Week 3 NFL Defense Injuries and Sharp Bettor Report

joey bosa 2023 Dfs

Offensive injuries can torpedo a DFS lineup, while defensive injuries can ignite an opponent’s offense faster than a 4th of July rocket. So, before you lock in those rosters, get a leg up with DFS Hub’s Week 3: NFL Defense Injuries and Sharp Bettor Report.

Roll this week’s highlights (60 seconds):

Biggest Week 3 Sharp Action

  • CAR has massive sharp money action on its +200 moneyline (Sharp%: 65)
  • Sharps are all over IND at +8.5 (Sharp%: 44)

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.

Win Prizes Without a Bank Heist: DFS Hub’s Free NFL DFS Contest is Here!

DFS Hub is pleased, but not overly excited (we’re keeping it cool), to unveil its brand new Free NFL DFS Contest.

Compete each week to receive a free DFS Hub Season Pass to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers.

Not only are you not breaking the bank to enter this contest, you’re not even going to the bank. It’s 100% free with no strings attached!

Joining is as easy as winning a coin toss:

  1. Create a Sunday “Main” slate lineup using the NFL DFS Lineup Builder
  2. Click the <Free Contest> button

    (Here’s a screenshot for the visually inclined.)

The first contest kicks off in week 1, but feel free to be the early bird that gets the cash … by entering today.

Monitor your can’t-miss lineup here: NFL DFS Contest Standings

Why Bother with a Free NFL DFS Contest?

A trilogy of reasons:

  1. To win a DFS Hub Season Pass
    • Thousands trust DFS Hub to create their DraftKings lineups. With DFS Hub’s Season Pass, you can enhance your odds of victory and get an edge on your opponents with a deep list of stats.
  2. To hone your skills
    • If you’re new to NFL DFS, testing lineup theories in a free tournament is risk-free – like riding a bike with training wheels, but far more dignified. Once you succeed and build confidence with DFS Hub’s contest, you can take it to the next level in DraftKings’ big paid tournaments—like its Millionaire Maker.
  3. Bragging rights
    • Winning against friends is the social equivalent of a touchdown dance. Invite all your friends so you can show them who the real captain is!

As a 100% free contest, we’re not aiming to outshine DraftKings, the true king. It offers way more contests with far bigger payouts. We’re more of a warm-up band to their rock star – helping you perfect your moves so you can rock the big stage.

Why is DFS Hub giving away their Season Pass?

Instead of flashy ads, we like to invest in our users. That way, our community gets better, can enter more DraftKings tournaments—with more confidence—and take down even bigger prizes.

Plus, we’re humbly hoping you’ll tell your friends about our noble endeavor.

And one last tidbit: DFS Hub offers a slew of stats, strategies, and tools to boost your weekly odds of victory. So, before embarking on your lineup-building mission, check out these NFL DFS Tips. They’re like having a secret playbook without the secret part.

Whether you’re a fantasy football savant or still figuring out what “DFS” stands for, leverage the Free NFL DFS Contest and move from first string to MVP.

Crack NFL DFS Lineup Mysteries With PFF Grades


Ever felt like understanding PFF Grades was like deciphering ancient runes? Well, put away the archeologist’s hat, because turning those cryptic PFF Grades into a winning NFL DFS lineup is more straightforward than a quarterback’s throw to an open receiver.

There’s an endless sea of talented NFL players to pick from when building your roster. Harnessing Pro Football Focus Player Grades can be the difference maker needed to get you into the winner’s circle. The video below gives you a basic playbook.

Pro members can exploit PFF grades right away by creating player filters in DFS Hub’s NFL Lineup Builder (screenshot below).

This example shows three PFF Grades, as seen in the NFL DFS Lineup Builder

Simply load the PFF fields into the Player List, then sort or filter as smoothly as a star running back dodges tackles.

This example above shows wide receivers and three PFF grades:

  • Each player’s PFF receiving grade
  • PFF’s grade for the team’s passing attack
  • PFF’s grade for the opposing team’s coverage.

The highlighted player in the screenshot above shows how PFF grades excel at finding low-cost, low-owned highly-skilled players.

