DFS Strategy 101

DFS Strategy 101

"How do you build winning lineups?"
A question often asked and a complex answer often fumbled. So let's explore the 5 elements of my strategy below. My strategy is GPP focused and generally max entry of 5 or less aligning with SONKdfs' purpose of helping the average DFS player. Strategy is similar throughout slates but provides many options on any given night, so jump into our Member's Area for daily advice.

In my opinion the nightly matchup is often overlooked but extremely important. Many DFS players will think they are playing the best matchups but don’t look at it analytically. The SONK model takes into account analytics such as expected goals to provide an educated guess/prediction of where the best gameplay and pace of play is on any given night. A matchup analysis can show us the best even-strength plays and powerplay options.

There’s a few things that fall in here. Items such as daily lines, injuires, recent player performance are all important. The SONK model takes daily updated analytics and incorporates all of these types of items into projections. Throughout my DFS career I’ve experimented looking at different recency bias to try and predict future events essentially to build a better lineup. The good news, I’ve found a balance in the SONK model.

Stacking in some form is the best way to win GPPs. Generally stacks can be FWD-FWD-D, FWD-FWD-FWD or FWD-FWD-FWD-D or FWD-D. I heavily use FWD-FWD-D and generally it is Powerplay focused. The main key with stacks are to include your shooters (Pastrnak, Matthews, Ovi, etc). Looking at shot attempts (not shots) over recent play is a great way to find shooters. I generally run a 3-3-1-1, 3-3-2 or 3-2-1-1-1 but I’ve seen many GPP wins with 4 man stacks too. For what it’s worth, D-D stacks are low owned for good reason but a Josi-Ellis stack can run wild!

Every good line needs strong one off picks. Generally I’m looking for the shooters or a shot blocker with strong bonus potential. The SONK model gives us both top one offs but also nightly Puuuuuunts which show the best players at any given value. These types of picks help to fill an epic winning lineup.

There isn’t one, good luck. But if there was one then look for the saves. My general rule is to look for saves and never spend over $7600 (DK) on a goalie. Why? Save bonus. A goalie who hits save bonus (think Blackwood/Shesterkin) and lets in 3 goals scores 17 pts in a loss or 23 pts in a win. A goalie who saves 20 shots (think Binnington)  letting in only 1 goal scores 10.5 pts in a loss or 16.5 in a win. Shots with save bonus can easily overtake a winning goalie. 

2 thoughts on “DFS Strategy 101”

  1. Hey, found you on reddit. Really good information on here, I have just started playing dfs hockey regularly this season. I used to play here and there in seasons past with poor results, but have actually been doing well in the past few weeks by using rotowire and dailyfantasyfuel to find some value plays. reading about your stack strategy may help even more! I usually do single entry tournaments and multipliers on DraftKings. Thanks, Flint

    1. Hey Flint, appreciate the comment. We have a similar play style, I stay away from a lot of the big multi entry tourneys. Places like Awesomo will throw max 150 and use an optimizer to variate lineups. Hard to beat! So handbuilding lines is fun and keeping to single entry keeps it real competitive! All the best, feel free to jump in the discord.

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