General Fantasy Strategy

This will be a blog where I share my thoughts on general strategic theories and shifts in meta game.  I try to identify optimal strategies for how to choose your lineups.

DFS Stats

Someone was interested in my stats for profit and game breakdowns so posting it here.

Profit Graph

The Graph


Posting this mostly so I can have the image hosted locally, but may do some general blog posts as the season nears its end regarding my experience so far in DFS.

A bit of background, prior to this season EPL I had never played any fantasy sport in any capacity ever and started with a bankroll of $0 on Statclash.  The graph above is just for DK, and I have about an additional ~700 in profit from SC/Mondogoal.

The Art of Lineup Building

Over the first few weeks of the season I've experimented with different methods of lineup building and I've found the most successful method for me is not to be building lineups too early, unless it is a cash game lineup.

My reasoning for this is too often you will find yourself over adjusting once  rosters come out.  This can be for players you had your eye on and end up starting, or players you had in your lineups that end up benched.  Too often I've completely overhauled line ups when a player I wanted isn't playing, or not gotten enough exposure to players I was really high on who ended up getting starts.

So my process going forward for line up selection will be this:

  1. Identify the fixtures I want to target.  This is done by looking at odds as well as using Tango method for regression to predict expected shots.
  2. Look through my predictive model see what players rate the  highest from the teams in the fixtures from step 1.
  3. Compile a list of these players separating them into differing price brackets as well as identifying which players I am most bullish on.
  4. When lineups get released an hour before game time look for non usual starters and cross check their stats in case they aren't included in my spreadsheets due to not having enough minutes played.  This cost me missing Willian when they played Villa.
  5. Begin building lineups based  around the games and players I want to target.

Handling things this way tends to cut down on me making too many lineups.  It also allows you to start from scratch and build your lineups around the players you are most bullish on.  When you do things this way instead of trying to insert them into your already made lineups you will find that you are over adjusting far less to accommodate the players you want.

The Home Field Advantage

One of the building blocks of my overall strategy in picking players for DFS is based off identifying teams with a good fixture and targeting their players.  The biggest factor in this decision making is the idea of Home Field Advantage.  Since the beginning of the Premier League home teams have a match break down of 46% wins, 27% draws, and 27% losses.  That is massively significant and has maintained a very consistent break down through the years.  If you look at the average goals for the home and away teams over that period in time it comes out to about ~.4 goal advantage.  Not surprisingly all the relegated teams have a negative home field goal differential, where as the top teams have very high positive ones.

So what does that mean for daily fantasy?

It means that you can identify non popular plays by targeting home teams who might only be slight favorites instead of going after popular teams on the road who might be listed as bigger favorites.  This is especially true for defensive picks, as slight home dogs will typically be underrated when they are playing more popular teams.  They will offer great differentials for clean sheets, wins, and for saves as well.  On offense sometimes it can be a bit tougher since even with home field advantage these teams still aren't going to have a lot of multi goal games.  Even so, if you go after bargain priced picks on less popular teams at home they won't need to earn many points to justify their selection.  Typically speaking the sweet spot is 2x for cashing, and 2.5x-3x for a big score in regards to points per dollar in GPPs.  Because of this sometimes all you will need is an assist to hit the 2.5x-3x or just to pick a set piece taker and hit 2x from just cross/foul/shot points.

Since the better sides have a larger average goal difference at home it makes their luxury offensive players the best targets to try and get multi-goal scorers.  What that means is you will usually want to have your luxury selections from heavily favored home sides as opposed to heavily favored away sides.  For example in the next slate Liverpool is on the road vs QPR and Southampton is at home vs Sunderland and both sides have the same odds to win.  Given our knowledge we would want to target Southampton instead of Liverpool.  Taking this to another level, that same week Chelsea has even better odds on the road to Crystal Palace than any team short of Arsenal at home vs Hull.  Many people will want to jump on Chelsea players because of this, but given our assumption of home field advantage we may want to fade them and go for players on a slightly less favored home side like Everton vs Villa, City vs Spurs, or Soton vs Sunderland.