This article takes a look at the previous week of NFL action while breaking things down from a daily fantasy perspective. We will review winning lineups and provide main takeaways to consider for future weeks in DFS.
I believe this is a beneficial process for any DFS enthusiast. It is something I have been doing for years while trying to retune my approach and recognize any blind spots I missed in my previous week of research. Having said that, it’s important to identify the overarching themes that led to a winning lineup and how they can frame your mindset moving forward. In other words, I’ll be looking to separate the “signals” from the “noise” while recognizing some GPP strategy moves that did/didn’t pay off.
FanDuel Sunday Million Week 7 - 10/21
Here was the winning lineup from FanDuel’s Sunday Million contest:
QB Mitchell Trubisky - CHI (33.42)
RB Todd Gurley II – LAR (28.6)
RB Nick Chubb – CLE (14.0)
WR Jarvis Landry – CLE (20.7)
WR John Brown – BAL (22.9)
WR Will Fuller V – HOU (9.8)
TE Trey Burton – CHI (23.1)
FLEX James White – NE (25.7)
DEF LA Rams (23)
Here we go again: Mitchell Trubisky is out here making millionaires. In an otherwise tame week, this Chicago-New England game provided a shootout to target for fantasy purposes. Trubisky ended up pacing the field in fantasy points for a quarterback, checking in with a 7% ownership rate in tournaments. His favorite target was Trey Burton, who made for an essential stack extension in this winning lineup. As you can see later in the article, most people looked towards CHI WR Taylor Gabriel (18%) as the preferred pass-catcher of this offenses.
MAIN TAKEAWAY #1: Game flow can be a beautiful thing for fantasy purposes. Take a look at Mitchell Trubisky and Baker Mayfield this week, both of which were forced into heavy passing situations with plenty of volume to post some quality upside. It didn’t hurt that all the secondary units in those respective games were suspect, creating a back-and-forth scorefest.
Speaking of game flow, how about Marlon Mack and his 30.9 FP performance? The Colts were dominant against the injury-plagued Bills, leading to success in the rushing game for the first time this season. Mack was the primary beneficiary in a 37-5 rout, going for 159 total yards and two scores. He checked in with a miniscule 2.2% ownership rate that boosted several lineups in the top 10. Interesting enough, he wasn’t part of this winning lineup.
MAIN TAKEAWAY #2: You don’t have to nail down the best value pick on the board. Of course, a different story may have been told if Mack had a slightly higher ownership rate. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that there are several different ways to build a winning tournament lineup, and the top combination doesn’t necessarily have to carry the best value performers if there is enough upside across every position.
Todd Gurley made the winning lineup – yet again. Bye weeks and quality offenses playing in primetime really decimated this slate of intriguing options at all positions. That is one of the contributing factors to Gurley having an unbelievable 61% ownership rate in the FanDuel Sunday Million. Well, that and Gurley is pretty awesome. He had a tasty matchup against the Niners too.
MAIN TAKEAWAY #3: You don’t have to be sneaky at every position. The winning lineup had heavily owned players in Gurley (61%), Chubb (33%), and Landry (23%). From here, they stacked pieces with an ownership rate lower than 10% in Trubisky, Burton, White, and the LA Rams. This is usually how I’ll assemble my tournament lineups, locking in value plays and top performers (despite their popularity), then stacking options against the grain in the other four or so spots to create tournament leverage.
Players with a much lower-than-anticipated ownership rate. This players surprisingly went under-utilized in tournaments:
Andrew Luck – QB (4.2%): I honestly thought Luck would have a top three ownership rate at quarterback. He has pieced together some solid performances, playing at home against a suspect Bills’ defense. However, this weird slate cut the quarterback position pretty thin, and Andrew Luck took a backseat to guys like Mayfield, Winston, and others.
Latavius Murray – RB (9%): I was pretty shocked by this one. The matchup wasn’t great, but game flow and volume appeared to be on Murray’s side with Dalvin Cook out. He responded with a sweet 21.3 FP performance. It seems that most people took Nick Chubb as their preferred value running back, which left Murray with a diluted ownership rate.
The highest owned players of the week. These players were some of the most popular fixtures in lineups:
Todd Gurley II – RB - 60.6%
Adam Thielen – WR – 35%
Nick Chubb – RB - 32.7%
David Njoku – TE – 29.7%
Ezekiel Elliott – RB – 27.9%
Robert Woods – WR – 26%
Jarvis Landry – WR - 23.3%
Landmines of the week. These are players who had high ownership percentages, but ended up with subpar fantasy output:
Ezekiel Elliott – RB: 5.2 FP @ 27.9%
Robert Woods – WR: 10.9 FP @ 26%
Taylor Gabriel – WR: 4.1 FP @ 18%
Marquise Goodwin – WR: 3.4 FP @ 13.2%
LeSean McCoy – RB: 0.1 FP @ 10.9%