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How to Win at DFS Tournaments

Alex Baker

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MLB season is starting soon and Awesemo.com’s premium subscription includes Awesemo’s rankings and ownership projections through the World Series, the Awesemo.com projections and lineup builder, and premium articles: the Deeper Dive and Awesemo’s articles (May-September): Pitchers, Stacks, and Roster Construction breakdowns.  Sign up for our MLB or All-Access annual package before the end of March and get $50 off using the promo code MLBEarlyBird.  Check out my free strategy breakdown for the 2019 season!

The most popular tournaments on fantasy sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel allow you to throw down $5-10 with the prospect of winning $100k. We all enter with the goal of outsmarting the competition and winning a life changing sum of money. All DFS ads emphasize the amount you can win and the thrill of coming up with those plays that no one has that go off. In my experience, success in these tournaments is a feasible goal for anyone who is willing to put in the work because the tournaments are filled with players who are unwilling or unable to put in the work to be competitive. Playing the biggest low stakes tournaments daily, you can make a nice income over the course of a year if you apply the right strategy.

Starting off in DFS is challenging for most players now because using your knowledge from watching a sport alone isn’t going to get you very far. You have to learn the strategy of salary cap games: identifying the top plays and understanding who the popular plays are to prevent your lineup from being the same as everyone else’s, both of which require diligence on a daily basis. Most people who start off playing DFS have full-time jobs and don’t have the necessary time to devote to accomplishing these goals on their own. Fortunately, it becomes a lot easier if you utilize the right tools and resources.

Given that only about 85% of entry fees are paid out as prizes in each contest, not everyone can win on DraftKings and FanDuel. In fact based on my historical research, only about 25% of lineups entered have a positive expected value. The catch is that once you go beyond the easiest tournaments, a lot more than a quarter of lineups are made by relatively sharp players.

It’s easier to break lineups down into two categories to determine their chances of success: their chance of achieving a high enough score to cash, and their chance of a top finish. The first one can be measured in terms of overall projection and correlation, but the score to cash and win fluctuate with how the most popular picks end up performing. Hence, a lineup that is more differentiated with respect to the field might have a better chance of winning if their score is moderately high on nights where the popular plays disappoint. It’s rare that my highest scoring lineups are my biggest winners in DFS because lineup scores are so correlated across the field; I have had more success on days where the winning score is low. Managing the trade-off between projection and differentiation is the single-most critical factor to success in GPPs and one that if often overlooked by novice players.

Projections

For several years, accurate projections were all you needed to succeed at GPPs as the field wasn’t great at identifying the best players each night. While just plugging in highly projected lineups won’t get you far in tournaments today, it’s still a great starting point for determining how strong of a lineup you have. If you have the highest projected lineup, your lineup is going to be a favorite in one-on-one matchups vs. every lineup in the tournament. That bodes well for your chances of cashing in a tournament but isn’t a great metric for determining your chances of coming in first.

If you don’t have your own projections, you can still make great tournament lineups using the resources that I provide on my site. Using my rankings you can narrow down the player pool to only include players who are average or better plays on a given day. Spending most of your salary while preferentially choosing players with high value rankings will ensure that your lineup has a good median projection.

The Awesemo Lineup Builder shows the rankings and projected ownership for each player on the slate

The Awesemo.com Lineup Builder

Correlation: Selecting the best scoring players across numerous games is extraordinarily difficult from an odds standpoint unless you factor in correlations between players. Usually players are good to pair together in a GPP if one is more likely to score points when the other performs above expectations. On the other hand you want to avoid situations where one player’s excellent performance comes at the expense of another one on your same roster: these lineups are more likely to produce a consistent score for your team than the outlier you need. The levels of correlation vary greatly with each sport and greatly affect DFS strategy for those games. Refer to my NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB primers for sport-specific stacking strategies.

