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NFL

NFL DFS Picks: Optimizer Groups-Think | Week 8 Fantasy Lineup Constructions – Sunday Update

Terry McBride

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FREE FanDuel Cheat Sheet with NFL DFS Picks for the Week 10 Thursday Night Football Showdown slates based on Awesemo Expert Projections.

The NFL DFS season rounds the halfway point and turns for home after this weekend. As quickly as most seasons go, this one has flashed by at seemingly twice the speed. With everything going on in the world (big day on Tuesday, don’t forget!) the NFL has been a mostly fun respite with only a few major reminders of the outside world’s chaos. This week looks like more of the same, the New York Giants have most of their offensive line landing on the quarantine list, but they don’t play on the Main Slate so we can ignore them for our purposes. We have a few major injuries and players missing time that are accounted for below and a few other pieces of news that will break between now and the Sunday Update, so be sure to come back for the final version.

Sunday’s slate of games looks like it will be both a fun day of football and a potential bonanza of NFL DFS scoring. The league has been all offense through most of the season and this week looks no different, featuring five games with at least 50-point totals. The slate should be primed for stacking opportunities, we have a lot of options to build with and several games with high-octane offenses on either side for run-back purposes.

I’ll be running crunches with these groups between now and early Sunday morning, looking for the best set of boosts for each team to deliver the results as we’re seeing them based on Awesemo’s top stacks and ownership tools. Everything will be included in the Sunday Update, between now and then be sure to tune in for – or catch up on – all the shows, podcasts and written content that the site provides. I find Matt Savoca’s game by game breakdowns to be an invaluable tool in understanding each team’s spot week to week, just as one example of the great content you can find across the site.



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NFL DFS Picks – Optimizer Groups-Think: Week 8 – Sunday Update

Stack Rules:

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

QB with at least one WR/TE from Same Team (note: It’s 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 via Groups)

QB with at most zero DST from Same Team (personal preference)

Limit Rules: 

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 (I’m also doing this with WR in a separate rule that adds an “unless paired with QB or opposing QB” but it’s personal preference for NFL DFS)

Construction: 

Add players to groups. Select the quarterback (or otherwise indicated player) as the Key Player for both his team’s group and the recommended opposing group. This is a different group than the group that will stack the other side of this game. For example, I will have four groups for the Detroit at Arizona game: Detroit, Detroit Opposing, Arizona and Arizona Opposing.

Sunday Update:

I hope you made good use of the extra hour. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check the clock on your oven or something not connected to the internet. In addition to daylight savings, we’ve had a lot of changes to active players so make sure to update groups accordingly. A few people have asked about Fantasy Cruncher. The new update has the ability to load groups from previous weeks and across sites, so if you created groups on FanDuel last week, you should be able to import them into Week 8 for both FanDuel and DraftKings, then simply make changes. This is a major help and should alleviate some of the concerns around group saving issues. I like to save the core team groups then update those from week to week, while creating the opposing groups fresh each week for the new matchups. If you’re still concerned with saving groups for a reload, I would encourage you to consider the export option, which allows you to create a file of your groups which can then be loaded back into Fantasy Cruncher after refreshing.


NFL DFS Team Groups:

Baltimore Ravens

Key Player: Lamar Jackson

Setting: At least one

Group: Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews (+25%), J.K. Dobbins, Devin Duvernay (+15%) (Mark Ingram is out, Dobbins and Gus Edwards will split duties and Dobbins should see the passing down volume. Add Willie Snead at your discretion, we primarily want Brown and Andrews in this passing attack most weeks. Gus Edwards is sneaking into a few of my stacks despite not being included, he is a reasonable low-cost option to help access certain constructions, but if you’d like to exclude him entirely you could add him to this group with a -100% boost)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: James Conner, Diontae Johnson (+10%), Chase Claypool (+10%), JuJu Smith-Schuster (+10%), Eric Ebron

Buffalo Bills

Key Player: Josh Allen

Setting: At least one

Group: Stefon Diggs, John Brown, Cole Beasley, Devin Singletary (+25%) (If you loaded last week’s groups be sure to add John Brown back into the mix, he was out last week. Zack Moss is playable here as well. Gabriel Davis and Tyler Kroft are fringe-level additions with Brown’s return, I would run some crunches with them included. Minor boost to get Singletary in a few stacks, he was coming up exclusively as a one-off option)

Opposing Setting: At most one

Group: Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd (+15%), James White (+10%) (I added Rex Burkhead to my run-back group against my better judgment, up to you for yours, boosts are without Burkhead)

