It seems daily fantasy football remains beatable for only this reason. Any asshole can search for daily fantasy football strategy, like you probably just did. But most wont, or they’ll find the information but then ignore it. They want to pretend that they know that Tom Brady will be especially fired up because of deflategate, to bet on their favorite players, or to bet on players in games that they will be able to see on TV. So just by using sound fundamentals, you’ll have an advantage and you can build on this advantage to find a winning approach.
1) Bankroll management. Set aside a bankroll specifically for playing DFS and keep track of how it is doing, so you cannot delude yourself about your wins and loses. Your standard entry fee should be somewhere between 1% and 5% of your bankroll, depending on how big an edge you believe you have. If you regularly bet more than this, you risk going broke from a run of bad luck, regardless of how well you play.
2) Emphasize correlation. In sports betting, bookies try to avoid offering correlated parlays. For example, you’ll never find a book who will let you bet on The Patriots to win the AFC parlayed with the Patriots to win The Super Bowl. The reason should be obvious. If The Patriots win the AFC they are already a long way towards winning The Super Bowl. They don’t want you multiply your winnings from a single outcome.
In DFS you want to anticipate scenarios where correlation helps you and avoid those where it hurts you. You do want a QB and a receiver who play together, because their success is correlated. You do not want a defence that is playing against your offensive players because their success is negatively correlated. Similarly, you do not want too many offensive players from one team, because a particular touchdown opportunity can only be given to one back or receiver.
3) Avoid pointless variance. Pay for solid, predictably successful players, especially in heads up matches. Tight ends and kickers are the highest variance positions, meaning that their outcomes swing up and down from one week to the next. So spend less money on these positions and more on QBs WRs and RBs. Do not gamble on high priced players with injury concerns. In head to head, don’t even bother with bargain players with injury issues, as you a zero can be crippling, while a big game might be needless overkill. To win a big tournament, you’ll need to hit on some well chosen long shots, but you still don’t want to overpay for a roll of the dice or take on downside needlessly.
4) Pay attention to the Vegas lines. This takes about 2 minutes of work, if it can even be called that, but many will fail to do it. You want offensive players in games where the over/under is high. You generally want a QB and/or receiver who is on the dog team in such a game, as he will be playing from behind and an RB from the favorite, as he will hopefully be used to eat up clock and yardage in the second half. Needless to say, you want a defence whose opposition has a low team total. You might even find projected statistics for individual players in online sports books and use those for guidance or perhaps make money betting them, if your research says they are off.
5) Put in the time. Never, ever start an injured player. This is the sort of little slip up that kills you once or twice, but provides a critical edge to your opponents over time, like the zero on a roulette wheel. Pay attention to weather, though this will often be factored into Vegas numbers. Pay attention to matchups. Does the opposing defence give up lots of yards to tight ends? Pay attention to injuries to other players, like opposing cornerbacks, or competing running backs in a backfield by committee. Pay attention to all the variables and information you can. The best players spend several hours creating their lineups.
6) Emphasize pricing. Understand what you are doing on a basic level. As with sports betting, all you are doing is trying to take advantage of inaccurate prices. . If the prices were all accurate, there would be no edge and the game would be mostly luck. Forget the idea that you are trying to make predictions. Embrace the idea that you are trying to find value. All of the tools above must be used to that end.