Another week of NFL, another couple of DraftKings users who are $100,000 richer. The winners of the Sunday Million and Sunday 400 Grand both took home $100k in a couple of photo finishes that matched the excitement of Week 3 in the NFL.
In terms of production through the air, the week belonged to Kirk Cousins. The Redskins quarterback was sensational in Philly, finishing second among all quarterbacks in fantasy points by throwing for 427 yards and three scores. Only Andrew Luck and his 370/4 line against the Jags was able to top Cousins in terms of fantasy production on DraftKings.
On the ground, we saw a breakout game from Rashad Jennings, who scampered for 176 yards and a score against the Texans. Jennings was accompanied by Le’Veon Bell, Knile Davis, LeGarrette Blount, and Lamar Miller as top-five running backs in terms of yards. Bell’s 7.0 YPC against the Panthers proved that he’s basically matchup-proof.
It was a good week to be an undersized wide receiver. Although Julio Jones dominated the Thursday night game with 161 yards, the rest of the top five was filled out by the speedsters; Jeremy Maclin, Emmanuel Sanders, Pierre Garcon, and DeSean Jackson all topped the 100-yard mark, and only Sanders didn’t score. Actually, Sanders is the only receiver ranked in the top 10 in yards to not score in 2014, and he’s all the way up at No. 3.
Notable Player Usage
Cousins and Luck were the most valuable quarterbacks in Week 3, by a wide margin, and not just due to their fantasy production. They were in 4.6 and 4.7 percent of Sunday Million lineups, respectively, which means that fewer than 1-in-20 users rostered each. Having one of those guys created a unique lineup and was a huge edge in tournaments.
Cousins was in each of the top-five highest-scoring lineups on Sunday, due in large part to the big days from Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson (which made for a formidable fantasy trio). Users who rostered Cousins typically used Garcon as well, and a few utilized both of the Washington receivers. Plus, Cousins’ cheaper price tag means you could argue he was the superior fantasy play to Luck, even though the Colts quarterback scored more points.
Drew Brees was the most popular quarterback selection in 17.9 percent of Sunday Million lineups. He was decent with 293 yards and two scores, totaling 19.52 fantasy points on DraftKings. Due to his salary, Brees wasn’t in an overwhelming number of top-scoring lineups.
At the running back position, the late-breaking news of Arian Foster’s absence propelled a lot of DraftKings users to rush Alfred Blue into their lineups. He ended up in 17.9 percent of them, just like Brees, but managed only 9.8 fantasy points. In general, such situations are the ones you want to get away from in tournaments because you’ll see high usage as owners overreact to late news. Without knowing Blue’s expected usage, rostering him was a gamble, even with his cheap salary.
DeMarco Murray was in an even higher percentage of lineups at 18.1 percent, but he delivered for fantasy owners with 25.1 points. Murray’s reign of terror on St. Louis continued as he racked up over 100 rushing yards for the third straight game to start the season.
Calvin Johnson was a big bust for DraftKings users. In a sensational 28.5 percent of lineups, Johnson managed just 14.2 fantasy points. It’s not a horrific total, but when you consider Megatron’s cost, he certainly didn’t return value. Those users who faded Johnson was rewarded nicely.
Like teammate Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown proved that he’s a quality start regardless of the matchup. He managed 31 points on DraftKings, but due to the perceived poor matchup and his high price tag, he was in only 3.8 percent of lineups.
The tight end position was very diverse this week on DraftKings, and no one really stuck out in the NFL games, either. Larry Donnell was a fairly popular choice in 10.4 percent of lineups, although he scored only 9.5 points. Martellus Bennett changed some users’ fortunes with his two Monday-night scores, but he was rostered in only 4.5 percent of Sunday Million lineups.
The Big Winners
As mentioned, both the Sunday Million and Sunday 400 Grand were close finishes. Both winners took them down by no more than 2.2 points.
- Sunday Million: duane-weighed (205.88 points)
Duane-weighed was obviously high on the Redskins-Eagles game in general, as he added Jeremy Maclin into his flex spot. Combined, the four players scored over 123 points—just under 60 percent of his total score. Duane-weighed also hit on the top running back in Rashad Jennings, while finding good value on Jared Cook. When Calvin Johnson is your second-worst player, you know you did something right.
This league was heavily influenced by the Sunday and Monday night contests, both of which were high-scoring. Duane-weighed didn’t have anyone from the primetime games, but third-place finisher kinglack rostered Antonio Brown. Brown’s second-half heroics pulled kinglakc within 4.1 points of the victory, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
I guess $25,000 isn’t a bad consolation prize.
Sunday 400 Grand: jsurab (178.52 points)
With far fewer entrants than the Sunday Million, the Sunday 400 Grand typically boasts a lower winning score. It was a massive difference in Week 3, as jsurab took down the Sunday 400 Grand—and the $100k prize—with just 178.52 points.
Jsurab won despite sub-par efforts from running backs Donald Brown and Stevan Ridley, who managed just 21 combined points. Jsurab made up for it in the wide receiver department, however, where he fielded a trio of Antonio Brown, Pierre Garcon, and Jeremy Maclin.
The Brown choice was crucial, too, as it propelled jsurab into the lead on late Sunday night. Jsurab surpassed TwoGun, who didn’t roster any primetime players and nearly snuck out of Week 3 with the win. With some late points from Brown, though, jsurab was able to take just over a two-point lead heading into Monday night.
That lead was hanging by a thread during the Monday-nighter, though, as the third-place finisher—whitelime—used the Bears defense. When Chicago started the game with a pick-six, it looked like whitelime would take down the tournament, but some late scoring from the Jets ultimately kept jsurab in the lead.
What a wild finish on DraftKings in Week 3! Big shout out to users Wahad9, Kobe4MVP, and deeshen13, as well, all of whom locked up King of the Beach tickets. They’ll all travel to Atlantis in December to compete with 47 other DraftKings users for $2.5 million in prizes, including $1 million to first.