NFL Week 6 – Daily Lineup Optimizers Performance Comparison

October 23, 2015

by — Posted in Lineup Optimizers, NFL

So week 5 was more or less a dud: only 3 of the 10 optimizers managed to place in any of the top 6 contests on DraftKings. Was week 6 any better? Let’s find out! This week I’ve added a few things like individual player points and salaries to make things more interesting. With this data I ranked the optimizers in a few new ways including how much value they bring in each pick vs the top players of the week and each other.

A note about Optimizers

Look, it would be great if you could just load up an optimizer/projector from the list here, press a button and get a winning lineup – but it doesn’t work that way. The best tools not only feature sophisticated algorithms but also options that you can tweak to get a lineup that is successful and unique. I wish I had the capacity to compare each optimizer multiple times using different options but it’s simply not possible to test every combination. This is why all the lineups you see generated below have been made by using either default options or a set of options I feel matches up fairly with the other optimizers. It may not generate a winning lineup but it keeps the comparison a little bit more fair.

Generated lineups by source/site

logo-dfcNFL Lineup Optimizer by Daily Fantasy Cafe

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.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Tom Brady 26.73
RB Ameer Abdullah 14.3
RB James Starks 10.65
WR Larry Fitzgerald 18.92
WR Julian Edelman 22.12
WR Jordan Matthews 18.17
TE Rob Gronkowski 21.21
FLEX Zach Ertz 11.06
DST Jets 13.85
Total 157.01

 

logo-dailyfantasynerdLineup Optimizer by daily fantasy nerd

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.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Blake Bortles 19.60
RB Matt Forte 23.10
RB Arian Foster 20.60
WR Allen Robinson 17.20
WR Jeremy Maclin 17.90
WR Julian Edelman 21.00
TE Larry Donnell 10.30
FLEX Lamar Miller 14.20
DST Cardinals 9.50
Total 153.40

 

logo-fanspeakDaily Fantasy Lineup Generator by Fanspeak

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.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Philip Rivers N/A
RB Dion Lewis N/A
RB Matt Forte N/A
WR Odell Beckham Jr. N/A
WR Julian Edelman N/A
WR Dwayne Harris N/A
TE Garrett Celek N/A
FLEX Greg Olsen N/A
DST Jets N/A
Total N/A

 

logo-fantasycruncherLineup Cruncher by FantasyCruncher

Fantasy Cruncher is a premium tool for researching and generating lineups for all DFS. It features all the options you could ask for in a lineup optimizer including flex position limitation, # of offense vs defense players, exposure, qb/wr/te stacking, players per team and unique features like consistency range, value range and projected points range. Lot’s of cool stuff and to top it all off you can use their Lineup Rewind tool to go back  to previous weeks and generate lineups based on all of these settings. I will be doing a full review of this site in the near future. This lineup was generated using default settings.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Andy Dalton 20.76
RB Devonta Freeman 20.93
RB Dion Lewis 20.45
WR Larry Fitzgerald 21.48
WR Allen Robinson 19.29
WR Willie Snead 17.01
TE Antonio Gates 13.67
FLEX Julian Edelman 22.97
DST Cincinnati 9.49
Total 166.05

 

logo-fantasyprosLineup Optimizer by FantasyPros

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.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Carson Palmer 22.47
RB Arian Foster 19.23
RB Dion Lewis 17
WR DeAndre Hopkins 20.89
WR Larry Fitzgerald 19
WR Allen Hurns 14.82
TE Richard Rodgers 10.11
FLEX Danny Woodhead 14.15
DST Jets 14.87
Total 152.54

 

logo-fantasyscorePerfect Lineup by FantasyScore

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

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Sam Bradford N/A
RB Arian Foster N/A
RB Danny Woodhead N/A
WR Demaryius Thomas N/A
WR Randall Cobb N/A
WR Jordan Matthews N/A
TE Heath Miller N/A
FLEX Kendall Wright N/A
DST Redskins N/A
Total N/A

 

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.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Sam Bradford 22.64
RB LeGarrette Blount 15.30
RB Arian Foster 20.58
WR Brandon Marshall 19.50
WR DeAndre Hopkins 23.50
WR Eric Decker 15.90
TE Antonio Gates 13.81
FLEX Frank Gore 18.60
DST Eagles 11.56
Total 161.39

