The NFL season is right around the corner and I can’t wait to dive into the season head first. Before doing so, let’s take some time to talk about the best things that everyone should be doing to win in daily fantasy football.
Know what everyone else is doing
This is the BIGGEST part of daily fantasy sports that gets overlooked by a lot of players. Listen, you’re not always going to play the best plays, but understanding what the field is doing can allow you to leverage yourself in tournaments when you do play the right plays and keep yourself alive
in cash games when you don’t. In GPP’s knowing the fields views on certain things are half of the puzzle. If you believe two players are going to have a similar outcome, playing the one that is 4% owned instead of 25% in GPP’s gets you a lot of leverage vs. the field. In cash games, there are times where you want to “block.” This means you play someone that you may not even like due to their ownership in cash games. Let’s say there is a $5,000 RB that went off last week and has a similar role this week. You don’t particularly like the matchup, BUT he will be 80% in cash games and he does have the upside to burn you if so many people have him. In this situation, a block is a reasonable play because you don’t want 1 player to decide whether you win or not on a certain week.
This is somewhat similar to the first point, but it is very important. Do everything you can to be educated about the plays you’re making and the plays you are not. You should NEVER look at a GPP winning lineup and say, “I didn’t even think about that.” You want to consider every possible outcome and determine what you think is the most probable outcome for the ownership. You want to look and say, “Huh, I really thought they would run the ball more” or, “I thought that defense would play better.” That happens. You’re not going to be right, but for your own sanity, don’t forget about a possibility.
Roster Construction is often overlooked by the casual player. Here is how it goes. “Okay, well I like Drew Brees and Michael Thomas this week. David Johnson is a must. Oh, Zach Ertz is going to go off this week. Okay, how much money do I have left? Okay, well this defense is cheap and scored 12 last game. Well, this guy had 2 touches but scored a 60-yard touchdown, he’s really cheap. Shoot, $3.4k left, uhhh, Trey Burton? Eh, good enough” DON’T DO THIS.
Build a well-rounded lineup. It does not have to be particularly “balanced.” You can play stars and scrubs, but the scrubs should be in your lineup because they are good plays, not because they are cheap. I suggest when building lineups, scroll to the bottom of the player list and start scrolling up. Start by picking the cheapest players that you really like at every position. At the end see how much money you have left. If you have money left, go through to the players you have and try to upgrade to some of the higher-priced guys you like. Now, this is a building block when you begin your lineups, but it should help you build a better overall lineup to start and then you can edit as you see fit.
Be Different in GPP’s (But not too different)
The Millionaire Maker and many other GPP’s are rather top heavy and really require you to think outside of the box to end up on top. DraftKings, in particular, has released certain statistics about the winning lineup of the millionaire maker. They ALL have someone under 5% owned. Typically, this player also goes OFF. Find a sneaky upside guy to throw on some GPP teams. Most of them play a really chalky player. Don’t run from the chalk if it is a good play. If the chalk goes off and you don’t have it, you put yourself in a hole.
Understand Your Strengths
Some minds work best for cash games, others in GPP’s. Realize what you do best and attack what you find to be your edge. Don’t only chase the massive prize pools if it’s not a relatively smart investment. I always look into what percentage of the prize pool is at the top. If it is over 20%, I almost always stay away. The higher this percentage is, the more boom/bust your lineup should be in order to get to the top. Are you better making 5 lineups or 50? Are you better on smaller slates? There is almost always an answer to these questions, but they are often ignored. Really think about what you are doing and how/if it works.