It was only about a year ago that I began hearing about daily fantasy sports leagues. At first, I was skeptical because I didn’t know if the sites promoted were legitimate and wondered if they were paying out or not. See, I use to play online poker, and from one day to the next it was no longer allowed in the United States. After doing some extensive research I found my answers and I decided to join Draft Kings. It’s worth noting that daily league sites are completely legal in the United States and cash-outs are processed in a timely manner with no issues.
I played a couple of weeks, but really didn’t get too into it. I had cashed in a couple of tournaments but not nearly in as many as I thought I would. I’m a fantasy football writer and have been doing yearly leagues since 2004. Daily leagues were completely new to me. I’m use to snake drafts and this is more like an auction based draft. I knew in order to be profitable I’d have to do some research and apply my knowledge of season long leagues to daily league strategies. The approach is completely different.
During the offseason I listened to the sports radio, read articles, and looked up some strategies that I’m hoping will help my ROI this season. One thing I realized was that I mainly did big guarantee tournaments, which on any given weekend can have thousands of players. The variance for those tournaments is through the roof. What I hadn’t thought about was doing as many head-to-head and 50/50 tournaments as I should have, in order to reduce variance. Guarantees are great because if you’re able to wiggle through the large fields, you may find yourself cashing in a nice paycheck. However, when doing multiple big field tournaments, it would be a good idea to play a couple of head-to-head or 50/50 tournaments to reduce the variance.
Something else I didn’t consider, which should have been one of the first things, is managing the bankroll. Since I did more guaranteed tournaments than I would head-to-head tournaments, I’d cash in fewer tournaments than I would have. Most people want to be that guy that hits the big score and decide to play only the big guarantees. However, that burns through your bankroll faster than you can imagine. Game selection is very important and keeping in in mind that when you’re playing at the higher levels, you may be playing with people who know a bit more than you do. There are sites where you can view your opponent’s scores and how many tournaments they have done. This can give you a basic idea of how much experience your opponent has.
Like many of you, I’m learning the ropes of the daily leagues and this season I will be sharing my learning experience as I go. I’ll write a weekly update on how well I’m doing and what new things I’ve learned that week. Every day we learn something new, and I’m looking forward to making sure we all prosper in this rapidly growing industry together. Until next week!