Week 1 NFL DFS Cheatsheet – 2023

Week 1 2023 NFL cheat sheet

In week 1, DFS Hub is serving up a four-course meal of contrarian picks, backup gems, and high-value props, led off by our house selection of NFL games to target.

And while we’re not claiming to have cracked the DFS Da Vinci code, we’re working our socks off to ensure these NFL DFS Week 1 notes pack a punch. (Note: This fantasy buffet is cooked up specifically for Sunday’s “main slate” DraftKing’s contest.)

Shootouts: 3 Games That Could Generate Hefty Fantasy Totals

Here’s a trio of matchups with the potential to rain fantasy points like confetti at a Mardi Gras parade.

  1. Miami Dolphins (+3) at Los Angeles Chargers (-3) — O/U: 50.5
  2. Cincinnati Bengals (-2) at Cleveland Browns (+2)O/U: 47.5
    • Nick Chubb may propel himself into the upper echelon of NFL running backs this season.
    • QB Deshaun Watson will try to open strong to justify Cleveland’s investment in him.
    • If Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase both get red, this could be a high-scoring affair.
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5) at Indianapolis Colts (+4.5)O/U: 46.5
  1. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers, $4,900
    • Brandon Aiyuk had a strong finish to the regular season last year, averaging 17.6 fantasy points in his final three games prior to the playoffs.
    • George Kittle is on the mend, leaving a bit more room in the once-crowded 49ers offense for Aiyuk.
    • Many would consider Aiyuk the 49er’s 5th-highest FP-scorer. This week he could prove more fruitful.
  2. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens, $6,600
    • It’s Houston. The Texans are 2 standard deviations below average in PFF run defense grade.
    • At BAL -10, J.K. Dobbins could enjoy bonus carries if this one gets lopsided early.
    • He’s projected to be only 3% owned and has a +102 TD prop line.
  3. Dalton Schultz, TE, Houston Texans, $4,600
    • The Texans are huge dogs against the Ravens but somebody has to eat on this offense.
    • During his last four games of 2022 Dalton Schultz had five touchdowns with a floor of 8 targets
    • He could offer much-needed support for his rookie quarterback.

HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 19: Houston Texans tight end Dalton Schultz (83) in the second quarter during the preseason NFL game between the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans on August 19, 2023 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

Backup Brilliance: Fill-in players at cheap salaries with splash potential

  1. Deon Jackson, RB, Indianapolis Colts, $4,100
    • With Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss battling injuries for the Colts, Deon Jackson is the next man up.
    • Jackson is a competent pass catcher, as shown by his 75 yards receiving on 7 targets in Week 18.
    • The Jacksonville D was middle of the road against running backs last year.
    • With a $4,100 DraftKings salary, throwing Jackson in at Flex may spell cheap points.
  2. Luke Musgrave, TE, Green Bay Packers, $2,900
    • OK, a TE is not exactly a sub for a WR, but Green Bay may be missing its WR1 and WR2, so close enough.
    • Rookie Luke Musgrave was one of Jordan Love’s favorite targets this pre-season and could see high TgT%
  3. Jamaal Williams, RB, New Orleans Saints, $5,100
    • Jamaal Williams led the NFL his 17 rushing touchdowns last season and Alvin Kamara is out.
    • He also managed to run for over 1,000 yards while sharing the backfield in Detroit.
    • Williams has the third-best [TDCost] of any player on the main slate.

      (TD Cost is a DFS Hub field that measures how much a guaranteed TD would cost based on the player’s salary and prop-implied probability of scoring. Lower numbers are better.)

Prop Bonanza: Players with high prop-to-salary ratios

  1. Marvin Mims Jr., WR, Denver Broncos, $3,000
    • Speedy Marvin Mims Jr. has the best [TDCost] of any player on the main slate
    • He should be in line for more targets with Jerry Jeudy (hamstring) not practicing in full this week
    • Vegas had a coverage grade that was 1.5 standard deviations below average last year (i.e., ca ca).
  2. Cam Akers, RB, LA Rams, $6,200
    • Cam Akers is coming off three straight 100-yard performances and Seattle has only an average Run-D
    • WR Cooper Kupp is out and Akers can catch out of the backfield
    • He’s got a +102 prop TD line, a favorable TD Cost of $12.52 and he plays very well in Lumen field
  3. Raheem Mostert, RB, Miami Dolphins, $5,400
    • Speedster Raheem Mostert is top 4 on this slate in yards after contact & Miami’s WRs will spread the field
    • He faces a porous run-D (LAC gave up 5.6 ypc in 2022) and has modest expected competition for carries.

