Week 1 DFS salaries and a variety of contests for the 2022 NFL season have been released on DraftKings. Some people prefer to use optimizers to construct their lineups, while others would prefer to do them by hand. Regardless of which method you favor, it’s crucial to know the ideal way to build lineups for certain contests.
For instance, your cash-game lineups should be different from the lineups you deploy in GPPs (guaranteed prize pools). While I’m unfortunately unable to see the future and determine what players are perfect for each lineup, but we can try to develop a strategy that puts us at an advantage over the rest of the field.
Cash Game Lineup Construction
In cash games, you’ll want to find the players that are going to be rostered the most on the slate. Having the ability to see projected ownerships can be an advantage, but not everyone has the opportunity to access them on a site that offers them. For those that are unable to access projected ownerships, find the players everyone is talking about in a positive manner or find the players in obvious plus-matchups. (I’ll have a weekly article where I point out my cash game picks every week of the regular season here on NerdBall so stay tuned.)
Unlike GPPs, stacking players from the same team is not necessary. Once again, it’s about players that will carry the highest ownership in cash games. There are going to be some people that take unnecessary risks, so you’ll be at an advantage if you focus on finding the most popular players.
At the quarterback position, QBs that provide us with consistent production through the air and on the ground can have somewhat safe floors for cash games. When it comes to running backs or wide receivers, find players that have consistently shown they have a path to getting 20+ touches (at running back) or 10+ targets (at wide receiver) every week.
The tight end position is always volatile, so there are going to be times where you’ll be playing a value tight end in hopes they can give you just a few points. Finding value options at any position (including defense) that have an opportunity to be rostered heavily can help fit the expensive players into your cash game lineups.
The good thing about cash games is that around 50 percent of the people that enter the contest will make money back. Double-ups, 50/50s, and head-to-head contests are examples of cash games. Each one will have differing levels of difficulty and the number of lineups that can win. Use cash games as a way to limit the potential losses you experience on any given week or slate.
GPP Lineup Construction
The rush you feel when playing GPPs, giving yourself a chance to win life-changing money, is unmatched. Building lineups for GPP contests can be a fun endeavor. But knowing the best way to construct them can improve your chances of having consistent success.
It’s always been known that stacking players from the same team, especially a team’s quarterback and at least one of their pass-catchers, is an ideal strategy to deploy. However, in recent years, it’s been discovered that stacking only gets you so far. Using a bring-back player from the opposing team gives you more correlation in a lineup and better odds to have a different lineup than everyone else.
A bring-back player can be a running back, wide receiver, or tight end from the opposing team of the primary stack you use in a lineup. For example, if you stack Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and Gabriel Davis from the Bills in Week 1, you can use someone like Cooper Kupp or Allen Robinson as a bring-back. This improves the correlation in your lineup in a game that should be high scoring.
If Allen throws a few touchdowns and two of those go to Diggs and Davis, then your lineup is off to a good start. And if the Bills are scoring multiple touchdowns, the Rams are likely scoring points back. Hence a bring-back player. If your bring-back player from the Rams performs well, then congratulations on being in the green.
On top of stacking and bring-backs, instead of targeting the highly-rostered players, try to find a way to be different without taking an uncalculated risk.
Let’s say that the offense of the Chargers is expected to be popular. While Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler could garner the most ownership, you could separate your lineup from others by using Mike Williams, Joshua Palmer, or Gerald Everett to still get LA exposure. Every point that Williams, Palmer, and Everett scores is increasing your chances of beating the lineups that have Allen and Ekeler. (That being said, I’d recommend having separate lineups with Allen and Ekeler if the Chargers are expected to be popular with a high projected team total.)
Similar to cash games, I’ll also have a weekly article where I’ll discuss my favorite stacks and bring-backs, so keep an eye out for those this season!