We are not selling a lineup here. We are merely going through an exercise to assemble a GPP lineup that gives you a chance at cashing in a GPP. Apply your own knowledge of the sport and modify you approach as necessary. Correlation is a key dynamic in DFS, and the NFL takes it to a whole new level. We will almost always start with a QB and pair or stack him with his receiving weapons. In most cases a QB will not have great success without his ball catchers. We will run that back with a high volume player from the opposing team, or maybe even two. We can then exploit matchups and opportunity with the other pieces. Ideally these guys will be from high Vegas total games. No, Vegas is not always right, but they are a very good barometer.
We have a great first week of football heading our way on Sunday. There are several high Vegas totals we can attack, and several really bad defenses we can attack with single pieces.
How not to make a lineup
At first glance one would say OK, this is a highly correlated lineup. We have a high Vegas total on the Cardinals @ Titans with the Titans favored. Tannehill goes off and peppers Brown and Jones early and the Cardinals play catch-up with Edmonds, Nuk, and Green. Ekeler is high on every draft board, and Ertz is back healthy and we all know Atlanta can’t stop the TE position. So what’s wrong?
Chances are if the Titans really do get up early, Derrick Henry will be the star in the second half. Also by rostering both Brown and Jones wouldn’t Murray have a career game and break the slate? Oh and then there is Chase Edmonds. While he is a fine pass catching back and can certainly play the Bernard role with the best of them, who’s to say Conner isn’t the bring back player? Then we turn to Austin Ekeler. He was a DNP Wednesday and DNP Thursday with a hammy. Last year all we heard about was Ekeler and his hammy. No thank you for week one. So what about Ertz? Well he is definitely is on the wrong side of 30 and Goedert will vulture targets. Both are bunched up on everyone’s ranking this week. Good luck picking the one that may go off. There are too many ifs here. Do you agree? Let’s keep the same overall idea with a couple of twists and modify the lineup.
So we know we like the Cardinals @ Titans game, so all correlation starts there. We have flipped the approach somewhat and made the decision the Murray will squelch the ARZ running game in this one and also rely on NUK all game, as usual. A 33 year old Green is not taking squat away from NUK. The obvious bring back player is the opposing WR1 on the opposite team in A.J Brown. On a side note, check the Thursday practice report. He sat Wednesday, but the early word was it was for rest. Oh, a brief word on Arizona’s defense. They are ranked middle of the road this week, yet they are priced way down near the bottom on DK. And if you can predict defensive TD’s accurately then I still have a full head of hair. That’s it on that game. With 12 more to exploit, a game stack makes little sense here. Three players equal correlation.
Another assumption, KC scores some touchdowns this weekend. Hardman should be the number three behind the big two in KC, and from what I’ve seen from Mahomes in his brief career, if you are open, he gets you the ball. With his 4.33 speed Hardman can get after it just like his stable mate Hill. Mecole is dealing with an oblique issue, but should be good to go. In this exercise we assume Cleveland gets behind and Hunt sees a little more work out of the backfield than usual. It’s damn hard to sit Chubb here, but the salary fits. Two players also equal a correlation pair along with the highest Vegas total on the board this week.
SF running game verses Detroit. We all get that. It’s all about the matchup. Let’s go Mostert over the rookie at just $5800 until we see the 50/50 that is supposed to be coming.
The New England offense is an interesting animal this year. They have moved into the Mac Jones era and that’s that. My guess is they take it easy on him the first few weeks. Nothing is worse than destroying a young quarterback’s confidence by asking him to pass the rock 50 times in his first game as a pro. I expect Harris to carry the ball well and often. Time will tell if he’s the GL back. We all cringe given the history of the New England running game! Jonnu Smith was the 4th leading TE Red Zone target in the NFL last year, and had a nose for the end zone as well. We all know Belichick loves his TE’s, so I expect the game plan will be to rely on Smith to get quite a few targets to ease Jones into his role. Could it be Hunter Henry that gets the targets? Yep, everyone is expecting the Pats to be near the top with two TE sets this year. I’ll side with Smith’s history of Red Zone targets until I see different. I get that Miami is great against the TE. But these are Patriot TE’s and Miami cannot cover both. This paring of Harris and Smith is all about opportunity.
Lineups can be tricky to assemble, especially if you are new to NFL DFS. You have to have the discipline to play each game in your head, and gather a list of players that work together and not against each other. Optimizers are trying to replace DFS player’s individual thought across the industry. I do agree if you are making over 10 or 20 lineups, optimizers are the way to go if configured properly. Just don’t take the “you” out of the process. Rely on Elite Fantasy articles and get going on those winning builds.
Good luck in Week 1…Peace, and as always, stay safe out there.