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NFL DFS Stokastic Quick Start Guide

Alex Baker



Alex Baker presents the Quick Start Guide for building NFL DFS lineups using Stokastic's projections and ownership.

NFL DFS is where the biggest prizes and glory are won in sport gaming. Any week you can throw in $20 and walk away with $1 million or more. Here’s how to do it.

Note: To figure out the best strategies for NFL DFS, I simulated the Slant contest Week 1 on DraftKings trillions of times to estimate the average ROI of lineups that had certain characteristics.

Stokastic NFL DFS Quick Start Guide


We all are trying to figure out the players who are most likely to succeed on an NFL Sunday. In most cases, you’re gaining 1 or 2 points of value on a good player, which over a whole lineup can become a huge advantage. With the Stokastic projections, lineups in the Slant had an average projected score of 119 points and a maximum of 136.5. The safest strategy is to consider lineups within 10 points of the optimal lineup.


We’re all trying to find those sleepers that are going to make your week, but it’s a tricky science because the most popular players on a slate are almost always the most likely to succeed. The best strategy is to shoot for a total ownership projection that is just outside the top 5% highest-owned lineups. A good rule of thumb is mixing in a sleeper that you like for every two popular plays. That gives you a good chance to cash and a great chance for your lineup to separate itself from the field.


Picking nine names out of a hat and getting all of them to hit their ceiling performances is unlikely to happen, but you can improve those odds immensely if you only need to get eight names right to win. Since QB scoring is the sum of their receivers’ production and their individual rushing, if you pick several receivers from a team the QB hitting a score, you’ll be happy with is almost a gimme if those players go off.

To figure out the best stacks, I simulated the slant and also ran several optimizations in Fantasy Cruncher, keeping all of the options the same except stack settings, and then I pitted them against each other. The tricky part with just looking at the contest data is that advanced players are entering more heavily stacked lineups, so the lineup construction with regards to projection and ownership tends to be stronger on average. What I found is that stacking at least two players with your quarterback is on average a stronger strategy than just one, and I don’t even know you if you don’t have a stack in your lineup.

Another popular strategy is picking a player from the opposing team with your quarterback with the idea that if the other team scores more fantasy points there will be more passing attempts. The results from this experiment were inconclusive about whether you should go for the run back or not, maybe this one is just a matter of personal preference.

Putting it All Together

Using the Stokastic tools you can quickly build lineups that fit the right criteria, so you have a great shot at winning on Sunday. The Lineup Generator is our newest tool to help you quickly find lineups that rate well based on our projections and ownership. And Fantasy Cruncher is what the pros use — it’s great if you want a more customized set of lineups. Once you win the big bucks don’t forget where you came from, make sure to give us a shoutout in the Stokastic Hall of Fame!

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A self-proclaimed U.S. history buff, stats enthusiast, and rabid fan of anything Detroit (yes, even the Lions), Alex started playing daily fantasy sports in 2013 and never looked back. After graduating with a degree in mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008, he began developing advanced statistical models and applied his unique skill-set first to poker, then as a full-time DFS player. He has since dominated DFS, becoming a fixture on leaderboards and cementing his position as the top-ranked overall player according to RotoGrinders. Competing in most guaranteed prize pool tournaments, he has ranked in the top 3 across major sports, including NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA, and MLB. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of fantasy sports with new and experienced players alike. Career Highlights: No. 1 Overall Ranking; 14x FanDuel $100k winner, 11x DraftKings Hundred-Thousandaire; 20x Live Final qualifier. You can contact him on Twitter @awesemodfs or by emailing [email protected].

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