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NFL is the most popular sport in the United States, and given that the US is also the birthplace of daily fantasy sports, NFL DFS is obviously also a massive community.

Given this, it often takes more than just knowing “what stats to look for” to get ahead of the very best in the NFL DFS world at Draftstars.

This article isn’t claiming to turn you into a heavyweight contender, however if you are a big NFL fan, DFS fan, or both, and have yet to fully immerse yourself into the NFL DFS community, this article aims to give you some of the basics to take into consideration to give yourself a chance at profit.

Unlike Australian sports, data drives sports like the NFL. Whilst this is a positive, the NFL and its associates are aware of this, and they realise how valuable their data is. As a result, a large proportion of NFL data is hidden behind paywalls, however there are still places that can give you a kick start when looking for data. Google is your friend in this scenario, it’s just a matter of doing some research.

Below is a list of each position of relevance in NFL DFS, with statistics to look out for when trying to decide who to select from week to week. The game of NFL is a game of matchups, and often it’s more important looking at how any opponent defends a particular position, rather than the average of the actual player you’re looking at, and factoring in both is paramount to making a sound selection.


The most important position in the NFL, and in DFS this position is the one with the highest upside. The quarterback is the one man on offense that touches the ball on every play, and as a result, every play is a chance at points. Whereas running backs and wide receivers essentially must wait for their number to be called, quarterbacks are always involved. 

There are, essentially, two types of quarterbacks in the NFL. These are pocket passers, and mobile/dual-threat quarterbacks. The prototypical pocket passer quarterback is the traditional quarterback. He stands in the pocket and fires the ball off. He rarely scrambles when pressured, however is (generally) the more accurate passer. The second type, and the more DFS friendly type, is the dual-threat quarterback. These types of quarterbacks give you two distinct ways of scoring points - through the air and on the ground. 

Obviously a solid understanding of all the quarterbacks in the NFL is a good base to have, however if you’re not familiar with every quarterback and how they play, there’s a good quarterback statistics comparison website at Fantasy Pros. In fact, this website is brilliant for all positions, and you will see them mentioned throughout this article.

As mentioned above, the opposition is just as, if not more important than the actual quarterback you’re selecting. My favourite website for this metric is, and will be relevant for all positions mentioned below.

Running Backs

Teams often employ two types of running games. These two types are “running back by committee” and the “bell cow”.

Running back by committee is as it sounds - teams deploy 2-3 running backs to get through the workload. Oftentimes they will have an every down type of back, a power running back for short yardage situations, and a receiving threat used in passing downs. 

The “bell cow” is the leader of the pack, and in most instances receives the vast majority of snaps at running back. These are the guys we want to key in on, and a great place to find whether a player we are looking into is one of these bell cows is at the Running Backs page at Fantasy Pros. Here you can see the snap counts each week for every running back, average per week, and total snaps taken during the year.

Again, make sure to check out how opponents do against running backs before pulling the trigger.

Wide Receivers

Obviously yards and touchdowns are very important statistics when it comes to wide receivers, and you can find these stats anywhere. But a good statistic to monitor when comparing wide receivers for DFS is targets. This applies to tight ends equally as much, and to a lesser extent running backs. Targets give you a good framework for how often a player is getting the ball thrown to them. Obviously, the more times the ball is thrown to a receiver, the more opportunities he has to pile on points. A good way to look at wide receivers is knowing that efficiency is big for wide receivers, however volume can make up for poor efficiency. In addition to this, players who are targeted more frequently, are clearly talented, and players you should be looking at for your team.

This Targets page at Fantasy Pros gives you an indication of the big-time playmakers in the league, and once again check the opponent, see how they defend wide receivers, and select your player accordingly.

Tight Ends

See above. Tight ends score their points in the same way as wide receivers, and as a result you can select your tight end with the same parameters.

Defence and Special Teams

Defence and Special Teams is the unsung hero of NFL teams when it comes to DFS, but it’s a place where you can make a nice point of difference. Defence is where you should spend most of your research, as Special Teams is something that is built almost entirely on luck, and as such, is impossible to predict.

Defensively, there are a few things we can look at, and those things are sacks allowed, and turnover differential. With sacks giving your team one point, and turnovers forced providing two points, it’s the easiest way to accumulate points for your D/ST, outside of limiting scoring. 

Places to find these stats are easy enough to find, and we recommend Football DB for turnover differential. Look to see what teams are forcing turnovers, and what teams are committing turnovers.

When looking at sacks conceded, StatMuse has sacks conceded by team among other stats.

It’s also worth looking at betting sites to check on game totals, and team totals, to see who the betting markets are leaning towards having low scores each week.

Once again, is a great resource that shows what teams are conceding per game to quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and defences. It also has the statistics of yards per game, and touchdowns per game conceded per position. It’s an invaluable tool to look at matchup situations and should be looked at each time you make your team selections. The website also has the reverse, points scored per position.

Using these resources is sure to give you a leg up on the field and help turn you into a profitable NFL DFS player at Draftstars!

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