August is here and NFL Minicamps have opened. That means it's officially football season. In the past, this meant you started drafting in season long leagues, but with the popularity of best ball and MFL10s you can draft as early as February. Also, with the exploding popularity of daily fantasy sports, we get FanDuel and DraftKings who launched their NFL Week 1 contests Monday.
My articles will help prepare you for the upcoming season with a focus on what you need to know as a new player to be successful in daily fantasy football.
Let’s start with the formats on FanDuel and DraftKings.
• Salary Cap: $60,000
• Roster: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, D
• Unique Wrinkles: 0.5 points per reception, kickers
• Salary Range by Position:
QB $6,000 - $10,000 (floor has been raised from $5,000 to $6,000)
RB $4,500 - $10,000
WR $4,500 - $10,000
TE $4,500 - $8,500
K $4,500 - $5,300
D $4,000 - $5,400
• Salary Cap: $50,000
• Roster: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, D, Flex
• Unique Wrinkles: 1 point per reception, 3 points for 300 yards passing, 3 points for 100 yards rushing/receiving, flex position, no kickers
• Salary Range by Position:
QB $4,000 - $10,000 (Dropped from $5,000 to $4,000)
RB $3,000 - $10,000
WR $3,000 - $10,000
TE $2,500 - $7,500
D $2,000 - $3,900
Based on points per game and standard deviation, it makes sense to pay up for QB, RB, WR on FanDuel and look for the best values at TE, D, K.
DraftKings has more of a spread between its low and high prices at each position, meaning value plays should be more emphasized to allow you to squeeze those higher-priced players under the salary cap.
What contests should you play?
• Single entry double-ups or 50/50s
• Tournament with less than 1000 players (single entry or 3 max entries only)
• Survivor contests
• Beginner contests (if you qualify)
What contests should you NOT play?
• Heads up
• Multiple entry double-ups or 50/50s
• Tournaments with multiple entries allowing over 10 entries max
• Tourmaments with more than 1,000 entries
You can play a few more tournaments early in the season because of the likelihood of some overlay.
Let’s say a tournament pays out 20 percent of the field if the contest fills, but if it doesn’t fill then the percent of the field paid out goes up. So you might catch some overlay and the payout becomes 25 or 30 percent.
If you have $100 to play with for the season, allocate 20 percent in Week 1 ($20). Out of that $20, you can play in $5 worth of tournaments. I would prefer playing just one $5 tournament that is less than 1,000 players, single entry. Note that those contests are not posted yet. They should be posted as we get closer to Week 1.
Understanding Your Opponent
Sharks (high-volume players) are already posting heads up contests up to $10,000. This is to see if any new players will bite on taking their action. Also, it feeds their egos. Anyone entering contests now is just trying to get their name out there on the board. You don’t want to bother entering any contests now as it will just tie up your bankroll. Wait until we get closer to Week 1 and we see a lot more inventory.
Practice Making Lineups
One of the worst things you can do as a new player, is start making lineups on Sunday morning. With more than a month until Week 1, you have plenty of time to start practicing lineup construction. Use the RotoWire Optimizer and come up with some different strategies. What would my team look like with Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson? What would it look like with Odell Beckham and Julio Jones? Of course plenty of things will change the next four week and open up value, but start practicing now.
When making lineups you want to practice positive correlation strategy. This is one of the biggest mistakes that new players make. Negative correlation would be taking Aaron Rodgers as your QB, but then taking the D/ST that he is playing. Believe it or not, new players do make this mistake and they don’t even realize it. Usually it happens because you are making a lineup last minute and you come down to picking a D/ST and the only one that fits into the salary cap happens to be your QB's opponent.