How to choose the right DFS contest
We are not trading securities on the Stock Exchange, but the principles of risk that apply to trading stocks also apply in choosing the right Hockey DFS contest. Choosing a DFS contest is deciding what kind of risk you will take on. The roster you build should be dependent on risk level of the contest you’re playing.
If you don’t enter a balanced portfolio of games, you leave yourself open to the risk of making very little money, or busting out quickly. The risk associated with each contest you enter should influence the personnel decisions you make with your roster. A balanced risk portfolio can let you steadily increase your bankroll, while still taking some shots at big money.
Let’s look at 50/50s and Head to Heads contests. In these contests the winners basically double their investment minus the 10% or so that the hosting sight keeps for administrative fees and profit. You will need to win 53% or better on all cash games to make a profit. If you’re playing cash games, you want to roster players that consistently produce and stay away from boom/bust players. You only need to finish in the top half so there is no need to take unnecessary risks.
Tournaments (and 3-100 Players)
Tournaments are high risk, but more risk means more reward. You must be mindful that very few people win on a nightly basis and that means each tournament entry is more likely to lose than win. You may have to lose quite a few before you win one. Even if you finish in the money, you will have to finish towards the very top to get in the big money. That said, when you win a tournament style game, you pay for a lot of losses. You have to place high in a tournament if you want to win big, but you have to play smart if you want to keep from going broke.
Decision making with this kind of risk/reward structure calls for more extreme decisions. Paying for an elite player means you need a LOT of production from all of your value bets, and even then, you may not win. You’re much more likely to find success taking a cheap player in a good situations and hoping for lightning in a bottle.
Multipliers are the in-between games. Double Ups are like 50/50s, with two minor but important tweaks; you make what you invest, but the cutoff for cashing out is the top 45% contestants instead of the top 50%, like it is in 50/50s. That little bit matters, but mathematically it means your risks are about the same as with 50/50s. Each of the other Multipliers provide higher payouts as their names suggest (Triple Up, Quadruple Up, Quintuple Up), but fewer people finish in the money as the payouts increase. The higher the payout, the more these games start to function like Tournaments.
Spread your exposure
You may want to play a couple Multipliers games in lieu of 50/50s. Your entries should still consist of at least half of your money entered in cash games or Double Ups.
For example, a well-structured investment on a $20 budget may consist of six $2 – 50/50s, a $2 Double Up, a $2 Quadruple Up, a $2 3-100 Players contest, and a $2 tournament. That gives you a good balance of low risk/low reward with high risk/high reward games. Just remember to develop at least two rosters: one for the safe games, and one for the higher risk/reward games. That will give you the ability to stick around for a while, profit as you learn, and strike gold when it all comes together for you.
Lastly, our DKL pros have pointed out that you should take less risk early in the season and play more cash games. As the season progresses we will have more relevant statistical data to help you make more informed roster decisions. It’s difficult to take good calculated risks with last year’s data.
If you want to play the traditional version of daily fantasy football this week, you can. The talent pool s smaller with just two games going on, but you can do it. But if you are up for a little change, but not too much, then you may want to give FanDuel’s Super Flex game a try.
You still choose a QB and two RBs, but then you only go with two WRs, a TE, a Flex, and a Super Flex (1.5X points). Yep—no defense.
Sound interesting? Well, then, let’s build a roster!
Conference Championship Sunday Roster Suggestions—Super Flex
Let’s give it a try. Here goes nothing!
- QBs: You might think Patrick Mahomes would be the obvious choice here, but I am going with Jimmy Garoppolo ($8200). He should have a decent game, and I can use Mahomes elsewhere.
- Super Flex: Patrick Mahomes is a must-start here ($10,400). He is most likely to go off, so if you are going to get 1.5X points for someone, he’s the one you want.
Of course, this leaves me with just $41,400. So, there is little room for error and a need for bargains.
- RBs: But my RB1 is not going to be a bargain—Derrick Henry ($9800). With close to 200 yards against two of the better run defenses in the league, he should be in for another against the Chiefs lackluster run defense.
That means I do need to save some money with my next pick—Raheem Mostert ($5800). He didn’t get much work last week, but he was the man for the 49ers down the stretch in the regular season.
So, that leaves me with $25800 with four players to go. This is going to be tough. To get the best guys possible I may need to sacrifice my Flex.
- WRs: Davante Adams ($8300) and Tyreek Hill ($7400) are hands down the best guys on the board and hard to pass up. They’ll seriously deplete my funds, but I think it will be worth it.
- TE: Jonnu Smith ($5600) had some productive games during the season. Hopefully, he can have another Sunday.
- Flex: With only $4500 to spend the best possible option I can see is Byron Pringle. KC used him earlier in the season and he did well. So, maybe I’ll get lucky and they will throw a few his way Sunday.