The process of building a daily fantasy football lineup in the NFL isn’t always simple, especially if you’re locked in on making one specific optimal lineup to use across multiple lineups. A lot can go into the decisions, value by position can change drastically on a week-by-week basis, and you need to find the best possible way to differentiate your lineups from the rest of the field.
We’re going to take a look at the best approaches and tips for building an optimal NFL daily fantasy lineup, beginning with something as straightforward as choosing the right quarterback.
High-Floor Quarterback, Dictated by How Much Value There Is
Regardless of which daily fantasy site you play on, there will almost always be one or two value quarterbacks and a number of mid-priced quarterbacks who have a high floor in terms of points. Whether it’s due to their ability to run, a great matchup, or a situation where the quarterback will be throwing early and often, there are going to be a few names that jump out as options.
Targeting one of these players is immediately where I’d start my lineup, and I’d dictate how much I want to move up toward the top-tier quarterbacks (Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, etc.), based on how much value there is at other positions that week.
Stack Your High-Floor Quarterback With a Wide Receiver, Tight End and/or Running Back
Unless you’re simply playing a head-to-head game (and oftentimes even then), stacking pass-catchers or a running back with the quarterback you choose is likely to be the start of a path to success in that specific week. Obviously, you shouldn’t just choose a wide receiver or tight end because they’re on the same team as your quarterback, but find a high-volume pass-catcher to pair up.
While this may lead to an expensive start of a stack (Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill, for example), you could either utilize the rest of the value available in spots in your lineup or choose to go with one of the team’s other pass-catchers, assuming they have a good matchup. Also looking to tack on the team’s running back or tight end as part of the stack will often be a wise move.
Find High-Volume Pass-Catchers for Cheap at Wide Receiver & Flex
This primarily stands true if you pay up at quarterback and running back, or even one of the wide receiver spots. There’s a lot to be said about having a value wide receiver or running back who’s going to be peppered with targets in a daily fantasy game where you receive a full point-per-reception.
One name who was a strong value option (as an example) at various points between the 2019 and 2020 season was New York Jets wide receiver, Jamison Crowder. If the price was right and the matchup was good, Crowder was likely to see double-digit targets and provided a nice high floor that allowed you to still pay up for a few studs.
Running Backs Who Catch Passes
The scoring on many daily fantasy sports sites may vary, but you’ll almost always find that sites offer either 0.5 points or one full point per reception. This adds to the value of pass-catching running backs in a big way. While I love to stack a running back who can also receiving out of the backfield, I’ll also look to make my second running back and possibly even flex a similar style of player.
Doing this simply adds to the floor of each player, but also provides a high upside if the running back is consistently getting the ball in space with the chance to make plays throughout the game.