STRATEGY FORUM

• monaco712

This topic is subjective but I m curious what people think. What percentage of
being successful in DFS is 1. statistical analysis and research 2. instinct and
intuition 3. strategy and systems 4. luck

• escot4

• x2

• 2016 DraftKings FFWC Champion

1) Statistical analysis and research: 40% (I would include watching games as research)
2) Instinct and intuition: 10%
3) Strategy and systems: 40%
4) Luck: 10%

• monaco712

Very interesting . I do a lot of research but have not been able to put together
a system or strategy to utilize the information. I guess the the top players have
been able to put it all together. I have always wondered about the value of actually
watching the games. I would think that would help develop your DFS instincts.

• BigA

@monaco712 said...

Very interesting . I do a lot of research but have not been able to put together
a system or strategy to utilize the information. I guess the the top players have
been able to put it all together. I have always wondered about the value of actually
watching the games. I would think that would help develop your DFS instincts.

Same here. I research and can’t get it going. Reading dueling with the kings a lot don’t watch games so not sure how much to go off that.

• escot4

• x2

• 2016 DraftKings FFWC Champion

@BigA said...

Same here. I research and can’t get it going. Reading dueling with the kings a lot don’t watch games so not sure how much to go off that.

I definitely don’t speak for all pros, but watching the games is a huge factor for me. It may matter more for certain sports than others. Personally, I think it’s very important for NFL. Many of the NFL stats have unreliable sample sizes for quite a bit of the year, so any time you can bring in more data (i.e. what you see) it can only help.

• zpruitt3

GPP’s :
1.) 15%
2.) 0%
3.) 25%
4.) 60%

Cash games:
1.) 50%
2.) 0%
3.) 25%
4.) 25%

• Numberboy

I’m a Statistician/Scientist who began taking DFS very seriously about 2 yrs ago. There are methods used in Math/Science to determine how relevant a group of correlating numbers are. To see if they have some signifigant relation beyond just trending in the same direction. Also using Standard Deviation to determine which players are more volitile (GPP) vs more consistent (Cash Game) is important. If 2 players both average 10 Fantasy points per game , like Joey Votto & Giancarlo Stanton knowledge of the game helps by knowing they arrive there in different ways. Correlation is another important tool in all DFS strategy. So to answer your original question, Game Theory & Data Analysis are more important for higher levels of success. Intuition & Luck are important and I think under rated also. Playing the right \$\$ to fit your bankroll is also crucial. And selecting the correct contests based on your approach as well

• Roma315

• 571

• Ranked #69

RG Tiered Ranking

I think it comes down to knowing the sport. Also understanding if a player is good IRL it doesn’t always translate to DFS. When to avoid a player because he is overpriced or use a player when he is underpriced. Stats come into play but sometimes you just need to play the hot player. My biggest scores were not based on stats but gut feelings on a pitcher or player in a good spot.

• Njsum1

@escot4 said...

I definitely don’t speak for all pros, but watching the games is a huge factor for me. It may matter more for certain sports than others. Personally, I think it’s very important for NFL. Many of the NFL stats have unreliable sample sizes for quite a bit of the year, so any time you can bring in more data (i.e. what you see) it can only help.

If you are a full time DFS player that has time to watch games all day and night, I would think watching games for MLB would be very important as well. However, I’m not and I don’t, so I’ll just look at the stats. Yet here are a couple of reasons why I think watching games could help picking one off hitters…

1) contact rates are at someone else’s discretion
2) quality of opposing pitcher

For example if a battter is 0 for 12 in his last 3 games, yet this was against Scherzer, Sale, and Kershaw, and you watched the games and saw that said batter crushed 3 of those pitches, just happened to find gloves or hit a couple of foul balls that just missed being homers, you’d know he was probably due for a big game soon, especially next time he faced a weak pitcher. Yet if you just looked at the stats you might just see 25% hard contact and not think too much about it, not realizing the quality of competition and that he also just missed out on a homer or two as well.

However, for many this would be an unrealistic endeavor to take on as I would surmise that most don’t have the time to watch almost a hundred games per week. Football this would be easier, yet still an endeavor only a full time professional would likely undertake, as there are only a maximum of 16 games per week.