“Upside”: DFS players often seek out players who have higher upside. Most athletes worth considering because of their price and projection have enough upside to win you a GPP. What you usually need from a player to win is a performance that’s at least one standard deviation above their projection, which happens about 1/6 of the time. But if you target players who have more variance (i.e. a higher standard deviation) they may give you the tournament winning upside you need 1/5 or even ¼ of the time. These could be athletes who get more run if they’re the hot hand in NBA and NFL, or ones that have great power but low average in MLB. Players with high variance are more valuable in GPP’s than their median projection may indicate.

Accuracy: Projections aren’t going to get you far unless they are at least as accurate as your competition. Checking your projections for errors is essential to avoid costly mistakes. What I like doing is compare my projections against other sources to challenge my assumptions. To narrow down the scope of my error checking I will only look at players who I have projected significantly differently than the sources. If I can figure out reasons why my projection is erroneous, I will adjust the factors that lead to my projection. My favorite sources to check are sportsbooks – while they have their own biases, they have to be fairly accurate because they are throwing their own money down on them. You can also use my rankings to identify athletes whose projections are worth a closer look.  For more information, refer to my Projections Primer.

Differentiation from the field

Each lineup in a tournament wins under certain circumstances. You’ll have the most success if your lineup is the winning lineup under the broadest set of outcomes. The way you can achieve this goal is having a lineup that overlaps less with other lineups, but one that is still relatively likely to be a high scorer that night. In a perfect strategy, you would overlap less in winner take all contests than contests where 20% of the field cashes, because picking the most popular players helps you get a cashing score but not that much to winning one.

Ownership: The simplest way to make your lineup different than others is to choose lower-owned players. It goes without saying that the fewer players that have someone rostered the more it helps each lineup to win a tournament. Usually the best strategy is to make a roster with a combination of best values and sleeper picks. That gives you a pretty good chance to cash while still having reasonably likely conditions to win the tournament.

To predict player ownership, you must first understand that most lineups are strongly influenced by outside factors, whether it be recommendations by fantasy influencers, box scores in the DFS site’s app, or what games are televised. Then you compare the options at each position to determine the relative popularity of each. Finally, you build lineups because all of these factors have to fit in the constraints of the salary cap. If you don’t have hours a day to devote to studying the slate, the best place to stop is my ownership projections which uses a proprietary algorithm that I have developed over years of playing.

Roster Construction: Another way to achieve a lineup that is highly differentiated from others is to pair players together that may not usually be present in the same lineup. For example, two tight ends may both be popular in isolation but if you create a roster with a tight end in the flex, that combination of players may be present in much fewer lineups than you would expect given the high ownership of each. You can also spend different amounts of salary than the cap to achieve this goal, which is especially popular in large field tournaments with small slates. One of my biggest wins was in a 104,575 person showdown NFL tournament on DraftKings where I only spent 47.6k of the 50k salary cap; only one other person had the same lineup which split the prize many fewer ways than normal.  The catch is that each of my players had to outscore each player within $2,400 of salary.  In sports where the perfect lineup frequently spends less than the salary cap, this is a more viable strategy.

Diversification: If you’re entering more than one lineup then you should have your lineups work together to maximize your chance of winning on a given night. On one extreme you could have two lineups with only one different player in them: that means that on a night where the one lineup finishes 1st, your other one is likely to finish 2nd which hurts the expected value of each lineup. The other extreme is picking a lineup that relies on the opposite result of the first, most likely the other team winning the game. The problem with that strategy is the second lineup isn’t likely to be a very good one because assuming the first lineup was the best one you could build, the first team’s success is the more likely outcome. The best way to diversify is to pick lineups that have at least 3 or more players different from each of your other lineups. For a more in depth look into this topic refer to my Diversification Primer.

Trade-offs: Daily fantasy is no easy game: it’s unusual to find a player who is both optimal in value and projection while being low owned. Being a successful DFS player is all about finding the inefficiencies; in particular, identifying players who are owned higher or lower than they should be. And the context of your lineup matters a lot too. You want to evaluate your projection and ownership for your whole lineup so that you can guarantee whether you’re making trade-offs in the right spots. It’s a losing strategy to play all sub-1% owned players even if all of those players are lower owned than they should be. The ideal lineup will have some players with a high-probability of success (which inevitably will come with higher ownership) sprinkled with a few players with lower probabilities of success (and lower ownership).

