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 Week 3 lineups to give you insight into how we constructed them and where we went wrong.
NFL Week 3 DFS Review
Mark Garcia’s Review
Contest: NFL $200K Double Spy Single Entry
The final score on this roster looks solid. Still, the reality is it had zero chance of winning a GPP tournament this week due to the running back situation and the disappointing performance from River Cracraft after his early game shoulder injury.
Furthermore, this roster was my “hedge roster,” or the roster I had in play to hedge off of the leverage I had in play this week. In other words, I am simply unlikely to win weeks in which the chalk goes off — and that’s OK.
This roster started with the game of the week, the Los Angeles Chargers at the Minnesota Vikings. I knew I wanted to attack that game environment in a way the field was unlikely to do, which led to TE T.J. Hockenson as the starting point.
Because Hockenson has such a low aDOT role with the Vikings, I knew he would almost certainly require multiple touchdowns to become optimal, which meant he must be paired with his quarterback, Kirk Cousins. Furthermore, Cousins would require at least 300 yards and three touchdowns to be optimal. Those additional yards had to come from somewhere, meaning any Cousins roster in play that also contained Hockenson would require an additional Vikings piece — here: Justin Jefferson.
On the other side of that game, I knew Mike Williams would be popular, so I chose to bring it back with the higher-priced Keenan Allen and attempt to capture the bulk of the rushing output through Joshua Kelley.
Tank Dell, Cracraft and Kendre Miller were the skeleton key pieces who made this build possible, with Dell providing value and the other two falling short in good spots. Finally, the Buffalo Bills’ defense was the top play on paper. I knew the roster was constructed in a way where I didn’t need to be worried about high rostership.
As we said above, the roster came together well from a theoretical perspective but had zero chance of winning without a member of the Miami Dolphins backfield.
Contest: NFL $600K Power Sweep 3-Entry Max
During the final 30 minutes before the lineup lock, I made the decision to construct a lineup centered on Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. While these two premium players were certainly appealing, I soon realized my lineup lacked the essential game correlation needed for success in DFS.
To improve the lineup, there are several hypothetical scenarios. One option is to focus on replacing Tyreek Hill and Javonte Williams with more correlated players. Doing so could have freed up $14,500 in salary cap space. This would have allowed me to select Kenneth Walker as a running back to create a mini-stack with Adam Thielen instead of Williams. Additionally, I could have swapped out Kendre Miller for Zack Moss, forming a mini-stack with Zay Flowers. This adjustment would have left me with $7,100 to use for a flex position.
Without picking De’Von Achane, I should have selected Raheem Mostert and upgraded to the Bills’ defense. This strategic move would have added a substantial 86.7 points to my lineup, potentially making it one of the best Power sweep lineups on the slate. However, the reality of the situation led me to consider playing Travis Etienne over Mostert, which would have still yielded a respectable 59.3 points.
In hindsight, this lineup is a valuable reminder of the importance of building a lineup with strong correlations and not solely focusing on individual players.
Jamming in a $9,000 wide receiver alongside the highest-priced quarterback and tight end while neglecting game correlation is not the optimal approach. Balancing player choices and considering their synergy is key to constructing a winning DFS lineup.