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Anatomy of a Winning GPP Lineup

Anatomy of a Winning GPP Lineup

We have all had our hindsight moments and will always remember the plays that didn’t happen. Here, we will dissect our most significant wins and why they were successful. Conversely, we will be critiquing our builds and justifying them with context. By the end of this article, you will feel ready to create your own winning DFS lineup.

Matt’s Milly Lineup (2021 Season, Week 3)

In Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season, I took home first place in several contests, including the Milly Maker. My total profits from that week were a little over $1.3 Million. That is something DFS players dream of, and my dream came true.

Matt’s $1 Million Win: DraftKings $555 $3M Fantasy Football Millionaire, 6,000 entries, 1st place $1 Millon

Pos Name Team OPP Salary Points Rostership
QB Matthew Stafford LAR TAM $6,400 32.52 9.2%
RB Saquon Barkley NYG ATL $6,500 21.40 22.1%
RB Alexander Mattison MIN SEA $6,000 26.10 22.3%
WR Cooper Kupp LAR TAM $6,800 30.60 33.3%
WR Mike Williams LAC KAN $6,400 36.20 6.8%
WR Chris Godwin TAM LAR $6,100 19.60 23.3%
TE Tyler Higbee LAR TAM $4,000 15.00 12.8%
FLEX Clyde Edwards-Helaire KAN LAC $4,800 20.90 22.4%
DEF Cardinals ARI JAX $3,000 18.00 12.7%

Looking at the build, you’ll notice I had double-stacked the Rams and returned with Chris Godwin. Correlating your double stack gives you tons of upside, and that’s exactly what you need when playing a large field GPP. I like to start by building my stack and then filling in from there. So, let us begin with that.

With the Buccaneers’ offense clicking on all cylinders in the first two weeks, I felt like the Rams had to come out firing, and they did. Stafford at $6,400 in a game that I thought would be a shootout is an easy play—especially on Draftkings with the 300-yard passing bonus.

Pairing Stafford with Cooper Kupp at $6,800 was never in question. I didn’t mind the chalk there. Deciding between Higbee or Woods came down to a few things: projected rostership %, projected target share, matchup, and value at the two different positions. I decided on Higbee to complete the double stack because he was much cheaper, less rostered, and there weren’t any other TEs I was interested in compared to WR. With Antonio Brown out for the Buccaneers, Godwin was a must-play for me at $6,100. 

Rounding Out the Lineup

To complete the build, I mini-stacked my second favorite game of the week—the Chiefs and the Chargers. Very simple here: Clyde Edwards-Helaire was only $4,800, and Mike Williams was dominant in his first two games while the Chiefs’ defense had given up an average of 32 PPG in their first two games…a perfect fit.

I had plenty of RBs to choose from. However, Saquon Barkley against the Falcons with ten days of rest after playing 80% of the snaps and Alexander Mattison without Dalvin against a struggling Seahawks stood out to me as great values in smash spots. I always finish with the DEF, and I had enough salary to play the Cardinals against Urban Meyer’s Jaguars, who frequently turned the ball over. 

Bottom line: you don’t need to avoid all the chalk to take down a large field tournament…just, choose your chalk wisely.

Jordan’s $20,000 Lineup (2020 Season, Week 12)

Jordan’s 20 K Win: DraftKings $750K Power Sweep $150 per entry three entry max, 5,555 entries, 1st place $150,000

Pos Name Team OPP Salary Points Rostership
QB Jared Goff LAR ARI $5,800 27.14 12.5%
RB Dalvin Cook MIN JAX $9,500 26.9 33.3%
RB Jonathan Taylor IND HOU $5,700 22.5 12.7%
WR Cooper Kupp LAR ARI $6,100 15.3 27.6%
WR Corey Davis TEN CLE $5,100 38.2 8.0%
WR Jamison Crowder NYJ LVR $5,100 21.7 2.4%
TE Darren Waller LVR NYJ $6,100 48 8.1%
FLEX Keke Coutee HOU IND $3,500 25.1 ~12.0%
DEF Colts IND HOU $3,000 12 ~5.0%

Learning from your mistakes is how you get better at every part of your life, and looking at this one, I can say there were plenty of errors in the build. For starters, Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp with no runback was a mistake. Derek Carr should have been my quarterback in this build, with Darren Waller being a part of the stack and the runback of Jamison Crowder already in the build, and Carr was the same price as Goff. This also presents the opportunity for me to turn Kupp into Jarvis Landry for a mini-stack with Corey Davis.

Playing the Colts’ defense at $3,000 while having Keke Coutee in the lineup is a big mistake. The correlation between Jonathan Taylor to the Colts’ defense makes a ton of sense; however, with Keke Coutee being a part of the build, I should have gone elsewhere.

Fixing the Lineup

The defense I should have gone down to for $2,400 was the New England Patriots against the Los Angeles Chargers. The game had a 45-point over-under, five points fewer than the Colts vs. Texans. The Chargers were giving up a ton of pressure, had turned over the ball in five straight games, and it was a Bill Belichick defense against a rookie Justin Herbert.

That swap nets me an extra 20 points and would have had me taking down the $150,000. There’s always going to be “hindsight is 20-20 moments”, and ultimately, the defense doesn’t usually dictate a big difference in winnings.