Football in America would not be the same without Daily fantasy sports. It adds that extra layer of excitement and over 56 million users in North America alone seem to agree. It is quick and easy to get involved, needing just your smartphone, laptop or tablet and an internet connection to get your team up and running.
DFS is highly competitive, which is understandable given just how much prize money is on offer. As such, players are always looking for an edge over their rivals. You are not only competing with your friends for bragging rights but also climbing up the ranks against thousands of other players. There is even a science to it. With that in mind, here are some top tips on how to master the art of Daily fantasy sports.
Don’t follow form blindly
To the rookie player, drafting the best players from the best teams sounds like a can’t-lose tactic. If the two best performing teams in the league are playing the two worst on one gameweek, that’s guaranteed points, right?
If only. To start with, every team has an off week. Post-expansion, only one NFL team has gone unbeaten in the regular season and that was Brady and Belichick’s Patriots in 2007. And even then they went on to lose the super bowl.
Instead you are better off researching the strengths and weaknesses of offence vs defence. For example, the Packers are having a great season so far (11-3) picking up the first place in the playoffs. However, they rank only 10th in passing yards per game and 21st in rushing.
Whilst, yes, the better teams are likely to pick up a healthy amount of points on offense be sure to balance it out with a good defence.
Learn the scoring system
For something that sounds so simple, it is incredible how many players neglect to learn how exactly their players are going to score points for them.
Not only is it one less job when it comes to drafting your team, it also tells you exactly where you will need to spend your salary cap. Rather than spending big on franchise players like Brady and Mahomes, you can find your point stuffers and plaster over cracks in your team.
For example, DraftKings fantasy football will take away one point for every interception your QB throws. Whilst Mahomes may sound like a great idea, he would have cost you 13 points in interceptions alone by gameweek 14.
Throw favouritism out the window
Look, I get it— die hard Washington fans want nothing to do with Cowboys players. But with huge cash prizes up for grabs you are way better off swallowing your pride in this case.
Sports psychologists who have analyzed the behaviours of fantasy sports players refer to this as ‘In Group favouritism’. Fans are more likely to pick (and stick with) players of the team they support, whilst refusing to pick any players from their club’s rivals.
By limiting the player pool you greatly hinder your chance at success so take off your fan hat and put on your coaching headset.
The Halo Effect
This is similar to our first point of not blindly following form. ‘The Halo Effect’ describes fantasy players’ tendencies to stick with players based on good experiences.
Your running back had a 100+ yard game in gameweek 5, great. Whilst you may want to keep him in for gameweek 6, analyse his chances of replicating it first.
If he is facing a defense with a low average number of rushing yards allowed you are probably better off shopping around. Don’t hold on to players for longer than you should.
Use all your resources
There are thousands of experts who are dedicated to helping you with your DFS team week-to-week. Whether its on YouTube, a podcast, in the paper or even on TV, there is somewhere you can go for advice and tips.
You should also make sure you are checking depth lists, keeping an eye on the status of players in your team and who you are planning to draft. The last thing you want is to field an injured player because you didn’t pay attention, giving up vital points.
Draftkings offer a late swap feature, allowing you to change your team on a gameday right up until kickoff.
With all of these tips in mind, make sure you choose a competition and league that is right for you. Rookie players may take some time in working out what is best for them in terms of ability. You could spread multiple rosters over multiple competitions or focus on the big one and work your way up the rankings. Whichever way you decide to do it, hopefully these tips help you on your way to greatness.