Chicago Bears

Key Player: Nick Foles

Setting: At least one

Group: Allen Robinson, David Montgomery (+10%), Darnell Mooney (+15%), Anthony Miller, Jimmy Graham (Allen Robinson cleared the concussion protocol and will play after all, be sure to make this important update to your NFL DFS groups)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, Tre’Quan Smith (+5%), Latavius Murray, Deonte Harris (Michael Thomas will not play again, nor will Marquez Callaway, add Austin Carr at your own risk, I might drop him into stacks for a very limited set of crunches but I’m not really looking for him as my run-back option)

Cincinnati Bengals

Key Player: Joe Burrow

Setting: At least two

Group: Giovani Bernard (-25%), Tyler Boyd, A.J. Green, Tee Higgins, Drew Sample (Joe Mixon is out again for Week 8 of NFL DFS. If you leave Bernard without the negative projection change he’ll come up in roughly half of Bengals stacks, which was too much for my taste, though I want a god amount of him)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, Adam Humphries

Cleveland Browns

Key Player: Baker Mayfield

Setting: At least one

Group: Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Harrison Bryant (be sure to remove Odell Beckham from loaded groups. I could add David Njoku for a crunch or two)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, Henry Ruggs (+25%), Nelson Agholor (+15%), Hunter Renfrow

Denver Broncos

Key Player: Drew Lock

Setting: At most one

Group: Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick (Q) (+15%), Noah Fant (+15%) (I’m removing Phillip Lindsay. I wasn’t getting any stacks that included Melvin Gordon even with a 25% boost. Phillip Lindsay is expected to play but removing him gets me a minimal amount of Gordon, which I prefer. Tim Patrick appears to be a game time decision despite not practicing all week. This offense gets Fant back, I remain unexcited about them)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Keenan Allen, Justin Jackson (+5%), Joshua Kelley, Hunter Henry, Mike Williams, Jalen Guyton (I greatly prefer the LAC side of this matchup for a stack)

Detroit Lions

Key Player: Matt Stafford

Setting: At least two

Group: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson, Danny Amendola

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Jonathan Taylor, T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Nyheim Hines, Michael Pittman, Trey Burton (Pittman back from IR. With a nice 50-point total in this game, I like a variety of Colts to disappoint me as NFL DFS run-back options this week)

Green Bay Packers

Key Player: Aaron Rodgers

Setting: At least one (With Adams swallowing a massive amount of the target-shares, I’m comfortable leaving this at one and taking some odd lineups with multiple skill players based on price as they come. We’re sticking with one for the Sunday version, the spread is coming up perfect with a small bump to Adams.

Group: Davante Adams (+10%), Jamaal Williams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Robert Tonyan (no Lazard return, he is likely back next week)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, Alexander Mattison

Indianapolis Colts

Key Player: Phillip Rivers

Setting: At least two (giving this a bump with a healthy total in this game)

Group: Jonathan Taylor, T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Nyheim Hines, Michael Pittman, Trey Burton

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson, Danny Amendola


Looking for more NFL DFS picks content? We have loads of articles, data, cheatsheets and more on the Awesemo NFL home page. Just click HERE.


Kansas City Chiefs

Key Player: Patrick Mahomes

Setting: At least two

Group: Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Le’Veon Bell, Mecole Hardman (be sure to have the running backs limiter on to avoid doubling up on these backs)

Opposing Setting: At most one

Group: La’Mical Perine, Braxton Berrios, Denzel Mims (feel free to add Frank Gore and/or Jeff Smith, I’d prefer to not get carried away with Jets for NFL DFS purposes)

Las Vegas Raiders

Key Player: Derek Carr

Setting: At least one

Group: Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, Henry Ruggs, Nelson Agholor, Hunter Renfrow

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Jarvis Landry, Kareem Hunt, Rashard Higgins (+10%), Harrison Bryant (+10%)

Los Angeles Chargers

Key Player: Justin Herbert

Setting: At least two

Group: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams (+10%), Hunter Henry, Justin Jackson, Jalen Guyton (+10%), Joshua Kelley (added Kelley)

Opposing Setting: At most one

Group: Melvin Gordon, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Noah Fant

Los Angeles Rams

Key Player: Jared Goff

Setting: At least one

Group: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Darrell Henderson, Tyler Higbee (Q) (+10%), Josh Reynolds (+10%) (I could take or leave Henderson in the stack, he saw a reduced number of total targets the last two weeks and Malcom Brown could be relevant or poach a touchdown once again. Gerald Everett is my preference if Higbee sits. Early morning updates are trending toward Higbee missing this one)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Myles Gaskin, DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, Preston Williams, (removed Isaiah Ford from the run-back version of this group, he remains in the team stack below)

