I’ve been playing Daily Fantasy Sports since before it launched in Australia, back in the days when some of the international providers couldn’t care less if you were in the US or not (they now do!). I started playing on the Australian platforms as soon as I found out about them, which was early in the 2015/16 AFL and NRL seasons (at the time, I was strongly thinking of starting my own!). Since then, I’ve won over $30,000 in prize money playing Daily Fantasy Sports, and I like to think I’ve picked some things up along the way.
Here are 3 of my top tips:
1. TRUST THE TAB
Well, any bookie will do, but the TAB are probably as good as anyone else. Essentially what I mean here is follow the market. On Sunday 3 April 2016, I won the big tournaments of the day at both Moneyball and DraftStars, taking home over $3,000 from those two tournaments alone. I won them because I stacked players from two teams: Hawthorn and Sydney (and got a bit of luck elsewhere, of course!). Why Hawthorn and Sydney? They were predicted to be two of the highest scoring teams on the board. Sydney – the main team in the stack – were 1.21 favourites against Carlton, and projected to score 110 points by the bookies (they won 131-71), while Hawthorn were a slight dog to West Coast, but in a game with a projected total of 190.5 that was still good for around 90 points (they won, 99-53).
The bookies are giving away a ton of valuable information every day: predicted match scores, predicted goal/try scorers, and even – in some cases – their own predictions for fantasy scoring. Use the free info!
2. IN SINGLE GAME CONTESTS, ASSUME A BLOWOUT, OR AN UPSET
If I’m playing a single-slate contest, e.g. a Monday night NRL game, I’ll normally enter at least 5 lineups. 3 of those will be ‘optimal’ lineups, based on our lineup cruncher and my own projections. Those are profitable, showing a return of around 15%. But where I make my big wins is in the other two lineups. I stack one lineup full of players from a single team; covering as many of the scoring options and playmakers from one team as possible. On 14 March 2016, I took 2nd place in the Moneyball Tigers-Sea Eagles clash with this strategy (I was actually first when the game finished, but lost 1st place on late scoring changes). Going into this match, Manly were favoured by a converted try, but ended up losing 34-22. I combined 6 Wests attackers, with two Manly forwards and a hooker in my lineup that night, and big scores from Moses, Tedesco, Nofoaluma and Naiqama were enough for a $500 cash.
If a team is 5.00 (4/1) to win, it’s still going to win around 20% of the time, and I bet 20% of the players in your contest haven’t stacked the underdog. But be prepared for variance – DFS can be profitable, but – like poker – you’ll often be losing small amounts for weeks on end before the big win.
3. DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO USE ALL YOUR SALARY
Seriously. I’ve known so many players do this. They use our lineup cruncher, or their own knowledge, and build a lineup. They’ve tweaked the projections, they’ve excluded the guy who’s only going to get 50 minutes, and locked in the guy the coach says is going to play 80. Then they go to enter the lineup on their DFS platform, and see they have $3,000 left to spend. So they go looking to see who they can swap out for a higher priced player. STOP! The prices on the platform are simply that site’s (algorithms) opinion of who will play well that week. It’s not necessarily better than yours, or mine, for that player.
You don’t need to use *all* the salary the site gives you. Your team is just as likely to win if it’s $3,000 under the cap as if it’s $300 under the cap, if your projections were right. In fact, it might be more likely to win, as you’re likely doing something different to everyone else.
Want a fourth? Use our projections! The same numbers that I use to pick my own lineups are available to all our subscribers on the site. To get our projections for every player, set up an account today.