DFS Roundtable: Early-Season Pathfinding

The DFS team discusses the keys to building early-season lineups

The beginning of the season means minimal data points with which to work. The NFL preseason devolved into few breadcrumbs on offenses, roles, etc. What is your general approach to lineup building especially in Week 1 - are you more willing to play it safe with projected roles, usage, and offensive team strength, or take chances with bolder calls as there will be massive change post-Week 1 on the horizon?

Dan Hindery

Late in the season, you need to lean heavily on the data. In Week 1, it makes sense to take a less analytical approach. If you believe Curtis Samuel is poised to take a big leap heading into his third season, play him. If your gut feeling is that Andy Reid is going to give Damien Williams a real shot over the first few weeks to see what he can do in a true lead back role in Kansas City, play him.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t do your research. Take the above example of Damien Williams. If you are thinking of playing him, you should watch closely for any clues you can find in press conferences and local beat writer reports that indicate whether he is going get something like 50% of the snaps against Jacksonville or whether it will be closer to 75%. Unlike later in the season, the focus for Week 1 should be on following and interpreting the softer news versus relying mostly on the hard numbers to guide you.

Phil Alexander

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