The snow is melting, spring training is here and very soon we’ll be spending our days creating daily fantasy lineups, shuffling players in and out and sweating until our contests are over all in an effort to win some tournaments and make some cash on DraftKings and Fanduel.
This year I’m taking a different approach to daily fantasy baseball, and I’m putting a bigger emphasis on playing cash games (aka 50/50’s, double ups and triple ups) and taking a few shots on tournaments, but only a small percentage of my bankroll to minimize losses.
In daily fantasy, managing your bankroll is probably the most important thing you can do. You need to drive in a constant stream of income and not just go for the big tournament payouts. You need to play more cash games, take advantage of Fanduel and DraftKing’s promo codes and bonuses and build your bankroll as much as possible.
This off-season I’ve been breaking down the DraftKings scoring and I really get the impression that it’s much better to stick with solid, all around players on DraftKings and it’s better to play for the big home run swings on Fanduel because FD’s scoring seems to favor home runs over singles by a 4 to 1 margin whereas DK only favors them by 3.33 to 1, which doesn’t seem like a big deal but believe me it is.
So who should I be targeting in DraftKings? Well it all depends on salary, matchups, lefty/righty splits, BvP (although some pros would advise against it) but generally speaking you’re looking for guys who can not only get on base, but also drive in some runs. A guy like Ben Revere is great in your season long fantasy league but in daily fantasy he’s not going to do much at all unless he happens to steal 3-4 bases that day. Otherwise, I want nothing to do with him.
Obviously guys like Trout, McCutchen, Goldschmidt etc are ideal, but you can’t have them all so you’re looking for value here. When building a balanced lineup I prefer to drop down to a middle tier range and go after a guy like a Jacoby Ellsbury or Michael Brantley who not only hit for a high average and can swipe a few stolen bases, but can also drive in runs or put one over the fence now and again. In my cash games I’m looking to field as many of these guys as possible and as much as I love the top studs, I’m just not going to be able to afford it unless I can find a good sleeper.
For tournaments however I am absolutely swinging for the fences (pun very much intended). I want boom or bust guys like George Springer, Javier Baez, Mark Trumbo, etc who are more than capable of a 2-3 home run game and 6+ RBI’s in the process. Yes, these guys are probably more likely to fail most nights (except maybe Springer) but when you’re facing 10,000+ other people you are never going to win with a balanced lineup, it’s just never going to happen.
In these types of daily fantasy tournaments you just have to go all out and accept the fact that you’re going to lose more than you win, but when you win it’s going to be big. That’s why you need to offset by playing more cash games so you can bring in a steady in come by finishing in the top half of 50/50’s and maybe tripling up now and again.