Pro Tip: You don’t want to roster just any cheap, talented player with a high PFF grade. After all, a lot of skilled players see little playing time. The key is waiting for the right matchup or opportunity. For example, look for situations where another player of his position is injured or not performing well. It’s even better if your bargain bin player has seen a recent uptick in reps in practice or action on the field.

If you’re hungry for a meatier overview of how Pro Football Focus Player Grades can enhance your DraftKings or FanDuel entries, this PFF Grades guide is waiting on the sideline. Think of it as a personal coaching session, without the angry halftime speeches.

Tips for Crafting a Week 1 NFL DFS Lineup That Could Even Make Your Cat Proud


How Not to Fumble Your 2023 NFL DFS Week One Roster

Week 1 of the NFL is a magical time, a time when hope springs eternal, spouses and non-football friendships are put on hold, and everyone thinks they’re the next Vince Lombardi of fantasy football.

It’s a chance to start fresh and set the tone for the rest of the season. But before you dive into building your lineup like a hungry linebacker at a buffet, let’s review the basics.

When it comes to Week 1 NFL DFS, change is the theme. Teams have been playing musical chairs more than a kindergarten class party, so it’s essential to keep up with free agency, trades, rookies and injuries.

And don’t forget about the coaching staff changes. NFL teams have been changing coaches this offseason more than DK Metcalf changes his hairstyle. Understanding how these swaps affect players’ opportunities—on their revamped offenses and defenses—can give you an edge.

So grab your helmet (the one with the drink holder, of course), and let’s study the week 1 playbook.

NFL Offseason Changes and their Impact on Daily Fantasy Football

Navigating the turbulent seas of NFL offseason is a sport in itself. When a player changes teams, you’d better believe their role and production potential will change too. The question is, for the better or worse?

Take Aaron Rodgers’ departure from the Packers to the Jets, for instance. Going from the cheese factory to the Big Apple gets him new teammates, a new playbook, and even a new favorite pizza place. But hold on, it also includes a reunion with a coach who knows Rodgers’ favorite color. Could this be the key to fantasy success? It’s every DFS player’s job to research and find out.

It’s important to consider factors such as offensive scheme, supporting cast, position on the depth chart, and chemistry with his new team. DeAndre Hopkins may have big-name swagger, but are he and Tannehill going to have enough chemistry to surmount the Titan’s craptastic O-line? The answer could make all the difference in someone’s Week 1 Lineup.

Now, let’s talk coaching changes, the spices of daily fantasy football stew. A sprinkle of new offensive philosophy here, a dash of play calling there, and suddenly your star player tastes more like a benchwarmer.

Whether it’s a head coach’s innovative ideas or an offensive coordinator’s love for running the ball, a coaching change can shake up fantasy expectations like a snow globe. Sometimes it’s a winter wonderland of opportunity; other times, it’s a blizzard of disappointment for a player’s production.

(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

Outdated DFS Pricing and Why You Should Stalk NFL Players (For Injury Reports, Not Autographs)

Injuries in the NFL are like late-night infomercials, unavoidable and often confusing. I mean, who needs a salad spinner that doubles as a karaoke machine? But back to football! When crafting your Week 1 NFL DFS lineup, one must channel their inner Sherlock Holmes to decipher the ever-changing riddles of injury reports and game-time decisions.

Imagine investing your hard-earned fantasy dollars in a superstar who’s nursing an injury, only to find out that he’s benched, doing sudoku on the sidelines. “Questionable” is then more than a status; its becomes the label for your entire lineup.

So, sharpen those detective talents, dear Watson, and keep one eye on DFS Hub’s injury alerts, one eye on our player news feed, and the other on Twitter (assuming you have a third eye). Lineup adjustments in the 90 minutes before kickoff are like the twist in a mystery novel – thrilling, and sometimes rewarding.

Now, let’s talk about Week 1 pricing. Week 1 DFS salaries can get more outdated than wall-to-wall shag carpet. They’re set way in advance, ignoring pre-season injuries, sudden drops down the depth chart, pre-season suspensions and new signings.

This oversight and a willingness to make last-minute lineup changes can be your golden tickets. While others are blindly scouring the clearance aisle, you can grab some prime value plays for NFL Week 1—players who are healthy and poised to see ample opportunities. It’s like finding a designer suit at a garage sale, minus the awkward haggling.