Don’t forget to enter this week’s free NFL DFS contest for cash!

New: NFL Defense Injury Report & Sharp Bettor Report

NFL defense injury and sharp bettor reports

If you’re one of those folks who loves to analyze defensive injuries and sharp money bets over your morning coffee, this might just streamline your weekly ritual.

Introducing DFS Hub’s fresh-off-the-press NFL Defense Injuries & Sharp Bettor Report.

It’s got two simple purposes:

  1. To tell you who’s hurt—that matters—on NFL defenses.
    • That way, you can avoid these defenses (DSTs) if appropriate, and/or exploit them with opposing offensive players
  2. To lend a sense of who the smart money is backing this week.
    • Use these clues to adjust player expectations in cases where sharps are heavily investing in a team, relative to the percentage of bets on that team.

Give these new reports a spin. They may be worth ditching the morning donut over.

10 Reasons to Avoid an NFL DFS Lineup Optimizer

Why You Should Avoid DFS Optimizers in 2023

“I do all of my lineup building without any of the DFS optimizers.”—David Bergman, $2.5-million winner in the 2020 DraftKings’ Fantasy Football World Championship

New daily fantasy players often ask, “What is the best DFS lineup optimizer?”

That’s often followed by the question, “How do you use a DFS optimizer?

But those aren’t the questions new DFS players should be asking. What they should be asking is, “Is an Optimizer something I should even be usingl?”

Relying on “off-the-shelf” optimizers is virtually guaranteed to result in underperformance versus astute hand-crafted lineups, for the reasons that follow. We’d urge all readers to carefully consider the facts below before risking any money with an NFL DFS optimizer.

Reasons You Should Not Use a DFS Optimizer

  1. You think they simply work…like magic.
    • Optimizers don’t think. They use common algorithms to generate random lineups. And those lineups aren’t even perfectly “optimized” (more on that below). Optimizers don’t know which players are not playing at a peak level. They don’t know player trends. They don’t know historical relationships. Those things are gathered from experience, research and modeling, which off-the-shelf optimizers won’t give you. Optimizers are anything but set-and-forget tools. Apart from faulty inputs (e.g., bad projections), operator error is their biggest risk.
  2. You like to build just a few lineups
    • If your game of choice is single-entry contests, optimizers simply aren’t as useful — especially for cash games. For double-ups and 50/50s, you rarely need more than 1-3 lineups. After all, you’re searching for players with the highest floors. A proficient single lineup DFS player will easily beat your typical optimizer-generated single lineup the majority of the time. But wait, the pros swear by the optimizers they sell. How can they not work? Well, it’s not that the automated optimizers don’t work. It’s that they probably won’t work for you. Pros with fat bankrolls use optimizers to create dozens, even hundreds, of lineups. They rely on correlations and variance and build complex algorithms into their optimizers. In any event, you can be darned sure they’re not selling the secret sauce that makes them pros for $49 a month.
  3. Optimizers rely too heavily on projections
    • All fantasy point projections are inaccurate—be they total points, ceilings, floors, or what have you, they’re inaccurate. Yet, those same projections are the main variable in optimizer calculations. Worse yet, most optimizers use projected fantasy point averages by default, with little regard for: (A) upside, and (B) how often a player hits his upside. Obviously, what everyone wants/needs are the least wrong projections — those with the least bias (since they’re all biased). A successful optimization system must have more consistent and accurate projections than the crowd. Otherwise, an optimizer will simply magnify projection errors — due to the large number of lineups being created. Relying too heavily on mass-market projections that hundreds of thousands of your competitors rely on dilutes your edge. That’s especially true in GPPs.
  4. Managing variance isn’t easy
    • It’s not just projections you need to worry about. If you’re building multiple lineups in an optimizer, managing variance is essential. Among other things, it means adjusting player projections up and down by the right amount to get the optimal diversity of lineups. But here’s the problem. What if you adjust a projection higher because you think the opponent’s poor defense is not fully factored into the projection? But then again, what if it is actually factored in?  What you’ve just done is boost the projection error.
  5. Optimizers hinge on exposures
    • Determining the correct percentage of rosters that a given player will appear in is fundamental to optimization. You don’t want to be overexposed or underexposed to anyone. Getting this part of the process wrong significantly reduces the chances of success. So does over-limiting the player pool your optimizer can pull from (i.e. excluding too many players from your “short list”). If you’re making these kinds of foundational decisions, you could just as easily spend that effort on perfecting a manual lineup construction process.
  6. Optimizers rely on ownership optimization
    • You have to set limits on aggregate ownership (i.e., the total combined ownership of all players in your lineup). There’s more science than art in that. Moreover, game theory and projecting the crowd’s opinion of player value remain paramount. This is but one more complexity of optimization prone to error.
  7. Optimizers are only quantitative
    • “Qualitative” factors often get dismissed by optimizer pushers. We touched on this above. Optimizers don’t adequately factor in variables like player and team motives, psychology, shifts in team strategy, environment (e.g., what sort of contests does a player thrive in), the impact of lost teammates, player matchup details, player utilization and so on. How can you find the best DFS QB, for example, if you’re not considering each player’s context that week? The reason optimizers are mainly number crunchers and not context analyzers is that qualitative factors are not like yards or TDs. They cannot be as easily quantified. As a result, qualitative factors can’t be readily plugged into an algorithm. That’s good for you, however, because it creates inefficiency in the market—and exploiting inefficiency is how you win. To put this all another way, optimizers rely too heavily on mass-market data. The more people who know a piece of DFS information, the less valuable that information becomes.
  8. Most People Lose
    • Roughly 73% of DFS players lose, as of the time this is being written. The top 1% make 45% of the money on DraftKings, as of this writing. More interestingly, a 2015 report found that the top 11 DFS players spend $2 million+ in entry fees a year on average, and they’re all using optimizers of some sort. But if you’re trying to exploit Draftkings inefficiencies, you don’t want to toil away competing against stat geniuses who run multi-million-dollar quant models on a custom NFL DraftKings optimizer. You want to do something different, like find a consistent niche methodology (possibly a more qualitative approach) and refine it. And remember, increasing your entries with an optimizer may boost your win probability, but does it boost your probability more than it boosts your lineup costs? For most people, the answer is no.
  9. You have limited resources
    • To make optimization worth it on a large scale, you need enough bankroll to deploy enough lineups. And enough time to manage it all. You can’t just create 150 lineups and not look at them before submission. For those with smaller bankrolls, searching for the best overall values can have a higher return on time.
  10. You’re not getting the most optimized lineup
    • With practically infinite player combinations, processing power limitations prevent publicly available optimizers from generating true theoretical top lineups. What you get is an approximation of the most optimized lineup(s) using mathematical and programming shortcuts.

