When looking to improve your daily fantasy sports game, solid assessment is just as important as the lineup building process and research.  It is easy to use the terms blasted off, or stinks, to describe how a lineup performed,  but the key is understanding why.  My goal when building a lineup is to have a valid explanation on how it was constructed, and how it will win.  I continue to urge everyone that if unsure about why you see or not see a player recommended, that you ask why.  After the slate is completed, it is always best to go back and re-assess how it performed. This strategy works for not just your lineups, but others as well.  Below is a look at the NFL week five paylines for some top contests.


NFL Sunday Double Up: 340 Entries,  $10 entry fee, top 150 win


The winning lineup scored 164.14 points, with the pay line at 105.64.  

The FantasyAlarm Optimal Lineup scored 109.84 points.  

News and Notes:  

Dak Prescott was the top QB for this cash contest, checking in on 53.2% of lineups.  His target in Dez Bryant, landed on 42.9% of lineups.  

Sometimes it’s also interesting to look at the last place finisher.  This user didn’t enter any type of dummy lineup, but instead had three players at 59% or higher ownership.  Le’Veon Bell’s 143 FD points was on 73.2% of all lineups, while Todd Gurley’s 4 FD points made it onto 70%.    The third “chalk” play was DeVante Parker’s 1.1 FD points, at 59.4% owned.  His cheaper “chalk” plays didn’t pan out well either, with Jaron Brown and Jordy Nelson, both hitting at over 33% owned, and combined to score 14.8 FD points.  

$2.2M NFL Sunday Million:  369,747 entries


The winning lineup scored 201.24 points, with the pay line at 120.94.

The FantasyAlarm Optimal Lineup scored 147.06 points.

News and Notes:  

The winning lineup had just one roster spot put up single digit points, and it was the highest owned player as well.  Jordy Nelson disappointed 34.4% of lineups with only 9.4 FD points.  While Aaron Rodgers put up 24.04 FD points for the 19% of lineups he was on, the winning lineup went $1,800 cheaper with Dak Prescott, who scored 30.74 FD points, and was at 14% percent owned.  

The winning lineup used the RB combo of Leonard Fournette, and Melvin Gordon.  Both went for over 30 FD points, and were in the 8% owned range.  Ed Dickson’s career day was a key move for this user, as he made it on only 0.4% of lineups.  

Le’Veon Bell looked to be the highest owned player for this contest at 38.5%, producing  only 14.3 FD points.  Fournette though, looked to be the key this week.  He was on all of the top ten lineups in this contest, while DeShaun Watson was on 12 of the top 15 lineups, and 11.5% of all lineups.  

Does a kicker really make a difference?  Absolutely!  Younghoe Koo put up zero points, while at the same price, the winning lineup, and 8% of all lineups, received 21 points from another rookie kicker in Harrison Butker.  

Busts:  Evan Engram’s 0 point game was a disaster on the 10.5% of lineups with his name (A user still finished in 8th with his zero point game though).  Those that were high on Cutler were disappointed when DeVante Parker ended his game with one reception for six yards.  His 1.1 FD points was on 22.2% percent of lineups.

A smaller gpp contest, the $85,000 NFL Spike, was a single entry, $5 buy in contest with 20,238 entries.  The top score was 192.24 points, with the cash line at 122.74 points.    Todd Gurley was the bust here, scoring only 4 FD points for the the 38.1% of lineups he was on.  


NFL Sunday Massive Double Up:  $5 entry fee.  45,977 entries, top 20,000 win.


The winning lineup scored 211.62 points, with the pay line at 132.32

The FantasyAlarm Optimal Lineup scored 140.44  points.

News and Notes:  

First, it’s worth noting that 71 users entered the max 150 lineups for this contest, equalling 10,650 lineups, a little more than 23% of all lineups.  It’s cool to see that it’s 45,000 plus lineups, but a small group of users willing to enter $750 for this contest  make up such a large portion of entries.  Think about that when entering these large double ups.  * The $5 single entry double up cash line was 125.64.  Looking at over 100 DK contests with at least a $5,000 prize pool, this had the lowest cash line total of them all.*

We saw three players in this massive double up checking in with higher ownership levels above the field.  Dez Bryant was the top owned player at 66.03%, with Le’Veon Bell not too far behind at 63.31%.  Howard Bender’s tight end play of the day, Austin Seferian-Jenkins checked in third as a top value option, on 60.58% of lineups.  Only two other players reached an ownership level of over 32%, as T.Y Hilton and Todd Gurley both were roughly at 46%.  

While DeVante Parker was a popular FD option for cash games, he only made it on 10.84% of rosters.  More users took the discount with Jarvis Landry, who was the 6th-highest owned player, at 31.64%.  

If you were to add up how many lineups had a QB from the Packers vs Cowboys or San Fran vs Indy, of course Rodgers and Prescott were the largest total.  The highest owned QB of this contest thought was the San Fran QB Brian Hoyer.  Hoyer was on 26.80% of lineups, while Rodgers and Prescott finished 2nd and 3rd, at 18.93%, and 16% owned.  Jacoby Brissett was the 7th-highest owned QB, at just 3.94%.  

Defense wise, Philadelphia and Buffalo combined for roughly 41% of defense's taken in this contest.  Finally, it was interesting to see A.J. Green check in on only 384 lineups.  That was less than his teammates Joe Mixon (573), Tyler Kroft (1820), and Cincy def (947).

NFL $4.25MM Fantasy Football Millionaire Maker:  241,414 entries.


The winning lineup scored 217.42, with the pay line at 134.38.

The FantasyAlarm Optimal Lineup scored 132.66.

News and Notes:

156 users entered the max 150 lineups, totalling just under 10% of all lineups.  Max entry means entering $3,000 worth of lineups.  Finishing 51-75th out of the 241,414 entries pays $1,000.  14 of the top 75 lineups were submitted by users with 150 entries, while 12 were single bullet entries.

The winning lineup went with Brian Hoyer, who was on 7.7% of all lineups, but also on the 2nd and 5th place lineups.  They paired Hoyer with George Kittle , who was a $2,500 tight end whose career day was on 1.3% of lineups, and five of the top-10 lineups.  Another career performance, this time from Aaron Jones, was key as well.  Jones was on 5.1% of lineups, with A.J. Green being another smart move, while on just 3.8% of lineups.

Interestingly, the same top-five owned players in the massive double up, finished as the top five owned for this massive gpp.  Bell, Hilton, Bryant, Jenkins, and Gurley, in that order, checked in between 27.5-34.25% owned, roughly half of their cash game ownership.  Behind them was the Rodgers to Nelson combo, at 19.3%, and 23.9% owned.  By comparison, DaVante Adams was 3.59% owned, and Geronimo Allison at only 0.82%.  

Finally DeShone Kizer (1629) was on more lineups than Andy Dalton (1561), and finally saw a backup receive some points with Hogan.  Those three users must be happy, unlike the three who took Matt Moore, and four that took AJ McCarron.  

Derek Carr finished on 14 lineups.  FantasyAlarm updates came out that Marcus Mariota was unlikely to play early Sunday morning: http://www.fantasyalarm.com/nfl/player/marcus-mariota/303230/He made it on 105 lineups still.  Right above him at least was Matt Cassel on 689 lineups.