NFL Double Up Strategy
By Adam of Rotopicks.com
Sites like Draftkings and FanDuel offer an NFL salary cap game called a Double Up. The rules are the same as in other salary cap games; only the payout is different. True to its name, Double Up games require an even number of players and the teams who finish in the top half of the scoreboard win double their entry fee (minus the house take).
Double Ups are great variations of the Salary Cap games and are geared toward the more conservative player. However, that does not mean you can't make serious money playing double ups.
Strategies for the NFL Double Ups revolve around the conservative nature of the payout. If you're in a normal salary cap league of 10 teams, normally you shoot for first or second place. However, in a double up, you're shooting for fifth place, since fifth is just as good as first in a 10-man double up. So the strategies are grounded in consistency, reliability, and a well-balanced team. Nothing fancy. You don't need the breakout players of the week or the best sleepers. You simply need a balanced attack, where no single position has a chance to hurt you.
I think the two Quarterback slots are good places to start building the double up roster. This is because the two highest priced quarterbacks could cost $40,000 whereas the two cheapest could cost $15,000. So, the rest of your roster depends greatly on who you decide to use at quarterback.
What I like to do is start from the very bottom of the list and simply inch my way up until I reach a Quarterback without any question marks or red flags. Most notably, skip anyone facing a top defense against the pass (use any number of sites that rank pass defenses). Avoid injured or questionable quarterbacks. Watch out for quarterbacks with injured receivers and/or offensive linemen. Also, make sure your quarterback is definitely starting and aside from an in-game injury, has no competition that could replace him during the game. You will obviously want to avoid timeshare QB's and QB's who get their potential scored vulchered by coaches employing the Wildcat offense. And finally, I like to avoid rookie quarterbacks. If you do your research, you should get some nice cheap quarterbacks.
RB & Flex
After quarterbacks, I move on to the 2 Running Backs and 2 Flex spots (I'm using Draftstreet's rosters as example.) Since we just need a few points from every position, I prefer RB at flex since they're guaranteed touches. A Wide Receiver who gets zero catches will kill your double up team. Always opt for the most probable way to get points. Top tier WR's can and do get shutout at times.
Every week, due to injuries or competition, there are always a few severely underpriced starting Running Backs. The reason being that Draftstreet and Fanduel release salaries before some of the weeks' depth charts change. Usually these Running Backs are headline news stories, so it won't be hard to miss. See if you can grab two or three of these running backs with cheap, guaranteed touches. Then fill out your remaining RB slot(s) with one or two studs.
After Quarterbacks, Running Backs, and Flex spots, I move to defense because it is the easiest. Once you've handicapped the week's matchups and determined who the top 3 Defenses are for that week, take the cheapest one. Luckily, one of them is usually very cheap on Draftstreet or FanDuel. I do not know why, but it's true.
WR & TE
You are now left with two Wide Receiver slots and a Tight End slot. You also know how much salary cap room you have left. Now, it gets fun! Here is where the most creativity lies. However, try to heed these rules.
Do NOT use any Wide Receiver or Tight End that is on the same team as one of your Quarterbacks. The reason is because you want a conservative, balanced team. If that QB and WR fail to hook up, you're in trouble.
Also, try to avoid the hot sleeper picks you might see in articles, especially unproven ones. More often than not, those unproven sleepers only get a couple targets... which leads me to who you SHOULD target for WR and TE. And the key word there is "target".
Targets are everything. You want WRs and a TE who frequently get targeted. Touchdowns are rarely a stat I look at when choosing receivers in a double up, because I don't need a monster score. I just need consistency. Chances are one or two of my starting Running Backs will get me some nice points, so don't go after those boom or bust types. Keep it as unsexy as possible, as I like to call it, and you'll be sitting pretty in fifth... at the very least.
SUMMING IT UP
Basically, you can sum up your desired double up team in one sentence: You want a balanced, consistent, and reliable team of 2 serviceable starting QBs, 4 starting RBs (two or three bargains), a cheap top 3 defense, and 2 WR and a TE that get consistent targets and are NOT teammates of your QBs.
Good luck and as always, thanks for reading!
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