Even if you are new to daily fantasy sports, you will likely have heard of the terms “cash games” and “tournaments”. You may well have no idea what the hell these terms mean, so this article will explain each of these game types and give you some tips as to what strategy you should apply for each. Of course there are much more in-depth strategies for both of these game types, but hopefully this article will help you on way to becoming more profitable in DFS.
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Daily Fantasy Cash Games
DFS Cash games consist of two different types of contests, 50/50s (also known as double ups) and head-to-head tournaments. 50/50 contests require you to finish in the top half of the field, where you will be paid double your entry fee. Everyone in the top half gets paid the same amount, so it doesn’t matter if you finish 1st or 5000th, you will only win double your entry fee if you are in the top 50%. Head-to-heads are very similar, however, you will only be up against one opponent.
In cash games, all we are worried about is a player’s floor. A floor is a term used to describe the lowest possible score we can realistically predict for a player. The higher the floor you can get for your team, the better. By picking players with higher floors, you will construct a very safe lineup that will be scoring consistent numbers.
Also, when you’re playing cash games you only have to beat 50% of the field, so there is no need to take risks on a player who can be hit or miss. Of course, actually finding players with high floors is harder than it sounds, but as a general rule, players who score points from more than one avenue (e.g. Let’s say we’re drafting an NBA line up, I’d want players who score for assists, rebounds, points etc.) are who to look out for.
Daily Fantasy GPP’s (Tournaments)
DFS Tournaments, or GPPs (Guaranteed Prize Pools) are very different to cash games, as they tend to pay out around 20% of the field. The prizes are also very top heavy, meaning you have to aim to finish in the top 5% of the field to win a decent payout. GPPs are a lot different the cash games and they both require very different strategies.
In tournaments, your only goal is to score as many points as possible. Therefore you have to take risks. “Boom or bust” players are a must in tournaments. This means you have to be prepared to pick players who have the possibility of having a huge game, but also could quite easily score next to nothing. This is known as picking players with a high ceiling.
A ceiling is the highest possible score we can predict from a player. A player with a high ceiling and high floor is obviously ideal, however they are few and far between, and those that are available are always the highest priced players. Usually a player with a high ceiling has a low floor, explaining the term “boom or bust.”
Another tip for tournament play is to try and find players who will have a low ownership. This could be a top player with a less than favorable matchup, a player who may be starting in place of an injured teammate, or even just someone who is not usually a big point scorer who you just feel is in line for a big game. This is called going against the grain or making a contrarian play.
By picking players who many do not own, you separate yourself from the field and if that player has a great game, you can easily find yourself shooting up the leaderboard. This is easy said than done of course, but if you check the top of any GPP leaderboard you are more than likely to find a few contrarian picks in those lineups.