After the Sunday NFL slate is completed, most daily fantasy sports (DFS) players are eager to look forward to next weekend's matchups and salaries. In the famous words of ESPN's College Gameday analyst Lee Corso, "Not So Fast, My Friend!" To improve as a DFS player, we must understand if we are making correct lineup decisions. Many players simply blame their misfortunes on bad luck and move on to the next week without looking at the thought process. If you strive to improve as a DFS player, make it a priority to analyze your past lineups and decisions.
As soon as lineups lock every Sunday at 1pm, I recommend opening up many of your largest 50/50 and double up contests. Make sure to review your opponents cash lineups as soon as possible before getting a biased view with how the games will play out. Search for some of the most successful cash game players in the DFS industry that are also registered in your 50/50 or double up cash games. It is imperative to review their rosters to try to grasp the thought process involved with how they built their cash lineups. How many similar players do you share in your cash lineups? Perhaps they are on a player or roster construction that you did not consider. Also, make sure to review ownership percentages for all of your cash game players. You do not want to roster players with single digit ownership percentages in 50/50s and double ups. Those players should be in your GPP lineups as they are usually higher risk for cash games. Building chalk lineups in cash games is a winning strategy more often than not.
After the Sunday games are completed, I spend the majority of my time early in the week watching DirecTV Sunday Ticket Short Cuts. These are edited 30 minute presentations of every Sunday game. By watching every play early in the season, we are able to pick up on the small details that are not always emphasized in highlight reel packages of the game. If you do not have access to NFL Short Cuts the next best thing is to read a detailed write up from someone who has analyzed the games. We at Footballguys have you covered as we offer this service through our Game Recap articles. Every Monday, we release a game recap with detailed analysis for every skill position player. You will have an advantage over your competition if you spend the time to read these valuable recaps.
After digesting the previous weekend of NFL games, it is now time to look back at your cash game lineups. Make sure to review the percentage owned for every one of your players in large 50/50s and double ups. If there was an obvious value play for the week, they will be very high owned. It is a profitable strategy to target these low priced, value plays in cash games. These players are high owned for a reason. They will pay off their minimal salaries more often than not. They also free up salary cap space for high priced superstars. After you have some DFS experience, you will develop a feel for ownership percentages prior to the week. You want to make sure that you don't miss out on any obvious value plays that are high owned as they can derail your cash games if absent. We want to ensure that we are making the correct decisions on the front end. If we make a decision and it didn't work out, that is alright as long as the process was correct.
When reviewing your cash lineups, ask yourself some questions: Did the games play out as I anticipated? Did injuries or game script have an effect on the outcome? Did I make a correct lineup decision for each of my skill positions? If not, did I consider a viable pivot or was I way off base at the position? Often similar priced players will be on your radar prior to the week but may not make your final lineup. This is still a good sign because it shows that you had a good feel for the matchups but just backed the wrong horse. You need to be concerned when you see a high owned player in your opponent's cash game lineups and this is a shock to you. Your goal is to determine if you are making the correct player evaluations prior to lineup lock. By analyzing your cash game lineups, you will improve your thought process in future matchups.
For GPPs, take some time to review your GPP lineups to see if your thought process was successful. Were you on the correct stacks? It is imperative to review the top GPP scores every week. There is a reason you often see the same names at the top of the GPP standings. These guys not only have a feel for the weekly schedule but they understand how to properly construct a GPP lineup. Footballguys will be producing weekly GPP recap articles every Tuesday this season. These articles will focus on successful lineups and strategies in the largest GPPs in the industry. Take some time to read these articles as they will help you out with future lineup construction. While every week plays out in a different manner, you will see similar lineup building strategies arise later in the season.