Conclusion: DFS optimizers

Too many optimizer users put too much faith in the simple logic that spits out optimizer recommendations. They see the shiny marketing and the big names associated with these tools, and then they click and pray….and lose.

An optimizer doesn’t just magically give you skill. An optimizer reflects skill. You have to make multiple decisions correctly to leverage an optimizer. Even top pros manually select 2-4 players as locks in all of their lineups. So if you’re going to do all that analysis work for 2-4 players, you might as well perfect your process and do it for the rest of the positions, with a hand-built lineup. At least that way you don’t have to get both your player picks right and get the optimizer settings right.

Don’t get me wrong, optimizers are an incredibly powerful tool in the right hands, with the right logic built in. In fact, once you reach pro level, one might argue that optimizers are the best way to scale your winnings. They’re practically indispensable for the algorithmic selection of 10+ lineups. For the best of the best who may submit 150 lineups in a given contest, imagine the gargantuan effort of creating all those rosters by hand!

But until you graduate to that point, to the point where you’ve refined your winning formula to beat the house edge, where you’re routinely cashing and handily beating the rake, optimizers are better left for another day.

People make a healthy living by hand-curating lineups using reliable disciplined methods that marry qualitative and quantitative analysis. Focus hard on learning what stats matter and improving your process. Whether your system is manual or automated, the DFS game boils down to successfully finding inefficiencies — inefficiencies that most people are too casual or inexperienced to exploit. An optimizer simply won’t be an optimal way for you to return on your investment.

How to Find the Best NFL DFS Value (The 3x Salary Multiplier Rule)

How to find value in NFL DFS

It takes serious value hunting to win NFL DFS contests on DraftKings or FanDuel. That means identifying players able to rack up significantly more fantasy points than their salaries imply.

One common way to measure NFL DFS value plays is with salary multipliers. Below is a guide on how they work, and bargain shopping tips for building winning lineups this 2023 NFL DFS season.

