How to Use the LineupHQ Optimizer to Win at Daily Fantasy Football

We have worked on LineupHQ over the years to add features that can help you win at daily fantasy sports. The team has outlined several basic elements that successful players tend to use and have built functions that support them in the software.

In this article, we will review six of the most critical ways you can use the tool to build any lineup, and increase your chances of winning against an increasingly tough and competitive field of opponents on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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The Six Tips

1. Use accurate player projections via the LineupHQ Optimizer.

2. Learn and understand how to correlate your lineups.

3. Recognize the value of lineup differentiation.

4. Diversify your lineups.

5. Leverage software to properly construct and enter your lineups.

6. Use timely sports information to make educated lineup decisions.

Below, I will walk through each tip and discuss how the optimizer can help you execute a winning strategy.

Using Projections to Win at NFL DFS

LineupHQ can help you build your teams no matter if you are making just one lineup or multiple lineups. Accurate player projections are at the heart of great lineups.

Projections seek to capture and model real world data points, layer on information-based assumptions, and produce a prediction of a player’s most likely fantasy score. LineupHQ takes that prediction and makes it easy for you to analyze for DFS.

The way you will analyze a projection depends on game type.


Typical Goals of Using Projections by Game Type:

50/50 and Head to Head Game Types: Players tend to create a sturdy, optimally projected lineup that also considers downside (floor) and to a slightly lower degree upside (ceiling). Some players will simply play the most optimally projected lineup, while others will factor in the downside more heavily. Players often have very similar lineups and overlapping selections in this game type.

Smaller Field Contests: Players will often sacrifice a small amount of projection value in exchange for modest differentiation in their lineups in this game type (see below to learn more about differentiation). Most players don’t feel compelled to deviate wildly from the highest possible projected lineups, but may seek to use multiple uncommon player selections to ensure a unique roster.

Larger Field Contests: Projections are still important, but you should introduce more drastic correlation and differentiation tactics. You should be favoring correlated lineups (see section below) over the highest projected lineups. You should also be focusing on the upside (ceiling) more than worrying about the downside.

LineupHQ can help you build lineups for all of these game types, and comes equipped with multiple ways that you can dial up effective player predictions to accomplish your goals.

Examples of Accurate models you can access in LineupHQ

- RotoGrinders GridironIQ Projections

- The BLITZ by Derek Carty

- Industry projections sources via custom upload

- Your own projections via custom upload

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Also, historical testing has shown that the most accurate projections to use are actually a combination of multiple projections sources. A new feature in LineupHQ is the ability to upload multiple sources, weight them by importance, and combine them into an aggregate projection.

Once you have an accurate source of player insight, you can analyze projections easily whether you’ll build one lineup or multiple lineups using some of the key integrated features.


RG Value and Points per Dollar: These metrics represent two different ways of displaying how well a player projects as compared to his DFS salary. RG Value factors in and adjusts for the salary structure, while classic points per dollar is the simplest and most well-known value indicator.

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Lineup Preview: Build a single lineup by hand, with visibility to projections and the ability to automatically optimize remaining players.

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Floor, Ceiling, and Your Custom Metrics: Use these as a guidepost for your contest-specific decisions or select them as a metric to optimize in builds. You can now also upload and optimize on any custom metric of your choice.

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Smash% and Value %: Smash % represents the estimated percentage of the time that a player will reach his tournament-winning upside. Value % represents the estimated percentage of the time a player will reach the RG Value threshold, therefore reducing the chances that your lineup will be a bust. These indicators can be useful in gauging your desired player exposures and making decisions across your various game types.


All of the features above are designed to help you use player projections to build better lineups. It is recommended that your lineup building process focus on the concepts surrounding projections, and the integrated tools of the LineupHQ optimizer to capitalize on them.

Using Correlations to Win at NFL DFS

Stacking and correlations are common elements of successful DFS play in most sports and game types. The concept is simple: choose players that tend to reach their upside in tandem, with the intention to increase your odds of capitalizing on a specific real-life outcome.

For example, you’re very likely to see production from multiple players if a team score 6 touchdowns in a game. In addition, the opposing team will likely be in a hurry to match those TDs with increased pace and passing. Certain opposing players tend to correlate well, and this leads DFS players to use them all together in the same lineup.