My Process

Have a set strategy and stick to it. You can reevaluate your approach every few weeks but don’t try to change it up every day. You want to conserve your energy for the most important decisions of the day by having a process for most decisions you make. Here’s what a typical main slate looks like for me (EST).

11 AM: Review the previous games that each team has played and adjust variables in my model accordingly (e.g. study snap counts, target share, minutes played).

4 PM: Compare projections for each player to other data sources and identify areas where my model differs and determine whether my projection is right or wrong.

5-7 PM: Watch YouTube content to stay up to date with the latest news and be exposed to differing viewpoints that challenge my own conclusions.

6 PM: Start building lineups on FantasyCruncher. Identify players that are showing up much more or less than projected ownership and determine my position.

6:30-6:50 PM: Sort through my lineups to determine which ones I want to enter into contests.

6:50-7 PM: Check lineups on site to make sure that there were no errors in my process.

10-11 PM: Review tournaments to see if assumptions were accurate. Identify issues with model.

While DFS can be a full time job, there are a number of areas where you can simplify the process. I started Awesemo.com so that you can be successful in the games today without making it a full-time job. Using our fantasy-point and ownership projections greatly expedites the process. You can also reduce the complexity of the day by only making a handful of lineups or limiting the number of sites you play on. Finally, automating things as much as possible will save you valuable time. For more information refer to our Fantasy Cruncher and Excel tutorials.

Putting it All Together

DFS is in its essence a competition. Success in the long run requires an edge over your opponents. The less-experienced the competition is, the easier it is to achieve that edge. So start off with the easiest tournaments – the huge low-stakes tournaments and contests where experienced players are restricted from entering. You don’t have to be an expert to be a winner at low stakes because there are so many people who aren’t putting in enough work to craft good lineups. Applying the basic strategy for the sport you’re entering and applying the concept of balancing projection and ownership will get you far in the long run. As your competitors get more sophisticated, you’ve got to step up your game. In the tougher tournaments, it’s even more important to understand the tendencies of the field and adapting to them is critical to success.

You can’t optimize every element of your DFS strategy because there are so many areas to work on: it’s death by a thousand cuts. What is more effective is identifying the most important areas and focusing on them one at a time. Looking at content from other players will help you identify differences between your strategy and your competitors. Then you have to do a little research and figure out whether your initial assumptions were right or if there is something they picked up that you missed. Once you iterate your strategy a lot of times by doing this, you’ll be prepared for anything.

We all enter DFS tournaments for our love of sports and competition, but with life changing prizes available every day, spending time on your game can really pay off. Fantasy tournaments are survival of the fittest in action. You have to continuously evolve to compete in this ever-changing climate.

Know the sport you’re playing but also familiarize yourself with general DFS strategy concepts. The intuition you get following a sport isn’t essential, but is immensely useful to identify errors in your reasoning. But DFS tournaments are also similarly structured across all sports, so many elements of the strategy like projecting performance and ownership remain the same. Daily fantasy is a demanding game because you have to keep up with both the sport and DFS strategy, but that’s exactly what makes it so fun. When you put in the work, fantasy can be a tremendously rewarding experience.

Alex is better known to fantasy players by his handle "Awesemo" from seeing him in every big tournament in the industry. Playing poker professionally from 2009-2015, he heard that daily fantasy was the next big game picking up steam, and he quickly saw the potential of the relatively new game. Growing his bankroll from 2015-2016, he made a big step in 2017 by claiming the #1 overall ranking on RotoGrinders for the year. After completing his primary objective, he was looking for what's next. Attending dozens of fantasy events, Alex realized that everyone was repeating the same story: wanting to be a great DFS player while holding down a full-time job. He realized that the resources available to fantasy players while great weren't enough to help hobbyists get to the level of competing with the top pros. Having met Tom Kennedy during the FanDuel Scottish Open, the two decided to take on the realm of fantasy content along with co-founder Eddie Lai. Alex creates his own projections for each sport he plays, publishing rankings derived directly from them updated for each major slate. He also writes strategy content for how to become a better DFS player in his Game Plan series. You can contact Alex by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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DFS Premium Slack Chat Transcript with Awesemo (May 15 Session)Premium content

