Week 15 Review – NFL DFS Reflections

Week 15 was rough; I did terribly in GPPs.

When reviewing my player exposures, it is obvious as to why I struggled. Here were my top plays and their respective Draftkings points:

  • D. Hopkins – 72% exposure, 4.10 DK points
  • T. Kraft – 60% exposure, 15.70 DK points
  • J. McKinnon – 59% exposure, 16.16 DK points
  • C. Lamb – 50% exposure, 18.60 DK points
  • P. Nacua – 49% exposure, 10.30 DK points
  • A. Gibson – 40% exposure, 8.50 DK points
  • Jets Defense – 40% exposure, 2 DK points
  • S. Barkley – 38% exposure, 5.70 DK points

I also played a lot of Bijan and the Giants D, both of whom flopped.

I like to review bad weeks because it helps identify flaws in player selection and decision making. I’m okay with the Hopkins flop because Hopkins should have had a much better performance against Houston. Many, if not most sources were in favor of playing Hopkins in week 15. A closer look at the data tells us more – despite the Houston pass defense ranking 25th in the NFL, they’ve only surrendered three 100+ plus receiving performances all season long.

Here’s something interesting – I based the decision to play Hopkins on upside, game environment, and his workload. 25 point upside and excellent target share at $6200 is a good bet when building a DK lineup, although I did not consider the fact that Houston ranks 12th in the NFL in points surrendered to wide receivers. So what does this mean?

For the sake of transparency, I didn’t get to prepare much for week 15 due to family and work commitments. I banked on Hopkins’ upside and workload, but did not take a deep dive into the data. I also trusted “the experts”, which if you Google Hopkins for week 15 DFS, you will find dozens of analysts saying to play him. This means that my process for picking wide receivers is a bit too informal. Had I looked at the DEF vs POS data, there’s no way I would’ve played Hopkins in 72% of my lineups.

What about Lamb and Nacua?

We’ve come to learn that either Cupp or Nacua will be the top WR for the Rams in a given week, and it isn’t surprising when one outproduces the other. Kupp was the top dog against the Commanders in a great matchup. Playing Nacua wasn’t a bad choice, and I knew the risk. The Commanders are so bad that a double-stack seemed like it made sense, but I did not deploy many of those for this game. I should have played Cupp in more lineups, but I went with Nacua due to pricing.

As for Lamb, the Buffalo/Dallas game had the highest over/under on the slate, and I thought that Lamb was preferrable to Stefon Diggs. Lamb wasn’t a bust, but I was hoping for at least 25 points at the $8+ price tag.

Saquon and the Jetsssss

I’ve faded Barkley for most of the season, but the Saints rushing defense has had troubles against the run this season. They rank 24th in the league in rushing yards surrendered, and I thought that Barkley would make a nice contrarian play at under 10% ownership. It seemed like a potential smash-spot, but it wasn’t to be.

I neglected the fact that the Saints don’t give up many rushing TD’s. I also neglected the fact that running backs don’t fare well in the passing game vs. the Saints, as they are in the top 5 in receptions allowed to RB’s per game. Shame on me. Again, this selection process needs to be more methodical.

Moving Forward

I’ve refined my processes this year, and almost took down a tournament a few weeks ago, but there is work to do. I was exposed in week 15. This season is almost over, so I hope to have this planned out for week 16.