Daily fantasy football players can utilize numerous tools and
strategies to build the perfect lineup each Sunday.
Stacking players on teams that appear to play in high scoring
games can provide a doubling-up effect, while using
Vegas betting lines can be an excellent way to identify value
plays based on the over/under and spread set by sports books.
These tools and others that I will discuss throughout the season
are valuable concepts that most DFS players use to build their
bankrolls. But one thing that separates veteran DFS players from
rookies is their understanding of the differences between head-to-head
games and tournaments, and the different strategies in building
lineups for each format.
The “perfect” lineup is relative to how many people
you are trying to beat. In large tournaments, your goal should
be to build a lineup with as many breakout, high-upside players
because you will need to beat tens of thousands of other owners
to earn the top prize.
In head-to-head games, which often are the best way to build
a bankroll, your goal is to beat one player, and shooting for
the stars on each position on your roster is not the best approach.
After all, a win by one point over your opponent provides the
same payout as beating him/her by 100. Similar to building a strong
portfolio of stocks and bonds to weather turbulent financial times,
a diverse roster of consistent players mixed with a few inexpensive
upside plays is the preferred strategy in head-to-head games.
Finding consistent performers at the quarterback and running
back positions will likely eat up a majority of your budget, but
the cost to make sure you receive solid points from those key
roster spots is worth it when you are going against one person
in a cash game. The lower cost and higher risk running backs and
wide receivers that round out your lineup are where you can look
for a homerun play.
The consistency calculator is an excellent tool DFS owners can
use to identify safe plays in building the foundation of a solid
head-to-head lineup. The following players are a few options that
have proven to be consistent performers through the first three
weeks of the 2015 season.
Consistent QB: Andy Dalton has thrown at
least two touchdowns in all three games this season.
Dalton joins Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady as the three quarterbacks
this season to earn a 100% start rating in ten-team standard ESPN
scoring leagues, with the Red Rocket posting an average of 23
fantasy points per game. He enters Sundayís home game against
the Chiefs on the heels of a 383-yard, three-TD game against the
Ravens. In addition, the Chiefs have given up the most points
to opposing quarterbacks through the first three games and will
likely struggle against Cincinnatiís potent passing attack.
At only $7,800, Dalton is a value play compared to Rodgers or
Brady who are both going for over $9,000. He may not deliver a
5-TD game like Rodgers did last week against the Chiefs, but he
has proven to be a consistent performer who has an advantageous
matchup week 4.
Williams has been one of the most consistent running backs this
season with one rushing touchdown in each of his three games in
2015, despite being the second running back on the Bills behind
LeSean McCoy. McCoy is likely going to sit out Sundayís
game against the Giants to allow his injured hamstring time to
heal, opening the door for Williams to be the lead back against
a Giants defense that has given up the eighth-most fantasy points
to opposing backs.
Julio Jones has been a beast this year and the most consistent
wide receiver. Owners who are looking for a sure thing and are
ok with paying his hefty $9,400 price tag should consider adding
him to their lineup every week until he slows down.
For owners who are looking for consistent wide receiver play
but donít have the budget for Jones should consider Donte
Moncrief. Moncrief has scored a touchdown in all three of the
Colts games, including an eight-catch, 122-yard performance Week
2 against the Jets. He is not flashy and will likely not give
you a breakout performance, but he is the model of consistency
and the perfect foundation piece for a head-to-head lineup.
With the ultimate consistent tight end out Week 4 with a bye,
owners looking for consistency from another player not named Gronk
may want to consider Jordan Reed. Through three games, Reed has
the third most targets (26) for tight ends, while delivering three
games with at least eight fantasy points.
Reed is clearly a favorite target of Kirk Cousins and will continue
to be active in the passing game along with Pierre Garcon. He
may not post a blowout 2-TD game, but the chance of him giving
you a goose-egg is fairly small.