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The Turf DFS Study: Week 4 Results, and Week 5 Lineups

The humans blew a chance to make it 3 wins in a row. Also Chris Herndon is back!

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The Turf DFS Study: Week 4 Results, and Week 5 Lineups


Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

This article is part of the Turf’s very technical, very smart, and very scientific randomized-control trial pitting us humans against the robots in Daily Fantasy Football. To read the original study protocol, click here.

Week 4 Results

The Turf Team (study lineup, 2-2): Nick Foles, Jonathan Taylor, Joe Mixon, Tyler Lockett, Cooper Kupp, Emmanuel Sanders, Jordan Akins, Tyler Boyd, Ravens DST – 135.76 points

The Computer (control lineup, 2-2): Dak Prescott, Alvin Kamara, Ronald Jones, Tyler Lockett, Cooper Kupp, D.J. Moore, Darren Waller, Logan Thomas, Dolphins DST – 139.08 points

Analysis: The computer bested us in Week 4, bringing the head-to-head records to 2-2 for both the study and control groups. The Turf lineup failed to capitalize on a whopping 45.10 DFS points from Joe Mixon. Jordan Akins had his afternoon cut short with an injury, Jonathan Taylor couldn’t get much going, and Tyler Lockett was a non-factor after tearing it up in the previous week. The computer’s lineup earned well over half its points from Prescott, Kamara, and Jones, a clear indicator that QBs and RBs were the true difference-maker here.


Results to Date

Study Lineups (2-2)Control Lineups (2-2)
Total Points530.38559.12
Average Points/Contest132.60139.78
Best Single Lineup141.84151.80
Worst Single Lineup125.80126.74
Range16.0425.06

Week 3 Lineups

Study Lineup and Rationale

QB – Gardner Minshew II ($6,200) – A mediocre Texans defense means we may very well see a little Minshew Madness on Sunday.

RB – ToddGurley II ($5,700) – While perhaps not the DFS powerhouse of years past, Gurley has carved out a productive role within the Falcons offense. He also sees a good matchup against the Panthers.

RB – James Robinson ($6,700) – We are going with two photographed RBs on DraftKings for the first time. Our RB play has often been a weak spot, so we are going with one of the NFL’s biggest surprises in Robinson.

WR – Brandon Aiyuk ($5,200) – A threat on the ground and in the air, Aiyuk doesn’t need many touches to rack up yards and scores. Perhaps a sneaky good value here at $5,200.

WR – Amari Cooper ($7,400) – This dude saw a whopping 16 targets last week. He’s on a warpath, and going up against a soft Giants defense.

WR – Darius Slayton ($4,800) – A cheaper Amari Cooper this week. Excellent target volume, and a lovely matchup against a horrid Cowboys secondary.

TE – Mark Andrews ($6,200) – Many folks may shy away from Andrews because of the injury designation, but we’d like to think even injured players can put up points against Cincinnati.

FLEX – Demarcus Robinson ($3,800) – Our sleeper pick this week. No catches and no targets last week means no ownership, and could prove big when it comes to perhaps finding a payout in the DFS contest.

DST – Los Angeles Rams DST ($4,000) – The Rams are a lock for sacks and turnovers, and should be able to keep Washington off the scoreboard for the most part.


Control Lineup

A reminder. Our control lineup is created by an online optimizer picked at random. However, due to DraftKings Terms of Service, we have to manually select two players to build around. So, in order to maintain the internal validity of our study, we use the two most expensive players from our lineup to even things out, and ensure the ONLY difference between our lineups are players the computer picked on its own.

This week, the computer optimized its lineup around Cooper and Robinson.

QB – Deshaun Watson ($6,900) – Okay computer, we see you. Taking the opposite QB as the humans. Message received.

RB – Ezekiel Elliott ($7,800) – The pinnacle of an incredibly top-heavy lineup, Zeke doesn’t leave much money to be spread around when combined with Cooper and Watson. This might be the computer’s undoing.

RB – James Robinson ($6,700) – Same as us.

WR – Robby Anderson ($5,900) – Anderson may quietly be the most consistent WR of the 2020 season. Nothing wrong with this pick.

WR – Amari Cooper ($7,400) – Same as us.

WR – Isaiah Wright ($3,000) – When you draft as top-heavy of a lineup as this one, you are stuck taking Isaiah Wright to round things out. We don’t know who this is.

TE – Chris Herndon ($3,200) – If we told the computer it was being sent to a deserted island, and it could have one tight end for the rest of its computer life, we all know who it would pick.

FLEX – Kareem Hunt ($6,500) – Even with an expected increase in touches, Hunt faces a tough Colts defense. Might be too high of a price tag considering there’s plenty of more favorable RB matchups to be had.

DST – Houston Texans DST ($2,600) – Odd choice to pit your DST against your most expensive RB in your lineup.


Is it time for the humans to get back into the win column? Will Chris Herndon finally do something to return the computer’s unconditional love?

Let’s see what Week 5 has in store.


Do you know someone who thinks they’re Bill Belichick when it comes to Fantasy Football, but in reality, they’re Lane Kiffin? Let them know! Send them a TurfBurn!

Turf Burns are a way to buy real estate in your league’s heads the old fashioned way: The United States Postal Service.

Want to embarrass someone on a weekday? Send them a Turf Burn to their office.

Want their spouse and family to know how badly you annihilated their roster last week? Send them one at home!

Want to send one every week, as your calling card? Guess what?! Turf Burns can do that.

Turf Burns. It’s a touchdown celebration sent through the mail!

Ryan Kelly lives in Cambridge, MA, a stone's throw away from his beloved Boston teams. When he is not working as an editorial assistant, he is providing commentary on the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins for The Turf.

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