The Basics of Salary Multipliers

If you want to cash in NFL DFS contests, step one is knowing how many points it’ll take.

For example, to place in a typical Draftkings cash game (i.e., 50/50, double up, or head-to-head), you’ll want to aim for 150+ total points, assuming a classic 9-man roster.

Sometimes it’s as low as 130 or less. Sometimes it’s more. But 150 points is a safe guideline.

That means each of your players needs to score almost 17 points on average.

In salary terms, each player must therefore average three times his salary for you to “cash” in a cash game — given the average player costs $5,555 (i.e., $50,000 salary cap / 9 roster slots).

Put another way, you need to score an average of 3 points for every $1,000 you spend on a player. That equals the target of 17 points per player divided by 5.555 (the average player’s salary divided by 1,000).

So if Mike Evans costs $7,100, for example, you want to be confident he’ll score at least 21.3 points to justify adding him to your lineup.

Think of this 3.0x as your minimum required return on investment (ROI) for drafting a player. This is the salary multiplier you’ll need to grow your capital in cash games.

TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 01: Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) hauls in a long pass for a touchdown during the regular season game between the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 01, 2023 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Value Fields on DFS Hub

The value target (i.e., what you should shoot for) varies by contest type. To help you quickly determine the performance needed for a player to “hit value” at a given salary, DFS Hub offers three fields:

[2-5xSal] — which stands for 2.5 times salary: a bare minimum your player should hit in a classic cash game
[3-0xSal] — which stands for 3.0 times salary: a conservative fantasy point target for classic cash games
[3-5xSal] — which stands for 3.5 times salary: a minimum target to place in the top 10% of GPP tournaments

The minimum theoretical fantasy-points-to-salary ratio that a player must hit (to help you win) is sometimes called the breakeven value. Cash games seldom have a “breakeven” value lower than 2.5x. Going 3.0x value is more common, especially with the DFS market getting more efficient in 2023.

Once you understand how high of a hurdle you have to leap, you can then estimate the probability that a player in question will exceed that minimum.

Get in the habit of mentally running these estimates for every player in your lineup. If a player’s fantasy point [FP] target seems high, ask yourself why. In some cases, you may need to evaluate alternatives.

NFL DFS Value is rarely obvious

Cash Game Value

In principle, winning cash games is straightforward. You essentially want to pick “safe” players with:

  • high floors
  • ample opportunities (passes, rushing attempts and/or targets), and
  • the greatest chance of hitting breakeven value (thus beating at least half your opponents).

One way to size up cash game candidates is to compare the player’s floor ( [FloorL4] ) to their 3x value target ( [3-0xSal] ). When you find a player with a floor that’s almost 3x their salary (or better), you’ve likely found a player with a favorable risk/reward ratio. Players with floors that are 3x their salary aren’t a sure thing, but they’re often ‘sure enough’ to bet on in cash games.

GPP Value

GPPs vary in size and maximum entries, and in large tournaments, a smaller percentage of entrants win.

As a result, it’s hard to generalize, but the minimum score to cash is usually over 10 points higher than in cash games. You want to target roughly 18 FPs per rostered player, minimum.

Compared to cash games, ownership and ceiling matter far more in GPP contests. To land in the top 10 in big GPPs you need most of your players to exceed their ceilings, going over 4x salary on average (over 200 total points).

  • Pro Tip: One way to narrow down such players is to look for those who’ve gone 4x salary in the not-too-distant past, who have good matchups but not outlandish salaries.

To bag the top prizes in the biggest tournaments, you usually need to nail all the breakout performances on the slate. If a player goes 7x value and he’s not in your lineup, your chances of taking first place plunge. Such players are often involved in games that end up in shootouts.

If, for example, one of Josh Allen‘s usual targets is out of the Buffalo Bills high-scoring lineup, the next man up could provide uncommon value. And they’ll do so with a lower DFS salary than the Bill’s normal top option.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) carries the ball during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

Salary Multiplier Examples

Here are some simple examples to illustrate what it takes to strike big value.

To achieve a 4x ROI on DraftKings on a $7,000 wide receiver, that player needs to amass 28 fantasy points. This requires a stat line equivalent to:

  • 8 receptions (resulting in 8 points)
  • 110 receiving yards (i.e., 11 points for the yards + a 3-point bonus for a 100-yard game)
  • 1 TD (6 points)

To achieve a 4x ROI on DraftKings on a $6,000 running back, he needs 24 points. That takes a stat line equivalent to:

  • 110 rushing yards (11 points for the yards + 3 points bonus for a 100-yard game)
  • 2 receptions (2 points for the receptions)
  • 20 receiving yards (2 points for the receiving yards)
  • 1 TD (6 points)

…or, 2+ TDs with fewer yards.

