Last year was my most lucrative fantasy football season since I started playing in 1996.
I had some good fortune in keeper/dynasty formats, but my true edge came when I finally dove headfirst down the FanDuel rabbit hole. An initial $50 investment turned into a net profit of nearly $500, and $75-$100 in games played every week after Week 3. I even tried DraftDay, another daily fantasy site, with mixed results.
Daily fantasy sites (or weekly sites, in the case of football) allow players to select a new lineup every game with a few handicaps. At FanDuel they assign value to players and make owners stay under a salary cap to complete a full lineup. For instance, most FanDuel leagues make you fill a 9-player roster in $60,000 or less. Adrian Peterson costs $9,500 this week, so if you roster him almost a sixth of your salary is going into one player.
There are, of course, mid-range players and sleepers at each position. The key to success is determining the best values on a given week, then having the players meet expectations on the field. The hard part is that all of the NFL’s players are in the field of play. That means a guy like Eddie Royal, who I would bet was available on 90 percent of waiver wires in standard leagues in Week 2, ends up in a couple lineups as a what-the-heck lottery ticket that paid off literally.
Lottery ticket is a good way to characterize it, but it’s not completely accurate. Lottery tickets are determined entirely by chance. I only buy one lottery ticket when the PowerBall soars to $400 million because the only appreciable gain in a low-probability game of chance is going from 0 percent chance of winning to a .00000000001 percent chance of winning. A second ticket increases your chances by only a fraction of a percent.
Fantasy football is not considered gambling because players can increase their “luck” with knowledge and skill. After what the Chargers did in Week 1 and facing a porous Eagles secondary in Week 2, Eddie Royal was as good a lottery ticket as any other last week.
But if it was that simple everybody would be getting rich at FanDuel. Philip Rivers and a handful of other quarterbacks have a lot of targets who can provide PowerBall-like values every week. Who do you pick? You probably have a lot of other questions. I’m over the 400-word mark here, which feels really long for not giving you any useable advice or news. So I’m going to stop rambling for now. But over the course of a couple posts I’m going to go real deep on FanDuel and discuss the revelations from my rabbit hole adventure last year along the way.
Here are some of the topics I will discuss:
More advanced FanDuel tips and tricks