DraftKings Divisional Round Values & Top Plays

DraftKings Divisional Round Values & Top Plays

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Jan 8, 2015

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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.

As I mentioned last week, playoff daily fantasy football is totally different from regular season daily fantasy football. One of the reasons that I like playing daily fantasy football tournaments is that they're a really nice mix of value and game theory. Your goal is always to try to balance value with low ownership. Football is a mix of basketball (almost all value) and baseball (primarily game-theory-driven).

In the playoffs, though, the small player pool means that value is much less important. With player usage so high, I'd argue your first goal is to create a unique lineup, NOT necessarily to find value. When you can do both, that's great, but for the most part, I think you should be giving your lineup "outs" in the form of low-usage players.

Note that this is a volatile strategy, as fading high-usage players can be extremely costly. If you faded Antonio Brown last week, for example, you were immediately down big, behind over half of the field.

However, the opposite is true, too, as hitting on a low-usage player or fading a popular player who performs poorly both provide huge advantages, and I believe those benefits outweigh the risks.

In short, be contrarian when others are seeking value and seek value when others are being too contrarian. 

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DraftKings Divisional Round Value Plays

High QB: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs Dallas, $8900

Of the high-priced quarterbacks, I’m torn between Rodgers and Andrew Luck. They’re similarly priced, so it will basically be a pick ‘em for you. If you’re looking to stack one in a GPP, Luck might be your guy because he pairs so nicely with T.Y. Hilton, whereas you might need to double-handcuff Rodgers with his two big guns, which is basically impossible at their price tags.

I don’t think you’re going to go wrong with either Luck or Rodgers, but given how well the Packers are projected in Vegas, I’ll go that direction.


Low QB: Tom Brady, New England vs Baltimore, $7800

Brady isn’t really a low-priced quarterback, but I’m not going to be gambling on Cam Newton or Joe Flacco in cash games. Facing the league’s top run defense but one of the worst pass defenses, there’s a good chance the Pats will come out throwing in this matchup. I think the fact that Brady is the same price as Russell Wilson will pull down the usage for both players, but I much prefer the old man.


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