NFL: Five Secrets of Pick 'Em

Pick ‘Em for NFL is here! This is definitely going to be a fun way to create lineups this season. Just like MLB Pick ‘Em, there will be tiers to select from without having to worry about a salary cap.

NFL Pick ‘Em games won’t have every single player available in the pool; with 10 or fewer players in each tier, you won’t need to start fantasy bench players. Just focus in on who you think has the best matchup in that tier and quickly build your lineup!

1. That’s My Quarterback!

This isn’t any different than standard DraftKings NFL contests. Typically, we always want to target quarterbacks in games with high projected totals. Within the quarterback tier, focus on targeting a QB that is either facing a team with poor pass defense or a QB that is an underdog and will be forced to throw late in the game. As is the case with any NFL contest type, touchdowns are king.


2. Double-Check the Lineups

It’s pretty easy to know if the quarterback is going to start or not. There are also some players that simply don’t miss time. While we’ll always want to be sure our players are starting, combing through the lineups once they’re officially released can be very beneficial. Teams are required to release their list of inactive players 90 minutes prior to kickoff. While it’s easy to recognize skill position players on the inactive list, take the time to identify what other players that are missing mean to the game. Missing a starting offensive lineman can significantly impact the running game, a missing defensive back could open the door for a receiver to have an exploitable matchup against an inexperienced DB, etc.


3. Focus on Specified Matchups

Since there is a condensed player pool, stacking a QB with a position player becomes less important, considering all players from a team may not be available to draft. Focusing on the matchups of specific players (as opposed to a team as a whole) can be more beneficial than looking to pair a quarterback with his wide receiver. While there may be situations where multiple players from a team have a favorable spot, it’s not necessary to force players together as players in different tiers may have better matchups than those on one team.


4. PPR is the name of the game

It’s simple, DraftKings awards a point for every reception. You’ll want to find players that have a high target share. Players that and are the focal point of the offense and are mainly engaged in short or medium throws tend to fare better in this format as opposed to players that are simply considered deep threats. While there is still a bonus of three points for going over 100 receiving yards, it’s more likely that a player will catch three intermediate throws, giving you the same three points. For example, two receptions for 65 yards scores fewer fantasy points than six receptions for 45 yards.


5. Try to be contrarian

With the player pool being condensed, differentiation can be key. If two players are in similar matchups, but you feel one is going to be more popular, try to go in the opposite direction. Since most players in each tier will have a similar value, you won’t be forced into a “bad” play. By remembering to apply some game theory in a new format, DraftKings players will be able to differentiate their lineups, even though there are only a limited number of combinations.