Think you know your sports? You can put your knowledge to the test in competitions hosted by daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators. DFS is a variant of fantasy sports games that are traditionally season-long competitions across a range of major league sports like the NFL and the English Premier League soccer. Instead of being played across an entire season, DFS games and tournaments are run across much shorter periods, like a single game week or even games played on specific day.
Fantasy Sports Live was the first to focus solely on DFS in 2007, but the launch of FanDuel in 2009, a side project from the Scotland-based prediction market firm, would change the game for DFS. In 2010, its Fantasy Football Championship for NFL enthusiasts paid out cash prizes worth $40,000. It’s safe to say that the biggest DFS prize pools have risen significantly in recent years too. FanDuel’s success eventually saw the firm acquired by Flutter Entertainment, before launching its own regulated online sportsbook across a string of US states. It’s considered one of the top five legalized sportsbooks by OddsChecker in terms of customer promotions and user experience.
Familiarize yourself with the concept of DFS
It’s your mission to select the most suitable roster from the active players available during that specific day or game week. Each entrant to a DFS game or tournament receives a budget with which to work from. Players are assigned market values and you must hand-pick your starting roster without going over budget. You can use third-party sites like Spotrac to track market values yourself to pinpoint the most in-demand players in the NFL, NBA and many other major league sports. Most of the leading DFS apps and platforms won’t even let you go over budget, as you won’t be able to submit your roster until you meet the budget cap.
Most DFS apps are highly intuitive and even integrate player data extrapolated across the whole season to make it easier to find the most in-form players for each position during set game weeks.
Tried and trusted strategies for DFS
There are several approaches you can take to maximizing your winning opportunities in DFS tournaments. Not only that, it’s important to play within your means, so we’ll also talk about the importance of bankroll management too.
- Set a limit for your tournament buy-ins
As a newbie to DFS tournaments, it’s unlikely that you’ll hit the ground running and win your first events. That’s why it’s important to split your bankroll up into multiple stakes. It might be that you split your bank into 100 units and only enter tournaments with a buy-in of one-to-two units at a time. This allows you to account for any variance in the performance of your player selections.
- Base your selections on raw data
When you’re just starting out with your DFS picks, it’s important to use the facts and figures to inform your selections. That’s instead of any preconceived ideas, perhaps based on your own knowledge of the sport. To start with, try and make your selections based on the raw data of player form. It really is the most accurate asset at your disposal.
- Don’t bring emotion into your DFS roster
Avoid hand-picking players or athletes based on emotional attachments. You may be keen on picking players that represent the team or franchise you support, but this isn’t always a sound idea. You may be blinkered to their performances and this bias could be the difference between a winning roster and a losing roster. Developing a winning DFS roster often involves making awkward decisions – potentially even including the star player from a rival team.
- Focus squarely on the sports you know best
DFS is considered a game of skill by many, so it’s important that you start playing DFS tournaments in the sports you know best. When there’s money on the line, it doesn’t make sense picking rosters in sports you’re not knowledgeable about. Even if there’s a massive jackpot available, you shouldn’t be tempted by the carrot dangled in front of you. If football is your thing, stick to NFL tournaments. If you’re a soccer fan, stick to tournaments across MLS and European soccer.
Some say that DFS is harder to master than sports betting. That’s because picking a roster of players to perform in a DFS tournament is often open to greater variance than backing a single sports team to win a match. By sticking to the sports you know best, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of mastering online DFS tournaments.