Fantasy football is different from all other fantasy sports. In baseball, you have daily statistics that you can rely on to make your decisions with the biggest emphasis being on hitters’ matchups with pitchers. Then in basketball you can easily tell who has good matchups by looking at team defenses and who each player is going to guard. Then in hockey you can look up matchups as well as +/- for the team. And then we have fantasy football which is unlike other fantasy sports because there is no easy way to determine which players to pick each week.
When it comes to fantasy football strategy for salary cap leagues, there is no right or wrong strategy. You have strategies that play the numbers and are technically the “smarter” strategy but no matter what system you use to pick your team, it could possibly backfire on any given Sunday. Here are just a few strategies that I have seen so far this season:
Daily Fantasy NFL: General Strategies
1. Matchup Strategy: Many people decide their team specifically on matchups. They research how many fantasy points each defense gives up to each position and build their team around good matchups. This strategy always gives you players with great potential but teams always match up differently so it’s hard to base your decision on how well other teams have done against an opponent.
2. High/Low Strategy: Another strategy is to try and find a few very cheap players each week. That way you can afford the fantasy superstars like Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, and Calvin Johnson. This strategy allows you to have superstars but really puts pressure on all of them having a big day.
3. Middle of the Road Strategy: Some people like to stay away from the most expensive guys and stay away from the least expensive guys. This allows you to have a team that potentially doesn’t have any holes in it, but you are missing the big game potential if you don’t have any superstars.
4. The QB/WR/TE Combo: This strategy involves picking a QB and WR combination or a QB and TE combination in hopes that if the WR or TE catches a TD, you will essentially gets you twice the points. This works out great if they score but if they don’t then you are in trouble.
5. Good Value Strategy: This is the strategy I have been trying to employ this season. I have come up with a goal of 150 points each week on Draftstreet which means that in order to reach that goal, each $1,000 I spend on salary has to earn me 1.5 fantasy points. So if a player costs $10,000 then he will have to get me 15 fantasy points for me to want to pick him. This strategy is logical, but often times it’s hard to predict how well each player is going to do.
As you can see, there is no perfect strategy for fantasy football. So instead of me sitting here telling you which strategy you should use, I wanted to do a little analysis on where you should spend your money on your team. This is hardly ever talked about. How much should you spend of your salary on each position? Do you go top heavy on running backs, wide receivers, or quarterbacks? I’ve done a little research on this week’s salaries on Draftstreet and here is what I found:
DraftStreet: Salary Statistics by Position
|Position||Top 10 Player Salaries Combined||Top 10 Player FPPG||$ Per Fantasy Point|
So basically I’ve taken the top ten most expensive players from each position and determined how much each fantasy point costs based on their current salary. For example, the WR’s have averaged to cost $746 per fantasy point they have gotten this season. On the other hand, TE’s cost $815 of salary per fantasy point they have earned this season. This week may just be an aberration, but based on past performance and current salaries taken as a whole, it looks like there is better value this week for QB’s and WR’s’s compared to TE’s and RB’s.
Now what does this mean strategy wise? It tells me that you should maximize your salary dollars spent on QB’s and WR’s. Instead of taking 2 expensive running backs, 1 cheap QB, and 1 cheap WR, think about taking 1 expensive QB, 1 expensive WR, and 2 cheap RB’s. The NFL is evolving into a pass happy league and as long as Draftstreet is undervaluing those positions, you should take advantage of it.
About the Writer: Derek ‘Notorious’ Farnsworth has been playing fantasy sports ever since he could walk. He loves sports so much he swears his first words were “Michael Jordan.” He recently graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Utah and is excited for their entrance into the PAC-12. He was introduced to daily fantasy sports last year by clicking on one of Draftstreet’s famous referee ads, and quickly climbed the RotoGrinders Rankings into the Top 25. He also loves betting on sports and the occasional craps table.