Part 2 Contest Selection
This is part two of my series of daily fantasy sports strategies for an entire season. Earlier we covered bank roll management, establishing a budget and high percentage plays to build your bank roll. This week we’re going over contest selections. We’ll discuss the differences between contests, Mass Multi Entry (MME) vs Single Entry and Three Max, tournaments vs cash games, how to determine what contests to play and how much of your bank roll to allocate to each contests. I’m also going to touch on slate selection a bit too, because how confident you feel about a particular slate should factor in to your contests decisions and what percentage of your bank roll you’re going to expose on a given night.
The first thing we’re going to go over is the different types of contests, there are three main types of contests tournaments, double ups/50-50’s and head to head. In tournaments you will be competing against a larger field size and the prizes will be condensed near the top of the payout structure. Double ups and 50-50’s are pretty much exactly how they sound, half the field will be paid out and all the winners will double up their money. Head to head are pretty much exactly like they sound too, you’ll compete against one other player in a head to head match up in a winner take all contest. Each contest is unique in its own way and will play to different strengths and weaknesses of beach player. Playing in a head to head matchup seems nice since you only have to beat one person straight up, but those head to head lobby’s are full of sharps looking for casual players to take advantage of. While 50-50’s seem like a safe bet you still have to beat half the field and the payout is the same if you do, regardless of how well your lineup does. Tournaments come with a ton of excitement but the highest degree of difficulty, if you’re going to be a tournament player make sure to manage your expectations, wins will be few and far between in the beginning. The are other factors to consider when making your contest selections as well.
One of the key details to pay attention to when selecting which contest to compete in is the number of maximum entries allowed in each contest, wether you’re competing in tournaments or double ups you want to ensure that you can reach the maximum allowed entries. Think of it in terms of a raffle, the more tickets you buy the better chance you have to win, so if you submit one entry into a contest that allows a maximum of 150 entries you’re already started off behind most of the field because believe me there will be players that will enter a full 150 entries. Now those contests that allow 150 entries or similar contests with massive amount of possible entries are referred to as mass multi-entry (MME) the counterpart to these MMEs are the single entry and 3-max contests. Single entry and 3-max entry contests make it easy to enter the full number of entries ensuring that you’re on a level footing with everyone you’re competing against.
An under discussed topic in DFS is that of slate selection. When determining what contest to enter and how much of your bank roll to allocate per contest you should consider how the slate is shaping up and your confidence level for that slate. If you feel like you have a good read on the upcoming slate then entering a couple tournaments and hedging your bets with a higher priced double up might be a wise decision for you. If during the course of your research you can’t seem to get a handle on the strong plays or find and contrarian plays you like, maybe making some simple low dollar 50-50 entries is a safe way to try and increase your bank roll that night and put some cash a way for a slate you feel more confident in.
The las thing I want to touch on with contest selection is the lineups you use for different contests. This not a one size fits all type of decision, double ups/50-50’s and head to heads are better played using some “floor” plays whereas tournaments are going to require some contrarian decisions and you’ll want to take projected ownership into account. To be successful playing tournaments you need to differentiate from the field allowing your lineups to float to the top but you’ll still need to make calculated decisions when it comes to chalk plays. Being successful in double ups and head to heads will require you to play a little mor conservatively and understand that you’re not trying to find that break out sleeper every week, just field a lineup that gives you the best chance to finish in the top half of your contest. Correlation and contrarian plays and knowing how to think through those decisions will allow you to construct optimum lineups for each particular contest you enter.
A quick recap of what we went over today, the different types of contests, tournaments, double ups/50-50s and head to heads. Number of entries per contests, the differences between MME and single entry/3-max, pay attention to how many entries are allowed per contest and ensure you can make the maximum allowed entries to remain on equal footing on the rest of the field. After making your contest selection pay attention to your lineup construction, different contests will need different types of lineups. In the next part of our series we’ll cover chalk plays, contrarian plays and correlation within your lineups.