• kbarnhill7523

• 678

• x2

2017 FanDuel WFBBC Finalist

@escot4 said...

I definitely don’t speak for all pros, but watching the games is a huge factor for me. It may matter more for certain sports than others. Personally, I think it’s very important for NFL. Many of the NFL stats have unreliable sample sizes for quite a bit of the year, so any time you can bring in more data (i.e. what you see) it can only help.

THIS

NFL is also very volatile. Watching the games shows you things that don’t show up in stats… PI calls for one. But you can see things on tape that you know the coaches will use the next week.

For NBA it’s important so you understand rotations and minutes.

I don’t recomend it for golf though… super frustrating haha

• tjventre

@Numberboy said...

And selecting the correct contests based on your approach as well

This. Super-important. Probably falls under the “strategy and systems” category from your original post.

• kb32dawgs

• 767

• 2021 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

A huge bankroll plain and simple. If you don’t have several grand to match to high volume guys, you will lose in the long run.

• emac

@kb32dawgs said...

A huge bankroll plain and simple. If you don’t have several grand to match to high volume guys, you will lose in the long run.

This is simply not true and like pretty much everything else needs context.

Putting in a handful of lineups each night in the giant (5,000+ entries), low-dollar (\$1-\$10) entry fee contests with the particularly egregious top heavy payments is going to be a losing proposition for most gamers.

Let’s use the \$100K Saturday MLB Squeeze on FanDuel which paid out \$20,000 or 20% of the ENTIRE prize pool to first place. The gamer that finishes in 6th place will have bested 19,607 entries or 99.97% of the field, yet only win \$1,000 or 1% of the prize pool.

While it is nice to see that the “minimum cash” has moved back to 2x the entry fee for many of the giant contests, the top heavy nature is untenable.

Excuse me while I step outside to go wait to be struck by lightning which seemingly feels like it has a similar probability of occurring as it does winning one of these tournaments with 2-5 lineups.

On the other hand, playing a couple lineups in the 100-entry “leagues” at the same price levels, will generally provide a much different outcome if you are only “above average” as a player and if you are “pretty good” you can actually end up using the withdrawal button for profits.

Yes, in most cases you will be taking out \$100-200 every few months, but isn’t that better then constantly redepositing and “NEVER WINNING AGAINST THE BIG BANKROLL PLAYERS” in the top heavy tournaments?

TLDR: game selection

EMac

Edited to add the link to the contest which was the Early-Only for a two game slate at a \$6 price point.

• jtkucheck

@Njsum1 said...

For example if a battter is 0 for 12 in his last 3 games, yet this was against Scherzer, Sale, and Kershaw

Pitching rotations and game scheduling are such that a batter will never face three aces in a row. Two, maybe, if very unlucky, but by the 3rd game, they should see a lesser quality pitcher.

Your point about context and quality of competition is taken though, and should be considered in MLB, NFL, and NBA (probably in that order).

• Njsum1

@jtkucheck said...

Pitching rotations and game scheduling are such that a batter will never face three aces in a row. Two, maybe, if very unlucky, but by the 3rd game, they should see a lesser quality pitcher.

Your point about context and quality of competition is taken though, and should be considered in MLB, NFL, and NBA (probably in that order).

Haha, yea I realized that as I was just listing three aces to prove a point. However, when Kershaw gets healthy, seeing Kershaw, Darvish, and Wood (if and when he regains his early season form) followed by the best bullpen in the game is realistic.

• divusjulius

• Blogger of the Month

great thread, and great discussion so far.

in MLB, Bales says that watching the games will likely hurt most dfs’ers (in the newest FBFSP i think), and this seems right to me IF the dfs gamer doesn’t understand sample size etc and watches the games to get picks for the next day. of course, i think watching to make sure a player is healthy, or to get a sense of a young pitching call up’s profile in action makes alot of sense.

