Why Daily Fantasy Football Advice Is Much Different From Traditional Leagues.
The NFL season is quickly approaching and that means it’s fantasy football time.
For most, it’s an absolute guarantee that you’ll be partaking in a season-long redraft leagues, abiding by your fantasy football draft strategy that you’ve carried over from season to season.
But fantasy redrafts are just one type of league.
Many will also indulge in daily fantasy football, where you’re much more likely to invest well-earned pocket change in order to cash-in big and cash-in frequently.
Most players go about it all wrong, though.
Whether you’re brand new to daily fantasy football or have already dipped your DFS toe in the water, many players roster NFL players purely based on redraft league performance, which is a misguided strategy.
Daily fantasy football websites like Draftkings or FanDuel attract some of the best fantasy football players with analytical projection models and massive bankrolls. provide very tough competition when it comes to head-to-head play or large scale tournaments.
These players (sometimes professional) provide very tough competition when it comes to head-to-head play or large scale tournaments.
Like any fantasy football league, you’ll need a foundation for roster construction and season-long guidance.
Here are five tips that provide actionable daily fantasy football advice to help preserve your bankroll through the season and give you the best chance of winning:
1. Bankroll Management Is Pivotal
The biggest mistake DFS fantasy football players make is not setting a budget for how much they would like to invest each week.
When you refuse to set a limit, it’s far too easy to enter tournaments and cash games at will with no responsible management of your budget.
Setting a monetary limit that you’ll invest in each week for daily fantasy football will keep you honest and objective; thus giving you the best chance the play over the entire season rather than blindly depositing each week.
One way to manage your DFS bankroll is to adopt the same system as professional poker players; when it comes to playing smart and scalable, poker players are all about protecting their bankroll and minimizing risk.
Recommendation: You should only be investing 10-15% of your total season budget in each week’s games.
Of this 10-15% weekly investment, 80% should go towards either head-to-head matchups (H2H) or 50/50 double up tournaments.
The remaining 20% can be invested in larger guaranteed prize pool tournaments (GPPs).
Example: Let’s say you want to invest $500 in playing an entire season of daily fantasy football. With proper bankroll management, each week you should only be investing $31.25 in matchups.
Of that $31.25 weekly spend, roughly $25 should be invested towards head-to-head matchups or double up tournaments. The remaining $6 should go towards large prize pool tournaments.
This structure allows you to play the entire season without losing large shares of your budget in specific weeks.
Note: There is going to be times when there are not as many favorable matchups -or- weeks where there are too many favorable matchups. It’s completely acceptable to invest larger percentages in some weeks over others; as long as you have some regulatory system that balances and monitors.
2. Embrace Contrarian Principles For GPP Tournaments
When entering a guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tournament, you’re up against thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of players, so premiere players with optimal matchups will have a high ownership percentage.
Your prime objective in daily fantasy football GPP tournaments is to cash, so you’ll need to have a contrarian strategy.
What is a contrarian strategy in daily fantasy football?
Adopting a contrarian strategy is targeting low salary players with an assumed probability of low ownership. These players may be less favorable targets that tend to be overlooked by other daily fantasy players.
While mid-range players consistently have a lower floor than premier players, their weekly matchup gives them a very high ceiling. They will be owned significantly less in the total player pool; thus giving you a better chance of cashing in the tournament.
Is it possible to be too contrarian with your lineup? Absolutely.
While you need to attempt to roster players that are a bit more of a risk for a breakout, your whole team should not be comprised of these types of players.
For a large scale GPP tournament, it would be optimal to determine a core set of 2-3 players that will more than likely have a higher ownership, and then build around that core set of players with supporting contrarian-type players.
The best time of the NFL and fantasy season to use a contrarian approach is in the beginning of the season. Players and teams are still determining their roles and rosters which allow for more random scores and points.
Recommendation: Glance over the injury report for any major player injuries, and target their replacements. They’ll mostly get the opportunity for volume and odds are most DFS players will move on to other players.
They’ll mostly get the opportunity for volume and most DFS players will look elsewhere for value.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Stack
When you’re ready to start building your lineup, if possible, you’re going to want to look for a QB/WR stack.
