With just over two minutes remaining in this week’s Monday Night Football game at Levi’s Stadium, the host San Francisco 49ers led the Minnesota Vikings 20-3.
Game over, right? Not so for Jared Beisel of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, who was leading the $10 million DraftKings Week 1 Millionaire Maker Contest by a little more than one point – with $1 million on the line.
The game got even tighter for Beisel when 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, owned by a DraftKings entrant known as BALLAH, ran for nine yards and a first down just before the two-minute warning.
Had Hyde run two yards further, Beisel immediately would have lost his DraftKings’ contest lead. But with only two minutes left all seemed safe as the 49ers appeared ready to take a knee. . . except they instead ran Hyde for another five yards on first down, bumping Beisel to second place behind eventual $2 million winner BALLAH.
It was a bad beat for sure, but not too bad. Beisel, 25, still will receive $1 million for second place. As the ESPN League Manager with the highest score in the DraftKings contest, he’ll collect another $1 million, which will be split among the 17 fantasy players, including Beisel, in the two ESPN Fantasy Leagues he plays in.
Front Row caught up with Beisel, who makes his living selling replacement HVAC parts, to ask him a few questions as he set his lineups for Week 2. (Warning: He’s a bit of a jokester.)
What was it like for you in the closing minutes of the game Monday night?
All I thought about was how Hyde was still playing with a perfectly good Australian [49ers rookie running back Jarryd Hayne] waiting on the pine.
So we can assume you’re not a Carlos Hyde fan, huh?
I don’t hate him. I still like him. You can tell him I said that.
Who were the key players in your DK lineup that allowed you to do so well?
Everyone but the defense. I loved [Philadelphia Eagles star] Darren Sproles as the No. 3 running back. He’s third on the depth chart and still got me like 18 points.