NFL Week 7 – Daily Lineup Optimizers Performance Comparison

November 1, 2015

by — Posted in Lineup Optimizers, NFL

Last week 3 optimizers managed to place in the $25 Double Up and two of them managed to place in all 5 contests we track. Pretty impressive, but was it a fluke? Time will tell but in the mean time scroll down below to see this week’s results.

A note about Optimizers

I’m going to keep posting this note every week so no one gets the wrong idea. Optimizers are awesome but should be used with caution and self-discipline!

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.

A note about this week’s projections: I generated the lineups for this weeks comparison early Sunday morning. News of Antonio Gates being out broke at around 11AM EST. Some of the optimizers take late news into account when generating lineups. For the ones that feature a “rewind” feature I have made a note about potential total score but for fairness have not changed the actual results.

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/off/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 Carson Palmer 23.26
RB Frank Gore 18.53
RB Todd Gurley 20.02
WR Donte Moncrief 15.91
WR Larry Fitzgerald 22.51
WR John Brown 19.02
TE Antonio Gates 15.14
FLEX Devonta Freeman 20.64
DST Rams 12.47
Total 167.50

 

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 Philip Rivers 22.40
RB Todd Gurley 21.40
RB Lamar Miller 16.50
WR Michael Crabtree 13.80
WR Larry Fitzgerald 19.70
WR DeAndre Hopkins 21.60
TE Jordan Cameron 11.40
FLEX Devonta Freeman 22.40
DST Rams 9.60
Total 158.80

 

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 Ryan Fitzpatrick N/A
RB Mark Ingram N/A
RB Chris Ivory N/A
WR Ty Hilton N/A
WR Calvin Johnson N/A
WR Julio Jones N/A
TE Jordan Cameron N/A
FLEX Alfred Morris N/A
DST Giants 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.

A note about this week’s projection: Using the Lineup Rewind feature to see what the projected lineup would have been before kickoff yields a slightly different lineup (without Gates): QB:Matthew Stafford, RB:Devonta Freeman, RB:Todd Gurley, WR:DeAndre Hopkins, WR:Jarvis Landry, WR:Willie Snead, TE:Gary Barnidge, FLEX:Danny Woodhead, DST:Rams, Total Projected Points: 162.08.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Matthew Stafford 19.40
RB Devonta Freeman 22.94
RB Danny Woodhead 17.32
WR DeAndre Hopkins 24.05
WR Jarvis Landry 19.76
WR Willie Snead 16.13
TE Antonio Gates 15.08
FLEX Todd Gurley 18.23
DST Rams 9.55
Total 162.46

 

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 23.73
RB Devonta Freeman 22.12
RB Todd Gurley 18.64
WR DeAndre Hopkins 24.71
WR Eric Decker 15.45
WR Willie Snead 13.49
TE Travis Kelce 13.97
FLEX Lamar Miller 15.27
DST Rams 14.37
Total 161.75

 

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 Andrew Luck N/A
RB Devonta Freeman N/A
RB Latavius Murray N/A
WR TY Hilton N/A
WR Travis Benjamin N/A
WR John Brown N/A
TE Benjamin Watson N/A
FLEX Chris Johnson N/A
DST Steelers N/A
Total N/A

 

logo-linestarLineStar DK App by Fantasy Sports Co

Download Download

This app is available for DraftKings and FantasyDuel on both iOS and Android. It allows you to set players you “love/hate” before generating lineups as well as pick which games to include. One of the coolest features of this app is that the data it uses to generate lineups is constantly being updated until kickoff. You can even look at a list of “updates” to see which players are being upgraded and downgraded.

