Awesemo Daily Fantasy Sports
Awesemo Fantasy Football
Awesemo Odds & Sports Betting
Awesemo Podcast Network
Awesemo Side Action
Odds Shopper by Awesemo
Connect with us

Articles NFL

Optimizer Groups: Week 8 Sunday NFL DFS Optimal Lineup Strategy on DraftKings & FanDuel – Sunday Update

Terry McBride

Published

on

Week 8 of NFL DFS action is amazingly already upon us. The former halfway point in the season brings an interesting 12-game slate with most of the totals on the board in Vegas approaching the 50-point mark. While there are no extremely high totaled games, the list of potential shootouts seems strong this week, giving NFL DFS gamers numerous options to mix and match through a variety of lineup constructions.

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 following 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 8 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. The Week 5 slate 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.

Get a risk free bet + 3 months FREE of Awesemo+ platinum all-access!

Week 6 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.

NFL DFS Optimizer Optimal Lineup Picks Today Tonight DraftKings FanDuel WEek 8 free expert rankings projections predictions ownership top stacks groups premium data tools fantasy football Yahoo ESPN CBS Jalen Hurts Eagles how to win money playing DFS betting picks best bets odds lines predictions player props this week

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.

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day

Sunday Updates

This week’s Sunday update includes all of the usual active and inactive changes as well as a number of personnel shuffles from the original version. There are also what seems like a higher number of negative boost recommendations than normal, with many tight ends on FanDuel, in particular, requiring downward bumps to avoid overshares within individual team groups. Getting to the right mix of players at all positions is the priority, there are a few premium receivers on both sites that are soaking up a significant portion of ownership shares no matter how one goes about running a crunch unless they are handled with ownership caps, randomness, or limits they could easily end up overexposed. Keeping an eye on player exposures outside of the specific team group assigned is critical when assembling a large pool of lineups from which to draw a sorted list of entries.

NFL DFS Optimizer Picks: Week 8 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.

Atlanta Falcons

Key Player: Matt Ryan

Setting: At least one

Group: Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts, Mike Davis, Cordarrelle Patterson (+15%), Russell Gage (+15%), Hayden Hurst

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson (+15%), Chuba Hubbard (-25%), Keith Kirkwood (+15%)

Buffalo Bills

Key Player: Josh Allen

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders (+10%), Cole Beasley (+10%), Tommy Sweeney (Dawson Knox is out for Week 8. Gabriel Davis can be added for large formats)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, Myles Gaskin (-25%), DeVante Parker

Carolina Panthers

Key Player: Sam Darnold

Setting: At least one

Group: D.J. Moore (-10%), Robby Anderson (+15%), Chuba Hubbard, Keith Kirkwood (+15%), Shi Smith (+25%) (Terrace Marshall Jr. is out again for Week 8)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts, Mike Davis, Cordarrelle Patterson, Russell Gage (+15%), Hayden Hurst

Chicago Bears

Key Player: Justin Fields

Setting: At least one

Group: Allen Robinson (+15%), Darnell Mooney (+20%), Cole Kmet, Marquise Goodwin (+25%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Eli Mitchell (-25%), Deebo Samuel (-15%), Brandon Aiyuk (+25%), Mohammed Sanu (+25%)

Cincinnati Bengals

Key Player: Joe Burrow

Setting: At least one

Group: Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, C.J. Uzomah, Joe Mixon

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Jamison Crowder (-15%), Elijah Moore (+15%), Denzel Mims (+15%), Keelan Cole (+15%), Michael Carter (-35%), Ty Johnson

Cleveland Browns

Key Player: Baker Mayfield

Setting: At least one

Group: Odell Beckham Jr. (+15%) (Q), Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, David Njoku, Rashard Higgins (+15%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool (+10%), Pat Freiermuth

Denver Broncos

Key Player: Teddy Bridgewater

Setting: At least one

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

Opposing Setting: At least one

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

Detroit Lions

Key Player: Jared Goff

Setting: At least one

Group: D’Andre Swift (Q), T.J. Hockenson (-10%), Amon-Ra St. Brown (+15%), Kalif Raymond, Khadrel Hodge (+25%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Kenneth Gainwell (-25%), DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, Quez Watkins (+15%), Jalen Reagor (+15%) (Miles Sanders is out for Week 8)

Houston Texans

Key Player: Davis Mills

Setting: At least one

Group: Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins (+15%), Danny Amendola (+15%), Jordan Akins, David Johnson (+15%) (Johnson can come and go but he is somewhat relevant to this pathetic passing attack, Cooks is the primary focus)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Cooper Kupp, Darrell Henderson, Robert Woods (+15%), Tyler Higbee, Van Jefferson Jr. (+15%)

