Optimal Lineup Calculator - Tips - Tricks - Guide

Discussion in 'Fantasy Football Advice' started by Kurt, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. Kurt

    Kurt That Server Guy Staff Member Fantasy Guru

    Welcome to the optimal lineup calculator advice thread. I'll update this as we add featured etc. If you have questions let me know. You can "start a conversation" with @Kurt to report bugs and make feature request.

    Here's what the main grid looks like.

    [​IMG]


    Header Columns Explained -

    RAdv and PAdv:


    RAdv (rush advantage) - the level of advantage the rushing unit has over the defense.
    PAdv (pass advantage) - the level of advantage the passing unit has over the defense.

    In the image below....

    POS is RB (I usually filter by position to trim down my list of players) - Team is GB -

    RAdv is in Green Bays favor so this means GB rushing offense as a whole should dominate SF run defense. RAdv compares GB's run plays from every snap in the current season and gives those results a number. The positive or negative results from each snap are weighted differently based on difficulty of situation IE red zone, 3rd and 1, 3rd and 15 etc.. We compare similar metrics for the defense against the offense to come up with RAdv / Rush Advantage. Starting AFTER week 4 RAdv and PAdv will become adjusted based on strength of schedule and therefore more reliable. Each week played will only improve the reliability of RAdv and PAdv.

    PAdv is the same as RAdv, just based on the passing offense.

    These are team based statistics that measure the rushing and passing units. Not individual players.

    These numbers help determine game flow - which is why we placed the RAdv and PAdv of the opponent to the right of the opponent. No metric is perfect and "any given Sunday" you know the saying... Each week played will only improve the reliability of RAdv and PAdv. It's also good to ensure "Def" is green as it speaks to the position specifically. As in, it's based on fantasy points allowed to the position on that row.

    Increase the "cus points" a little if you're green across the board and have good Vegas numbers. 2 to 5 points is plenty.


    [​IMG]

    SROff SRDef: Sack Rate allowed by the offense and sack rate dished out by the defense.
    • Green on Green is preferred for the offense.
    • Red on Red is useful for picking team defense

    Vegas: this column is the Spread, Over Under, and Implied Points
    • The spread is the what odds-makers come up with to determine the winner, and margin of victory of a game.
      Let's say Jacksonville (+12) vs. Dallas (-12) This means Dallas is favored to win by one point, and Jacksonville is the underdog, by one point. If you were to bet for Dallas, the Cowboys would have to beat the Jaguars by a full two points, for you to win.
    • Implied Points - how many points the Vegas line is implying.
    • In addition to the spread bet, a very common "side bet" on an event will be the total (commonly called the over/under or O/U) bet. This is a bet on the total number of points scored by both teams. Suppose team A is playing team B and the total is set at 44.5 points. If the final score is team A 24, team B 17, the total is 41 and bettors who took the under will win. If the final score is team A 30, team B 31, the total is 61 and bettors who took the over will win. The total is popular because it allows gamblers to bet on their overall perception of the game (e.g., a high-scoring offensive show or a defensive battle) without needing to pick the actual winner.
    • If the O/U is 42 and a team is -12. This would mean the team -12 is projected to score 27 points and the other team is projected to score 15 points. 15 plus 27 equals 42. So it's okay to pick the players on the team that's -12 with an O/U of 42 because Vegas "thinks" they will score 27 points. Of course, the odds makers want to make money and can manipulate the spread and over under, but for the most part they want to get the O/U and spread close so they break even on the bets and simply make their money off the juice/fee charged for betting.
    • At running back you'll want go after teams that are going to be ahead (winning) and therefore running the ball more to hold their lead. Take a look at the Vegas column and any team with a "-" minus before the number means Vegas is taking points from them (they think they will win if its a large number) therefore the running back could be used more.
    • For your passers and receivers a high O/U (when compared to the other games O/U, means it should be a high scoring affair. The spread tells you which team is favored as previously discussed. High scoring games usually benefit the QB, WR, TE and in some cases the RB when it's a pass catching RB. Also, pass catching RB usually do better (fantasy points) when the O/U is high and the team is the underdog. Think about it... when a team is behind they usually pass more.
    • But just because the Vegas stats look good - it doesn't mean you should exclude the other factors. Such as the defenses strength against that position, which bring us to the next column header: DEFENSE.

    FPAR (Fantasy Points Allowed Rank) = The strength of said defense based on fantasy points allowed to the position in that row.
    • Red means you probably want to avoid that match-up
    • Green means it's one to target if all other conditions are favorable (projected points etc)
    • I like to use the filter to exclude all players facing a top 5 defense (1 thru 5) - then I'll go to the removed players column and add back beast that are playing at home and not usually impacted by stout defenses.
    OvAc = this is a players consistency, the higher the number the better. So 10 means they are all over the chart. 40-60 means they're steady point producers based on salary implied points - choose high OvAc players for cash games. Both low and high can be used in GPP.

