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 12 Thanksgiving NFL DFS Optimal Lineup Strategy on DraftKings & FanDuel

Terry McBride

Published

on

NFL DFS Optimizer Groups DraftKings FanDuel Thanksgiving Football NFL DFS

Week 12 kicks off with the traditional three-game slate of Thanksgiving action. The holiday brings a mixed bag of a slate, with game totals ranging from 41 on the low end between the Bears and Lions and 51.5 on the high side between the Raiders and Cowboys. The final game of the evening features the Bills taking on the Saints with a 45-point total. The first game with the lowest total also has the closest point spread, but with scoring options and NFL DFS star-caliber players up and down the rosters of later teams, it makes sense to spread ownership shares throughout the day and get to a well-mixed cornucopia of lineup configurations for your Thanksgiving NFL DFS feast on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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 12 NFL DFS Optimizer Groups & Picks – Thanksgiving Edition

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.

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

Week 11 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 11 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.

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day

Sunday Updates

No Sunday update for Thursday games, all groups are finalized and include recommended boosts and downgrades as needed. The running backs are included in every group for this small slate, as they tend to come up in large shares and need exposure control with limited overall options.


Latest NFL DFS Content


NFL DFS Optimizer Picks: Week 12 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.

Buffalo Bills

Key Player: Josh Allen

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, Dawson Knox, Gabriel Davis (+15%) (all three running backs see minor target shares and can be added if desired)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Mark Ingram (-35%), Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, Taysom Hill, Kenny Stills

Chicago Bears

Key Player: Andy Dalton (Justin Fields is out for Thanksgiving)

Setting: At least one

Group: David Montgomery (-40%), Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin (+10%), Cole Kmet, Jimmy Graham, Damiere Byrd (+10%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: D’Andre Swift (-35%), T.J. Hockenson, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond, Josh Reynolds

Dallas Cowboys

Key Player: Dak Prescott

Setting: Between one and two

Group: Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, Michael Gallup, Tony Pollard, Cedrick Wilson (+15%), Noah Brown (+15%), Malik Turner (+15%) (the last two should be added in deep formats only)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, Josh Jacobs, Bryan Edwards, Zay Jones, DeSean Jackson

Detroit Lions

Key Player: Jared Goff (Goff is expected back after last Sunday’s absence)

Setting: At least one

Group: D’Andre Swift (-35%), T.J. Hockenson, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond, Josh Reynolds

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: David Montgomery (-50%), Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin, Cole Kmet, Jimmy Graham (+25%), Damiere Byrd (+25%)

Las Vegas Raiders

Key Player: Derek Carr

Setting: At least one

Group: Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, Josh Jacobs, Bryan Edwards, Zay Jones, DeSean Jackson

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Ezekiel Elliott (-25%), CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, Michael Gallup, Tony Pollard, Cedrick Wilson (+15%), Noah Brown (+25%), Malik Turner (+25%)

New Orleans Saints

Key Player: Trevor Siemian

Setting: At least one

Group: Mark Ingram (-50%), Tre’Quan Smith (+25%), Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, Kenny Stills

Opposing Setting: At least one

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


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!


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

React App

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

Subscriber Counter

We respect your email privacy

More NFL