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Optimizer Groups: Week 17 Sunday NFL DFS Optimal Lineup Strategy on DraftKings & FanDuel – Sunday Update

Terry McBride

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NFL DFS DraftKings FanDuel Optimizer Groups Fantasy Football Week 17

The penultimate week of the NFL season kicks off 2022 with a loaded 14-game slate that features two games totaled over 50 and a handful of contests with extremely large point spreads. With a few blowouts lined up and teams in a variety of competitive situations, the board for FanDuel and DraftKings lineup picks this Sunday carries both a wealth of options and a great deal of uncertainty. With a few standout values drawing significant attention, there are good reasons to get to a variety of plays in differentiated combinations during initial lineup construction. Limiting exposures to the chalkiest individual plays in combination with over-owned stacks is a strong approach, all pieces can be used but it is important to focus on building unique high probability entries.

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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 17 DraftKings & FanDuel 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 15 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 15 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

This week’s Sunday update includes fewer running back control requirements along with the usual boost and downgrade recommendations to create an evenly distributed pool of lineups for sorting.


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NFL DFS Optimizer Picks: Week 17 Team Groups for DraftKings & FanDuel

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: Kyler Murray

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Christian Kirk, A.J. Green (+15%), Rondale Moore (Q) (+35%), Zach Ertz (-15%), Antonine Wesley (+35%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Ezekiel Elliott (-10%), CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Dalton Schultz, Michael Gallup (+15%), Cedrick Wilson (+25%)

Atlanta Falcons

Key Player: Matt Ryan

Setting: At least one

Group: Cordarrelle Patterson (+10%), Kyle Pitts (-10%), Russell Gage (+10%), Olamide Zaccheaus (+25%), Christian Blake (+25%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley (+15%), Emmanuel Sanders (D) (+25%), Dawson Knox (+10%), Gabriel Davis (+25%)

Baltimore Ravens

Key Player: Tyler Huntley (Lamar Jackson is out for Week 17)

Setting: At least one

Group: Marquise Brown (Q), Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman (+25%), Sammy Watkins (+50%), Devin Duvernay (+50%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr. (+25%), Van Jefferson Jr. (+25%), Tyler Higbee

Buffalo Bills

Key Player: Josh Allen

Setting: At least one

Group: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders (D), Dawson Knox (+15%), Gabriel Davis (+25%), Isiah McKenzie (+15%) (Sanders is unlikely to play)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Cordarrelle Patterson (+15%), Kyle Pitts (-15%), Russell Gage, Olamide Zaccheaus, Christian Blake

Carolina Panthers

Key Player: Sam Darnold (Darnold will officially reclaim his position for Week 17)

Setting: At least one

Group: DJ Moore (-15%), Robby Anderson (+25%), Terrace Marshall Jr (+15%), Tommy Tremble

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Alvin Kamara, Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway (+15%), Lil’Jordan Humphrey (+25%), Nick Vannett, Adam Trautman

Chicago Bears

Key Player: Andy Dalton (Justin Fields will miss Week 17)

Setting: At least one

Group: David Montgomery (-25%), Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, Allen Robinson (+25%), Damiere Byrd (+25%), Jakeem Grant (+25%), Jimmy Graham

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Saquon Barkley (-20%), Kenny Golladay, Evan Engram, Pharoh Cooper (+15%), David Sills (+15%)

Cincinnati Bengals

Key Player: Joe Burrow

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Joe Mixon (-10%), Ja’Marr Chase (+15%), Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd (+15%), CJ Uzomah

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Byron Pringle (+25%), Mecole Hardman (+25%), Demarcus Robinson (+25%), Darrel Williams (-25%)

Dallas Cowboys

Key Player: Dak Prescott

Setting: At least one

Group: Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Dalton Schultz, Michael Gallup (+15%) (Cedrick Wilson (+35%) can be added for large field dart throws)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Christian Kirk, A.J. Green (+15%), Rondale Moore (Q) (+25%), Zach Ertz (-15%), Antonine Wesley (+25%)

Denver Broncos

Key Player: Drew Lock (Teddy Bridgewater is sidelined again for Week 17)

Setting: At least one

Group: Noah Fant (-15%), Courtland Sutton, Kendall Hinton (+15%), Albert Okwuegbunam, Diontae Spencer (+15%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Austin Ekeler (-15%), Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Stephen Anderson, Joshua Palmer (+35%), Jalen Guyton (+35%)

Detroit Lions

Key Player: Tim Boyle (Jared Goff is out for Week 17)

Setting: At least one

Group: D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Tom Kennedy (+35%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett (+10%), Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, Freddie Swain (+35%)

Houston Texans

Key Player: Davis Mills

Setting: At least one

Group: Brandin Cooks, Brevin Jordan, Nico Collins (+25%), Chris Conley (Q) (+25%), Pharaoh Brown

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk (+25%), Jauan Jennings (+35%)

Indianapolis Colts

Key Player: Carson Wentz

Setting: At least one

Group: Jonathan Taylor (-10%), Michael Pittman Jr.(-10%), Zach Pascal (+25%), T.Y. Hilton (+25%), Jack Doyle (Q), Mo Allie-Cox

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau (-10%), Zay Jones (+15%), DeSean Jackson (+35%), Bryan Edwards (+35%)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Key Player: Trevor Lawrence

Setting: At least one

Group: Dare Ogunbowale, Marvin Jones Jr., Laquon Treadwell, Laviska Shenault Jr., Tavon Austin

