With football only being once a week (not including Thursday games) there is a lot that goes into making a lineup. Many things change from when you make your original lineup to the actual lineup you use when games lock.
I’m going to take you through my weekly process of creating a lineup.
Depending on what site you play, games and player prices are released on Monday or Tuesday. In my book, “Daily Fantasy Strategies: Football Edition,” I talk about how important it is to take advantage of Freerolls so I always sign up for the them right when games release to get a feel for how the pricing is going to be set.
Now one of the great things about Draftkings is you can create a lineup without joining a contest. You can create as many as you want and choose which one you want to use in contests.
Before I look at anything, I take a look at the opening Vegas lines. I will either check out Bovada.lv or some other sites to see what the odds makers think is going to happen in the upcoming week. I like to target the games with the highest O/U or I like to pick on the crap teams.
I like to see what’s trending with teams and get a feel for what players are getting the most targets and touches. Then I see which teams those players are facing and try to calculate who has the best match up.
One trend I try to avoid is selecting or not selecting a player based on last week’s performance. This is a very popular trend in DFS and a lot of people fall victim to it.
A great example is when Knile Davis and Jamal Charles blew up on the Patriots, everyone was on the Cincinnati running backs the next week thinking they would do the same thing. That wasn’t the case and a lot of people got burned.
Defense vs Position
I like to look at the top five Defense vs Position stats. I will typically write down all the top five players at every position and compare pricing. This along with the Vegas odds for team points gives me a good idea on who I want to target. Sometimes the players are pretty obvious and priced accordingly, but sometimes you will find guys in a better scenario than the highest priced players at the positions.
In the middle of the week, I try to find out which players are going to be the popular plays of the week. I kind of thumb through multiple articles and see what names seem to appear in all of them.
Some sites will lock and display lineups once the Thursday game starts. This is a great way to see which way the general public is going, and allow you to adjust accordingly.
Last week, Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning were hands down the highest owned QB’s and this means two things to me. Either go with Manning or Ryan in cash games, and don’t go with either of them in GPP’s and find someone you think will do better.
The other highest owned players were Brandon Oliver and Julius Thomas. I decided to stick with Oliver because of his price and pivot from Thomas with Jordan Cameron.
Friday and Saturday News
Keep up with player news and see if something important breaks. Rotoworld is my home page and I’m always checking to see what is going on.
Here are a few examples that made the biggest difference for me this past week.
Everyone assumed Mike Evans was going to sit, and out of nowhere it was said that he was going to play. I looked at his price (on Victiv) and saw that he was 2k. This means he needs six points to get three times his salary. I couldn’t pass that up. I swapped him with Wes Welker and used the money I saved to upgrade my QB from Hoyer to Cutler. That ended being the difference in that lineup because Cutler/Evans scored 22 more points than Hoyer/Welker and I cashed in the big tournament there.
When to Find Value
In the middle of the week is where you find value plays so it’s really important to plug them in. If they are ruled out before player pricing is released, their back ups will likely have adjusted. But you will find the min priced guys when the news breaks mid week.
Sometimes this news will break early Sunday morning so never fall in love with your lineup. If you see a really cheap player that is going to get 20 plus touches, you have to take them. I even took Storm Johnson because he was so cheap and was starting. I knew he wouldn’t do great, but he should at least pay off his min price salary (and he did).
Again, this is something I do each week to create winning lineups.