Dfs Strategy

DFS Strategy: Monitoring Trends and Statistic Analysis

Any person’s daily fantasy sports approach should include both the observation of trends and the evaluation of statistical data. Fortunately, nobody who despises statistics indulges in this pastime. After all, daily fantasy sports are all about statistics.

We provide a general overview of trend-following techniques and statistical analysis techniques that can influence winning percentages and profitability on this page.

Keeping Track of Your Own Stats

The majority of readers on this page are likely seeking guidance on how to evaluate trends and data for various sports.

Tracking your personal statistics is where you should begin, but we’ll get to that. You’re bound to failure if you can’t keep up with your own financial records.

We once devoured a fantastic poker book. Only one useful tip from the book stuck with us, but it completely altered the way we thought.

Serious gamers monitor their outcomes.

It was like a lightbulb went off. One adjustment can transform you from a novice fish to a formidable competitor.

Anybody’s game will be much improved by making that tweak and monitoring the outcomes.

Fantasy sports are the same way. Track your results if you intend to play seriously. This is why.

The secret to constantly making money is to make forecasts based on your theories. Players can feel confident in their theories when such predictions come true. Increased success raises a player’s level of confidence.

Most websites make it simple to acquire data. The majority of significant daily fantasy sports services give you the opportunity to download your whole history. The following information is typically included in the spreadsheet they offer.

  • which contests you participated in.
  • what a good job you did.
  • what the score was.
  • the prize money.
  • the cost of the entrance fee.

These statistics are useful to us in a variety of ways.

average results

The only way to determine whether we are gradually improving over time is to track our average scores. This improvement eventually plateaus, but everyone should continue to strive for improvement.

But keep in mind that modifying the rules may have an impact on results.

Sites alter their salary ceilings and grading methodologies. The statistics also change when they do.

Gain Ratios

The win rate is a more crucial number to monitor. We enjoy participating in a lot of head-to-head and 50/50 games. We’ll even participate in a lot of low-buy-in tournaments to test the strength of our squads. Anything can happen in a single game, but statistical precision begins to emerge when you examine the outcomes of 100 or 200 games every day (or per week, in football).

You must be doing something incorrectly if your scores are constantly in the bottom half of the field. Work things out. Change your drafting approach until you begin to win more games on a regular basis. The winning rate for break-even players in daily fantasy sports is 55.56%. Make that your primary objective.

Profit from Investment

It’s a prevalent misperception that in order to track return on investment, one must be winning. That can’t be right. Even losers get a return on investment, albeit a poor one.

The math is straightforward because there is only one calculation to make.

Total Amount Invested / Net Profit or Loss

It is then necessary to convert the result into a percentage.

Here is one instance.

  • One person enters 72 competitions with a $1 buy-in.
  • They have made a total investment of $72 (72 x $1).
  • Each time they win a contest, they receive $1.80.
  • (37 x $1.80) Their total return is $66.60.
  • They lose $5.40 ($66.60 – $72) in net income.
  • $5.40/$72 = 7.5%

This person loses money overall. His return on investment, which is -7.5%, is therefore negative.

He will be making progress if this week’s overall figure falls to -5%. On the other side, if it increases to 8% or 9%, he isn’t acting correctly. Or perhaps he’s simply been fortunate or unfortunate.

When examining statistics, everyone should bear that in mind as well. Anything can happen in the near future. The sample size is small—only 72 contests. Before looking at outcomes from 1,000+ games, you are not looking at any form of statistical correctness.

Why Overlays Are Important

An overlay occurs when the prize pool’s value exceeds what the players have contributed. Here’s how it functions.

Guaranteed prize pools for daily fantasy sports competitions don’t always “full up.” Sites assume a certain volume of participants, but when not enough do, the site makes up the shortfall. Here is one instance.

  • The $50k Sun NFL Bomb is a future game on FanDuel.
  • The entry fee is $25, and there are $50,000 in prizes up for grabs.
  • In this one, the top 472 players receive cash prizes.
  • The website anticipates receiving 2298 entries.
  • This will pay for both the prize fund and the website’s earnings.
  • Only $37,500 will be received by the website if only 1500 persons register for the competition.
  • The site is going to cover the remaining $12,500.
  • Poker players refer it that additional $12,500 as “dead money.”

Calculating the actual value of an overlay for you is simple. Divide the overlay’s cost by the actual number of participants. Over and above their entry fee, that is the total amount of ownership each participant owns in the competition. The overlay in this instance is worth $8.33 per person.