How to Not Let Late-Breaking News and Lineup Changes Tackle Your DFS Dreams

In the rapid-fire rodeo of professional football, surprises are as common as touchdown dances. Let’s talk about how to stay on top of NFL news without feeling like you’re trying to catch a greased pig at a county fair.

Imagine you’ve got your DFS lineup set, you’re feeling smug, maybe even humming “We Are the Champions,” when suddenly – BAM! – a trade happens, a first-round pick goes down, a coach goes rogue and unexpectedly starts a 3rd-rounder in place of a tested vet, or a third-string towel boy gets promoted to starting quarterback. Anything’s possible in the Twilight Zone of Week 1.

True DFS gurus channel their inner news hound. They follow reputable sources of NFL news like beat reporters and verified team accounts. Stalk these sources on DFS Hub’s news and Twitter feeds like a cat stalks a laser pointer, but with more dignity.

DFS Hub’s New & Twitter Feeds

Rookie Roulette: How to Invest in Baby-Faced Gridiron Gladiators Before Their DFS Stock Skyrockets

Ah, rookies – those fresh-faced football fledglings, sporting a mix of nervous jitters and bold dreams. In the world of DFS, they’re like that hidden gem at a garage sale, a potential masterpiece hiding behind grandma’s old knitting patterns.

So how can you use these budget-friendly, cleat-wearing cherubs to your advantage in your NFL DraftKings or FanDuel lineup? Well, first, let’s talk cold, hard cash. Rookies are often priced like a fast-food dollar menu, making them the go-to choice for thrifty DFS players looking for value. You’ll find receiver options galore in the $4,000 range. As for running backs, it depends if it’s a high-profile first-round starter like Bijan Robinson ($8,000). If so, he’ll start the season fully-priced cuz hype ain’t cheap.

Now, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to last season using DFS Hub’s WhichStatMatter’s page. After week 1, Chris Olave, that superstar rookie wide receiver of the New Orleans Saints, was popping out high-value games like a popcorn machine in overdrive. He had seven of his nine highest-value games in the first half of the season. Why, you ask? Because his salary was lower than a limbo stick, sitting pretty at a lowly $4,500 for the first three weeks.

So, next time you’re puzzling over your DFS lineup and contemplating whether to go with the tried-and-true veterans or take a gamble on the rookies, embrace a high-probability rookie or two. But do it before they become pricier than a stadium beer.

(Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire)

Rookie Revelry and the Art of Owning Underdogs

Picking which rookies to roster in your Week 1 NFL DFS lineups is like a thrilling treasure hunt mixed with a bit of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” You see, it’s not just about grabbing the bargain-bin rookies like they’re half-priced socks on Black Friday. Oh no, my fantasy fanatic friend, you’ll need to don your thinking cap, and consider three things:

  1. Matchup Mania:
    Look for those juicy matchups, the ones where rookies have the chance to shine like a freshly waxed bald head. Maybe it’s a defense that’s softer than your grandpa’s mashed potatoes, or a game where the rookie gets more playtime than a pre-K class. Either way, finding these mismatches is like finding a twenty-dollar bill in old jeans – unfettered joy.
  2. The Underdog Uprising:
    Even if a rookie’s not first on the depth chart, don’t discount them. If their team is predicted to trounce the opposition, they could very well get added targets or carries.
  3. Owning the Obscure:
    Lastly, let’s talk ownership percentage or, as I like to call it, “How to Be a DFS Hipster.” Low ownership is your secret weapon in tournaments (GPPs). It’s like discovering an indie band before they become mainstream. If everyone’s eyeing wide receiver Smith-Njigba of the Seahawks, why not flex a Dalton Kincaid of the Buffalo Bills? It’s so uncool, it’s cool!

In any case, don your virtual coaching whistle and become a master of rookie matchups and ownership numbers. And remember, picking rookies is a bit like dating – exciting, unpredictable, and sometimes you’ll wonder what you were thinking. But when it works out, oh boy, it’s a dance in the end zone!

Preseason Data: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Meaningless Games

Preseason games are where stats mean nothing and rookies try to shine like a new car before its first scratch. If NFL DFS were a movie, preseason data would be the quirky side character that steals scenes but doesn’t actually affect the plot.

