Daily Fantasy Winning Lineups Recap

Stephen Dotzel


With some extra free time on my hands this past week, I decided to comb through the results of some daily fantasy tournaments I participated in over the past month. This is an exercise I did frequently when I just stared playing DFS, but has been something I've gotten away from of late. With some poor results over the past few weeks, I thought this was a good time to get back to the basics.

My objective was simple: Capture the winning lineup from each day and plot it in Excel. From there I could try and spot any trends that emerged or gather some takeaways that I could then apply to my own lineups in the future. I'll share what I found below.

But first for reference, the lineups I reviewed were 23 first-place lineups from the DraftKings $4 Forecheck tournament from the main slate on days between 1/24/22 and 2/23/22. That tournament typically has between 2,900 and 4,500 entries and has a 20-lineup maximum per person entry limit. That combination of a large field and low dollar buy in amount with a top heavy payout of four figures makes this a tournament that appeals to both a novice and more experienced player looking to turn a small amount into a nice payday.

While 23 lineups/days isn't a huge sample, I think it's large enough to be material. For the purpose of this article, when I say "stack," I am referring to a group of players from the same team. So what patterns, if any, did the lineups have in common? Let's take a look.


Of the 23 1st place lineups:

  • 1 lineup had a 6-player stack
  • 2 lineups had a 5+ player stack
    • 1 was exactly 5 players, 1 was 6 players
  • 13 lineups had a 4+ player stack
    • 11 was exactly 4 players, 1 was 5 players, 1 was 6 players
  • 21 lineups had a 3+ player stack
    • 8 was exactly 3 players, 11 was 4 players, 1 was 5 players, 1 was 6 players

Lineup Construction Takeaway

With 21 of the 23 1st place lineups having at least one 3-player stack in them, I think making a set rule that every lineup you make should have a 3-man stack is certainly valid. I also think it's worth expanding that stack to 4 as 11 of the 23 lineups, just shy of 50%, contained a 4-player stack. Let's look into these stacks a little further.

Lineups With a 4-Player Stack

Of the 11 1st place lineups that contained a 4-player stack, eight had a format of 4-3-1. That means they had a 4-player stack from one team, a 3-player stack from a second team, and a one-off player from a third team to fill the last spot. Interestingly in all eight of those lineups, the one-off player was a defenseman.

Of the 11 first-place lineups that contained a 4-player stack, 10 of the 4-player stacks contained a Line 1 cent