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Daily Fantasy Football Beginner Tips

Winning at daily fantasy football league requires fantasy owners to be knowledgeable, cost-conscious, but more importantly–diligent. Here are some Daily Fantasy Football Beginner Tips.

Start SMALL and learn your way around daily fantasy football. There’s a certain art to manipulating a daily roster that shouldn’t cost a fortune to learn. Start with $1, $5, $10 buy-ins to get the feel for it and then move on to bigger fish. Some leagues have different total budgets. Some leagues operate more as a PPR (Point per reception) or may have passing touchdowns worth 4 points instead of 6. Investigate heavily what the settings are for defenses as well; some leagues are really set up to award points more for fewer points allowed rather than sacks, turnovers and yards.

Big names carry big price tags. Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles and Calvin Johnson are great players that you will need at some point in your daily fantasy football career. But that doesn’t mean you need to start them every week, especially with better game-specific and cheaper players on the board. For example, if Johnson is going against Seattle and his Sunday price tag is $9,200, it makes far better sense to shell out $8,500 for WR Julio Jones going against a less challenging defense. Smart daily fantasy owners should examine the prices for players to see who has risen or dropped in value over the last week.

Balance. Just like in real football don’t spend all your funds on just one position; spread the wealth around and acquire talent evenly. Typically I like one bellcow RB to go with two big physical touchdown-scoring receivers. I’ll get an undervalued complement for my RB2 that can make plays in the passing game or has goalline work. I don’t typically overspend on premium names at quarterback; a lot of times they are the most expensive piece of the daily league puzzle.

Avoid double dipping, especially on higher priced skill player combinations.  Some would disagree, but I follow this rule religiously in all fantasy formats.  What is the chance of multiple players “blowing up” the same week for the same team?  For example, starting both QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones in a daily fantasy league means that potentially 20-25% of your roster is relying on whether Matt Ryan has a good day or not. While sometimes these do work, it’s better to spread your positions around.  I rarely recommend adding players from your favorite team–if your team loses and struggles statistically, you’re then feeling angst on two fronts.   Keep it strictly business.

Monitnor price fluctuations.  Aother daily fantasy football beginner tip is monitor price fluctuations.  For example, WR Marques Colston was $6,300 against Cleveland in Week 2 but didn’t post a single catch—his price for Week 3? $5,600—A $600 price drop. Not bad for a perennial 1,000 yard receiver at home against the Vikings secondary. Daily leagues have tendency to inflate player’s price tags after a good week; WR Jordy Nelson went up $700 after his Week 2 outburst. It’s best to not overpay, since some regression week-to-week is inevitable.

Monitor happenings in the NFL. Suspensions, injuries and all sorts of things have impacted the NFL tremendously and it’s only Week 3. If you aren’t careful, and even if you are, you will end up paying for a player who might not actually play this week. Avoid players of “questionable” status in favor of more healthy and concrete options. Another good bit of advice is to research seasonal leagues’ weekly projections for players you are considering. If you find a cheap player is projected to do big things on gameday, it may be a worthwhile purchase.

Cheaper defenses and kickers. With big price fluctuations on offensive skill players at quarterback, wide receiver and running back, defense need not be a major expense. Check your daily league settings, but typically cheaper defenses can help free up money for more important positions. I like to go with the cheapest defense that is least likely to get burned. Defenses that are playing against inexperienced quarterbacks and/or other injured premium skill players are great targets. Always consider home/divisional games as well as divisional foes on this as well; as even the most downtrodden team will be motivated in the situations. Even with kickers, it really doesn’t make much sense to spend a premium at the position as the results are so varied. Even kickers with great legs can be overvalued; it pays to shop around, My approach is to take the cheapest kicker tied to a quality offense; or an undervalued kicker tied to a weak offense. K Greg Zuerlein for the St. Louis Rams comes to mind as an example. He can boom from 50-yards or more easily, but is hampered by a Sam Bradford-less Rams attack. It pays to shop around.

The best daily fantasy football strategy beginner tips is to remain cost-conscious, do plenty of research, and stay on top of NFL news and trends.

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  • Ivan Y

    Some avid daily fantasy football owners recommend “stacking” lineups or going contrarian, what are your thoughts?

    • TheStandardOne

      I think given the right matchup that “stacking” lineups isa great way to take advantage of explosive offenses. They are probably more useful insingle-entry, 50/50 contests and GPP leagues.

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  • Schra Ba

    I think one of the best ways to learn daily fantasy sports in general is this guide: https://www.fantasysportsdaily.com/beginners-guide/There you have game strategies and DFS tips and a DraftKings vs FanDuel site comparison that you can choose the right one for your play.