Most everyone has heard of, or even played, fantasy football. A lot of people love it and will even pay big money to enter a league. However, a lot of people who might be inclined to play fantasy football stay away from it because of the big-time commitment involved.
Daily fantasy football has been around for several years now, but it has some slight differences from traditional fantasy football that makes it more fast paced with less of an obligation on your part.
Is this the right game for you? Maybe. Keep reading to learn how you can be a successful fantasy football player.
Play When You Want
Right away, the first thing that separates fantasy football from daily fantasy football (DFF) is the time involved. If you want to play for just a week here and there, you can actually gain an advantage in DFF if you are only playing when you find an advantage, rather than all the time. Skipping a week or two during a full season fantasy football season can mean doom for your standings, but it is actually encouraged for the top players to sit out once in a while during DFF. As you’ve probably observed, there’s an element of luck in football, and it’s impossible to select the winners every single game. Playing only when you have an advantage is going to help you stand out above the crowd in terms of winnings.
Don’t Play the Favorites
If you’ve spent much time in Vegas, you know that betting the favorites doesn’t work out. Even if you are right, the amount that you win isn’t enough to offset the losses. The sports books do this on favor because they know that people bet the favorites. The math always works out in the books favor.
Fantasy football is not betting; it’s a game of skill. But that doesn’t mean that thinking about it in a similar manner isn’t helpful. Picking favorites to fill up your roster isn’t just a bad idea, it’s impossible. Most daily fantasy sports sites assign a salary to each player, with the favorites being more expensive. If you pick several favorites, you’ll quickly find that you don’t have enough cash to put other players on your roster.
A different strategy is needed if you want to be successful.
There are two basic DFS strategies that can help give you an edge when you’re selecting players for your daily fantasy football roster. The first is actually a pretty simple one, it’s called matchups. So, let’s say that Aaron Rodgers is the top ranked quarterback of the week, but the team that’s he’s going up against has the #3 best defense in the league when it comes to limiting the passing game. Although Rodgers is a strong QB, his effectiveness is going to be limited thanks to the strong defense that he’s playing. Even though he might do well, the offensive call coach is likely going to divert a lot of his plays to running backs, which will naturally drive down his ability to produce fantasy points. Rodgers is not likely to be the highest performing QB in such a situation and paying top dollar for someone who won’t be the highest performer is a waste of your salary dollars.
The second strategy is called value picking. As mentioned before, each
player has a specific salary assigned. Comparing this to the expected fantasy point value of that player can help you calculate a simple ratio that allows you to estimate the value of that player.
Let’s look at this in a little more detail. Suppose that Rodgers has a salary of $9,600 and you expect him to return 18 fantasy points this week. Divide the two numbers, and you come up with a cost per point ratio. In this case, that’s $533.
The goal is to stretch your cost per point as far as you can so that you can give yourself the highest point total possible. Because the players that are expected to perform the best tend to cost more, you want to stretch that salary a long way so that you can maximize the amount of points you can get.
Paying $533 per point doesn’t mean much unless you have a point of comparison. So, let’s suppose that Tom Brady has a lower salary and is expected to perform worse, too. If Brady costs $9,000, but is expected to score 15 points, then his cost per point stands at $600. In this case, you’re spending more on Brady in terms of value and getting less of a return. Rodgers is the better pick. But, if Brady’s expected to score 17 points, suddenly his cost drops to $529, and he becomes the better pick. Your spending less and getting a tiny bit more. That extra salary money can be used to draft better players in other roster slots.
Fantasy football isn’t for everyone, but daily fantasy football provides a slightly different game for football fans to enjoy and appeals to a different audience. If you’ve always wanted to play fantasy football, but were afraid of the commitment, then DFF might be exactly the alternative you’ve been looking for.