    Val is a players value based on salary and projected points - the higher the VAL the better.



    Colors

    Green = positive
    Yellow = Neutral
    Red = Negative

    Salary and Diff -

    • Salary is this weeks salary
    • Diff is the change from last week - a negative number means the price dropped for that player - which could be for several factors, usually their poor performance causes a price drop and some people like to take advantage of price drops in hopes that the player will "bounce back". Other times the price drop or increase is due to a favorable / unfavorable matchups.

    Limit -

    • Limit the number of time a player is exposed across the lineups generated - you don't want the same players in every lineup - spread the risk and enjoy the rewards

    Floor -

    • The lowest score so far this season - soon will change to an average of the lowest 3 games

    Max -

    • The highest score so far this season - soon will change to an average of the highest 3 games

    Average -

    • Their average score across all games played.

    Site Proj -

    • What we project them to score -

    Cus Proj -

    • You enter what you think they will score - also helpful to force someone into your line-ups when you have exceeded your lock limit (more on that later). So if everything is in that players favor like green RAdv and DEF, then you should consider bumping the player 2 to 5 points.

    Export Lineups to CSV

    • Some people use IMACROS to enter lineups on autopilot, which is helpful if you're entering 20 or more lineups into a GPP.. Which is how I do it. Here's how to export 1 lineup or all lineups generated by the tool.

    [​IMG]

    Now let's look at some of the options / features of the tool. We will start with the Calculate options.

    Calculate Options


    [​IMG]


    Calculate options can be expanded by click the arrow circled above -

    That Reset button will clear all options (if it doesn't then hit CTRL + F5) -


    Once you click the options arrow on the calculate button, this pops up.


    [​IMG]

    The salary is just that - you can adjust what salary the tool stays under - in week 2 of 2015 the most optimal lineup on Fanduel only cost around 55k - not 60k. Leave it at 60.

    # of results - this is the desired number of results you want - unless you have a fairly new computer then don't increase this past 25 - mobile device should keep it under 10 - on my computer I can increase it to 50 without any issues but I have a strong PC. We are working to have this improved ASAP. I'll let you know.

    Projected points (really the cus proj) is what we optimize on by default. Some people play with the other options to see what it gets them. Soon we will add more options but for now this is it. If you select ceiling it will calculate optimal lineups based on the players ceiling column IE their highest scored games. Take a look =)

    Lock and Limit and Exclude

    [​IMG]

    Exclude removed the player from your player pool (what gets calculated) and puts them in the "removed players" bin, from which you can add them back.

    Lock ensure they play is in your results - I like to lock in guys and change their limit to 2 or 5 etc. This means lock them in for 2 lineups. Or locks them into 5 lineups etc

    Rules to locking - you can only lock the number of positions you're allowed to start on a team - so if you're allowed only one QB - then you can only lock one QB - if you're allowed 2 RB - then you can only lock two.


    Strategies

    5 Tips for GPP and Cash Games - read here.

    How to Improve Your Consistency

    Correlated Players

    In order to correlate your players you simply must match positions that benefit from one another, such as your quarterback with one of his receivers. If the QB scores a lot of points and you've stacked him with the WR that caught a lot of the TD's and yard then you're ahead of your competition, especially if that QB / WR stack has a low ownership. Let's take a look at the Wilson and Baldwin stack below. We go into this a lot more further down this article.

    [​IMG]
    2nd place QB/WR stack

    This WR/QB stack took 2nd place out of 114,942 entries. Obliviously this was a late Sunday/Monday tournament or else you wouldn't see the reverse correlation of QB and RB, more on correlations later.

    Lineup Variance

    Using our tool you need to lock in a QB/WR stack and request 20 lineups be generated with that stack. In order to limit your exposure you must limit the number of times each player is exposed in your lineups. To do this use the limit function. The limit setting ensures that the same players ARE NOT used in your lineups more than "x" number of times, automated optimization with variance!

    You can mass edit your exposure by limiting players as seen in the picture below.

    [​IMG]

    Under Filled Tournaments / Overlay

    “Overlay” is when a DFS tournament isn't filling up fast enough. If a tournament isn't filled you're still guaranteed to win the listed prize pool if you place. Less players in the tournament means you have a greater chance to win.

    Player Salary Changes

    Daily fantasy sites will drop the price of a player for many reasons. Diff is the change from last week - a negative number means the price dropped for that player - which could be for several factors, usually their poor performance causes a price drop and some people like to take advantage of price drops in hopes that the player will "bounce back". Other times the price drop or increase is due to a favorable / unfavorable matchups.

