When attempting to set a daily fantasy sports lineup (DFS) there are a lot of settings to take into account. Pool size, payouts, roster construction and scoring settings stand out the most. It’s important to take all of these settings into account while choosing between specific players as any player can fluctuate in value greatly depending on the settings. Once those are established there are some effective strategies including keying on specific games based off of implied point totals (IPT) and game expected game scripts, stacks, and “comebackers” that we will get into in another article. Today let’s focus on settings.
The first settings, and the most important, is the size of the pool, or number of contestants that are competing, and the payout structure. When half the field is paid out a floor is paramount whereas when the field increases and the payout structure changes higher ceiling is more important. Another thing to keep in mind is projected ownership, lower owned players are key to winning larger tournaments that pay out less entrants. Simply put in large tournaments with a small percentage of entires payed out, the less people who have your lineup the better so those longshots with big play potential are worth far more in large fields where less is paid out. Whereas those that have a solid floor, especially in ppr leagues, are worth more in contests that pay a larger percentage of entries.
The last two settings also work hand in hand and they are roster construction and scoring settings. While building a DFS lineup you will have to fill out your roster while staying under the salary cap. Player value will fluctuate greatly depending on the roster size and salary cap, but the general strategy is the same. When plugging a player into your lineup you want 3.5-4x for quarterbacks and 3-3.5x for skill positions (rb,wr,te) in points for their salary. For example a wide receiver that costs 5,000 points needs 15 points to be worth that price. Where as a quarterback would need 17.5 points or more to be worth their 5,000 salary. Scoring settings will be the determining factor for whether you value a player worth their salary as a player that gets a lot of targets are more valuable in PPR leagues and those that get long chunk plays are worth more in leagues that reward points for big plays. This ties directly into payouts and field size.
Once the settings are established and you have decided your strategy, whether it’s attacking upside players and those that are less owned or simply establishing a floor, it’s important to focus on the more advanced strategies. Learn more about these advanced strategies in our next DFS article.