Daily Fantasy Strategy VaultBy RotoGrinders, Last Updated 6 days ago
Daily Fantasy Strategy Vault
Last Updated: July 2014
The RotoGrinders Strategy Vault consolidates the best daily fantasy strategy articles, discussions, and management tips posted on RotoGrinders into one convenient location. Basically, it’s the best of the best for articles, discussions, interviews and other content that has been posted on RotoGrinders since we went live in July 2010. Just click on a link below to jump to that strategy section!
Think we left anything off? Let us know!
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- Bankroll Management
- The Basics
- Sport-Specific Strategy
- Specific Game Format Strategy
- General Intermediate & Advanced Strategy
Building the perfect lineup is only half the battle if you want to be a long-term profitable Grinder. You could spend months building up your bankroll in daily fantasy and, if you’re not careful, blow through it all in one night. The big stakes are tempting, but don’t move too quickly, too fast. These articles should help guide you through some techniques to help you properly manage your bankroll.
- NEW – NBA $1 to $100 Challenge: Goal Achieved! by JimFred – JimFred82 walks you through his path of turning $1 into $100 the Grind ole’ fashioned way.
- JimFred82’s Bankroll Journey – RotoGrinder-favorite blogger, JimFred82, has been passionate about micro-stakes bankroll management for years now. Here’s a recap of his journey of growing $1 into $100:
- Bankroll Management Discussion (2012) – FROM THE FORUMS – The RG community discusses key aspects to properly managing your bankroll in this Strategy Thread of the Week created by Sprom.
- My Daily Fantasy Story: Starting From Nothing (2012) – Billsfan shares his story coming up from nothing in Daily Fantasy, and offers tips for new players
- - Daily Fantasy Bankroll Management: An Overview – JSHilling09 walks you through the basics and comes up with a simple % to wager table to use for your play
- - DraftKings 2013 NFL Season: A Simulation (2013) – Top-ranked Grinder BriPC23 runs a simulation for DraftKings GPPs to show you an example of what bankroll is needed to endure a particular season of play on DK.
- - Daily Fantasy Bankroll Management: Cash Games (2013) – BriPC23 once agains takes a deep look at bankroll management, this time focused specifically on cash games
- - Daily Fantasy Tournament Variance (2013) – BriPC explores how much variance exists in DFS Tournaments, and how many games you have to play to be able to indicate your ability
- - Daily Fantasy 50/50 Variance (2013) – Top-ranked BriPC asks the question again: What does variance look like and how many games do we have to play until we have a good idea of our real ability?
- What Does the Stakes Say About Your Opponent? (2010) – Blinders analyzes data from previous leagues entered to show you how higher-stakes means your team needs to score more points to win.
- Long-Term Profitability vs. Lifetime Profitability in Large-Field Leagues (2011) – Blinders discusses the small sample sized involved in playing Large-Field contests, and gives you tips to become a long-term profitable Grinder.
- Back to Basics: Breakeven Percentage (2011) – Moose discusses how to focus on the rake and breakeven percentages involved in Daily Fantasy games, in order to better build your bankroll.
- Bankroll Tales: $3 to $158 in 81 Contests (2011) – Cameron shares his micro-stakes bankroll growth, while utilizing proper bankroll management on FSL.
Are you new to Daily Fantasy Sports? It’s not an exact replica of your run-of-the mill work fantasy league. There’s multiple sites, multiple scoring systems, and a lot of other nuances to be aware of. Here are some basic overviews of what Daily Fantasy is and the best ways to get started:
- Beginner’s Hand Book Part 1: Six Easy Steps to Increase Your Game – JackAndSoda does it again…this time with an excellent breakdown for newer Grinders
- Rookie Handbook – Again, JackAndSoda covers some of the basics to keep in mind when starting out, this time with a focus on NFL season tactics.
- New to Daily Fantasy? (2010) – New to the industry or transferring over from season-long leagues? Start here to get a rundown of what to expect, and how to dive into this amazing new concept.
