In a day full of what could be lopsided matchups, we break down the players worth paying for, the value plays, and positional strategies for building your DraftKings League of Legends lineups.
Set your lineups here: LOL $125K Titan’s Fury [$25K to 1st] (LPL)
CaptainWorth Paying Up For: Rekkles $12,000
Rekkles is coming off a 2-0 week where he combined for seven kills, 16 assists, and zero deaths. Fnatic loves to play through Rekkles in the bottom lane and they are in the hunt for the #1 seed in the LEC. Paying up for the main carry of a team looking for a 2-0 week is an investment that is worth the risk.
Best Value: Nukeduck $10,800
Origen’s mid-laner is the glue to their team. Given they are tied with Fnatic for second place in the LEC one game back of G2, they will be playing to win this weekend. Nukeduck has a favorable matchup Friday against Excel. When they met earlier in the split, he posted a score-line of no kills, 15 assists, and no deaths. This would add the valuable 10+ kills/assists bonus. Nukeduck averaged 30.35 points in his matches last week, if he can mirror these performances, I see value in this play.
When captaining in LoL contests, it is my opinion that you should aim for a mid-laner or ADC, as these will be the majority of carry options for teams. The teams will look to funnel stats and gold into these players, which should result in healthy score-lines.
TopWorth Paying Up For: Alphari $6,800
We’re back to Origen again here. Alphari has been one of the most consistent top-laners this split with the highest top lane KDA of 4.7. If I am going to spend up on any top-laner for Friday’s matches it would be Alphari. Just like Nukeduck above, Alphari has a very favorable matchup playing into Excel’s Expect, who is a bottom three top-laner in KDA at 2.21.
Best Value: Finn $6,400
The matchup here is the reasoning for the value behind Finn. Rogue is going up against SK Gaming, whose top lane is in flux. Whether Finn is laning against Sacre or Ventair, this is an incredibly favorable matchup vs. the 2-14 SK top-laners. Earlier in the split in a Rogue victory, Finn went for two kills, two assists, and zero deaths. While these numbers do not jump off the page, I do see a bigger game out of him this week.
Top lane is not a place that I would invest a ton of resources into. Much of the game right now is focused on the bottom of the map and dragon pit control. This means many top-laners are in a 1-vs.-1 situation where they are content to farm out the early game. Saving money on a top-laner will allow you to invest in bigger carries from the mid lane or ADC positions.
JunglerWorth Paying Up For: Jankos $7,600
Jankos’ nickname is the First Blood King, and he has earned that title. His KDA of 5.78 on the split is the highest of any jungle player. Playing against Lurox, who was recently subbed in for FC Schalke 04, I expect another strong showing from Jankos. In two games last week, he had 16 kills, 23 assists, and only one death. G2 is trying to secure the number one seed, and if there was any jungle worth paying up for, it is undoubtedly Jankos.
Best Value: Selfmade $6,400
Selfmade’s 3.94 KDA this split is third among jungle players. Selfmade averaged 19.4 points last weekend in two wins, which was a touch below his average of 21.6. While Mad Lion’s rookie jungle Shadow got the best of Selfmade in the first matchup this year, I expect Selfmade to rebound Friday and post a strong performance. Selfmade is a solid all-around jungle and should not disappoint again.
The jungle is a volatile and unforgiving position. My best advice here is to stick to the jungle players on successful teams or with favorable matchups. It is a position that can make or break a contest due to early game invade strategies or pivotal objective fights.
MidWorth Paying Up For: Perkz $8,200
G2’s Perkz may not only be the best mid-laner in Europe, he may be the best player. He is far and away the leader in KDA at 5.62. Perkz had a disappointing two-kill, three-assist, six-death performance in a rare G2 loss against Schalke 04 earlier in the season, but I see a big revenge game narrative here. G2 again is looking to lock up the #1 seed for playoffs and Perkz will be the catalyst behind this. His kill participation of 65.4% is the third highest in the league among mid-laners and he will be looking to improve that number on Friday.
Best Value: Humanoid $6,000
Humanoid at $6,000 has great potential to exceed value. In a victory against Fnatic earlier in the season, he had six kills, 11 assists, and two deaths. He is second in the league among mid-laners in average CS per game at 307.56. He also is tied for second among mid-laners in gold share percentage at 23.6%. These numbers show that the Mad Lions invest resources into their mid-laner. This could be a place where you can get great value for a low price.
The mid lane is arguably the most important position on the rift. This is not a position I would go cheap on. A team with a struggling mid-laner is unlikely to pull out the win. These players will usually be relied upon to not only best their lane opponent but also roam the map and assist teammates.
ADCWorth Paying Up For: Upset $7,800
Upset is second among AD Carries in KDA at 9.00, only trailing Rekkles. He has a very favorable matchup playing into Excel’s Patrik, who has the third-highest death rate per game among AD Carries at 2.31. Upset finished with six kills, four assists, and one death while securing a win in this matchup earlier in the year. This netted Upset 31.66 points, his third-highest point total of the split. This matchup is one worth paying up for on Friday.
Best Value: Bvoy $7,400
Bvoy has a very friendly matchup against a struggling Vitality team. He finished with three kills, four assists, and zero deaths with a monster 411 CS in a win against Vitality earlier in the year. This pick is strictly matchup dependent, as the Misfits are looking to rebound after an 0-2 week last week. Bvoy has been cold lately but has shown that he can pop-off throughout the season. If you are looking to save some resources in the AD position, selecting Bvoy would be how to do that.
The AD Carry position is not a position that I would spend lightly on. This is where you want to invest your funds. Much of the game right now is bottom lane focused, which means more fights and more opportunities for AD Carries.
SupportWorth Paying Up For: Mikyx $6,400
If there is a support worth spending on, it’s Mikyx. From the support position, you are looking for that 10+ assist bonus. Mikyx leads supports with 12.25 assists per game. Again, FC Schalke 04 shocked the world by beating G2 earlier in the year. I am willing to bet this will not happen again and will look for the bot lane duo of Mikyx and Caps to control this game.
Best Value: Hylissang $5,200
Hylissang is coming off a strong 2-0 week for Fnatic where he averaged 19.67 points per game. If he can continue this trend, this is the value play I would lean towards. Again, Fnatic loves playing toward their bot lane duo and this will give Hylissang multiple opportunities to make plays. He averages 8.06 assists per game and has hit the 10+ assists bonus four times this split.
Something I like to consider in the support position is selecting the Support and ADC from the same team. While it’s not mandatory by any means, stacking these positions does create a nice synergy in your lineup if your bot lane has a strong game. When picking the support position, you want to look for supports that can initiate and make plays. This will give you the best chance to achieve the 10-assist bonus.
TeamWorth Paying Up For: G2 Esports $6,000
G2 is trying to lock up the number one seed for playoffs. Schalke 04 is currently 8th in the standings and did upset G2 earlier in the season, but I don’t think this will happen again. G2 will be looking to send a message and wrap this one up quickly. The win under 30 minutes bonus is definitely not out of the question here.
Best Value: Misfits $5,400
The Misfits are currently sitting in 6th place, the last playoff spot. They are looking to improve their seeding this weekend after a tough 0-2 last week, and they are facing off against 1-15 Vitality. Vitality has shown little resistance throughout the split and the Misfits should not have any trouble rebounding here.
When selecting your team, of course you want the win. Some other things you should also look for are the win under 3o minutes bonus as well as how a team clears the map. First blood kills, objectives, and turrets are important things to consider in the team category.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS contests.