2017 Fantasy Football Draft Kit

Fantasy Football DFS General Tips: 10 Rules To Help you Succeed

on

We’re back! The first NFL game is right around the corner and that means daily fantasy football is just days away too. It’s been a productive off season after last year’s rocking NFL season for DFS. Things are a bit more stable this season for the DFS community than last year after we saw legislature getting passed to restrict playing. The big news this season was the fact that DraftKings and FanDuel did not merge as planned.

Enough of the boring stuff you want to know how to make money playing Daily Fantasy Football, so lets get to it.

First, let’s address one thing…

You’re probably dreaming of million-dollar paydays based on your expert knowledge of the NFL. You’ve been crushing your season-long league for years, so much that your friends won’t even trade with you anymore. You’ve seen these guys that have won, and you know just as much as they do…even more maybe.

Let me be the first to tell you that you’re going to lose. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re going to lose. At least you will if you go in with that attitude. Now that I’ve damaged your ego I’m going to countdown the top-10 tips.

Fantasy Football DFS General Tips

Embed from Getty Images

Tip #10: Decide What Kind of Player You Want To Be

It is important to know why you are playing daily fantasy football because it will greatly impact how you play. Are you playing to try and win one million dollars? Are you hoping to become a professional player, or maybe you just want to make a few extra bucks doing something you already love? Perhaps, you just really enjoy fantasy football and just want to play for fun.

Regardless of your reasons, if you want to be successful, you need to answer the question: Why do you play?

Tip #9: Read the Rules. Read Them Again

Every daily fantasy site has different rules and different roster construction. Much like knowing your league settings in your season-long league, it’s important that you know the rules and settings for the site on which you are planning to play. You might be thinking, “duh”, but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve heard people tell me they didn’t know that Fanduel is 0.5 point-per-reception scoring. Know the rules.

Fanduel Scoring Rules

DraftKings Scoring Rules

Tip #8: Play Within Your Means

This goes without saying. You’ll hear a lot about how DFS is not gambling, and in a lot of respects it’s not. DFS is a game of skill, closer to poker than a slot machine.

However, you are wagering real money, so make sure you are playing within your means. If you think you have a problem or are predisposed for a problem with gambling, most major sites can provide help and even a mechanism to restrict your action.

Fanduel User Limits

DraftKings Self-Exclusion

Tip #7: Play Mostly Cash…And Some Tournaments

Embed from Getty Images
With those first three out of the way, let’s focus on some specifics for playing daily fantasy football. Bankroll management is probably the most important element of your game and goes hand in hand with number eight above. Even if you want to try to win one million dollars, it is important that you plan how you are going to do that, and playing too much of your bankroll can leave you unable to play as much as you’d like.

The best way to manage your bankroll is to play mostly cash games. Cash games are those where 40% to 50% of the field win money, such as 50/50’s, double-ups, and league games. In these games, you can play safer lineups (as we’ll discuss later) because you only have to beat half the field to win, and you are likely to win these at a higher rate than tournaments. Even if you plan to mostly go after large prizes, solid bankroll management states that you should play no less than 80% of your weekly action in cash games.

Tournaments, or GPPs (“Guaranteed Prize Pools”) are the large payout games you hear about on television. Generally, these games only pay out the top 15% to 20% of entries, with an escalating prize the higher you finish. While this is where the game-changing money is, this is also the place where most players go broke because winning a top prize is incredibly hard and very rare. Therefore, you should allocate only 20% of your weekly play for these games.

If you follow the 80/20 rule, you will find that your cash game winnings will fund your tournament losses thus keeping you in the game every week. One final rule about bankroll management is to play at most 10% of your total bankroll on any given week.

Tip #6: Pay For Efficiency at QB

At the quarterback position, you should plan to use player that have high-efficiency metrics. Completion percentage, quarterback rating, touchdowns per game, and yards per attempt are key metrics to use when selecting a signal caller. Additionally, try to target quarterbacks playing as home-favorites with a team total of 24 points of higher. You can find that information on any Vegas betting site.