To win the Millionaire Maker you may need to average over 5x! To reach that threshold, add another TD to the above examples.

Value by Salary

As a player’s price goes up, his value target drops. That’s hard for most NFL DFS rookies to wrap their heads around.

What this means is, you need less “value” (a lower salary multiplier) from a higher-priced player than a lower priced player, in order to generate the same output.

A 3x performance on a high-salary player is, therefore, more valuable than a 3x on a low-salary player.

By contrast, for less reliable bargain basement players, you need opportunities to generate a higher-than-average return on salary, i.e., 3.5x to 4.0x or more.

Value on FanDuel Versus DraftKings

How you go about leveraging value depends on what platform you play on.

Winning on FanDuel requires fewer fantasy points relative to salary. That’s because it allots fewer points for performance and has higher salaries, including higher minimum salaries.

For these reasons:

  • Target salary multipliers are smaller on FanDuel than DraftKings
  • It often takes about 0.5x to 1.0x less to hit value on FanDuel (i.e., as low as 2.0x on FanDuel versus 3.0x on DraftKings).

This also impacts player selection. On FanDuel, for example, running backs exceed 3x value almost twice as often as receivers, and more than three times as often as TEs, according to Numberfire (source). That’s largely because FanDuel is only half-PPR, meaning they award only 1/2 point for catches.

Here’s a quick guideline for minimum value targets at each position on DraftKings and FanDuel. Note: These values are based on the classic 9-player format.

Quarterback

DraftKings

FanDuel

Minimum Salary

$5,000

$6,000

Value Target (Cash Games)

3

2

Value Target (GPPs)

4

3

Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)

15

12

Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)

20

18

Running Back

DraftKings

FanDuel

Minimum Salary

$4,000

$4,500

Value Target (Cash Games)

3

2.5

Value Target (GPPs)

4

3.5

Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)

12

11.25

Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)

16

15.75

Wide Receiver

DraftKings

FanDuel

Minimum Salary

$3,000

$4,500

Value Target (Cash Games)

3

2

Value Target (GPPs)

4

3

Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)

9

9

Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)

12

13.5

Tight End

DraftKings

FanDuel

Minimum Salary

$2,500

$4,000

Value Target (Cash Games)

3

2

Value Target (GPPs)

4

3

Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)

7.5

8

Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)

10

12

Defense (DST)

DraftKings

FanDuel

Minimum Salary

$2,000

$3,000

Value Target (Cash Games)

3

2

Value Target (GPPs)

4

3

Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)

6

6

Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)

8

9

NFL DFS Value By Position

The NFL DFS value formula is ever-changing, but here are some quick rules of thumb to maximize ROI in tournaments:

  • QB: In big tournaments, the best-value NFL DFS QBs tend to be those with mid-range salaries or less.
  • RB: Running backs who go for max value tend to be elite backs, or those otherwise expected to attract unusually heavy volume in a given week.
  • WR: Receivers who go off in a given week tend to see deep ball completions and high expected target volume. The former can be hard to predict but the latter is easier to forecast, particularly if a WR is expected to see a greater role in a given game.
  • TE: Maximizing value at the tight end position usually requires finding TEs under $4,000 in TE-friendly game scripts. Tight ends usually require just one TD to hit value.
  • DST: High-value defenses tend to be lower-cost DSTs who get a lot of pressure and a defensive touchdown.

Maximizing Value

NFL DFS is a relatively efficient market, meaning that players who are widely expected to hit value or who hit value more consistently generally cost more.

But not always.

Your job as an NFL DFS analyst is to find the exceptions—the mispricings.

Mispricing can occur in all sorts of scenarios, for example:

  • when a player substitutes for an injured starter
    • On DraftKings, given its higher scoring and lower salaries, a minimum-salary RB (or sometimes a WR or TE) who subs for an injured star is a must-start the majority of the time.
  • when a player’s role grows within his team, e.g.:
    • when a rookie gets more reps
    • when a player is promoted after a breakout performance
  • when a player’s salary drops materially after a bad performance or two.

When assessing situations like this for their 3x or 4x potential, be sure to adjust your value expectations to the:

  • player’s salary
  • player’s position (e.g., workhorse running backs in good matchups hit value more often than tight ends)
  • contest
  • site you’re playing on (DraftKings, FanDuel, etc.).

