• Andrew Moss

Insights from DraftKings Optimizer: Week 12


Welcome to the inaugural iteration of the Fantasy Football Astronauts DraftKings Optimizer series. Here we’re going to look at optimized lineups to see which strategies the solver thinks will work the best for a given week. This is not a matchup or X’s and O’s article; the goal of this series is to help you win money playing DraftKings by understanding the different builds available for a given week, what those builds look like, and how to implement them using the players you want to see in your lineup. Ultimately DFS is a game where the goal is to maximize points scored subject to the constraints of the positional and salary limits, so let’s take a look at the optimal lineup for this week. Because we are not taking into consideration how other people’s lineup construction affects the best plays for us, this article will represent my cash game strategy for this week.


Optimal Lineup for this week (151.5 projected points)

QB: Daniel Jones ($5500)

RBs: Nyheim Hines ($4600), Brian Hill ($4000)

WRs: Stefon Diggs ($7600), Justin Jefferson ($6300), Laviska Shenault Jr. ($3300)

TE: Darren Waller ($6000)

Flex: Dalvin Cook ($9500)

DST: Giants ($3200)


Thoughts:

The Solver prefers a punt-QB strategy, with two of the solver’s three favorite options (Jones, Carr, and Josh Allen) are below the 6000-dollar mark for a QB. However, because the original optimal solution has already maxed out the 50,000-dollar budget, the difference between Carr and Jones is equal to trading Waller and Shenault for DJ Moore and Kyle Rudolph. A lineup revolving around Josh Allen takes the opposite approach that these two punt-QB solutions do, but by upgrading the QB position, it becomes much more difficult to keep Dalvin Cook in the FLEX. All of the solver lineups within 95 percent of the original optimal solution (>=144 projected points) that have Josh Allen either don’t include Cook or require a punt-WR strategy for this week.

In cash games, you win by being on the correct side of the cash line most consistently. As a result, if your projection for average weekly points is above the cash line, minimizing variance causes your lineups to cash the most often. I don’t always advocate for stacks (using a QB and then 1 or more of that QB’s favorite targets) because it increases the variance of your lineup, allowing it to be sunk by one game on the slate. However, stacks do usually increase your lineup’s average point value when considering all available outcomes for the lineup, rather than just the average case (used in the projections). Finding this magic point in this tradeoff between median score and variance is the key to winning in DFS cash.


Grab a 10% off discount on FTN's stellar set of tools to get you the edge and help you win big money all season long. Use our promo code: ASTRO


If you want to play a stack, the Bills represent one of the best opportunities for this week. There is a clear path to a Bills stack using many of the building blocks in the optimal lineup (Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs), and it can be rounded out by making slight deviations to the players used to implement the punt-WR idea with Josh Allen and Dalvin Cook that I discussed above. Additionally, the Bills have an implied team total of 28.5, one of the highest in the NFL this week.


Bills Stack 1 (149.9 projected points)

QB: Josh Allen ($7600)

RBs: Nyheim Hines ($4600), Brian Hill ($4000)

WRs: Stefon Diggs ($7600), Gabriel Davis ($3000), Laviska Shenault Jr. ($3300)

TE: Travis Kelce($7000)

Flex: Dalvin Cook ($9500)

DST: Giants ($3200)


Bills Stack 2 (148 Projected Points)

QB: Josh Allen ($7600)

RBs: Dalvin Cook ($9500), Brian Hill ($4000)

WRs: Stefon Diggs ($7600), Justin Jefferson ($6300), Gabriel Davis ($3000)

TE: Darren Waller ($6000)

Flex: Laviska Shenault Jr. ($3300)

DST: Bills ($2700)


Bills Stack 3 (150.5 Projected Points)

QB: Josh Allen ($7600)

RBs: Dalvin Cook ($9500), James Robinson ($6300)

WRs: Justin Jefferson ($6300), Laviska Shenault Jr. ($3300), Gabriel Davis ($3000)

TE: Darren Waller ($6000)

Flex: Nyhiem Hines ($4600)

DST: Giants ($3200)

Reply in the comment section which of these Allen+Cook builds you prefer and what you want to see in this column next week, and good luck on this week’s slate!