Every week daily fantasy sports (DFS) players are aiming to create a near perfect lineup in order to take home the most money in their GPP (guaranteed prize pool) tournaments. The top entries will typically have a few representatives from this "perfect" lineup, and it's important to be mindful of what player combinations and correlated stacks are needed to win big from week to week. In this weekly recap article we'll take a closer look at the previous week's perfect lineup and reflect on possible strategy and insights take moving forward with our future lineups. As you'll note below, four players in Week 5's perfect lineup on DraftKings utilized players from the Browns/Chargers shootout, including a double-stack of Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams with a "bring back" Cleveland TE David Njoku. The rest of the lineup saw a mini stack of Myles Gaskin/Antonio Brown from the Dolphins vs Bucs game as well as one-off pieces in Davante Adams (expensive chalk), Kadarius Toney (affordable chalf) and the Eagles D/ST.
QB: Justin Herbert (45.8 points; $6,800)
RB: Austin Ekeler (33.9 points ; $7,600)
RB: Myles Gaskin (31.9 points; $5,100)
WR: Davante Adams (40.6 points; $8,200)
WR: Mike Williams (39.5 points; $7,200)
WR: Antonio Brown (34.4 points; $5,200)
TE: David Njoku (30.9 points; $2,900)
Flex: Kadarius Toney (32.6 points; $4,000)
DST: Philadelphia (12.0 points; $2,200)
One common strategy in DFS contests is to deploy a "stack" within your lineup. The gist of this approach is to select players from the same team that have a positive scoring correlation with each other. Some DFS players also like to select a RB and DST from the same squad for added positive correlation. However, we'll focus on stacks focused around quarterbacks and their teammates for the sake of this specific recap.
The Week 5 stack to own, as we mentioned above in the intro, was Herbert/Ekeler/"Big Mike" Williams.
Justin Herbert and Mike Williams are both playing at an extremely high level this year, and it shouldn't be surprising if their stack winds up in the DraftKings perfect lineup in future weeks. The following stacks were deployed in perfect lineups in previous weeks as well: Sam Darnold/D.J. Moore, Josh Allen/Emmanuel Sanders, Kyler Murray/Rondale Moore/Maxx Williams and Jared Goff/Jamaal Williams/T.J. Hockenson.
Another effective approach is to select a weapon from the opponent of the stack, also known as the "bring back" piece of a stack. For example, the aforementioned David Njoku was a beneficiary of the high-scoring affair between the Browns and Chargers and was necessary to maximize your points from that specific game stack. Bottom line here: take advantage of a high scoring game from both sides in your lineup builds.
The Browns/Chargers due in particular gave us a whopping 68 offensive plays from each side, in addition to a combined 75 passing attempts (i.e. tons of targets for your correlated stack/bring back pieces), 58 rushing attempts and 12 total touchdowns. This game opened with a 49.5 total (over/under) in Week 5, and while it wasn't the highest total on the board, it did reward DFS players in over-exceeding that total by an eye-popping 40 points. The Chargers' defensive scheme of forcing teams to run the ball by playing two high safeties fed into what the Browns' do best: run the ball with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
While this benefitted the Browns in the early portions of the game, it also forced the Chargers to air it out early and often. One of the highest teams in the league in "pass rate above expectation" on the season, the Chargers then were able to open things up through the air and play with their pedal to the metal in regards to their tempo/pace on offense. While we can't always predict the exact outcome of which shootout or matchup will benefit our DFS lineups the most, it's quite clear looking back at this game to see how both offenses profiled coming in and how their resulting defensive matchups wound up boosting each of them in different ways (Cleveland top 5 vs the run = Chargers do more of what they do best; Chargers bottom 5 vs the run = Browns do more of what they do best). If we're creating multiple lineups each week for GPP contests, how are we attacking each game with our main stack pieces and correlated bring backs? This is just one of the questions we'll be reflecting on each week in this recap column as we aim to put ourselves in the best position each week to not just win, but to win big, while playing DFS.
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