If you’re not confident a player can generate a large enough return on salary to help you win your contest, leave him out of your lineups. And remember, volume (opportunity) leads to value.

With NFL DFS matchups, it’s important to look beyond just the overall strength of the opposing defense. You also need to consider factors like the opposing team’s defensive scheme, their recent performance, and any injuries or other factors that may impact their performance.

To supplement matchup analysis, it’s important to research a player’s recent performance, their historical performance, and any factors that may impact their productivity—such as injuries, coach comments or recent changes in coaching staff.

Factors like a player’s consistency over the course of the season, expected defensive coverage, PFF grades and any recent changes in their role or usage, can also be key signals.

Team trends are yet another vital element to consider, as they can heavily impact a player’s performance. This includes analyzing factors such as a team’s offensive scheme, game motivation and recent momentum.

The takeaway from the above is this. When hunting for value, looking beyond general statistics and Vegas lines isn’t just recommended, it’s mandatory. Everyone’s trying to do the same thing—find hidden gems. You’ve got to out-research and out-think your opponents.

The Impact of Weather on Player’s Value

Poor weather conditions have been proven to negatively change the game script. According to data by The Fantasy Footballers, rains tends to have a negative effect on quarterbacks and recievers. When raining, completion percentage drops by abour 3%, total game passing production dips by 45 yards and .6 fewer passing TDs are tossed. Those numbers are even worse when snowfall occurs.

When deciding between players with a similar price tag, you may get more value out of a QB or pass catcher that is in more favorable weather conditions. Additionally, in the rare instances of snowfall, flexing a running back over a reciever could provide you unexpected value over your opponents who may not pay as close attention to the words of the weatherman.

Week 11 NFL DFS | “Under the Radar” Player Values

Week 11 NFL DFS Values

Week 11 in the NFL — Quick Take:

The marquee matchups:

  • Dallas (6-3) visits Minnesota (8-1) in what could be the game of the week.
  • The NFL’s #1 offense, (7-2) Kansas City, visits the L.A. Chargers (5-4).
  • Chicago QB Justin Fields visits Atlanta, trying to make it three games in a row with over 100 yards rushing.

The biggest totals in week 11:

  • KC (-5.5) @ LAC (52.0)
  • CLE (+7.5) @ BUF (50.5)
  • CHI (+3.0) @ ATL (49.0)

Check out DFS Hub’s GPP strategy tips.

How this works

Every week, DFS Hub analyzes one “under the radar” player from each game.

The goal being, to find players with more than a 40% chance of scoring four times their salary. That means a DraftKings fantasy point performance greater than [Sal($k)] x 4.

The criteria is simple:

  1. All players must be $6,900 or less on DraftKings.
  2. All players should have the potential and projected opportunities to return 4x DFS value.

Uncovering players who blow up for 4x value isn’t easy, but it’s vital for anyone hoping to win tournaments consistently. So without further delay, below are this week’s bargain bin options for NFL DFS week #10.

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire

Week 10 NFL DFS | “Under the Radar” Player Values

Week 11 NFL DFS values

Week 10 in the NFL — Quick Take:

  • The week’s marquee matchups:
    • Brady tries to get back to .500 against the visiting 6-3 Seahawks. Trouble is, his home field this week is in Munich, Germany.
    • Dallas aims to dish out a 6th straight loss to Rodgers and the Packers.
    • Josh Allen and his bum elbow face a potent Minnesota offense.
  • The biggest totals in week 10 come:
    • JAX (+9.5) @ KC (51.0)
    • CLE (+3.5) @ MIA (49.0)
    • DET (+2.5) @ CHI (48.5)

How this works

Every week, DFS Hub analyzes one “under the radar” player from each game.

The goal being, to find players with more than a 40% chance of scoring four times their salary. That means a DraftKings fantasy point performance greater than [Sal($k)] x 4.

The criteria is simple:

  1. All players must be $6,900 or less on DraftKings.
  2. All players should have the potential and projected opportunities to return 4x DFS value.

Uncovering players who blow up for 4x value isn’t easy, but it’s vital for anyone hoping to win tournaments consistently. So without further delay, below are this week’s bargain bin options for NFL DFS week #10.

