Daily Fantasy Football Strategy

Daily Fantasy Football Starter Guide (1)

Daily Fantasy Football Starter Guide – Part 1

In light of a new season, the NFL is attracting millions of football fans to try daily fantasy sports for a chance to win real cash. The gambling method is one of the only federally legal forms of online betting in the US, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular. The US Congress thoroughly examined the game in 2006 during the drafting of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and found the game to center on skill factors rather than chance.

Fantasy football requires time and effort if you want to walk away a winner. Unlike betting on your favorite team at a casino sportsbook, fantasy sports bettors who are experienced will explain that there are variables that need to be researched before risking real cash. This guide is a comprehensive strategy in drafting a team for daily fantasy football leagues.

Fantasy Football Strategy Overview

  • Statistics make up a large portion of who performs well on game days. They range from past years to current player grades and results that are updated continuously.
  • Match-ups foreshadow the opportunities a player will have during a game by looking at the strengths and weakness of individual players, as well as offense and defense.
  • Schemes show how an offense is meant to attack and express which players will be given a chance to shine. Comparing two full teams through schemes expose helpful information.
  • Understanding and utilizing rules and league regulations to your advantage.
  • Managing your money using a bankroll budget as well as learning when and where to place your bets using investment value and overlay.

Football Statistics

Statistics covers the core profile on any given athlete in football. Coaches, scouts, and analysts look at statistics through watching tape and reviewing data. Each competition is recorded as are the individual stats for each player. When you remove all of the crazy plays or instances in a game that make it unpredictable, you are left with stats.

A majority of people ignore valuable research before placing wagers, which leaves them crossing their fingers and wishing for a miracle. With stats, you are merely utilizing knowledge to give you the best chances possible, which are considerably high if you put in the time and effort.


Of course there will always be unexpected catches or terrible game days, but over time, a well-knowledged bettor can come out on top by using stats. In the world fantasy football research, managing time is the most efficient tool for a winning strategy. Hours on end of looking through years and years of statistics can be hazardous if done the wrong way. The truth is that you only have so much time in a given week before having to select your lineups. Most leagues will lock line-ups just before game time or on Thursday when the first game of the week kicks off. In regards to both, managing to analyze the league correctly can be a difficult task.

The most useful statistics to look for in an NFL player are consistency. Consistency is not a particular stat, but a collection of data from recent games and seasons. Take running backs for example. A running back that has consistency will be given 20 plus carries a game, with a decent running average and the ability to break a tackle or make a defender miss en route for a big gain. A consistent running back will also need a consistent offensive line, in particular, a run-blocking, offensive line. Consistent running backs will also tend to have a quarterback that can establish a run game through a passing attack and with the ability to convert on third down to continue drives. This might all sound overwhelming, but with practice, understanding the positions that support a running back become clearer over time.

Consistency also walks hand in hand with dependency. If a player might not participate in a game, or is recovering from an injury, the investment value drops for that player. One important key to keep in mind is the less gambling involved with fantasy sports betting, the better.

Football Match-ups

The statistics for the entire offense come into play when choosing players, but the defense is equally as important. Defensive match-ups on any upcoming games dramatically affect the outcome of a competition. For example, in taking a look at the 2014-2015 AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, it could be determined before the game that Colts Receiver TY Hilton would be a terrible pick for fantasy sports betting. The reason being, the defensive match-up. The New England Patriots doubled Hilton all game long, allowing him only one catch, leaving many fantasy sports bettors at the bottom of their league pools.

Understanding what match-ups are beneficial for each weekend should be figured out during your research. Match-up research should be more general than individuals playing against one another. Team match-ups will result in knowledge about the potential outcome of individual players. Even the most fundamental and simple match-up info, such as a run-heavy team vs. a weak run defense unit can be beneficial when betting.

Coaching Strategies

A significant factor when looking into betting on daily fantasy football are the coaching strategies involved in the game. Besides a few tricks here and there, coaches tend to play into their designated scheme that gives their team the best possible odds.

Coaches put a lot of tactical strategizing into utilizing their strengths and supporting their weaknesses. You can be sure that the team’s offensive goals will change from week to week given the opponent's weaknesses on defense. However, an offensive scheme does give you an idea of who will receive the majority of snaps, carries, targets, etc.


Look for players with strong coaching staffs, a majority of coaches will find ways to get their star players the ball. Another thing to consider is player types and chemistry. Whether it is a quarterback and his offensive line, or a quarterback-receiver connection, players with team chemistry simply play better and are more reliable to select in a draft.

