FanDuel Strategy Guide - The Basics Of How To Win On FanDuel
This Fanduel Strategy Guide below is intended to help new players get started on Fanduel. Experienced players can jump straight to these resources linked at the top, which will help take you from your current level to a bonafied DFS expert:
-Fanduel Research Page – All of our Fanduel-specific research tools and articles
-Main Forum – Ask any question you’d like and our community of experienced players will help you out
-GrindersLive – watch Fanduel strategy broadcasts from top ranked players
-RotoAcademy – Click on the “Free” tab to get coursework from Beginner to Advanced
Fanduel Strategy Guide:
Founded in 2009, FanDuel has long been a top site of the daily fantasy sports world—the destination for tons of new players in the industry—so implementing the proper strategy is paramount to your success. With so many novices playing daily fantasy sports on FanDuel, there’s a great opportunity to profit on the site.
When learning how to play on FanDuel, you’ll need to figure out the specifics of the sports you plan to play. Before you even do that, though, it’s vital to familiarize yourself with FanDuel’s various game offerings, how they differ from one another, and how you should approach each one to become a winner.
Head-to-Heads, 50/50s, and the Matrix
One of the key features of FanDuel is their abundance of head-to-head games. Playing one-on-one with another user, you can typically profit $1.80 on every $1 spent if you win. There’s so much head-to-head action on FanDuel that you can really scale your daily fantasy sports profitability if you have an edge; it will be difficult for you to run out of games.
One reason FanDuel offers potentially profitable head-to-head action is that you can see a user’s win total—how many games they’ve won all-time—and hand-pick players who aren’t above your skill level. Simply click on a username to see their history. You can also learn more about recent player wins, average buy-in amounts, and other info by searching for users using the “Opponent Search” tool in the top right section of RotoGrinders. Learn more about head-to-head strategy in GrindersU.
Similar to head-to-heads, FanDuel offers a wealth of 50/50 leagues. In those league types, there can be anywhere from just a few users to hundreds. Either way, the top half of all entrants get paid. If you continually find yourself posting good-but-not-great scores on FanDuel, 50/50s are a great option since you’ll always profit with a good score (unlike head-to-heads where a great score can beat your good score). We have a guide to 50/50 strategy right here.
A final game type that’s related to heads-up and 50/50 league is a relatively new feature that’s specific to FanDuel known as the head-to-head matrix. The head-to-head matrix allows you to play 21 users at once in the same manner as if you selected 21 different head-to-head games. You’re still competing individually against 21 separate users, and you can enter head-to-head matrices at various buy-in levels.
Whether you’re in a traditional head-to-head league, a 50/50, or a matrix game, the general strategy is the same: play it safe. You don’t need an amazing score to profit—you just need one that beats half of users—so stick with high-floor players and safe lineup combinations that you know will give you a certain level of production.
Tournaments and Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs)
In addition to leagues of all different sizes (three-man, five-man, 10-man, and so on), FanDuel has a number of tournaments. These leagues have a lot of entrants—usually thousands and sometimes even five figures. FanDuel usually pays out in the neighborhood of 10 percent of tournament entries, so you’ll need a great score to cash. Those who do cash, though, normally at least triple their money, with serious cash available at the top of the prize structure.
Some tournaments are known as GPPs—guaranteed prize pools. These tournaments have guaranteed payouts, so FanDuel will guarantee the prize even if the league doesn’t fill up. Most FanDuel tournaments fill, but they do occasionally have some empty seats at game time. Those can be really good situations for users because, if there’s enough empty space, FanDuel could actually be losing money on the league.
When that happens—when there’s more money paid out than put into a league via entry fees—it’s known as overlay. You can calculate overlay very simply by multiplying the entry fee by the number of entries. If it’s less than the guaranteed prizes, there’s overlay (the extent of the overlay depends on how big of a gap there is between the entries and the payout).
For example, if you enter a $1 GPP with a cap of 1,000 entrants on FanDuel, the site might guarantee around $900. If you see that there’s only 800 entries into the league, though, then there’s $100 of overlay—the money put into the league ($800) subtracted from the guaranteed payout ($900).
Some tournaments on FanDuel have a multi-entry feature, meaning a single user can enter multiple times. One advantage afforded by submitting multiple lineups into a single league type is that you can diversify your lineups, picking different combinations of players. Even though it costs more money to enter, this strategy can help you limit some of the risk involved with playing in a tournament. If you enter 10 teams into a multi-entry GPP, there’s a good chance that at least one will cash.
You can learn more about tournaments, GPPs, and large-field events in Grinders U, but your general strategy should be much different than that when playing in head-to-head or 50/50 leagues. Instead of playing it safe, you really should look to increase variance. That means starting players and combinations of players who are more likely than others to have really big games.
In daily fantasy football, for example, it’s common to pair a quarterback with his wide receiver in a tournament because if one has a really good game, it’s likely that the other will as well. That’s not always a smart strategy in head-to-head leagues, however, since the tactic also increases risk; if one player has a bad game, it’s probable that the other will too.
Gaining Familiarity with FanDuel
The easiest way to become a great player on FanDuel is to get your feet wet by playing in as many leagues as possible. You don’t even need to play for money to start since FanDuel offers free leagues (no prizes) and freerolls (free leagues with prizes). Take advantage of these, working on different combinations of players and entering all different league types to see what you like and how various strategies work in each.
You can and should track your progress, too, to see if you’re ready to either play for cash or enter leagues for more money. The easiest way to do that is to use the RotoGrinders FanDuel Bankroll Tracker. This is an amazingly simple and effective way to visualize your progress as a daily fantasy player to figure out what you do well, where you need to improve, and if you can be a long-term winner.
The most efficient way to become profitable at FanDuel is to use the RotoGrinders Incentives. There are all sorts of helpful tools, including player projections and expert advice for every sport. You can gain Incentives access simply by signing up for FanDuel through any link on this site.
If you feel like you’re ready for more advanced content, check out GrindersU.