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How to Build a Winning DraftKings Head-to-Head Lineup
DraftKings Lineup Card For Head to Head
Building the Lineup
In all Draftkings Formats you will start 1 Quarterback, 2 Running Backs, 3 Wide Receivers, 1 Tight End, 1 Flex Player (RB, WR, or TE) and 1 Defense. You will only have $50,000 to complete your roster. So how do we optimize our head to head DraftKings Lineup?
1. Build a team with a low expected variance
Building a team with a low expected variance involves drafting the most consistent players you can find. The reason? We are only trying to beat one individual. If you are able to create an average score every week you would expect to win 50% of the games you play. We will hope our players perform better than average, but our first goal is to create a team that if it performs normally will still win 50% of the time. There are three main ways to ensure you are creating a winning DraftKings Lineup.
1. Select Running Backs who consistently catch the ball - Draftkings gives a full point for every reception(PPR). If you are able to find a Running Back who catches the ball 3-4 times a game you automatically raise the bar for the lowest value of points you would expect. Don't go too overboard though, we still want a number of carries as well.
2. Select Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends who are targeted often - If you watch the data trends throughout a season you will find a number of players will progressively gain and lose targets. Finding players who will see more than 7 targets at a fair price will give you an immense advantage. Websites like https://www.fantasypros.com/nfl/reports/targets/ make it extremely easy to watch a players trends throughout the season.
3. Select QuarterBacks with a Great Match up - Quarterback is the easiest position to score 20-30 points. We want to select a player with the greatest chance to succeed. This can be played a few different ways. The first is by selecting a highly salaried player and the second is by selecting a more favorably priced player at a cheaper price. Many weeks you are able to find a quarterback in the 12-15 range who is primed for a nice outing at a great price. These are the players I generally advocate for.
2. Know your player's match up
When selecting players there are multiple ways you need to look at the match up to be sure your player is primed to succeed.
1. Look at the team match up - DraftKings supplies the data for each player's opponent. They will be ranked 1-32 based on their ranking in the league against the players position. The higher the number, the better the match up. Looking for players with a high number is usually a key to success.
2. Look at your players match up - This is a mistake that some players overlook. A team may not be great overall against a position, but that does not mean they don't have one player who is great. A classic example of this is a found in a CornerBack who trails a Wide Receiver for an entire game and shuts him down. Be sure to track if your player has a tough match up!
3. Know other players match ups- Many Fantasy players abide by the two rules above, but forget to use this knowledge to their advantage. What are we looking for in Wide Receivers and Tight Ends? TARGETS! If there is a player on the opposing team who in phenomenal, this will open up opportunities for other players as the quarterback will need to find new places to throw the ball. Don't overlook this thought!
3. Don't go overboard looking for sleepers
From the inception of fantasy football people have wanted to be the first to call a sleeper. Why? Because everyone wants to be the first to tell you, "I TOLD YOU SO."
1. Don't select too many cheap players in your lineup - Remember our first point. We want to be consistent. Nothing about a cheap player is consistent. Speculating is well served in game modes where you need to be thousands of players, but does not work well when you are playing only one player.
2. Don't fall in love with players - In daily fantasy football the prices change weekly. The guy you correctly predicted last week? He just got a nice salary boost. Don't feel the need to play him again this week because of his name. (Or to brag to your friends that you knew)
3.Don't select too many top tier players - This seems counter intuitive to some, but the result is simple. Too many expensive players forces you to use cheap players. Remember you can generally find two players who are both $6,000 and have higher expected values with a lower variance than a player for $9,000 and $3,000. It is always wise to find value, but be sure it is not only a speculative play.
What should you take away?
Always remember to select a consistent lineup when playing a head to head match in DraftKings. This can be done in a multitude of ways, but a few wise choices are to look for Running Backs who catch the ball, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends who get the ball thrown to them often, and Quarterbacks who have a nice match up. Match ups are the most important part of fantasy football in both daily and yearly formats. Be sure to know who your player is playing, and be aware of any players on the other team that may individually hurt or help your players worth. Finally, remember not to play too many cheap players. We all know how fun it is to hit on a player that no one but you believed in, but remember when facing only one person an average score wins half of the days. Now go have some fun and try you luck in a DraftKings head to head match!