1) Statistical analysis and research: 50
2) Instinct and intuition: 0
3) Strategy and systems: 50
4) Luck: 0

However, a well constructed strategy in dfs (IMHO) includes ways to take advantage of varience (luck) and puts one’s lineups in a situation to benefit from randomness. So in that sense the randomness that is built into the game (both MLB and DFS) should be incorprated in one’s strategy for the game.

i’m in my 40’s and have been semi-professional gambling for close to 20 years (poker, counting teams, horses) and i mention that not to say hey look at me but from my long experience around gambling to say this: if one is new to or learning how to be an edge player, please ignore intuition and gut feelings etc. Sure world class players can include a bit of intuition as ONE small factor among many other factors the edge player knows how to evaluate. a new (newer/recreational) gamer will probably use it as an excuse to make a poor or non-data driven decision. in other words, far too often, i’ve seen new gamblers walking back to texas because gut feelings shorted out the person fromleaning how to play correctly.

• Blogger of the Month

@emac said...

On the other hand, playing a couple lineups in the 100-entry “leagues” at the same price levels, will generally provide a much different outcome if you are only “above average” as a player and if you are “pretty good” you can actually end up using the withdrawal button for profits.

+1 for contest selection

I’m an average casual player yet I’ve been consistently winning small amounts in the 100-300 player GPPs, especially when there’s a bit of overlay. I’ve based my MLB lineup decisions on basic info (weather, Vegas odds, rudimentary stats, etc) and have no special skills yet my ROI this baseball season has been 120% over 300 GPP contests.

• WidumBoise

DFS is all about Andrew LUCK, with SKILL giving you more OPPORTUNITIES to get LUCKY.

• mambaland

use every combination there is possible and max entry gpp

• DSofM

• 70

• Ranked #59

• Blogger of the Month

@mambaland said...

use every combination there is possible and max entry gpp

I assume you and math aren’t very good friends.

• superstars92

@JoeFlacco05 said...

I assume you and math aren’t very good friends.

This reminds me of the lady once next to me in the casino who put a chip on EVERY single number in roulette. I wanted to tell her you’ll just slowly bleed away your chips that way, but maybe she enjoyed seeing herself “win” something every turn.

• joerapjr

@escot4 said...

1) Statistical analysis and research: 40% (I would include watching games as research)
2) Instinct and intuition: 10%
3) Strategy and systems: 40%
4) Luck: 10%

This is really a great answer. Escot4, would you mind elaborating what you mean by “strategy and systems”?

• sonic999

I can’t imagine how anyone can be consistently profitable playing NBA without watching a shitload of games. Once I committed to watching games virtually every nite all nite (w nba league pass and bc i have a long-time g/f who is cool with just hanging out most nites…lol), I quickly went from a slightly profitable player at nba( over like a season and a half ) to just killing it the last few months of this season. Before I’d watch a few nights a week, parts of a couple games those nights. Prob 12-15 hours a week of watching. Last season NBA prob. watched about 40 hrs a week, if not more. I’ve always loved NBA ball so its easy for me to watch so much but also totally necessary.

• 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

@escot4 said...

1) Statistical analysis and research: 40% (I would include watching games as research)
2) Instinct and intuition: 10%
3) Strategy and systems: 40%
4) Luck: 10%

Thanks for sharing what works for you. In my cash game experience over the past 6 years, I would break it down this way:

1)Process(strategy/systems)-50%
2)Research-20%
3)Instincts-10%
4)Luck-10%
5)Humility-10%

I added humility because being able to recognize a situation where you are NOT +EV is essential for long term success.

• mambaland

the every combo was sort of a joke BUT when i see guys with 50 lineups and have stacks of every team it reminds me of the people boxing a 6 horse race and cashing a ticket. It is hard to admit many do have just about every combo within reason as far as every lineup with their top 4 pitchers

• monaco712

@joerapjr said...

would you mind elaborating what you mean by “strategy and systems”?

There is an overwhelming amount of information available from advanced metrics
to scouting reports I would think most successful DFS players have developed
their own strategy on how to best utilize all of this information to put together quality
lineups based on mathematical formulas or providing a weight grade to each category
based on what they think is most important. Many handicappers have a system they
“The Bat” is basically a system which provides picks based on a variety of weighted
categories. We all have access to the same information it is how we apply it which
will determine the level of success. I am working on several of my own optimizer type
formulas,.
I am surprised at the low numbers regarding intuition (beer gut) I would think it would
play a greater role. To me your intuition/instincts is just utilizing information that
is in your subconscious that your brain has not processed in logical terms yet.
But I am glad majority of people believe there is more skill than luck involved
in being successful.