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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.

Glossary

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’.

League Types

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.

Strategy

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!

From Around The Web

  1. Principle Blackman says:
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    She needs to shave her chocha before you come over! duh.

      • de nachos says:
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        @Sky: actually it’s cha cha. “Shave my chocha” is in the Spanish cover by Pitbull and Paulina Rubia released on the B-side of Gasolina

        • Prez!! says:
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          ^^^^^ True Mexican ^^^^^^

          • de nachos says:
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            @Prez!!: sounds like cop show on Starz. Starring Emilio Estevez and Freddie Prinze Jr. A career reviving tour de force.

            • Prez!! says:
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              @de nachos: ha!! Join our stars as they try on new high socks and dickies and fit 11 gracefully in a toyota corolla!

              • Robby D says:
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                @Prez!!: Eleven? Head over to the Lowe’s and grab a couple more guys, there’s room.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @de nachos: I’ve seen it differently on different lyric sites. We awarded him no points but he has not lost his turn.

          • de nachos says:
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            @Sky: but for real, I’ve bookmarked this to read again later when I’m not so sleep deprived and/or buzzed. you are quite the prolific scribe this season, well done.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Ha, thanks man! Not gonna lie, love writing. It’s great fun.

  2. Shake N Bacon says:
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    Nice tips. I wish I had this to begin last year. It was definitely a learning process. If you join enough $1 leagues though, you start to see trends, very similar to the strategies you listed above.

    My goal this year is to try and win over $1000 in one tourney. I’m gonna have to invest in that book you mentioned above.

    FYI, Missy Elliot will not be showing up on my computer so I bypassed that bit.

    I just joined the kickoff and invited a friend to join as well. That’s two more people.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Shake N Bacon: It’s an interesting game and definitely one with its own strategies.

      Thanks for kicking in on the little 50/50 shindig. Should be fun!

      • Shake N Bacon says:
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        @Sky: Yes sir. Hopefully we get enough people to play. If they can’t afford $1, then they should probably see if McDonalds is hiring.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Repeat after me: Do you want fries with that?

          • Shake N Bacon says:
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            @Sky: Number 10 please…it’s for a cop.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Haha

  3. Principle Blackman says:
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    Also you should try marketing that suckling pillow as razzball merch. I’m sure it will fly off the shelves.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Principle Blackman: I’ll pimp it to Grey. I’m picturing the ‘Who Is Grey Albright?’ inverted colors thing would be great.

  4. Shake N Bacon says:
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    BTW, Stream-O-Nator is gonna kick you in the nuts for belittling his BFF Joe Blanton

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Shake N Bacon: Maybe we were all using the wee-wee-o-nator by mistake when getting Blanton…

      • Shake N Bacon says:
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        @Sky: No doubt. That was one of the odder things I saw using Stream-o-nator and the Hitter Tron last year. That and the Hitter tron kept thinking that Justin upton was going to turn back into the beast he was in April for the final two months of the season.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          He didn’t?!? I keed. Like any tool that’s using metrics like stats, the stats have to come from a person. They’re all faulty on some levels because they can never account for the human element. Guy bats .500 in 70 ABs against x pitcher with a .700 SLG%. Well, he’s 12/100 in his last few at-bats. Gonna have a hard time buying in that he’ll break out automatically just because of the matchup but a tool will probably think they will.

          • Shake N Bacon says:
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            @Sky: Yeah you can’t trust projection systems all the time. You gotta use some common sense. Robocop might use projection systems all the time though.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              I wonder if he has a ‘search and destroy’ app installed for his DK tourneys.

              • Shake N Bacon says:
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                @Sky: Ha, probably.

                But if he picks Joe Blanton all the time on DK, he’ll soon turn into HoboCop….get it, because he would have lost all his money…

                *crickets*

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Ha! I played the rim shot for ya.

  5. Jeff P says:
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    BTW, if you are good, you’ll win about 50% of the time. Which means these daily games are an excellent way to lose 10% of your stake money.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Jeff P: Pretty sure if you’re good your winning %ages are higher than that. Like 52%.

