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1654490cookie-checkYour ultimate guide to picking a winning daily fantasy sports line-up
28 October 2021

Your ultimate guide to picking a winning daily fantasy sports line-up

There’s no question that fantasy sports are big business in the US – and a business that’s got even bigger since the Supreme Court’s historic 2018 decision to legalize sports betting.

To put this into perspective, in 2019 fantasy sports were estimated to be worth over $18 billion worldwide and it’s projected to grow to over $48 billion by 2027.

While many players continue to take part in the season-long competitions, more and more are starting to choose the daily version.

The reasons are obvious. With daily fantasy games you can see the results, and enjoy your successes, that much more quickly. Depending on the sport, it can be the same day and it’s definitely never more than a week. So for anyone with a shorter attention span it makes for the perfect choice.

It also gives you the chance to jump between sports without being tied to any one in particular as you wait for the season to play out.

If you do decide to play daily fantasy sports, you’ll discover that many of the same principles apply when it comes to picking a winning line-up. You’ll find no end to the advice available online – and here are some of the key considerations.

Use your salary cap

The first point is also the most obvious. In all daily fantasy sports that have a salary cap like football, basketball and baseball it makes sense to spend as much of it as you possibly can. The real skill, however, is deciding how to split it up. For every superstar, and expensive, player you’re going to need several lower cost but dependable ones.

It’s a tricky balance to strike. But practice and experience will mean you’ll be able to fine-tune your teams more and more as you get into the daily fantasy games groove.

Don’t set your line-ups too soon

It can be tempting to plan well ahead for a game, but this is a mistake. Because choosing a successful team line-up relies on using all the data at your disposal, you could still be getting useful information right up to the last minute.

This will also give you time to consult all the expert online advice given by people have taken a really deep dive into all the relevant information. There’s every chance that this can produce some left-field picks that you might otherwise miss out on including in your team.

Devour the sports news

Of course, you’ll also be able to pick up a lot of information for yourself. So make sure you head for the sports pages on a daily basis. Read what the coaches and players are saying because the human stories behind sport can be just as important as the statistical data.

So, for example, an athlete may be interviewed explaining why an up-coming game is particularly important to them. That means they’ll be giving 110% when they play – and you could have a surprise and sure-fire pick on your hands.

Look at all the data . . .

Once you get into it, you’ll find that there are countless data sources that need to be taken on board. These range from information about a particular team’s or player’s odds to the results from previous meetings. Even the weather can play an important, especially when it comes to baseball.

So if you’re serious about winning in daily fantasy sports, you’re definitely going to have your work cut out if you want to stay on top of all the information that can influence the result.

. . . but go your own way too

Of course, if it was as simple as making logical decisions based on a set of known facts, everyone could be a winner. But it’s the quirks and unpredictability of sport that makes it so absorbing.

That means you should always leave room for your own hunches and opinions to play a part in team selection. After all, we all have favorite players who we’ll back whatever the evidence to the contrary. Also linked to this is the fact that following the crowd is seldom the best strategy. The real gains are there to be made by backing yourself and following your own instincts.

Fine-tune your strategy to suit the sport

Shock news – not all sports are the same! Different ones have greatly different variables and elements like home advantage, proneness to injury and momentum can have widely differing effects. Over time, you’ll also find that some sports like basketball are generally more predictable than others like football where all kinds of influences including personnel changes, game strategy and previous history between the teams can all have an effect. This means a far more nuanced and carefully thought-out approach is needed, as you’ll soon discover.

Pick the right kind of action

Different styles of fantasy sports players suit different kinds of action. The secret is picking the right one for you. This may be a large-pool, guaranteed tournament or even a head-to-head.

A good starting point is a 50/50 pool where the top 50% of players share in the prize money at the expense of the bottom 50%. It’s going to give you a reasonably good chance of winning, even if you’re a complete rookie.

Naturally, there’s a great deal more to learn about building a winning daily fantasy sports line-up, but hopefully these pointers have given you the basics. So now it’s time to start fine-tuning some teams of your own.

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