- Daily Fantasy Glossary (2011) – Confused with all the terminology? Here’s a glossary RotoGrinders put together, which contains all the terms you need to know in Daily Fantasy and is updated regularly.
- 5 Secrets of All Daily Fantasy Sports (2012) – Ethan breaks down five, solid introductory concepts that apply to all Daily Fantasy Sports, and that every Daily Fantasy Grinder should know.
- All About the Daily Fantasy Research Console (2012) – All about the Daily Research Dropdown V 2.0, which launched July 2012. (Note: Version 3.0 Coming Soon)
- - 10 Tips To A Grinder Newbie From A 4 Month Vet (2013) – Chenmen4ev shares 10 tips for newbs in one of the more popular blog reads to date
- - The Value of Overlay in Daily Fantasy (2013) – RG’s Riley helps you understand the concept of “overlay” in Daily Fantasy
Becoming a long-term winner in daily fantasy presents different obstacles depending on the sport. Just because you’ve mastered Daily Fantasy Baseball doesn’t mean you’ll be an overnight expert in Daily Fantasy Basketball. Each sport involves different pools of players, has its own research methods, possesses different roster dynamics, and of course, it requires a good understanding of the actual sport. Use the collection of articles below, sorted by sport, to help get a leg-up on the competition when branching out into new sports.
- NFL Advanced Metrics (2010) – Blinders delves into the factors that construct a players score in the NFL, and discusses how to project each of them.
- Defensive Strategies: Part 1 (2012) – Part 2 (2012) – Have trouble deciding which Defense to choose? This two-part series covers the dynamics that go into each site’s D/ST scoring and helps you project them.
- How to Project RBs: Part 1 (2011) – Part 2 – This two-part article covers the aspects that go into projecting for Running Backs in the NFL, while focusing on players’ ceilings and floors.
- NFL Strategy by Daily Fantasy Site (2012) – Ethan breaks down all of the scoring systems for the daily fantasy sites and tells you where you should spend money and where you should save. Must-read!
- NEW – KillaB’s $25,000 FD Bomb Winning Lineup Analysis – KillaB won well over $100,000 in 2013 NFL Week 17…and here’s exclusive analysis by KillaB on his lineups and the strategies that went into creating the FanDuel Lineup.
- NEW – KillaB’s DK $1,000 GPP 2nd Place Lineup Analysis – And here is part 2 for the DraftKings portion of KillaB’s massive weekend.
- NEW – NFL 2013: Optimal Lineups by Week – Ethan breaks down the optimal lineups for the 2013 NFL Season week by week.
- In Defense of High-Priced RBs – JackAndSoda makes the argument on why you can spend more at the RB position
- Fade the Thursday Night Game From the Forums – CSURam88 asks, and the community discusses, if fading Thursday Night Football is a worthwhile strategy
- - Winning Strategies for Daily Fantasy Football: Head-to-Head & 50/50 vs. GPP’s – 2013 DFBC Champion, Pepsi7, takes you through the different ways to approach 50/50s and GPPs for NFL.
- NEW “MLB – What You Need to Know” (for 2014 MLB Season):/blog-posts/MLB_What_You_Need_to_Know-252196 by LouiesCards – Awesome article which gives you an overview of the industry scoring, roster structure, stacking, and strategy across all sites.
- NEW An MLB DFS Strategy Guide for the Beginner Player – JoshKay’s blog on MLB Basics received some of the best user feedback we’ve seen to date
- Multi-Site Pitcher Selection (2012) – RotoKevin analyzes the nuances of each sites’ scoring systems for Pitchers, and gives you some examples on how to adjust your strategy depending on which site you’re playing on.
- Step-by-Step Guide to Putting Together a Winning MLB Lineup: (2011) – Part 1 Pitching – Part 2 Hitting – Notorious provides you with a step-by-step breakdown on how to construct both the Pitching and Hitting aspects of your Daily Fantasy MLB Lineups
- Daily Fantasy MLB Opening Day Strategy (2012) – MRathburn (of Daily Joust) walks you through 3 very important strategy tips to employ as you approach the MLB Season: Ballpark Factors, Defensive Efficiency and MLB Splits.
