If you are gearing up for the upcoming Football season, and fantasy football is a part of what you do, then you are likely familiar with daily fantasy football, which allows you to choose your own roster based on the week’s matchups and a monetary budget. Players are assigned different price tags based on projected output, and it’s up to you to construct the best possible roster while staying within your budget. All the features that drag you down in the season long game are no more… no injuries, no trading, no scouring the waiver wire and no commitments, plus you can roster whomever you want whenever you want as long as you are willing to pay. There are several sites you may play on, all with their own unique features or settings, but DraftKings has been the fastest growing site over the last three years with savvy new games to enter, more sports to play and an extremely user friendly APP that has won over a good chunk of their demographic. DraftKings continues to increase market share by acquiring smaller DFS sites and at the end of the day they are a more than worthy rival to FanDuel in the eyes of the DFS community. As the player pool has increased exponentially over the last few years, winning has become more difficult, so here are a few tips to help you on your way to playing daily fantasy football on DraftKings.
As a quick disclaimer, know that there are several variables that need to be accounted for when constructing your line up and it’s almost impossible to cover all of them with a single roster, but regardless the goal is to extract as much value as possible from each player despite how much they cost, by analyzing data and following your own feeling on how a player outcome may turn out.
Understand DRAFTKING Settings
It’s important to understand the scoring and positional settings of any fantasy platform before you compete, so that you can make intelligent decisions on how players will perform and the points they will earn for their respective performance. You can compare settings relative to other sites, or you can just focus on DraftKings, either way a clear understanding is a must. On DraftKings, there are several differences in the scoring settings and a difference in the positional settings as well, that gives the gamer something to think about, should they play on multiple platforms. You may feel tension with one setting versus the other, but ultimately if you choose to play DraftKings, you may not need to worry about the kicker, but you will now have to concern yourself with placing either a TE, WR, or RB in the FLEX position, and if you’re keeping track at home, that’s way more to think about in the FLEX than if you would have to fill a kicker position instead. The counter argument of course is that picking a kicker because there are more variables, involves more luck, and the gamer has more control filling the FLEX spot, thus more skill is required. More details below.
There are three major point differentials between DraftKings and FanDuel that should be considered. DraftKings establishes itself as a true PPR site by giving a full point per reception while only penalizing fumbles at -1 point.
With DraftKings, it’s open game on pass catching RBs and volume receivers and TEs. Players like Jarvis Landry who had 110 receptions last season, but only four TDs scored significantly more points on DraftKings, than other sites that don’t reward receptions at a full point. DraftKings doesn’t put a premium on TDs, as players can still hit value without hitting pay dirt. Running backs that don’t gobble up yardage on the ground, but are more prone to catching passes out of the backfield also have an uptick in value. Jamaal Charles, Danny Woodhead, Charles Sims and Mark Ingram are more in the mix on DraftKings than other sites.
Understand DRAFTKINGS Games That Can Be Played
There are predominantly two types of games a DFS player will buy into and they are GPPs and Cash Games which are your 50/50 games and your double up games. GPPs (Guaranteed Prize Pool) are your tournament games. This is the game where you typically pay a nominal amount to enter a roster into a tournament with many other gamers, and a certain percentage of top scorers will receive a cut of the total purse. For example, DraftKings may host a tournament for 250,000 entries, at $1 per entry. Where the top 1000 lineups get paid with the winning lineup getting $100K and payouts issued incrementally all the way to $1. This is a risky way to make a living as only a small percentage of entries get money back, even though big amounts are dangled in front of the user on the front end. But tournaments are fun, it’s entertaining submitting qwirky rosters hoping that they will hit, and you will be rewarded with cash for your creative, diligence and fantasy football acumen. It’s highly recommend that you build one cash game lineup per week, and enter it into as many 50/50s and double ups as your bankroll allows. These games reward skill, thoughtfulness and conservatism and if done right will provide you with the resources to fund your tournament play. A 50/50 with 100 lineups at $5 per lineup will pay $9 to the top 50 scores and nothing to the bottom 50. If you roster a lineup, with high ceiling, high floor players projected to get good volume and purchased at a reasonable price that line up only has to be better than 50% of the lineups out there. This is where your research pays off, and you decide which high-end players you want to roster, and which value picks you want to make.
DraftKings offer more games at different buy in amounts including 0.25 entry fees that payout $1000 to the winner. Though big gamers scoff at these smaller tournaments, they are great way to get your feet wet in the GPP game. The ROI potential is actually huge as well, though the cap is significantly less than a tournament with a higher buy-in.
The FLEX Spot and Threshold Rewards
There’s no reason to over think the FLEX sport on DraftKings. You will have a 50K budget for 9 roster spots, but now you are not bound by only two RBs, three WRs or one lonely TE. Every week roster construction will look a bit different, which is the greatest thing about the FLEX. Making the most of the FLEX spot means that you have to be flexible in your thought process and be willing to consider any player that will push out value at the spot. Some weeks you might feel there are three RBs that can get you value, and now you can stick that third back in the FLEX. You can play Gronk every week and a value play at the TE position. Remember value per player means they are going to turn out 2.5 times more than what you paid for them reflected in fantasy points. So if you want to put Danny Amendola in your FLEX for $4000, you’re needing him to get you 10 fantasy points to get value. The value is there every week, you just have to find it.
Finally, on DraftKings, there are additional bonus points added when a QB throws for 300 or more yards or a WR has 100 yards or more receiving. The key is to find cheaper players that have a chance to hit the thresholds, as the more expensive players are priced high because they are expected to get the additional three bonus points. The less you pay for the bonus points, the better.
*** Remember, your chances of winning increase if you reserve your risk taking lineups for GPPs, and your high ceiling, high floor volume based lineups for Cash Games***
There is money to be won on DraftKings and success to be achieved, one simply has to pay attention, come up with a consistent approach and factor in the variables that will determine the winning rosters versus the ones that just come close. Good Luck gamers.