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Optimizer Groups: Week 10 Sunday NFL DFS Optimal Lineup Strategy on DraftKings & FanDuel – Sunday Update

Terry McBride

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NFL DFS Optimizer Groups DraftKings FanDuel Tournament Strategy

Week 10 brings an 11-game Sunday slate that looks loaded with NFL DFS scoring potential. There are several games totaled well into the 50s, a few blowouts in the making, and several games the look to be closely contested. With a solid blend of stars and value plays available at every position, lineup construction for NFL DFS slates is a unique animal. Getting to the right foundation of positively leveraged high-probability stacks, correlation plays from their opponent, and well-built leverage and upside-focused lineup around them is the approach taken in this space.

This article focuses on building lineups with a quality foundation by utilizing the powerful Groups and Rules/Limits tools within Fantasy Cruncher. All of the concepts and pairings included below can be applied to hand-building as well, the goal is to create lineups that have high scoring correlation and take advantage of combined outcomes within stacks while limiting the likelihood of building inefficient or negatively correlated entries for a full slate of NFL DFS lineups.

Fantasy Cruncher – New How-To Video

The uptick in questions related to the how-to aspects of Fantasy Cruncher along with several noteworthy new tools demanded a new how-to tutorial video. I put together the above review of all of Fantasy Cruncher’s advanced options with some basic how-to on the constructions, rules, limits, and groups that we use in this article. The tutorial also reviews all of Fantasy Cruncher’s new features and the important distinctions between the various sets of projections that are available.

Week 10 NFL DFS Optimizer Groups & Picks – Sunday Update

Overview

The Week 1 article featured a deep dive into the general settings menu and various utilities within Fantasy Cruncher, it is still available for anyone who would like to refer back. We will maintain the list of rules and limits below throughout the season, with occasional tweaks, if needed. Each week sees yet another fresh crop of value plays as situations change and injuries create opportunities around the league. These changing roles and emergent value plays are accounted for in the process of creating these groups from week to week. After a large pool of lineups is created utilizing these groups, it is still of critical importance to filter them for factors including ceiling projections and leverage potential, as well as our optimal lineup rates and Boom/Bust potential. Getting to a strong mix of the most optimal positively leveraged plays will be a strong foundation for a large pool of tournament lineups.

DraftKings + FanDuel Stack Rules

This set of rules will force Fantasy Cruncher to build lineups with certain combinations. We are looking to always stack at least one skill player, ideally a pass-catcher, with his quarterback while also playing a skill player from the opposing team in the lineup. The theory behind this build is that a high-scoring stack will require some response from the opposing team to truly deliver a ceiling score in most situations, otherwise the team that is ahead will simply slow down and run out the clock. These rules are applied by completing the sentences with selections from the drop-down menu, they follow a very straightforward logic. Exceptions can be made for teams at the bottom of the rule creation window. After a rule is set, click the blue bar to add it, it will appear at the bottom of the screen as a completed rule.

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Week 9 NFL DFS Optimizer Picks DraftKings FanDuel Groups stacking optimal lineup strategy advice predictions best bets free expert

QB with at least one WR/TE from Same Team (note: It is fine to make this two or to utilize two of these, one with WR/TE and one with RB/WR/TE, but we can refine that and get it exactly how we want it for each team via Groups)

QB with at least one RB/WR/TE from Opposing Team

QB with at most zero DST from Same Team (this is more of a personal preference; high-scoring teams and quarterbacks tend to leave their defenses on the field exposing them to simple point-scoring negatives)

Limit Rules

Limit rules can be applied to restrict certain combinations from coming together. This is powerful for limiting multiple running backs from the same team or getting overweight to a certain stack within a lineup.

