The DFS Process: Weekly Strategy & Schedule (Fantasy Football)
As Betz and I recently discussed on the Fantasy Footballers’ DFS & Betting Podcast, developing a process and setting goals for DFS is essential for anyone who wants to be a long-term profitable player.
If you are like me, you live by a weekly schedule when it comes to your job, your family, and how you accomplish your goals. DFS players should be no different and the biggest curse of winning early in DFS for me was that I figured if I won then, I could do it again. Wrong! I needed a process because of the constant ups and downs you could experience while playing this format of fantasy football.
At the end, I will give you this in simple chart form if you’d like to adopt some of it. Everyone is different and everyone is in a different season of life whether that is bankroll, family responsibilities, work, etc. A lot of DFS content can work alongside your life instead of forcing you to abandon your responsibilities and family as you do endless research in the basement. For example, listening to an hour-long DFS Podcast can happen in the car or while mowing the lawn. The two weekly podcasts we put out for DFS & Betting condense so much of the preparatory work. Let us do the heavy lifting and sift through all the things you don’t need!
Monday: Review & Learn From Your Mistakes
I’m going to technically start… from the end. Write down your mistakes. Not specifically player-specific takes, although it might be helpful to identify if you have some beef against someone after they burned you last week. Instead, mostly focus on what part of the process of selecting your cash game lineups or GPP tournament builds was helpful, harmful, or just downright rushed. Oh, and don’t try to overcorrect by spending more of your bankroll on Monday night football.
Tuesday: Recalibrate & Dip your Toes in the Water
On Tuesday mornings, this is your first chance to turn the page towards the next week. I write a First Look article as part of our DFS Pass which highlights the salary adjustments each week and the inherent values from DraftKings and FanDuel. Familiarize yourself with the pricing and who isn’t on the main slate that week. In other words, the teams & players playing on Thursday night, Monday night, or happen to be on a bye week gives you insight if there are elite RBs like Christian McCaffrey who might garner more roster percentage that week. The TE landscape is so crucial because we have 3-4 elite guys. If one or two of them is off the slate, you are looking at pay-up or punt as the strategy. Our Vegas Report highlights the highest totals on the main slate as well as insights related to team-implied totals and possible game stacks from the five games we like the most that week.
Wednesday: Research & Dive Deep into Matchups & Pace
In redraft leagues, this is usually the day of waivers and the aftermath of making moves takes precedence. I get it. When waivers go through, my main league’s Slack channel is full of chatter and trash talk for most of the day that’s it’s hard to switch your mindset thinking about a format you might not look at until Friday or Saturday.
If you’re short on time, finding 30 minutes to look through each matchup is an easy way to just think about this from a football/game flow perspective before narrowing down your player takes. We also release a Pace of Play article that combines the Vegas lines with play-calling tendencies for each team. Unless you’re playing the Showdown slate on Thursday night, Wednesday is one of the lighter days that I reserve to look at things mostly from a 10,000-foot view of “what do I know/not know about these matchups?”
Thursday: Reshape & Get in Your Reps
Thursday is a gift in the DFS multi-verse. I use that term not only as a Marvel fan (Loki was top-notch) but the Showdown slate gives you a chance to see a one-game sample of all the possible outcomes. It’s amazing how often we think we can predict game script as evidenced by Matt DiSorbo’s Fantasy Football Mythbusters series. One game on a Thursday night gives us the opportunity to try this out without the same consequences as the main slate.
Beyond playing the Thursday night game, I also start to assemble my cash game lineup. It’s version 1.0 and I’ve found that being open to changing my opinion in cash starts with getting this out of my head and receiving critique from someone else. My favorite text each week is between Betz and I as we go back and forth on our first attempt at a cash game lineup. It’s far from over and there is disagreement as he makes his lineup and I make mine. There is often overlap but when you’re assembling a cash game lineup, you’re obviously looking for a high floor.
For more on assembling a cash game lineup, check out our DFS Roster Construction Strategy article.
Friday: Refine Your Player Pools
I mean this one is a freebie… Wake up and see that your weekly Fantasy Footballers DFS & Betting Podcast with Matthew Betz and myself is in your podcast feed. We analyze the main slate, offer our cash game plays, work through stackable games, and even some dart throws.
But beyond listening to the podcast, Friday is the day I begin to look at practice reports to get a feel for who could be in or out for the Sunday games. I also start to whittle down the number of players I want to expose myself to in tournaments. These “player pools” are not meant to “X” people out completely but to at least see what types of correlation I can take advantage of. I’ll have a follow-up DFS Process article on this subject.
Saturday: Relax & Clear Your Head
I take off Saturdays to be with the family and try to unplug from DFS or else this is where you begin to question the entire week’s process. Seriously, I try my best to put my phone away and not indulge in the latest news. You will get clear updates on Sunday so anything we think on Saturday is mere speculation. Plus, there is more to life than DFS as strange as this may sound coming from someone who does this for a living. Saturday gives you perspective and a chance to see that Sunday DFS life isn’t everything.
Sunday: React, Tinker Those Lineups & Sweat It Out
This is where the best DFS players make their due. While you might not be looking to make this a full-time profession, adding a little extra spending money for the holidays to your bankroll comes down to putting in a little bit of time on Sundays to finish constructing lineups before lock. While there is some comedic debate in the DFS community about whether you are #TeamHandBuild or #TeamOptimizer, the process is what is most important to me.
The biggest DFS mistakes I’ve found personally come down to:
- Contest Selection
- Early Week Take Lock
- Overthinking Cheap RBs
- Lack of True Correlation/Stacking Forethought
- Not Factoring in Roster Percentages
- Lying To Yourself About Bankroll/Winnings
I try to keep notes like that handy so that when I view where my money is being allocated on a Sunday, I can cross-check them with this list.
Mock Weekly Schedule
I couldn’t help myself and wanted to give a simple practical schedule of what your week could look like. But make it your own! It’s your schedule and we all need to tailor it according to our current life happenings. I also stayed in the alliteration form (sorry former teacher/pastor here!) giving you a simple guide for each day and a mock weekly schedule with our DFS Pass content.
|Plain & Simple
|Learn from the previous week by identifying mistakes and what the field did in GPPs. Don’t go overboard trying to “win it back” on MNF.
|Press reset and focus your attention on a 10,000 ft view for the upcoming week.
|Dive in deep into the matchups going game-by-game identifying pace of play and which stacking combinations are on the table.
|Solidify your cash game pool of players leaving your final decisions open-ended. Play some Thursday night showdown!
|Fixate on the 3-4 most important games to stack, assemble your GPP pool, and hop in the Discord to “spar” with other DFSers.
|While tinkering with lineups is fun, you hopefully already have a pool of players for cash & GPP based on your research.
|Monitor inactives, set your final lineups (without entering more at the last minute), and enjoy the sweat!
|Lineups, RotoTracker, Borg’s Cash Review article
|DFS Pod, First Look at Salaries, Vegas Report
|Pace of Play article, Matchups
|Cash Picks, TNF Showdown Picks
|DFS Pod, GPP Picks, Roster % Report
|Best Plays, Tournament Takes
|Discord, DFS Pass Alerts
|10 hrs a week
|20 hrs a week
Let me know any feedback on X/Twitter @kyle_borg if you need some more direction!