Miami Dolphins

Key Player: Tua Tagovailoa (be sure to switch this from Ryan Fitzpatrick in saved groups)

Setting: At least one

Group: Myles Gaskin (+15%), DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki (+15%), Preston Williams (+15%), Isaiah Ford (+15%) (you can leave Ford out based on his recent target volume, be sure to cap his individual exposure tightly if you do include him, he won’t come up much anyway even with the 15% boost. The large portion of Dolphins lineups come up with the Tua to Parker combination, as expected)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Darrell Henderson, Tyler Higbee (Q), Josh Reynolds (+15%) (watch out for the Higbee news here as well, change to Gerald Everett if Higbee doesn’t play, or just get your TE elsewhere)

Minnesota Vikings

Key Player: Kirk Cousins

Setting: At least one

Group: Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook (+10%), Justin Jefferson, Alexander Mattison (Cook is expected to play to the point where I’m removing his Q tag, he looks like a great individual option this week)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Devante Adams, Jamaal Williams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Robert Tonyan

New England Patriots

Key Player: Cam Newton

Setting: At most one

Group: Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd, James White (+75%), Rex Burkhead (Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry are out. The White bump is extreme but it barely brings him into the equation with the FanDuel projections)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Stefon Diggs, Devin Singletary, John Brown, Cole Beasley (I want to keep the run-back spot to the more likely Bills options)

New Orleans Saints

Key Player: Drew Brees

Group Setting: At least two

Group: Alvin Kamara, Tre’Quan Smith, Jared Cook, Latavius MurrayDeonte Harris (Michael Thomas remains out. Marquez Callaway is out, I can take or leave Austin Carr as an addition to this stack. Latavius Murray does just enough most weeks to sneak into the group for me but his shares will be limited)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Allen Robinson, David Montgomery, Darnell Mooney (+25%), Anthony Miller (+25%), Jimmy Graham (added Allen Robinson)

New York Jets

Key Player: Sam Darnold

Setting: At most one

Group: La’Mical Perine, Braxton Berrios, Denzel Mims, Jeff Smith (add Chris Herndon if you’re feeling frisky about this lame offense, their 14.50 implied team total does nothing for me, most of my Jets shares will come as run-back options)

Opposing setting: At least one

Group: Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Le’Veon Bell, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson (be sure to include Travis Kelce, he was left out of the original version of this group by mistake)


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Pittsburgh Steelers

Key Player: Ben Roethlisberger

Setting: At least two

Group: James Conner (-20%), Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Eric Ebron (I don’t hate the idea of a run or two with James Washington added as a low-owned and individually capped touchdown dependent upside play, despite another week of what is likely to be a severely reduced target volume with the return of Diontae Johnson)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews (+25%), J.K. Dobbins, Devin Duvernay (Fixed a copy-paste error with this list in the original version. Willie Snead can be included for some runs, but the focus as always is on Brown and Andrews)

San Francisco 49ers

Key Player: Jimmy Garoppolo

Setting: At least two (bumped up)

Group: George Kittle, Jerick McKinnon, Brandon Aiyuk, Tevin Coleman, Kendrick Bourne (Deebo Samuel and Jeff Wilson are out. JaMycal Hasty could get involved in this messy backfield situation as well, I can take or leave all three running backs)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Greg Olsen, Chris Carson (Q) (Chris Carson is a game time decision, Deejay Dallas could be in play if Carson sits. Carlos Hyde is out)

Seattle Seahawks

Key Player: Russell Wilson

Setting: At least two

Group: Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Greg Olsen, David Moore, Chris Carson (Q/GTD) (-15%) (The Seattle backfield is a mess, Chris Carson may end up playing, Carlos Hyde is out, we could see Deejay Dallas if Carson sits. With Seattle saying Carson is a game time decision this will be one to monitor going into lock. Tune in for the four-hour block of shows for the latest.)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: George Kittle (+10%), Jerick McKinnon, Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, Tevin Coleman (-15%)

Tennessee Titans

Key Player: Ryan Tannehill

Setting: At least two (The Titans are primed for another high-total game which should be a bounty for NFL DFS points. I’m not sweating the weather)

Group: Derrick Henry (-25%), A.J. Brown (+25%), Jonnu Smith, Corey Davis, Adam Humphries  (this should get us to around 50% Brown and 25% Henry in Titans stacks)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Tyler Boyd, A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard (-15%), Tee Higgins, Drew Sample


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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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