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 6 Results
The Turf Team (study lineup, 3-3): Ben Roethlisberger, Todd Gurley, Devonta Freeman, Adam Thielen, Terry McLaurin, Chase Claypool, Chris Herndon, Miles Sanders, Patriots DST – 96.18 points
The Computer (control lineup, 3-3): Ben Roethlisberger, Kareem Hunt, Miles Sanders, Adam Thielen, Terry McLaurin, A.J. Brown, Trey Burton, Chase Claypool, Dolphins DST – 139.98 points
Analysis: We don’t want to talk about this one. Week 6 was an unmitigated disaster, and let’s leave it at that. You also may have noticed that we skipped Week 7. Our study coordinators got together and realized that, due to the lack of payouts these lineups have gotten us along the way, maybe a week off was not a bad idea. But we’re back now for Week 8 with a few more bucks in our pockets and a pep in our step. Let’s see if we can give the computer a bit of its own medicine on Sunday.
Results to Date
|Study Lineups (3-3)||Control Lineups (3-3)|
|Best Single Lineup||141.84||151.80|
|Worst Single Lineup||96.18||123.96|
Week 3 Lineups
Study Lineup and Rationale
QB – Patrick Mahomes ($8,100) – We need to right the ship. And what better way to do that than with Mahomes against a JV team in the Jets.
RB – Le’Veon Bell ($4,600) – We aren’t scared of the shared workload with CEH. In fact, we think now that Bell has his feet wet with the Chiefs, a cakewalk game against the Jets could garner him some more touches. Can anyone say revenge game?
RB – Josh Jacobs ($6,200) – Jacobs is DUE to find the endzone. Simple as that.
WR – Nelson Agholor ($4,700) – We like Agholor here as a bit of a sleeper, and he should have ample opportunities to make some plays against a mediocre Browns defense.
WR – Tee Higgins ($5,600) – Joe Burrow looks like the real deal in Cincinnati, and Higgins has averaged roughly 15 yards/target in the previous 2 weeks. Good value here.
WR – Tyler Lockett ($7,100) – We want to ride the hot hand. Lockett put up 15 catches/200 yards/ 3 TDs on an insane 20 targets last week, and while he isn’t likely to do that again, he is still the favorite receiver of this year’s MVP frontunner in Russell Wilson.
TE – Jonnu Smith ($4,100) – Smith is gaining his stride following an injury, and gets a lovely matchup with the Bengals on Sunday.
FLEX – Jonathan Taylor ($6,600) – The rookie RB has been a steady source of touches this season, ballparking 15-20 carries and receptions combined per week.
DST – Green Bay Packers DST ($2,900) – Do the Packers have the best defense in the league? Nope. But it’s hard not pick the side going against Kirk Cousins in 2020, who is an interception waiting to be thrown.
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 Mahomes and Lockett.
QB – Patrick Mahomes ($8,100) – Same as us.
RB – Alvin Kamara ($8,200) – The computer’s best friend after Chris Herndon. No surprise here.
RB – Jamaal Williams ($6,100) – Williams will be a popular value-play this week between humans and robots alike, due to the injury to Aaron Jones. But we aren’t convinced about his effectiveness, and tend to shy away from the high ownership percentage with Williams.
WR – Tyler Lockett ($7,100) – Same as us.
WR – Keenan Allen ($6,200) – Rock steady, and hard to argue against Allen. But Denver may give rookie QB Justin Herbert more trouble than we’d expect, as they are currently a top-10 defense in the NFL.
WR – Kendrick Bourne ($3,500) – Not a bad choice, given how injury-riddled the 49ers offense has become. Bourne could see a lot of action on Sunday.
TE – Hunter Henry ($4,200) – Between Henry and Allen, we think the computer may be unwise to stack receivers against a sneaky good Broncos defense.
FLEX – Deonte Harris ($3,300) – Lump this pick as a package with Kendrick Bourne, in a sense. This is a VERY top-heavy lineup for the computer with Mahomes, Kamara, and Lockett all above a $7,000 price tag. Maybe Harris does something this weekend, but he seems to just be a way to free up cap room for bigger guns (as does Bourne).
DST – Buffalo Bills DST ($3,300) – Given the weather conditions projected in Buffalo on Sunday, and the profound ineptitude of the Patriots offense lately, this (on paper) is an excellent pick.