Five Ways To Create An Edge in DFS (Fantasy Football)

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When playing DFS, we should be looking for every edge possible against our opponents. Of course with any fantasy football format, there’s absolutely luck involved in winning, but I firmly believe that in DFS if we work harder than our opponents and have a solid process, we’ll be profitable in the long run. On the DFS Podcast and the DFS Pass, you’ll find resources to help you set winning lineups, but this article is all about how to create an edge before we even begin to set a lineup.

Looking for more DFS information? Be sure to check out our way too early look at Week 1 pricing and be sure to read about how to attack the QB and RB positions in DFS.

1. Log Into DraftKings Every Day to Collect Crowns And Rewards

DraftKings uses crowns as rewards for playing on their platform. Every time you enter a contest, once that contest is finished, you get rewarded a certain number of crowns. Not surprisingly, contests that cost more to enter will reward more crowns…but this is more of a “freebie” for playing on DraftKings. The edge here is that we should be logging in every single day to collect extra crowns. Yes, DraftKings literally gives these away for free just by logging onto their site.

Why are crowns important? They can be used to enter contests instead of us having to use our hard-earned dollars to enter contests. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like DraftKings will let us enter a $300 contest with a couple of crowns. We’ll have to accumulate hundreds of crowns before being able to use them to enter a lower dollar contest, but if we win that tournament, this is a massive payout based on the fact that we’re entering the contest for free using crowns. When looking back over the course of an entire season, this can boost our return on investment (ROI).

DraftKings will also less frequently give other rewards like tickets and DK dollars, both of which can also be used to enter contests. Again, this is essentially free money, and we should be taking it, even in the offseason.

Here’s how to collect rewards on desktop:

  1. Log into your DraftKings account
  2. On the top menu bar, hover over “Rewards”
  3. On the drop-down menu, click “Daily Rewards”
2. Play Missions

Most casual DFS players will log into DraftKings Sunday morning and start entering contests, but we should go one step further. Before firing away at different contests, be sure to start a mission for that day. DraftKings offers a daily mission, which changes every day. When you go to the “Missions” page (more on that in a second), you may see something like this:

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Their missions are designed to entice us to enter a certain contest worth a specific dollar amount. You may see a $5 contest, a $10 contest, a $25 contest, or even a $100 contest, depending on what level of DFS player you are/how often you’re playing DK contests. As a reward, DraftKings will then deposit extra crowns into your account based on the mission they offer. On the surface, this may seem like they’re coaxing us into spending extra money (and maybe they are), but if we’re planning to enter a contest that’s more expensive than the mission they offer, shouldn’t we start the mission anyway? The answer is yes because again, they’re giving us free money (crowns) to do what we would have done anyway.

Here’s how to do it on desktop:

  1. Log into your DraftKings account
  2. On the top menu bar, hover over “Rewards”
  3. On the drop-down menu, click “Missions”
  4. Click “Start Mission”
  5. Once the contest that you enter for that mission starts, return to the same menu to claim your reward.
3. Post Head-to-Heads If You’re Playing Cash

If you’re playing in cash games on either DraftKings or FanDuel, one way to play is to play in a head-to-head contest with another DFS player. It’s exactly what it sounds like – you play against one opponent and whoever has the higher score wins, just like a weekly matchup in a redraft league. The catch here is that if we just blindly log in to DFS sites and start entering head-to-heads, we could be going up against experienced DFS players who know what they’re doing or going up against an inexperienced rookie who’s just trying DFS for the first time. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be going up against the second player in this scenario, not the pro who knows what they’re doing.

By posting our own head-to-heads, we are more likely to get casual DFS players who are logging into their preferred site on Sunday mornings without doing as much prep throughout the week as us. You can post head-to-heads for your preferred dollar amount and then to ensure that we’re not going to go up against the same player every contest, we can limit our opponent per contest to one. By doing this, we’re able to reduce the off chance that we have an awful week and end up cashing in zero of our head-to-head contests. Essentially, it will help to reduce some variance that’s associated with pure bad luck.

Here’s how to create head-to-heads on DraftKings:

  1. Log into your DraftKings account
  2. On the top menu bar, click “Contests”
  3. On the right side of the screen, click “Create a Contest”
  4. Choose NFL and follow the on-screen prompts to select your preferred slate
  5. Choose “Public” and click “Head-to-Head”
  6. On the Details page, select your entry fee(s) and set the opponent limit to 1. NOTE: You must create more than one head-to-head in order to be able to set opponent limit.

Bonus Tip: If you’re posting head-to-heads and consistently losing a specific player, you have the option to block a user from taking your posted head-to-heads. This is specific to the DraftKings platform.

Here’s how to create head-to-heads on FanDuel:

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  1. Log into your FanDuel account
  2. On the home page, click “NFL” then “Head-to-Heads”
  3. On the bottom left side of the screen, click “Create contest”
  4. Continue to scroll down the bottom of the screen to select contest type and entry fee(s)
  5. On the bottom right-hand corner of the screen select “Create H2Hs”
4. Look for Overlay in Contests

The term ‘overlay’ refers to the idea that guaranteed contests on FanDuel and DraftKings don’t fill to their max capacity. Overlay can be a way to increase our chance of winning by trying to identify contests that don’t fill.┬áLet’s say, for example, that there’s a contest on DraftKings that’s a GPP (guaranteed prize pool) that has 1,000 entrants. If this contest fills we’re playing against 999 other DFS players, but let’s say for example that only 875 people enter the contest. Our chance of winning the tournament increases because, in this scenario, we’re playing against 874 people. The chances of winning the whole thing increase and the chance of hitting the cash line also improves. This isn’t rocket science – we want to be playing against the fewest number of opponents possible in order to increase our chances of winning.

Early in the season when there’s a lot of hype around the start of the season, it’s less likely to see overlay in contests, but as the season goes along, some casual DFS players lose interest, and as a result, we tend to see a few more contests have overlay. Anecdotally speaking, I have also seen more overlay in the shorter slate contests (the 1PM only slate, the 4PM only slate, or the Primetime slate, for example) because they’re far less popular than the main slate contests.

5. Have a Weekly Schedule

Kyle has done a great job of describing what a weekly schedule could look like for a DFS player. The bottom line is this – we want to have a process every week in order to be strategic going into Sunday. There is nothing worse than feeling unprepared when you log into DraftKings or FanDuel on Sunday morning for the first time. With NFL news constantly flooding our timelines, we want to be ready to sift through the noise in order to be able to find actionable information. When the news hits all at once on Sunday morning, it can feel like you’re scrambling to figure out how to adjust your lineup. By having a process throughout the week and by subscribing to the DFS Podcast, which will be out on Tuesdays and Fridays in season, you’ll be better prepared to succeed each week in DFS because some of our opponents are just logging into their DFS site for the first time an hour or two before lock, and that’s who we want to be playing against.

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