This is the age old question and I constantly find myself going back and forth between the two. I know professionals who specialize in both and only play one or other, so which is the best way to go about it?
If you are a serious DFS player then you know that cash games and tournaments are two different animals. GPP’s (guaranteed prize pools) pay a lot more but are a lot harder to cash. Meanwhile cash games pay the top half but don’t reward you any different whether you are in first or 50th (in a 100 man 50/50).
Daily Fantasy Sports Has Evolved
As DFS evolves, then so must we as players. The first thing I’ve noticed last year is that things are becoming a lot harder. I used to just play cash but I’m debating just playing tournaments for the following reasons. First, I’m not convinced that people are making their own teams.
Yes, I already know that most people say “then you are a losing player and need to make better lineups” but that isn’t the case. I’m not intimidated to play anyone because this is fantasy sports. It’s not like I’m going to have to physically fight Brock Lesner or swim against Michael Phelps. I’m basically picking professional athletes I like in certain match ups.
Lineups Are Easy to Come By
But the game has changed and this is where it gets different. I always think of a friend of mine who’s a fan, but isn’t a super fan and doesn’t really like to sit and research. Well he’s a lot better than he should be because he’s able to watch ESPN before kickoff and he’s able to take one of the multiple lineups that they give and play it. If he isn’t doing that, he has a $30 a month subscription to a site where he can click a button and have a team.
When DFS first started this wasn’t an option and people couldn’t do that. But if you do hours of research and decided you really like a guy, your edge is gone if some TV personality is telling everyone the same guy for free. Then the casual player has the same guy as the sharps and he doesn’t even know why, but he is able to compete.
Playing the House
I call this “playing the house” because it kind of feels like you are playing a dealer. Or it’s kind of like Indian poker where you can see the other players cards and you have to decide whether or not you have a better hand.
DFS is similar to sports where it’s a game of inches and when you need to win about 54% of your cash games to be successful, it makes it that much harder if you are losing even a 5% edge.
Tournaments May Be Better Route to Take
Then there are tournaments and I’ve be told by multiple pros that this is the route to go. The biggest issue with tournaments is people need to know what tournaments they should be playing to find success. I believe that the general public leans towards the games that pay a “shit load of money” because they want that life changing win. While it’s okay to play these kind of games, you need to be realistic and know what tournament you should be playing. When I say this I mean you need to know your odds of doing well.
Realistically speaking, do you really think by being able to enter one to three teams compared to 150-300 teams a professional can enter is the recipe to success? Granted you can get lucky every now and then, and for some people that is all they need but in the long run you aren’t going to profit.
Look for Smaller Site Tournaments
So here are few tips to help you this football season. First, just because DraftKings and FanDuel are the top sites, feel free to check out sites like Fantasy Aces and FantasyDraft. While their tournaments aren’t as big, you have better odds when a top player can only enter 15 teams compared to 150. Even if you can only afford to make three teams in a 15 team max entry, that’s still 20%.
This may not seem that big, but when compared to 2% (which would be 3 teams out of a possible 150) your odds have increased dramatically. The other reason I like playing these smaller sites is because a lot of sites and the guys on ESPN won’t be giving out line ups. Sure they will give DraftKings lineups, but that doesn’t mean that line up will work the with pricing on the other sites.
Don’t be that guy who only plays the Powerball when the jackpot is over half a billion dollars because 20 million “just isn’t big enough”. Try winning a few thousand instead of fifty thousand. If you can win $3000 then you now have the bankroll to make more teams and can start playing the tournaments to win 50k-100k.
So What About Cash Games Again?
As far as cash games go, I still play them. But I will stick to bigger sites for those because you have a lot more variance. Don’t play those 20 man 50/50 games when there are 227 man double ups. Remember that you can always play smaller buy ins and just play more of them.
If you play $100 a weekend, play 20 $5 double ups that have over 200 people in them compared to a single $100 double up that has 12 people in it.
Play More Less Consensus Players?
As much as it pains me to say, I watch fantasy football now because I want to see what lineups they are giving out. I want to see if there are flaws in that lineup and I’ll actually base how much cash I play off that. Same goes with other sites like Rotogrinders. I want to see who they are saying are the top plays because it’s really important because they move the needle so to say.
If they are really high on a QB and you agree with it, just know that a lot of the general public will be on that QB and maybe you won’t have an edge. But if they are on a QB that you don’t think is in a great spot, then you may have a huge advantage if people are just copying teams from TV or Rotogrinders. There is no better feeling than when a popular play is a trap but not many people know why and that player flops. Meanwhile your play did great and you will almost always succeed.
When everyone zigs, you need to zag! It’s almost as important to start getting a feel for the general public and which way they will be going if you want to be successful. I highly suggest you keep checking out our site because I have subscriptions to about five sites and I will keep our readers posted with what the overall consensus is.
Upcoming Podcast for NFL
We will have a new podcast for the NFL season and I will break down all the sites I subscribe with to help you out!
Details will come out soon so be on the lookout.