Ah yes, the grand daddy of them all, daily fantasy football. Most of you probably made your pilgrimage to the daily fantasy arena after playing seasonal fantasy football leagues for years. Snake drafts, 6 packs and cheat sheets are probably the way that you’ve become familiar with the game in the past, but as you know this format is an entirely different beast. As a quick refresher, the daily fantasy game is based on a salary cap. It is your job to take players under that salary cap limit that will outscore your opponent, if you score more than he does then you win the money instantly! For a more detailed review of this head over to the what is daily fantasy page.
In the meantime lets talk about some of the basic daily fantasy football strategy involved in becoming a winning daily fantasy football player.
The only sport wherein injuries matter more than they do in football is probably basketball, but we’ll cover that a bit later. For now you should know that just as in the seasonal game, injuries to a teams starting player opens up the door for a backup who is typically priced well below just about anyone else on the game. For instance, Aaron Rodgers is one of the top 5 most expensive players on just about every daily fantasy site out there. His backup, Matt Flynn, however costs more than 40% less than Rodgers does on most sites which means that in the event of an injury to Rodgers, taking Flynn means you’re getting great value for your money which is the key to long term daily fantasy success.
The key takeaway here is that you need to keep your eye on the injury report and when you find an opportunity to start someone in place of an all star, take it. Furthermore you must ensure that you never and I mean never ever start someone who is currently on the injured list.
This is where we start to diverge a bit from the seasonal league that you’re used to. Typically in a seasonal league if you draft a guy like Adrian Peterson you’re never going to put him on your bench unless their is a bye or he’s injured. With daily, thats never the case because we must make our picks based on the matchup that is given to us. Starting a running back against the Steelers is a poor life choice, just like starting a defense against the Saints or the Packers is probably going to end up killing you.
The real goal here is to find a soft matchup and then take a value pick to capitalize on it. For instance, if the starting cornerback for team A is hurt this week then you’ll want to look into starting the starting wide receiver for Team B. Moreover, even if their is no injury involved, their is still plenty of good match up strategy that you can deploy, such as a running back against the Rams, or a quarterback against the Saints. Looking at this sort of thing is a great way to determine who’s going to explode and who’s going to implode on any given Sunday.
One of the ways that a majority of daily fantasy football players choose to do their research is to look at the Las Vegas odds on a particular game. Their reasoning is pretty simple, if a team is projected to win in a blow out (big favorite) be careful selecting their players as they might only play a half or 3 quarters. Conversely, if a team is projected to get blown out, take their quarterback and/or wide receivers as they’ll likely have to throw the ball to make up ground.
Additionally, the over under line is something to consider as it will often tell you how many points will be scored in a game, which is very helpful when you’re trying to figure out what defense, kicker and position players to take.
As I said previously, their are a plethora of different factors that you should take into account when putting together a daily fantasy football roster, but the three that I’ve mentioned will help you get to where you need to be.
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