Articles DFS

Build in the Edge – Breaking Down the DFS Process

This week I am trying a new approach to provide you that cutting edge that you need to win these GPPs. My approach to lineup building is still the same (RB1, RB2, DST, WR, WR, WR, TE, QB, Flex), but what I realized there is this urge to maximize all the possible edges I can when building these lineups.

Stack Types

Everyone knows that stacks are one significant edge that can be had for our tournament lineups, but often people will put this concept in a neat little box that only allows for a passer and receiver. But there are many types of stacks that many players simply do not consider because it seems less probable to hit. Here are some of the stacks I will be discussing from here on out:

Passer – Receiver

This is a pretty standard stack, but you must not limit this to a wide receiver. Any type of pass catcher qualifies as a receiver. This opens up the Newton/McCaffrey or the Mahomes/Kelce type stacks. For these type of stacks we want to find high scoring games where it will project to be a shootout.

Passer – Receivers

This looks like the previous, but it changes because now you are having multiple pass catchers in the lineup from the same team. This worked pretty well for a Cousins/Thielen/Diggs stack in week 2 giving you 100 points on three players. They were expensive, but if you were able to identify values like Will Fuller, Keelan Cole, Tyler Boyd, or corey clement, you had a really good chance of bringing home some cash. These heavier stacks don’t always have to be expensive. Watson, Fuller, Hopkins cost a lot less and yielded ~75 points leaving you 6 other players to accumulate points.

Running Back – Defense

This type of stack is completely underrated. There is a definite correlation between great defensive performances and running back opportunities. If a team is heavily favored and their opponent is terrible on offense (looking at you Arizona and Buffalo) it would make sense that a running back will get the late carry volume in clock killing situations. The Rams/Gurley stack produced ~44 fantasy points last week and Chargers/Gordon gave 41 points. Lets say we found a way to combine the Watson/Fuller/Hopkins stack with Gurley/Rams; that would give us 119 points! This scenario still leaves you 4 slots to work with.

Passer – Opposing Receiver

This is sometimes called a “game stack”. Perfect examples of this type of play would include all the games Kansas City has been involved in for these first two weeks and the Tampa Bay @ New Orleans game. The idea is that a shootout demands a correlation between offensive scoring. Often times the only way for opponents to keep pace with a high power offense is the throw the ball themselves. These type of games filled with offensive fireworks will often provide opportunities to some of the less expensive players.

For example, Drew Brees and Michael Thomas are a really productive stack right now. In that same game in week 1 we could have stacked with Mike Evans who was cheap in Draft Kings knowing that Fitzpatrick would likely depend on him to move the ball and keep pace with the Saints. Brees was also inexpensive compared to what I was expecting. That stack was 96 points. But these are tournaments we are dealing with and what if we were to look for the contrarian side of this with a Fitzpatrick/Jackson/Thomas stack? That’s 111 points with plenty of salary cap to burn!

Other Edges

Injuries

Injuiries can be the bane of our existence, and if you are like me, the lack of the “Probable” status makes it so much worse. However, we can commonly utilize this information to identify possible opportunities.

Opportunity Vacuums

This normally pertains to running backs where the “1” on the team is out. This provides cheap buy-in for all those opportunities. We still want to be sure it is opportunity behind a solid offensive line because the backup is normally not as talented as who they are substituting. This isn’t strictly for running backs though. There are limited opportunities to exploit this in the case of a wide receiver being out. You must watch some film to know if the incoming receiver can fill the vacancy or if the opposing defense is exploitable.

Don’t be afraid to start a backup if you know that the primary back is dealing with “nagging” issues. Sometimes it could be worth a shot in the dark even if the primary is “ready to play”. Lower body and back injuries tend to reoccur with volume of usage. This situation could cause the coaching staff being easy with them affording your super low-owned player to get unforeseen opportunities.

Opponent Linebacker Injuries

This is a sneaky area to identify plus match ups for running backs. I noticed a lot last year that you could almost count on running back production to go up when the opposing middle linebacker went out with an injury. Injuries to your Sean Lee and Luke Keuchly type linebackers normally breaks the tie for me in selecting between running back I feel are really close. To an extent, one could also examine defensive tackle injuries as well.

Opponent Cornerback/Safety Injuries

This is probably pretty obvious, but receivers get a little boost when the opponent suffers injuries to the secondary. Think about every game where you may have seen an injury to a corner. The very next play, most play callers want to test the replacement. This, like the linebacker injury, warrants a plus to the receivers across the board. Safety injuries are a little different because they often aren’t tested directly, but for those receivers that have a higher percentage of deep routes, these injuries give them a little edge as well.

Contrarian Plays

The bottom line here is ownership percentage. We want to be one of the few who believed in a player that explodes out of nowhere. When we can combine an ownership advantage with salary cap savings…. “now were cooking with peanut oil!” as the old saying goes. These plays are against the grain, against the odds, and many times against the stats. Now this doesn’t mean that all rationality is out the window, but rather looking for the silver lining that exists in the cloud of gloom and doom stats, numbers, and opinions against a particular selection. An example is Fitzpatrick playing at a world-beater level against the Eagles, one of the better defenses in the league with the Vegas odds showing a much lower scoring game with the Bucs as home dogs. These are often your valuable money makers.

Moving Forward

What you, the reader, can look forward to going forward is an article with a focus on these edges. I recommend trying to combine several of these edges into a single lineup. Don’t over do it and try to work all of these in, but rather use the edges to identify where you may enjoy a more explosive roster. Building this way has it’s inherent risks, but it provides the advantage of uniqueness that provides that real edge to hit it big in these tournaments. Can’t wait to give you some takes for week 4!

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A computer systems instructor with a passion for the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles, and fantasy football (especially DFS and dynasty). Trying to crack the tough DFS nut utilizing my computer skills to tailor my research. Meshing my passion and work ethic to provide readers a different perspective on fantasy football analysis.

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