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If you're a premium member, and you missed Awesemo's DFS Office Hours last week, no worries, we've got you covered with the full transcript below. Enjoy! _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Awesemo [6:58 PM] @channel Just finished with my 4th quarter lineups.  Ask me anything! Jockstrapchaos [6:58 PM] Who wins the PGA Tim [6:58 PM] Bucks going to win? Gfunkera86 [6:58 PM] whos the […]

 

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DraftKings and FanDuel MLB DFS Primer

Alex Baker

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Awesemo.com’s premium subscription to MLB includes Awesemo’s rankings and ownership projections through the World Series, the Awesemo.com projections and lineup builder, and premium articles: the Deeper Dive and Awesemo’s articles (May-September): Pitchers, Stacks, and Roster Construction breakdowns.

Summer is almost here and that means fantasy baseball, and a lot of it! Although the NBA and NHL are winding down, baseball makes up for their absence by packing 162 games into a season—almost twice as many games as basketball and hockey.  Baseball is also one of my favorite DFS sports, both in terms of enjoyability and profitability. As the least predictable of the major sports, it’s the perfect testing ground for advanced DFS strategies.

While accurate projections are critical to success in a sport like NBA, where LeBron James will score between 20 and 35 points the vast majority of the time, even the best MLB projections won’t help you determine with any confidence whether Bryce Harper will go 0 for 4 or hit two home runs.  As a result, lineups built with less than perfect fantasy points projections can be competitive.  The key to success in baseball is ensuring you have adequate correlation in your GPP lineups and sifting through large amounts of data, including ownership projections, rankings, lineups, and weather.

Stacks

I’ve found that simply playing the highest projected lineup in GPPs is not a profitable in the long run, regardless of the quality of projections.  Instead you’ll want to focus on forcing players who are correlated into your lineup rather than focusing on projection alone.  The primary correlation is between batters on the same team, whose positive correlation stem from a variety of factors. First, the number of at bats in a game varies, so each successful at bat creates another opportunity to get fantasy points. Second, batters have the potential for extra points with runners in scoring position. Third, pitchers shorten their delivery with runners on base leading to less effective pitching.  And finally, once the game gets out of hand, teams will play guys from the back end of their bullpen rotation rather than wasting innings from their best relievers on a game that’s already been lost.

For a stack to work, there needs to be a team (or multiple teams) that night with an outlier performance. Since that is more likely to happen on a large slate, you should stack your players together more when there are more games to choose from.  The best way to choose a stack is to focus on a team’s implied total based on sportsbook over/unders and the team’s chance of winning.  I calculate implied totals and update them throughout the day on my MLB Rankings page.

Excerpt from my stacks article

The most popular strategy is to stack at least one team, but usually two with the maximum number of players allowed in each (DraftKings allows five-player stacks and FanDuel, four-player stacks).  If you fully stack your lineup and pick ones with reasonable projections, you can be certain that you’ll have a great shot to win at the largest field tournaments.  There is a drawback to stacking too much though; you can increase the overall projection of your lineup if you sub out an overpriced player in a stack for an optimal play, say, Mike Trout for example.  Also, you may eliminate some possibilities that could be strong.  Suppose two teams are playing at Coors Field but neither has a player listed as a shortstop in the lineup that day.  Then if you set FantasyCruncher to have two full stacks, you will not end up with any of this potentially favorable combination in your lineup.

A popular strategy since 2018 is to multiply the projections of your batters by a constant before building rosters to create lineups that spend a higher percentage of your salary cap on batters.  The theory is that higher priced batters have a higher volatility compared to budgets bats then high priced pitchers to budget ones.  For a batter to be exceptionally volatile, he needs to have power or base stealing potential.   On the other hand, pitchers are all extremely volatile.  I think there’s something to this because a lot of times a team might be overpriced but still projected to do very well on a given day, and they will be overlooked by people who just optimize by median projections.  If the chance that they will be the best stack of the day exceeds their ownership they are usually a good play regardless of the lack of value.

