NFL Week 5 – Daily Lineup Optimizers Performance Comparison

October 14, 2015

by — Posted in Lineup Optimizers, NFL

Making your weekly NFL fantasy lineup isn’t easy! In fact it’s downright stressful. Researching all the matchups, finding the best values, avoiding going over the salary cap, checking for injuries – it’s like a full-time job without the guaranteed paycheck. Well, I want to help.

Are you a seasoned veteran looking for a different angle? Perhaps you’re a fan who wants to give this whole fantasy thing a try but you feel daunted by all the stats and decisions that go into making a lineup. Well, there are no guarantees or shortcuts in the world of sports but using a lineup optimizer might be as close to one as you can find.

What is this?

A lineup optimizer is a tool that uses various algorithms (each one has seemingly different methodologies) to generate an “ideal” lineup that you can simply plug and play each week on the various daily fantasy sports sites. I found the most popular free daily lineup optimizers, generated a lineup from each one, calculated all the points each lineup earned (on DraftKings) and the results are below.

Why do I need this?

You don’t, but I thought it would be interesting to see how each lineup does over the weeks to come to perhaps help someone decide which one(s) to use when making lineups – either as a starting point or to completely copycat. It’s up to you. I couldn’t find anything out there comparing the computer generated optimized lineups so here it is.

Generated lineups by source/site

logo-dailyfantasynerdLineup Optimizer by dailyfantasynerd.com

This site let’s you tweak your optimization with sliders for salary range, projected fantasy points, projected value, total salary and randomization. It also has options for stacking QB with WR, allowed positions for FLEX and if you allow offense vs defense. My lineup uses default settings.

Position Player
QB Matthew Stafford
RB Justin Forsett
RB Jamaal Charles
WR Willie Snead
WR Julian Edelman
WR Calvin Johnson
TE Jason Witten
FLEX Devonta Freeman
DST Jaguars
Projected Pts 159

logo-fanspeakDaily Fantasy Lineup Generator by fanspeak.com

This site let’s you tweak your optimization by selecting if you are optimizing for a cash contest or tournament (more risk presumably) and if you want to prioritize a position (to include more expensive players in that role?). My lineup uses the first lineup generated using the tournament setting with a balanced prioritization.

Note: Karlos Williams was suggested for RB2 but he was out so I replaced him with Boobie Dixon as he was the most likely replacement for him on the Bills.

Position Player
QB MATT RYAN
RB MELVIN GORDON
RB BOOBIE DIXON
WR TYLER LOCKETT
WR EMMANUEL SANDERS
WR JULIAN EDELMAN
TE MARTELLUS BENNETT
FLEX LARRY FITZGERALD
DST PACKERS
Projected Pts

logo-rotovizDaily Lineup Optimizer by rotoviz.com

This site let’s you tweak your optimization with a salary cap slider, maximum RB/WE/TE selector, over/under filter, team total filter, and player/team pre-selection and blacklisting. My lineup uses the default settings.

Position Player
QB COLIN KAEPERNICK
RB TJ YELDON
RB JUSTIN FORSETT
WR LARRY FITZGERALD
WR JULIAN EDELMAN
WR DEMARYIUS THOMAS
TE DELANIE WALKER
FLEX PIERRE GARCON
DST BRONCOS
Projected Pts 151.9

logo-rotowireNFL Weekly Lineup Optimizer by rotowire.com

This site doesn’t have any options aside from player exclusion for premium members.

Position Player
QB Bradford, Sam
RB Yeldon, T.J.
RB Gurley, Todd
WR Thomas, D. Prob
WR Allen, Keenan
WR Maclin, Jeremy
TE Gronkowski, Rob
FLEX Rodgers, Richard
DST Bills
Projected Pts 201.8

logo-fantasyprosLineup Optimizer by fantasypros.com

This site allows you to generate a lineup based on expert consensus rankings or a custom lineup with your favorite players locked into their positions. After generating a lineup you can exclude, swap and lock in players as many times as you want while generating new lineups. My lineup uses the default consensus setting.

