Our NFL Premium Package is Now Available for the 2022 season! Get full access to our best bets, given out early in the week, in real time: sides, totals, player props, and more, all in one place, through the end of the Super Bowl.
When it comes to building a DraftKings lineup there is a particular art form to it. It becomes even more nuanced when you are building specifically for tournaments. There is a common misconception that you must pick these crazy, long-shot lottery ticket type picks. In reality, that’s not even close and actually a terrible way to go. You can still play plenty of the popular or “chalky” plays. They are popular for a reason and that reason is that they project very well and seem very likely to hit their projection. You can still play these but only a few of them in each lineup at a maximum and mix up the exposure throughout multiple lineups. Mixing those “chalky” plays into the same lineup as good leverage plays and great stacks is the ideal way to go to create a well-built tournament lineup. The entire roster build itself is really the true key to creating great tournament lineups.
This week’s tip will be explaining the difference between cumulative rostership and product rostership. On the surface, it is very straightforward. For cumulative rostership, you will simply just add up all the roster percentages to get a total. For product rostership, you will instead multiply all the roster percentages. For example, if you had chosen four players all of who have a 20% roster percentage, the cumulative rostership would be 80%. The product rostership would then be 0.16%. Now if you would choose four players, two of whom have a 35% roster percentage and the other two of whom have a 5% roster percentage, they would also have an 80% cumulative rostership. However, this group would have a 0.03% product rostership. This indicates that the second build will create a much more unique lineup. When building tournament lineups, the lower the product rostership the more unique a lineup will be even if the cumulative rostership is the same or slightly higher. For more tips on leverage and contest selection, make sure to check out Week 9’s article.
Quarterbacks: Matthew Stafford (LAR) – $5,600 v ARI (4.9% projected rostership)
The Superbowl hangover has been real this year for the Los Angeles Rams and has lasted far longer than anyone expected. Outside of Cooper Kupp, everyone on the team has been extremely disappointing. That includes quarterback Matthew Stafford. After throwing 41 touchdowns last year, Stafford only has thrown eight so far this year through eight games. He’s on pace to throw for nearly 800 fewer yards as well. Luckily he gets an awesome matchup this week. According to our Betting Predators model, the Arizona Cardinals have been the fifth-easiest defense for quarterbacks to face so far this year. They have also allowed the eighth-most DraftKings points to quarterbacks on the season. This could be a perfect “get-right” spot for Stafford. So far he’s only averaging 13.5 DraftKings points per game this year so he (and the Rams) definitely need it. The potential game script sets up fairly well with the Cardinals being one of the fastest-paced teams in the NFL. The combined total isn’t quite as high as we like to see but still a solid 41.5 points. The spread is extremely close as well as the Rams are one-point home underdogs. This one has the makings of a sneaky shootout potential.
This week with Stafford there isn’t as much leverage as usual but that’s fine because the quarterback position isn’t the main source of leverage. The running game for the Rams has been abysmal so none of them will be popular. There is some pricepoint leverage to be had though. Daniel Jones ($5,700 / 14.9%) is only $100 more and is looking like he’s going to be one of the most popular quarterbacks so by clicking on Stafford instead, there’s leverage to be had. When stacking Stafford, Cooper Kupp ($9,000 / 7.3%) is the clear and obvious candidate. He’s been the best wide receiver in football for a year and a half now. Kupp has even been able to overcome the Rams Superbowl hangover when nobody else has. He’s also surprisingly under-rostered right now so that could spike up a bit. Kupp is certainly the favorite stacking partner but both Tyler Higbee ($3,600 / 9.0%) and Van Jefferson Jr. ($3,500 / 4.3%) are viable as well.
Stacks to Consider: Matthew Stafford + Cooper Kupp + Tyler Higbee + DeAndre Hopkins / Matthew Stafford + Cooper Kupp + DeAndre Hopkins / Matthew Stafford + Cooper Kupp + Van Jefferson Jr. + Zach Ertz
Other Quarterbacks to Consider: Jacoby Brissett (CLE) – $5,400 @ MIA (5.6%), Trevor Lawrence (JAX) – $5,400 @ KC (4.8%)
Running Backs: Dalvin Cook (MIN) – $8,000 @ BUF (3.9% projected rostership)
Just like last week, it looks like another week to “eat the chalk” at running back. The difference this week is that there’s a bit more spread out rostership aside from one guy: Dameon Pierce ($6,300 / 36.9%). After that, there are about seven guys that look like they’ll garner at least 10% rostership this week and all of them look like fairly good plays from a point-per-dollar standpoint. With that being said, one running back that will be very under-rostered will be Dalvin Cook. It’s a combination of not having been too great so far this year and the matchup against a good Buffalo Bills defense that will keep the roster rate low. In addition to that, Cook is back to the most expensive salary point he’s been all season despite a middling game last week. For what it’s worth, Cook is still averaging 16.2 DraftKings points per game this year. He’s scored double-digits in every game except one this season. The Bills are a tough matchup on paper as they’ve allowed the seventh-fewest DraftKings points to running backs so far this year. The Minnesota Vikings are also three-point underdogs as well. The encouraging aspect of that is that Cook has six targets in each of the past two games so he should be fairly game script proof here.
