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Optimizer Groups: Optimal MNF NFL Daily DraftKings & FanDuel Picks | Rams vs 49ers

Terry McBride

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After a blowout Sunday Night game, the NFL is bringing us right back to the table with an interesting tilt between the Rams and 49ers on Monday Night. The loaded Rams offense is always good for NFL DFS scoring upside, although that may come in different forms this week with receiver Robert Woods hitting the IR with a torn ACL and Odell Beckham Jr. joining the squad in his place. The once again healthy 49ers offense adds a few interesting options of their own for potential upside across the industry. The 50.5-point Vegas total, and our Awesemo expert NFL DFS projections show this as a fun-looking one on both FanDuel single game and DraftKings Showdown slates.

The Awesemo Top Showdown Plays Tool is the best way to find low-owned value and leverage, when using the tool we want to focus on the probability of success but also the degree to which a player is owned when compared with that probability and can indicate if the field is over or underweight to a play. Using all of the Awesemo expert data and tools, let’s find the top NFL DFS optimizer picks for Monday Night Football DraftKings and FanDuel Showdown lineups.

Check out EMac’s Monday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight for further in-depth analysis and top plays for each position tonight.

NFL DFS Optimizer Picks: Week 10 Monday Night Football

Small Sample Central — Trends and Notes

Several of the primary lineup construction notes from previous versions of the article will continue to be listed in this space, but each week we will attempt to find parallels based on Vegas data and the general game environment from historical contests in the pool of DraftKings Showdown research from 2019 through this week’s contests. It is important to not get too focused on results-based thinking in such a small sample. Quality lineup construction is always the focus, but historical results can help inform some basic decisions in a pricing and ownership vacuum. A quick summary of that previous content:

  • According to tracking data for DraftKings Showdown contests over 2019 and 2020, only 17 of 95 slates were won with a quarterback Captain.
  • Across the same sample, wide receivers and running backs split the outcomes evenly, with 33 tournament-winning events each.
  • Of the 38 times that a wide receiver or tight end was in the winning Captain position, only three of those builds did not include at least one quarterback in a Flex position.
  • Thirty-five of 95 winning lineups featured at least one defense, but only two of those featured both defenses.
  • Twenty-nine winning lineups featured at least one kicker, but only two of those included both.
  • Only eight winning lineups included at least one defense and one kicker, while one person won a tournament with two defenses and a kicker in 2019.

Tonight’s game has a 50.5 total and sees the visiting Rams favored by 3.5. There are only 14 games within a point of the total in our historical sample, making it one of the more common starting points on the board. As seen in games over 50, the preponderance of winning Captain plays were pass catchers. Nine of the 14 winners featured either a tight end or wideout in the Captain role, with running backs taking three wins and quarterbacks scooping the top spot only twice. Those two quarterback wins were interestingly both 5-1 constructions featuring one of the greatest of all-time at the position, with Tom Brady and Drew Brees picking up victories.

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As seen in various samples, despite their lack of appearances in the winning Captain role, quarterbacks are critical Flex plays for accessing the scores needed to crack the top of standings in DraftKings Showdown formats. All 14 of the winning lineups included at least one passer, while five of them included two. Expanding the pool by a full point on either side of the game total, there is just one lineup that lacked a quarterback. That roster won with a 3-3 build that featured a defense in the Captain spot, a lineup uncovered before in a game that went 12.5 points under the total after Patrick Mahomes was injured. The remaining 29 lineups in the extended sample all included at least one quarterback.

Fifteen of the 29 winners were pass catchers, with running backs clawing their way to nine total Captain winners, though five of those were in games totaled below 50. No lineup in the sample included a kicker Captain victory, and only the one defense Captain was a winner, but 12 of the winning lineups included a Flex kicker and eight of them included a Flex defense. No winning lineup included two of either position. Once again, even constructions appear to be the better approach to slates of this nature. Of the 29 winning lineups, 16 were built as 3-3 constructions, while another seven were 4-2s.

DraftKings + FanDuel Stack Rules

QB with at least one RB/WR/TE from Opposing Team (this will happen naturally in most Showdown constructions, but including the rule will eliminate lineups that feature only an opposing kicker or quarterback)

QB with at least one WR/TE from Same Team (this will happen naturally in a large portion of lineups, but stacking quarterbacks with pass catchers is the easiest way to rack up NFL DFS points. It makes sense to include this rule to force the build, in most situations)

Limit Rules

Limit rules are slightly less important for Showdown slates as there are only two teams to choose from. They are still useful for preventing suboptimal constructions, however, including the following will help prevent these less likely builds.

