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DraftKings Thursday $2.5M Showdown: Play a Kicker?

DraftKings has put a lot into its single-game Showdown contest, with $2.5M in total prize money ($1M to first) for the winner of the kickoff Thursday contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons.

This article is a continuation of a series that went through optimal roster allocations for different positions based on what actually happened in historically similar matchups.

You can read more about the methodology and optimal Captain allocations, total roster construction, and how pairing Nick Foles with Mike Wallace could be the winning Showdown formula.

In this article, we’re digging into the overlooked but nevertheless important DST and K positions. How to approach these positions adds an wrinkle beyond the more obvious potential stacking of offensive players. Luckily, the results from the optimal lineups in our historically similar matchups provide some answers.

How important are the DST and K positions?

We found in the first CPT-focused article that K is a long-shot for the role, and that DST made up roughly 7.5% of CPTs in optimal lineups.

We also dug further into the total roster allocations and the graph below from that article shows you that DST and K were present on optimal rosters, though none had two of either position.

We can dig even further than that to find the optimal lineup allocations for the favorite (Eagles) and underdog (Falcons) DST and K separately.

These aren’t allocations on the scale of QB, but neither position should be faded either. DST was present on over 40% of optimal lineups, with the favorite defense on a quarter by itself. CPT allocations were much rarer.

Which positions do we use with DST and K?

Now that we know we shouldn’t totally fade either position, let’s look to see which positions were most often paired.

First, let’s look at a similar roster allocation graph to the one above for all lineups, but only focus on those with DST rostered.

Now let’s take a look at optimal lineups with K rostered.

Takeaways

Close inspection of the overall optimal lineup allocations and those that had DST or K gives us few hints for how to construct lineups with DST or K.

- QB allocations are down in both, with a higher percentage have no QBs in K lineups, and much fewer that had two quarterbacks in both. Using a DST or K will free up salary, but we might not want necessarily spend that to pay for two QBs.

- RB1 and WR1 get a relative boost in DST/K lineups, which makes sense to fill the void left from fewer QBs

- WR2 and WR3 also are much higher in K lineups than overall, and could provide value as a landing spot for salary that you’re not using on QB.

When you play a DST or K, you’re hoping for a downside overall outcome in scoring. Unsurprisingly, games that had an optimal lineup with a DST or K were much lower scoring that the entire set of historically similar games: 41.5 points total versus 45.4.

Comments

  • CentralizedMind

    Why only DK premium if this easily applies to Fanduel as well?

  • PARKEREMPIRE

    Fanduel doesn’t have defense, they have a superflex, all positions except def

  • DrAFTPUNK1

    This says kicker….. Which is only on FD?

  • PARKEREMPIRE

    You can play kicker on dk too

  • Tubbyprince

    That isn’t true at all. Go check the slate again, the kickers are there

  • Coreyobrien639

    Thanks Kevin for all the showdown work this year! All this NFL data has got me a little confused..did you say what the optimal ratio of players is? I mean would it be to play 2qbs,2wr,2rb..2qbs,3wr, 1 rb? 1 te?Thanks you a the man!

  • cjeagle3

    Agreed. If we aren’t getting FD content, this should be available

  • ihaveareputation

    • x3

      2016 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • x2

      2018 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    My guess is it’s because FD doesn’t provide CSVs of the contests, so it’s much harder to gather this data. Either way, this is awesome stuff for DK. Thanks, Kevin!

  • colekev

    @cjeagle3 said...

    Agreed. If we aren’t getting FD content, this should be available

    We got the FD data much later than DK. We’re still working on processes and making sure all the numbers are right. Should add FD to analyses soon. Thanks for being patient.

  • colekev

    @Coreyobrien639 said...

    Thanks Kevin for all the showdown work this year! All this NFL data has got me a little confused..did you say what the optimal ratio of players is? I mean would it be to play 2qbs,2wr,2rb..2qbs,3wr, 1 rb? 1 te?Thanks you a the man!

    There are only six spots. So you want to think about the optimal numbers above in relation to that.

  • boilermakerbeef

    @colekev said...

    There are only six spots. So you want to think about the optimal numbers above in relation to that.

    Do you have the most common combination(s) for optimal lineups? It would be helpful to know that 2 QBs, 3WRs, 1TE, is the most common combination for optimal lineups.

  • Coreyobrien639

    @boilermakerbeef said...

    Do you have the most common combination(s) for optimal lineups? It would be helpful to know that 2 QBs, 3WRs, 1TE, is the most common combination for optimal lineups.

    This is what i was getting at haha

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