Projecting Player Performance

Baseball has the most stat-obsessed sports culture out of any sport I’ve studied.  There are so many resources and advanced stats to choose from that you could easily get overwhelmed by diving too deep into that world.  You’d be wise to focus on a just few stats to start.

For batters my favorites include OBP (on base %) and ISO (isolated power %), which will help you determine a player’s production at the plate. For pitchers, I’ve found that strikeout % and WHIP (walks+hits divided by innings pitched) have the strongest relationship to fantasy performance. Because there’s so much variance it’s also important to determine what impact luck may have had on these stats.  BABIP for batters and xFIP for pitchers can help you determine what a player’s stats should be versus what they currently are.

Fangraphs is an excellent resource for MLB stats

After settling on what stats to incorporate you’ll want to consider the players matchup, park factors, weather and lineup order.  For matchups, you’ll want to pay attention to the handedness of both pitchers and batters.  Batters have an advantage versus pitchers using the opposite hand, and pitchers have the advantage versus batters of the same hand. Teams will frequently use different lineups versus left-handed pitchers than right-handed pitchers to maximize their production. You should prefer batters with a favorable matchup in this respect; however, it’s not as simple as just looking at their stats versus that pitcher type, because starters typically only pitcher 5-6 innings.  Some teams also employ “platoons” which use two players from the opposite side of the plate at the same position. You should watch out for players who meet this description because they are frequently subbed out versus relief pitchers, which makes their production not as good as it might seem at first glance.

Park factors are important as well as anyone who has ever watched a Rockies home game can attest to.  The main external factor affecting batter performance is air density. When the air is dense, there is more resistance on the ball and it doesn’t travel as far. When it’s not, players are able to generate more hits and more power. The main factors contributing to air density are temperature and elevation. Both make the air less dense as they are higher. That’s why Coors Field in the “Mile High City” is such a great batter’s park. I didn’t have as much luck when I tried the batting cages there though, so it’s not going to make just anyone into the next Barry Bonds.

While you’re checking the air temperature make sure to pay attention to reports of precipitation as well.  There are several great resources to help you determine the chance of a game’s postponement, but I use radar to make my final decision. If a game looks like it might have more than a couple hours of rain, then it’s important to discount your player projections to reflect that.  From reports in postponed games this year, it appears that the system for postponing games has changed over the past year due to abuse by a certain team which may be based in the country’s capital.  Now that the MLB is making the final decisions instead of the home teams, I’m not as worried now about teams notorious for postponing games they just didn’t want to play.  Check my rankings for my estimated chance of a game being postponed.

The final factor to consider in your projections are lineups.  Several hours before game time, each team releases their batting order, which tells you exactly who is going to be playing in the game. But lineups aren’t just helpful for determining who is playing, but also how many opportunities they will have.  Much like minutes in the NBA, at-bats are critical to accurate baseball projections.  Once you know someone’s position in the batting order, at-bats are a lot more predictable than minutes in the NBA, which can be heavily influenced from game to game by coaching decisions.

If the idea of developing projections still seems overwhelming, I’d recommend using my MLB Rankings(which are derived from the projections I use myself) and our site projections to build your lineups.  You’ll want to focus on getting as many high value players as possible in your lineup, while spending all of your salary.  Because the rankings are based on my projections all of these factors are already taken into consideration, including weather with grades being adjusted based on the chances of a postponement.

DraftKings vs. FanDuel vs. Yahoo

While most sports have similar strategy between fantasy sites, the baseball scoring systems require different strategies to be successful.  On DraftKings and Yahoo!, the value of stacking isn’t as high as FanDuel because RBI’s and runs are relatively less valuable compared to bases.  The marginal value of each additional base is higher on FanDuel because each additional hit with base runners tends to correspond with a run scored.  High scoring performances tend to have a larger proportion of their fantasy points from runs/RBIs than low scoring teams.  This all means batter correlations on FanDuel are significantly more valuable, and you can weight them more heavily than projection and ownership compared to DraftKings and Yahoo!.