A player’s upside improves when he continually places himself in overlay scenarios. If everyone in the contest has the same level of talent as in the aforementioned scenario, his chances of winning are 472/2298, or roughly 20.5%. However, his odds of winning in this overlay scenario rise to 472/1500, or roughly 31.5%.

What a significant difference.

Projecting Fantasy Points for Players

The majority of readers are likely more curious to learn how to project players’ points using statistics and trends. In actuality, that’s also a crucial component of strategy.

When making a projection, consider several statistics. For starters, you need to know how many points a player typically scores regardless of the level of competition. That can be calculated as a long-term average, but doing so requires both art and science—especially for new players who don’t have a lot of prior experience.

Consider the player’s competitors as well. A player is likely to score less than average when playing against a strong opponent. On the other hand, he will likely score more points than you might anticipate if his opponent is inferior.

Your forecasts are determined by these two variables, but a third one, variance, affects the player’s actual score.

A player may perform better or worse than anticipated in any specific game. That is how arbitrary the game is. The good news is that this variation only has a temporary impact. While tomorrow’s game will be affected, if your calculations are accurate, your projections will eventually start to resemble the averages across a large number of games.

Where did you acquire these figures from?

Historical information is one place to start. You can obtain an indication of what to anticipate in some sports, like baseball, by looking at an average player’s performance during the previous 50 or so games. Because there are so few football games each season, you have to consider the competition in those historical games while analyzing other sports, like football.

The sportsbooks in Las Vegas are another source of information. You can predict each team’s overall performance in terms of points if you know the point spread for the game and who the favorite is. You can determine how an individual’s performance may be impacted by the strength of their competitors by adding this information to the team’s playing style.

Numerous websites predict how each player will do in a specific game. You can utilize those websites as a starting point, but you should base your judgments on your own well-informed judgment. Otherwise, you won’t be able to gain a competitive advantage over other players who are also accessing those sites for research.

Here is one instance.

  • The batting averages for each player this season are available on ESPN.
  • You’re debating whether to select Bryce Harper or Miguel Cabrera.
  • The batting average of Cabrera is marginally higher (.361 vs..331).
  • Cabrera gets paid $4800 annually. He is taking on Cleveland.
  • $4600 is Bryce Harper’s annual pay. He is taking on Atlanta.
  • But Harper is up against Julio Teheran. He can throw hard.
  • In contrast, Cabrera is up against Kyle Lobstein.
  • Although he’s not a bad pitcher, Teheran is far more powerful.

Statistically, Cabrera and Harper are roughly on par in this situation. Although Cabrera is marginally superior, he also costs marginally more, making it difficult to choose solely on the basis of value.

However, Cabrera is a no-brainer because he’s up against the inferior pitcher.

Players Never Expire

Another thing to keep in mind is that just because a player performed poorly in a previous game or games doesn’t mean they are entitled to a good game. By the same token, just because a player is on a losing streak doesn’t imply that he’s a bad choice.

Don’t count on variance to help you make your predictions.

Variance is just the level of randomness in the game. Over time, players are going to perform in a statistically predictable manner. But narrowing that down into how a player is going to do in a specific game is folly.

On the other hand, situations can change what you expect.

Here is one instance.

An NFL team suffers a humiliating loss on the road. This week, they’re playing at home versus a reasonably weak opponent. They have something to prove. Their home game advantage takes some of this into consideration, but not the “something to prove” part.

One might use this data to inform his decision on whether or not to take that team’s RB1 versus another team’s.

These are the kinds of situations which take into account player psychology. They’re not the same thing as assuming that a team is due for a win because they lost last week.


Statistics, trends, and data should drive all your decisions in daily fantasy sports. The most important statistics to analyze, though, are the ones related to your own performance. But don’t stop there.

You can find any number of sites which provide statistical data on individual players. Don’t be a slave to those sites, but use that data to make informed decisions.

When you project points, you’re looking at how well a player would be expected to do on average. Then you factor in the player’s opponents.

Don’t stress out too much about variance, though. For one thing, variance is unavoidable. For another, over time, it won’t matter—variance is a short term problem. You’re in it for the long term.

Finally, don’t make the mistake of thinking that a player is somehow “due” to have a good night. Situational expectations are one thing, but variance doesn’t change the odds of someone having an exceptionally good or poor game.

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