Lance McCutcheon, the LA Rams’ rookie sensation last season, was their leading receiver in all three preseason games! His hands were like high-power football magnets; surely, a star was born! Fast forward to the regular season, and suddenly those magnets got a polarity switch – five targets, no catches across ten games. His preseason hype train went from express to out-of-commission right quick.

You see, overvaluing rookies based on preseason heroics is a bit like judging a book by its cover, a movie by its trailer, or a cat by its willingness to sit on your lap. It’s superficial, and you might end up with claw marks.

Of course, rookies aren’t the only actors with misleading performances, but unless it’s a veteran player returning from injury and trying to show he’s healthy (and not just trying to impress his Instagram followers), most preseason stats are about as useful as a sunroof on a submarine.

So, as you gear up for week 1, think of preseason data as the zesty salsa to your research and analysis chips – a fine supplement, but not the main meal. And remember, if you’re ever tempted to hop aboard a preseason hype train, make sure to validate your ticket with some serious research, or you might just find yourself at the wrong station, wondering why Lance McCutcheon isn’t catching anything but flak.

(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

Conclusion: How to Craft a Week 1 NFL DFS Lineup That’s Not a Train Wreck

Building a cashable lineup isn’t about using your gut and hoping for the best. It’s a majestic dance of research, strategy, and a sprinkle of that magical fairy dust called luck. It’s a bit like baking a cake, but with more analytics and fewer eggs.

Here’s the four-star recipe to help you whip up a Week 1 victory:

  1. Understand the Game Script: Analyze matchups, trends, and whether a player prefers has his coach’s favor.
  2. Use Advanced Gizmos: Statistics, PFF Player Grades, stat correlations, analytics, and whatever else makes you sound smart at parties.
  3. Monitor Injuries and Changes: Stalk injury reports like a cat stalking a laser dot. Just don’t pounce on your screen; it hurts.
  4. Stay Up-to-Date with Player News: Because in the NFL, changes happen faster than a toddler’s mood swings.

And if all of that sounds more complicated than explaining the offside rule to your grandma, fear not. DFS Hub’s Free NFL Lineup Builder is here to make your Week 1 DFS success as easy as finding a cat video on the internet.

Happy DFS-ing. 🏈

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.




Minimum Salary



Value Target (Cash Games)



Value Target (GPPs)



Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)



Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)



Running Back



Minimum Salary



Value Target (Cash Games)



Value Target (GPPs)



Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)



Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)



Wide Receiver



Minimum Salary



Value Target (Cash Games)



Value Target (GPPs)



Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)



Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)



Tight End



Minimum Salary



Value Target (Cash Games)



Value Target (GPPs)



Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)



Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)



Defense (DST)



Minimum Salary



Value Target (Cash Games)



Value Target (GPPs)



Minimum Fantasy Points (Cash Games)



Minimum Fantasy Points (GPPs)



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.

2023 NFL Draft: Potential Starters & DFS Impact Players

NFL DFS Rookies 2023

The NFL Draft has a rich history of supplying rookies that make a DFS impact, right out of the gate.

Sometimes first-round picks boost their teams’ fortunes right away, making Pro Bowls and earning Rookie of the Year honors while they’re at it. Cam Newton (2011, 1st overall) Odell Beckham Jr. (2014, 12th overall) and Ezekiel Elliott (2016, 4th overall) are just a handful of examples.

Today we’ll look at first-rounders from the 2023 NFL Draft, specifically those who could yield DFS value early in the season. We’ll review all four offensive skill positions to find the rookies that could return surplus DFS [Value].

Value, in this context, refers to DraftKings fantasy points divided by the player’s DraftKings salary. Aiding in this endeavor is DFS Hub’s WhichStatMatters page. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the infinitely different ways in which the WhichStatMatters page ranks DFS performance.


KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 27: Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud with a jersey after being drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft on April 27, 2023 at Union Station in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

For the 2022-23 season, starting quarterbacks generated an average of 17.2 fantasy points per game at an average DraftKings salary of $6k ($6,000).

Do a little division (17.2 / 6) and, the typical starting quarterback provided 2.8 times their salary last season.

