Winning at daily fantasy sports is not easy, but with practice and a knowledge of advanced fantasy strategy, you can get to a point where you are winning far more regularly than ever before. This is not intended to be all inclusive when it comes to strategy, but it will cover some of the bigger topics in daily fantasy sports play, and get you started toward finding which strategy will work best for you, the site you are playing at, and the sport you are focusing on.
Both of these sites are great for fantasy sports, but there are some small differences that will need to be made in your strategy when playing at one versus the other. We will give you the tools that you need to modify this correctly on your own, regardless of where you are playing, what your salary cap is, and how many points you are shooting for.
Every single sport has a salary cap and a number of roster slots to fill. The challenge is to fill it with the athletes that will give you the highest amount of points. The catch, of course, is the fact that the players that historically have been returning the most points are going to be more expensive, and that means you can’t fill up a roster with just top performers. Creativity is necessary to max out your point potential, but a firm understanding of statistics and a great selection strategy will help you score near the top of your league. It is a balancing act, but it’s one that you can and should use to your advantage.
Football is the most popular fantasy sport there is, so having a sound strategy is a must. One advantage that you can give yourself in football right off the bat is to put your salary where it will be most effective. The quarterback position is by far the biggest point scorer, so this is where you should begin, filling in all other roster spots afterward. Some leagues will give you one QB, others will give you two. If you have two spots to fill, choose a top tier QB first, and then a mid-tier starter. This will give you a big repository of guaranteed points, and it will also give you the potential to have a big payday if your second QB has a good day.
Next, fill in the other positions. Wide receiver and running back are vital. Your league might have one or more of these positions. Use the same strategy that you did for your QB if there’s more than one slot to fill. Draft a top tier player, then another that has potential.
You shouldn’t feel bad about spending a lot of money on a top performing QB. But after that, you will need to be a lot more discerning with how you use your salary. The trick is to find great players with low prices. How, though?
That’s where the vast majority of people lose out. You need to have a solid understanding of what stats are most likely to produce points. Also, knowing which players QBs rely on most will give you an edge. This is why fans that love stats do so well in daily fantasy leagues. Look at the stats in your league that are big point producers, and then apply them to the position you are looking at. For a running back, yards are important, but even more so are touchdowns. Having a ton of yards will be helpful, but if you know that a particular RB is used more in the Red Zone than another, that one has a higher chance of scoring a touchdown, and thus racking up more points. Little things like this will help you to gain more points and edge out others in your league.
Baseball is surprisingly much like football when it comes to strategy. You have certain positions that will post points for you more heavily, and it’s here that you should be focusing your attention and your salary. For baseball, it’s the pitcher. The pitcher sees the most amount of performance time, and they have the ability to give you the highest number of points. Many leagues rely heavily upon strikeouts. By focusing on a pitcher that has a high strikeout rate, you can get a few more points here and there. One easy stat to rely on here is Ks/IP. By knowing that a certain pitcher has 1.1 strikeouts for every inning they pitch on average, you will have a good indicator that they will score more points over a game than one that only produce 0.75.
That brings up a really good distinction between baseball and football. Baseball is much easier to predict because statistics bear more weight here than in the NFL. The bigger sample size of games makes stats more reliable.
When looking at your hitters, power is key. Little things like singles are good, but a homerun on DraftKings is worth 10 points, and at FanDuel, it’s worth 4. Either way, that’s a lot more points than just a couple singles would produce. You can’t predict homers with a high degree of accuracy, but some players are better known for power than others. Using the OPS stat is a good start, but this is most useful at FanDuel. At DraftKings, you should be relying more on straight slugging average since power is worth more here.
Basketball is a fast paced sport, and daily fantasy scoring is a lot different than you might imagine. Points are important, but assists, steals, blocks, and rebounds all need to be taken into consideration. In fact, straying from the big names here can help you a lot if you are trying to fill out your last couple roster spots. Drafting a high point scorer is a good start, but going further down the salary list to a cheap player that is great at moving the ball around and has quick hands will score you a lot more points than you might think. Even more so than in other sports, being observant and being a true fan of the game will help since you know what goes on behind the scenes of a game better than a passive stats observer will ever be able to.
These are the big three when it comes to fantasy sports, but sites like DraftKings are picking up others, too, and that means that you as a fan have many more choices. Fantasy Golf, MMA, NASCAR, and Hockey are becoming more and more popular, and as these new games grow, there will be many more opportunities to draft superior teams.
Hockey is quite similar in nature to basketball, and a lot of the same principles apply when drafting a team. A true fan will have a huge advantage over others here, so if you want to get into this, watching a lot of games will help you.
For Golf, MMA, and NASCAR, you are working on an individual sport and not a team one, so the dynamics are a little different. You want winners and top finishers here, and that leaves a lot of room for sleepers. Pay attention to who is peaking when, and you will give yourself a little edge. Also, in NASCAR, pay attention to the differential. If a good driver is starting near the back of the pack, you can gain a few easy points here as they work their way up.