of course someone with two lineups has a better chance to win than someone who has just a single entry, but there are other reasons to enter multiple lineups into GPPs.


More Lineups Doesn’t Mean a Bigger Investment

First off, I don’t mean entering the same tournament a bunch of times and just spending more money. You can do that, too, if it fits within your bankroll management plan, but I think five entries into a $2 tournament is better than a single entry into a $10 tournament. So if it means going down in stakes, do what it takes to enter more lineups.


Worse Competition

The most obvious reason for playing more volume at lower stakes is that you face worse competition. Every week (like literally every single week), the cashing score in the $2 games is lower than that in the $12 leagues, which is lower than that in the $27 games, and so on. Especially when you’re trying to quickly build a bankroll, why not fire more shots at worse competition?


Proper Exposure

For me, this is the most important reason to enter multiple lineups. With just one or two teams, it’s impossible to get the right amount of exposure to certain players; you can put a player into either 0%, 50%, or 100% of your lineups. Well, maybe I want my top play in nearly all (but not every single one) of my GPP lineups, and I want a mid-tier, high-upside play in just one-third of my lineups.

Before each week, I select the players I’m going to use, I rate them, and I decide what percentage of lineups I’d like them to be in, ideally. I create a bunch of lineups that ultimately reflect those ratios as closely as possible.


Lineup Count Doesn’t Affect Expected Value

Every week, I get emails asking how many lineups people should play. I think the answer is “It doesn’t matter.”

That doesn’t mean you can just play anyone and submit a lineup and it’s good to go. All I’m saying is that it’s the players you use, how you structure them, and the amount of money you have on each that really affects your expect value. If you play two lineups with no overlap, that’s a dramatically different strategy with far different risk/reward than playing two lineups with just one player different.

So playing 10 lineups doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re diversifying too much. Maybe you like only 15 or so players and you’re just toying around with different combinations of those players. In that case, you’re limiting risk a tad (because you aren’t dependent on one exact lineup combo for a cash) without necessarily affecting your upside all that much.

The point is that the lineup count doesn’t matter if you aren’t dramatically altering 1) your player exposure or 2) the money you have in play.



Finally, another benefit of having a bunch of lineups on hand is taking advantage of overlay. If a league fails to fill, you can fire a bunch of lineups at once to take advantage of the free money. Otherwise, you’d have to put the same lineup into a GPP more than once, which probably isn’t +EV, or else scramble at the last minute to put together a lineup that looks like it was created by Peter King (I’m pretty sure he’d just start players who he thinks are his friends.).

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DraftKings Week 16 Value Plays

High QB: Drew Brees, New Orleans vs Atlanta, $8300

I think Brees will potentially be the most popular quarterback on DraftKings this week. There really aren’t too many attractive low-priced options, but four of the top five passers (Peyton excluded) have really nice matchups. I’ll go with the somewhat up-and-down Brees at home against the porous Atlanta pass defense. Aaron Rodgers against the Bucs and Andrew Luck at Dallas are also in play, but I like the savings on Brees.


Low QB: Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia at Washington, $6200

Note that Sanchez plays on Saturday, so you’ll need to use him in a Thurs-Sat league if you’re going to play him. Other than Sanchez, there really isn’t any passer I like who’s priced lower than $7000. That’s Matthew Stafford, and he’s an extremely volatile player who I don’t feel comfortable using in cash games. Sanchez is turnover-prone as well, but playing the Redskins is a sure fire recipe for a rebound.


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