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Fantasy Football Recap: DraftKings NFL DFS Millionaire Tournament Results for Week 3

Matt Meiselman analyzes some of the strategies that DraftKings DFS players used in Week 3 and breaks down the winning DraftKings Millionaire lineups.

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 $4.25M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry]

A Boom or Bust Week for the Chalk

The headline for Week 2’s NFL DFS recap was the failure of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys, where the majority of pieces from that game failed despite it being the most popular game across the board. The results from Week 3 were much different, where most of the chalk did extremely well, with Cooper Kupp leading the way with 30.6 fantasy points at roughly 33% ownership. Some of the top choices at running back had good games as well — Alexander Mattison, Saquon Barkley, and Austin Ekeler all topped 20 points — but there were also some substantial duds in Week 3 that sunk a large percentage of lineups. The week's most popular tight end T.J. Hockenson scored just three fantasy points, while Robert Woods, Tyler Lockett, and Sterling Shepard all had extremely low outputs too.

How the Slate Shifted on Sunday

Earlier in the week, we focused on the obvious choices from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams, and detailed how paying all the way up for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs might actually be a contrarian strategy. That wound up being partially true, but the slate dynamics changed quite a bit on Sunday when Dalvin Cook was officially ruled out against the Seahawks. Alexander Mattison wound up being an extremely popular running back choice as a result, and with there already being a lot of pricing value at the position, it became much easier to afford high-end passing games. The other impact here was that the game between the Vikings and Seahawks turned into a matchup with a higher expectation for passing volume, as the absence of Cook theoretically causes the Vikings to throw the ball more.

Something else that was interesting about this scenario was that it once again showed the strategic disparities across contest types. In the Week 2 recap, we detailed the typical phenomenon where higher-stakes contests tend to see the “value plays” drafted to a higher degree. That still seems to be the norm, as Alexander Mattison was higher-owned in the $555 millionaire than he was in the $20 millionaire (22% compared to 15%). On top of that, we also saw a large increase in popularity for the passing games of both the Vikings and the Seahawks. Some of that may be due to higher-stakes players looking to leverage off of the chalk running backs by taking the passing games instead, but it’s also probably true that Cook’s absence was in fact perceived to be an upgrade to those passing attacks. Here’s a look at the largest differentials in ownership between the $20 millionaire and $555 millionaire.

$20 Millionaire Winner

$555 Millionaire Winner

The lineups shown above each won a million dollars, along with entries to the DraftKings Championship Series Tournament of Champions. Despite the fact that it took a similar point total to win the two contests, there’s actually very little overlap between the two lineups, with Alexander Mattison and the Cardinals’ DST being the only two picks that they had in common. Week 3 was an unusual week where several offenses had good games, but there wasn’t anything far enough over the top to separate any single stack as the clear best. As a result, the top of the standings in most contests was highly condensed, and there was a wide variety of winning combinations in different contests.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $4.25M 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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