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Introduction To Daily Fantasy Sports

An introduction to daily fantasy sports. The new wave of the industry.

Harry How

The fantasy sports industry is changing.  We are entering a new era where players can play in daily leagues online for large amounts of cash.  Since I will be covering daily fantasy for FakeTeams, I thought I would write an introduction for it.   Consider this your daily fantasy bible.

The Concept Of Daily Fantasy

It really couldn't be much simpler.  DFS takes your traditional points leagues, and compresses it in to a one-day league.  You are given a salary cap and you build a new team daily.  There are a few different formats in which you can play which is appealing to almost every fantasy player.

Different Strokes For Different Folks

Here I will give a short description on different type DFS leagues you can play.

Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPP's) - GPP's are essentially tournaments in which you will be going up against at least three hundred other competitors.  Some sites have prize pools that reach a million dollars.  Though winning is difficult, you are still more likely to win a GPP than the lottery.

50/50 - 50/50 games are the best way to build your bankroll.  In a nutshell the top 50 percent of finishers win double their entry.  For instance you enter a competition with twenty other players for $10, you finish in the top 10, you win double your money.

H2H - Head to head is the same as your traditional head to head competition.  You play against an opponent, whomever ends up with the most point's wins. Most sites allow free H2H, so it's a great way to practice strategies.


There is no correct formula to DFS, but strategies are always helpful to gain a competitive advantage.  Here are some strategies you should consider using.

Stacks - Building player stacks is a good way to approach tournaments.  For baseball to build a stack you would need to identify a strong offensive lineup going up against a weak starting pitcher.  Lets say Brandon McCarthy a weak right handed pitcher goes to Colorado to face the Rockies.  In this case you would load your lineup with left-handed bats from the Rockies lineup.

Playing the lines - A good way to forecast runs in a game is checking the daily lines in Las Vegas. Things to look for batters: high over/under run totals.  Things to look for pitchers: low over/under run totals, and lowest money line offered.  Generally run totals are around 7.5, so if you see anything above nine, it will be a game you should consider taking hitters from.  In contradiction if you see a run total fewer than 7.5, you should consider drafting the pitcher with the higher upside.

Punting - Given you have a $50,000 budget on most sites, sometimes its wise to punt a position.  Like in your regular fantasy leagues, catcher is always a good position to punt.  You can always find value at that position and it creates cap relief in the process.

Hot/Cold - In sports there is no better saying then "What have you done for me lately".  This should be embedded in your mind any time you are making selections for your roster.  There is no point in chasing dingers from a player who isn't hitting his weight recently.  Stay away from cold hitters, you will thank me later.


Research is crucial for DFS.  There are many factors that you should consider when assembling a team.  Here are a few things I look at when selecting players.

Ballpark - If I'm selecting hitters, one thing I look at is where they are playing.  I am more likely to take a hitter playing in Yankee Stadium than a player playing at Petco Park in San Diego.  On the flipside you should always look for pitchers who are playing in pitcher friendly parks.

Weather - There is nothing worse than having a player on your roster get rained out.  Always check the weather conditions for all games before building a lineup.  I can't stress this enough.

Daily lineups - Weather isn't the only way you can have a dead roster spot.  Players take days off - they are human after all.  Check daily lineups at least an hour before first pitch.

History - History repeats itself.  Always look for hitters that do well against opposing pitchers, and vice versa.  For instance if the Arizona Diamondbacks are playing the San Francisco Giants, and Tim Lincecum is pitching then Paul Goldschmidt should be slotted in at first base.  A great place to find previous batter vs. pitcher statistics is

Twitter - Twitter is a very resourceful tool if you use it right.  There is a world of information there beyond following your favorite model or actress.  Follow teams for up to date news about injuries, daily lineups, and role changes.

As you can see DFS is quite simple.  Like anything in life practice makes perfect.  Don't get scared off if you aren't successful at the start.  Consider this the FakeTeams DFS bible.  Bookmark it, favorite it, study it.

I will start posting daily plays and strategies on here.  My goal will be help you and I win some cash.  If you have any roster questions feel free to ask me at any time.