Armando Marsal

Fantasy Writer

@Armando_fbguru on twitter



In recent weeks I’ve spoken to several people in some of my yearly leagues, and most of them are still skeptical about daily leagues for some reason. I began thinking and realized, I was too last year when I was first exposed to it, but that was only because I wasn’t familiar with it and was comfortable in my fantasy football leagues. See, when you join yearly leagues, the biggest decisions are mainly the league settings and format. Are you going to join a PPR or Standard League? Will it be a keeper league, dynasty or redraft? Is it a two-quarterback league? Will it have a super flex? Will it be snake draft or auction? Once you have the figured out, then you can begin preparing for your draft. For the most part, those are the options you have in yearly leagues.

In daily leagues you have cash games and guaranteed prize pools, or what is known GPPs. In cash games you’ll find head-to-head matches, 50/50s, and multipliers. I mainly play 50/50s when it comes to cash games. For the most part, GPPs are guaranteed prize pools that attract many players, whether it’s a qualifier or just a set guarantee. Much like in poker, there is less variance in cash games than there is in tournaments. When playing daily leagues you should have the same mentality. Both games are approached differently, even though they are very similar.

When you’re playing cash games in daily leagues, the most optimal approach is to have solid pieces throughout your lineup. Of course there are no guarantees, but selecting players that are generally consistent is the best way to go. See, when you play 50/50s all you have to do is get through half of the field. Say there’s 200 players in a 50/50 tournament; first place and 100th place get the same amount of money. So contrarian plays or getting cute isn’t really necessary. As long as you have a balanced team filled with consistent players, you should be golden. I also believe that the bigger the field you play for cash games such as the 50/50s the better of a shot you have at cashing. That’s why these new largest 50/50 tournaments are a must if you’re grinding daily cash games. If you’re successful in cash games, you can build a nice bankroll to fire up some GPPs.

Unlike cash games, GPPs are top heavy. Basically everyone is playing for first place and not just to get by half the field. Of course, finishing in the top 10 or so is usually a good pay day as well. So this approach is a bit different. In these tournaments you’re looking for that hidden gem, you’re looking to hit gin on a player most wouldn’t be starting. In essence you’re swinging for the fence. This is a high variance option, and don’t get me wrong, I know several people that strictly play GPPs and very are successful, but it’s still high variance. Think about it, in the Sunday Millionaire Maker there are 92,400 players on any given week. Only one of those participants will be a millionaire. When setting up these lineups you’ll often hear the word contrarian being tossed around. I’ve spoken about this before so I won’t dwell on it much, but in a nutshell, contrarian plays are important, but not always necessary. When you are considering a player that you think will not be used a high percentage, be smart about it and use someone that has had some prior productivity or is in line to have a big game. These lineups usually have stacks between a quarterback and a wide receiver or tight end in some cases. You’ll notice that in this lineup you may have someone that has a super high ceiling but also somewhat low floor.

As you can see, both games are the same in the sense that you have to create a lineup using the same format and settings, but the players chosen are normally different. For those who play cards, this would be finding a “spot” to get it all in. Sometimes you’ll step into a mine and it blows up in your face, while at other times you’ll make the right move. If you’re trying to build a bankroll and grind it out, my advice would be to play cash and mix in some GPPs so long as it’s not affecting your bankroll. Daily’s is a good way to make money on a weekly basis and it is a good way to escape some of the luck involved in yearly leagues, especially when you focus on cash games.

By now I’m hoping that those who are still getting their feet wet have a better idea on daily leagues. Every week is a learning experience, and through my transition from yearly to daily I’ve learned a lot. I’m looking forward to continuing learning and improving my results, and in return help you do the same. Best of luck to all this week. Keep grinding!