- Using Park Factors In Daily Fantasy Contests (2010) – Park factors are a more complicated subject than one would think. The general issue that you’re faced with is determining what is going to have better predictive value – an adjustment based on a very specific situation that has few historical instances, or an adjustment based on a more general situation with a larger sample size.
- Waiting For the Starting Lineup (2010) – Why and how you should check for MLB Starting Lineups, and how it affects your fantasy lineups.
- Impact of Weather on Optimal Lineup Setting (2010) – WaiverWire breaks down all aspects of weather and its impact on Daily Fantasy Baseball.
- The Impact of Bullpens On Lineup Selection (2010) – Despite the fact that most daily fantasy formats don’t include relief pitchers, it still pays to pay attention to them. Teams’ bullpens impact daily fantasy baseball in two ways. They affect the probability of a starting pitcher winning their game, and they affect the expected performance of opposing hitters.
- Beating the Field Part 2: Evaluating Your Relationships (2012) – FFFC, DFBC and 2x DSBC finalist, JackAndSoda, tells you why relationships are important…both in real-life, and in constructing your fantasy MLB squad.
- How Hot and Cold Streaks Should Affect Your Daily Fantasy Contest Lineups (2010) – WaiverWire walks through how to look for good or bad performances that indicate a medium or long term change in a player’s actual ability to play baseball well.
- DraftStreet MLB Salary Distribution (2012) – Ethan takes a look at the strategy used by all of the DSBC qualifiers in 2012 to find some interesting commonalities that were used to win the huge qualifiers during the DS Baseball Championship. Great way to learn from the best!
Advanced Concepts & Metrics
- Using Advanced Metrics to Evaluate Pitching Quality: xFIP (2010) – You should be using xFIP to evaluate how well a pitcher has pitched, rather than using ERA. Another way to say that is that xFIP is a better predictor of future ERA than past ERA is. After reading this, you’ll be able to do so.
- The Empty Bullpen (2012) – RotoKevin covers an advanced-scenario to keep an eye on for the Daily Fantasy MLB Grinder: The Empty Bullpen.
- Changing an Approach To Daily Fantasy Baseball: Offense – MTro takes a look at wRC+, Batted Ball Profile and more in this high-quality analysis of dissecting MLB offense
- - Winning Strategies for Daily Fantasy Baseball: Head-to-Head & 50/50 vs. GPP’s – 2013 DFBC Champion, Pepsi7, takes you through the different ways to approach 50/50s and GPPs for MLB
- - BvP: The Numbers Do Not Lie…..At least, Not Intentionally (2013) – JackAndSoda defends the oft-criticized statistic of Batter Vs. Pitcher (BvP), and explains why it can be a valuable tool
- NBA Strategy 101: No Christmas Break for Grinders (2013) – The most popular blog of 2012, written by none other than Notorious
- The Notorious Way to Make an NBA Lineup (2012) – Top-ranked Grinder, Notorious, gives you an inside look at how he constructs his NBA Lineups.
- NEW – Stacking Value in NBA Daily Fantasy – In this breakdown, we’ll look at which teams most often have multiple players scoring 30+, 40+ and 50+ fantasy points in a single game while proving that stacking in the NBA is not an advisable strategy, specifically for tournament play.
- Projecting NBA Players (2010)- Blinders goes into depth on how to project NBA Players, into some depth on how to determine the defensive match-up factor for fantasy basketball.
- The Power of the NBA Superstar in Daily Fantasy (2012) – DraftStreet’s beloved Sprizouse gives a breakdown of how to fit Daily Fantasy NBA Superstars into your lineup on an ongoing basis for NBA.
- Introduction to Draft Day NBA Scoring (2012) – Cameron walks you through DraftDay’s unique scoring system, providing comparisons to the scoring systems you know and tables showing how the different scoring affects certain players.
- Using Available Information To Project Daily Fantasy NBA Success (2012) – Ethan takes a look at how to use Efficiency ratings to take NBA matchup-analysis to the next level
- Over/Under Lines in NBA Daily Fantasy: Part I (2013) – Barro explains how you can use Over/Under lines to help with selecting your NBA squad!