There are two high-probability QBs that could exceed that value in the 2023-24 NFL campaign:

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers – The first overall pick out of Alabama will be an early favorite to be crowned the 2023 Rookie of the Year. Despite the paltry offense fielded by the Panthers last season, Young will have newly added veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen to rely on. The rookie QB will also be joined by running back Miles Sanders, who comes over from the Philadelphia Eagles. On top of that is another important new face in former Rams coach Thomas Brown, who will be Young’s offensive coordinator. 

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans – Stroud is a pure pocket passer which may limit some of his DFS upside, but he should be able to make up for it with pinpoint accuracy and limited turnovers. With Dalton Schultz making the move from Dallas to Houston, the rookie quarterback will have a trustworthy tight end to dump off passes to. Schultz supplements wideouts Robert Woods and Nico Collins. Talented young running back Dameon Pierce is also in the mix for Stroud, if he finds himself in trouble. Perhaps most importantly, Houston has beefed up its O-line, both in the draft and via free agency.

Running Backs

NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 31: Alabama Crimson Tide running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) attempts to break a tackle by Kansas State Wildcats safety Josh Hayes (1) during the Sugar Bowl between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Kansas State Wildcats at Caesars Superdome on December 31, 2022 in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire)

Last year, starting running backs (those first on Depth Chart) had an average of 14.5 fantasy points per game and an average $6,500 salary on DraftKings. That meant the typical starting running back yielded 2.2 times their salary last season.

Here are two rookie halfbacks that could easily exceed that figure throughout their rookie year:

Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions – The biggest downside to Gibbs in the Lions backfield was D’Andre Swift. That problem is solved with Swift being quickly traded after the draft. The Lions shocked draft watchers by scooping up Gibbs with their 12th overall pick, and they won’t be disappointed. While not a brute back, he’s a fast accelerating runner with moves and a talented receiver. Running behind one of the best lines in football, he’ll have every opportunity to fill up the stat sheet come September. And his price may be reasonable too, given he’ll split time with Montgomery.

Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons – It’s hard not to be excited about a player with comps to Saquon Barkley. Robinson is electric. He catches the ball and runs with the patience and ferocity that makes it hard for just one defender to take him down. While the Falcons didn’t necessarily need a running back, Robinson is considered by many to be a can’t-miss prospect. He’ll enter the league with the same gusto that Barkley did back in 2018 and get all the touches he can handle.

Wide Receivers

KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 27: Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba holds a jersey with commission Roger Goodell after being drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft on April 27, 2023 at Union Station in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

For the 2022 season, starting wide receivers (those first and second on the depth chart) had an average of 12.2 fantasy points per game at an average DraftKings salary of $5,700. This means that, on average, a starting wide receiver returned 2.1 times their salary.

Both Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson came out of the 2022 NFL Draft on fire. Here are two more pass catchers that could do the same in 2023:

Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks – With the 20th pick of the draft, the Seahawks have given QB Geno Smith another big-time weapon. This shows they’re invested in Smith and, in turn, trust that Smith-Njigba will contribute right away. The rookie WR can play in the slot or on the outside, allowing him plenty of routes alongside DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens – Between injuries and underperformances, the Ravens didn’t have any sure things at the wide receiver position. Flowers will see his fair share of targets alongside Odell and Rashod Bateman. He has a history of making good use of those targets with an impressive YAC. Look for Flowers to be a high-impact player for Lamar Jackson in the slot.

Tight Ends

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 02: Tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) of the Utah Utes reacts during the Pac-12 Conf. championship game between Utah and USC on December 2, 2022 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire)

This past year, starting tight ends had an average of 8.5 fantasy points per game and an average DraftKings salary of $3,900. On average, a starting tight end provided 2.1 times their salary in DK points.

Historically, first-year tight ends have had a tough time making an immediate fantasy impact in comparison to other skill positions. And with only one TE taken in the first round this year, all eyes will be on one rookie.

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills – While the Buffalo Bills already have a dependable tight end in Dawson Knox, the Bills couldn’t pass up Dalton Kincaid, far and away the best tight end in the draft. While Kincaid joins an already-packed offense filled with big-time pieces, Kincaid will get his chances. Moreover, he’s capable of making the most of them with sticky hands and burst-speed that create separation. Expect him to have a low DFS salary early in the season and, as such, a high chance at providing great value in the right matchups.

