DraftKings Week 14 GPP Breakdown

DraftKings Week 14 GPP Breakdown

Week 13 Millionaire Maker winner 1DontTryThisAtHome1 took down the grand prize with a strong showing from...the entire Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rarely a week has gone by in this space where I haven't posited that entrants hopeful of winning the grand prize in large GPPs need to put aside their hesitation to pair players with largely irrelevant negative correlations, and 1DontTryThisAtHome1's winning lineup is yet another data point that supports that notion.

1DontTryThisAtHome1 essentially combined a three man stack of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant with a correlated pairing of DeAngelo Williams and the Steelers defense (because Brown returns punts, he can also be considered a correlated pairing with the Steelers D').

When I initially presented the view that we need not avoid counterintuitive stacks, one of my main points was that only looking at how two positions are correlated fails to account for value. Roethlisberger was at his lowest salary of the season. Williams' price had dropped $900 in two weeks, and he was clearly underpriced based on the amount of volume he was getting. At $5,600, Bryant was underpriced based on his volume as well as his ceiling. 

My other main point was that, in certain outlier games -- the kind we're looking for to win GPPs -- the correlation coefficients can go out the window. In scoring 45 points while allowing 10, Pittsburgh's dominance worked synergistically. Williams averaging over five yards per carry kept the Steelers in manageable third downs, allowing them to go 8-13. Because they were able to stay on the field, they were able to run 71 plays, which meant more volume for the entire offense. Because Brown and Bryant were able to win outside, it allowed Roethlisberger to throw for 364 yards and four TDs. Since the offense was able to build an 18 point lead less than three minutes into the second half, it forced the Colts into predictable passing situations, which benefited Pittsburgh's defense, allowing them to force five punts, five sacks, and two interceptions.

Selecting a pool of players to target in GPPs is only half the battle; you also have to put them all together. With that in mind, I’ve revamped the format of this column. With an eye toward lineup construction, I’ve grouped players to target by lineup slot.

I’ve also created a “profile” for each position and lineup slot. This specifies the salary range and ownership level that will generally give you the best odds. These profiles reflect data I have compiled from each of the 12 lineups of this year’s Millionaire Maker, DraftKings’ largest GPP. You will see the information reflected in the profiles, but I want to point out some important trends from the winning lineups before we get into the plays.

  • Go contrarian at QB: QBs in winning lineups have an average ownership of 7.5%, the lowest of any position group by far.
  • Pay up at WR:  On average, the most expensive WR in a winning lineup costs $8,300 and the second-most-expensive WR costs $6,900. No other lineup slot has an average of over $6,200.
  • One chalk play at RB, WR is OK: The average highest-owned RB in a winning lineup was owned 29%. The average highest-owned WR was owned 31%. Those represent huge drop-offs from the other RBs (13% including flex) and WRs (12% including flex).
  • RB has been the best flex option: RBs were in the flex spot of the winning lineups 62% of the time, WRs 38%, TEs 0%.
  • Salary Allocation: The average salary allocation per lineup slot, from highest to lowest is WR1, WR2, RB1, QB, WR3, RB2, TE, FLEX, DST
  • Make the chalk work for you; also know where to go contrarian: The average ownership per lineup slot, from highest to lowest is WR1, RB1, WR2, D, RB2, TE, WR3, QB, FLEX.

When a player is listed under a heading with multiple lineup slots, i.e. "WR 1/2", it means that player can be used to fill either slot.

I also list the (projected) chalk plays -- defined as the highest owned player at a position or any player projected to push 20% owned -- at each slot, gleaned from my Tournament Ownership Outlook column. Listed chalk plays are still recommended plays unless they do not appear in bold. However, you should generally limit yourself to one chalk play apiece at RB and WR and generally not have more than three chalk plays total in a lineup.

My hope is that casual readers will now have more direction as far as how to actually construct a winning GPP lineup, rather than just identify players to target. On the other hand, more advanced readers who prefer to do further independent research can still use the profiles as a lineup construction template even if they do not agree with some of the listed plays.

A note on pairing the players from the same team/game: In general, players from opposing passing games should be paired up whenever possible. Obviously, QBs and WRs on the same team should be stacked whenever possible, as should RBs and defenses on the same team. QBs and RBs on the same team have a slightly positive correlation and should not be avoided. RB and WR has a slight negative correlation, but it's so small that the pairing should not be avoided either.


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QB Profile: Median salary $6,000, average ownership 7%. QBs are generally under $7,000 and under 10% owned.


Chalk (You generally want less exposure to chalk at QB than at other positions): Russell Wilson $6,300, Jameis Winston $5,500

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