Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Strategies & Tips to Win Money

sportsdfs1Daily Fantasy Sports are one of the fastest growing competitive and social forms of betting. Basically, the way that it works is you are given a $60,000 salary cap to select the players for your virtual sporting team. You then pit your team against other players and the best team wins.

Better players cost more, much like they would in real life, and in essence you take on the role of a GM and build team to get the most value out of your players.

Those players accumulate stats in real life, and whatever they do in their game that day contributes to your score. It is available to play on a wide range of sports like basketball, soccer, American football, AFL, NRL and more.

Let’s take an NBA match for example. Based on the Moneyball scoring:

  • Point = 1
  • Rebound = 1.2
  • Assist = 1.5
  • Steal = 2
  • Block = 2
  • Turnover = -1

So if you choose Kevin Durant and he scores 34 pts, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block, and he turns the ball over 3 times, your total will be 56.5 points!

Your lineup will have 9 players all together, and the scoring updates live while the matches are in-play. The main goal is to outscore the other people competing and win the prizemoney. Generally, the site will take a small commission, and the rest of the prizemoney is up for grabs.

There are various types of tournaments that you can enter: Head to Head, Double-Up, or All-In tournaments. Let’s look at the types of tournaments and how your strategy may vary for each:

Head to Head

It’s you versus 1 opponent. Mano-a-mano. Putting your skills to the test like a modern-day gladiator of statistical prowess!

So how will a head to head differ from a major tournament? Well there are a few ways of looking at the players that you choose:

  • Floor: What is the absolute worst you could expect out of the player?
  • Ceiling: What is the absolute best you could expect out of the player?
  • Average: What is the most likely score you can expect from the player?

In a Head to Head matchup, you want to choose safe options with high floor and reliable scoring. There’s no need to swing for the fences the way that you would in a larger tournament. When looking at the Moneyball website, there are tools to help you select the right player for your team. For instance when you click on a player, it will show you their average score per game for the season, their recent form, and you can click on Game Log to see what they’ve done in recent games:

DeMarcus Cousins statistics on Moneyball.com


In this example above, DeMarcus Cousins costs $11,600 which is a huge chunk, almost 20% of your total salary cap.

On the plus side, when you pick a superstar player you are pretty much guaranteed to get a high total, but you then need to scrimp and save a bit and try to be crafty for the rest of your lineup. Plus, if he has an off game, you’re pretty much done. Looking at his Game Log we can see a good example of this:

DeMarcus Cousins game log on Moneyball.com


Over the last 5 games, Cousins has averaged 56.24 Fantasy Points, with a few whoppers in there too. His 75.4 point outing is pretty much the peak of what you can expect from any player, so people that started him that day would have cleaned up.

However, those that picked him just one day later would have been completely smashed because such a large portion of their cap space went on a guy that scored 27.0 points. Not a total disaster, but when guys like Roy Hibbert get 22.0 points on the same day for just $4,000 off your salary cap it doesn’t represent good value.

To win a Head to Head matchup you should aim to get at least 300 points for your team for the day.

All-In Tournaments

One of the most fun things about playing DFS is the chance to win the big bucks off just a few dollars’ entry fee. Moneyball routinely gives away prizes that go above $8,000 to $10,000. It isn’t easy but recently a friend of mine finished top of a large tournament. His score for the day was over 380 points, and all of his low-end players managed to score between 30-35 points as well, which just shows how perfectly you need things to go your way to take the top prize.

In a large tournament, you can’t afford to play it safe. You need to look at the ceiling of every player you select and try to gain as large of a total as possible. It’s good to read Rotoworld.com and check for player injuries, and also look at the depth chart to see who will get the nod as the starter in their place – this is a great way to find value picks that exceed expectations.

You may also want to look at who is a popular selection, and weigh up whether it is worthwhile avoiding that player. For instance, if 90% of teams start Anthony Davis, and he has an off game or gets injured, then you would automatically find yourself in the top 10% of teams.

Generally, the best way to approach DFS is…

The best approach is to grind out a profit, and look at it as a cheap source of entertainment where you have a chance to win big. Make the Head to Head and Double Up tournaments your bread and butter and try and win these tournaments 65-70+% of the time, and then use those winnings to fund your shot at the high-end tournaments.

If you enjoy fantasy leagues, DFS is a natural progression. It takes the excitement of a season-long or week-long league and condenses it down to a single day so that you get instant rewards. If you don’t see anything that jumps out at you as being good value, you don’t have to enter on those days so for people that don’t want to commit to setting a lineup every day for a whole season, this is the perfect solution.

To get started, visit www.moneyball.com.au and have a try at a few of the $2 tournaments while you get the hang of it.
While you’re here, complete the Sport Survey and go into monthly prize draws to win tickets to the biggest sporting events in Australia. Best of luck!