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Jakobi Meyers (Q), Kendrick Bourne, N’Keal Harry, Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith

Kansas City Chiefs

Key Player: Patrick Mahomes

Setting: At least one

Group: Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Byron Pringle (+15%), Mecole Hardman (+25%), Demarcus Robinson (+25%), Darrel Williams (-10%) (Clyde Edwards-Helaire is out)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd (+10%), CJ Uzomah

Las Vegas Raiders

Key Player: Derek Carr

Setting: At least one

Group: Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau, Zay Jones, DeSean Jackson (+35%), Bryan Edwards (+35%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Jonathan Taylor (-15%), Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal (+35%), T.Y. Hilton (+35%), Jack Doyle (Q), Mo Allie-Cox

Los Angeles Chargers

Key Player: Justin Herbert

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Stephen Anderson, Joshua Palmer (+35%), Jalen Guyton (+35%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Noah Fant (-15%), Kendall Hinton (+15%), Albert Okwuegbunam, Diontae Spencer (+25%), Courtland Sutton

Los Angeles Rams

Key Player: Matthew Stafford

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr. (+20%), Van Jefferson Jr. (+20%), Tyler Higbee, Sony Michel (-25%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Marquise Brown (Q), Mark Andrews (+15%), Rashod Bateman (+15%), Devin Duvernay (Q), Sammy Watkins (+35%)

Miami Dolphins

Key Player: Tua Tagovailoa

Setting: At least one

Group: Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker (+15%), Mike Gesicki, Albert Wilson (+25%), Durham Smythe, Duke Johnson (+10%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: A.J. Brown (-10%), Nick Westbrook (+25%), Anthony Firkser, Chester Rogers (+25%), Geoff Swaim

New England Patriots

Key Player: Mac Jones

Setting: At least one

Group: Jakobi Meyers (Q), Kendrick Bourne (+15%), N’Keal Harry (+15%), Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith (Nelson Agholor is out for Week 17)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Dare Ogunbowale, Marvin Jones Jr., Laquon Treadwell, Laviska Shenault Jr., Tavon Austin

New Orleans Saints

Key Player: Taysom Hill

Setting: At least one

Group: Alvin Kamara (+15%), Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway (+15%), Adam Trautman, Lil’Jordan Humphrey (Q) (+15%) (Tre’Quan Smith is out for Week 17)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: DJ Moore (-15%), Robby Anderson (+15%), Terrace Marshall Jr. (+25%), Brandon Zylstra (+25%)

New York Giants

Key Player: Jake Fromm

Setting: At least one

Group: Saquon Barkley (+10%), Kenny Golladay, Evan Engram, Pharoh Cooper (+15%) (receivers Darius Slayton, Kadarius Toney, Collin Johnson, and John Ross are all out for Week 17)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: David Montgomery (-35%), Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, Allen Robinson (+15%), Damiere Byrd (+35%), Jakeem Grant (+35%), Jimmy Graham

New York Jets

Key Player: Zach Wilson

Setting: At least one

Group: Michael Carter, Keelan Cole Sr.(+15%), Braxton Berrios, Tyler Kroft, Denzel Mims (+15%), Jeff Smith (+15%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Antonio Brown (Q), Rob Gronkowski (-15%), Mike Evans (Q) (+15%), Tyler Johnson (+15%), Cameron Brate

Philadelphia Eagles

Key Player: Jalen Hurts

Setting: At least one

Group: Dallas Goedert (-15%), DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins (+15%), Jalen Reagor (+15%) (Running back Miles Sanders will miss Week 17 and Jordan Howard is questionable)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Terry McLaurin, Adam Humphries, Cam Sims (+15%), John Bates, Ricky Seals-Jones, DeAndre Carter (+25%)

Seattle Seahawks

Key Player: Russell Wilson

Setting: At least one

Group: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett (+15%), Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, Freddie Swain (+35%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Tom Kennedy

San Francisco 49ers

Key Player: Trey Lance (Jimmy Garoppolo is out for Week 17)

Setting: At least one

Group: Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk (+25%), Jauan Jennings (+35%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Brandin Cooks, Brevin Jordan, Nico Collins (+25%), Chris Conley (Q) (+25%), Pharaoh Brown

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Player: Tom Brady

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Antonio Brown (Q), Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans (Q) (+15%), Tyler Johnson (+25%), Cameron Brate, Breshad Perriman (+35%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Michael Carter, Keelan Cole Sr. (+15%), Braxton Berrios, Tyler Kroft, Denzel Mims (+15%)

Tennessee Titans

Key Player: Ryan Tannehill

Setting: At least one

Group: A.J. Brown, Nick Westbrook (+25%), Anthony Firkser, Chester Rogers (+25%), Geoff Swaim

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker (+15%), Mike Gesicki, Albert Wilson (+15%), Durham Smythe

Washington Football Team

Key Player: Taylor Heinicke

Setting: At least one

Group: Terry McLaurin, Adam Humphries (+15%), Cam Sims (+25%), John Bates, Ricky Seals-Jones, DeAndre Carter (+35%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Dallas Goedert (-10%), DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins (+25%), Jalen Reagor (+25%)


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View our FanDuel DFS NFL rankings and our DraftKings NFL DFS rankings. Take a look at our NFL lineups, inactives list and depth charts for NFL games. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS news for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking. We also have NFL showdown projections and showdown ownership projections.

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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