If you are like me, you fell in love with Daily Fantasy Baseball, either this season or last.
Through much trial and
even more error, I’ve come up with the most useful tips I wish someone would’ve told me when I started.
If you’ve been playing awhile, this probably isn’t news to you. If you’re just starting or wanting to start, hopefully this helps.
And if you do want to start, sign up here and receive free entries into some big contests.
1. Stack Heavy In GPP; Mini-Stack In Cash
First off, I’ll define a few terms. GPP stands for Guaranteed Prize Pool, which is basically lingo for the contests where a bunch of people will enter and the payouts will be huge. Cash means either 50/50 contests, where the top half all double their money, or Head-to-Head, where you square off against one other person.
In GPP’s, it’s usually best to stack six bats from the same team to maximize your lineup potential. In Jonathan Bales book, he goes into much further detail and gives numbers as to why this is the case.
We’ll use the Cubs for examples in this post. If I thought the Cubs were going to go nuts on a given night, I would look to stack Fowler (OF), Rizzo (1B), Bryant (3B), Soler (OF), Castro (SS) & Montero (C). For the simple fact that if they go nuts and score 12 runs, those six guys are going to have big nights.
In cash, it’s best to play it a little safer. Nearly every night, I’ll play two mini-stacks. You probably guessed, a mini-stack is a stack that only includes a few hitters from a lineup. You’ll want to get those hitters to be hitting as close to each other as possible in the lineup.
If I wanted a Cubs mini-stack and was willing to pay up for them, I would go with Rizzo (1B), Bryant (3B) & Soler (OF). If I wanted a Cubs mini-stack and wanted to save some cash for other players or maybe I’m using Max Scherzer, I would go with Castro (SS), Montero (C) & Coghlan (OF).
Simply put, there is much more risk in a full stack but also much more potential reward. With a mini-stack, you can offset that risk a bit while still seeking a decent reward.
2. Pony Up For Pitchers
This one took me awhile to get used to. I would look for bargain arms and think “look at all this money I have for hitters” and move forward from there.
Pitchers, for the most part, are predictable. The good ones anyway. You pretty much know what you’re going to get when King Felix, Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer toe the rubber. There is very little mystery/risk there.
In GPP’s, you can take a few more risks but still, you’re going to want a rock of an arm to provide the sure points. In Cash, you almost have to pony up for pitchers. The other alternatives just aren’t worth it.
To put it in another light, look at it this way; hitters are not predictable. Even the good ones only succeed roughly 30% of the time. So if you’re going to roll the dice, hope that Ryan Goins (SS, $2,000 usually) goes deep while you enjoy Chris Sale striking out 14 guys. Or roll the dice that a mini-stack of Braves facing a just decent pitcher in a hitter-friendly park has a nice night while Chris Archer sits down 12 Red Sox.
It’s all a numbers game.
3. Find High-Upside Punt Plays
This is my favorite part of filling out lineups. I love, love, love looking for value where it otherwise may not be on any given night. Last night, we had Francisco Lindor (SS, $2,900) hitting second and Ryan Raburn ($2,600) hitting fourth in a lineup that faced an only decent pitcher. That, my friends, is value. And it paid off.
Generally, you want to target hitters that hit near the top of the lineup for the simple fact that they’ll see more at-bats. I’ll usually scan and look for oddly low values assigned to guys hitting near the top. If everything else checks out, I’ll use them more often than not. Now I can pony up for other high-priced bats.
You’ll also want to lean toward guys hitting on the road, at times (nine at-bats rather than risking eight) and ignore past Batter v Pitcher stats. But we’ll get into those later.
4. Find Someone That Monitors Weather
This sucked. It was by far the worst part of my daily routine. Weather changes so quickly and sites all view it differently, some inaccurately.
Then I found him. Kevin Roth covers weather for RotoGrinders and I can’t say this enough, go follow him.
Seriously, go follow him.
Weather plays a massive role in DFS Baseball and you want to have the upper-hand. There’s nothing worse than a mini-stack not playing due to a PPD or your pitcher getting pulled after an inning and a third after a long delay. Avoid the headache, and get advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
5. Relax & Enjoy
Try not to get too excited or too upset. You’re going to have nights where you bomb, you’re going to have nights where you blow up. You’re going to lose games, or miss placing, by half a point. You’re also going to win those once in awhile. Try not to freak out about every little at-bat and just enjoy the process.
Within my first week of playing, I had a mini-stack of Cubs and White Sox. My pitchers, King Felix and another I can’t remember, had monster days. Well, my mini-stacks also had monster days. I finished with 212 points on a day where there wasn’t a ton of offense.
Great, right? Not really. I didn’t enter any contests and only used it on a $5(!) Head-to-Head matchup. If I would’ve just entered the $3 Moonshot, I would’ve cashed out around $10,000. Instead, I won $4.
Pretty rough, huh? Well, it happens. I’ve since had a couple heartbreakers but I’ve also had the thrill of placing near the top in big contests and winning some H2H’s by less than a point.
It’s sports. It’s fun. Enjoy.