Week 9 NFL DFS Optimizer Picks DraftKings FanDuel Groups stacking optimal lineup strategy advice predictions best bets free expert

Limit QB/RB/WR/TE from Same Team to three

Limit RB/WR/TE from Same Team to one unless paired with QB from Same Team OR Opposing Team

Limit RB from Same Team to one (one can also do this with WR in a separate rule that adds an “unless paired with QB or opposing QB,” but it is a personal preference for NFL DFS)

Construction

These groups are built by utilizing the quarterback as the KEY player (by clicking the key icon next to his name), with the thinking that the quarterback play is the driving factor in which stack is utilized in that lineup. Built to specification, each team will have two groups, a team group, and an opponent group, both of which utilize the same quarterback, so four groups per game. This is the best approach to truly capture the requirement of playing individual “run-back” plays from the opposing team. A more basic approach would be to include all of the skill players from a game in each quarterback’s group and rely on rules and limits to restrict any potential overflow. It is highly recommended to save the Week 1 groups as a foundation that will be updated for the rest of the season. The recommended groups will include skill players who have an active role in their offense and provide significant correlation with their quarterback’s scoring, quite often bell-cow running backs who do not specialize in the passing game will not be included in groups as they are projected highly and appear on their own in basically correct distributions, while also not always providing the strongest positive correlation plays. Stacking quarterbacks with pass-catchers and allowing running backs to fall into the lanes then crated by settings, available salary and randomness should create a well-distributed set of quality lineups. These groups are updated weekly to account for changes in utilization, schemes, injuries, target shares, and more.

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Sunday Updates

The Sunday update includes all of the active/inactive information as of about 8 am ET. The recommended boosts and downgrades are included to help control in-group exposures and ensure appropriate distributions of players into lineups within that team’s set, all of which will be sorted after the fact in search of the highest upside lineups that also provide a bit of leverage over the field or differentiated picks that make sense.

This week’s slate has a bit of a wildcard in Cleveland running back D’Ernest Johnson, who is inexpensive and highly projected on both sites. Johnson will be extremely popular, he is a major inflection point for the Week 10 NFL DFS slate. For the purposes of creating these groups and getting to our typical ability to recommend boosts within the results, running back exposures were capped to 40% during test crunches; unencumbered, Johnson lands in roughly 100% of lineups. This space is not pushing shares of Johnson into or out of lineups as a strategy recommendation, we are merely examining the best way to utilize the optimizer to include a variety of upside players in well-built crunched lineups, not just chasing the bare optimal construction.

NFL DFS Optimizer Picks: Week 10 Team Groups

The goal here is to create a large pool of well-built lineups that can be utilized in any large-field GPP contest. Crunch far more lineups than needed and utilize a sorting table in Excel to filter to the best set of lineups for entries. The lineups created in these crunches should provide a broad distribution that includes some of the lower-owned skill players from each stack. Applying boosts is critical in pushing and pulling ownership on individual players within their team’s stacked lineups.

The groups below are designed so that each quarterback will have two groups to create, one with his skill players and another with the opposing team. A more basic approach would be to add them all to one large group with an “at least three” and let rules and limits set things, but there is a more granular level of control in creating them separately.

Utilizing two groups also allows us to place running backs into the “run-back” position in certain teams while not including them in the primary stack for their team. This is useful when there is a situation with an extremely highly projected running back who does not necessarily fit into his team’s passing game. These players are threaded throughout the following construction recommendations.

Arizona Cardinals

Key Player: Colt McCoy (Starter Kyler Murray’s status is trending in the wrong direction overnight, he is Doubtful in the early morning, this is a critical spot to monitor for news, we are operating under the assumption that Murray will be out)

Setting: At least one

Group: A.J. Green (+15%), Christian Kirk (+15%), Rondale Moore (Q) (+15%), Zach Ertz, James Conner (-20%) (Conner is included so we can control his exposures within the grouped shares. DeAndre Hopkins is also now Doubtful to play in Week 10)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore (-15%), Robby Anderson (+35%), Terrace Marshall Jr. (+50%) (this still yields a massive share of Moore)

Atlanta Falcons

Key Player: Matt Ryan

Setting: Between one and two (this game is the highest-totaled on the slate at 54 as of Sunday morning, signs are pointing to a shootout in Awesemo’s Game Script Adjusted passing % and pace numbers)

