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Ideas for Improving Your Daily Fantasy Sports Skills

How To Improve In The DFS Arena

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Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is thrilling to participate in. Sweating your lineups every night is as exciting as the anticipation you feel when waiting for the river card to come off when you are involved in a huge pot. The element that makes daily fantasy sports so gripping is that sports are wildly unpredictable. When building your lineups in DFS, the line between making a correct decision and an incorrect one is very blurry. Within reason, I would argue that calling a decision correct or incorrect is arrogant and foolish. Even when it seems like the choice you should make is obvious, that may not be the case.

Spending a few hours contemplating and constructing a lineup and then having it all go to crap shortly after the game starts can be very frustrating, but the nights when it goes well make it all worth it. Every day I try to get a little better. Here are some ideas that can help you make the same progress.

Try Multiple Lineups

One of my favorite aspects of DFS is the freedom that is offered when it comes to making lineups and entering contests. You can create 50 lineups and enter them in 50 different head to head contests. You can also put those same 50 lineups into the same large guaranteed tournament (provided it allows multi-entry). Or you can create 50 additional different lineups and put those in a big tournament. You get the point.

This concept can really help you improve via trial and error. Imagine you’ve crafted a lineup that you like quite a bit and want to give it a go in some contests, but you just can’t decide on that last player or two. You can save the lineup and use it with one combination and then swap out two players for two new players and use that lineup as well.

This kind of hedging is something I do quite often in DFS when I have a close decision. This way, you don’t have to play the “what if” game. Or say you have two completely different concepts for how to create a lineup on a given night. You can try that too.

The ability to create multiple lineups strongly lends itself to you being able to come up with ideas of what may work, and then put those ideas to the test. For me, this is one of the strongest ways to learn and improve at DFS.

Other Players Lineups

Another great feature of DFS is the ability to see your opponents’ lineups once the games have started. Figuring out what others may have been thinking when constructing lineups can be a huge benefit. Being able to see these lineups can open your eyes to ideas that you may have not considered before. After playing DFS pretty much every day for a little over a year now, I’ve gotten a feel for who some of the better players are. Each day after the first games start and the lineups lock, I’ll peruse the lineups of some players who I believe are successful. I always try to use this time as a learning experience and try to figure out why they made the choices they made.

Studying what the best players do every day and trying to figure out why they play certain players can will improve your win rate. Was there a matchup that was particularly juicy that I missed out on? Why has he used this one particular player three times in the last week? Is he targeting a certain defense with offensive players facing that defense? These are the types of questions I ask myself when examining a great player’s DFS lineups.

As mentioned earlier, there are no foolproof ways to win at DFS. The nature of the game is that there is inherent luck involved. This means you can make a good decision and have it go completely sideways on you. Or you can make a questionable decision and come out smelling like roses.

The key is to try to make as many good decisions as you can. This is how you win in the long run at DFS. I try to use research, objective thought, ideas from opponents, and trial and error to improve my game and make the best choices I can make when building lineups. I know none of my choices will be hands down the right ones or be guaranteed to work. But nobody else’s will, either. Making choices that give you the best chance at a high scoring lineup is where the money is won.

Any questions? Find me on Twitter @IanJ300 and I’d be happy to give my best answer. Come back next week for more strategy talk.