Managing Many Lineups

Managing a large number of lineups

By David Dodds

My philosophy on FanDuel is to play a lot of lower-priced 50-50 games. Some weeks I have also taken as many as 20 shots on the Sunday Million. So how does one manage so many rosters and not get in trouble should a key player scratch on Sunday?

It can be tricky, but here is my approach. I create a dummy lineup for every type of contest I want to play. 

Enter these before the Thursday game starts:

  • Thursday—Monday
  • Sunday—Monday (Cash)
  • Sunday—Monday (GPP)

After the Thursday game starts, these additional options become available:

  • Sunday Only
  • Sunday one p.m. Start

And then after the Sun one p.m. games start, one can also enter:

  • Sunday four p.m.
  • Late (4 p.m., SNF, MNF)
  • and even Primetime (SNF, MNF, and TNF)

The key to all of this is the dummy lineups. Don't create 15 different rosters for a particular slate to start the week. There will be time to change the rosters later. If you don't wait to set rosters later, it soon becomes unmanageable if something like a late scratch impacts multiple lineups. The one exception I will make is that I like to make one dummy GPP lineup so I can easily separate all of my GPPs at one time. The biggest (and most popular) GPPs are loaded up early in the week (Sunday night), so I generally will just enter in this dummy lineup to secure the spot before the contest sells out. 

To get nearly 2,000 games in play (FanDuel currently has a limit of 1,000 games on Thursday and another 1,000 on Sunday) with the best structures (100+ man 50/50s, large Double Ups of 300+ people), I generally look to enter new contests every four-to-six hours from Wednesday on. My plan is to have completed entering contests to match what I want to wager for the week by Saturday night.

Switching from Dummy to Real Lineups

Before the Thursday game starts, I will craft two-to-four lineups for the Thursday–Monday slate. I like to pre-plan my strategy so that I do not have too much exposure to one player or one game.

For example, say I am planning to wager $600 on my Thursday games between three lineups. I might further choose to put $250 on Lineup one, $200 on Lineup two, and $150 on Lineup three. Using FanDuel's export lineup function, it's easy to then replace the dummy lineups with real ones a lot closer to the game start. (I generally do it after the inactives are announced or about one hour before the start of the game.) By pushing from the dummy lineup to the new lineup, you can easily view how much action you have moved over to each lineup. A little bit of tweaking here and there and you have your desired output of $250 for Lineup one, $200 for Lineup two, and $150 for Lineup three. Since most of my action is in games from $1-$5, I don't care about the exact number of contests for each lineup. (I am managing to the dollar exposure.)

I do this for the other slates at the appropriate time as well (usually Saturday night for the Sunday starting contests and then again if necessary after inactives are announced on Sunday morning).

For GPPs, I actually like to use the Footballguys Interactive Value Charts and write the lineups into a spreadsheet. Because I routinely would go with 20 different lineups in the Sunday Million, I usually wait until late Saturday night to change my dummy GPP lineups. This allows me to also quickly view my stacks and exposure to common players. I do it this way so those lineups are not colliding with entering additional cash games and forcing myself to maneuver through 20-30 lineups each time I put an additional lineup in play.