So it came to me that some of you or most of you or the whole damn lot of you might not be overly familiar with some basic information regarding Draftkings and the whole daily fantasy thang. BTW, if you are gonna play some DFS on Draftkings? Help us help you. That’s our promo link. Yes I’m grovelling. Yes I’ll move on…but before I do, after you sign up through our promo link? How about joining in on the Razzball Kickoff Jamboree for $1. Keep in mind it has to fill or it won’t go. I have my spot, there’s only 19 seats left. Don’t wanna throw down your money into this game yet? Why not join the Freeroll for opening day? What, you don’t know what a Freeroll is? Well, read on…
Though I did give you a PRIMER piece earlier, I thought I’d indulge myself by going a bit further and pretend you’re actually reading what I’m typing anyway. Oh you are reading? Prove it. Type what Missy Elliott says she’ll shave in Work It down in the comments. So now that we’ve separated the readers from the non-readers, I’ll give you a basic overview of what this post is gonna cover. We’re gonna look at some of the different types of leagues that Draftkings provides and along the way also do our best to give you some strategies regarding them as well as some basic knowledge of terminology so you don’t get lost on your first day and say ‘screw you guys, I’m goin home’. So we ready? Ok then let’s begin. Here’s a handy-dandy post for you Draftkings n00bs for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…
Firstly, an admission. I read a book. Liar! You can’t read! Ok, that’s fair. Grey actually read it to me over the phone to put me to sleep at night. I stuffed a sweater with some clothes and drew a mustache on a pillow. I then kneaded and suckled on it all like a kitten who didn’t get it’s mother’s milk growing up does. You visualizing that yet? You disturbed? Good! That’s what you get for saying I can’t read. We’re even. Now that that’s over, I’ll tell you what book I read. It’s called Fantasy Football (and Baseball) for Smart People: How to Turn Your Hobby into a Fortune (Fantasy Football for Smart People) but for ease of reference, I just call it SP:HTTYHIAF(FFFSP). My wife thinks I’m seizing when I say it out loud but she’s just not in the know…clearly. It’s by Jonathan Bales who’s been in the game for a while. Basically, I’m just saying that I’ll be referencing a lot of what I gleaned from his book so it’s out there that I don’t really know what I’m talking about (WHO KEEPS SAYING THAT?!?) and so I don’t get rung up for plagiarism. Cool? Cool. Moving on.
To be clear with you all, there’s a lot of gambling terminology (fade, bankroll, etc) that might be of use. There’s also a lot of investing jargon (ROI, Bullish, etc) that also can get tossed around in this arena. I’m really only going to touch on a few things that I feel are helpful rather than blasting you with a million of them. I’m like the sex ed teacher for 5th graders, really. If you want to expand your knowledge because you kinda get into this thing over time, well there’s this book I mentioned above…
DFS – Common acronym for ‘Daily Fantasy Sports’. Many daily fantasy sports players on twitter will give out their opinions/talk about their woes for the night with a #DFS on their tweet or in their bio. It’s a good way to surf twitter and find follows you think are useful.
Freeroll – It’s a league that you can join for free that has a cash prize. The key part is the free part. It’s the part you should like da mostest.
GPP – Guaranteed Prize Pool. There’s a lot of types of leagues offered at Draftkings. Some of them give out the prize pool they present whether the league fills or not. This means that even if the pool is for 1500 but only 1200 enter, the payout structure stays the same. Thus the ‘prize’ is ‘guaranteed’ regardless of being a full ‘pool’ or not. Don’t think I can break it down any further than that.
High-Low – Also known as ‘stars and scrubs’. Fairly self-explanatory. Paying heavy on studs in your lineup and then filling in the rest of your lineup with low-priced plays/bargain bin players as opposed to a more balanced roster.
Overlay – In a nutshell, favorable odds for the bettor and not the house. Say there’s a GPP (see, you’re learning already!). I’ll give you a personal experience of one such league. During the Thursday prior to the All-Star Break for basketball, there were a bunch of GPP 50/50 leagues (explained in more detail later) where there were supposed to be 200 contestants in each and the first 100 would be in the money. But about 20 minutes before tip-off, those leagues were sitting roughly around 115 to 120 per league. I’m sure you don’t even have to do the math to tell you that placing 100th still giving you money and only competing with about 120 other people gives you a really good shot at making cash back on your bet. I jumped in on three of them and cashed. So yeah, overlay: it’s a good thing for you. Keep abreast of sitches like that.
Stacking – Taking multiple players from the same lineup. Typically good when the opposing pitcher is either in a rough patch or is just plain terrible, but usually only for certain types of leagues (strategy later). This is where you go ‘Hey, Joe Blanton is pitching today. I don’t care it’s against the Marlins, I’m taking as many of their hitters as I can’.
As I alluded to in the Draftkings Primer, there’s a lot of variations on how to play on Draftkings based on what type of league you play in. This section should be brief and very straightforward and then we’ll move on to a bit of strategy/approach. Yes, I know how to be brief sometimes. It surprises me too.
