DraftKings Week 3 Values & Top Plays

DraftKings Week 3 Values & Top Plays

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Sep 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 got crushed in Week 2—I had Jamaal Charles in every cash game lineup and A.J. Green all over the place—so now seems like a good time to talk about bankroll management.

No matter how confident you are in your lineups, chances are that level of confidence isn’t warranted. Even if you nail your picks in terms of getting exposure to players with a high probability of success, things go wrong. Sometimes players get injured. Sometimes the game script renders them ineffective. Sometimes they just suck.

It’s absolutely vital to prepare for the worst, which is fundamentally related to your bankroll management. Even knowing that, though, there isn’t just one bankroll management plan that’s right for everyone.

I often get emails that ask, “What percentage of my bankroll should I put into tournaments?” or “Can I play 20 percent each week?” While there are some universal bankroll management rules (like don’t put all of your money into play at once, dummy), the answers to most bankroll questions aren’t so black-and-white.

So here are a few factors that have a major impact on which bankroll management plan is right for you:


Risk Tolerance

First and foremost, you need to determine how much risk you’re willing to take on. Are you putting in a set amount of money that you’re okay losing in hopes of hitting on something big? Are you trying to grind out profits with a conservative approach? If you’re not okay with losing X amount of money (and by ‘okay,’ I mean it doesn’t bother you for more than an hour or something), then don’t play X amount of money.


League Selection

This one is obvious; different league types are riskier than others. In order, they go something like this:

Qualifiers, GPPs, 3/5/10-Man, 50/50, Head-to-Head

Qualifiers are the riskiest, by far, because you don’t win cash. You win entry into another tournament, so the chances of cashing with a qualifier entry are slim: the odds of winning the ticket multiplied by the odds of cashing in the subsequent tournament.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory. Note that if you enter just one league, a 50/50 is actually safer than a head-to-head, but as you enter the same lineup into more heads-up games, they become safer than 50/50s.



In addition to the manner in which you diversify your leagues, the way you diversify other aspects of your play will affect how much is okay for you to play each week; some factors include player selection, site selection, and lineup diversification.

Player selection is obvious; the more players you use, the less drastic the swings in your bankroll will be. Note that diversifying too much is a bad thing, because at a certain point, you’ll no longer have a positive expected value. If you just chose every player every week, you’d slowly lose your money. We’re always trying to walk the fine line between diversifying and playing optimal lineups, but in general, the greater the player pool, the more you can play comfortably.

Site selection is important, too, because you generally won’t play the same lineups/players on every site. You’ll have different values on different sites, which allows for a larger player pool.

Finally, the manner in which you construct your lineups is important. I sometimes play two heads-up lineups, but they might have six or seven players the same. That’s basically the same as playing one lineup, so I can’t treat it the same as if I played two lineups with no similar players. Pay attention to how you pair players and how often you have exposure to certain player groupings.

Okay, I’m pretty much finished with that ramble, but I’m assuming you still want some sort of “Play this amount each week” advice, right? Well again, it depends on all of the above factors, but a decent general, weekly template might be something like this:

7% of bankroll in H2H

3% of bankroll in 50/50

2% of bankroll in GPP

2% of bankroll in other

That’s 14 percent each week, which I think is a safe-but-aggressive-enough number.


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Week 3 DraftKings Values

High QB: Peyton Manning, Denver at Seattle, $8800

I’ve been going back and forth on this one, but I think I might actually play Manning against the Seahawks in many of my cash games. Seattle’s defense is ridiculous, but so is Manning. I’m more worried about Demaryius Thomas on the outside when he’s on Richard Sherman, but I think Manning will be able to get some stuff going underneath.

The Seahawks’ pass defense is actually ranked in the middle-of-the-pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. That’s due in large part to leading in games, but we’re either going to see 1) Denver leading, in which case Manning should have good numbers or 2) Denver losing, in which case Manning should throw a lot.

I also think Manning is in play in GPPs, as you can stack him with Julius Thomas.


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