Indianapolis Colts

Key Player: Carson Wentz

Setting: At least one

Group: Michael Pittman, TY Hilton (Q), Zach Pascal (+15%), Mo Alie-Cox, Nyheim Hines

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Derrick Henry (-15%), A.J. Brown, Josh Reynolds (+15%), Anthony Firkser, Chester Rogers (+25%)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Key Player: Trevor Lawrence

Setting: At least one

Group: James Robinson, Laviska Shenault, Marvin Jones, Dan Arnold (-10%), Jamal Agnew (+15%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

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

Los Angeles Chargers

Key Player: Justin Herbert

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jalen Guyton (+25%), Jared Cook, Austin Ekeler (Q)

Opposing Setting: At least one

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

Los Angeles Rams

Key Player: Matthew Stafford

Setting: At least one

Group: Cooper Kupp, Darrell Henderson, Robert Woods (+20%), Tyler Higbee, Van Jefferson Jr. (+20%) (DeSean Jackson is out for Week 8)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins (+15%), Danny Amendola (+15%), Jordan Akins, David Johnson

Miami Dolphins

Key Player: Tua Tagovailoa

Setting: At least one

Group: Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki (-15%), Myles Gaskin, DeVante Parker

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders (+15%), Cole Beasley (+15%), Tommy Sweeney

New England Patriots

Key Player: Mac Jones

Setting: At least one

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

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Keenan Allen (+15%), Mike Williams (+15%), Jalen Guyton (+25%), Jared Cook, Austin Ekeler (Q)

New Orleans Saints

Key Player: Jameis Winston

Setting: At least one

Group: Alvin Kamara, Marquez Callaway, Tre’Quan Smith (+25%), Deonte Harris (Q), Adam Trautman (-10%), Kenny Stills (+25%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Leonard Fournette (-20%), Chris Godwin, Mike Evans (+15%), Rob Gronkowski (+15%), Tyler Johnson (+25%)

New York Jets

Key Player: Mike White (Zach Wilson is out for Week 8)

Setting: At least one

Group: Jamison Crowder (-15%), Elijah Moore (+25%), Denzel Mims (+25%), Keelan Cole (+25%) (Corey Davis will miss Week 8, along with the Jets’ hopes of victory)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, C.J. Uzomah, Joe Mixon (-25%)

Philadelphia Eagles

Key Player: Jalen Hurts

Setting: At least one

Group: DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert (-10%), Jalen Reagor (+25%), Quez Watkins (+15%), Kenneth Gainwell (Miles Sanders is out for Week 8)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: D’Andre Swift (Q), T.J. Hockenson, Amon-Ra St. Brown (+15%), Kalif Raymond, Khadrel Hodge (+25%)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Key Player: Ben Roethlisberger

Setting: At least one

Group: Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson (+15%), Chase Claypool (+15%), Pat Freiermuth (-10%), Anthony Miller (+25%) (Eric Ebron is out for Week 8)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr. (+15%) (Q), Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, David Njoku, Rashard Higgins (+25%)

Seattle Seahawks

Key Player: Geno Smith (Russell Wilson is out again for Week 8)

Setting: At least one

Group: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Gerald Everett, Freddie Swain

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: James Robinson (-25%), Laviska Shenault (+15%), Marvin Jones (+15%), Dan Arnold (-10%), Jamal Agnew (+15%)

San Francisco 49ers

Key Player: Jimmy Garoppolo

Setting: At least one

Group: Eli Mitchell, Deebo Samuel (-15%), Brandon Aiyuk (+25%), Mohammed Sanu (+25%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, Damiere Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, Khalil Herbert (-25%)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Player: Tom Brady

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Leonard Fournette, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans (+15%), Rob Gronkowski (P), Tyler Johnson (+25%) (Antonio Brown is out for Week 8 but Gronkowski is likely to play)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Alvin Kamara (-25%), Marquez Callaway, Tre’Quan Smith (+15%), Deonte Harris (Q) (+15%), Adam Trautman, Kenny Stills (+15%)

Tennessee Titans

Key Player: Ryan Tannehill

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, Josh Reynolds (+25%), Anthony Firkser, Chester Rogers, Marcus Johnson (+25%), Nick Westbrook (+25%) (Julio Jones will miss Week 8)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Michael Pittman, TY Hilton (Q), Zach Pascal, Mo Alie-Cox, Nyheim Hines, Jack Doyle

Washington Football Team

Key Player: Taylor Heinicke

Setting: At least one

Group: Terry McLaurin, Ricky Seals-Jones (-15%), Adam Humphries (+25%), DeAndre Carter (+25%) (Dyami Brown and Curtis Samuel are both out for Week 8)

Opposing Setting: At least one

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


Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media!


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

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.

React App

Sign up to Receive Expert DFS Advice & Exclusive Offers From Awesemo

Subscriber Counter

We respect your email privacy

More NFL