FanDuel’s quality start bonus creates an incentive to pick pitchers who throw more pitches.  To earn a quality start, a pitcher must complete six innings.  With a league average WHIP (Walks+Hits per inning pitched) of around 1.3, six innings on average takes about 26 pitchers.  Very few pitchers average that much volume, and the odds of a quality start drop precipitously when a pitcher averages only 80-90 pitches compared to 100.  Additionally, giving up bases isn’t penalized, only run scoring.  This all means that pitchers who go deep in games are relatively more valuable on FanDuel than DraftKings and Yahoo.  On DK and Yahoo, you can rely more on the volatility of how many base runners a pitcher gives up to give you the upside you need to win a GPP.

Ownership

Since baseball is the most volatile of any major sport, on any given night, the edge the top player at any position has versus other good players at the position is small.  To illustrate this, I break down pitchers’ probability of being the top performer semi-weekly in my Perfect Pitcher article.  Accordingly there is significant opportunity to be contrarian as ownership tends to cluster on the best plays of the night.  To get a gauge on ownership, I’d recommend you review my ownership projections each night and avoid those pitchers and batters that are likely to go over/under-owned.  But exercise caution when going contrarian. It’s kind of like the behind-the-back pass in basketball–it’s the optimal play in a limited number of situations but it’s tempting to overuse it.  The focus should always be on maximizing score and correlation, while avoiding overly chalky lineups.  You don’t get style points for having a roster filled with 1% owned guys.

Putting it Together

Strategy is always important in fantasy sports, but it’s especially important in fantasy MLB. In today’s games, most of the good players have similar projections and know who the best picks are on any given day. To beat the field, you need to go to the next level, which is figuring out picks that people aren’t taking as much that have a great chance for success. Combining the Awesemo.com articles, rankings, and ownership projections will help you find those sleeper plays and give you the best chance of success every night.

As with most sports you should figure out some way with each of your lineups to be differentiated from the field.  What works the best is pairing popular plays with a couple of sleepers.  So if you’re going with a highly-owned stack, you should be different at pitcher, or you could try an unorthodox stacking scheme.  If you’re going with a contrarian stack, then it pays off to go with the best pitcher options.  For more information refer to my article: How to Win at DFS (coming in the next few days).

Conquering the low stakes is all about mastering the fundamentals: having a system for accurately judging player potential, factoring in projected ownership, and applying stacking strategies correctly.  To move up in stakes you must adjust to the sharper field as chalky plays have the potential to be overowned, while volatile sleepers may go overlooked.  Good luck in the upcoming season!

Awesemo.com’s premium subscription to MLB includes Awesemo’s rankings and ownership projections through the World Series, the Awesemo.com projections and lineup builder, and premium articles: the Deeper Dive and Awesemo’s articles (May-September): Pitchers, Stacks, and Roster Construction breakdowns.  Sign up for our MLB or All-Access annual package before March 26th and get $50 off using the promo code MLBEarlyBird.

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DraftKings and FanDuel CBB March Madness DFS Primer

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Unlike most of the other DFS sports, college basketball DFS really has a specific time of the year when things get crazy. March Madness as we all know it takes on a life of its own with seemingly everyone interested in brackets and college basketball when THE tourney comes around. College basketball DFS has its own strategy, and being able to familiarize yourself with some basic concepts will put you at an advantage for March Madness and college basketball DFS as the tourney fast approaches.

**With THE tournament right around the corner, make sure to check out our premium March Madness package here at Awesemo.com. Between the top player in DFS’s ownership projections and player projections plus access to our premium Slack channel, our March Madness package will give you an edge with your bracket picks and CBB DFS slates.**

College DFS vs. NBA DFS

College basketball DFS is certainly going to be easier if you are familiar with NBA DFS, as a lot of similar concepts and strategies are utilized. Still, we want to also understand where college basketball DFS is different so that we are able to alter our process when needed.

