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Fantasy Football Recap: DraftKings NFL DFS Millionaire Tournament Results for Week 2

Matt Meiselman analyzes some of the strategies that DraftKings DFS players used in Week 2 and breaks down the winning DraftKings Millionaire lineup.

Starting with Week 2, we began analyzing DraftKings NFL GPPs with an emphasis on tournament strategies and slate dynamics. This article will be its weekly counterpart, recapping the decisions of the masses and discerning the takeaways that can be applied to future contests. Much like in the weekly previews, we’ll be focusing on topics like game theory and lineup building strategies, with the hope of giving everyone the tools to become better DraftKings NFL DFS players.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $4.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry]

The Chargers/Cowboys Shootout That Wasn’t

The Sunday afternoon game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys was objectively as enticing of a fantasy matchup as you’ll find in the NFL. The betting total was well into the 50s on DraftKings Sportsbook — the highest of Week 2 — and none of the predominant passing game options were all that prohibitive in terms of their prices. Anyone who tells you that they knew this game would be a dud is either lying to you or lying to themselves, and yet, avoiding the majority of its players was probably the right move. This isn’t because of the results — those are always easy to point to in hindsight — but it’s instead because of the overall popularity of the game. Here’s a look at the highest-owned picks in DraftKings’ largest Millionaire contest for Week 2, with the DAL and LAC players highlighted:

The numbers on these players were even higher in high-stakes contests, but that doesn’t necessarily tell you that they were the best plays. Instead, it just means that the Cowboys and Chargers players were the best “values”, but having a lineup of the best values often does not equate to having a lineup with the best chance of making money, especially if your goal is first place in a tournament. The basic premise is that the more popular a player or a team or a game stack is, the less you benefit from that lineup doing well because of all the other lineups that have the same players. Granted, you could argue that this game was SO good that it was still worth stacking even as the chalk matchup, but that’s almost never the case in a sport like football where results have so much volatility.

Derrick Henry Breaks the Slate

The Tennessee Titans started off slow in their Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks, failing to cross the goal line in the first half and trailing 24-9 before finally getting their offense going after halftime. Derrick Henry had basically six quiet quarters to that point, and his low Week 1 output was probably a big reason as to why he was a fairly unpopular pick in Week 2. The second half was a completely different story for Henry, as he began the third quarter with a touchdown run on the Titans’ first drive, and followed it up with a 60-yard TD two drives later. Henry scored a third touchdown to tie the game at 30, and then tacked on a few more yards in overtime as well. Henry ended up with a 50+ point fantasy performance, and he wound up being a must-have for lineups at the top of most tournament leaderboards.

Derrick Henry as a contrarian pick in Week 2 probably doesn’t surprise most DFS players, as he was priced in a range that rendered him a non-value play at $8,300. Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara are almost certainly better fantasy running backs in general largely due to their receiving capabilities, and while Cook doesn’t quite fit into that category, his Week 2 matchup was much better than Henry’s. The takeaway from this isn’t necessarily that Henry should have projected better around the industry and been a more popular play. The more apt conclusion is simply that football has a lot of variance — particularly at running back where touchdowns are such an integral part of the scoring — and that good running backs who are low-owned are usually worth considering. Henry didn’t fit into most lineup-building gameplans in Week 2, and as a result he wound up making some people quite a lot of money.

$4,444 Mega Millionaire

The lineup shown above won a million dollars for its efforts, as well an entry to the DraftKings Championship Series Tournament of Champions. The lineup had to beat out over 265,000 others, but there was an additional Week 2 contest with only 880 entrants that yielded the same prizes. In the $4,444 Mega Millionaire, the winning score was far lower, with first place scoring almost 50 points less than the winning lineup of the larger contest. This is bound to happen whenever there’s so many fewer people in a contest (880 compared to 265K) but this result also stems from the concept mentioned above where higher stakes players generally stick to more of the value plays. The duds from the Chargers and Cowboys were more prevalent in the $4,444 tournament, and the winning lineup actually used three Chargers. The combination of Derrick Henry and Cooper Kupp still proved to be enough, offsetting a few average to below-average performances across the lineup.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $4.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry]

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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.

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