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2023 NFL Week 2 DFS Lineup Review: What We Can Learn From Results

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 the following article, we will review two of our lineups to give you insight into how we constructed them and where we went wrong.

NFL Week 2 DFS Review

Mark Garcia’s Review

Contest: $555 Millionaire Maker

Entrants: 6,051

The core of this roster came together around the Chicago BearsTampa Bay Buccaneers game. Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans and DJ Moore gave me a solid range of outcomes profile in one of the more unheralded game environments of the week. 

What drew me to this game was Chicago’s continued defensive struggles; the Bears have not fixed their defensive woes to begin the season. I knew that a three-player core would be extremely under-rostered and that I could do whatever I wanted with the rest of the roster.

My hammers were supposed to be the running backs, each of whom I had projected for 20 or more running back opportunities in their respective matchups. The process was on point, but both backs were products of their game environments, which tilted each offense away from the run game in negative game scripts.

Tee Higgins was coming off of a game with elite usage but zero production, and Keenan Allen was set up well to benefit from elite pass game volume. Both wide receivers were vastly underpriced for their respective ranges of outcomes and were in good game environments to have paths to multiple scores (both scored two touchdowns).

Adam Trautman and the New York Jets defense were my only two pieces in the afternoon portion of the slate. I spent the better part of an hour trying to find any viable pivots. I was deciding whether to pivot to Logan Thomas and the Arizona Cardinals defense or to leave them alone. 

Ultimately, I chose to leave them alone due to the expected rostership numbers on the Cardinals. That decision would have netted me an additional $600 on this roster, but I felt the process was legitimate.

In all, few running backs excelled on this slate, meaning there were a couple you “had to have” or you weren’t winning much. 

Jordan’s Lineup

Contest: NFL $600K Power Sweep 3-Entry Max

Entrants: 4,444

My lineup was straightforward: a game stack featuring the New York Giants/Cardinals, a mini-stack and two one-off running backs.

The standout play of the week was the Daniel Jones game stack. However, Jalin Hyatt couldn't get into the end zone, and Darren Waller couldn’t have a dominant performance. I noticed late in the week the Cardinals often positioned their safety close to the line of scrimmage against slot wide receivers, making Hyatt a favorable 1-on-1 matchup.

Where I went wrong was with the running back position. In hindsight, I should have played Rachaad White with the Buccaneers as part of a stack instead of using one-offs. Adjusting from Josh Jacobs to White would have allowed me to upgrade from Mike Williams to Allen, boosting my points. 

Considering the salary I invested in them, the running backs ended up being a weak link in my lineup.

I had high hopes for Jacobs, expecting him to see rushing attempts in 21 personnel against the Bills' nickel package. However, this didn't materialize in the first half, and the game script went against him. I need to be more flexible in my thinking and not be overly confident in a single outcome for a running back.

There were some surprises. Puka Nacua had a low roster percentage at just nine percent, which was unexpected. Many seemed to pivot to Nico Collins, who had a higher roster percentage at 12.2. The field is getting sharper with these optimizers, and players with intriguing pivots are no longer coming in as rostered.

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