DFS Football 101: Dos and Don'ts
DFS Football 101: Dos and Don'ts

This article is part of our DFS Football 101 series.

The last two weeks I have given you some overall strategies to help you in the upcoming 2018 NFL season for DFS. This week continues the preparation as we are a week away from kickoff. This week, we'll look at lineup construction dos and don'ts.

DO:

Pair QB with WR or TE. This is what is called "stacking." You are getting positive correlation by taking the QB and WR/TE together. You score points when your QB passes to your WR/TE and throws a touchdown.

Here are the 20-plus point games (FanDuel) for a QB/WR on the same team. It happened 52 times in 17 weeks for an average of 3.05 per week. If a QB had more than one WR pairing to hit 20, I counted it twice.

Week 1 – 4
Week 2 – 2
Week 3 – 10
Week 4 – 3
Week 5 – 2
Week 6 – 1
Week 7 – 2
Week 8 – 3
Week 9 – 4
Week 10 – 3
Week 11 – 1
Week 12 – 3
Week 13 – 2
Week 14 – 4
Week 15 – 4
Week 16 – 0
Week 17 – 4

DON'T:

Pair QB with RB. This is a hard rule unless you have an elite passing-catching running back who gets a huge percentage of market share. Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell come to mind. Jay Cutler and Matt Forte worked out great in the past. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley led the way in 2017 with three games.

Here are the 20-plus point games (FanDuel) for a QB/RB same team in 2017. It happened 25 times over 17 weeks for an average of just 1.47 per week or 4.5%

Week 1 – Alex Smith/Kareem Hunt
Week 2 – Trevor Siemian/C.J. Anderson
Week 3 – Jared Goff/Todd Gurley, Case Keenum/Dalvin Cook, Brian Hoyer/Carlos Hyde, Kirk Cousins/Chris Thompson
Week 4 – Dak Prescott/Ezekiel Elliott, Deshaun Watson/Lamar Miller
Week 5 – Philip Rivers/Melvin Gordon
Week 6 – Carson Palmer/Adrian Peterson
Week 7 – Tyrod Taylor/LeSean McCoy, Dak Prescott/Ezekiel Elliott
Week 8 – Deshaun Watson/Lamar Miller
Week 9 – Jared Goff/Todd Gurley, Carson Wentz/Corey Clement
Week 11 – Drew Brees/Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara
Week 12 – Brett Hundley/Jamaal Williams, Ben Roethlisberger/Le'Veon Bell
Week 13 – None
Week 14 – Mitchell Trubisky/Jordan Howard, Brett Hundley/Jamaal Williams, Jay Cutler/Kenyan Drake,
Ben Roethlisberger/Le'Veon Bell
Week 15 – Tyrod Taylor/LeSean McCoy, Cam Newton/Christian McCaffrey
Week 16 – Jared Goff/Todd Gurley
Week 17 – None

DO:

Pair RB with DST (preferably home favorite). This chart below ranks teams by total fantasy points at RB and DST. You can see the correlation with teams in the top 10 for DST and RB. Think about the pairings you want to use early in the season.

As an example, from 2017, the Cowboys DST averaged 8.3 PPG with Ezekiel Elliott versus only 5.3 without him.

Saints – Alvin Kamara
Jaguars – Leonard Fournette
Rams – Todd Gurley
Ravens – Alex Collins
Chargers – Melvin Gordon
Bears – Jordan Howard

TEAMDST RANKRB RANK
NO71
NE122
JAC14
LAR53
BAL26
LAC45
CHI88
PHI312
MIN147
CAR1011
ATL169
KC1310
PIT1113
DET622
WAS1716
DEN2015
TEN2124
CLE3014
NYG2519
CIN2325
SF2818
GB2423
ARI1827
NYJ3117
DAL1529
HOU2921
IND2726
OAK3220
BUF2228
SEA932
TB1930
MIA2631

DO:

Use Vegas Team Totals for DST.

Here is the data from 2015-17 based on opposing team total. If you just took defense against teams with projected totals of 18 or less, you would score almost 10 points per game whereas the average DST scores about 6.9 points per game. Currently there is only one team that fits this criteria in Week 1 – the Ravens. The Broncos are a borderline team against the Seahawks.

OPP TEAM TOTALCOUNTDST PPG
1228.50
1349.75
14911.89
15189.56
164010.48
17529.87
181169.64
191258.43
201538.08
211727.68
221647.12
231576.66
241495.54
251235.59
26895.56
27615.08
28564.91
29224.95
30134.46
3162.00
3233.67
3322.00


The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Michael Rathburn plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: burnnotice, DraftKings: burnnotice, Yahoo: burnnotice, Fantasy Aces: burnnotice, FantasyDraft: burnnotice.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Rathburn
Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.
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