    Positive Correlations (Good) and Reverse Correlations (Bad)

    In football, there are correlations between players and the events that take place throughout the matchup. A positive correlation is pairing a quarterback and a wide receiver. When the receiver catches the ball, it usually means the quarterback threw it to him, therefore they accumulate points together. This is the strongest correlation in fantasy football. There are also reverse correlations, where one players production negatively impacts other players production. In other words, playing a defenses against your QB is bad. If your defense does good it means the quarterback on the opposite team is probably doing bad.

    In order to maximize your chance of winning large GPP tournaments you want to maximize your correlations and minimize your reverse correlations.

    Positive Correlations

    • Pairing your QB and WR (or TE if a solid play) is the best correlation you can find.
    • Defense and Running Back. Think about it, if your defense is doing well, then the RB for that defense should get more opportunities since teams tend to run more often when they have a lead. Field position and red zone opportunities are also increase with strong defensive performances.
    • Receiver(s) on opposing teams. When one team is scoring a lot of points, the other has to pass to keep up and not drain the clock with run plays. Using players in the same game, but on opposite teams, maximizes your correlation.
    Reverse Correlations

    • Defense and opposing QB,RB,WR,TE. You do not want to use any player on a team your defense is facing. If your defense is doing well it probably means your offensive players aren't getting it done, and banking on garbage time stats isn't a tactic I recommend.
    • Skill position players on the same team (WR/RB/TE). If a WR, RB or TE touches the ball, it means that a WR, RB, or TE isn't touching the ball. This isn't a hard and fast rule as I've seen people win with both RB/WR on that same team so you need to use your judgement.
    • Running backs on opposing teams. Here's why, running the ball kills the clock which gives the opposing team less opportunities. The exception to this rule is PPR running backs in game in which we expect them to be behind and or face a tough run defense. Backs facing stout defenses tend to catch a lot more balls versus pounding into the line.
     
  2. auburnfan123

    auburnfan123 MO-Oct-17-15 Premium Member

    I was wondering why on the Draftkings lineup tool it always gives 3 slots for RB and doesn't have a slot for Flex? Also are these lineups better to use in a cash game league or in a tournament format?
     
  3. Kurt

    Kurt That Server Guy Staff Member Fantasy Guru

    That's third RB slot is actually the flex, just RB is projected and priced better therefore choosen by the system for the flex. I'll see about getting it to output as "flex" to clear that up for others. Thanks for pointing that out.


    The way you build lineups determines if its a GPP or cash game lineup.

    GPP is much harder to build. You have to raise the projections for guys that have high ceilings and are in favorable matchups. Then you need to enter 20 to 200 lineups (or more) in order to "hit". This is what makes the tool great. You can create 20 lineups and enter them in pretty fast. The computer ensures you have a good degree of change (player variance) which limits your exposure due to many of the same players in the line-ups. Last week I had Brees and Cook against Tampa in five lineups.. To bad I had Romo in the other five. Both QB got hurt and killed my week.

    Cash games etc are easy with the tool. Look for high consistency and avoid the tough matchups. I also like to pick players playing at home as much as possible!

    The tool just gives you the stats and helps you trim down the fat (players) for the upcoming games. The player pool usually starts around 320 players deep. By the time I'm done trimming the fat my player pool is about 80 players deep. It's from there that I click calculate.
     
  4. Kurt

    Kurt That Server Guy Staff Member Fantasy Guru

    RAdv and PAdv explained:

    RAdv (rush advantage) - the level of advantage the rushing unit has over the defense.
    PAdv (pass advantage) - the level of advantage the passing unit has over the defense.

    In the image below....

    POS is RB (I usually filter by position to trim down my list of players) - Team is GB -

    RAdv is in Green Bays favor so this means GB rushing offense as a whole should dominate SF run defense. RAdv compares GB's run plays from every snap in the current season and gives those results a number. The positive or negative results from each snap are weighted differently based on difficulty of situation IE red zone, 3rd and 1, 3rd and 15 etc.. We compare similar metrics for the defense against the offense to come up with RAdv / Rush Advantage. Starting AFTER week 4 RAdv and PAdv will become adjusted based on strength of schedule and therefore more reliable. Each week played will only improve the reliability of RAdv and PAdv.

    PAdv is the same as RAdv, just based on the passing offense.

    These are team based statistics that measure the rushing and passing units. Not individual players.

    These numbers help determine game flow - which is why we placed the RAdv and PAdv of the opponent to the right of the opponent. Compare RAdv and PAdv to last weeks results, game by game, and it will become obvious how to use RAdv and PAdv. No metric is perfect and "any given Sunday" you know the saying... Each week played will only improve the reliability of RAdv and PAdv. It's also good to ensure "Def" is green as it speaks to the position specifically. As in, it's based on fantasy points allowed to the position on that row.

    Increase the "cus points" a little if you're green across the board and have good Vegas numbers. 2 to 5 points is plenty.

    [​IMG]