It was once again a wild week on DraftKings, although that tends to happen when you’re making someone a millionaire each week. Although overall scoring was down, most users were on top of their games; the most popular players on DraftKings mostly lived up to the hype, as we saw big performances out of high-usage players like Isaiah Crowell, DeMarco Murray, Josh Gordon, LeSean McCoy, T.Y. Hilton, and others.
Before breaking down the big winners, let’s take a look at Week 12 player usage.
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We almost always see the highest usage out of running backs and receivers on DraftKings, and that was once again the case in Week 12. Isaiah Crowell led the way in just under one-third of all lineups. Users were clearly drawn to his expected workload at just $3800, and Crowell delivered with two touchdowns.
DeMarco Murray, who I considered the favorite to lead Week 12 usage prior to Sunday, checked in just behind Crowell in 26.1 percent of lineups. Murray ran all over the Giants on Sunday night, but he failed to score a touchdown.
In his first game back from suspension, Josh Gordon and his cheap $6300 price tag led all receivers in usage. In just under one-quarter of lineups, Gordon returned value for DraftKings users. Given the risks and Gordon’s upside, his utilization was probably around what we should have expected.
Surprisingly, Coby Fleener led all tight ends in popularity in 19.1 percent of lineups. Fleener’s price jumped after his Week 11 outburst, but users were still all over the Colts tight end after Dwayne Allen was ruled out. Nearly every tight end failed to return value in Week 12.
As usual, we didn’t see heavy usage on any quarterback. Andrew Luck was the most popular in only 13.2 percent of all lineups. He didn’t throw up a total dud, but he certainly disappointed users who spend the $9700 to acquire him.
I mentioned this before, but if there’s one thing we can take away from studying usage each week, it’s that you should play your favorite quarterback. The usage is nearly always low enough that you don’t need to worry about going against the grain; just plug in the top value and collect the points.
Millionaire Maker: sradss1 (243.8 points)
With remarkable Sunday and Monday night performances, sradss1 is the newest millionaire to be crowned by DraftKings. Sradss1 took down the field of over 70,000 by nearly 10 points.
Sradss1 rostered five players who were in the Sunday in Monday night games – Drew Brees, Justin Forsett, Odell Beckham Jr., Robert Woods, and Larry Donnell. Only Donnell disappointed, but sradss1 was able to overcome it since almost everyone failed to get elite production out of their tight end. To give you an idea of how much ground sradss1 had to cover, consider that he had only 101.9 points heading into the Sunday night game.
His most valuable pick was certainly Robert Woods, who found himself in just 1-in-200 Millionaire Maker lineups. His 29.8 points were just the sixth-highest on sradss1’s roster, but the most scarce.
Congrats to sradss1 on one heck of a lineup, a monumental late-game surge, and a $1 million cash!
Note that another user in the Millionaire Maker – tangomilo – entered the same lineup three times, finishing 6th, 7th, and 8th. That was good for $75,000. Had he managed 14 more points, tangomilo would have won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Millionaire Maker, which would have netted him $1.15 million!
$250K Thunderdome: BirdWings (193.9 points)
There was no contest in the $5,300 buy-in Thunderdome, where BirdWings – one of the most respected players in daily fantasy sports – beat the field of 50 by nearly 15 points. The win netted him $100,000.
BirdWings went with a double-handcuff, pairing both Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills with Drew Brees. The trio went for 82.6 points, and Steve Smith gave BirdWings another 18.9 points in the same game. Probably a slight underdog to take down the league heading into Monday night, things fell perfectly for BirdWings to take down the $100k.
Like sradds1, BirdWings had most of his exposure in the Sunday and Monday night games; he actually had only 43 points heading into the Cowboys-Giants Sunday night matchup.
$200K Hail Mary: Kingd212comcast.Net (235.9 points)
The closest finish was in the Hail Mary, where Kingd212comcast.Net was able to nab the win by 1.9 points.
Kingd212comcast.Net needed every point he could get out of Brees and Colston on Monday night. He jumped into first place with the late Saints drive, passing Vandyrules on Brees’ final touchdown throw to Graham.
Note that this is probably the most high-usage winning lineup of Week 12, with a lot of users finding success by going against the grain in certain spots. Brees’ 32.3 points were the most valuable to Kingd212comcast.Net, though, as the quarterback was in a team-low 5.9 percent of lineups.
Congrats to Kingd212comcast.Net on turning $12 into $25,000!
King of the Beach
Four more users stamped their tickets to Atlantis for the King of the Beach tournament: okstatpdt, mikelevytu, LeagueofShadows, and Hardfour. They all have a 1-in-50 shot at becoming a millionaire.
The most interesting finish was in the 72-man $1,000 qualifier, where Hardfour won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places with four different lineups!
The winning lineup scored 183.22 points, missing only on Jacob Tamme and Mike Wallace (to a degree). Hardfour’s other top-four lineups had some overlap (C.J. Anderson was in all but one, for example), but he used four different quarterbacks.
In addition to the seat to Atlantis ($50,000 value), Hardfour also took home $10,000 in cash for his efforts.