When it comes to winning on FanDuel or DraftKings there is no silver bullet, magic formula or special fairy dust that guarantees you win 100% of the time – and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you something – but there are ways to improve your odds of winning by following a few basic steps that will have you on your way to taking home some serious daily fantasy cash this season.
The Basic Steps To Winning At Fanduel and DraftKings Are:
- Know Your Scoring System
- Play More Cash Games and Play Fewer Tournaments
- Take Advantage Of Bad Defenses
- Find Good Player Values
- Be Ready For Last Minute Player News
Know Your Scoring System
In Fantasy Football, or any fantasy sport, nothing matters more than your scoring system. You can have a collection of future hall of famers on your team but if your scoring system doesn’t favor them then you’re going to lose your fantasy league, and the same thing goes for Daily Fantasy leagues like Fanduel and DraftKings.
Before you draft a single player take some time to look over, and more importantly understand your site’s scoring. It sounds incredibly simple I know, but you’d be amazed how many people skip this step and jump right in. Give yourself an edge and take advantage of all the lazy people because in DFS you need every advantage you get.
Play More Cash Games and Play Fewer Tournaments
Winning on FanDuel and DraftKings is all about minimizing risk and cash games (aka head to head, 50/50’s, double ups, etc) are typically much lower risk contests than the big tournaments because you only need to outscore a handful of people to win. As a result your odds of making money is significantly higher than in the mega sized tournaments.
Sure it’s tempting to swing for the fences and play in the multi-million dollar tournaments – and there’s nothing saying you can’t do both -your odds of outscoring tens of thousands of other players is about the same as getting struck by lightning while getting eaten by a shark. Cash games don’t pay out as much, but if you’re playing FanDuel or DraftKings to make money stick to 50/50’s.
Take Advantage Of Bad Defenses
In season long fantasy leagues we all want players like Andrew Luck but winning on DraftKings or FanDuel requires a more matchup based thought process where finding a second tier player against a bad defense is typically better than a top player with a tough matchup.
For example, in a season long league nobody would take Ryan Tannehill over Andrew Luck but in week 1 Luck faces a very tough Buffalo Bills defense whereas Tannehill gets an incredibly tasty matchup against the lowly Washington Redskins defense. There is a very good chance Tannehill outscores Luck straight up in these matchups, and he costs less to roster too… a win-win!
As the season goes along it becomes clearer which teams have bad defenses, so go ahead and take advantage of them every chance you get.
Find Good Player Values
Fanduel and DraftKings are salary cap based so it’s nearly impossible to put together a lineup of Pat Mahomes, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Devante Adams, Travis Kelce, etc, so you’ll need to find salary relief somewhere to make it all work.
When setting up your lineups I HIGHLY recommend starting from the bottom of each player listing from the cheapest players and working your way up to the most expensive players to make sure you’re not missing any incredible values.
Just last year I found Colts tight end Eric Ebron listed as a minimum salary player when he was clearly a top 5 option, but if I started from the top I probably would have missed him. Values like this can make or break your team in DFS so be sure to do your due diligence.
Be Ready For Last Minute Player News
In football or any other daily fantasy contest, you need to make sure you’re at your computer or phone just before the games start to watch out for last minute player changes to make sure you’re avoiding any possible land mines in your lineup.
This includes not only the players on your team, but also the players they depend on. For example if you have DeAndre Hopkins in your lineup keep an eye on Deshaun Watson news, or big offensive line injuries for your running backs. You want to avoid low scores and zeros at all costs, so be sure to pay attention at the last minute.
FanDuel and DraftKings handle player substitutions differently. FanDuel locks your lineups at the start of the first contest of the day so if you have a late game scratch you’re out of luck, but DraftKings locks players at the start of their specific game so if your 8:00pm game player gets scratched at least you can swap in his backup or another player in that game.