Analysis

Fantasy: Three Keys to DFS Success

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) has been on the rise for years, but what are some keys that will lead you to success?

In DFS, a player has a certain amount of roster spots to fill depending on the site, sport, and slate. Each player has a price based on past performance and matchups. The goal is to create the best lineup possible while staying below the salary cap.

The NFL is king when it comes to DFS. Sites like FanDuel and DraftKings rake in millions of dollars in revenue every Sunday during the football season. But because it is gambling when it comes down to it, some people avoid DFS altogether while others get easily discouraged after a few losses.

With no Yankees baseball, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands and have learned several NFL DFS strategies that have proven successful. The three keys to DFS success are, enter the best tournaments, be contrarian, and stack players based on projected game flow.

Choose the Right Tournament

When it comes to picking a tournament, you first need to decide how much you are willing to wager. I play on FanDuel where they have tournaments with entries as little as five cents and as much as $1,000. Once you assess how much you are willing to risk, you want to pick the competition that will give you the best chance of winning.

There are two types of competitions, single-entry, and mass-entry. Mass-entry competitions are larger because, as their name describes, players can enter as many lineups as they want. This gives a huge edge to players with higher risk tolerance. I avoid these at all costs. To give yourself the best chance to win, you want to play the single-entry competitions. These competitions are smaller, usually a few thousand people at most. This is important because, with fewer people and only one entry per, there is a much smaller chance of duplicate lineups, resulting in ties. When players tie, the prize is divided up. This leads me to my next strategy, be contrarian.

DeAndre Hopkins
Source: Getty Images

Be Contrarian 

When you enter a tournament, the goal is not to win a few dollars, it’s to win a few hundred. Because players who tie divide the prize, you want to make your lineup as unique as possible.

For example, big name receivers like DeAndre Hopkins and Davante Adams are very popular players in DFS. They are often the most expensive in terms of salary and also draw the most attention from opposing defenses. To be contrarian, you may way to shift to a secondary pass catcher like Christian Kirk or Robert Tonyan. Although this is a risk, if Hopkins or Adams do have off games, more likely than not Kirk or Tonyan will pick up the slack. Furthermore, there will be far fewer players starting the secondary receivers, giving you a huge advantage if the top guy doesn’t play to his potential. It also saves you salary to upgrade your lineup elsewhere and make it even more unique.

DFS is like a puzzle. All of the pieces are equally important regardless of their size (or in this case salary). But how one organizes them is even more important than the pieces themselves.

Stack Players

A stack involves playing a quarterback, one or two of his pass catchers and what you call a bring back player (player on the opposing team). For a stack you want to target high scoring games to maximize your point exposure. You can also have a secondary stack, which includes two more players on opposing teams. The logic behind this is it’s much easier to be right about one or two things than it is eight or nine. And if you are in fact right, your lineup will be filled with high scoring players.

Doing this also will allow you to move up in tournaments faster because quarterbacks success often directly correlates to receiver success.

Utilize these three strategies and you too could end up with a big payday come Sunday.

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