Drafting a top pitcher is not hard in a daily fantasy sports league. These are usually the first positions that are drafted. They are also the most expensive players because of the fact that they contribute so many points to your team. For the most part, you should know how to draft a pitcher. There are little things that you can do to give yourself a few extra points here and there, but most of this stuff has already been done for you, depending upon which fantasy sports site you are using. It’s the other positions that will present you with tough decisions, and it is in these positions that you need to use your skills to find the players that will not only score you a high number of points, but allow you to fill up an entire roster and still stay within your salary cap.
Start by eliminating any player that will not be scheduled to start. Starters are starters for a reason. They have a higher likelihood of getting a hit and hitting for power than non-starters. Fielding skills are important, but they are much easier to learn and enhance than hitting skills are. So, there’s no point in drafting a hitter that won’t have as many at bats as possible.
Next, look at the players you are most interested in. These shouldn’t be your favorites, but rather those that have a better chance of scoring the most points. There may very well be overlap here, but focus on the second. It might even mean a player you hate needs to be considered.
Now, we can start to get a little technical. You should be willing to pay more for a first baseman than you would for a catcher, shortstop, second, or third baseman. The only other position player that should go above your first baseman is one of your three outfielders. That doesn’t mean you should go crazy with your spending here as a top 1B could be too expensive for your roster, especially if you drafted a Clayton Kershaw in the pitching slot. You want points, but not at the expense of detracting from the rest of your team. You can get a top performer without spending a ton.
Focus on power (slugging) and getting on base consistently (On-Base Percentage). This can be nicely summed up with the OPS number, but that’s just a summary and not the total picture. For example, FanDuel gives you 4 points per homerun while DraftKings gives you 10. Slugging is way more valuable at DK than at FD. However, one thing that you won’t find that will give you a small edge with your first baseman is batting order. DraftKings and FanDuel both reward RBIs. DK gives 2 points and FD gives 1. RBI is an antiquated stat and adds little value to a player’s actual worth, but because it’s evaluated on these sites, you should know how it can be influenced. And batters that are in the #1 or #2 slot in their team’s lineup tend to have fewer RBIs than the #3, #4, and #5 slots. So, if you are torn between two 1B players with similar stats and salaries, always go with the one that is closest to the #4 position in his team’s batting order. If all else is the same, that person has a higher chance of more RBIs on that day just because of where they will bat. It’s a small edge, but it could mean the difference between winning some cash and not winning anything at all.