Almost 57 million Americans play in at least one season-long fantasy sports league every year. That represents about 14 percent of the total U.S. population.
If you’re one of the people who just can’t get enough of fantasy sports, season-long leagues are great. But daily fantasy sports, or DFS, might be even better. You can “draft” a new team in your preferred sport each day—and make a lot of money if you’re able to pick the right players.
Before you get started, though, it’s important to learn more about using the best DFS strategy. Just because you’re an amazing season-long fantasy sports player doesn’t mean it’s going to translate to DFS success.
Here are 8 essential DFS strategy tips that will turn you into a daily winner before long.
1. Choose the Right DFS Site
The first thing you should do when you decide that you’re going to start playing DFS is choosing the right DFS site.
Fortunately, there are only a few of them to pick from. Unlike the online sportsbook market, there aren’t dozens, if not hundreds, of options out there for people looking to play DFS.
But you should still take your time and select the site that you like best. Look for one that will offer you a healthy sign-up bonus as well as one that makes it easy to browse through DFS contests and set lineups.
2. Pick Your Preferred Sport
Believe it or not, there are DFS contests for just about any sport you want. You can set lineups for:
There’s a good chance that you’re not going to be able to win much money if you spread yourself too thin and take part in DFS contests in all of these sports. Instead, you should pick one or two and focus in on them.
3. Start Small at the Beginning
One of the great parts about playing DFS is that you don’t have to put up a ton of money to do it. There are some DFS contests that cost as little as a quarter and still provide attractive prizes in the end.
When you’re getting your feet wet in the DFS world, it’s best to limit yourself to the smaller contests so that you can learn the ropes. You can see how DFS works and figure out the best ways to set winning lineups by investing just a dollar or two at a time.
4. Do Research Before Setting Lineups
When you’re drafting a team for a season-long fantasy sports league, you have to be able to see the big picture. You’re banking on players having great seasons over the course of many months.
When you’re drafting a team for a DFS contest, though, you have to take a much different approach. You need to pick players for your DFS team that you think are going to perform well on a particular night.
Kevin Durant might be the best basketball player in the world, and Odell Beckham, Jr. might be the most gifted wide receiver the NFL has ever seen. But even they have off nights and might not perform up to their standards on certain days.
It’s important for you to do as much research as you can prior to putting a player on your team on any given day. Think about:
- Whether or not that player is 100 percent healthy
- How that player has performed in the past against the team he or she is playing against
- Where the player is playing and what the weather conditions are going to be like
Don’t just assume that a great player is going to put up big numbers because they’re an All-Star. You can figure out the best possible DFS lineups by doing your homework ahead of time.
5. Consider Using Multiple Lineups
There are some DFS contests that will only allow you to put in one lineup. But most will give you the opportunity to put in as many lineups as you want.
Feel free to use multiple lineups as long as you have a big enough bankroll to do it. You can come up with several different lineups for each contest based on the research that you’ve done. It’ll improve your chances of coming out on top at the end of contests.
6. Analyze DFS Outcomes
The research that you do shouldn’t stop once a contest ends. Whether you win or lose a contest, you should go back and look at the DFS teams that you put together to see what you should have done differently to make them stronger.
- Spending too much money on star players and being forced to round out your lineups with benchwarmers?
- Putting too many middle-of-the-pack players into lineups and not using stars to your advantage?
- Failing to take enough chances on players that other DFS contestants are ignoring?
Look at both your DFS lineups and the DFS lineups put together by those winning contests to see how you can change your DFS strategy to win more.
7. Avoid Chasing Losses
No matter how great you are at DFS, you’re not going to win every contest you enter. There are going to be times when you go cold and lose a bunch of contests in a row.
Don’t get into the habit of chasing losses in an effort to “get even.” It’s the easiest way to blow your bankroll.
You might even end up losing the roof over your head if you’re always trying to chase losses by entering bigger contests with higher stakes. Not even these services will be able to save you if you start putting up money that you can’t afford to lose on DFS contests.
8. Make Sure You’re Always Having Fun
At the end of the day, playing DFS is supposed to be fun. Winning a little bit of money while you’re doing it will make it more fun, but winning money shouldn’t be your only goal.
Take a step back and evaluate your relationship with DFS from time to time. If it’s consuming too much of your time and stressing you out, take a break for a little while to clear your head.
It’ll help you come back with a much stronger DFS strategy later.
Adjust Your DFS Strategy Over Time to Achieve Long-Term Success
The world of daily fantasy sports is always changing. There are new players entering contests all the time and coming up with new ways to play them.
This means that you should adjust your DFS strategy over the months and years if you want to remain successful. You’ll have a better chance of raking in the big bucks when you learn how to change your strategy accordingly.
Check out our blog to find tips for managing your finances as a DFS player.