Group: Kyle Pitts (-15%), Cordarrelle Patterson (+25%), Russell Gage (+15%), Tajae Sharpe (+15%), Hayden Hurst, Olamide Zaccheaus (+25%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: CeeDee Lamb (+20%), Amari Cooper (+15%), Michael Gallup (+25%), Dalton Schultz (-10%)

Buffalo Bills

Key Player: Josh Allen

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, Zack Moss (Q), Dawson Knox (Knox is expected back for Week 10. Gabriel Davis and Isiah McKenzie can be added in deep formats. This group works surprisingly well with no adjustments)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Michael Carter, Corey Davis (Q), Jamison Crowder, Elijah Moore, Ryan Griffin

Carolina Panthers

Key Player: P.J. Walker (Sam Darnold is out, Walker has been named the starter for Week 10)

Setting: At least one

Group: Christian McCaffrey (+15%), D.J. Moore (-15%), Robby Anderson (+35%), Terrace Marshall Jr. (+50%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: A.J. Green (+15%), Christian Kirk (+15%), Rondale Moore (+15%), Zach Ertz, James Conner (-25%) (add DeAndre Hopkins if he plays)

Cleveland Browns

Key Player: Baker Mayfield

Setting: At least one

Group: D’Ernest Johnson (-40%), Jarvis Landry (-15%), Donovan Peoples-Jones (+35%), Austin Hooper (+15%), David Njoku (+15%), (Johnson is included to control multi-player exposures within the group. Anthony Schwartz can be added in very deep formats)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Jakobi Meyers (-15%), Nelson Agholor (+15%), Kendrick Bourne (+15%), Hunter Henry (+15%), Jonnu Smith (Q) (+15%)

Dallas Cowboys

Key Player: Dak Prescott

Setting: Between one and two (this game is the highest-totaled on the slate at 54 as of Sunday morning, signs are pointing to a shootout in Awesemo’s Game Script Adjusted passing % and pace numbers)

Group: CeeDee Lamb (+15%), Amari Cooper (+15%), Michael Gallup (+25%), Dalton Schultz (-15%), Cedrick Wilson (Q)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Kyle Pitts (-10%), Cordarrelle Patterson (+20%), Russell Gage (+15%), Tajae Sharpe (+15%), Hayden Hurst, Olamide Zaccheaus (+35%)

Denver Broncos

Key Player: Teddy Bridgewater

Setting: At least one

Group: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Tim Patrick (+15%) (Patrick is Probable to play)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert (-15%), Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor (+15%)

Detroit Lions

Key Player: Jared Goff

Setting: At least one

Group: D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson (-15%), Kalif Raymond (+10%), Amon-Ra St. Brown (+10%) (Trinity Benson can be added with a big boost in deep formats)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Pat Freiermuth (-10%), James Washington (+20%), Ray-Ray McCloud (+35%)

Green Bay Packers

Key Player: Aaron Rodgers

Setting: At least one

Group: Davante Adams (-15%), Randall Cobb (+25%), Allen Lazard (+25%), A.J. Dillon, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (+25%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf (+15%), Gerald Everett, Freddie Swain

Indianapolis Colts

Key Player: Carson Wentz

Setting: At least one

Group: Michael Pittman Jr. (-10%), T.Y. Hilton (+15%), Zach Pascal (+15%), Mo Alie-Cox, Nyheim Hines

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Marvin Jones Jr. (+15%), Laviska Shenault Jr.(+15%), Dan Arnold (-15%), Jamal Agnew (+15%)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Key Player: Trevor Lawrence

Setting: At least one

Group: Marvin Jones Jr. (+15%), Laviska Shenault Jr. (+15%), Dan Arnold (-15%), Jamal Agnew (+15%) (Running back James Robinson is a game-time decision)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Michael Pittman Jr. (-10%), T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Mo Alie-Cox, Nyheim Hines

Los Angeles Chargers

Key Player: Justin Herbert

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen (P), Mike Williams, Jared Cook (-10%), Jalen Guyton (+35%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Tyler Conklin, K.J. Osborn (+15%)

