Fantasy Football For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Know the rules. This one seems obvious, but each contest or tournament will have slightly different rules and point systems. In order to successfully draft a lineup that can win you prize money, being familiar with the specific structure of the contest is imperative. Some key elements to be aware of are how the prize payout is distributed, whether the game is guaranteed to run even without filling up, and any specific drafting requirements that are unique to the contest.

Play it safe in cash games. In Head to Head (H2H) play and 50/50s, you don’t need to get first place to win money. You only need to beat 50 percent of your competitors. That’s why playing conservatively and drafting sure things is a better bet than taking big risks. No need to shoot for the moon when earning even 0.1 more points than your opponent can be enough.

Multiple-entries up your odds in tournament play. To increase your odds at winning GPP tournaments, where you are in competition with thousands of other players for a shared prize pool, a key strategy is to enter the same contest with multiple lineups, up to the maximum allowed. Just like winning the lottery, the more tickets you buy, the more likely one will hit.

Draft for one game only. In standard fantasy football, you draft for how a player will play over the course of the season. In Daily Fantasy, the only thing that matters is what a player will do in their next game. Don’t draft stars with lingering injuries, and don’t draft players who were great early in the season but have cooled off. You want to go for the players most likely to deliver this week, and this week only.

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Projected points/salary cap cost=value. Value is the number one factor for successful Daily Fantasy drafts. Because every contestant has the same salary cap max, you have to draft players who will earn you the most points, while keeping costs down to stay under the cap. A successful coach will pick the best value players, who have the most projected points, for the lowest cost.

Play the long game. Daily Fantasy is gambling, and like playing in the casino, you aren’t going to win every hand you play. Sometimes you might lose every contest you enter for the week or longer. That’s why the results of any single contest or tournament shouldn’t matter. You are playing the odds that you can win more contests over the course of the season than you lose.

Go against the grain. There are certain sure-bet players that every contestant will want on their team, so if you draft them for your lineup, you’ll be doing nothing to make your lineup stand above the crowd. It can be more valuable to play a bit contrarian and seek out unconventional sleeper picks to fill out your roster. That way, if one or two of them hit, you’ll set yourself up to leapfrog the competition.

Play within your means. Playing Daily Fantasy requires gambling with your own money. If you lose, you’re out the cost of your entry fee with nothing to show for it. That’s why managing your bankroll is imperative to not getting yourself in a financial hole. Smart players don’t gamble more than 10 to 20 percent of their total bankroll in any single week, so if they fail terribly, they don’t drastically drain their funds and have enough to try to make it back the next week.

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