This Week in DraftKings
There is a lot going on each week in the world of daily fantasy sports, specifically DraftKings, where I spend most of my DFS time. Millions are paid out each and every week. There is a new millionaire each Monday night after the Millionaire Maker NFL tournament ends. And hundreds of thousands of players go head to head to try to increase their bankroll so they can stay in the game.
And of course, there are daily news items regarding the legality of daily fantasy sports, which affects all of us fantasy players.
Since all this is tough to keep up with, I’ll be providing weekly updates on the week that was in DraftKings new every week. I’ll fill you in on the newest millionaire and breakdown their lineups. Hopefully, we’ll both learn from this and have a better shot at winning some big money, or at least beating our friends more often.
I’ll also keep you updated on filthy politicians who make moves against DFS in order to keep us peasants safe from the dangers of wagering money on fantasy sports.
Let’s start with the newest DraftKings millionaire, TLEWIA. This user won a cool million dollars by playing fantasy football, not to mention he was helped by Kirk Cousins of all people! While you and I slave along at about 55 hours a week, this TLEWIA person has hit it big playing a game. Good for him.
Here’s a look at the lineup that gave him a big stack of cash that may allow the guy to at least think about quitting his job or finding one with less hours and a better boss.
I’ve never sniffed 232 points or a million dollars.
My high point total was around 180 this season so far. Notice that the lineup had no QB-stacked with any of his WR or RB, which many claim is mandatory to win a big tournament with hundreds of thousands in the field.
Clearly it’s not. Every week is different in fantasy football.
TLEWIA used value plays with two of his three backs. Langford and West are backups that are seeing huge volume. The volume in their cases was more important than the matchups with tough defenses. They both catch lots of balls so even if their teams had been blown out, they still would have been part of the offense in garbage time.
The Milli Maker winner also used receivers with lots of red zone targets. These targets are more crucial than normal targets for obvious reasons.
It’s easy to dissect the genius of a lineup after a big win like this. But fantasy football is just like the real game. A yard or two here, a fumble there, and the games change. This user could have easily won no money with this lineup had Cousins had a bad game or West, and the Chiefs had their usual mundane offensive output.
To win a big money tournament, you have to differentiate yourself from the field. Picking two backup running backs against two great defenses did just that for TLEWIA. Having a super cheap QB at $5200 throw four touchdowns was a big help also. If I had Cousins, he would have thrown four picks, fumbled twice, and maybe even been arrested for murder at halftime.
Another big money tournament this week was won by SUPER123. He took down the NFL Thunderdome $500K GPP. He only scored 165.26 points, compared to the 232 that won the million dollar contest. Each tournament is different just like each week changes with upsets and injuries.
As for these big money winners. Do they just retire after a big win or only play big money contests after winning life changing money? Some don’t. User ChipotleAddict won 1.2 million dollars in week four and is still playing head to head contests for $1! Other sharks are notorious for scooping up games against newbies for a single dollar as well.
Because they can. It pays and if these guys are doing DFS full time they are trying to exploit every stream of revenue. It is kinda distasteful, but I can see why they would keep reaching for the low hanging fruit. It would be like winning the lottery then giving up a separate passive revenue stream that paid you like $500 a week for barely lifting a finger. Money’s money.
Now if you really want to feel bad about your pathetic fantasy football skills, this story is for you. Martha Barker (username MARTHABARKER) was in 16th place going into MNF in the Millionaire Maker. She was featured on DraftKings TV on their “Sweat Show” as she waited on the end results.
My first thought was she was just a puppet of one of her kids to make a good story, but she did seem authentic. She said she had played fantasy football since 2003 but had only been a DK user for five weeks. And here she sat 15 places from becoming a millionaire!
Her technique for setting lineups? Pen and paper son! Old school, taking Tuesday through Saturday to perfect her roster with the help of newspapers.
Martha did a great job as she was interviewed on the show. She was easy to root for having worked third shift at Walmart for 13 years before retiring. That alone made her a sympathetic character. Sitting on her webcam with a photo collage of her family in the background shouted “Granny.”
She didn’t win the million dollar top prize but was a great story and didn’t walk away empty handed by any means.
In legal news, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has now targeted Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Sports just as he did with FanDuel and DraftKings. Yahoo! has only been subpoenaed, though it’s inevitable they will be treated in the same manner as the two industry giants.
Also in the freedom stomping state of New York, a court ruled against FanDuel and DraftKings who sought a restraining order against the attorney general which would have prohibited him from stopping the two companies’ operations in New York.
It’s no surprise that the same system that gives Eric Schneiderman, a known casino shill, all his power, would rule against any appeal that DK and FD would bring forward.
It’s crystal clear that some states are going to fight tooth and nail to hold onto their gambling monopolies. Whether those monopolies are casinos or the state lottery, some states will simply not be DFS friendly. DFS companies, mainly the two giants, are going to spend a ton of money on legal fees to try and beat a legal system that’s rigged.
It might be a better plan for DraftKings and FanDuel to focus money on politicians in more freedom loving states that won’t try to slaughter this new industry to keep the good ole boy network in tact. Of course then there’s the federal government to contend with since everything online is considered their jurisdiction.
Check back next week for more DFS news. Hopefully there will be more good news about guys and gals winning money and having a blast instead of more bad news for the industry as a whole.