Finally, while there are many ways to construct a roster, I find it advantageous to find a less expensive quarterback that fits the criteria laid out above. Players like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are great, but it is better to try and match their production with players at a lower salary. You can usually find those guys by projecting boosts in those efficiency metrics based on matchup.

Tip #5: Pay For Volume at RB

Embed from Getty Images
It may be counter-intuitive, but you do not need to pay for running backs with high yards per carry or high yards per attempt. In fact, efficiency is of little importance when selecting a DFS running back. The most important thing to look for in a running back is volume.

Last season, Melvin Gordon was a very good DFS play many weeks, despite finishing the season with a measly 3.9 yards per carry. Gordon dominated based purely on the 20 touches he received per game (including receptions).

Essentially, you want to roster running backs you expect to get the most touches in a given week, regardless of whether that player is particularly talented.

Additionally, you want to try to check off these additional boxes:

  • Three-down back
  • Receives goaline work
  • Involved in the pass game
  • Home- favorite

This strategy will lend itself to paying less for the running back position because you can almost always find cheap backs who will get volume.

Tip #4: Pay For Targets at WR

Embed from Getty Images
Much like running backs, efficiency metrics are secondary when selecting wide receivers, and you want to focus all of your attention on volume. That means you need to find players that receive a high number of targets every week (8-10 targets is a nice healthy number).

Unlike running backs, however, not all volume is equal, so you want to also identify wide receivers who tend to receive targets in the red zone. For example, of Anquan Boldin 95 targets last season, 22 were in the red zone while conversely, Mike Evans had over 173 targets last season by only 17 in the red zone.

Don’t get me wrong, Evans was amazing last season and his volume certainly made up for his lack of touchdowns, but on a given week Boldin may have been the better DFS play because he has better red zone volume at a cheaper price.

Tip #3: What to look for in TE

I’m not going to lie to you, tight end is a crapshoot.

OK, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit, but the reality is that tight end is the most volatile position in fantasy football. So much of a tight end’s production is dependent on touchdown scoring, which is nearly impossible to predict. Therefore, it is usually desirable to pay less for tight end than any other position.

The logic is simple, you don’t want to invest too much of your salary cap on a position you can least predict.

Tip #2: Find Safety For Cash Games, Upside For Tournaments

As I mentioned earlier, cash games should be your “bread and butter”. Play most of your action in games where nearly half of the field wins money, and you will find your money will stretch much further. Since you don’t need to beat as many people, you can use players that are safer (or have higher floors).
Embed from Getty Images
For example, if you are deciding between two wide receivers: Golden Tate and Ted Ginn, you want to use Tate in cash games because you know he’s going to be targeted eight to ten times in a game which makes his floor a lot higher than Ginn.

In tournaments, you need to have a few risky players in your lineup in order to capture enough upside. These are players that could produce four catches for one hundred yards and two touchdowns, but are more likely to catch one pass for twelve yards.

I’m overly simplifying, of course, but you get the point. Using our example above, you want to use Ginn because he has “win you the week” upside.

Tip#1: Be Humble.

Let’s go all the way back to the beginning of this article. It’s important to be humble and try to learn as much as you can in DFS. You may have dominated your season-long league, but DFS is an entirely different animal. It’s more stock market than fantasy football, and more effort goes into roster construction than evaluating talent. My best advice to you is…

Be prepared to lose, and learn.


2017 Fantasy Football Position Previews
QuarterbacksRunning BacksWide ReceiversTight Ends

For more F6P preseason coverage please visit our 2017 Draft Kit section.

About Keenan Keeling

Keenan is the Fantasy Football daily expert of Fantasy Six Pack. He plays on FanDuel (hvillethugg) and on DraftKings (theleafnode). If you see his games out there don't hesitate to pick them up.

Recommended for you