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Limit QB/RB/WR/TE/DST/K from Same Team to three unless paired with Captain

Limit RB from Same Team to one (this is a rule that can be toggled on and off over multiple crunches, but the preference for this slate would be to use it)

Limit K from Same Game to one

Limit DEF from Same Game to one

Construction Basics

We will utilize Fantasy Cruncher’s Groups utility to create specific builds. The Groups feature includes the ability to designate players as the key to the group, or the player whose use in a position will trigger the group requirements. For Showdown slates this can be utilized to force specific sets of players or positions along with each type of designated Captain. The example below shows a group that utilizes Cooper Kupp in the Captain role as the key player. It will then force all constructions featuring Kupp in the Captain role to include at least three of the players listed in the group including both quarterbacks, the correlated and positively skill players from both sides, and both kickers.

NFL DFS picks showdown lineup optimal optimizer DraftKings FanDuel Week 10 Monday Night Football Rams vs 49ers free expert daily fantasy rankings ownership projections best bets betting picks player props today tonight Cooper Kupp Tyler Higbee

NFL DFS Optimizer Groups & Picks

Unlike multi-game slates, when attacking individual potential game scripts, these groups are better deployed individually for separate crunches that can then be combined into a single pool of lineups. Running them all at once is likely to create conflicting scenarios that will either prevent or limit a full crunch.

Quarterback Inclusion

The first wrinkle in utilizing Groups to create specific constructions is that the tool differentiates between a wide receiver or running back and the same player in the Captain or MVP spot. This requires the creation of a group that adds the Captain version of any likely skill player as the key player, with a rule setting that any lineup featuring any of these players must include one of the quarterbacks in a Flex position. The alternate approach to this problem is to remove all but the skill players from potential inclusion at the Captain spot then create a rule that will simply stack the quarterback with the Captain spot, but that approach is likely more flawed. This group does not currently force quarterbacks when defense or a kicker is used at Captain.

NFL DFS picks showdown lineup optimal optimizer DraftKings FanDuel Week 10 Monday Night Football Rams vs 49ers free expert daily fantasy rankings ownership projections best bets betting picks player props today tonight Cooper Kupp Tyler Higbee

Key Players: All primary skill-players as Captain

Setting: At least one

Group: Matthew Stafford and Jimmy Garoppolo – Captain Versions

This group will result in getting one of the quarterbacks whenever any of the listed primary skill-players is utilized at Captain. To force the quarterback from the same team, multiple groups should be created for skill players from each team utilizing just the quarterback from that team. When quarterbacks appear in Flex positions, the rules and limit settings will kick in to force optimal constructions in the other Flex roles.

Game Concept — Rams Onslaught

NFL DFS picks showdown lineup optimal optimizer DraftKings FanDuel Week 10 Monday Night Football Rams vs 49ers free expert daily fantasy rankings ownership projections best bets betting picks player props today tonight Cooper Kupp Tyler Higbee

Key Player(s): Cooper Kupp, Darrell Henderson Jr., Odell Beckham Jr., Van Jefferson Jr., Tyler Higbee, Sony Michel – Captain Versions

Setting: At least 4

Group: Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Darrell Henderson Jr., Odell Beckham Jr., Van Jefferson Jr., Tyler Higbee, Sony Michel, Matt Gay

This group sees Los Angeles triumphant in the Battle of California, with a wipeout group being triggered by the use of any of the Rams skill players in the Captain role. This will create a group that forces four players from a list that includes both quarterbacks, but no other 49ers players, pushing a combination of Rams skill players with their kicker and quarterback. This should create a short list of lineups that will be primarily slanted toward the Rams side as either 5-1 or 4-2 constructions, leaning into the more premium firepower of that team’s offense, while still leaving room for a correlation play from the 49ers when their quarterback lands in a Flex role.


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Game Script – Pass-Catchers and an even build

Key Player(s): Cooper Kupp, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Odell Beckham Jr., Tyler Higbee, Van Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, Ben Skowronek, Trent Sherfield – Captain versions

Setting: At least 3

Group: Matthew Stafford, Jimmy Garoppolo, Eli Mitchell, Darrell Henderson, Jeff Wilson, Deebo Samuel, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Ben Skowronek, Van Jefferson, George Kittle

This group looks to capitalize on the notion of creating pass catcher-dominant evenly built lineups. It is triggered by the use of any of the primary pass catchers in the Captain role and seeks to push the use of at least one quarterback as well as a list of positively leveraged Flex plays from both sides that include some of the premium skill players in the game. The group uses only 3 players from this list because several of the pay-up options are included, which will leave room for two plays from the remaining options and should create a broad spread of evenly built lineups.


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

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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