Preparing For DFS In 2021


Written By: Austin Lee

Since our launch in late 2020, our Friday shows with DFS segment were among our most successful episodes. I suppose that makes sense considering people love easy ways to make extra cash, right? Truth be told, I love playing DFS more than any other form of fantasy football and thoroughly enjoyed incorporating that into our Friday shows.

I am happy to announce that not only will we continue to talk DFS in 2021, but we are going to take it a step further. After all, my favorite things to see/hear are when our listeners let us know that we helped them win some money. My personal mission for this season is to help more of our wonderful listeners win even more money and I feel very confident that all the time spent researching and digging deep on DFS will allow us to do just that.

One thing that stood out last season was the amount of people that were brand new to DFS – not just the listeners, but our own 365 crew. In full transparency, one of my biggest flaws is assuming everyone else does and thinks as I do and in hindsight, I wish I had taken the time last year to dial it back and bring everyone up to speed on DFS, how it works and how to really win on a consistent basis. Better late than never, right? We have a very special podcast episode coming up that we will be devoting solely to DFS, but I do want to go ahead and put some of the more basic stuff in article form for you all to familiarize yourself with. Let’s not waste any more time and get right to it.

DFS Verbiage: This might not be for the more seasoned DFS player, but it’s certainly important for those new to it. You can’t make the best decisions regarding your weekly lineups if you don’t fully understand what you’re looking at on the platforms or hearing on the podcast.

Salary – refers to the amount of money you have to construct your roster.

Price Tag – cost of player

Chalk – when a player is labeled as a “Chalk” play, it’s referring to that player being a popular play in lineups.

Field – refers to everyone else in that particular contest.

Contrarian – going against the field.

E.V. – Expected Value

Rake – money taken by the platform you’re playing on.

Cash Games – 50/50 contests typically with lower payouts.

GPP – Guaranteed Prize Pool. Tournament contests.

Stacking – pairing players from the same team to maximize ceiling.

2x, 3x, 4x, etc… – refers to a player’s production versus his cost. (ex: 2x on $4k player = 8 points)

Alright, you’ve got the verbiage down and it’s time to dive in. First thing is deciding which platform you want to use. FanDuel and DraftKings (DK) are the two most popular platforms and are very user-friendly. I personally prefer DK due to its full PPR format as opposed to FanDuel’s half PPR, so I want to cover some basics:

  • Full point per reception allows for more options when your salary gets tight.
  • DK offers 3 point bonuses for production – 300+ passing yards, 100 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards. 3 points may not sound like much, but when you are playing the right stacks it can be the difference in winning big money. I missed out on the million dollar prize a few years ago by 9 points. Trust me, those bonuses are HUGE!
  • $50,000 salary to construct your roster.
  • Roster consists of: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, Flex, D/ST.

Verbiage – check. Platform – check. It’s time for the single most important part of DFS – selecting your contest(s). This is where most new DFS players, and even many seasoned players, make the biggest mistake. Do not focus solely on the top prize money. More important for long-term success is paying attention to the payout structure. That is visible on every contest and shows you how many entrants will get paid.

On the same token, it’s also really good to know what the rake is and that can be calculated by adding up the total prize payout and subtracting that from the buy-in total. For example, if you’re in a contest where the total buy-in for all entrants is $500,000 and the payout totals $400,000 then the platform just made a quick $100,000 or 20%. Having that information will allow you to better decide if you’re entering a contest where you have a higher chance of winning money. In the example below, there are 1,194,067 available entrants at a $5 buy-in = $5,970,335. This contest will pay out $5 million to 304,500 entrants, so DK will rake $970,335 on this contest alone.

Let’s get into some fun stuff! I won’t give away ALL of my research here, so you definitely should keep your eyes out for the upcoming DFS episode. It’s certainly one you’ll want to pin and listen to multiple times. We are going to go over some deep-dive information and what it all means to you as a DFS player. Here’s a sneak peek at some deeper insight as we prepare for the upcoming season:

  • 100% of all the Milly Maker winners had their onesie positions combine for a minimum of 100 points.
  • Over the past three years, there have been the exact same amount of 300 yard passing games (remember the bonus) – 132.
  • There were 205 games in 2020 where pass-catchers received the 100 yard bonus.
  • When researching the 2020 season, it’s very clear that there is not a good correlation for running backs in games where there was a 300 yard passer. There were very few games in which the running back received the 100 yard bonus.
  • One of the most tempting things in all of DFS is to spend down at QB in order to pay up at other positions. It’s fun to do, but the data shows that is terrible strategy when it comes to winning big money. Less than 10% of the time has the Milly Maker winner spent less than $6,500 at QB.

Stay tuned for the DFS episode coming up. Once that airs, I’ll put all the data in article form on the website along with some charts/graphs to sink your teeth into!