Minnesota Vikings

Key Player: Kirk Cousins

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Tyler Conklin, K.J. Osborn (+15%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen (P), Mike Williams, Jared Cook, Jalen Guyton (+35%)

New England Patriots

Key Player: Mac Jones

Setting: At least one

Group: Jakobi Meyers (-10%), Nelson Agholor (+15%), Kendrick Bourne (+15%), Hunter Henry

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: D’Ernest Johnson (-35%), Jarvis Landry (-10%), Donovan Peoples-Jones (+25%), Rashard Higgins (+25%), Austin Hooper, David Njoku

New Orleans Saints

Key Player: Trevor Siemian (Siemian will start once again)

Setting: At least one

Group: Marquez Callaway (+15%), Deonte Harris (+15%), Tre’Quan Smith (+25%), Adam Trautman (Alvin Kamara will miss Week 10)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: A.J. Brown (-15%), Nick Westbrook (+25%), Marcus Johnson (+25%), Chester Rogers (+25%), Anthony Firkser

New York Jets

Key Player: Mike White (starter Zach Wilson is listed as doubtful and seems very unlikely to play)

Setting: At least one

Group: Michael Carter, Corey Davis (Q), Jamison Crowder, Elijah Moore, Ryan Griffin, Keelan Cole

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, Dawson Knox

Philadelphia Eagles

Key Player: Jalen Hurts

Setting: At least one

Group: DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert (-15%), Quez Watkins (+15%), Jalen Reagor (+35%), Kenneth Gainwell

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy (+15%), Noah Fant, Tim Patrick (+15%)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Key Player: Mason Rudolph (Ben Roethlisberger is out for Week 10)

Setting: At least one

Group: Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson (-15%), Pat Freiermuth (-15%), James Washington (+15%), Ray-Ray McCloud (+25%) (Chase Claypool will miss Week 10)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson, Kalif Raymond (+15%), Amon-Ra St. Brown (+15%)

Seattle Seahawks

Key Player: Russell Wilson (Wilson will play)

Setting: At least one

Group: Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf (+15%), Gerald Everett, Freddie Swain (+35%) (Chris Carson is out again in Week 10)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Davante Adams (-10%), Randall Cobb (+25%), Allen Lazard (+25%), A.J. Dillon, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (+25%)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Player: Tom Brady

Setting: At least one

Group: Leonard Fournette, Chris Godwin (P), Mike Evans, Tyler Johnson (+15%), Cameron Brate (Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski remain out)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Terry McLaurin, Ricky Seals-Jones (-15%), Adam Humphries (+25%), Dyami Brown (+25%), DeAndre Carter (+25%)

Tennessee Titans

Key Player: Ryan Tannehill

Setting: At least one

Group: A.J. Brown (-15%), Nick Westbrook (+25%), Marcus Johnson (+25%), Chester Rogers (+25%), Anthony Firkser (Julio Jones was placed on IR on Saturday)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, Tre’Quan Smith, Adam Trautman  (-15%)

Washington Football Team

Key Player: Taylor Heinicke

Setting: At least one

Group: Terry McLaurin, Ricky Seals-Jones (-20%), Adam Humphries (+25%), DeAndre Carter (+25%), Dyami Brown (+25%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Leonard Fournette, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Tyler Johnson (+15%), Cameron Brate


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We also have single-game projections and showdown ownership projections. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS advice for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL DFS rankings, and NFL DFS stacks. Take a look at our NFL depth charts, NFL inactives and NFL starting line-ups. View our FanDuel NFL ownership rankings and our DraftKings NFL DFS rankings.

Terry used to do other things, now he writes words on the internet. He hopes his more than 20 years’ experience in season-long and daily fantasy sports and his custom models for MLB, NBA, and NFL don't steer you too wrong when he writes columns and makes picks on Awesemo.com. A lifetime of experience keeping odd hours make Terry ideal to cover KBO baseball overnight until the world returns to normal. Most of those late night hours have been spent on the couch watching sports, T.V., and movies; just try to shut him up about any of the above. You can find his pop-culture ramblings and more on Sideaction.

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