For more tips and assistance on both rookies and veteran players, utilize our Free NFL DFS Lineup Builder throughout the football season.

Super Bowl LVII NFL DFS Player Values

February 12, 2023 — 6:30 p.m. ET:

The Chiefs (16-3) are underdogs as they meet the Eagles (16-3) in Super Bowl LVII. That could be all the motivation Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the Chiefs need to grab their second championship ring of the 2020s. They face off against Jalen Hurts and a hard-hitting Eagles defense, one that led the NFL in sacks by a wide margin.

(Records shown include playoff games)

Vegas odds for Super Bowl LVII:

As of Saturday, here’s the Vegas consensus for Super Bowl LVII.






Super Bowl Odds



O 51




U 51


Under The Radar DFS Players

Below are potential bargain bin options from the Super Bowl. (See methodology below)

Kansas City Chiefs Value Plays




Marquez Valdes-Scantling  |  WR, KC


Has scored a touchdown in both of KC’s postseason games. Target percentage of 18% over last four games. Scored a season high 26.6 FPs in AFC Championship game.

Harrison Butker  


Averaging 11 FPs per game over last three games with 13 FPs in both postseason games. Has hit all five field goal attempts this postseason.

Kadarius Toney  


Has at least 10 FPs in three of last four games. With Mecole Hardman out, Toney should see an increase in targets and should continue to see red zone opportunities.

Philadelphia Eagles Value Plays




Kenneth Gainwell   RB, PHI


Averaging 10 opportunities per game over last four games and received more carries than Miles Sanders in NFC Championship game, including three red zone opportunities. Had 14 carries and three targets in NFC Championship game. Has scored 31.5 FPs in two postseason games.

Dallas Goedert   TE, PHI


KC D ranks 23rd in FPs allowed to TEs. Averaging six targets per game over last four games with a target percentage of 20%.

Boston Scott  


Has scored a touchdown in each of the last three games. Averaging 9.6 FPs per game over last three games with a floor of 8.1 FPs.

How This Works

Every week, we analyze three “under the radar” NFL DFS values from the early and afternoon slates on DraftKings. The goal is 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.

Among other things, we factor in:

  1. Only DraftKings players with salaries of $6,900 or less
  2. Team matchups
  3. Whether projected opportunities are sufficient to return 4x DFS value
  4. The Super Bowl NFL injury report for fantasy players.

Uncovering players who blow up for 4x value isn’t easy, but it’s vital for anyone hoping to win tournaments consistently.

DFS Value Play MVPs of the 2022-23 NFL Season

Today we’re looking back on the 103rd season of the National Football League, highlighting some of the greatest DFS scoring performances relative to player salaries.

We’ll review all four offensive skill positions to find the year’s most impressive performances, as measure by the [Value] field. Value is basically DraftKings fantasy points divided by the player’s DraftKings salary. Aiding in this endeavor is DFS Hub’s WhichStatMatters page, which ranks DFS performances in infinitely different ways.

We start with the men behind center…


For the 2022-23 season, starting quarterbacks had an average of 17.2 fantasy points per game and an average DraftKings salary of $6k ($6,000).

Do a little division (17.2 / 6) and, on average, a starting quarterback provided 2.8 times their salary. Here were some standouts…

Justin Fields in Week 9 – The quarterback of the Chicago Bears dropped 45.7 FPs on the Miami Dolphins with a salary of just $5,300. Thanks in large part to a regular season record 176 rushing yards, Fields’ performance was good enough to provide DFS players with a massive fantasy payday. All told, he scored a stunning 8.6 times his salary.

Tua Tagovailoa in Week 2 – In what was a massive statement victory for Tua and the Miami Dolphins, the quarterback tallied 43.9 FPs against the Baltimore Ravens, with a salary of $5,600. Scoring six touchdowns on the day helped Tua hit 7.8 times his salary. His 469 passing yards on the day were the second most for a player in the 2022 season.

Taysom Hill in Week 5 – Once a secret weapon for the Saints, Hill continued to grow his legacy in New Orleans. The tight end/quarterback hybrid scored 37.1 FPs against the Seattle Seahawks, thanks mostly to his 122 rushing yards and four touchdowns. With a salary of $4,900, Hill smashed 7.6 times his salary while running for over 12 yards per carry.

