In many ways, Daily Fantasy Sports (or DFS for short) was built for baseball fans. With the vast majority of teams active on the vast majority of dates throughout the season, those with a deep knowledge of the game will be able to assemble winning teams all year long.
The learning curve is nothing to be afraid of, and you’ll be competing for cash immediately. In this article, I’ll go over the top 5 things you need to know when assembling your MLB daily fantasy roster.
1. Look at Matchups
Not to oversimplify things, but fantasy baseball of any type is all about matchups. Most notably, the pitcher vs. hitter matchups. It’s important to not just rely on how players are performing in their current season, but also take the time to look back and see if there’s any notable history between players.
Baseball is a game of trends and tendencies. Statistic nerds (I use that term with endearment) will be able to give you the most in-depth SABRmetrics which supposedly clue you in to critical information that can help players and managers adjust strategies to give them the best (statistically) possible chance to win.
Though they might feel a bit unnecessary at times, there is a great deal of insight to be gained if you take the time to explore the player vs. pitcher advanced stats. One thing is certain: at least some of your competitors in the contest you’ve chosen will be looking at the numbers – if you aren’t doing your homework also, you’ll be falling behind.
2. Look for Streaks
Over the course of a 162-game marathon of a regular season, it’s human nature to go through ups and downs, especially with something as difficult as hitting MLB pitching. Whereas you might not want streak-y player on your favorite team, they can be a great asset for fantasy rosters.
Some DFS players might ask, “How do I keep up with all the ongoing streaks throughout the league with so many games and players to keep track of?” This is valid, but with various “splits” sorting options on stat websites, it’s actually not as difficult as you might think.
This philosophy works for pitchers as well as hitters, and should be taken into account when selecting every member of your team. Sometimes it can be better to pick a relatively unknown player who’s in the middle of a hot streak than to choose a proven veteran who has been slumping over the course of a week or two.
Daily fantasy will built for the “hot” player, and you should recognize this before drafting your roster, not just in MLB, but in all DFS contests.
3. Wait Until Close to Game Time to Lock In Your Roster
Nothing is worse than submitting your lineup only to find out that some of your key contributors were late scratches. The best way to avoid running into this issue (which is inevitable over the course of a 162-game season)?
Yes, I understand that there will be lineup submissions that can’t wait until the evening because one or more players are involved in an afternoon game. If you find yourself in this situation, there’s really not much you can do about it besides double check to make sure your other players are good to go for the night games.
4. Check Stats Daily
It’s tedious to keep a constant eye on players’ stats from around the league, but if you’re serious about having real success with daily fantasy contests, it’s going to separate you from the rest of the pack.
I’m not saying you necessarily need to memorize every player’s batting average, the ERA of each starter on a staff, or how many stolen bases and utility player has – rather I’m saying that you should get comfortable with accessing this information quickly.
Whether you’re talking about:
- Sports Betting
- Financial Investments
- Or a range of other subjects
The main barrier that stands between being knowledgeable or not is knowing where to get the data. Most people aren’t going to struggle through the search to find these crucial numbers, but if they’re readily available, that barrier is largely removed.
If you’re new to the world of DFS, you’ll quickly discover that just like regular season-long fantasy sports, the more work you put in, the better outcomes you’ll see. It sounds simple, but when the margins between success and failure are so slim, every extra “edge” you can get matters.
5. Practice Proper Bankroll Management
If you’re new to sports betting, I hope this lesson will sink in quickly – the first step in establishing a winning gambling strategy, whether it’s daily fantasy, traditional sports betting, or even casino games, is setting up a functional bankroll.
For those who might not be familiar with the term, your bankroll refers to the pool of money you’ve set aside specifically to be used for betting.
Once you’ve set aside this amount of money, your next step should be to determine a percentage range (percentage of your total bankroll) between which you’ll bet. For example, if you have a $1,000 bankroll, you might decide you’ll only bet between 2% and 5% on any one play. Meaning you won’t make any bets where you risk less than $20, and you won’t make any bets where you risk more than $50.
When it comes to DFS bankrolls specifically, there are a few differences that should be noted. These apply only to daily fantasy sports and might not be relevant to other forms of gambling.
The reason why it’s a good idea to split up your bankrolls if you’re playing different contests is that you can readily see where you’re having success, and where you might need to spend some time improving.
Keep in mind that bankroll considerations aren’t the same for everyone. If you’re simply playing DFS to enjoy the games, it might not be as important to you. However, if you’re playing to make money, it’s an absolutely necessity to have a fully-functioning bankroll that you update regularly.
Those who have enjoyed betting on sports in the traditional way might be hesitant to try DFS at first, but it won’t take long to get hooked on this modern hybrid of fantasy sports and gambling.
It might be only a few who win life-changing money on DFS platforms, but in a low-risk situation, you simply can’t beat the opportunity. Baseball can be a grind (even for those who love the game), and DFS keeps things interesting night in and night out.