6 Habits Of Highly-Effective Daily Fantasy Football Bettors
Playing daily fantasy football is easy. Anyone can do it. In fact, a complete novice can go from zero to hero in a single day. All it takes is a willingness to learn the ropes and a little luck.
Having said that, there are several factors that influence your chances of regularly winning a payout. The players you pick, the research you conduct beforehand, and your ability to stay focused after losing several contests in a row, will determine how you do over the long run. The good news is that these and other factors are under your control.
That brings us to the title of today’s article. Below, we’ll cover the 6 most common habits you’ll see demonstrated by successful daily fantasy football bettors. Of course, you can still do well, even if you refuse to develop the following habits. But bear in mind that it’ll be more luck than skill.
If you want to stack the odds in your favor, keep reading.
#1 – Willingness To Watch The Vegas Lines
Vegas bookmakers have to be on top of their game. They need to have more than just hunches if they hope to stick around over the long run. Their entire business revolves around their ability to adjust odds or come up with a reasonable point spread for any given game. That’s how they minimize their risk and make a profit.
What does that mean for you? Well, if you’re a daily fantasy football bettor, you should be watching the lines set by the Vegas bookies. It’s not as time-consuming as you might think. In fact, I’ll save you some time.
The main number you want to focus on is the over/under. It reflects the total number of points that oddsmakers expect to be scored during a game. A high over/under indicates that the opposing teams are going to be racking up a lot of points against each other.
What should you do with that information? You’d want to add offensive players from either team to your lineup.
#2 – Discipline To Study Player Injury Reports
If you’re not checking the NFL injury report, you’re running the risk that one or more of your players will sink your entire lineup. For example, let’s say you enter a daily fantasy football contest and spend a good chunk of change to draft Drew Brees.
You expect Brees to post solid numbers and lead your fantasy team to the top of the rankings – or at least, high enough to earn a payout. But let’s suppose that a week before the contest kicks off, Brees suffers a bone-crushing hit and ends up being carted off the field.
That’s a huge problem for your lineup. Fortunately, Brees’s status will show up on the NFL injury report, giving you plenty of time to find a QB to replace him.
But what if you neglect to check the injury report? You’d be completely unaware that your star QB just got hurt. That being the case, you’ll probably leave him in your roster and get a nasty surprise come game night.
#3 – Ability To Pick Advantageous Matchups
Believe it or not, a lot of daily fantasy football fans draft players almost as if they’re throwing darts against a board. There’s no rhyme or reason to their picks. One of the biggest problems with this approach is that it completely ignores NFL matchups. No thought is given to making sure the drafted players are in a good position to produce.
To clarify, here’s an example…
Let’s suppose that you draft 2 running backs, both of whom happen to be going up against strong defensive teams. Can you see how that might stifle your lineup’s overall score for the evening?
Or let’s say you pick up a QB who’s squaring off against a defensive end who leads the league in sacks. Can you see how that might spell trouble for your QB?
Picking good matchups is one of the keys to regularly winning cash prizes in daily fantasy football. It’s not difficult. It just takes time and a good eye for traps to avoid and opportunities to exploit.
#4 – Foresight To Check The Weather
The weather can have a huge influence on how an NFL team operates. It’s not just a matter of whether the players will perform well in the rain. Rather, it’s a matter of what they do in order to score points.
Let’s take a look at another example…
Suppose you’re pinning your hopes on Andrew Luck’s ability to throw long passes with crack-shot accuracy. You’ve seen him do it in the past and have no reason to doubt his ability. Let’s also say that it starts raining on game night. And I’m not talking about a light drizzle, but a storm with gusty winds.
When a team plays in such conditions, they’re more inclined to run the ball than pass it. The quarterback knows that throwing the rock with any degree of accuracy is much more difficult in the wind. So a passing game quickly becomes a running game. As such, the odds that Luck will throw passing TDs, earning you big points for the night, are pretty slim.
Bottom line: check the weather to make sure Mother Nature isn’t sabotaging your daily fantasy football lineup.
#5 – Talent For Sniffing Out Bargains
When you play daily fantasy football, you’ll work under a salary cap. You have a set amount of cash with which to draft players. That means you need to learn how to identify good values.
- First, avoid falling under the spell of the celebrity players. While it’s true that they’re household names (mostly) because of their performance, they also command gigantic salaries. There’s no quicker way to run up against your salary cap than by adding a few big-name quarterbacks or running backs to your lineup.
- So, how do you sniff out bargains? One way is to look for guys who were out on suspensions, but are now coming back to play. Their salaries will often be lower than normal since they haven’t posted any recent numbers. Even better, a lot of daily fantasy football fans who draft their lineups early won’t even realize they’re missing out on good values.
- Another tactic is to look for solid players who, for whatever reason, had trouble last season. If they’re posting respectable numbers, take advantage of their comparatively low salaries.
- You should also look for guys who get promoted into starting positions as replacements for players who get injured. Imagine a second-tier QB who’s given an opportunity to start when his team’s starting QB is buried under two tons of defensive players in the previous week’s game. If you had the foresight to put him in your lineup, he might turn out to be your most productive player, dollar for dollar.
In short, be a bargain hunter when drafting your NFL lineups.
#6 – Mental Strength To Control Emotions
One of the most important traits of successful daily fantasy football bettors is their ability to keep a tight rein on their emotions. Imagine losing six or seven contests in a row. It can get discouraging unless you have the mental fortitude to stay focused.
As I’ve mentioned before, you’ll probably lose more contests than you win. But that’s okay because the small percentage of contests you win will pay out more than you lose in the other contests.
Here’s a bit of math to illustrate the point…
Let’s say you enter 10 daily fantasy football contests, each of which imposes a $5 entry fee. If you lose every single contest, you’ll be out $50.
But suppose you finish at the bottom end of the paid rankings in 4 of the 10 contests. If each of the 4 contests pays out $10 for that bottom-rung position, you’ll end up earning a $10 profit overall. You’ll earn $40 for your 4 wins while losing $30 in entry fees on the other 6 contests.
Suppose you finish in a paid position in only 2 of the 10 contests, but rank much higher in both of them. In other words, rather than finishing at the bottom of the paid ranks, you end up close to the top. If both of your wins pay out $50, you’ll walk away with a nice $60 profit overall ($100 for the 2 wins less $40 in entry fees for the 8 losses).
To summarize, you’re going to experience losing streaks. That’s part of the game. The important thing is that you don’t let it discourage you from playing daily fantasy football. As I demonstrated above, winning a small percentage of contests can generate a tidy profit for you. Tidy profit or large you need to know how to manage your bankroll.
Remember, playing daily fantasy sports is not a short game. It’s a long one. If you lose a few contests tonight, jump back in tomorrow to even the score. With a solid strategy and focus, there’s a fair chance you’ll come out ahead.
Keep the 6 points above in mind to become a highly-effective daily fantasy football bettor.