Bank Roll Management
Part 1 of my Daily Fantasy Sports Strategy Series
Starting in August I’m going to be putting out articles touching on some strategies to use while playing daily fantasy sports (DFS). We’ll cover bank roll management, contest selection, correlation techniques and how to approach chalk plays and contrarian plays. This first part will address bankroll management, how to set a bank roll, what percentage of that bank roll to use for each slate you play, slate selection and some low/medium risk strategies to help build your bank roll. When it comes to your bank roll the first thing you should do is attempt to calculate what your season long limit will be and deposit that all at once. Now that might seem excessive but it will help you with your long term budget and strategies. Subtracting two weeks for the All-Star Break there’s twenty-four weeks of main slates throughout the 2021-22 regular season then nine weeks worth of classic and showdown slates for the playoffs. That’s 168 regular season slates to play plus potentially 60 additional playoff slates, needless to say it’s a long season and being able to budget your bank roll properly will be pertinent to making it through the whole season. Setting an overall budget at the beginning of the season allows you to always see what your working with, this prevents you from throwing in $20 here and $50 there and not keeping track of it, then without knowing you’ve spent $1500 on the season with nothing to show for it. Now to determine what you bank roll is requires some basic math, think about the amount of slates you play a week and how much per slate you play. If you’ve already been playing for a few years you probably have a pretty decent idea. If you’re playing three slates a week at $10 a slate for the whole season that would bring your total bank roll to $990 so we’ll round it to $1000 to keep the math nice and simple for our examples here.
Now once you set that budget the goal is to make money over the course of the whole season, not to go bust two weeks in and decide if we’re going to reload with another $1000. Now that we’ve set our season long bank roll, we need to decide how we’re going to use it. A good standard rule to have is to never have more than 5%-10% of your bank roll in play on any given night, again this is a long season there will be losses and losing streaks, we don’t want to see our whole budget busted just because of one bad week. Now because we say 5%-10% instead of a flat number this will work on a sliding scale, but still try to stay in the 5%-10% range, just because you get hot and go on a winning streak, you don’t want to get reckless, again the goal is to have a profitable season overall, not one or two good weeks. In addition to maintaining discipline with the amount you put into play every slate, slate selection is also key. Not every slate is created equal and just because you can play every slate that doesn’t mean you have to. If during the course of your research for a particular night you can’t seem to find an advantage over the field or too many games seem chalky, sit it out and just enjoy some hockey. There’s no sense is risking hard won dollars if the whole slate seems like it’s going to be up in the air. Slate selection is even more important if you didn’t budget for every slate, if you only planned for three slates a week make sure you’re feeling very confident when you make your slate selections. Think of slate selection similar to an opening bet at a poker table, if you don’t like your hand just fold ‘em.
Like most things in life you can find more success over the long term in DFS if you set a goal, so establishing a goal for your DFS hockey season is a great way to keep you focused on reaching your end result. Perhaps your goal is simply to have a little extra fun this year during the hockey season by playing DFS, awesome, set a budget, stay disciplined and make your money last the whole season. Perhaps hockey isn’t your main DFS sport, you play more football or basketball but you want to supplement your bankroll for those DFS seasons with some high percentage plays throughout the hockey season, fantastic, set aside how much you want to risk every week from your overall bankroll, stick to the 50/50’s and double ups, be strategic with your slate selection and you should be able to earn some extra cash for your basketball and football bankrolls throughout the year. If hockey is your main DFS game and you want to do more than just last the whole season on your bank roll then you want to establish a specific goal and keep it reasonable. Trying to win twenty-five tournaments or doubling up your bankroll for the whole season are noble goals but also a little far fetched. 10% return on investment (ROI) is a good basic goal to have, if you start the season with $1000 and then end the season with $1100 that should be considered a very successful year. You played the whole season with just your starting budget and now you have an extra $100 you can cash out or roll over to your next DFS season so that you start $100 ahead right off the rip. Sometimes the best strategy for a DFS season is simply to build your bankroll for the following season. One of the the easiest mistakes to make in bankroll management is throwing good money away in contests when the deck is already stacked against you. Most of us don’t have $100,000 in our account to be playing DFS, so to make money we have to be disciplined and focused on every detail. Paying attention to the slates is only one aspect of that discipline. Watching entry limits on the contests we play, playing within our means, thinking logical and not emotional all play a role in a successful DFS season. We’re going to touch more on contest selection in the next part of this series but here are some quick broad stroke strategies to employ in regards to building a bank roll:
-Avoid tournaments: tournaments pay out the lowest percentage of winners, and even the ones that do get paid besides the top 3-5 most make pretty much what you would make in a 50/50 or a double up.
-Avoid Mass Multi Entry (MME): MME contest allow those with bigger bankrolls to flood the entries leaving those who can only enter one or just few lineups at a severe disadvantage.
-Cash Games: Cash games are a great way to build a bankroll by playing a lot of $1 head to head games, but be careful and avoid the sharps in the cash game lobby.
-50/50’s and Double Ups: 50/50’s and Double ups are a great way to try and build your bankroll quickly, just make sure that when you enter one you can meet the max entries.
Next will be a all about contest selection and different ways to utilize your weekly bank roll budget.