In DFS, crafting the perfect lineup is an art and a science. It requires a deep understanding of player dynamics, game environments and the unpredictable nature of sports.
In this article, we will review two of our lineups to give you insight into how we constructed them and where we went wrong.
WEEK 13 DFS LINEUP RECAP
Mark Garcia’s Review
Contest: $100 Spy
After last week’s debacle, I took the required time to shake things off so that I could be at my best for Week 13. And once again, the process felt on point.
If you followed along with the process for the week, you remember there were four primary concerns for us in Week 13. The first was the realization that scoring was expected to be up compared with recent weeks, meaning we were likely to require higher raw point totals to ship GPPs. The next was that we had to account for Zack Moss in some fashion due to his extreme ownership levels.
Next up were the Miami Dolphins, who we deemed as a team we had to account for on the slate. Finally, the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles carried the highest chances of developing into a true slate-breaker, meaning we should be prioritizing it in our builds.
And the week pretty much played out that way.
A higher score was required to ship majors. We accounted for Moss (the clearest path to him failing was for someone else from the Indianapolis Colts to succeed). The Dolphins returned two GPP-viable scores (Tyreek Hill and De’Von Achane). Brock Purdy was the overall QB1 on the slate, Deebo Samuel the WR1 and A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith returned GPP-viable scores.
I crushed, then, right?
The pieces didn’t completely come together for me this week as I danced up the leaderboards through heavy exposure to the late games, primarily 49ers-Eagles. Brevin Jordan and Greg Dortch unlocked so much of the slate for me as the two best projectable value pieces on the slate.
Dortch proceeded to score less than 10 DK points for just the second time in 10 games where he was in a route on more than 80 percent of the team’s dropbacks over the previous two seasons, and Jordan simply didn’t see the volume to put up a true differentiator-type score, doing just fine at 9.40 DK points for minimum salary.
The biggest leverage pull from this particular roster was Achane paired with the Miami defense because the clearest path to Hill failure flowed through his spotty snap rates in blowout wins this year.
Hill had six games below 67 percent of the snaps played heading into Week 13. I knew the clearest path for his snap rates to be held in check would be for an early defensive score, which would then result in a higher second half workload for Achane. That is exactly what ended up happening, but Hill did the bulk of the damage on the way up, which was always a possibility.
Furthering the leverage on this slate was the Purdy–Brandon Aiyuk–Samuel–Brown primary stack, which took the three skill position players who were in the best spots on paper from the game environment I had singled out as the top environment on the slate.
As you can see, it wasn’t simply a “play Brown over Hill” type of bet, it was a layered and well-constructed leverage stance that provided a clearer path to first place than simply playing Hill with Moss. Either way, it was back to Profitville after the most tilting DFS weekend of my career, which does wonders for my confidence moving forward.
Jordan Vanek’s Lineup
Contest: NFL $500K Power Sweep [$100K to first place, three entry max]
This weekend, I initially locked in Moss and Hill for my lineups. However, Moss didn't perform as expected, and in hindsight, Derrick Henry and a focus on the passing game with Gardner Minshew, Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce would have been more successful.
Hill delivered as anticipated against the Washington Commanders. To improve the lineup, I would have considered swapping Tua Tagovailoa for Purdy; the 49ers D/ST for the Dolphins D/ST; and Juwan Johnson for Trey McBride for better correlation with George Pickens. Additionally, Rachaad White would replace Achane due to salary constraints.
While this hypothetical lineup adjustment could have yielded a top 10 finish in the Power Sweep, the biggest mistake I had was working around the locked-in choices of a $9,600 Hill and a $4,600 Moss. I don’t believe I would have changed that based on the specific situation, but being more aware of his path to failing and of the Tennessee Titans’ lack of a secondary should have been more important in my decision-making.
Sometimes, the reality with lineup-building is you can have weeks where the path to perfection was never in the cards and you need to move forward to the next one. This weekend, I had a lot of great plays, but piecing everything together was not going to happen.