In its most boiled-down form, DFS involves identifying the highest-scoring fantasy football players at each position in a given week. With close to 20 playable options at the quarterback and tight end positions, along with even more at the running back and wide receiver positions, it is a feat in itself to identify one position correctly.
To finish at the top of a DFS contest, you must hit on basically all skill positions and circumvent the randomness associated with selecting defenses. Doing all of this while also fitting under the confines of a salary cap makes DFS one of the most difficult setups to beat consistently, especially for large-field tournaments.
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It requires an element of consistency in processes while being able to block out the noise of what the general public continues to preach as the best plays. Let’s walk through each model I use to piece together the best lineups to hopefully finish atop a massive-field guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contest.
DFS GAME STACKS
Stacking is essential to success in DFS GPPs. It's a way to increase variance, which is the only option that offers enough upside to win a GPP tournament.
Adding in additional variance via a game-level stack has shown to outperform field usage at the top of GPP lineups. This takes not only a quarterback and pass-catching option but also runs it back with a pass-catcher and or running back from the opposing team.
This is the perfect starting point to build a quality DFS lineup. It locks in three to four roster spots and provides the upside correlation necessary to potentially finish atop a DFS contest. The easiest starting point is to check betting spreads and totals for games that have shootout potential, but this is the most simple hurdle to climb.
My approach incorporates spreads and totals along with prior relevant fantasy performance for each team to best project the highest-scoring games on the slate. The top matchups to stack based on this model are below, along with the options most likely to perform if the game goes over.
Tied for the highest total on the main slate, Seattle’s matchup against Minnesota is the only game with a spread of less than a field goal. Both teams sit in the top 10 for expected points added per pass play to start the 2021 season. So, it’s not a far stretch to assume near-constant fireworks in Minneapolis.
The question becomes: How popular a stack will each side become? Quarterback Russell Wilson is projected to see the highest roster percentage of anyone at the position on the main slate, and Tyler Lockett projects to be rostered in the top 10 for wide receivers. Pivoting to D.K. Metcalf instead will differentiate your lineup, but this is also possible to do with a run-it-back Vikings option.
Dalvin Cook will be a popular addition to this game stack, but he has a few things working against him. First, his high salary doesn’t offer any relief when also paying up for the Seahawks' high-priced passing attack. He also has a difficult matchup, with the Vikings' run blocking projecting to have the third-worst matchup against Seattle's interior defenders.
Wide receiver Adam Thielen should be rostered in almost twice as many lineups as Justin Jefferson due to their early-season performances. The time is coming for Jefferson, who has run basically the same amount of routes as Thielen and has only one fewer target. Given that he has a much higher average depth of target and a better share of the team’s total air yards, Jefferson looks like the ceiling play in this offense for Week 3.
- Russell Wilson (DK $7,600, FD $8,400)
- Tyler Lockett (DK $7,400, FD $8,000)
- Justin Jefferson (DK $7,200, FD $7,400)
Remaining Roster Average: DK $4,633, FD $6,033