I was first bit by the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) bug back in 2014. It was football season (NFL) in the United States. I was watching the games over at a friends house, and a FanDuel ad popped on the screen.
Play with your friends, make games more fun, potential to win millions. Then they and DraftKings ran ads of winners that had hit it big in big money GPPs, like to the tune of millions of dollars. In fact DraftKings has a “milly maker” that runs each week during NFL season, a $25 entry fee buys you an opportunity to win a million bucks. You just have to pick the right players across the slate of games for that week.
If fact that’s how the majority of DFS contest work. You pick players from at least two teams across the slate of games for that contest.
Winning DFS sounds pretty easy right?
Nah, not at all. Conceptually it’s a piece of cake, but when you get down to brass tacks it’s a fucking pain in the ass. The big money players (sharks) will feed relentlessly on those that are just entering looking for big wins but don’t follow any strategy.
Money Winning DFS Strategy
- Use Vegas projections.
- Use 50/50’s (cash games) to balance your GPP entry fees. There is a higher chance of winning a 50/50 if you pick chalk players.
- Seek out ownership projections, and pick players with huge potential upside. Every “Milly Maker” winner has rostered players with 6% or less ownership. The money is in the margins.
- Read news about DFS, and DFS players. Rotowire is a good free resource.
- DO NOT buy lineups. There are a ton of people on Twitter selling lineups. If they had any secrets to winning, they sure as shit wouldn’t be sharing it with the world. That would be like selling the goose that laid golden eggs.
- When building lineups, consider the min and max (floor and ceiling) number of fantasy points that a player might score. For 50/50 contests, the majority of your players should have high upside, for GPPs look for some outliers. This gets back to the ownership projections.
- There are a ton of people that play NFL, then NBA, then it’s probably a tie between MLB and NHL. MLB is a grind because there are games every day for months. You can make some serious cash with MLB though if you manage your money (bankroll) well.
- I use Daily Fantasy Nerd as a research tool, and I usually subscribe during NFL season to gain access to stacking tools and other stuff. You can read more about DFN over at DFS Lineup Optimizer Reviews.
The key is to not spaz out, manage your bankroll, learn how to read Vegas odds, balance your entry fees across cash and GPP contests to manage risk.
Read up on what the experts are projecting, but use data from multiple sources. If multiple sources are picking a player it’s probably a safe bet for your lineup – but also be aware of ownership. That highly discussed player is going to owned across the slate, look for the next best, or the rookie that might be coming off the bench that is looking to show the world what he can do.
And in spite of what the commercials, and DFS companies tell you, this is sports betting. It’s gambling. You are placing a wager. Keep your head. Risk management is key.