I’ve been playing season long fantasy football in various formats for the English Premier league for a number of years through my website Fantasy Football Geek and been reasonably successful. Recently though I’ve started playing daily fantasy football through PlayON.
Here are some tips, tricks and notes to help you make the jump from season-long to daily fantasy EPL.
I enjoy the short-term nature of daily fantasy immensely. The great thing is when it’s done it’s done. It’s not something that hangs over the rest of the season like it does for Fantasy Premier League. There’s always a clean slate next week to work from. You don’t have to worry during the week on how you’re going to fix your bad decision, replace injured players or think whether an early transfer is worth it to avoid price rises/drops. In DFS, your players need to outperform their salaries for that one, single match.
The scoring in PlayON is far more detailed with a wider variety of ways to earn points than Fantasy Premier League. There also are not any restrictions on numbers of players selected from a team. As I’ve played a number of different season long formats, all of which score differently, then I’m generally not phased by these differences. I can generally tell you how many shots on target or interceptions to expect as a rule of thumb so the scoring system doesn’t present problems. You can see PlayON’s full Premier League scoring rules here
One tip here is to analyze the scoring of your team and other players after contests end. You can learn a lot as you go by understanding your results.
I think one of the difficult decisions that every daily fantasy manager has to make is how much risk do you take with your lineup. If you’re playing in a 2- or 3-player contest, you may want to play it very safe with your selections and hope you win through a solid team.
In contests with great numbers and a bigger prize with a relatively affordable entry fee, it’s a different kettle of fish. It often feels worth rolling the dice with some differential players or backing a few teams to win big. A block defence is one way of doing this. Unlike in season-long fantasy football, losing is losing. There are no acceptable low scores. You either finish high enough to win cash prizes, or you do not, so there are times where you can really go for it and try to hit big.
Personally, I play a fairly conservative Fantasy Premier League strategy. I try to manage my potential drops as much as I do gains and look for a slow, patient rise in the ranks. In daily fantasy, there are no such worries. It’s generally all over in a few hours. The rewards are big and the downsides small, so win or lose, it’s all soon forgotten and you can pick a fresh team for the next contest.
One of the big advantages with daily fantasy is that, depending on what daily game you enter into, normally you can do so with having seen a vast majority of the lineups. Although that can mean some hurried decisions with an hour to go before kickoff, it avoids all the heartache that you go through with Fantasy Premier League where a player’s starting prospects can often be a disproportionate part of how successful you are over any given period. With DFS, there is no obsessing over injuries or team news. It’s all about player performance and the opposition that week.
If I’m in a fairly small contest I’ll play it fairly safe, wait for team news to be announced and pick a lineup spread between various teams that I think will perform well. I’ll also generally put in more popular, higher-picked players to neutralise them and hope to win it on the margins.
I try to stick to teams I’ve seen the lineups for unless I’m certain a player would start – although waiting for the lineups can often help with the overall value of your team. For example, if suddenly an unexpected cheap defender makes the side, you can put him in your lineup at a low salary. These savings enable you to invest bigger in attack.
In a larger contest, I’ll generally go for broke with a block-type defence and bet on a small number of teams to win. If that involves guessing lineups for later matches, then I would do that, as you need to take more risks in bigger contests. I’ve found it very difficult to win these games when I’ve tried to be cautious.
That’s it for what I’ve learned making the jump from season-long to daily fantasy Premier League. Ready to give it a try for yourself? Join a game at PlayON now