Position Player
QB M. Ryan, ATL
RB J. Charles, KC
RB D. Lewis, NE
WR J. Edelman, NE
WR J. Jones, ATLQ
WR W. Snead, NO
TE C. Clay, BUFP
FLEX T. Gurley, STL
DST Packers
Projected Pts 158.8

logo-dfcNFL Lineup Optimizer by dailyfantasycafe.com

This site has a ton of options like game type, position match-ups, player exposure, various calculation models and more. Here are the settings I used: GPP/on/off/off/off/on/on/off and all 3 projection models were enabled. This is the highest projected scoring lineup.

Position Player
QB Colin Kaepernick
RB Justin Forsett
RB Jamaal Charles
WR Willie Snead
WR Larry Fitzgerald
WR Emmanuel Sanders
TE Owen Daniels
FLEX Demaryius Thomas
DST Ravens
Projected Pts 146.59

logo-rotogrindersNFL Projected Optimal Lineup by rotogrinders.com

This tool has no options for the optimizer itself. There is another tool on the site to build lineups but it generates seemingly random lineups.

Position Player
QB Matt Ryan
RB Dion Lewis
RB Jamaal Charles
WR Allen Robinson
WR Jeremy Maclin
WR Keenan Allen
TE Delanie Walker
FLEX Travis Kelce
DST Jaguars
Projected Pts 154.98

logo-swishOptimus X Pro by swishanalytics.com

This site let’s you choose a risk level from 1 to 5. It also lets you pick which games and players to exclude but you can only generate one lineup per day for free. My lineup uses a level 3 risk setting.

Position Player
QB Tom Brady
RB Jamaal Charles
RB Matt Forte
WR Randall Cobb
WR Roddy White
WR Michael Floyd
TE Antonio Gates
FLEX DeMarco Murray
DST Ravens
Projected Pts 137

logo-linestarLineStar DK App by Fantasy Sports Co

Download Download

This app has a few settings but I couldn’t really figure out how to apply them to the projections it generates. It seems to generate a slightly different lineup each time you run it but this is the first one I got.

Position Player
QB Tom Brady
RB LeVonn Bell
RB Eddie Lacy
WR Jeremy Maclin
WR Willie Snead
WR Demaryius Thomas
TE Owen Daniels
FLEX Antonio Gates
DST Eagles
Projected Pts 161

logo-fantasyscoreFantasyScore Perfect Lineup

I got this lineup from the numberFire website. It is presumably generated by FantasyScore.com so it does belong in this comparison.

Position Player
QB Matt Ryan
RB Jamaal Charles
RB Le’Vonn Bell
WR Demaryius Thomas
WR Keenan Allen
WR Kamar Aiken
TE Owen Daniels
FLEX Cole Beasley
DST Jaguars
Projected Pts

Results!

Here it is. I added up all the points and here is how the optimizers stacked up.

Source Fantasy Score
dailyfantasynerd 151.92
fanspeak 122.36
rotoviz 158.08
rotowire 126.72
fantasypros 151.26
dailyfantasycafe 136.68
rotogrinders 111.36
swishanalytics 111.80
linestar dk 137.70
fantasyscore 87.26

So it looks like only 3 of the 10 lineups really produced any usable results. What do I mean by usable? I’m glad you asked! Below you’ll see the top 6 most entered NFL Sunday contests on DraftKings and approximately how well you would have done if you had used each respective lineup in each contest.

NFL $850K Blitz ($300 entry)
Min Pts for Prize: 159.9

Source Fantasy
Score
Win
$$$
Points
from Min
dailyfantasynerd 151.92 0 7.98
fanspeak 122.36 0 37.54
rotoviz 158.08 0 1.82
rotowire 126.72 0 33.18
fantasypros 151.26 0 8.64
dailyfantasycafe 136.68 0 23.22
rotogrinders 111.36 0 48.54
swishanalytics 111.80 0 48.10
linestar dk 137.70 0 22.20
fantasyscore 87.26 0 72.64