- The NBA Weekly Cheat Sheet – Daily Research Tool (2012) – RG Ethan walks you through how to use this awesome Daily Research Tool while building NBA Lineups
Barro explores how to use Over/Under lines when building your Daily Fantasy NBA squad, with a focus on positive scoring and not negative scoring (missed FG or FT and TO).
- Weekly NBA Drafts vs. Daily Strategy (2012) – Cameron compares the strategies used when adjusting to a Weekly NBA draft, as opposed to a daily contest.
- DraftStreet NHL is Here! (2011) – Chewy (aka LandSharkHockey) gives you a rundown of the entire DraftStreet NHL system and some basic tips to get you started off on the right foot.
- Fantasy Hockey for Those with Puck Apathy (2011) – RotoKevin creates a good comparison article for those strong in MLB, and wanting to expand into playing NHL, by drawing comparisons between both sports in a Daily Fantasy setting.
- The Goaltender Dilemma: How Much to Invest and How to Estimate Value (2011) – Ethan walks you through the basics of selecting a goalie for Daily Fantasy NHL by focusing on four main statistics in this excellent NHL Strategy piece.
College Football Strategy
- - The Ultimate Daily Fantasy College Football Strategy Guide – Top Ranked Grinder, STLCardinals84, gives you everything you need to know to start ‘tackling’ College Football.
College Basketball Strategy
- NEW – College Basketball Strategy – Here are the Top 10 things top college sports Grinder, Scott121422, looks at when filling out his CBB lineups.
Specific Game Format Strategies
As alluded to earlier, Daily Fantasy Sports requires a diverse body of knowledge and skill to master all aspects. Not only are there multiple popular sports, but you can play them on multiple sites, which use a variety of game formats, roster setups and scoring systems. To maximize your wins and profits, a true Grinder should be savvy in multiple sports, sites and scoring settings. This section contains articles which pertain to specific Daily Fantasy sites, specific game-types, or are focused on some other important nuance of the Daily Fantasy industry.
GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) Strategy
- JackAndSoda’s Ongoing GPP Article Series – If you’re looking to improve at GPPs, look no further. These two article series are the cream-of-the-crop, when it comes to improving in GPP format contests:
1) Putting the Guaranteed into GPP Part 1: History 101 (2012)
2) Putting the Guaranteed Into GPP Part 2: Economics 101 (2012)
3) Putting the Guaranteed Into GPP Part 3: Sociology 101 (2012)
4) Putting The Guaranteed Into GPP: Extreme Makeover (2012)
5) Putting the Guaranteed into GPP: Exploring Upside (2013) – Jack’s back! Another incredible edition added to this ongoing series on GPP Strategy
1) – Putting the Guaranteed Into GPP: NBA Edition – No description needed. One of the best blogs of all time. JnS focused his hit series on NBA GPPs.
- A Closer Look at FanDuel Large-Field Contest Composition (2011) – Cal takes a look at the composition of a Wednesday Slam and Rebound contest on FanDuel, to display the difference between a Large-Field contest that allows for unlimited entries vs. one that allows for just one entry.
- Calculating Overlay in GPPs (2011) – From time to time entries in large field fantasy leagues come up short of what the site was expecting, and provide some extra value called an overlay. Blinders shows you how to spot these overlays, and capitalize on the opportunity.
- DFBC Math for the Rake Conscious Player (2011) – Cal breaks down the 2011 FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship, to show you how to calculate the value of your entry into a Satellite event such as the FFFC and the DFBC.
- Stacking Forum Discussion (2012) – In one of the longest forum discussions in RG History, members discuss break-down and argue the pros and cons of ‘stacking’ in Daily Fantasy Sports.
- Un-Stacking Your Daily Fantasy Roster (2012) – FFFC, DFBC and 2x DSBC finalist, JackAndSoda, makes an argument against stacking in large-field, MLB, GPP contests.
