So you say you want to make some money playing DFS this NFL season? Nothing can guarantee you that, but our DFS Optimizer can certainly help! Not only does it mix your fantasy football acumen with our projections, it also gives you the freedom to explore different roster constructions based on how you think games will play out and the site in which you play.
What Is an NFL DFS Optimizer?
The idea of an optimizer is actually quite simple: Take a set of projections, match up the player salaries for the game you're playing, and play around until you find the highest number of projected fantasy points that stays under your budget.
Of course, most main slates (the 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. EST games on Sunday) involve 20+ teams and, thus, hundreds of players. Sifting through that many projections by hand is a near impossible task, so the job of the optimizer is to do it for you! Simply input the projections that you trust and the slate/site in which you are playing. From there, the computer does the tedious math and spits out your personal optimized lineup.
How Do I Use an NFL DFS Lineup Generator?
Once you have a set of projections in your pocket, it's easy! Simply upload the projections to the generator, select the site in which you play, choose the game pool, and you're good to go. In our lineup optimizer, the projections come preloaded, taking the toughest step of the process off of your to-do list.
Advanced players will "lock" and "exclude" certain players/games from the equation. That is, they decide they feel differently about a game than the rest of the industry (either positively or negatively) and want the optimizer to know that. By locking in players, you are asking the computer to optimize around your desired player(s). By excluding player(s), you are fully removing them from the player pool and the optimizer will ignore them.
Why Should You Use a DFS Optimizer for the NFL?
Using an optimizer is a good way to get better at DFS in a hurry. They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice at a craft to achieve expertise. Would you rather spend those hours doing pen and paper math, or would you rather spend them honing your projection/evaluation skills while the computer sorts through the tedious lineup building?
An optimizer is, naturally, only as good as the information you put into it. It’s not built to offer an opinion or give reasoning. Ours takes into account some variance because football is difficult to predict, but it's a number crunching machine that allows you to hone your craft in other ways.
What Is the Difference Between DraftKings and FanDuel?
The site in which you play needs to be included into the optimizer because the rules and price points aren't the same. If you're new to the DFS game, here are a few differences between the two powerhouse sites in the industry.
- $50,000 budget
- Full PPR
- 300-yard passing-yardage bonus (3 points)
- 100-yard rushing-yardage bonus (3 points)
- 100-yard receiving-yardage bonus (3 points)
- $60,000 budget
- Half PPR
- No bonuses
It should be clear in seeing these differences that DraftKings will tend to be higher scoring while FanDuel will place more importance on scoring touchdowns. Those may seem like minor differences, but as you get ready to take on the world, those are nice notes to remember when it comes to your strategy.
What Are the Different Slates To Choose From?
Each week of the NFL season is different, and thus, the slates can be a bit of a moving target. There are (typically) standalone, one-game slates for every prime-time game. Those carry with them a “Captain” roster slot that will cost you 1.5x the salary he normally would but will also return 1.5x the points he earned.
The”main slate” is the day games on Sunday. This is where you’ll see the contests with $1,000,000 as the grand prize and is the most analyzed of the slates. We have a DFS podcast, which is where the focus goes because we’re talking somewhere around 20 teams to break down and a variety of different strategies to consider.
Most sites also offer segmented slates for Sunday’s action. That is, you can choose to play in a contest that features only the first wave of NFL games or just the second.
There are different iterations depending on the specific schedule for a given week, but those are the primary contests offered within most DFS circles.
Best DFS Tips and Tricks
There are only 100,000 different views on how to play DFS. Whether you’re chasing a big prize or trying to grind out "cash games" (games where nearly half the field gets paid), your personal goals very much dictate the game you play and thus the strategies you employ.
Playing the flagship contests are fun, but understanding that, even with an optimizer, your expected value per lineup isn't going to be great. The most important note for new DFS players is to target the single entry or three-entry max tournaments.
You want a fair shot at creating the best lineup, and while our optimizer will give you a good chance, the variance game makes your one lineup going against 150 others is an equation that isn't going to work in your favor.
As far as lineup construction goes, here is my overarching advice:
- Understand that every slate is different and requires a fresh approach.
- Explore how to stack your daily fantasy lineups.
- Be different in your lineup construction, not crazy.
- Listen to what sportsbooks are telling you.
- Track your progress so you can learn as you go.
- Try many different "lock" options before settling on your favorite.