A note about this week’s projection:  This week I generated my lineups a bit early and didn’t get the benefit of this “updates” feature. Going back and generating a lineup using the latest news from week 7 to see what the projected lineup would have been before kickoff yields a slightly different lineup (without Gates): QB:Carson Palmer, RB:Chris Ivory, RB:Todd Gurley, WR:DeAndre Hopkins, WR:Stefon Diggs, WR:Steve Johnson, TE:Ladarius Green, FLEX:Devonta Freeman, DST:Rams, Total Projected Points:177.91.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Philip Rivers 23.83
RB Devonta Freeman 28.30
RB Todd Gurley 17.90
WR DeAndre Hopkins 27.82
WR Rishard Matthews 13.62
WR Eric Decker 17.85
TE Antonio Gates 18.67
FLEX Willie Snead 14.40
DST Rams 12.69
Total 175.08

 

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 Andrew Luck 24.15
RB Devonta Freeman 23.84
RB Todd Gurley 19.92
WR DeAndre Hopkins 22.06
WR Larry Fitzgerald 20.75
WR Michael Crabtree 14.07
TE Delanie Walker 15.03
FLEX Ladarius Green 13.44
DST Rams 8.96
Total 162.22

 

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 Philip Rivers 20.78
RB Todd Gurley 22.59
RB Devonta Freeman 21.38
WR Deandre Hopkins 23.23
WR Deandre Hopkins 23.23
WR Larry Fitzgerald 18.72
TE Michael Crabtree 13.33
FLEX Jordan Cameron 11.13
DST Rams 9.58
Total 163.97

 

logo-rosternerdsOptimal NFL Lineup by Roster Nerds

Roster Nerds has one option: block a player. Oh wait, you also get 6 lineups to choose from and can sort-of pick which games to include using the menu at the top. It’s a mystery how it all works – but maybe that’s the point? It’s magic.

Pos. Player Proj. Pts
QB Philip Rivers 24.61
RB Chris Johnson 14.47
RB Todd Gurley 15.67
WR DeAndre Hopkins 24.75
WR Julio Jones 23.98
WR Ty Hilton 19.60
TE Coby Fleener 9.21
FLEX Willie Snead 11.70
DST Steelers 10.36
Total 154.35

 

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 Cam Newton 22.92
RB Devonta Freeman 26.61
RB Todd Gurley 18.91
WR John Brown 15.61
WR Jarvis Landry 15.89
WR Steve Smith 16.88
TE Travis Kelce 14.96
FLEX Jason Witten 15.24
DST Rams 9.88
Total 156.90

 

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 Matthew Stafford 19.90
RB Devonta Freeman 21.55
RB Todd Gurley 16.61
WR Michael Crabtree 14.25
WR John Brown 17.01
WR Ty Hilton 18.47
TE Deandre Hopkins 22.42
FLEX Delanie Walker 14.90
DST Rams 10.65
Total 155.76

 

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 Philip Rivers 25.80
RB Todd Gurley 23.40
RB Lamar Miller 22.00
WR DeAndre Hopkins 30.40
WR Larry Fitzgerald 28.00
WR Mike Evans 28.00
TE Malcom Floyd 21.50
FLEX Antonio Gates 19.40
DST Texans 12.00
Total 210.50

 

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 Philip Rivers 19.97
RB Devonta Freeman 18.99
RB DeMarco Murray 16.13
WR Antonio Brown 16.91
WR Andre Johnson 11.42
WR Michael Floyd 9.88
TE Greg Olsen 11.47
FLEX Todd Gurley 14.17
DST Rams 10.30
Total 129.24

 


Statistical Results

Here’s a breakdown of what each chart compares:

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

Prediction Accuracy actual pts vs projected

Rank Source Score
1 Swish Analytics 136.90%
2 RotoViz 129.71%
3 daily fantasy nerd 127.78%
4 RotoGrinders 121.60%
5 Lineup Lab (4F4) 120.65%
6 FantasyPros 119.01%
7 FantasyCruncher 114.67%
8 Roster Nerds 107.14%
9 Lineup Lab (PFF) 106.15%
10 LineStar DK 96.75%
11 Daily Fantasy Cafe 90.63%
12 Rotowire 73.62%
FanSpeak N/A
FantasyScore N/A

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

Value Efficiency most pts per $

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

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

Rank Source Score
1 daily fantasy nerd 89.00%
2 Lineup Lab (4F4) 87.55%
3 RotoViz 87.44%
4 FantasyPros 86.75%
5 Swish Analytics 82.99%
6 RotoGrinders 80.20%
7 Lineup Lab (PFF) 74.64%
8 FanSpeak 68.45%
9 Roster Nerds 68.35%
10 FantasyScore 62.45%
11 Rotowire 0.00%
11 Daily Fantasy Cafe 0.00%
11 LineStar DK 0.00%
11 FantasyCruncher 0.00%
Click columns headers to sort. Higher percentage = better performance.

