Synergy is a popular word these days. Businesses are all about finding synergies: combining new and old ideas to make better products, make their workers more productive, generally, make more money. Combining old and new ideas is something you can do in fantasy sports too. Many of us got our starts playing yearly fantasy. Just because we are now concentrating on daily fantasy, does not mean that we ignore what we learned playing season-long fantasy. Things like player research are basically the same in daily and season-long fantasy. Sure, in a daily league you only care about the next game, but in a season-long league, you do need to decide who to start and bench and you will be looking at the same stats. One thing you might not consider applicable to a daily league is draft – or more accurately auction — strategy and how to apply it to your daily teams.
You might wonder how your season-long action strategy has anything to do with how you build your daily teams? It is pretty simple. Each time you build your team you are “drafting”. You are make decisions about how to spend your money: how much to pay for your quarterbacks, running backs, where to spend big, where to save money. Those are the same choices you are faced with during an auction, you have limited resources to build a team and need to decide the best way to utilize those resources.
The two most common auctions strategies and “Stars and Scrubs” and “Spread the Risk”. When following the “Stars and Scrubs” plan, you will spend a large amount for two or three stud players, then spend very little on the remainder of the team. You rely on your studs to produce big each week and carry you team. At the same time, while you spend very little on your scrubs, you are also counting on some of them to produce – they do not need to be studs, but you need some $1 players to earn $10. If you follow the “Spread the Risk” philosophy, you do not spend too much on any one player and also avoid $1 players; you build a balanced team where you do not have any studs, but also are covered in case of injury – you have a bunch of solid starters and are not overly reliant on any one player. Both strategies have their applications in daily leagues.
Going with a “Spread the Risk” strategy works very well for 50/50 and double-up leagues. In those leagues, you do not care if you score the most points, you just want to score enough points to be in the top-half of the league. In a 100-team 50/50 league, the top scoring team will get paid the same as the 49th highest scoring team. You do not need a high score to win, just a good enough score. Using “Spread the Risk” you are much less likely to end up with a low score since you are not going to be crippled for the week if one of your studs does not produce.
Using a “Spread the Risk” strategy is not a good fit for guaranteed prize pool leagues. Sure, you might end up cashing by doing so, but chances are in will be in the low end of the pool. You are not entering a $50,000 GPP to win $50, you want the big bucks. Leagues with large prizes and a large number of entries call for using a “Stars and Scrubs” approach. Yes, you do risk not winning anything, but to win a league with a large number of entries, you will need a high score. For a high score, you will need studs and also scrubs who produce. “Stars and Scrubs” is built for GPP’s; it is high risk but also high potential reward in terms of points – and in a GPP — also in terms of money.
Survivor leagues actually call for both strategies. You will want to “Spread the Risk” until the final day. You do not care if you score the most points in the preliminary rounds, you just want to be in the top-50%. Survive until the final day by spreading the risk, on the final day you go “Stars and Scrubs”; you need that big score on the final day so need to go for the high potential points from a “Stars and Scrubs” squad.
Consider the above information a rough guide. A case could be made for using a “Spread the Risk” strategy for GPP’s that have a lot of finishing positions that payout or that do not have a big differential between payout levels. If you are in a survivor league that scored pretty high on the first day, you might consider “Stars and Scrubs” day two – you want to make it to the final day, if the league scored high day one, it will also be likely to do so day two. For head to head leagues, you will want to go “Stars and Scrubs” since finishing second does you no good. To put it simplistically, in leagues where there are a large number of payouts of pretty similar amounts, you want to go with “Spread the Risk”. In leagues where there are few teams in the money, or large top-prizes with a steep drop off in prize amounts, you want to use “Stars and Scrubs”. Just because those are strategies you learned playing season-long leagues does not mean you forget them in your daily leagues. Synergize your daily and yearly knowledge to make yourself a better owner in both types of leagues.