With the preseason in full swing, it is finally time for football to consume every waking hour of my day.
Not only am I going to continue to provide season-long fantasy analysis, like my updated big board or positional sleepers, but also daily fantasy advice. With Week 1 prices already up, it is time to get the daily fantasy machine fired up!
It wasn’t that long ago that every commercial on Sundays was for Daily Fantasy Sports. Whether it was the ever-changing strategy, working within a budget to set a lineup, or following new and developing trends to invest and take advantage of new markets, I’ve been hooked ever since.
Season-long fantasy is like a mutual fund, while Daily Fantasy Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) style tournaments are like Bitcoin. We start at the bottom and launch ourselves up and Week 1 is the most fascinating of them all, balancing excitement with countless unknowns.
The prices for the players get released several weeks before the regular season begins, and as we know, a lot can happen in those weeks.
Le'veon Bell was $9,000 Week 1 last year. Golden Tate ($4,800) is already out due to suspension. We have to dodge the over-valued ‘stars’ and find the under-valued ‘boring’ players to invest in.
We zag, while others zig.
I will be focusing on DraftKings (DK) prices this year, so please note that a player I like on DK is not necessarily a good play on FanDuel (FD) or other DFS sites due to the different pricing algorithms. It's still too early to finalize our Week 1 GPP lineups, but we can dive into the trends that will help us this season and start our lineup construction.
1. Vegas is our friend.
It's not often we get to say this, but in this very specific case, it's true. As long as we're not at the tables or walking around in the 100+ degree heat, but rather using their over/under point totals and spreads to help construct lineups. This is huge in making your season-long fantasy lineups as well.
Follow. The. Points.
Finding the shootouts that are projected to be nail-biters means a lot of points from both sides. A.k.a. where we want to spend most of our money. Looking at the Week 1 matchups, a couple games jump off the page: Chiefs vs. Jaguars (Chiefs -3.5, T: 52.5) and 49ers vs. Buccaneers (Bucs -1.0, T:49.5).
2. Find a stack.
Now that we have some games to target, we want to find a stack. This means pairing a QB with a receiving RB, WR or TE on the same team. This is crucial to jump up the leaderboard when a big play by those two players are made. A Jameis Winston ($6,600) and Mike Evans ($7,900) or Patrick Mahomes ($7,200) and Travis Kelce ($7,100) stack would be a great place to start.
3. Running it back.
Another key factor of the stack is 'running it back' with a high-ceiling, deep ball threat, wide receiver on the opposing team.
For example, if the Chiefs get ahead, the Jaguars will start throwing the ball more to catch up. This pace of play will favor the top deep-threat wideout and/or number one option on the trailing team. In this case, investing in Dede Westbrook aligns with us looking at high Vegas projected point totals (52.5), creating a positive ROI on his $4,800 price.
For GPP contests, at least 33% of our team will come from the stack and 'running it back.' See below for a couple examples of this strategy:
According to Adam Levitan’s article Fantasy Football Preview: Winning Fantasy Millionaire Strategy, 79% of winners of the The Fantasy Football Millionaire tournament on DraftKings last year used a QB Stack. The correlation jumps off the page and makes sense for GPP winners because we get touchdowns for both the QB and receiver.
All jokes aside, I can’t wait for the season to get started. Later this week I’ll follow up with my DFS lineup for week one so stay tuned!