 

logo-lineuplab_4f4Lineup Optimizer by Lineup Lab using 4FOR4 projection source

Lineup Lab is a premium tool that lets you generate lineups from 2 trusted data sources (or you can use your own data). The feature-set isn’t huge but it has filters for game, salary, points and pts/$ and the ability to diversify results, stack players and limit offense vs defense. This site provides a great way to get projections based on 2 of the most popular sources in one place.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Colin Kaepernick 17.94
RB Dion Lewis 19.5
RB Charcandrick West 13.75
WR DeAndre Hopkins 22.9
WR Julian Edelman 22.61
WR AJ Green 21.79
TE Larry Fitzgerald 21.47
FLEX Larry Donnell 10.92
DST Lions 7.58
Total 158.46

 

logo-lineuplab_pffLineup Optimizer by Lineup Lab using Pro Football Focus projection source

Lineup Lab is a premium tool that lets you generate lineups from 2 trusted data sources (or you can use your own data). The feature-set isn’t huge but it has filters for game, salary, points and pts/$ and the ability to diversify results, stack players and limit offense vs defense. This site provides a great way to get projections based on 2 of the most popular sources in one place.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Blake Bortles 18.65
RB Matt Forte 21.71
RB Arian Foster 19.73
WR Lamar Miller 13.56
WR Julian Edelman 19.99
WR Ty Hilton 17
TE Allen Robinson 16.25
FLEX Larry Donnell 10.09
DST Cardinals 9.49
Total 146.47

 

logo-rotogrindersNFL Projected Optimal Lineup by RotoGrinders

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.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Andy Dalton 19.05
RB Chris Ivory 16.7
RB Charcandrick West 13.26
WR AJ Green 21.5
WR Randall Cobb 21.31
WR Larry Fitzgerald 20.98
TE Tyler Eifert 15.42
FLEX Carlos Hyde 14.52
DST Broncos 12.8
Total 155.54

 

logo-rotovizDaily Lineup Optimizer by RotoViz

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.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Colin Kaepernick 19
RB Giovani Bernard 14.32
RB Dion Lewis 17.28
WR Calvin Johnson 20.17
WR Jarvis Landry 17.22
WR Jordan Matthews 17.38
TE Larry Fitzgerald 18.89
FLEX Antonio Gates 13.95
DST Jets 11.46
Total 149.67

 

logo-rotowireNFL Weekly Lineup Optimizer by Rotowire

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

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Andy Dalton 26.3
RB Danny Woodhead 20.6
RB Lamar Miller 17.8
WR DeAndre Hopkins 31.2
WR AJ Green 28.1
WR Larry Fitzgerald 27.1
TE Pierre Garcon 21.5
FLEX Greg Olsen 21.3
DST Bears 10
Total 203.90

 

logo-swishOptimus X Pro by Swish Analytics

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.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Tom Brady 22.68
RB Matt Forte 19.29
RB DeMarco Murray 17.73
WR Antonio Brown 17.36
WR Randall Cobb 16.64
WR Michael Floyd 10.42
TE Owen Daniels 7.74
FLEX CJ Anderson 15.96
DST Texans 9.3
Total 137.12

 


Statistical Results

Last week I simply compared the total points generated by each lineup and if any of those lineups would have placed (in the money) in any of the 6 most popular Sunday NFL contests on DraftKings. This time I have a few statistical tricks up my sleeve which use player salaries and top performers in each position. Here’s a breakdown of what each one compares:

Prediction Accuracy
Value Efficiency
Value Efficiency vs Top
Performance vs Top
Overall Performance

Prediction Accuracy actual pts vs projected

Rank Source Score
1 LineStar DK 119.12%
2 Lineup Lab (PFF) 102.60%
3 Swish Analytics 97.05%
4 RotoViz 95.67%
5 Daily Fantasy Cafe 93.55%
6 FantasyCruncher 90.82%
7 daily fantasy nerd 90.58%
8 FantasyPros 87.54%
9 RotoGrinders 83.20%
10 Rotowire 80.88%
11 Lineup Lab (4F4) 72.47%
FanSpeak N/A
FantasyScore N/A

Click columns headers to sort. Higher score = better accuracy.