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire

Week 5 NFL DFS | “Under the Radar” Players

Week 5 NFL DFS starts with GB and NYG

Week 5 in the NFL features:

  • No major marquee matchups—unless you call the slow-starting Bengals at Ravens, “marquee”
  • Only one game with a total over 50 points, Vegas at the Chiefs on Monday night
  • Kenny Pickett’s debut start for the Steelers, against the high octane Bills.

How this works

Every week, DFS Hub analyzes one “under the radar” player from each game.

The goal being, to find players with more than a 40% chance of scoring four times their salary. That means a DraftKings fantasy point performance greater than [Sal($k)] x 4.

The criteria is simple:

  1. All players must be $6,900 or less on DraftKings.
  2. All players should have the potential and projected opportunities to go 4x NFL DFS value.

Uncovering players who blow up for 4x value isn’t easy, but it’s vital for anyone hoping to win tournaments consistently. So without further delay, below is a selection of bargain bin NFL DFS options for week 5.

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire

NFL DFS Lineup Faceoff: FFC vs. DFS Hub in Week 1, 2022

NFL DFS Week 1, 2022

Our own Gian Novielli, Customer Experience Specialist at DFS Hub, went head-to-head with Fantasy Football Consultant‘s Eric Lee, Sunday on YouTube.

Watch the lineups unfold as they go heavy on running backs and spare the budget on their other positions.

Will a run-heavy roster work? Well, anything’s possible in week one. But if there’s one thing we’ll predict, it’s that you’ll likely find some 4x value gems in these lineups. So glean them for ideas, especially if you’ve got a gap at the flex position.

More NFL DFS Videos

Using PFF Grades to Build DFS Lineups

PFF player grades for DFS

In a sea of players to choose from, comparing Pro Football Focus player grades is a powerful way to find value. Here’s a quick overview on which ones we use.

First off, if you’re not familiar with them, see this link for a full explanation of PFF Grades.

In a nutshell, PFF grades are metrics compiled by the professional analysts at Pro Football Focus. Their purpose is to tell you how good a player or team is, relative to other players or teams.

Here’s an example of how PFF grades appear in DFS Hub’s NFL lineup builder.

You can see all the grades in our DFS Field Dictionary. They all start with “PFF.” These fields are available to all DFS Hub Pro members.

Which PFF grade should I use?

The lineup builder lets you choose from dozens of Pro Football Focus grades, but here are the most popular ones, by position:

Quarterback (QB)

  • PFFGradesPass — The grade for a QB’s passing ability
  • PFFGradesRunPassingSummary — The grade for a QB’s running ability
  • PFFREC — The grade for a QB’s receivers
  • PFFPBLK — The grade for a QB’s pass blockers
  • PFFOppCovGrade — The grade for the opposing defense’s coverage unit
  • PFFOppPrshGrade — The grade for the opposing defense’s pass rush

Running Back (RB)

  • PFFGradesRunRushingSummary — The grade for a RB’s running prowess
  • PFFGradesPassRouteRushingSummary — The grade for a RB’s ability to run passing routes
  • PFFRBLK — The grade for a RB’s run blockers
  • PFFOppRdefGrade — The grade for opposing defense’s run defense

Wide Receiver (WR)

  • PFFGradesOffenseReceivingSummary — The grade for a WR’s overall ability
  • PFFPASS — The grade for the passing attack (predominantly the quarterback)
  • PFFOppCovGrade — The grade for the opposing defense’s coverage unit

Tight End (TE)

  • PFFGradesOffenseReceivingSummary — The grade for a TE’s overall ability
  • PFFPASS — The grade for the passing attack (predominantly the quarterback)

Defense (DST)

  • PFFDEF — The grade for the overall defense
  • PFFPRSH — The grade for the defense’s pass rush
  • PFFOppOffGrade — The grade for the opposing offense (overall)
  • PFFOppPassGrade — The grade for the opposing offense’s passing attack
  • PFFOppRushGrade — The grade for the opposing offense’s rushing attack

Team Offense

  • PFFOFF — The grade for a player’s overall defense

How PFF grades build better daily fantasy lineups

There are several ways we use PFF grades to build better NFL DFS lineups. For example:

  1. When two players are close in most other aspects, including salary and projected opportunities, PFF grades can be a powerful tie breaker.
  2. When choosing a QB, consider the difference between his team’s pass blocking grade [PFFPBLK] and the opponent’s pass rush grade [PFFOppPrshGrade]. Also weigh the team’s receiver grade [PFFREC] and the opposing coverage unit grade [PFFOppCovGrade].
  3. When evaluating a running back, consider the difference between his team’s run blocking grade [PFFRBLK] and the opponent’s run defense grade [PFFOppRdefGrade].
  4. For receivers, look for a mismatch between the player’s overall offensive grade [PFFGradesOffenseReceivingSummary] and the opponent’s coverage grade [PFFOppCovGrade].
  5. When choosing a defense (DST), you want to see a mismatch between a team’s defensive grade overall [PFFDEF] and the opponent’s overall offensive grade [PFFOppOffGrade]. A high pass rush grade [PFFPRSH] is preferred, so as to maximize the chance of turnover-related points and reduce offensive scoring.