Performance VS Topposition pts vs top 8 players (avg)

Rank Source Score
1 RotoViz 82.52%
2 daily fantasy nerd 82.01%
3 FantasyPros 81.59%
4 RotoGrinders 77.58%
5 Lineup Lab (4F4) 77.49%
6 Swish Analytics 77.23%
7 FantasyCruncher 75.01%
8 Lineup Lab (PFF) 72.50%
9 FanSpeak 71.47%
10 LineStar DK 68.11%
11 Roster Nerds 67.74%
12 Daily Fantasy Cafe 64.53%
13 Rotowire 62.75%
14 FantasyScore 62.34%
Click columns headers to sort. Higher percentage = better performance.

Overall Performancetotal pts earned

Rank Source Score
1 daily fantasy nerd 190.84
2 RotoViz 189.34
3 FantasyPros 183.30
4 RotoGrinders 175.88
5 Lineup Lab (4F4) 174.52
6 Swish Analytics 172.54
7 FantasyCruncher* 172.44
8 Roster Nerds 171.34
9 FanSpeak 166.60
10 Rotowire 162.34
11 Lineup Lab (PFF) 160.24
12 LineStar DK** 157.14
13 FantasyScore 153.92
14 Daily Fantasy Cafe 146.80
Click columns headers to sort. More points = better performance.
* Updated lineup would have scored 191.54.
** Updated lineup would have scored 176.00.


Real-world Results

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

DraftKings Contest Performance (Week 7)

logo-draftkings-wide $6M
$20
$25DU
$25
$500K
$9
$700K
$300
$1.5M
$3
# $
Points Needed: 179.42 172.64 181.00 189.92 176.44
Daily Fantasy Cafe 0
daily fantasy nerd Y Y Y Y Y 5
FanSpeak 0
FantasyCruncher 0
FantasyPros Y Y Y Y 4
FantasyScore 0
LineStar DK 0
Lineup Lab (4F4) Y 1
Lineup Lab (PFF) 0
Roster Nerds 1
RotoGrinders Y 1
RotoViz Y Y Y Y 4
Rotowire 0
Swish Analytics 0
Key
$6M = $6M MILLIONAIRE MAKER $25 DU = MASSIVE $25 DOUBLE UP
$500K = $500K SLANT $700K = $700K BLITZ
$1.5M = $1.5M PLAY-ACTION $## = entry fee

Conclusion

Another week of fairly decent results for the optimizers. One snag I ran into this week was late injury news that took out a big player who appeared in many of the lineups – namely Antonio Gates. I generated these lineups Sunday morning and didn’t get a chance to readjust. That said: some of them may not have taken it into account either so this is a lesson about double checking your lineups before game-time to make sure there is no late news that could severely effect your lineup like it did here. Another interesting note is the threshold to place in the “easiest” contest ($25 DU) wasn’t far from the other contests this week.

What will next week hold? Perhaps some new lineup settings? Come back next week to find out!

Optimizer Leaderboardtotal contests placed in

Rank Source Places
1 daily fantasy nerd 6
2 FantasyPros 5
2 LineStar DK 5
2 RotoViz 5
2 Rotowire 5
3 FantasyCruncher 1
3 Lineup Lab (4F4) 1
3 Lineup Lab (PFF) 1
3 RotoGrinders 1
4 Roster Nerds 0
4 Daily Fantasy Cafe 0
4 FanSpeak 0
4 FantasyScore 0
4 Swish Analytics 0
Totals after 3 weeks of tracking.
Roster Nerds wasn’t tracked for first two weeks.

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 8 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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