By playing Cook you won’t gain much game leverage. As it sits now, Justin Jefferson is only projected to be on around 2% of rosters. T.J. Hockenson and Adam Thielen are also both checking in under 6% right now. The real leverage comes from pricepoint leverage. Currently, Derrick Henry ($8,300 / 21.3%) sits as the second-most popular running back and is only $300 more expensive than Cook. In addition to Henry, almost all of the most popular running backs are within $1,000 of Cook. Choosing Cook over any of them automatically makes your lineup different than others without sacrificing much, if any, upside. The other bit of leverage is just the simple fact of how low his projected roster rate is. It’s simply far too low for a stud that can overcome any matchup. When correlating Cook this week, my favorite option is Stefon Diggs ($8,300 / 5.7%). Diggs has been awesome this season and the matchup is great as the Vikings allow the seventh-most DraftKings points to wide receivers so far. Keep an eye on the status of quarterback Josh Allen however who has an elbow issue. If Allen sits, that would significantly lower the ceiling of Diggs and this game in general. Dawson Knox ($3,300 / 4.2%) and Gabe Davis ($6,400 / 3.9%) are both good correlated plays as well.
Stacks to Consider: Dalvin Cook + Stefon Diggs / Dalvin Cook + Dawson Knox / Dalvin Cook + Josh Allen + Stefon Diggs + Dawson Knox
Other Running Backs to Consider: Saquon Barkley (NYG) – $8,600 v HOU (12.2%), Devin Singletary (BUF) - $5,600 v MIN (7.0%), Aaron Jones (GB) – $7,200 v DAL (8.3%)
Wide Receivers: Amari Cooper (CLE) – $6,500 @ MIA (7.9% projected rostership)
Heading into the year I was admittedly low on Amari Cooper. He was going from an explosive, fast-paced Dallas Cowboys offense to a slow-paced, run-heavy Cleveland Browns offense. On top of that, it was going to be led by Jacoby Brissett for most of the season. It’s safe to say that didn’t inspire much confidence in his fantasy outlook. In spite of all that, Cooper has been pretty great this year. He’s averaging 16.5 DraftKings points per game including four games over 20 DraftKings points. His 27.3% target share ranks 14th among all wide receivers while his 862 air yards rank sixth among all wide receivers. This matchup specifically sets up very nicely for Cooper and the Browns passing offense. They are facing off against the high-powered Miami Dolphins offense so they are going to need to score to keep up. This game has the second-highest combined total on the slate at 48.5 points. The Browns are 3.5-point underdogs so the projected game script is in favor of more passing volume than usual. On top of that, the Dolphins have allowed the ninth-most DraftKings points to wide receivers in 2022. Their secondary is banged up as well so this should be a great spot for Cooper.
There isn’t much same-game leverage to be had here as Nick Chubb ($8,100 / 4.1%) likely won’t be very popular due to the Browns being underdogs. Even still, it’s surprising to see Cooper projected to be rostered so low because people are going to want to play pieces of the Dolphins' passing game considering how well they’ve done lately. There is some pricepoint leverage to be had here. Diontae Johnson ($5,800 / 20.1%), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,000 / 15.8%), and Christian Kirk ($5,900 / 20.2%) are three of the four most popular wide receivers as currently projected. Realistically, Cooper should be getting the same type of love as he’s been just as good or better and in just as good or better of a spot here too not to mention great correlation options. There are really two main correlative plays with Cooper. Tyreek Hill ($9,100 / 10.9%) and Jaylen Waddle ($7,600 / 8.0%) have both been incredible this season. Hill is the WR3 in fantasy points per game while Waddle has been the WR9 in fantasy points per game. Both are dynamic game-changers that are getting a ton of volume and have been in plenty of tournament-winning lineups this season. Raheem Mostert ($6,100 / 4.2%) and Jeff Wilson Jr. ($5,500 / 6.8%) are both viable options too as the Browns allow the fifth-most DraftKings points to running backs. Be careful, however, as it has turned into a true 50/50 split between the two so the upside of both could be limited.