Pro Football Focus grades are put out by one of the credible statistical agencies in the NFL. Use them to your advantage whenever traditional statistical measures leave ambiguity in your player or team evaluation.

Does NFL DFS news matter?

NFL fantasy football news

Winning consistently in fantasy football takes effort and knowledge. Player outlooks are constantly changing but player salaries are not. They’re fixed!

In other words, access to multiple high-quality NFL DFS news sources is absolutely essential to finding value. That is, players who project to be worth much more or less than the salary DraftKings or FanDuel assigned them at the beginning of the week.

DFS Hub affords you the most comprehensive news offering in the business. Here’s an overview on how to use it.

How do you use fantasy football news?

Here are six ways that having top-quality NFL player news pays off when playing NFL DFS:

  1. Injury analysis: Everyone sees the NFL injury report but injuries have infinite nuances. A “Questionable” tag on its own doesn’t tell you much. Injury reports do not break down how much a given injury could hold a player back. News reports do. Injury analysis can also highlight when a key player on the opposing defense (like a star cornerback or star lineman) is missing or gimpy, which can create more opportunities for the offense.
  2. Replacements: When a starter goes down—especially a running back—his replacement can be an incredible source of value. But often there’s more than one fill-in. News reports can help you zero in on who will get the most touches.
  3. Depth order: DFS participants need a firm grasp on a player’s expected opportunities. Many people use depth charts as a proxy for opportunity. That’s often a mistake as official depth charts don’t always correlate to a player getting above or below average targets and touches. News can help you understand how a team might use a player in a given week, particularly if it includes player commentary, performance in practices, etc.
  4. Matchups: News reports are frequently handy for sizing up player and team matchups. Often a matchup story will highlight something you might not have considered otherwise. That can impact one of your player’s upsides in a given week.
  5. Coach comments: Comments from coaches often foreshadow extra playing time for a given player. They can also provide visibility as to playing time for recently signed players.
  6. Off-field antics: Coverage of player squabbles, coach confrontations, legal or drug issues, contract disputes, etc., can alert you to distractions that can adversely affect a player’s fantasy points in a given week.

Player News on DFS Hub

To find news stories that matter, simply load our NFL DFS Lineup Builder. You’ll notice the news window in the bottom right.

The player news window includes the following news sources:

Online news: DFS Hub’s exclusive fantasy football news engine aggregates news headlines from over 4,500 sources. That includes all major sources like NFL.com, ESPN, Fox NFL, NBC SportsEdge and local beat writers who have among the best insights into their team’s players. Simply click a story link and you’re taken directly to the source. To the best of our knowledge, no one has more player news than DFS Hub. And quantity matters because the more news sources you can access:
(A) the faster you’ll see late-breaking updates, and
(B) the greater your edge on competitors who may miss certain developments altogether.

DFS newswires: In addition to online editorial sources, we contract with DFS wire services like RotoWire and Rotoballer. These specialised services analyze breaking news and to assess the potential impact on a player’s fantasy football performance that week.

Breaking tweets: Few sources are better for breaking NFL fantasy news than Twitter. We pull tweets from all the best NFL DFS twitter accounts, like @AdamSchefter, @MatthewBerryTMR, @RapSheet, @MichaelFFlorio, @ChrisRaybon and so on. Tweets are displayed right in the main news feed on the Lineup Builder. Or you can click “Tweets” to view only Twitter updates.

Injury updates: DFS Hub pulls in real-time injury news updates from SportsData.io, a leader in fantasy football data. You’ll see injury news on our injury replacements page, in the player list of our NFL Lineup Builder and in the Player Details news window. Our injury feed is constantly supplemented by injury reports from online news sources, newswires and industry tweeters.


Side note: DFS Hub regularly rounds up stories about NFL DFS strategies and tactics. You’ll find them on our NFL DFS News page.