What Games Should I Be Playing on FanDuel and DraftKings?
This is probably the question we get the most on TDA, and yet we have never really written a post to reference back to, so here it goes. Let’s start with a basic understanding of the two types of games this article will discuss:
Cash Contests: Cash games consists of non-guaranteed prize pool contests with a prize pool determined by the number of entries, and predetermined odds. These include 50/50’s, Head-to-Head contests, Double-Ups, Triple-Ups, etc…
GPP Contests: GPP stands for Guaranteed Prize Pool, so this includes you various tournaments such as the Monster, Grand Slam, etc… on FanDuel as well, of course, as the Millionaire Maker on DraftKings.
Playing Odds and Scoring
The obvious point that we should start with is that you will always have better odds in cash games. Even a triple-up contest will give you 12-15% better odds than even the most generous GPP events. 50/50’s and head-to-head contests always have the best odds, and are the absolute best spot for new players to cut their teeth.
One comment I have heard a lot of is from guys that say they would rather lose the 30% chance of winning to gain the chance of winning big money, but this isn’t as black and white as you might think. First off GPP’s have a top-heavy pay scale, meaning the top 5% will win a ‘significant’ amount of money (greater than 3x entry). So, even if you finish in the money on a GPP, you are likely to simply double your entry.
The second point I will make about GPP odds is that due to the shear number of entries, your target score to finish in the money moves a lot higher. These numbers move week to week, but let’s assume the average NFL cash game score needed to win is around 100-110 points, to finish in the money in a GPP you would need to score around 160-180 points. That is a nearly 40% increase!
So to recap, if you plan on focusing on GPP events your chance of winning is going to decrease by 30% or more, and you are going to need to score 40% more points to do so… but wait there is more.
Multi Entry Players
To me the most significant issue facing Daily Fantasy Sports and new players to DFS is unlimited entries in GPP tournaments. You have guys spending as much as $25,000 on entries in hopes of winning $1 Million. So, if you have a well thought out lineup, odds are they have several variations of the same lineup.
There are layers to this issue, and I believe the threat to the DFS industry is turning into online poker, bending rules around a select group of players. The truth is lawmakers have determined fantasy sports is a game of skill, but if they fully understood how guys are gaming these unlimited entry GPP’s, spending tens of thousands of dollars, and ruining the odds for 98% of the players competing in the tournament they would have no problem stripping that label and outlawing DFS altogether.
At any rate, I think there are solutions for the everyday player that isn’t looking to retire off their fantasy winnings, and that is to almost exclusively compete in single-entry cash games and tournaments. Both DraftKings and FanDuel offer a ton of these games each day/week, and if you still want to compete in the big tournaments, you can take your best one or two lineups and do so.
Come Up With a Game Plan and Stick To It
I have done a ton of videos and articles on the strategy that I use to determine which contests I enter on FanDuel and DraftKings, but for those that aren’t familiar with my strategy, here is a basic rundown of what I recommend new users do:
- Create your lineups – Base the number of lineups you use this week off of your feel for the matchups as well as the size of your bankroll. Try to keep 20% or less of your money in play each week. So if you only have $100 in your account, you are only going to use $20 of it, you probably shouldn’t have more than 1 or 2 lineups.
- Use a 90/10 ratio of cash/GPP contests – Let’s say you are putting $100 into play this week, I would likely enter $90 worth of $1,$2,$5 50/50’s, and then put my best 2 lineups into $10 worth of GPP’s.
- Build your bankroll, but stick to the plan – As you develop your strategy and win more and more, your bankroll will increase and you will not only be able to enter more GPP events, but will have developed a strategy capable of potentially winning a GPP tournament. While having a great week and only winning $30 may not be appealing at first, let that snowball for a few weeks and by mid season your $100 account will be worth more than $800 by midseason.
The key to winning consistently in DFS is staying conservative and sticking to a game plan based around primarily playing cash games while mixing in the occasional GPP event.