Patriots Players Comprise Half of DraftKings All-Decade Team of DFS Monsters

Written By Derek Helling on December 11, 2019 - Last Updated on March 1, 2023
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The popularity of daily fantasy sports is a good indication of a strong market for sports betting. Given the fact that the DraftKings All-Decade Team for DFS features four New England Patriots players, Massachusetts could be a hot spot for legal sports betting.

There’s no activity on that front right now, however. The DFS popularity of players on the in-state NFL club makes that fact even more strange.

Who is on the DraftKings All-Decade DFS team?

DraftKings, which has been offering DFS products since 2012, recently compiled a dream team of eight players. The chosen players produced more DFS value than any other player at their respective positions.

The fantasy team of the decade is as follows:

  • QB: Tom Brady
  • RB: LeSean McCoy
  • RB: Le’Veon Bell
  • WR: Antonio Brown
  • WR: Julio Jones
  • WR: Demaryius Thomas
  • TE: Rob Gronkowski
  • Flex: T.Y. Hilton

While neither Brown nor Gronkowski are active NFL players and Thomas now plays for the New York Jets, all three were Patriots at some point during the past eight seasons. Brady is obviously the only active Patriot on the list.

It’s remarkable for one of the NFL’s 32 franchises to claim half of the players on this list. They helped DraftKings DFS players collect over $8 billion in prizes since 2012.

DraftKings says Brady accumulated over 2,900 standard fantasy points since 2012, leading all qualifying quarterbacks. Brown produced nearly 2,500 standard points in the same time frame.

Thomas churned over 2,120 points while Gronkowski retired with 1,572 points over his final seven seasons. Because of their production, these four players were among the most popular.

That popularity would translate over to sports betting easily. The fact is that Massachusetts is home to some of the most iconic sports brands in North America. That means some of the biggest sports fans, a demographic inclined to wagering on sporting events.

Bruins, Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox, oh my!

Boston is a contender for Titletown USA, with a number of championships from the four major North American professional sports. The popularity of Patriots like Brady in DFS play is proof of the commercial value of such.

It’s hard to put a number on the revenue that legal sportsbooks — and in turn the state — could have collected over the past eight seasons if sports betting were legal in Massachusetts. Given that Brady and Gronkowski were together for most of that time, the action could have been vast.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was in place for much of that time as well, unfortunately. That explains why online gambling for fans wanting to bet on Brady and Gronk were limited to DFS up until recently.

That doesn’t explain why Massachusetts has been so indifferent to its opportunity since the fall of PASPA, however. The state has potential that other states with legal sports betting, such as Iowa, would love to possess.


Not only is Massachusetts home to some of the greatest US sports franchises in history, it’s also home to the DFS giant itself. DraftKings has its headquarters in Boston and is becoming a popular online sportsbook operator in states across the country as legal sports betting spreads.

Perhaps losing revenue to yet another neighboring state when New Hampshire launches legal sports betting with DraftKings at the helm will provide some motivation. The best motivator, though, might be individual Massachusetts residents.

For fans who would like to see the action on Brady and Co. expand from DFS to sports betting, an email to their state representatives could help. It’s uncertain how much longer Brady will put up the numbers he has, so the window to cash in on his greatness is shrinking.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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