Bankroll Tips for Daily Fantasy Newbies

Everybody has different theories on how to manage their bankroll, and I am not one to say what works and what doesn’t. However, as a fairly new player myself (did not begin playing consistently until last March), I always wished somebody would tell me how to best manage my finances as I attempted to stay afloat in this industry. In the year I’ve been playing consistently, I have learned quite a few things, so hopefully this list of 10 tips can help some of you new people with limited bankrolls get started:

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1. Take advantage of sign-up bonuses and Grinder’s Incentives The biggest problem you will have early is low funding, so why not give yourself an edge with using deposit bonuses and taking advantage of bonus deposit money? Unfortunately for you newer people, most of the bonus money is no longer instantly put into your account like it used to be thanks to all the D-Bags that committed bonus fraud throughout the years, but a little is better than nothing. Also, take it from someone who has won more from freerolls in the last couple months than he has in paid games, it always pays to participate, even if you think you don’t have a chance!

2. Only deposit what you can afford to lose! I like to think of this as the “Normal Guy Goes to Vegas” mentality. I have been to Vegas three times in my life (and am going again in April). I love to play Blackjack and, at times, am often good at it. However, I also know that, should I play too long, I will inevitably lose, so the only money I play with is money that I can actually AFFORD to lose. Put in a certain amount at the beginning of the year and play with it. When it’s gone, however, you need to accept the fact that it’s gone and just move on with your life. Play some free games and work on your craft, then come back stronger next season. Also, and this is just a tip from me, withdraw your winnings once in a while. I generally withdraw my winnings relatively soon after I get them, that way I don’t win only to lose more. For example, I will withdraw the second consecutive win if I cash multiple days, that way my bankroll goes up, but my bank account does too. Don’t get too greedy.

3. Familiarize yourself with the site’s scoring. The last thing you want to do is just make a donation to a site because you take Nick Young on Draftstreet because you don’t know you are penalized for missed field goals! You will always, always always want to play some free games and see how the scoring works, as well as getting yourself familiar with player pricing/value. Don’t base your performance based on wins/loss, as, unfortunately, there are certain players on each site who will put in terrible free lineups to trick new people into thinking it’s easy to win, so they get tricked into playing money games when they’re not ready. The Chat boxes are generally pretty annoying, but this is the time where they can be a bit useful; see where your scores fit into the rest of the scores of the night. If you feel like your scores are generally competitive after a week or so, give a low stakes money game a shot.

4. Avoid multi-entry GPP’s. This is where new people will get KILLED. You may feel confident in your lineup for the night and say to yourself, “Hey, I could win $1000 with this $10 entry, I’ll throw this in and see what happens!” However, you need to realize that there are seasoned vets, with many more wins and a much larger bankroll, entering 10+ teams of their own in there. If you want to experience the thrill of a GPP, try to enter one of the single-entry only ones so you at least stand a chance.

5. Stay up to date on injuries. Avoid players in late games who are either questionable or GTD’s. Pay attention to injuries the night before that could potentially lead to late scratches the next day. Avoid old players on the third night of back-to-backs with coaches who historically rest their studs. Do not be the guy who has the goose egg in his lineup just because he didn’t see the noon blurb that Tim Duncan will not play tonight!

6. Take advantage of 50/50’s. My winning percentage is so much higher this year due to the inclusion of 50/50’s at sites. You don’t have to have a great night tow in in these; you just have to have a better night than half the other people. If you get a late-game, unexpected scratch, you’re possibly okay because it probably happened to half the other people in your league as well. A 10th place finish in a 20 man 50/50 pays just as well as a first place, so your odds of being more successful are so much higher, and you don’t have to second guess your decisions quite as much.

7. Don’t play if it doesn’t feel right. If you can’t seem to find a lineup that feels right, don’t play just to play. It rarely works, and you’ll be kicking yourself for it after you lose.

8. Don’t get attached to certain players. Consistency is tough in this game, so relying on a certain player night-in-night-out can be disastrous. Sure, you will probably play the obvious Drew Gooden value plays for as long as they’re value plays, but you will not be successful every night if you roll with Monta Ellis every night just because you think he’s handsome, as there is just way too much variability in his scores from night to night. You need to look at the matchups, look for value at certain positions, and take the studs when there is a clear dropoff in available players. In other words, mix it up.

9. Do not post your games publicly. If you want to get drilled by a shark, feel free to post your $5 entry game on the main page. If you want to stand a chance of getting matched up with someone new, either keep an eye out for them posting their games, find some newer players in the chat box to play against, or, better yet…

10. Stay confident. Let’s face it: There is a learning curve in this business, and you will inevitably have highs and lows. I had a horrible stretch in January where I finished 11th for what felt like 15 nights in a row, but I stuck with it and February has been quite kind. When you find a system that works for you, try not to get caught up in winning and losing, as long as the lineups feel right. If Joe Johnson is the logical play of the night and he puts up a clunker, realize that he was still the logical pay of the night and it just wasn’t your night. Stay confident, stay strong, and, most importantly, stay positive. Above all else, remember that this is a game and it’s supposed to be fun. Frustrating, yes, but, overall, you should be able to have a good time venturing into the shark infested waters of Daily Fantasy Sports. Happy swimming!

About the Author

  • Jim Hill (jimfred82)

  • Jim Hill, aka jimfred82, is a happily married father and teacher who has been playing fantasy sports since 2001. He began his DFS career in the pioneer days when $5 was the minimum contest entry and nobody had even heard of 50/50’s. He mainly plays low-dollar NFL and NBA, and has been blogging for RotoGrinders since 2011, publishing hundreds of blogs with a variety of content ranging from NFL, NBA, bankroll challenges, and his lifelong disdain for Kendrick Perkins.


  • wb403n

    RG Blogger

    Great article jimfred. These are some great tips.

  • Cameron

    RG Co-Founder

    • 2014 FanDuel NFL Survivor Champion

    • 2016 RG Season Long Champion: NFL

    You can tell by the look on Nick Young face that he posted all his games publicly and got NFO’ed.

  • mgibbonsjr

    This is one of the best DFS advice posts have ever read. Good stuff!

  • BigAssTDs

    Why would posting your lineup publicly be a bad idea? No one can beat me with the same players i start. What is someone going to do? Play every player i do except beat me in the one position where they knew i made a mistake? How would they know where i made a mistake? Bottom line, if you’re better, telling someone the same answers to the test as you see it, is at worst going to get you a chop, if your opponent wanted a chop and copied you 100% that is.

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