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NFL DFS Picks: Optimizer Groups-Think | Conference Championships Fantasy Lineup Constructions

Terry McBride

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NFL DFS picks DraftKings and FanDuel Optimizer Groups

Despite only having two NFL DFS games on the slate, Conference Championships Sunday is always one of the better real life football days of the season. The quality of the product on the field in these games is typically top notch, and we have a wealth of high-end players to choose from despite only having four rosters to work with. Making enough decisions to get unique from the field while maintaining upside and median projection stability is a challenge we will have to wrestle with as a major factor in making NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel NFL contests.

With fewer players to choose from, I’m loosening some of the general constraint rules that we typically run. They will be indicated in the usual rules section below, so take note. I’ve also been asked about utilizing limiter groups this week for plays like restricting the number of times we will get to multiple high-priced skill players from the same offense — both Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill in a Chiefs stack, or Davante Adams with Aaron Jones, for example. This isn’t something I think we will end up benefiting from trying. With so few options on the slate, we will immediately be resorting to builds leaving multiple thousands on the table in salary and cutting our optimal lineup trajectory chances down significantly.

These are all updated for the latest information as of early Sunday morning. We’re looking at a mostly stable slate unless something unexpected happens, but that’s why you need to follow along with our NewsGod and the @Awesemo_DFS social media handle, along with all the shows, articles, tools and content.

I’m making use of the new NFL boom/bust tool in making my NFL DFS picks again this week. If you’re familiar with the product from our NBA toolkit, it operates the same way, providing a probability that a player will either hit or miss a target score. This is yet another game-changer for the Awesemo team. Check it out!

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NFL DFS Picks – Optimizer Groups-Think: Conference Championships

DraftKings + FanDuel 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) 

Change: For the two-game slate, I will allow one player against my defense in crunches to create additional lineup variance. It is still not my preferred approach, but I want those builds included in my sorting process.

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.

With the limited number of total players this week, we don’t need to go beyond the “at least one” setting with any of our groups, and none of the groups warrant an “at most” tag.

Notes

Everything is updated and ready for Sunday in one take this week. Thanks for reading along all season, it’s been fun. Good luck out there today!


NFC Championship Game

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Player: Tom Brady

Setting: At least one

Group: Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, Scotty Miller (-10%), Cameron Brate (-10%) (Antonio Brown is out this week; Fournette has seen an uptick in involvement in the passing game the last two weeks and could see even further added targets with Brown’s absence)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Aaron Jones (-10%)


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Green Bay Packers

Key Player: Aaron Rodgers

Setting: At least one

Group: Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Aaron Jones (-15%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, Scotty Miller (-10%), Cameron Brate (-10%)

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AFC Championship Game

Buffalo Bills

Key Player: Josh Allen

Setting: At least one

Group: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, John Brown, Gabriel Davis, Dawson Knox, Devin Singletary (-15%) (pop Isaiah McKenzie in to extend this group further)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (-10%)

Kansas City Chiefs

Key Player: Patrick Mahomes

Setting: At least one

Group: Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (-15%)

Opposing Setting: At least one

Group: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, John Brown, Gabriel Davis, Dawson Knox, Devin Singletary (-10%)


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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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