12 Ways to Improve Your Fanduel NFL Lineups

Struggling to put up big scores in Fanduel? Whether you want to cash in the big GPPs or just need to score more points in your head to head matches, you must change your weekly routine and habits to optimize your lineup building strategy.

For starters, take a look at our beginner’s guide to Fanduel NFL scoring if you are new to daily fantasy football.

You will need to score around 200 FDP to take down a GPP or at least 150 FDP to safely win your cash games. If you want to take your scores to the next level, then try these 10 helpful tips that I use every week to improve my overall scores. Hopefully, you will benefit too!

1. Check Injury Reports Before Kickoff

It’s the #1 most common mistake in daily fantasy sports. You never want to roster a guy that is hurt and won’t be playing. You’ll get a big 0 and destroy your chances of winning.

Rotoworld covers NFL injuries 24/7 and also monitor Twitter before kickoff if you have an account.

NFL is not a sport to casually follow and just plug in whoever looks good each week.

Football is a brutal sport and lots of players get hurt during games, in daily practice, or just experience general soreness. Injuries happen a lot so it’s your responsibility to make sure you roster healthy players each week.

2. Use vegas lines to your advantage

Every week, Las vegas releases overall NFL lines and favorites for people who bet money on the games. These are gold for a daily fantasy players. Games with higher than average totals help you identify cheap, overlooked players that can outperform their salary. You need 3x value for cash games and 4x value for Gpps.

3. Project Ownership Rates using Recency Bias

Recency bias is the tendency to think that trends and patterns we observe in the recent past will continue in the future. In NFL contests, you will see players who put up big points last week with high ownership rates. Here’s a general guide I use to predict ownership rates:

High scoring last week = 30% ownership

Average scoring last week = 15% ownership

Bust game = 10% or less ownership

Ownership levels is tricky because if you fade a highly owner player, then you have to make up those points somehow.

4. Use ESPN.com’s NFL Stats to Find Good Offensive Matchups

I used ESPN.com’s NFL stats to discover that John Brown was a great play during week 3 against the 49ers. All I did was go to Stats -> Defensive Passing Stats. I noticed that the 49ers have given up 5 TD passes in the first 2 weeks. I knew Michael Floyd would be highly owned, but he would also attract plenty of coverage.

John Brown got lots of 1 v 1 coverage and was quick enough to get right pass the defense and catch 2 TD passes. Once you find a defense that gets exploited in a specific category, try to find the diamond in the rough underowned guy that nobody will play. It will really help you get a broader view of the week’s games and save some cap space for bigger studs.

5. Search RotoGuru Sortable Stats to Find the Highest Scoring Players

Another smart tactic is to simply sort through which players have scored the most Fanduel points per week. Luckily, Rotoguru does all of this for us!

Go to Rotoguru’s NFL Sortable Stats and select the best players based on their actual Fanduel performance. Rotoguru also shows salaries, average points per week, and reveals the highest scoring player at each position. It’s a great way to see the players with the most Fanduel points without going through past lineups manually. A huge timesaver!

6. Be Contrarian: Learn How to Think For Yourself and Go against the crowd

It’s one of the hardest things to do, but can also be the most rewarding. Going against the crowd is the #1 way to seperate yourself in your league and take #1 place.

Every week, you will hear people talking about the same core players. These players will be highly owned in tournaments and GPPs. A smart strategy is to find a lower priced player in a great matchup that can go off.

However, you don’t have to go contrarian at every position. 1 or 2 off the board plays is probably your best strategy.

7. Use Rotogrinder’s NFL research tools

Plenty of websites provide fantasy football tools but Rotogrinders has the best variety of daily fantasy tools geared especially for Fanduel. It’ll help you find WRs with plenty of targets, find sleepers and just overall solid plays that may get underlooked. RG content is top notch and I use their website daily for my research needs.

8. Follow Yahoo! Fantasy Football Transactional Trends

In case of an injury or seriously valuable player, many season long fantasy sport players will add waiver wire players them to their teams. This is great for DFS players because we can find hidden gems that got overlooked in our daily research.

My favorite tool is Yahoo! Transactional trends. If a player gets added by a lot of teams, then you will see a huge green chart appear. If he’s dropped, then it turns reds.

9. Check Depth Charts to Avoid The DreadFul “0”

Depth charts show which players start in the offensive scheme for every team. Most teams will start:

  • 1 QB
  • 1 RB
  • 2 WRs
  • 1 TE

This is a basic offensive formation so make sure your players are listed #1 on the depth chart for their position. Here’s two ways to find depth charts:

This is crucial to prevent adding 2nd and 3rd string players to your lineup. Starting players will play the most snaps and get the most touches.

10. Check Snap Counts

Snap counts are the percentage of plays a player is on the field. Football Outsiders tracks snap counts week by week.

We want to target players who play a large percentage of snaps because they have a bigger opportunity to score fantasy points. Avoid players who play a low percentage of snaps (under 25%) or whose snap counts are decreasing (losing playing time to another player).

11. Avoid Second guessing and late minute switches

How many times have you been certain about a player then switched him out of your lineup at the last second? Next thing you know, he goes off for a big game.

It’s a common problem and will seriously hurt your bank account in the long run. The difference between 1 player could mean $20 vs $500 in a GPP.

My solution for this problem is to completely avoid changing my lineups at 12pm EST on Sunday. I spend the next hour just monitoring injuries and making sure my guys are healthy.

Last minute changes are often for the worst so I recommend avoiding them completely.

12. Make multiple lineups for GPPs

The last tip is for GPP players only. I usually use 1 lineup for cash games but almost always use multiple lineups for GPPs. The best DFS players use multiple lineups because you are trying to win the entire tournament. Nobody is perfect in their predictions but we can make sure to cover all bases.

When I make multiple lineups, I keep the same core players but switch 2 or 3 players to increase variance while giving me the chance for a high score.

The problem with one lineup is if 1player gets hurts or has a terrible game, it may destroy your entire night. Each entry increases your chances of winning. The best DFS players take the most chances so remember that all it takes is 1 solid lineup to pay for the next 200 entries.

Last Word of Advice: Make the obvious play and don’t overthink things

With all the articles, tools, podcasts, and shows going on, I think many people get caught up in the jazz of DFS and tend to overthink things too much. A prime example is when a QB is facing a horrible team yet people come up with all these advanced stats and predictions trying to prove he’s a fade. Bad defenses usually stay bad. Keep things simple.

Each week, you should see the obvious plays jump right out if you’re paying attention to the NFL. Overthinking your picks and changing them will make you angry and frustrated at the end. Trust your gut and remember this: your first choice is usually the correct one.

Fanduel Daily Fantasy Football Resources

Here’s a list of all the resources you can use to improve your Fanduel lineups:

Yahoo! NFL Transactional Trends

Rotogrinders (Read the Weekly NFL Grind Down)

ESPN.com NFL Stats

NFL Vegas Lines

Juke

Juke

Juke is an avid daily fantasy sports player who competes in MLB, NFL, NBA & Soccer leagues. He's been playing DFS for over a year and shares his successes & failures on RotoJuke. Follow Juke on Twitter.

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