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The Turf DFS Study: Week 9 Lineups

Patrick Laird might get someone fired. Yeah, shit’s getting real.

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The Turf DFS Study: Week 9 Lineups

Estimated Reading Time: 5 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 6 Results

The Turf Team (study lineup, 3-4): Patrick Mahomes, Josh Jacobs, Le’Veon Bell, Tyler Lockett, Tee Higgins, Nelson Agholor, Jonnu SMith, Jonathan Taylor, Packers DST – 93.94 points

The Computer (control lineup, 4-3): Patrick Mahomes, ALvin Kamara, Jamaal Williams, Tyler Lockett, Keenan Allen, Kendrick Bourne, Hunter Henry, Deonte Harris, Bills DST – 144.24 points

Analysis: Last week, our post-contest analysis began like this:

“We don’t want to talk about this one.”

Welp, guess what boys and girls? We don’t want to talk about this one either. The humans have been taken to school for two consecutive weeks, and this time we put up what is now the single-worst lineup between both study groups of this trial so far. Only Mahomes showed up for us, and unfortunately due to our study design, he was a cornerstone piece of the computer’s lineup as well. Bell, Lockett, Smith, Agholor, Taylor, and the Packers DST combined for a BRUTAL 24.10 points, and sank our shot at retribution from the previous week’s debacle. No time to lick our wounds though, Week 9 is coming in hot.

Results to Date

Study Lineups (3-4)Control Lineups (4-3)
Total Points756.60823.06
Average Points/Contest121.51138.19
Best Single Lineup141.84151.80
Worst Single Lineup93.94123.96

Week 3 Lineups

Study Lineup and Rationale

QB – Deshaun Watson ($7,100) – Excellent matchup for Watson against the struggling Jaguars. Watson has averaged nearly 25 DFS points per week and is reasonably priced given his floor and matchup.

RB – Dalvin Cook ($8,200) – Same story as Watson. Another plus for Cook is that the run game could get heavy use if the Vikings jump out to an early lead against Detroit, who will be without Kenny Golladay and possibly Matthew Stafford (pending further COVID testing).

RB – Patrick Laird ($4,000) – The only thing you need to know about the Laird pick is that his performance this weekend could cost someone here at the Turf their job.

WR – Cole Beasley ($5,400) – With John Brown producing little to nothing on the field, Beasley is an enticing pick here as the Bills number-2 receiving option against a terrible Seahawks secondary.

WR – Christian Kirk ($5,300) – Kirk has 7 catches and 4 TDs in his last two games and is sneakily emerging as a low-cost red-zone target. His overall production is very TD-dependent, but we like him to once again find the endzone this week.

WR – Laviska Shenault, Jr. ($4,200) – Does Jacksonville suck? Yes. Are they starting a rookie QB on Sunday? Yes. But that only means low-ownership here, and we like to be different.

TE – Mark Andrews ($4,100) – Baltimore has a tough matchup with the Colts, and Andrews has had a down year overall. But like Shenault, this could result in a low-ownership gem of a pick.

FLEX – Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,100) – CEH was honestly a reactionary move after we slot Laird in. So his performance, in addition to Laird’s, will be watched very closely by the clear liability among the Turf study team (he’s sorry in advance).

DST – Pittsburgh Steelers DST ($4,900) – Never seen a DST priced at nearly $5k, and honestly, this may be too cheap of a price tag. Do we even know who Dallas will have at QB on Sunday? Does Dallas even know?

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 Cook and Watson.

QB – Deshaun Watson ($7,100) – Same as us.

RB – Dalvin Cook ($8,200) – Same as us.

RB – Justin Jackson ($4,900) – Let it be known that one of the humans had Jackson in our lineup originally, but Laird won the spot in the end. The computer just knows how to twist the knife.

WR – Tyler Lockett ($6,800) – For the 100th time, the computer goes with Lockett. Hard to blame it, though.

WR – Marvin Jones ($5,100) – Not a bad way to go, given the loss of Golladay this week. But, if Stafford can’t go, this pick may go down the tubes fast.

WR – Diontae Johnson ($5,000) – Johnson will either have 2 catches, or 12. And knowing the computer’s luck, I bet we know what the answer to that question will be.

TE – Travis Kelce ($7,200) – Between Henry and Allen, we think the computer may be unwise to stack receivers against a sneaky good Broncos defense.

FLEX – Marcus Johnson ($3,000) – Who even is this? All we know about him is that he’s questionable to go this Sunday. Perhaps this is just the computer’s way of affording Cook, Kelce, Lockett, and Watson in the same lineup.

DST – New York Giants DST ($2,700) – Not a terrible matchup against Washington, but as with their FLEX choice, the computer just needed to free up cash for a top heavy lineup.

Do the humans have any fight in them left? Will they have a vacant position on staff available come Monday?

Week 9 with a lot on the line.

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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