Three Reasons Why You Suck at DFS
Daily Fantasy is one of the most popular ways to gamble on sports. Players have been flocking to sites like DraftKings and FanDuel every day to battle it out for their share of millions of dollars. The concept is simple. You draft a team while staying under the salary cap. If your team outscores your opponents, you win. If you're unfamiliar with fantasy sports, check out our Fantasy 101 article where we discussed what it is and why it’s so damn great.
Three Reasons Why You Suck At Daily Fantasy Sports
Let’s paint the picture. You love sports and you’re a pretty good bettor. But every time you play DFS, you finish at the bottom of the player pool. The truth is, you're not alone. Most players are unsuccessful at DFS. Chances are you’re making the same mistakes that everyone else did at one point in time.
1. You’re Playing Too Many GPPs (Guaranteed Prize Pools)
GPPs are multi-entry tournaments where a certain amount of money is guaranteed to be paid out regardless of entries. A popular GPP tournament is the Millionaire Maker by DraftKings. With just a $25 entry fee, you could be watching next week's game from your own private yacht. Sure, this sounds great, but you might want to consider a few things before you start dropping bags of money on these types of contests.
If you know anything about bankroll management, it’s obvious why GPPs are a bad investment strategy. These contests are basically scratch-off tickets. To win the big prize, not only do you have to draft a lineup that does well – it has to be perfect. The lineups that usually win contain the players that scored the most points of their position that week. Having the player that scored second or third in points for their position is not going to be enough. GPPs are determined by fractions of a point.
Sticking to the bankroll theme, players who win these types of contests invest a TON of money into them. A professional may have hundreds of lineups worth thousands of dollars, while the average player might have one or two lineups total. A large bankroll allows players to purchase more entries, giving them a much better chance of hitting that perfect lineup.
It might not be as thrilling as the Millionaire Maker, but to have some sort of longevity in fantasy sports, your main strategy should include a ton of 50/50 contests. These are daily fantasy sports contests where half the field receives a prize – usually double the entry fee. Because the prize pool is spread out, you will be able to survive any variance from your players. If one of your players has an off game and doesn't return value, the other players in your lineup should be able to pick up the slack.
2) You’re Not Doing Enough Research
Just like in sports betting, it's important to do some research. This doesn't mean you need to spend hours behind Excel sheets, but you should be spending some time looking for injuries or any breaking news. While sites like DraftKings do a good job updating players’ news and notes, they’re not perfect. The worst situation is drafting a player only to realize they’re not even playing in the game. The result is a big fat 0. Almost always knocking your lineup out of the money.
Another popular strategy is to reference Vegas lines, especially the over and under. Bookmakers set lines based on the outcome that is most likely to occur. If you have two powerhouse teams playing each other, you can expect a lot of points to be scored. On the contrary, choosing players from a grind-it-out defensive battle type of game will not yield many fantasy points for your team.
3) You Have No Real Strategy
For the most part, you can't just draft your favorite players and hope to win money. Well, I guess you can, but it’s not going to be a great long-term strategy. You know the old saying “Don't bring a knife to a gunfight?” – that’s applicable in fantasy sports. When building a lineup, it’s important to consider what contest you are entering. If you plan on entering a GPP, you would have a much different lineup than a cash game.
Strategies That Actually Work
Lineup Stacking is the process of choosing multiple players from the same team. The goal is to have as much exposure for a team that is expected to score the most points that week. Let’s take the NFL for example. If Kansas City is at home against the Texans' defense, there’s a good chance the entire Kansas City offense goes off. Stacking Mahomes with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce could pay off huge, especially if they are the highest-scoring players in their respective positions.
Fade the Public
If you’re finding yourself losing every week, try going contrary. If you believe your opponents will be stacking Kansas City players, the sneaky move might be to fade that team altogether. This way, if Kansas City happens to have an off game, you not only avoid having those players in your lineups, but you'll be facing them.
Finding value is one of the most important concepts when constructing a lineup. If you look at past winning lineups, the player that made the difference usually isn’t widely owned. It’s a player that had a high ceiling at a low price. Injuries are a great example of this. If a starting player were to get injured before the game, this would result in a backup or bench player gaining more minutes or playing time. Because they are not priced high, they wouldn’t need to do much to return value. This allows you to splurge in other parts of your lineup while raking in some easy points.
These three tips won't make you a millionaire overnight but they’ll definitely improve your chances of becoming a more successful fantasy player. For more gambling advice, visit The Odds Factory and follow us on Twitter.