Raybon's Review: DFS Lessons Learned in Week 17

Raybon's Review: DFS Lessons Learned in Week 17

Analyzing the prior week's results is one of the most valuable investments of your time as a DFS player. In this space, I will deconstruct the Week 17 winning lineups from FanDuel and DraftKings' biggest GPPs. I will also highlight other key takeaways from the past week's games and/or the season to date.

DraftKings Week 17 $4M 80th Millionaire Special Winning Lineup Review

The key for Mcamp05 in this lineup was rolling with Keenan Allen over Julio Jones at WR1. Allen was one of two players on the slate to score more than 32 DraftKings points; Jones scored only 15 but ended up being the highest-owned player on the slate, at 40.8%. Our GPP odds model predicted that type of outcome, giving Allen the edge by two percentage points over Jones, 13%–11%. And since Allen was projected for lower ownership than Jones, Allen, of course, also had a higher GPP leverage score. Jones had the better matchup—Carolina ranked 30th in WR aFPA coming into Week 17 and had been bleeding production to No. 1 wide receivers in particular, while Oakland ranked 22nd in aFPA and had been slowing down opposing No. 1s as of late—but Allen had showcased his ceiling more consistently this season and continued to do so in Week 17. It was Allen’s fourth game of 25 or more points this season, while Jones has had only one (though he made it count with a 53-point domination of the Buccaneers). Though Jones is undoubtedly more physically dominant than Allen (and pretty much everyone else on the planet), Allen’s average target is roughly five yards shorter than Jones’ and Allen spends a lot more time in the slot than Jones, both of which allow Allen to more consistently rack up a high volume of receptions—Allen had eight more catches in a game five times this season while Jones recorded an eight-plus-catch game only twice all year.

Elsewhere among chalk plays in the lineup, Alvin Kamara led all RBs in GPP odds, Dion Lewis was third, and Jack Doyle was second among TEs.

If you were in the 92.8% who didn’t own QB Philip Rivers, how could you have landed on him?

With 32 QBs on the slate, Rivers graded out no better than mediocre in any of the more advanced predictive 4for4 metrics we usually rely on—mirroring the mediocrity of his 14th-place ranking at the position in DraftKings points per game coming into Week 17 (16.3). However, basic metrics such as implied team total (25) and aFPA (Oakland ranked 21st) painted Rivers in a favorable spot. Rivers is also strongly correlated with Allen. Coming into Week 17, Rivers averaged 22.9 DraftKings points per game in the five games which Allen scored 20 or more, but only 13.0 DraftKings points per game when Allen scored fewer than 20 DraftKings points.

If you were in the 94.0% who didn’t own RB Devonta Freeman, how could you have landed on him?

Freeman had a GPP leverage score of 2.90, which was fourth among RBs priced $5,000 and above. At $5,600, Freeman’s salary was at its lowest point of the season for a game which he was active, representing a buy-low opportunity for a talented back who didn’t quite have an ideal matchup (Carolina ranked second in RB aFPA) or workload (Freeman averaged 15.4 touches per game in games which Tevin Coleman was active). Especially with DraftKings’ full-PPR scoring format, though, ability as a pass-catcher can win the day, and Freeman ended up parlaying 11 targets (23.3% of his full-season total) into 9 receptions for 95 yards and a score, offsetting a paltry 23 yards rushing on 11 carries.

If you were in the 99.9% who didn’t own WR Seth Roberts, how could you have landed on him?

Roberts only scored 9.8 points as part of a Chargers-Raiders game stack, but at a salary of just $3,900, that amount of points was adequate enough filler to still propel the lineup to victory. It’s possible you could have landed on Roberts if targeting players with incentives within reach (Roberts needed 7 catches), though that did not work out so well for most players involved.

If you were in the 97.8% who didn’t own WR Tyrell Williams how could you have landed on him?

Williams served as a pivot off Josh Doctson at $4,400 and off Will Fuller at $4,300. Because Williams’ ownership was projected to be less than half that of either of them, he was the only one of the three with a GPP leverage score above 1.0. Williams also served as a pivot off teammate Antonio Gates, who was owned nearly five times as much at only $100 cheaper than Williams. Both players had a median projection within one-tenth of a point of each other (Williams 10.4, Gates 10.3), but thanks to more downfield usage, Williams edged Gates by over two points in projected ceiling, 20.5 to 18.3.

If you were in the 94.6% who didn’t own Cowboys DST, how could you have landed on them?

Despite a salary of only $2,300, the Cowboys were among the nine DSTs which had GPP odds of at least 10%. Dallas also had the highest GPP leverage score of any DST on the slate. Motivation seemingly played a part here, as the Cowboys played for pride after having been eliminated from playoff contention the week prior while the Eagles pulled key players early in the game.

FanDuel Week 17 Sunday Million Winning Lineup Review

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