Fantasy Football: How to Play Yahoo Daily

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The Setup for Yahoo Daily

The first and perhaps most important distinction that sets Yahoo apart in the DFS world for many players is that it comes from a name we are familiar with.  Yahoo has been synonymous with season-long fantasy football for nearly 20 years.  This means that it’s a name new DFS players trust and it comes with the benefit of being fully integrated into the Yahoo Fantasy Sports app that you probably already have loaded on your mobile device.

This seamless interaction and a single source for both your Daily and Season-Long Leagues make for an awesome experience when you can check on the status of your DFS lineups and your quest for a #FootClanTitle all in one place.

How to Play Yahoo Daily

When it comes to a variety of contests, Yahoo has that too.  Even though the D in DFS stands for “Daily” you can actually choose between a true “Daily” lineup or to participate in a “League”.  The Daily contests come in your traditional flavors of Head-to-Head, Cash, and Tournament styles, but the Leagues offer something extra.  A league is a series of Daily contests against the same pool of players.  After paying the initial entry fees, you are automatically entered in subsequent contests until the League reaches its conclusion and finds its winners.

Once you have decided which type of contest you wish to play in, selecting a team is relatively straightforward.  You simply select the position on your lineup and a list of players will appear.  You then have a $200 budget with which to fill your lineup.  The minimum cost of a player is $10 with the high-end players usually running about $40.

Yahoo Daily Roster Requirements

Yahoo’s roster requirements will look familiar to players with experience on Draft Kings.  Like Draft Kings, Yahoo has elected to forgo the Kicker position in favor of a flex position (Hooray!).  This means that instead of getting to the end of your team and randomly selecting a Kicker with whatever funds you have remaining, you can instead strategize and construct a lineup how you see fit; with a 4th WR, a 3rd RB, or even a 2nd TE.

The complete roster requirements for Yahoo Daily are as follows: 1 QB, 3WR, 2RB, 1TE, 1 FLEX, 1 D/ST

Yahoo Daily Scoring System

Like many of the other platforms, Yahoo uses fairly standard decimal scoring.  4 points per passing TD, 0.1 points per yard rushing/receiving, 0.04 points per passing yard.  In fact, the only thing that isn’t “standard” about their scoring is that Yahoo awards 0.5 points per reception.  That’s right, Yahoo uses the “Footballers Preferred Scoring Format” which is a benefit for those of us who have become accustomed to the setting.

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What this means is that Yahoo comes down somewhere between Fan Duel and Draft Kings when it comes to the effect of receptions on your overall chances for success.  The flex spot means that you can start one more pass catcher than you could in Fan Duel (where they require you to start a K) but your receptions don’t get awarded full PPR like they do on Draft Kings.

Yahoo Daily Lineups

The aforementioned FLEX spot allows for a lot of roster customizations.  As you build your team you may realize that you only left enough salary cap space for a middling WR or a backup RB option in your flex.  Have no fear, you can grab a TE and go for the TD upside, or maybe a homerun threat at WR.

This is where your lineup choices may come down to the style of contest you’ve entered.  If you’ve entered in a big tournament against long odds, you may opt for a John Brown/John Ross style boom or bust play.  However, if you find yourself in a head to head or 50/50 contest you may opt for a player with a safer floor, a guy like Charles Clay aka Mr. Necessary comes to mind.  The choice is yours.

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How to Win at Yahoo Daily

With a budget to spend however you wish, and not having to allocate draft picks to players means that you can build your team any way you want using any strategy you like.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

The Stack

DFS veterans will be intimately familiar with “the stack”.  A stack is when you grab a QB and a pass catcher from the same team in hopes that the two connect on a few big plays or a TD or two.  Think about the Kirk CousinsJordan Reed connection in years gone by, or Russell Wilson and his main target Doug Baldwin.  These are the pairings you can capitalize on since you essentially get double points when the two connect for a big play.

Stars and Scrubs

This strategy comes in many forms, but my go-to variation would be better described as “scrubs and stars”.  I start my team builds with as many minimum cost players as I can stomach.  Maybe a $10 WR and a $10 3rd down/pass catching RB.  Then I will have $180 to fill my remaining 7 roster spots for an average of nearly $26 per spot instead of the basic $20 per spot.

When using the scrubs and stars line up, it is key to make use of the late substitutions.  Yahoo will let you swap players up until kickoff provided that you have enough cap space for the intended switch.  This late swap allows you to grab a handcuff RB who is named the starter in practice on Friday but who still carries the cap number calculated earlier in the week when they were nothing but a bench warmer.  Joining up a few extreme values with potential upside with a higher quality core group of studs is fun and very rewarding, especially when the scrubs come through with a good game.

Tent Poles

The tent pole works much like how movie studios plan their blockbuster release dates.  You have 2-3 huge performers lined up in your roster that prop up the rest.  This strategy makes the most of the salary cap system in that you can easily target the players that the Yahoo algorithm projects to be the most valuable, though it’s not something I do often.  Essentially a Stars and Scrubs team taken to the extreme, you select the highest paid player at a couple positions, or perhaps just Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliot to lock down the RB position.  This will likely leave very little cap space for the rest of your team, but at least you’ll have the two highest performers of the week on your team.  At least… that’s the plan.

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