Fantasy Football Scoring Rules

Scoring rules and league regulations vary from site to site, but the overall layout remains pretty constant. All entrants are allowed to draft eight to nine starting athletes, with the rule that your players must be in at least two NFL games per contest. The typical structure for the position draft tends to go: one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex (choice of an RB/WR/TE), one defense, and one kicker. Line Position availability changes depending on the league rules, so it is essential that you find and read every contest’s rules and regulations.

It is recommended that you stick to a niche set of rules once you have tried a variety of free entries on different sites. The reason being is that when you play with similar rules each time, you will not have to worry about draft choices changing in value based on regulations. For example, when a league allows for a second quarterback to be entered as the flex position, your entire draft scheme will change because of a lack of good quarterbacks.

Point scoring also varies from league to league. However, the basic concept is that every player you draft will affect your total score based on their performance through a point system. On some daily fantasy football sites, points are given per reception (PPR leagues) so that running backs who also can catch the ball go a lot faster in the draft. Wide receivers that are targeted ten plus times a game also increase dramatically in value through PPR. Each site’s point scoring system is not difficult to find, especially on platforms that are known for their easy to navigate interfaces.

Fantasy Football Salary Caps

Understanding player salaries and virtual budget caps are important before trying to win real cash. In each league you enter for daily fantasy football, you will only be able to use a certain amount of virtual money to purchase your team. Depending on the DFS site, the cap ranges from 50K-60K, with each athlete assessed to a particular value.
You want the most bang for your buck without risking too much. Risk can lead to a bigger reward. However, you want consistency over risk. Hoping to fill out the one in a million lineup entry will statistically cost you far more money than playing the numbers skillfully.

Pick up a few star performers that you can depend on to rack up points despite their expensive cost. Salaries for each player will act as a stock such as on the Stock Exchange, rising and falling in value based on how many managers are drafting that player. Draft popularity can sometimes cause a player's cost to exceed far above the appropriate value, and it is essential that you do not break your bank over one-star athlete. Two well-performing players can certainly outscore one excellent one, so it is important to fill out an entire team worthy of scoring.

Fantasy Football Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is imperative when it comes to betting on fantasy football. You will need to know how much money you are willing to risk for each and every tournament or event. The amount of money for any given event will always be a small percentage of the total bankroll. A skillful sports bettor will never bet inconsistently, keeping his total amount of bets even and constant. The same strategy is recommended for daily fantasy sports like FanDuel or DraftKings. There will be several thousand events to choose from on any given weekend, and only planning will result in successful bankroll management.

The first step in organizing your bankroll is to figure how much money you want to risk, and how many events you want to partake in for the season. A typical strategy is to join two to three competitions per week. However, every new sports fantasy bettor should try a few free events to get a feel for the way daily fantasy sports sites work.


After you get into the swing of things, it will be time to try some real cash events. Entries should be spread around a number of sites for the best possible odds. A small part of research should go to finding the right competitions to fit your lineups. Different sites will offer varying bonuses, and it is smart to utilize free money to try the site out before investing real money.

Each bonus you receive will not be entirely usable on your first bet, as it will be released a little bit at a time. However, it will add up over time by adding onto each of your wagers. The best fantasy football bonuses are the “double your deposit” and are released slowly on rollover. Check out our reviews for bonus information on all of the top fantasy football sites.

DFS Overlay

An Fantasy Football overlay is a term used to describe an excess amount of money that occurs when fewer contestants are participating in a guaranteed prize tournament. Sites will offer guaranteed prize pools, expecting an estimated amount of entries. However, many tournaments do not entirely fill up, leaving more money to be split between fewer competitors.

In fantasy football, tournaments will remain open until kickoff. The window of time just before the competitions start is crucial in finding matches with overlay. The science behind overlay is that it raises the investment value and the odds to walk away with winnings.

For example, if a tournament is offering a guaranteed prize reward of $150,000, and the top 1,000 contestants get paid, an overlay can dramatically raise your chances of winning. If only half of the 5,000 entry limit gets filled, the odds are now in your favor to make it into the top tier.

Check which tournaments have guaranteed prize money, and the statuses of the entry cap to find the best overlay scenarios.


Fantasy football is one of the greatest ways to legally gamble online. Not only are the odds to win a lot better as a game of skill, but the experience also proves to be exhilarating and fun for all sports fans. Remember to do your research and to look for the best daily fantasy sports sites available by looking through our reviews. Over time, as you practice, your lineups will get better. Skillful players will succeed with time and effort being put into strategizing each week.

Read our Daily Fantasy Football Starter Guide Part 2, to find out more about Teams and Leagues Basics.