    • Shake N Bacon says:
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      @Jeff P: If you play the right tournaments, you may win less than 50% of the time, but your winnings could equal 200% of what you spent…which equals “Winning” :)

      The Razzball contests last year were a great deal. You had a good chance of winning your money back and doubling it in some instances. If you got a free ticket into a bigger tourney by winning the Razzball contest, then that’s where you win the big bucks. I only won two razzball contests last year, but I ended up winning $900. I cashed out about $750.

      Like anything, you need to know when to quit. I took all of July off because I got on a bad streak.

      • Jeff P says:
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        @Shake N Bacon: Good for you. I cashed out $15 after spending a couple of months on a Draft Kings clone site.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Was that ‘good for you’ in the angry Christian Bale voice?

        • Shake N Bacon says:
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          @Jeff P: Ha, well I only won big in two tournaments. I played a decent amount and lost a lot more than I won when you look at all the tournaments I joined. If it makes you feel better, I did awful in football on DK.

  6. Cram It says:
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    I’ll jump in there tonight.

    • Cram It says:
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      @Cram It: By tonight, I meant right now.

      • Prez!! says:
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        @Cram It: spare some change young man??

        • Cram It says:
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          @Prez!!: Haha. I have $1.05 in there. If you can scrape together 95 cents, I’ll wire you my leftover 5 cents.

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            @Cram It: Nice, thanks for joining!

  7. MattH says:
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    I wanted try this last year, but was too chicken. You talked me into it. I’ll check it out. Thanks, Sky.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Awesome, glad to have you on board. Its a fun thing to do whether you’re doing it every day or just for fun here and there. Draftkings is also going to have another Razzball specific contest (just got the email from their guys) so stay tuned!

      • Cram It says:
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        @Sky: I don’t want to play every day but the Razzball specific contests are great, so if you keep those coming, that will be fun.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Yeah, ‘play with Rudy’ will still be around and I think there’ll be some Razzball specific ones that draftkings will pump out to start the year. I can’t afford to play every day, myself.

          • Cram It says:
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            @Sky: Cool. The ones where you can win a free entry into a larger tournament served me well a couple of times last year.

            Even if one could afford to play everyday…I don’t know about you, but I spend HOURS putting a lineup out there. Who has time for that everyday? I’m not Oaktown Steve for Christ’s sake.

            • Shake N Bacon says:
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              @Cram It: Yeah last year I would spend the last hour of my work day tinkering with my lineup and checking the weather in all of the major cities. Getting hosed by a rain out really sucks.

      • MattH says:
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        @Sky: Looking forward to it. I like the daily lineup salary cap. Like Cram said having the Razzball specific makes it more interesting.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Oh yeah, for sure. I try and know who I’m playing. There are sharks out in those pools!

          • Shake N Bacon says:
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            @Sky: There are definitely some guys out there that just play daily fantasy online for their living. I saw a video on some guy in Canada who did it, and he lives in his parents basement. I wonder if it was NICK!

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Haha, yep but those guys are definitely not as casual as most rooms are. Those mega-prize pools…it would take a lot of luck for me to climb that ladder. I have a few small good streaks in basketball so far but nothing to carry me that far.

  8. frankgrimes says:
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    where should I invest my 80 cent profit?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      In the Draftkings IPO.

      • frankgrimes says:
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        @Sky: seriously haha

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          I’m hoping I can eventually just play these off of a little bankroll I create along the way. Here’s to some 50/50s keeping me afloat this year.

      • frankgrimes says:
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        @Sky: if you pick the right pitchers you can always be in contention if not your done. Watch out for bacon he is the tops!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          I’ve been warned…I won’t be playing him in H2H any time soon! But 50/50s should be reasonable. If I can’t be better than 50% of the other players more often than I’m not, I don’t deserve to play.

          • frankgrimes says:
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            @Sky: I hear ya but I had the most success in the $10 range with maybe 50 people in the tier payouts. It also helps to search for the cheapest players who could possibly make an impact (that day) ymmv.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              That makes sense. The key to me overall is that the group stays at a reasonable size. None of those 2000 player pools. Those are ridiculous. There’s a ‘perfect lineup’ out there. The more players you get in the pool, the more likely you’re gonna get the guys who hit paydirt with some of those perfect and close to perfect lineups.

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