LineupHQ has several features that can assist with creating correlated lineups:


Stacking Tool: This feature helps you create lineups that “stack” correlated players together. Choose the number of players at each position to stack, and the percentage of lineups to apply them to. Choose up to 3 different correlations to include in each lineup.

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Stack Finder Tool: Using the optimizer, Stack Finder will generate a selection of stacks based on your requests and projections source.

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Team and Opponent Groups Tool: With one click, generate an automatic group with your Quarterback as the conditional player and the correlated weapons on his team OR the opponent’s team as the group members. If you’re new to the optimizer, think of groups as rules that apply to all lineups. In this case, IF Kyler Murray is chosen by the optimizer for use THEN the optimizer must also choose 1 to 2 of his teammates.

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These tools and others are available in LineupHQ to help you meet the challenge of winning a larger field tournament. You won’t do well very often without correlated teams, and these tools are just the first steps in improving your tournament game. They are a must-have for all DFS participants.

Using Differentiation to Win in NFL DFS

Whether you are building one lineup or multiple lineups, game theory suggests that it is easier to win a large field contest with an “anti-fragile” approach than it is to defeat them by simply using the most popular players.

The “Anti-Fragile” TL;DR: It means a lineup will benefit from an unusual game outcome that is hurting or at best not helping other lineups.

To win most big tournaments, there is a need to make your lineup different enough from other lineups so that only you benefit from a specific player or roster construction.

We refer to that as lineup differentiation, and here are some tools you can use in LineupHQ to take advantage.


Projected Ownership – pOWN%: This is a measure of how popular a player is expected to be in a typical large field contest. Ideally, you will seek to keep the total lineup ownership low without straying too far from the most optimal projected score. LineupHQ displays pOWN% information in the player pool and on the My Lineups module to assist in your differentiation strategy. You can see an example below of pOWN% displayed on a completed lineup card.

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Total Lineup pOWN% – Min and Max: Use this feature to ensure that each lineup generated by the optimizer is meeting a threshold as you see fit. You can determine what a common lineup construction will yield in terms of pOWN by running using a restriction-free build, and entering a lower maximum threshold to ensure lineup differentiation.

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Custom Rules to Require Low pOWN% players: Rather than use the “Groups” feature (more on this later), you can now use the custom rules feature to require exposure to less popular players in each lineup.

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In addition to the tools above, you can use the Player Pool and My Lineups modules in a number of other ways to gain close control of your differentiation strategy on each contest you enter. It is critical that you recognize this concept if you hope to sustain positive DFS outcomes in the long run.

Using Lineup Diversity to Win in NFL DFS

If you will enter a contest that allows multiple lineups, it is important to recognize the disadvantage of failing to enter the maximum number of teams. It does not mean that you will have no chance of success, but you’ll be going against a number of experienced pros who not only know how to make multiple teams, but also maximize the quality and diversity within that fleet. Entering lower than the maximum number of teams will reduce your win expectation for the slate, but also lowers your financial risk.

If you decide to make multiple teams, the concept of lineup diversity becomes an important factor in your ability to make the winning team.

— Some players elect to use a condensed player pool and heavy exposure to a certain group of players. The hope is to firebomb a specific outcome with multiple iterations of their highly owned players. This is a volatile strategy that will result in fewer weeks of success but the potential for huge success when the bomb goes off.

— Others elect to generate a large fleet of very diverse teams that span the entire leaderboard. The hope is that the teams will work together and have just a few of the various outcomes float to the tippy top of the leaderboard.

LineupHQ has a number of setting to assist with the creation of lineup diversity at your preferred level of volatility.

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Range of Outcomes and Randomness Settings: This will cause the optimizer to bump your projections up and down randomly within a specific range. This is done primarily to reduce clumping and create variation in your outputs.

Player Exposure Settings: In various locations throughout LineupHQ, there are ways to control the minimum and maximum exposure to a player. You can set rules at the position level globally, or at the individual player level. The goal is to help you achieve your desired level of diversity.

Running Exposure Setting: This will ensure that as the optimizer runs, it keeps a tally of each player’s usage and stops using them once they hit their maximum. The player cannot be used again until his exposure falls below the max threshold, and the process repeats.

Unique Players per Team: You can control the minimum number of players that are similar between any two teams by managing this setting. Using this feature ensures that your outputs will have reduced similarity to one another as the number you select gets larger.

