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 sixteen paylines for some top contests.



NFL Sunday Double Big Up: $5 entry fee, single entry:  13,793 entries, top 6,000 win

The winning lineup scored 174.82 points, with the pay line at 121.98

The FantasyAlarm Optimal Lineup scored 107.38 points.

News and Notes: 

  • This week’s cash game lineups had high ownership levels, with users not taking too many chances with a smaller than usual main slate of games.
  • Cam Newton was the top overall owned player at 75.2% owned. 
  • Ezekiel Elliott was the highest RB, and second overall player owned, as he was on 68.7% of lineups. 
  • The majority of users paired Zeke with Dion Lewis, who was 41.7% owned.  Alvin Kamara at 22%, Todd Gurley II at 20.1%, and Kareem Hunt at 16% were the other top RB’s owned for this double up.
  • When looking at the WR position, a majority of the three roster spots were used between six players.  Keenan Allen was 40.7%, and edged out Mike Evans at 40.6% for the top owned WR spot.
  • Robert Woods finished third at 33.3%, with the Jaguars duo of Keelan Cole (32.3%), and Dede Westbrook (28.6%) rounding out the top five.  Users liked the Bucs as well, with Chris Godwin finishing at 22.7% owned.
  • Travis Kelce dominated the tight end ownership for this double up, as he was 61.1% owned.  Those that were off of Kelce either spent more for Rob Gronkowski at 8.2% owned, or went cheap with Antonio Gates, who was 7.8% owned.
  • The 26.8% of lineups that saved a few hundred in salary with Phil Dawson were disappointed with his 5 fantasy points, while the 20.9% of lineups that went with Harrison Butker were rewarded with his 18 fantasy points.
  • The Chiefs special teams were highly targeted, as their defense was the top owned at 39.2%, followed by the Bears (24.8%), and Chargers (16.8%).


$25,000 NFL Squib:  Single Entry GPP:  29,761 Entries

The winning lineup scored 186.12 points, with the pay line at 123.28 points.

The FantasyAlarm Optimal Lineup scored 106.08

News and Notes: 

  • The winning lineup didn’t take any risk plays, as every player on their roster fell between 11%-20.5% owned.  Todd Gurley II of course was on the top lineups, and was the winner’s top owned player at 20.4%.  Their only real “bust” was Jarvis Landry at 17.7% owned, who finished with 5.6 points.
  • Overall, the ownership levels for this gpp were spread out, with Ezekiel Elliott as the top owned player at 33.49%.
  • Cam Newton’s ownership dropped from his high cash game number, but still was the top owned QB at 27.2%.  Blake Bortles, who was on the winning lineup, was 11.3% owned.
  • After Zeke, Todd Gurley II was next at RB at 20.4% owned.  While Alvin Kamara (22.9%) stayed similar to his cash ownership, Dio Lewis dropped to 15.4% owned.  Also in the top five was Christian McCaffrey at 15.8%. 
  • Robert Woods and his disappointing 4.8 fantasy points topped the WR’s at 32% owned.  Keenan Allen was next at 21.2% owned, with a large group of receivers with 10-19% ownership levels.  Chris Goodwin’s ownership dropped to only 2.3% for this gpp, and had a similar result with his teammate Mike Evans, who dropped to 11.9% owned.
  • Users continued to target the Panthers this past week, as Greg Olson topped the tight end ownership at 24.6%.  Travis Kelce was next at 19.3%, with Rob Gronkowski third at 14.1%.
  • The defense ownership was spread out between four teams, with the Chargers taking the top spot at 15.8% owned.  They were followed by the Bears (14.7%), Jaguars (13.6%), and Chiefs (10.8%).



$5 Single Entry Double Up:  8,045 entries, top 3,500 win.

The winning lineup scored 218.54 points, with the pay line at 132.42 points.

The FantasyAlarm Optimal Lineup scored 149.38 points.

News and Notes: 

  • The ownership in DK contests this week was more spread out than in the past.
  • Due to only 3,317 unique users out of the 22,998 lineups in the large $5 double up, four players were over 55% owned, with another four checking in at over 42% owned.  The single entry double up had no player over 43% owned, and only three above 30%.
  • Ezekiel Elliott was the top owned player at 42.5%, with Dio Lewis second at 34%. 
  • Cam Newton was the third player over 30%, and top QB owned at 33.4%.  Surprisingly, Drew Stanton was 11.6% owned.
  • After Zeke and Dion, Christian McCaffrey (26.9%), Alvin Kamara (24.9%), and Melvin Gordon (22.1%) rounded out the top five running backs.  Kareem Hunt was 16.6% owned, and Todd Gurley II was at 10.1%.
  • User went for a mix of high price, and value with their WR spots, as Chris Godwin led the pack at 29.9% owned. Keenan Allen followed at 28.6%, with Jarvis Landry and Keelan Cole not far behind at 27.5% and 27.4% owned.  Mike Evans rounded out the top five at 20.7%, with Robert Woods and Kendall Wright also receiving love at 19.8% and 18.1% ownership levels.
  • Users stuck with value at the tight end spot as well, with Antonio Gates leading the field at 27.5% owned.  Eric Ebron was next at 16.9%, followed by Greg Olsen (14%), and Rob Gronkowski (10.3%).
  • The Bears defense led the way at 16% owned, followed by the Panthers at 13.5%, and the Chiefs at 10% owned.


NFL $1.5M Santa’s Eight Reindeer Special:  220,588 entries, 92,193 unique users: $8 entry fee.

The winning lineup scored 238.12 points with the pay line at 138.86 points.

The FantasyAlarm Optimal Lineup scored 152.38 points.

News and Notes:

  • The winning lineup had five of their players receive yard bonuses, and really only took two risks with their roster.  One of those risks paid off, with CJ Anderson at only 5.3% owned.  Kendall Wright was the other at 14.7%, and was the lowest point total on the winning lineup.  After CJ, only Blake Bortles (7.8%) and Larry Fitzgerald (9.9%) were under 10% owned for the winner.
  • Overall, Ezekiel Elliott was the only player over 30% owned, and he barely topped that at 30.16%.
  • Cam Newton remained the top Qb owned at 18.96%, with Russell Wilson next at 9.92%.  Bortles, Brees, and Goff rounded out the top five, as they were all 7%-8% owned.
  • Dion Lewis (25.06%) once again finished second after Zeke in RB ownership, with Christian McCaffrey right behind him at 24.88%.  Alvin Kamara (20.76%) was the only other RB above 20% owned, with Todd Gurley II finishing eighth at 12.16%. 
  • While Chris Godwin’s 12.18% ownership dropped once again from cash games to gpp’s, Keelan Cole remained highly targeted at 25.48%.  Keenan Allen followed at 20.4%, with Woods, Landry, Evans, and Baldwin rounding out the only receivers at over 10% ownership levels.
  • Users went for the upside at tight end, as Antonio Gates 12.22% ownership dropped him to the fifth highest owned tight end for this gpp.  Greg Olsen led the pack at 18.47%, followed by Eric Ebron (14.88%), Travis Kelce (14.43%), and Rob Gronkowski (13.29%).
  • Not much changed with defense ownership levels for gpp’s, with the Bears (14.11%), and Panthers (11.31%) checking in as the only two defenses above 10% owned.