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2023 NFL Week 7 DFS Lineup Recap: 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.

Week 7 DFS Lineup Recap

Mark Garcia’s Review

Contest: NFL $3.5 Fantasy Football Millionaire ($1 million to 1st)

Entrants: 207,215

Week 7 was not a profitable one for me in the mass multi-entry (MME) streets. I’ve now had three losing weeks in a row and will be dropping down in stakes as I tinker with my MME process. There were three theoretical stances I took on this slate that shaped the weekend for me:

  • I knew the running back position included vast amounts of fragility, particularly among the chalk. That led to a 50 percent stance on Jerome Ford and a 40 percent one on D’Onta Foreman.
  • I locked down Cooper Kupp across 150 rosters because I thought he’d be the player least likely to fail against the Pittsburgh Steelers completely — and he scored 6.90 fantasy points.
  • With the additional salary I had at my disposal through cheap running backs, I took an overweight stance on Davante Adams after he expressed concern regarding his usage in the Las Vegas Raiders’ offense.

Ford ripped off a 69-yard touchdown less than one minute into the game and was used sparingly before leaving in the fourth quarter with an injury. I kept this stance even after Kareem Hunt was announced as active because I thought it would reduce Ford’s ownership, but he still came in at 23 percent in the Milly.

Kupp was targeted heavily early but garnered additional defensive attention against a defense that switched to heavier rates of zone coverage, laying the groundwork for Puka Nacua to be the emphasized pass-catcher. I had Nacua on some rosters, but I had him almost entirely paired with Matthew Stafford and Kupp.

Finally, Adams started the game with seven targets in the first quarter and then didn’t see another one until late in the third quarter. I didn’t watch that game and haven’t watched the All-22 just yet, so I can’t speak intelligently as to why that was the case.

At quarterback, I ran four players: Brian Hoyer, Jordan Love, Deshaun Watson and Stafford. That lost me the week. I had a solid base for MME play with my heavy interest in cheap running backs, but I could not take advantage of the salary it opened up because I closed myself off to Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, either of whom was needed on this slate.

That was a major mistake and something I am analyzing moving forward. I need to get out of the single-entry and three-max mindset of narrowing my player pool so much. One or two major stances are good because they restrict the optimizer to areas I want to attack, but handcuffing things that much reduces the areas of the game tree I gain access to on a given slate.

Back to the drawing board for my personal play as I continue the transition to MME play.

Jordan Vanek’s Lineup

Contest: NFL $500K Power Sweep 3 Entry Max

Entrants: 3,703

In retrospect, two key factors hindered this lineup's potential for a top finish: Love's underperformance in an ideal matchup against the Denver Broncos and a misstep with Kupp as the Los Angeles Rams' wide receiver of choice. Following the 1:00 p.m. ET slate, this lineup held promise for a massive score, but ultimately, outcomes took an unexpected turn.

To enhance this lineup while maintaining its structure and fostering better correlation, a straightforward pivot would have been to replace Love, Kenneth Walker and the Baltimore Ravens defense with Jackson, Jahmyr Gibbs and the Kansas City Chiefs D/ST.

This significant shift would have solidified a Jackson stack and run-back strategy and retained a player from the Seattle Seahawks and the Rams. Given a selection of Gibbs, it would have been a wise move to opt for the Chiefs’ defense over the Ravens’.

These changes would have resulted in an improved score of 63.68 points, securing a ninth-place finish worth $3,000 in the Power Sweep. When aiming for first place in this lineup structure, the only potential upgrade could have been considering Gus Edwards instead of Zay Flowers. However, Edwards might not have initially been on your radar as a strong complement to your Jackson stack.

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