- Uneven Money: Exploring 50/50s (2012) – JackAndSoda is back! This time analyzing why 50/50s might not be as good of a value-move for Grinders as they appear…
- 50/50 Double Up Leagues & Opponent Variance (2011) – ‘Moose breaks down 50/50 (aka Double-Up) contests, and tells you how they can be a benefit to your bankroll.
Aside from the GPP content covered earlier, here are some more specific analysis on strategies for qualifying for Championship Events such as the FFFC, DSBC, Super Joust, etc.
- Super Joust NBA 101: Strategies For Qualifying (2012) – Dan Back, winner of the first-ever Super Joust, walks you through the best strategies to qualify for the Super Joust events.
- Putting the Guaranteed Into GPP: NBA Edition (DFBBC Analysis) – JackAndSoda dissects and analyzes all facets of the DFBBC on FanDuel in an instant Hall of Fame article…one of the best articles ever-seen on RotoGrinders.
General Intermediate & Advanced Strategy
There are a lot of factors that go into becoming a winning Daily Fantasy Grinder. The sections above cover the basics: Sites, Sport, Scoring, Formats, Players, etc. But there are also many general strategies that you can apply to help improve your win-rate. Once you’ve mastered the basics, expand your game by checking out some more in-depth strategy analysis below:
- NEW – Predicting Big Games Using NBA Vegas Lines – Vegas Lines are one of many ways to help predict daily fantasy value, but the interpretations of spreads and Over/Unders can be a challenge.
- Opponent Selection – Table Selection and Hourly Rates (2010) – Blinders discusses the importance of Opponent Selection in Daily Fantasy, and summarizes how it can effect your Hourly Rate.
- Blinders Table Selection Article Discussion (2010) – Forum Discussion Follow-Up – Tippy, GeneralV, Blinders, Bufall66 and some of the other big names in Daily Fantasy discuss Blinders Table Selection article and concepts.
- Multi Site Play (2011) – RotoKevin covers how to play on multiple sites, and why you should be ‘sniping noobs’.
- How to Accurately Project Player Fantasy Scores (2011) – Blinders covers the three main aspects that go into projection a fantasy player’s score.
- No Time? Build a Winner Anyway (2012) – RotoKevin unveils a strategy for you to quickly build an effective Daily Fantasy MLB squad, when you’re in a pinch for time!
- Thinking Outside the Cap (2011) – You’ve heard the term “thinking outside the box” before, right? Cameron covers how to ‘think outside the cap’, by highlighting an example lineup seen in use by one of the industry’s top players.
- The Sprizouse Sports Spreadsheet: Part 2 (2012) – Sprizouse takes us through a wild-and-crazy look at how he builds a spreadsheet for Daily Fantasy Sports, with a focus on NHL.
- Do You Spend More Time Picking Your Team or Your Opponent? (2012) – ‘Dawg’ reminds new players how important it is to look at who you play, not just what you play.
- Entering the Same Team Multiple Times: Is it a Good Play? – Poker player and Daily Fantasy Grinder JSchilling09 takes a look at why playing the same team more than once in a GPP is -EV over time
- The Value Proposition (2012) – Eddbot breaks down a simple way for new players to calculate player value
- Daily Fantasy Sports Math: Value (2012) – Sprizouse takes you through how to calculate player value in Daily Fantasy to stay ahead of the competition
- The Numbers Game: Analyzing Daily Fantasy MLB Data (2013) – NoHitter48 analyzes if the score needed to win is correlated with buy-in level
- - Analyzing the Best: Hixvillehunk and G123 Square off on DS (2013) – RG’s Ethan breaks down a 7-game, high-stakes, MLB Grudge match between two of the game’s best
Daily Fantasy Sports is a lifestyle. Sometimes it goes beyond just knowing how to build good teams and manage your bankroll. This section contains articles revolving around the lifestyle of a Daily Fantasy player, including interviews with some of the top players in the industry, coverage of some noteworthy challenges, and other articles that can help you improve your your aspects of life involving Daily Fantasy both at, and away from, the computer.