By selecting a quarterback and wide receiver from the same team, you’re significantly increasing your point accumulations versus having two players from different teams.
With a site like Draftkings, their scoring model is based on points-per-reception (PPR) scoring. If you can target quarterbacks who favor a particular wide receiver on an above-average volume, your roster has the ability to perform at a high-level ceiling.
Recommendations: An optimal QB/WR stack would be an average priced QB with a mid-to-high priced WR. This cuts down on your total team salary and still allows for maximum production.
You may want to look at teams that have a sub-par defense when targeting a stack. Because their defense gives up so many big plays, more than likely they are going to be playing from behind and having to throw the ball more.
Because the defense gives up a higher number of points, they are more likely to be playing from behind and opening up the offense for volume.
4. Vegas Baby
One of the biggest sources of fantasy football advice in DFS is the Vegas lines. Each week, Vegas odds makers release the spreads and over/under of each game. These lines are invaluable when setting daily fantasy football lineups.
Each week, Vegas odds makers release the spreads and over/under of each game. These lines are invaluable when setting daily fantasy football lineups.
Most people would ask themselves, “Doesn’t vegas odds always favor the house; so you’re working with loaded projections?”
In normal casino and table games, absolutely. With sportsbook and NFL games it’s a different story. Because NFL games have so many variables in a very small sample set of season-long data, having NFL score projections in favor of the house would actually work against them.
Because NFL games have so many variables in a very small sample set of season-long data, having NFL score projections in favor of the house would actually work against Vegas projections.
Professional sports bettors would spot these weighted odds and capitalize on large-scale bets against the house.
You’ll very rarely find that Vegas NFL projections aren’t too far off from actual game outcome.
So what do I look for to help me roster selections?
Over/Under: The over/under is helpful because it gives a total projection of how many points are collectively going to be scored in the game.
Look for games where there is a significantly larger over/under. If it’s projected to be a high scoring game, more than likely you’re going to want to target players from that matchup.
Point spread: Look for teams that are favorited to win by larger margins. A team that has a high probability to win by a larger margin provides an opportunity to target their running back. A team that is winning early in the game, will manage the rest of the game by running the football. This provides more volume for the starting running back.
A team that is winning early in the game, will manage the rest of the game by running the football. This provides more volume for the starting running back.
Recommendation: Vegas lines tend to fluctuate through the week and sometimes only hours before the start of the game.
Build a roster at the beginning of the week without looking at the Vegas lines. Roster players purely based on your gut feeling and their matchups. Come back to that roster later on in the week and compare the Vegas lines to the original roster you constructed to analyze any discrepancies.
Come back to that roster later on in the week and compare the Vegas lines to the original roster you constructed to analyze any discrepancies.
5. Fade On Hedging
If you’re unsure about a few players you want to roster, why not create two or three different lineups and hedge against the others?
This may seem like an ideal situation when you’re on the fence, but it’s not ideal long term success. With several different rosters competing in the same tournaments, one lineup is bound to not perform compared to the other; thus never truly profiting week over week.
With several different rosters competing in the same tournaments, only one lineup is bound to perform well; thus never matching your initial investment and profiting from week-to-week.
When you enter multiple H2H or 50/50 tournaments, having one roster throughout all of those tournaments will give you a great chance of profiting if your team performs well.
Recommendation: If you’re wanting to create lineups to hedge certain players, this will work the best within GPP tournaments. Having multiple lineups that reflect variance give you a better opportunity for cashing in a larger player pool.
Think Like A Stock Broker
Remember, daily fantasy football is super competitive. Many players have some sort of analytical model or projection algorithm to help craft the most optimal performing lineup.
Just like normal fantasy football redraft and dynasty leagues, proper research and matchup evaluation is imperative for success. This aligns directly with a stock broker or Wall Street executive’s mindset.
They won’t invest in any company until they’ve conducted enough research to give them a positive outlook on the investment.
Approach each week with the most objective look at players, and you’ll begin to see trends and patterns that produce winning daily fantasy football results.
Have any other tips? Feel free to leave a comment below.