To Fade or Not to Fade: Breaking Down 10 Player Leagues By Slate Size

I’ve been playing DFS for 3 years now. I’m a low level, low volume player who is looking for more consistency. My goal is to use this space to reflect on what I did right and where I can improve. Join me on my journey and learn along with me. Here is my story.:

Hello everyone! I’ve been away for a few days doing that teaching thing. It was a big week this week as I gave presentations at 2 conferences to fellow colleagues on certain things I use in my classroom. When I started teaching, I never imagined that I would be in a position to present in front of my peers. It’s a very cool experience and something I look forward to continuing.

The same thing could be said for DFS. When I started playing, I never thought I’d have the possibility of blogging about playing. Yet, here I am.

I have continued playing the 10 person leagues as a way to build my bankroll. I’ve participated in 32 contests since the All Star break and kept track of the scores that win the league and the third place score that still nets you money. Here is what I’ve found.

Average Scores to Cash

Out of those 32 contests, the score to win the league has averaged out to be 324.41 and third place averages to 300.18. If you are a cash game player like myself, you probably like seeing those averages because they are attainable. I have not played a lot of 100 man contests so I don’t know how that compares to those types of leagues or even 50/50s. Obviously, each slate and contest will differ due to the variance of fellow players, matchups, etc.

As I was gathering this data and information, a member in the Slack chat I am in asked if I noticed any more or less risk in playing the 10 person leagues based on the slate size. I decided to look at the 32 contests I have participated in and break down by slate the averages needed to cash.

4 Game Slates

1st place- 250.7
3rd place-238.6

5 of the contests I have played have been 4 game slates. That have produced the lowest team totals out of all the slates. This makes sense as there are less players to choose from. Typically in these smaller slates, you have to make decision you would otherwise avoid in larger slates.

5 Game Slates

1st place-312.7
3rd place-294

I only have 3 contests to base this off of but, again, the scores are manageable. To cash, you see that 3rd place averages still are under 300 points.

6 Game Slates

1st place-330
3rd place-316.2

We start to see an increase in scores at in the 6 game slates. I’ve played 10 contests with 6 games on the slate. 3 of the contests had 3rd place scores under 300 points. Otherwise, you need to score over 300 to place.

7 Game Slates

1st place-342
3rd place-318.1

I’ve only played 3 contests so I don’t have a ton of data here for 7 game slates. The first place is also skewed slightly because I won the 3 contests and they were the same slate.
h2. 9 Game Slates

1st place-334.4
3rd place-308.3

I only have 2 contests to go off of here and a similar situation as the 7 game slates where I won both contests skewing the first place results.

10 Game Slates

1st place-353.1
3rd place-302.2

I’ve played 5 contests on those 10 game slates. We see the highest totals to take 1st place out of all of the slates. You have a larger player pool to select from and more possibilities for roster construction.

11 Game Slates

1st place-330.9
3rd place-314.8

I was surprised that totals were higher to win the 10 game slates over the 11 game slates. Perhaps it had to do more with the matchups on those particular slates. I only played 3 contests with 11 games on the slate. That may also factor in to the lower total.

Final Thoughts/A Word of Caution

Working with averages can be dangerous. Sometimes, we fall in love with averages or projections and take them as absolutes. Just keep in mind the sample sizes for each and that none of the totals take into account the circumstances of each slate. Hopefully this provides some help in the last few weeks of the NBA season.

Let me know what you think. Leave me a comment below or hit me up on Twitter: JMcGrath330.

About the Author


  • jimfred82

    • Blogger of the Month

    I don’t have much experience in the 10 team leagues. I’ve done some 100 man, and they’re a bit tougher to cash due to the old-school 12% cash template, but these do look interesting!

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