Top 10 Tips for New Players: DFS Beginners Guide

With Daily Fantasy Sports still alive and kicking, more and more players are getting their feet wet in the industry. For those of you that are new (or newish) to the DFS world, here are my top 10 tips to get you started.

1. Make sure to take advantage of all the bonuses and offers tailored to new players. Max your deposit bonus as much as possible, since a lot of sites do not offer many reload bonuses. You might as well collect as much bonus money while you can. Also, if a site offers games for new players only (such as DraftKings’ beginner games and tournaments), make sure to play them as much as you can.

Editor’s Note: Gain access to RotoGrinders’ Premium content by signing up through our DFS site reviews, like this one for FanDuel.

2. Don’t let one day or week give you too much or too little confidence. There’s a lot of variance in the DFS world. Even the best players have losing months (especially if they are GPP focused), and, of course, even the most casual of players can have a great day.

3. Learn to build your lineups for the contest type. For GPPs, learn to stack and increase your variance. For cash games, don’t stack and find safer, high-value plays.

4. Play more of your bankroll in 50-50s and H2H at first. This way, your variance will go down, and you are less likely to have a bad losing streak that’ll make you want to give up. Play at least some GPPs to give yourself a chance at a big score, but don’t totally rely on it.

5. Play some satellites to bigger tournaments, especially on the smaller DFS sites. There’s often a ton of overlay value in satellites, especially on the smaller sites.

6. Become a part of the community. It’ll increase your enjoyment of DFS as well as help you get more “in the zone” when making lineups.

Editor’s Note: This includes the RotoGrinders’ forums, where a large portion of the DFS community gathers to talk about the industry.

7. Don’t stress too much about what the popular plays of the day are. This only matters in GPPs anyways, and the line behind a “must play” and a “good public fade” is often very blurry. Focus more on finding good value and players with a high ceiling.

8. Look at projections for players. It will help you at first. However, don’t take them as gospel and definitely use your head when ultimately deciding who to draft in your lineups.

9. Learn to be rake and value conscience. A really good player that just enters a bunch of high rake H2H games will likely make less (or lose money) compared to a player of slightly lesser skill that continually seeks out lower rake (whether it’s the structure or via bonuses/rewards) and puts more of his bankroll in tournaments that have some overlay.

And most importantly…

10. Have fun and enjoy the process. At the end of the day, DFS is first and foremost a form of entertainment. If you want to “get in the zone,” it’s important to enjoy researching and thinking about constructing lineups.

About the Author

  • Michael Cohen (TwoGun)

  • Michael “TwoGun” Cohen is a successful DFS player that specializes in GPPs. He has won the DraftKings Millionaire Maker (in the NFL divisional playoffs round), as well as the $500K first place prize in the DraftKings Week 17 $2 million Touchdown event, among other top finishes. Follow him on Twitter at TwoGunFF.


  • Mractuary21

    @vino24 said...

    Hard to have “fun” in GPP’s when its nothing but guys that have 50+ entries and then the community drools all over them calling them great players

    Two thumbs up. Ridiculous

  • HCo1085

    This is exactly how I realized it wasn’t all luck. I always see the same names at the top of the gpp prize list. I’d say it’s 80% skill 20% Luck

  • budaman3915

    I will be glad to play you head to head if you think its all luck lol

  • generalkenobi711

    Its like poker or betting games. Yes theres alot of luck but skill always wins in the long run. No offense but peoplecwho say all luck usually lack skill.

  • jsb515

    I stack some times even in 50/50 games if I believe the QB/WR are going to mesh. Ben and Brown proof of that today.

  • sparkysrevenge

    @scorer79 said...

    What does fading mean?

    It means removing them from contention into your lineup. At least that’s what I’ve taken it to mean. But since I’m relatively new I could be wrong. I’ve been at this for 3 months, won 2 tournaments and now I wanna know how these guys make a living at this this. It’s still very random for me, I think I’m getting better as the aggregate scores for my slates have all gone up, but I’m not winning with consistency. I’d like to know what Rake means in terms of this article and if any has an ‘Advanced’ NBA DFS Strategy guide they could point me at as I’ve read all the Beginner stuff and will reread it but believe I have the basics.

  • budaman3915

    Very good article for new people,thats all I play for is entertainment,but that being said everybody likes to win,all I play is gpp,s but if you are just starting take advantage of the beginners will hep you get better and you will be playing against the same competitors.also good to practice your lineups in 25 cent and dollar contests to practice

  • raznick34

    Because they enter like 100 lineups

  • raznick34

    @raznick34 said...

    Because they enter like 100 lineups

    This was intended for how it’s not luck and how they make a living at it.

  • Wakefan77

    @larryn703 said...

    One thing that has helped me being a more beginner DFS player, is playing more of the later/small set games. Being a dad and getting little ones to bed on the east coast, I like to focus more on the west coast games. It gets a little overwhelming for me when there is a large amount of games on the schedule, and feel like I am overlooking people due to the time I have. Thanks for the article!

    I agree. I have had to really reign in my DFS play and do it so it doesn’t interfere with family time. I do my research on my breaks at work and pic times at home that are good for me. I started in the fall doing football. Now I’m on to NBA and have been doing it for a few weeks. It’s consuming but very addiciting. I do enjoy all of the tools available to help construct lineups.

  • MoneyFingers

    @scorer79 said...

    What does fading mean?

    not to play that player

  • nitejoker

    Hello, thank you for the article. I’m book marking this so I can read it again later.

  • Tammy409

    @scorer79 said...

    What does fading mean?

    I see you’ve gotten some responses, but as a guy who struggles with the concept as well after ten months (I knew, thankfully, nothing of what ‘chalk’ and ‘fading’ were for the first six months and actually did well playing just who I wanted to without reading or hearing much about what I was ‘supposed to do’), I would define it a bit more narrowly to mean…

    “Fade” – To NOT roster a high-priced expected top-performing, highly-owned player. For example, “Calvin Johnson, OBJ, Steph Curry” in certain games or situations in which the media and community expect them to perform at even greater-than-normal levels.

    When I first joined Rotogrinders and heard people talk in these terms some 8 month’s in, it was during the NBA Playoffs, and people spoke of ‘Fading Roberson’ and ‘Fading Bogut’ and stuff. I didn’t/don’t really think NOT playing a cheap guy who might go for 25 pts is really ‘fading’, but I guess the argument could be made that it is if one considers any player at any price point to be abnormally highly owned and ‘chalky’…. I think guys in NBA that cost less than $4000 on DK’s and have ceilings of like 30 (max) aren’t really ‘fadeable’ because it’s so easy to get that production elsewhere and their salaries don’t make or break a lineup. In the NFL, it would be akin to stating that one was ‘Fading Pitta’, or something. I think that’s a dumb statement, as any TE or WR can put up equal numbers at the same or lower salary on any given week.

    I personally don’t do this if the goal is simply to be contrarian or to gain advantage from an ownership perspective, but if I don’t believe that player is to return or exceed value in that situation, I’ll roster someone else who will. So I’ve ‘faded’ guys before, but not ‘strategically’ and not for the reasons most do.

  • Capone1233

    @JJdaily said...

    Actually I’m not but Thx

    If it were luck the same guys wouldnt be winning the majority of the time.

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