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A Beginner's Guide To Building NFL Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Lineups

How To Find An Edge With Your Players

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The process creating an NFL daily fantasy sports (DFS) lineup can oftentimes go in one of two directions.

For some people, there is a feeling of complete bewilderment and not knowing where to begin the player selection process.

For others, information overload kicks in they’ve collected so much data that it can be difficult to choose between all of the players and options they have in mind.

Both of these situations are very common when constructing any DFS lineups and are the main reasons why it’s important to develop a plan that can help guide your research and narrow down the possible selections.

Here are a few basics to developing a solid plan in building you next DFS lineups:

Look At Betting Lines

Betting lines can help the DFS player determine which games are expected to produce the most fantasy output. Sportsbooks are incentivized to release betting lines that are representative of how they expect a game to be played. If they put out bad lines, sharp gamblers will punish them. For this reason, we as DFS players can feel pretty confident that these lines can assist us in determining which games will be high scoring (high fantasy value) and which will be low scoring (low fantasy value). Studying and understanding the betting lines can really help narrow your focus when it comes to choosing players.

Understand Team Totals

One method that can be helpful is to identify team totals. What this means is that the betting line for every game is essentially pointing to a projected point total for every team. Let’s take a look at a sample, hypothetical, NFL betting line. Say the Green Bay Packers are at home against the Atlanta Falcons and are 11 point favorites in a game that has a projected total of 52 points scored. We can surmise from this that Green Bay is expected to score 31.5 points while Atlanta is projected to score 20.5 points.

Generally, when you see a team with a team total above 30 in the NFL you should be very cognizant of them when building DFS lineups. Meanwhile, Atlanta would be a team that you may not avoid altogether but certainly you wouldn’t be targeting heavily.

Matchups Are Important

While team totals are a very general approach to identifying which teams and players you should be targeting, there is copious amounts of data out there for every sport that can help you fine tune your selections. In the NFL, a word you will hear a million times every season is matchups. There is a reason for this; matchups are important! If our goal is to be competitive in DFS, we have to be aware of the different matchup opportunities and problems that each team presents.

Will Opportunity Knock?

Lastly, you want to focus on opportunity. Is this player someone who is going to play an integral role in his team’s offense? If the answer is no, then he likely shouldn’t be in your DFS lineup. By doing the research on situation, matchup and opportunity, you can really begin to hone in on the players that will propel your DFS lineups to victory.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Find me on Twitter @IanJ300 with any questions.


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