In addition to player level diversity, you can also manage stack level diversity:


Team Stack Summary: This feature makes it easy to see how much of your correlation exposure is assigned to each of your desired teams, and make changes as needed.

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Game Stack Summary: This feature makes it easy to see how much of your correlation exposure is assigned to each of your desired games, and make changes as needed.

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The tools for managing diversity in LineupHQ will help you become a better multi-entry player, and when mastered can set you up for sustained success. When used incorrectly, they can be one of the biggest leaks in your tournament strategy.

It is wise to study the top players in the RotoGrinders rankings via ResultsDB that choose to multi-enter, and observe their strategies.

Using Roster Construction to Win in NFL DFS

Top DFS players use optimizers and roster management software to work efficiently on a daily basis. The idea that players could ingest and analyze the amount of data we do today was unthinkable 10 years ago, but the software is no longer only available to the top players. The average player can greatly benefit by acquiring roster construction tools such as you will find at RotoGrinders.

LineupHQ is equipped to help you make the types of rosters you want and to ensure that each team is constructed to your specific standards. It is also able to allow these lineups to be modified, combined, and exported to the DFS sites (such as DraftKings and FanDuel).

Just some of the features that can help you design highly specific roster construction:

My Lineups View

— Control and review player exposure
— Sort, save, and exclude lineups based on fpts, pOWN%, and salary
— Isolate and edit lineups based on specific players or stacks
— Export lineups directly to the DFS sites
— Rebuild and remaster lineups after lineup lock with the Late Swap feature
— Create, optimize, and save single lineups via Lineup Preview
— Like, lock, and “bump” players to increase or decrease exposure
— Add and remove any available player from the pool

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Player Groups View

— Limited which players can appear together
— Set minimum and maximum per lineup usage of player groups
— Establish rules that work on condition
— Set an ordered group run with variable settings in a single build

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Build Settings View

— Create up to 300 lineups per build
— Set a minimum threshold of fantasy points allowed in your lineup
— Set and control exposure in the Flex Position(s)
— Set min and max salary per lineup
— Set minimum and maximum players to use per team
— Save your default settings
— Copy your settings between DFS sites and slates

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Listening to analysts on YouTube and Twitter will take you only so far before the professionals eventually help you part ways with your hard-earned money. LineupHQ is here to help you level the playing field, and provide access to the same level of software used by the best players in the world.

Using Information to Win in NFL DFS

Information can be the make or break point of a winning or losing day. You must be aware of the DFS information cycle, and the timing of when changes should be expected to happen. It is different in every sport, but for NFL you can expect this each week:

Monday: Injury reports from the weekend and initial projections posted.
Tuesday: Slow news day, but a great day to get caught up on usage data.
Wednesday: First day of NFL practice, and early look ownership expectations.
Thursday: Second day of NFL practice, tons of podcasts and articles have flooded by now.
Friday: Injury reports solidify by early evening, projections and ownership crystalize
Saturday: Late evening news dump by the top insiders. Weather updated.
Sunday: Early morning news and weather plus 11:30 actives and inactives

LineupHQ is prepared to help you in the following ways:

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— Consistently updated and timestamped projections for all slates.
— Integrated Injury Status Updated Throughout The Week
— Integrated DFS Alerts (Subscribe on your phone free here )
— Weather, Betting Lines, Targets, Touches, Matchups, and Stats
— Expert Player Rankings
— Expert Player Picks Filters
— Links and integrated access to all RG written and media content
— Links to RG research tools like GridironIQ and JoshADHD’s Premium Stats App
— Premium stats from
— Links to the RotoGrinders Live Stream and Discord chats

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If you want to be sure you’ve got the latest and best information available to succeed at NFL DFS, RotoGrinders and LineupHQ will not let you down. We understand updated information can be the most valuable asset of all when executing a winning DFS strategy, and we have a large team committed to ensuring that no stone is left unturned.

About the Author

Chris Gimino (ChrisGimino)

Chris Gimino is a top mind in the industry and one of the primary contributors at RotoGrinders. Together with our team of experts, his work is powering projections, simulations, ownership, and analytics across 10+ sports for betting, DFS, and fantasy pick’em contests. A multiple-time Live Finalist and shipper of 6-figure wins, Chris delivers actionable tools and advice for RotoGrinders Premium subscribers. Follow Chris on Twitter – @ChrisGimino