2023 NFL Week 1 DFS Lineup Review: What We Can Learn From Results

NFL Week 1 DFS

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 and where we went wrong.

NFL Week 1 DFS Review

Mark Garcia’s Review

Contest: $100 Millionaire Maker

Entrants: 28,029

In a contest of this size, we’re looking to nail the game environment that outperforms all others on the slate. This roster was built around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Minnesota Vikings game environment.

I also had a rule on this slate that there were three players you must account for on every roster due to their elite range of outcomes — Justin Jefferson, Chris Olave and Calvin Ridley

I simply played those three players together on my tighter builds due to the modest expected rostership on the latter two pieces. But I knew I could account for those players differently in a contest with this many entries.

I was heavily overweight Olave and Ridley, but I wanted to break down this roster because I hyped its core throughout the week.

How did I account for Ridley and Olave on this roster? I chose expected low-rostered pieces from their respective offenses to explain that if these players fail to provide 50 percent plus outcomes, then it is likely because these other players succeeded.

I also knew J.K. Dobbins was an elite leverage piece on this slate after Mark Andrews was ruled out. Dobbins was on his way to a multi-touchdown game before suffering a torn Achilles. 

Finally, I knew three-back builds would go under-owned relative to their chances of popping off, and I knew balanced rosters emphasizing the mid-range of player pricing at running back would be virtually un-owned. This all came together to provide the base to build my game environment bet around.

As for that game environment, Jefferson performed well but never ignited the game environment itself. I knew the Bucanners-Vikings game environment would require him to erupt early to send it over the top. 

I also knew for Baker Mayfield to approach optimal, he would likely have to pass for 300 yards and three touchdowns. That was likely to come through Mike Evans and Trey Palmer winning on the perimeter. 

Results be damned, the process was spot on for generating a roster with a path to first place and significant leverage for Week 1.

Jordan’s Lineup

Contest: NFL $100K Double Spy Single Entry

Entrants: 555

My lineup strategy was to target the Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns game for a high-scoring shootout while avoiding the Miami Dolphins vs. Los Angeles Chargers matchup. However, I made a mistake by not considering Tua Tagovailoa was as popular as Joe Burrow

To improve, I should have constructed my lineup similarly for both quarterbacks. For example, I could have chosen Tyreek Hill instead of Ja’Marr Chase and Durham Smythe instead of Irv Smith Jr. Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams would have been the same salary replacements for the run backs.

This adjustment would have given me a more unique stack in the highest implied total game and could have placed me second in the contest, winning $10,000.

I chose Burrow based on the expectation of facing Single High coverages, which did happen. However, the issue arose when his wide receivers struggled to get open, and the offensive line had trouble with protection. I underestimated the strength of the Browns’ defense, particularly their defensive backs and line.

Zay Flowers was a pivot off of Isaiah Likely, and it was a perfect spot because Likely came in as over 40 percent rostered in this contest.

When you play unique stacks, you can take the chalk defense, and Aaron Jones was one of the players at running I was always going to get to for this weekend.

In summary, there is much to improve on from our Week 1 analysis. Still, we look forward to showcasing our plays for next weekend.

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