Home I All Guides I DFS Guides I DFS I The Perfect DFS Lineup
This is the third part of our DFS Beginners Guide. This time we will be going deep into the DFS strategy segment: learn how to create the perfect DFS lineup.
That title may have mislead you somewhat, because in truth there is no truly perfect DFS lineup. Even on paper, when you look at your roster of players and think ‘hmm, I’m pleased with that’, things can happen that bring your team to its knees. An early injury, a complete loss of form…these are the things that form sports and their unpredictability, and that is why we love it so.
So remove any notion of picking the perfect team out of your mind. Instead, focus on selecting a roster that satisfies the key points we will outline later in this chapter.
But for now, let’s focus on the actual mechanics of drafting a team and entering a contest. So first things first, we need to scoot on over to our favourite sport. When you log in to your DraftKings account (other DFS betting platforms are available – more on those later) you will be greeted by a page that looks something like this:
Along the top of the screen you will notice the abbreviations linked to each sport, and for this guide we are going to focus on Association Football (soccer), known as FOOT, so we’ll give that a click.
Now we are taken to the list of contests relating to football, but for now we are interested in clicking the highlighted link to Create a DFS Lineup.
That brings us to this little screen:
Remember, this example is for soccer, but the basic premise is the same for all DFS sports. On the left we can see the list of players categorized by their position, and next to their names is their FPPG (Average Fantasy Points Per Game) and their salary.
On the right we have your DFS Lineup Card, which will fill up as you draft players and it also will tally your salary. Each sport has its own salary cap – in football, we have $50,000 to spend on our eight-man team.
We will cover the strategy behind drafting top-notch rosters in a moment, but this example is just to highlight how to actually pick your team. So simply click on the green plus sign next to a player’s name to add them to your card, like so:
We have picked a roster at random here, just to show you what the completed DFS Lineup Card looks like. Once you’re happy – and remember you can edit your team right up until your chosen contest starts – click the orange ‘Create New DFS Lineup Card’ button.
Next we need to join a contest, so click on the ‘Lobby’ and you will be taken to the available list of contests. You can click on the contest name to find out more information about it, and once you have found one you like the look of click the Enter button on the right.
Each sport is different when it comes to successful DFS play, and so the key pointers specific to each will vary. There is lots of excellent information tailored to each DFS betting opportunity out there, and there’s plenty available on this site too.
That said, there are some general rules to follow so that no matter which sport you target, you will end up in good stead. Here’s the pick of the bunch:
One of the great joys – and complexities – of DFS drafting is utilizing the salary cap effectively. Each game has its own roster size that you need to draft and a salary cap to go with it, so developing a strategy that best makes the most of your money is key.
Some DFS players will go along the lines of, say, 33% of their roster being ‘elite’ picks, 33% the solid mid-carders and 33% are ‘sleepers’, those low-cost players that should out-perform expectations.
Alternatively, some DFS managers will be mathematical in their approach, taking the salary cap and dividing it equally among their roster of players. So DFS golf fanatics would take their $50,000 and divide it by eight (the squad size required). As such, they would aim to spend around $8,333 on each selection.
In truth, there is no right or wrong technique for maximizing your salary cap, but what you should always do is pick at least two players that you really fancy to do well, regardless of their salary. This pair can be your cash cows that offer a solid points-scoring foundation.
Knowing the unique rules for each sport is vital and should always be the focal point of your draft.
This is common to all DFS sports, but in golf in particular there are players who are more attractive courtesy of their abilities for satisfying the point scoring criteria. If two players card a round of 68, but Player A does so with five birdies, one bogey and thirteen pars, while Player B achieves the 68 with nine birdies, five bogeys and four pars, then Player B will actually score more points for your draft than Player A despite their achievements being the same.
Understanding the unique minutiae of the points-scoring system is thus essential.
Effective DFS strategy is centered around gaining an ‘edge’ over your competitors, and one way of doing this is by drafting players of low ownership.
This information isn’t readily available prior to draft, but it will become second-nature to you after a few sessions of Daily Fantasy. Should your low ownership pick succeed, then clearly you have an advantage over players that have been picked by 50% of your fellow managers.
There’s nothing better in DFS than seeing your sleeper picks do the business. These undervalued guys, who you think are a bargain price, can perform well and really enhance your roster, adding much-needed points to your elite level picks.
Finding sleepers can be a difficult task, but if you know your stuff – and are willing to go the extra mile in your research – than it can make all the difference.
Do Your Homework
This is the key to effective DFS management. You have to know everything about your sport and a particular gameweek if you wish to be a successful DFS manager. Some casual picks might see you get lucky a few times, but long term this is not a winning strategy.
This is unique for all daily fantasy sports of course, but you should leave no stone unturned in your research. Head-to-head picks, results at a particular stadium or course, weather conditions, and current form are all worth considering. Another tip is to follow as many stars as you can on social media – particularly in golf.
This can often offer a fantastic insight into how a player is feeling about a particular course, how well they are hitting the ball at the moment, any injury niggles, etc. Priceless information!
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