There are a ton of strategies out there for how to win at daily fantasy football that basically boil down to one thing: choose the right players. If you go with all mid-priced players for value, well, you better be right. If you go with some expensive players and some cheap ones, again, your stars better perform. Oh, and some of the cheap guys too. In other words, if you’re only playing a few lineups, or one, just choose wisely and you’ll be fine. Gee, thanks.
If you take a look at the QB/WR Handcuffs article on the Playbook this week, or the analysis of the past three Millionaire Maker winners, you’ll see that pairing a quarterback and a wide receiver is one such theory that many seasoned players use to maximize scoring potential, especially in large player-pool GPP tournaments (and very effective if you’re playing enough lineups to run out at least one with each handcuff pairing).
Even with only one lineup going, this theory can definitely make sense if you are in love with a particular wideout that week and playing in some big tourneys. However, you better be right. (It always comes down to that eventually, doesn’t it?). But I am here to offer you a strategy that requires you to be right on a much smaller scale. You don’t need to pick a specific WR, all you need to do is pick a team, any team. (Well, preferably one that is going to score a lot of points – you do still need to be right). But a great offense is going to show up in some way, shape or form much more consistently than even the best wide receivers…
This strategy is well known to anyone who plays daily fantasy baseball – mainly because trying to predict which hitter is going to hit on any given night is virtually impossible (you thought picking wide receivers was hard?). So, in baseball, you basically just study pitching matchups. You pick two pitchers you like, and start them (preferably in a friendly park, against a weak lineup, etc). And then you pick a pitcher you don’t like, in a good hitters park, against a good team, and you draft all of the players batting against him. The theory being, of course, someone is going to score in this game, but predicting who is a fool’s errand.
Applying this theory to baseball can win you any daily contest out there, but when you apply it to football, you are basically removing the possibility of throwing up the high score of the week and taking home a million bucks. But this method absolutely can help you reach that magical 130-150 point threshold that is what you need to hit to cash out in most 50/50 or triple up tourneys….
For example, let’s take a look at the Broncos last night:
Peyton ($8,900): 23.44 points
Hillman ($4,900): 19.8
Demaryius ($7,900): 21.5
Sanders ($5,700): 42.6
Julius Thomas ($6,300): 4.3
Welker ($3,500): 2.5
You are bound to get a couple of duds with this approach (which is why you’re not likely to win $1,000,000 this way). But you’re guaranteeing yourself that you land the guy who goes off, because you know someone will. In this case it was Sanders, which is great if you employed this method, because he had only about a 10%-ish usage rate, with Demaryius, Julius and even Welker all coming in slightly higher. And even with Julius and Welker bringing up the rear, AND with two touchdowns to a backup RB, this still got you to 114.14 points, and only cost you $37,200. You now have $12,800 for RB, FLEX, and D. Even just one good choice from those three could get you into the money in almost every 50/50 on the board.
But “that’s easy, that’s the Broncos,” you say? “You’re still not helping us here, they played on Thursday this week!” Well, here is another example for you:
Aaron Rodgers ($9,000), Eddie Lacy ($5,200), James Starks ($3,000)*, Jordy Nelson ($7,700), Randall Cobb ($7,500), Davante Adams ($3,500), Andrew Quarless ($3,000). This essentially gets you points for every yard the Packers gain, and every touchdown they score (and, in case you haven’t noticed, they’ve been doing a lot of both lately), and still leaves you with $11,100 for a defense and a flex. DeMarco Murray, anyone?
You could accomplish the same feat for less money with the Cardinals – the matchup is certainly right, and Ellington, Fitz, Floyd and Palmer could score you a ton of points and still leave you with room to stock up on some other superstars.
Again, you aren’t going to win a big tourney with this method unless the Pack decide to put up 60 on Sunday, but if you’re looking to build that bankroll, this could be a relatively stress-free way to go about it. So how about that? Actual strategic advice that doesn’t rely on making you pick every WR in your lineup correctly. Hope it helps. Good luck.
*Feel free to swap in another minimum salary, John Kuhn, if Starks is unable to go. He doesn’t usually produce much, but if you’re looking to score every time the Packers do, he’s still your man as a goalline option.