- NEW – Getting Your Spouse/Significant Other to Accept the Daily Fantasy Lifestyle From the Forums – STLCards leads a discussion to help DFS Grinders find a balance in maintaining a relationship while grinding DFS.
- NEW – THE WELL: HeadChopper
- NEW – THE WELL: STLCardinals84
- THE WELL: JackAndSoda (2012) – In a fan-favorite tradition imparted on RotoGrinders from Pocketfives.com, JackAndSoda hosts a no-holds-barred Q&A session open to all RG Members, answering any questions asked to him in the forums.
- THE WELL: Naapstermaan (2012) – “Because on Monday, a Panda is in the well”. Naapstermaan answers all in the forums, shortly after qualifying for the 2012 FFFC Finals
- Question for the High-Rollers (2012) From the Forums – A forum thread discussing adaptations to make while in the middle of a losing streak
- A Poker Player’s Transition to Daily Fantasy Sports (2012) – Former online poker player, 2incher, gives us his take on the transition from Online Poker to Daily Fantasy Sports.
- Interview With GPP-Guru and FFFC Finalist Naapstermaan – The man, the myth, the Panda, sits down with RG and ‘bears’ all
- Interview with Buffalo66 (2010) – The ‘Godfather’ of Daily Fantasy sits down with RotoGrinders and discusses the infamous ‘Buffalo Challenge.’
- Interview with GeneralV (2010) – Hear some candid thoughts from one of best NFL players to date. Joe Vance has been ranked as high as #3 overall and was the inaugural FFFC Champion in Vegas.
- Interview with HixvilleHunk (2011) – HixvilleHunk went on legendary run during the 2011 MLB Season, attempting to amass an unheard of $60,000 in profits. RotoGrinders sat down and talked with him during the peak of that run.
- Interview with PrimeTime420 (2010) – Longevity. Elite. Grinder. These are three words that describe top-ranked Grinder, PrimeTime420.
- Sprizouse Goes For 500 Wins in Month (2011) – Sprizouse attempted the feet of winning 500 games on DraftStreet in one month, which was unheard of at the time. Lucky for us, he documented it all. Here are his four blog entries throughout the Journey:
- Interview with 2011 FFFC Champion Beermakersfan (2012) – RotoGrinders sits down and talks with one of the best in the game, Beermakersfan, right after his 2011 FFFC Victory for $75,000!
- Condia Interview (2012) – An interview with the man, the myth, the legend: Condia. The volume this guy put up is incredible in NFL season, and it’s no surprise he’s often ranked the #1 Overall Grinder
- Kaetorade Interview (2012) – In just a few short months, Kaetorade shot onto the Daily Fantasy scene with over $100,000 in winnings and made it to the 29th ranked Grinder. Here’s an in-depth interview with a great guy and a great Grinder!
- TomG Interview (2012) – Top Grinder TomG (or g123 on DraftStreet) discusses the daily fantasy world and shares some insight into what has allowed him to be so successful in an exclusive RotoGrinders interview with our very own Ethan.
With this much money moving around an online sports industry, one is sure to have concerns over the legality of the situation. Don’t worry though; RotoGrinders is here to look out for you. We will always keep you posted on the current legal state of Daily Fantasy Sports and update you on any changes to legislation that are applicable to Daily Fantasy Sports. As of right now though, except for a few situations unique to specific states, Daily Fantasy Sports is 100% legal and has a bright future. Here is a breakdown of the current legislation involving Daily Fantasy Sports. Also, look for topics like Accounting and Taxes to be posted in the near future.
- Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports (2010) – A summarization of the UIGEA bill which carved out the legal status for Daily Fantasy Sports.
- Daily Fantasy Sports and Taxes: 2012 Update (Updated as of Jan. 2013) – RotoKevin breaks down the tax reporting policies for each site in the industry to help you with your filing.
If you think we’re leaving any articles out from the list, you’d like to see a topic written on that isn’t currently covered, or you think that you, yourself have an entry worthy of being posted to the Strategy Archives, just post in the Comments below or shoot us an email and we’ll take a look!