Value Efficiency most pts per $

Rank Source
1 LineStar DK
2 Rotowire
3 Daily Fantasy Cafe
4 RotoViz
5 FantasyCruncher
6 FantasyPros
7 Swish Analytics
8 RotoGrinders
9 Lineup Lab (4F4)
10 Lineup Lab (PFF)
11 FantasyScore
12 daily fantasy nerd
13 FanSpeak
Click columns headers to sort.

Value Efficiency VS Topposition pp$ vs top 8 players (avg)

Rank Source Score
1 LineStar DK 76.90%
2 Rotowire 66.26%
3 Lineup Lab (PFF) 62.36%
4 Daily Fantasy Cafe 60.03%
5 FantasyCruncher 59.70%
6 RotoViz 58.52%
7 daily fantasy nerd 58.31%
8 Swish Analytics 56.99%
9 RotoGrinders 52.58%
10 FantasyPros 52.45%
11 Lineup Lab (4F4) 46.98%
12 FantasyScore 44.19%
13 FanSpeak 0.00%
Click columns headers to sort. Higher percentage = better performance.

Performance VS Topposition pts vs top 8 players (avg)

Rank Source Score
1 LineStar DK 78.38%
2 Rotowire 66.70%
3 FantasyCruncher 62.65%
4 Lineup Lab (PFF) 62.59%
5 RotoViz 59.01%
6 daily fantasy nerd 57.41%
7 Daily Fantasy Cafe 55.99%
8 FantasyPros 55.65%
9 Swish Analytics 55.48%
10 RotoGrinders 54.93%
11 FanSpeak 52.95%
12 Lineup Lab (4F4) 49.01%
13 FantasyScore 45.68%
Click columns headers to sort. Higher percentage = better performance.

Overall Performancetotal pts earned

Rank Source Score
1 LineStar DK 187.70
2 Rotowire 168.02
3 Lineup Lab (PFF) 157.94
4 FantasyCruncher 154.12
5 RotoViz 146.70
6 daily fantasy nerd 146.34
7 FantasyPros 142.44
8 Daily Fantasy Cafe 137.78
9 FanSpeak 133.12
10 Swish Analytics 129.18
11 Lineup Lab (4F4) 126.20
12 RotoGrinders 125.72
13 FantasyScore 109.40
Click columns headers to sort. More points = better performance.


Real-world Results

Would any of these lineups have made money in the 5 most popular DraftKings NFL Week 6 contests? Let’s find out!

DraftKings Contest Performance

FantasyCruncher-Y—1

logo-draftkings-wide $7M
$20
$25DU
$25
$600K
$9
$850K
$300
$1.5M
$3
# $
Points Needed: 162.14 148.22 163.98 166.14 163.22
Daily Fantasy Cafe 0
daily fantasy nerd 0
FanSpeak 0
FantasyPros 0
FantasyScore 0
LineStar DK Y Y Y Y Y 5
Lineup Lab (4F4) 0
Lineup Lab (PFF) Y 1
RotoGrinders 0
RotoViz 0
Rotowire Y Y Y Y Y 5
Swish Analytics 0
Key
$7M = $7M MILLIONAIRE MAKER $25 DU = MASSIVE $25 DOUBLE UP
$600K = $600K SLANT $850K = $850K BLITZ
$1.5M = $1.5M PLAY-ACTION $## = entry fee

Conclusion

Looks like the optimizers produced much better results this week thanks to a few standout performances by the LineStar app and Rotowire. FantasyCruncher and Lineup Lab (PFF) even managed to place in the “easier” $25 Double Up contest. Will the successful optimzers from this week maintain their performance levels going into Week 7? Come back next week to find out!

Optimizer Leaderboardtotal contests placed in

Rank Source Places
1 LineStar DK 5
1 Rotowire 5
2 daily fantasy nerd 1
2 FantasyCruncher 1
2 FantasyPros 1
2 Lineup Lab (PFF) 1
2 RotoViz 1
3 Daily Fantasy Cafe 0
3 FanSpeak 0
3 FantasyScore 0
3 Lineup Lab (4F4) 0
3 RotoGrinders 0
3 Swish Analytics 0

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 continue tracking the optimizers every week to hopefully determine which algorithm is superior to the rest. As always if you decide that you want to take the plunge and try your hand at one of these contests for NFL Week 7 please click my DraftKings link below. Thanks.

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

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