Stacks to Consider: Amari Cooper + Tyreek Hill / Amari Cooper + Jaylen Waddle / Jacoby Brissett + Amari Cooper + Tyreek Hill
Other Wide Receivers to Consider: Cooper Kupp (LAR) – $9,000 v ARI (7.3%), Davante Adams (LV) – $8,700 v IND (8.3%), CeeDee Lamb (DAL) – $7,000 @ GB (6.6%), Adam Thielen (MIN) – $5,400 @ BUF (6.0%)
Tight Ends: Pat Freiermuth (PIT) – $4,200 v NO (7.5% projected rostership)
From one player I was low on heading into the year to another, Pat Freiermuth looks like a very intriguing option this week on DraftKings. As we always talk about, most weeks there are fairly spread-out roster rates among tight ends. This week is not the case. Greg Dulcich ($3,400 / 28.8%) is looking like he is going to be extremely chalky this week. It makes sense as he’s been very good and his price is still very cheap. We can take advantage of that in tournaments by paying up a little bit to Freiermuth. People are going to avoid him because they’ll see that the New Orleans Saints have allowed the fewest DraftKings points to tight ends this season. Tight end-specific defense can be extremely noisy, though. What’s more encouraging is the volume for Freiermuth this season. His 18.7% target share ranks ninth among all tight ends in 2022 while his 438 air yards rank fifth among all tight ends this year. Freiermuth has seen at least seven targets in five of his seven games this year. That type of volume is tough to find, especially at this price.
As previously mentioned, Dulcich is clocking in near 30% rostership so by playing Freiermuth you can gain some leverage there as both are value options. He’s a little more expensive so it will likely force a slightly different roster build as well which makes the lineups even more unique. On top of that, there is some really nice same-game leverage to be had here as well. As we talked about with Cooper, Diontae Johnson ($5,800 / 20.1%) is likely going to be one of the most popular wide receivers on the slate. Playing Freiermuth instead gives you direct leverage off of those who play Johnson only. There are two great correlated plays to use with Freiermuth. Alvin Kamara ($7,400 / 19.9%) is going to be the more popular one but is an awesome play. Most people will pair Kamara and Johnson together so pairing Kamara with Freiermuth is a way to still play a great play in Kamara and get unique. Chris Olave ($6,800 / 7.8%) is also a great play and will be far less popular making him a more ideal play in larger-field tournaments.
Stacks to Consider: Kenny Pickett + Pat Freiermuth + Alvin Kamara / Pat Freiermuth + Chris Olave / Kenny Pickett + Diontae Johnson + Pat Freiermuth + Chris Olave
Other Tight Ends to Consider: Dawson Knox (BUF) – $3,300 v MIN (4.2%), Zach Ertz (ARI) – $5,200 @ LAR (3.8%)
In terms of choosing a defense/special teams, generally, it is the last position I fill. There are, however, a few rules to follow when doing so. The first rule is that you should rarely, if ever, play a DST in the same lineup as the quarterback or running back they are facing. There is a strong negative correlation between them and you are building a lineup in which you want every piece to hit its ceiling. The second rule is to target defenses with high pressure rates and/or are facing offensive lines that allow high pressure rates. More pressure creates more opportunities for sacks and turnovers, which is where the defensive touchdowns come from. Those defensive touchdowns are needed to hit ceiling outcomes. The third, and perhaps more important rule is to try your best to avoid the popular or “chalky” defenses of the week. Defensive scoring is so random and variant that it makes it extremely unpredictable. It’s usually much better to get leverage and lean into that unpredictability and use game theory for the sake of being different.
Important Note: These rules are much more critical in larger-field GPP tournaments. As the field gets smaller, it becomes less crucial to stick strictly to these rules.
Sample Large Field Tournament Lineup
QB – Jacoby Brissett ($5,400 / 5.6%)
RB – Alvin Kamara ($7,400 / 19.9%)
RB – Travis Etienne ($7,100 / 16.5%)
WR – Tyreek Hill ($9,100 / 10.9%)
WR – Amari Cooper ($6,500 / 7.9%)
WR – Donovan Peoples-Jones ($4,300 / 9.7%)
TE – Pat Freiermuth ($4,200 / 7.5%)
Flex – Van Jefferson ($3,500 / 3.9%)
DST – Indianapolis Colts ($2,500 / 4.2%)
Cumulative Totals – ($50,000 / 86.1%)
Product Rostership – .00000001887%
Sample Small Field Tournament Lineup
QB – Patrick Mahomes ($7,900 / 11.4%)
RB – Travis Etienne ($7,100 / 16.5%)
RB – Devin Singletary ($5,600 / 7.0%)
WR – JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,000 / 15.8%)
WR – Zay Jones ($4,400 / 9.8%)
WR – Mack Hollins ($4,200 / 1.5%)
TE – Travis Kelce ($7,800 / 11.7%)
Flex – Darius Slayton ($4,600 / 3.4%)
DST – Cleveland Browns ($2,300 / 3.2%)
Cumulative Totals – ($49,900 / 80.3%)
Product Rostership – .00000000389%
Make sure to tune in next week to see the best plays and stacks for tournaments for Week 11!
By Rob Norton
Want to have direct access to our network of Betting Predators handicappers? Sign up for our FREE Discord channel to get 24/7 direct access to our handicapping team, as well as our community of sharp bettors
Want an easy to find all of our Betting Predators content in one place? Sign up for our free newsletter, Substack and receive a weekly roundup on everything we've published (FREE + PREMIUM), and all that we're up to throughout the week. We promise we'll never give your email address out for advertising purposes.