For starters, minutes are king and minutes=production, which is a phrase that NBA DFS’ers are used to hearing. College basketball DFS, however, is going to be slightly different just because of the fact that they play two 20-minute halves, as opposed to the 48-minute NBA game broken up into quarters. The other big difference that plays a key role is that in college basketball a player is disqualified after five fouls, not six like in the NBA, so we have to be aware if major foul trouble could be an issue when looking for potential plays. This is something to really dig into, since if you are only game-log watching you might get an inaccurate read on a player due to them being in foul trouble and playing reduced minutes.

Since a college game is only 40 minutes, it is possible top end players may not come off the court at all, which obviously maximizes their potential to rack up points. We will get to some useful resources about figuring out rotations, usage and other key factors you are going to want to know when building college basketball DFS lineups. Many teams just do not have the depth to play more than a few guys off the bench and that allows most of the key contributors to play as many minutes as they can handle each night they take the floor.

** With March Madness finally here we are going to have plenty of content from a DFS, betting and bracket perspective, so make sure to stop over to Awesemo.com and check out all of the resources**

March Madness DFS Slates

We are going to be dealing with March Madness, and like the NBA playoffs, this is where it’s all hands-on deck and every team is all-in every game. Coaches are going to ride or die with their best lineups and rotations will certainly be shortened similar to what we saw in many conference tournament games last week. As games wind down in the second half, teams will foul and foul and foul to try and extend these games and get a miracle comeback. College basketball foul rules are that on the seventh team foul, a team reaches the bonus and gets a 1 and 1, which means a team only gets a second free throw if they make the first.  After 10 team fouls, that team is guaranteed two foul shots and you will be shocked at the amount of garbage time points that can be racked up during these last few minutes of each tourney game. I don’t think we need to overhaul lineups to highlight the possible benefits of backing players from teams that are the favorite, but it’s certainly something to consider with the way a lot of these games end with endless fouling.

With March Madness being such a huge event for college basketball there is plenty of information via Vegas lines that we can use to our advantage. Obviously just knowing which team is favored and the over/under of each game gives us a sense of how it is expected to unfold, but also keep an eye out for player props. This is a great indicator of how Vegas values player production and we can use this to analyze the college basketball DFS options and construct effective lineups.

Where to Find Information

One of the challenges in college basketball DFS is that we do not have a ton of information and that can make it difficult to research and find solid quality plays to fill out our roster. There are 350 Division 1 NCAA teams and although only 64 reach March Madness, there will be plenty that most of us have never seen play and know nothing about. This is where relying on some useful resources can pay dividends and can be a huge addition to your process when playing college basketball DFS.

Kenpom.com is a great place to go and even though the majority of information is behind the paywall, you can still get a nice sense of how each team is rated in terms of offensive and defensive efficiency, as well as each team’s normal tempo of play. These types of metrics are incredibly useful just to get a general sense of some of the lesser known teams and then you can dig into the individual players for possible college basketball DFS plays.

Teamrankings.com is another excellent site and it provides stats on both the team and individual level, which is huge for CBB DFS. You will be able to get a great sense on who some of these players are and what their usual role is for their given teams, and that is one of the biggest keys to building lineups. In the opening round of the tournament, this is will be a key resource for some of the higher seeds where we have limited information on rotations and who are the key players for the teams.

Donbest.com is one of the places you should check out to monitor injuries, which is something we need to be up to date on to be successful in college basketball DFS. It can be tough to get information, so Twitter certainly plays a role before lock, but I use this site to get a broad sense of what’s happening and then dig into specifics once I see where everything stands.

Overall Thoughts

This is an awesome time of the year if you are a college basketball fan, and from a DFS standpoint, it is a great opportunity for the sites to draw in some users who don’t normally play college basketball DFS. Whether its brackets, betting, or DFS, you obviously want to have some fun with it and make sure to utilize all the resources you can to give yourself any edge you can find to hopefully be successful.  As I mentioned earlier, make sure to stop in to Awesemo.com as we are going to have plenty of written and video content breaking down all things college basketball, and I’m hopeful this served as a nice starting point to gear up for the craziness that is March Madness.

If you have any questions find me in the sports betting channel on the Awesemo.com premium Slack chat or @JazzrazDFSon twitter.

 

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