Running Backs

For the season, starting running backs (those first on Depth Chart) had an average of 14.5 fantasy points per game and an average DraftKings salary of $6,500. On average, that meant a starting running back yielded 2.2 times their salary this season.

Joe Mixon in Week 9 – Nobody had a better DFS performance than Joe Mixon this season, whose 58.1 FPs on a salary of $6,500 were good for 8.9 times the running back’s salary. With over 200 all purpose yards and five touchdowns against the Carolina Panthers, Mixon led both the Bengals and thousands of DFS players to victory.

Cam Akers in Week 16 – After providing one of the least valuable outings of the season for any player in Week 1, Akers turned things around in Week 16 with 37.7 FPs on a salary of $5,200. While this wasn’t among the top five fantasy performances for a running back this season in terms of FPs, it was the second best in terms of value—with Akers generating 7.3 times his salary.

Jose Jacobs in Week 4 – While his 37.5 FPs were not even his most points scored this season, this performance against the Broncos was actually more valuable than his two other games with more FPs. Due to a salary of just $5,500, Jacobs was able to score 6.8 times his salary and give those who drafted him a massive edge.

Wide Receivers

For the season, starting wide receivers (those first and second on the depth chart) had an average of 12.2 fantasy points per game at an average DraftKings salary of $5,700. This means that, on average, a starting wide receiver returned 2.1 times their salary.

Mack Hollins in Week 3 – With a salary of only $3,300, you can understand why Hollins and his 33 FPs provided DFS players with one of the most valuable performances of the season. Thanks to 158 yards and a touchdown, Hollins ended his day scoring 10.0 times his salary. Too bad it was in a losing effort for his Raiders.

Christian Watson in Week 10 – An up and down season for Watson and the Packers peaked against Dallas as the wide receiver scored 35.7 FPs to go alongside a salary of $3,700. Despite only four receptions, the rookie had 107 yards and three touchdowns while scoring 9.6 times his salary.

Mike Evans in Week 17 – While Hollins and Watson came as more of a surprise due to their lower salaries, it’s never a shock to see Evans providing DFS value. With 207 yards through the air and three touchdowns, Evans helped Tom Brady fill out his record book one more time as the receiver scored a massive 51.7 FPs with a salary of $6,500. This was the definitive wide receiver performance this season as Evans scored 8.0 times his salary.

Tight Ends

This year starting tight ends had an average of 8.5 fantasy points per game and an average DraftKings salary of $3,900. On average, a starting tight end provided 2.1 times their salary.

Evan Engram in Week 14 – Thanks to Engram scoring a colossal 12.8 times his salary in this contest, the Jaguars tight end had the most valuable DFS performance of the season for any offensive player. With 42.2 FPs on a meager $3,300 salary, that’s enough to earn Engram the title of DFS MVP for 2022-23. This game was a career day for Engram, who had a season high 11 receptions, 162 yards and two touchdowns.

T.J. Hockenson in Week 4 – From Detroit to Minnesota, the well traveled tight end had a handful of incredibly valuable DFS outings. None greater however came than in Week 4, when Hockenson provided a performance that saw 42.9 FPs on a salary of $4,100, scoring 10.5 times his salary. With 179 yards and a couple of touchdowns, it was the strongest game for a tight end this season.

Mo Allie-Cox in Week 4 – Between Allie-Cox and Hockenson, Week 4 was the week of the tight end. Allie-Cox had a paltry salary of $2,700 and, for one week at least, proved evaluators wrong by scoring 26.5 FPs. His two touchdowns on the day were more than Allie-Cox had the rest of the season combined, and as a result of finding the end zone twice he scored 9.8 times his salary.

The 2022-23 NFL season featured a multitude of major DFS performances across all positions. Quarterbacks provided the highest amount of value in regards to their salary, with the average QB providing 2.8 times their salary. Meanwhile, several tight ends individually provided the greatest value in single game efforts. Using our WhichStatMatters page in next year’s NFL season could help you discover these trends, and the data that predict them…. potentially increasing your winning percentage.