50/50 – This I alluded to in the overlay definition. Basically, 50% of the people who put money in cash. So if the pool is 20 people, then 10 people will double their money (well, minus the 10% Draftkings makes). So if those said 20 people all put a $1 in each, those first ten make $1.80 (.20 being the 10% going to Draftkings). I shouldn’t have to tell you but it’s not often you have a 50% chance to cash. Here’s probably your best place to slowly make your money.
Guaranteed – Any contest can be a guaranteed (GPP – see reference in glossary above if you didn’t read or if you have Memento’s disease). The main question with guaranteeds is the payout structure, i.e. what percentage of the league cashes. In a 50/50, 50% of the league cashes. In a GPP with 3750 contestants and only the top 700 cash, only 18.6% of the league ends in the money. But again, let’s not forget overlays when keeping these contests in mind. If the league doesn’t fill appropriately, your chances of being in the GPP lot increases.
Head-To-Head – Yup, it’s exactly what you think it is. Two gladiators go into the ring and only one comes out. Did I say 50/50’s were the best? Well, let’s call it a tie. Again, you can come close to doubling your money 50% of the time here.
Multipliers – Technically, 50/50s are multipliers too (you’re in essence doubling your money if you win) but multipliers don’t typically take 10% of the winnings from the winners. For example, in a ‘Triple Up’, the first 24 places get $3 back on a $1 bet from a pool of 80 instead of giving 27 winners $2.70. The higher you go up the food chain of multipliers, the harder the game gets because fewer cash and the more risk you have to take on in your lineup for upside purposes. The higher the multiplier, the more likely stacking becomes a viable strategy.
There are also ‘steps’ leagues where you’re building up to a large tournament. Basically the Mortal Kombat of daily fantasy (TEST YOUR MIGHT). Then there’s beginner’s leagues which, yeah, I don’t think I need to explain. The other type of league is a qualifier in which the winner gets a ticket for a big money pot tournament but in the end these leagues really only either have a different payout than what we’ve already covered or are there for you to get your feet wet. Huge discussion not needed.
Ah yes, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The part where I’m near the end so I can shut up and you can get on with your day. Strategy is going to be fairly brief as it ties to some common practices and from what I read of Bales’ book mentioned above.
50/50 and H2H Strategy – Keep it simple. You don’t need to beat the world with your lineup, you just need to beat 50% of it. Stacking is ill-advised because you’re not looking for high upside with your lineup, you’re trying to create a solid floor. It doesn’t matter if you beat your opponent by 50 points or 1, you just need to beat them or enough of them to cash. A balanced lineup is good here.
Multipliers and Big Tourneys with smaller Payout Percentages – You’re trying to shoot the moon here. Your balanced approach won’t work. You need high upside in your lineup everywhere. The higher the risk, the higher the reward. Stacking from the same lineups becomes more imperative in these settings.
Pitching – This is where you spend your money. Why? Here’s the scoring set-up. So a guy goes 6 innings and nets you 8 K, that alone nets you 29.5 points. You draft Miguel Cabrera, he has to hit 2 solo HRs to score 28 points. And we haven’t even looked at the other cats you get from pitching yet. So yeah, pitching is a wise place to invest when building your lineup. Another reason to be open to spending a good portion of your cash on pitching? It has four categories you can get negative points from. Compared to hitting which only has one, that’ll add up over time if you get too cute with your arms.
Batting Average and strikeouts for hitters – They don’t matter. So 1/7 with a HR and 6 K is the same as 1/4 with a HR and zero K. Basically, you don’t need to worry if your lineup is low on average and K heavy. As long as the matchup is good, take advantage.
Vegas Lines – Look into them. The house wins more often than not. If Vegas thinks it’s going to be a low-scoring game, maybe netting a pitcher from said game is your best bet. If its supposed to be high scoring, you can build a lineup from some of the guys in those lineups.
Build A Quickly Importable Lineup – Even if you’re not joining a freeroll for the day, create two different lineups by clicking…get this…the ‘Create A Lineup’ link on the main lobby page. Build one for your GPP games and the steadier/safer one for your H2H and/or 50/50 leagues. And then you wait. Maybe you’re just waiting for overlay to occur. Now you have a ready to go lineup to import.
And I’m spent. I’ve squirted as much knowledge out of my pea-sized brain into this post as I possibly could so I hope this helps. Just remember, we have plenty of Tools to help you. Where you ask? Up under the menu that says ‘Tools’. I promise you won’t get Rick Roll’d by Tim Allen by surfing through there. Also, remember that Nick Capozzi is gonna be providing Hotsheets and Daily Fantasy Coverage on Razzball Radio so keep tuned in there as well. And finally, yes, we’re gonna have Daily Fantasy Articles seven days a week for you to say ‘nuh-uh, you’re nuts, I’d never play that guy’ and ‘you suck!’ in the comments to. Joy…anyways, that’s a wrap and thanks for reading and if you didn’t, well, at least thank you for writing ‘chocha’ in the comments!