The most popular of the DraftKings daily fantasy sports is without question, football. Each week during the NFL season, hundreds of millions of dollars are entered into the various contests to try to double up, triple up, quadruple or win the big jackpot in the Millionaire Maker competitions.
While we all love watching football & being fans of the NFL, it is very different when you are playing a roster to gain money. As we mentioned in the last piece, there are differences to playing 50/50s & tournament styles when playing in daily fantasy football. In the tournament formats, your best bet is to try to find players who are owned by a very small percentage of the players in the tournament & look for them to have good matchups against their opponent that week (that information can be found in the OPK area; anything in green means that it is a favorable matchup).
Here is the breakdown of how to put together a roster for a 50/50 & a breakdown for a tournament team.
In the 50/50 for fantasy football, you want to go with the safest players possible that can fit under the $50,000 salary cap number. These safe players are typically the players that can score many points consistently, rarely has a down week & are owned by a high percentage of the field. Remember that in a 50/50 or double up format, all of the prizes are paid evenly to the group that finishes in the top half. If you are a starter in the fantasy football format, 50/50s are absolutely the way to start off with.
Don’t be allured by the tournament fees & such – your chances are very low unless you are a seasoned player with an extensive knowledge of the NFL. The 50/50s are pretty much always a guarantee that if you get the players that you can easily tell are performing well on a consistent basis, your success rate will be relatively high. Here is how I put together my 50/50 roster during a daily fantasy week:
Start with Quarterback/Wide Receiver Stack
When I put together my roster, I am looking for a solid quarterback/wide receiver stack due to the fact that when the wide receiver catches the pass & scores, the quarterback does as well. In DraftKings, the true PPR rules are in effect so a player who can have high volume of receptions & decent YAC (yards after catch) will do extremely well.
With the elite quarterbacks in the league such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan, Eli Manning & others, they typically have great wide receivers to throw to who are at the top of their game & will almost always be responsible for primarily moving the offense that week.
When you are in a 50/50, when you are going to play Brady & Rodgers, you want to make sure you take a look at Randall Cobb, James Jones, Julian Edelman & especially Rob Gronkowski. Those combinations will always get you some kind of points.
Matt Ryan is a very good quarterback, however, you can always use Julio Jones in a 50/50 & even with Ryan having a bad day, you can count on Julio on most weeks to have a big game, especially if the matchup is in his favor. Most times, this is rare, though.
With some quarterbacks, they make more than one receiver into a Pro Bowl caliber player & a great 50/50 pick. Brady uses Edelman & Gronkowski; Rodgers uses Cobb, Jones, Montgomery & Richard Rodgers. Andy Dalton uses A.J. Green & many times Tyler Eifert & Marvin Jones. Ben Roethlisberger uses Antonio Brown as a primary.
No matter what type of stack you use, make sure they are an established combination that you know that if all else fails, you can count on that combination to do great work for you that week.
Solid Running Back; Not Expensive Running Back However.
In 50/50s I like to take one expensive, high-end running back, such as an Adrian Peterson, Le’Veon Bell or Jamaal Charles, whom I know is going to be consistent on a regular basis & will always be good for about 15-30 points every week. Normally, the key to a consistent RB in a 50/50 is one who is out there on every down & is involved heavily in every game plan & is neutral in the sense of the gameplan changing from week to week. They will still be out & producing.
They will probably not fit into your salary cap, but if you could ever figure out a way to play Charles & Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte together, you will have almost little to zero running back issues for the season, barring injury.
However, in the NFL, with the running back position being so fickle from week to week, outside of the top 5-7 running backs in the NFL, many players are interchangeable, so with my second running back position, I would normally try to find a quality back who is worth about $3,000 to $5,000 in salary. A player such as as Karlos Williams from the Bills, T.J. Yeldon from the Jaguars or Latavius Murray from the Raiders or Chris Johnson from the Cardinals fits that description. They are always good for about 10-15 points & while its not the ultimate numbers, they are numbers that will be enough to sustain in a 50/50 competition.
Random Wide Receivers Who Are Studs Are Always Good.
After you have selected your QB/WR stack, you want to think about how much money you have left & possibly go after a stud WR who can produce no matter what. Any of the names above are always a good play; don’t be afraid to spend a little in this area because a receiver who get you around 7 catches, 90-100 yards and a TD will still be worth about 20-25 points & will be a key in your 50/50 quest.
Go elite here……….between the quarterback, solid running back play & if the receivers are even average to above average, you will most likely lock down a good spot in the top half of 50/50s.
Only Spend a Lot on Tight End If Its Rob Gronkowski.
It is no secret that Rob Gronkowski is the most reliable & unstoppable tight end in all of the NFL. He is worth regular wide receiver money. Maybe even more. But for the regular, run-of-the-mill TE, they can be had at relatively low prices ($2,500-$4,000). I tend to lean on Charles Clay, Richard Rodgers, & Delanie Walker in 50/50s due to their regular production & consistency.
Note that you can go with another great tight end, running back or wide receiver in the flex position if there is someone that you just feel as though you have to have or someone that the rest of the league is sleeping on who could be a break out player, but make sure to not invest your whole future into this area, just not needed.
Defense Should Be Elite……..Forget About The Running Back Correlation.
I hear many times that the running back correlation with a great defense can be great. I wholeheartedly disagree. You can have a great defense – ala the Arizona Cardinals – but not have a great running game. Does it help? absolutely, but in a 50/50 league, its about finding the best defenses available. Typically, the ones that are always a solid lock are the Cardinals, Seahawks, maybe the Jets & that’s about it. All of the other defenses you may look at, I would strongly look at their matchups. On Draftkings, if the matchup is in the green & favorable, go with it only if you feel comfortable enough.
Our next post will be how to play a tournament game effectively.