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NFL DFS Strategy: DraftKings Week 3 Tournament Recap

This is the third installment of my NFL DFS Strategy Series. I will be writing a weekly article highlighting tips and general strategies to help you with your NFL DFS Tournaments, too! You can catch the first one here on bankroll management, contest selection, and goals and the second one here

Thanks for taking the time to read this NFL DFS strategy piece! If you're here, it's likely because you want to be a better DFS player and learn more about how to be a sustainable DFS player who doesn't have to deposit more money in their account every week. I hope to help you do that through this series!

Below are the top lineups in various contests I played in, and I will use this series to identify trends and happenings in GPPs on DraftKings. I will examine which strategies were present in this article and try to determine whether or not there are any new emerging strategies we should be trying.

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Week 3 DraftKings Milly Maker ($20 entry, $1,021,053 to first)

265,944 entries into this thing. Here's how the top lineup fared:

We finally have a Milly Maker winner with the QB-WR-WR stack and a bring-back player! I was just talking last week how those combinations were not getting to the top as much and then, boom, we have one that does. Very interesting how this person did stack Buffalo (Buffalo was one of my stacks this week as well), but did NOT include Stephon Diggs, but rather Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders. From last year, it is known that Beasley gets a lot of targets, he had a target share of over 20% last year, and we knew that Sanders was one of the leaders this year in Air Yards so far. Things just clicked well this week for this combination.

You may also notice some correlation between Justin Jefferson and DK Metcalf, however, what is more interesting is the negative correlation between Jefferson and Alexander Mattison. The Minnesota offense was on fire, so I guess if you roster an offense that goes off, negative correlation doesn't matter.

Outside of rostering Mattison and Jefferson together, I understand where this lineup is coming from. There are two instances of correlation, and when the pieces hit, it propels you to the top, especially in a week where a lot of the chalky plays did not do well.

 

$1.75M Playaction ($100k to First)

This was a $3 buy-in, 691,660 entry tournament with $100k to first place. The first thing you will notice is that the winning lineup in this tournament was higher than the Milly Maker lineup. It makes sense, the number of entires are almost three times higher, and when you have a larger field tournament there are more opportunities for someone to "hit the nuts". This person had a full stack of Matthew Stafford, Tyler Higbee, and Cooper Kupp, but no bring-back. They also had some correlation going on with Ja'Marr Chase and Najee Harris. Similar to the Milly Maker, they had some negative correlation with Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler that happened to work out.  Also similar to the Milly Maker, because the field is so large, you do not see high rostered players outside of Kupp.

 

$150k Red Zone ($50 Single Entry - $50,000 to first)

There are a lot of advantages to playing a higher amount of money. First, the rake is less. This tournament's rake is about 12%, which is less than the 15-16% that the Playaction above had. Second, sometimes you don't need a crazy high score to win, which holds true this week as 210.52 is enough to win $15,000 in this tournament.

This lineup did not have a full stack. We do have the DK Metcalf - Gerald Everett with a Justin Jefferson bring-back, but no Russell Wilson. Instead this person opted for Josh Allen and Emmanuel Sanders together in what turned out to be an awesome choice of a pairing. From there, it looks like best plays for the dollar, all of them make sense standalone.

This example is something to look at for single entry tournaments, especially ones that are relatively smaller field (this one still had 3,400 people in it) compared to the Milly Makers and Playactions, is to have a cash-like floor around some correlation. Chris Godwin, Austin Ekeler, D'Andre Swift, and Cincinnati were all highly touted plays and good plays for the money. That provides the floor and then you chase upside with the correlated pieces.  You give yourself a chance to cash and you also have enough upside to take down the whole thing if everything hits.

 

My Own Results

I believe in transparency, so am going to talk a little bit about my play in GPPs as well in Week 3.

I did not have a good week in DFS this week, yet again. I am now on a losing streak. I did have some lineups cash but it was not nearly enough and I lost about 65% of my buy-in amount.

My best lineup was this one:

With Lamar Jackson, I do not usually want to do a full stack with him but rather a pairing. The reason for this is that offense is not high volume enough. I don't want to have him by himself, because him hitting his ceiling will result in him having some success through the air. From there, Kupp, Godwin, Swift, and Tyler Boyd were four of my favorite plays on the whole slate. I did not see I had negative correlation between Boyd and Mixon. What had happened is I needed someone under $4,700 and he fit, but I probably should have run a different running back or wide receiver as I do not typically like having an RB and a WR in the same lineup unless the RB is a satellite back I am including in a stack.

This was my worst tournament lineup this week:

This was disappointing because I loved Arizona in this spot, they put up the points, but my pieces were somewhat disappointing. The Sony Michel - Higbee negative correlation I do not love, but I was having challenges with this lineup having spent up at QB, WR, and DST. Building a lineup around not super-solid running backs never a good idea and this is a reminder of that.

Final Thoughts

I like the approaches I am taking. I have some small mistakes in some of my lineups but sometimes in the mad rush of entering hundreds of contests I miss stuff. I have to clean that up. This week I went Kansas City, Buffalo, Seatle, Arizona, Baltimore, and Detroit as my main stack situations. Outside of Detroit (I was trying to get really cute with my Milly Maker entry), it would have been hard to say any of those choices were wrong prior to the slate locking. Things just did not work out the way I wanted them do.

That is why we manage our bankrolls and grind for Week 4. There are 14 more weeks of this and I am staying the course.

It was nice to see some full-stacks hit, and ultimately my approach to building a lineup isn't wildly different than what the winners are doing. Week 4, my time will come!



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