NFL $7M Millionaire Maker ($20 entry)
Min Pts for Prize: 161.4

Source Fantasy
Score
Win
$$$
Points
from Min
dailyfantasynerd 151.92 0 9.48
fanspeak 122.36 0 39.04
rotoviz 158.08 0 3.32
rotowire 126.72 0 34.68
fantasypros 151.26 0 10.14
dailyfantasycafe 136.68 0 24.72
rotogrinders 111.36 0 50.04
swishanalytics 111.80 0 49.60
linestar dk 137.70 0 23.70
fantasyscore 87.26 0 74.14

NFL $1.5M Play-Action ($3 entry)
Min Pts for Prize: 163.1

Source Fantasy
Score
Win
$$$
Points
from Min
dailyfantasynerd 151.92 0 9.48
fanspeak 122.36 0 39.04
rotoviz 158.08 0 3.32
rotowire 126.72 0 34.68
fantasypros 151.26 0 10.14
dailyfantasycafe 136.68 0 24.72
rotogrinders 111.36 0 50.04
swishanalytics 111.80 0 49.60
linestar dk 137.70 0 23.70
fantasyscore 87.26 0 74.14

NFL MASSIVE $25 Double Up ($25 entry)
Min Pts for Prize: 147.1

Source Fantasy
Score
Win
$$$
Points
from Min
dailyfantasynerd 151.92 $25 place
fanspeak 122.36 0 24.74
rotoviz 158.08 $25 place
rotowire 126.72 0 20.38
fantasypros 151.26 $25 place
dailyfantasycafe 136.68 0 10.42
rotogrinders 111.36 0 35.74
swishanalytics 111.80 0 35.30
linestar dk 137.70 0 9.40
fantasyscore 87.26 0 59.84

NFL $1M Kickoff Million ($3 entry)
Min Pts for Prize: 165.54

Source Fantasy
Score
Win
$$$
Points
from Min
dailyfantasynerd 151.92 0 13.62
fanspeak 122.36 0 43.18
rotoviz 158.08 0 7.46
rotowire 126.72 0 38.82
fantasypros 151.26 0 14.28
dailyfantasycafe 136.68 0 28.86
rotogrinders 111.36 0 54.18
swishanalytics 111.80 0 53.74
linestar dk 137.70 0 27.84
fantasyscore 87.26 0 78.28

NFL $600K Slant ($9 entry)
Min Pts for Prize: 162.3

Source Fantasy
Score
Win
$$$
Points
from Min
dailyfantasynerd 151.92 0 10.38
fanspeak 122.36 0 39.94
rotoviz 158.08 0 4.22
rotowire 126.72 0 35.58
fantasypros 151.26 0 11.04
dailyfantasycafe 136.68 0 25.62
rotogrinders 111.36 0 50.94
swishanalytics 111.80 0 50.50
linestar dk 137.70 0 24.60
fantasyscore 87.26 0 75.04

Conclusion

What did we learn? Well, the optimization computers didn’t do very well this week – that’s for sure. Three of them did manage to place in the $25 Double Up, which isn’t too shabby. That particular contest has unlimited entries and I’ve personally seen some people enter with the same lineup over 100 times – which would net you $2500 if you manage to place. It also seems to be the easiest contest of the batch to place in – with a low barrier of entry to getting paid (only 147.1 pts).

Hopefully some of this information has been entertaining or useful! If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to leave them below. I will be tracking the optimizers every week and hopefully a pattern will emerge that indicates which algorithm is superior to the rest. In the mean-time if you decide that you want to take the plunge and try your hand at one of these contests for NFL Week 6 please click my DraftKings link below.

Header image “ULTIMATE FOOTBALL PLAYER” used with permission from BROWN73 on DeviantArt.
Source image can be found here.

5 thoughts on “NFL Week 5 – Daily Lineup Optimizers Performance Comparison

  1. I use both Rotoviz and fantasypros, neither helped last week, so it looks like it was a tough week similar to week 2. Will you do the same for fanduel lineups as well?

    Good stuff ! Thanks!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *