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Why Can’t I Win on FanDuel? 3 Common Mistakes

Playing daily fantasy sports on FanDuel can be an fun and addicting, but when you play for several weeks in a row with no big wins, it’s frustrating. You may read up on strategy a lot, but falling into the same patterns when picking a daily fantasy team will impede your results significantly. Many players fall into the same traps and make the same mistakes, so if you find yourself unable to win on FanDuel, read up. You may be making one of these 3 mistakes.

 

Undervaluing Salary

Sometimes, you get a strong feeling that a guy is going to go off on a specific week. Maybe it’s week 4 and you think Bishop Sankey is going to start getting a heavier workload for the Titans, or you think Drew Brees is just going to crush the Giants. It’s fine to make bold predictions, but when picking players, the first thing you should look at is salary. And more importantly, does his salary match is production?

A great example of this is RG3 in week 1. You may think RG3 is going to come back big in week 1, but his salary is just way too high. He’s priced at $8,400, similar to Colin Kaepernick, Nick Foles and Tony Romo. For a salary as high as those players, you should be anticipating the massive production those other QBs will bring. But, RG3 is not a lock by any means to have a big game, and while it’s good to trust your gut, it would be foolish at such a high salary. A player like Jeremy Maclin on the other hand, is $5,000. So if you have a feeling he will go off week 1, it’s much smarter to play him since his salary is so low and his upside is so high if you’re right. He gives you a much better chance of winning overall.

 

Recency Bias

Throughout the season, you will see players come out of seemingly nowhere and have a big game. One example is Jordan Reed, who broke out with a 9 reception, 134 yard performance for the Redskins after having mediocre production in his first few. Sometimes, it’s a big time player having a massive game, like Calvin Johnson against the Cowboys in 2013 where he went for 329 yards on 14 catches or when Jamaal Charles scored 5 TDs on 215 total yards against the Raiders.

It’s absolutely excruciating to not have one of these players in one of your lineups when they end up going off, but it’s a big mistake to try and chase that production next week. A big game will raise the salary of a player and also raise his usage, two factors that make him a worse play the next week. By playing that player from his last game alone, you are hurting your lineup badly.

Big games can be a small indicator though, especially for young players. If you see a player have a big game, think about why. If there are plenty of good, logical reasons, then it may be smart to play him the next week. But if it’s just good variance and a good matchup, like Johnson and Charles last year, it’s foolish to chase them.

 
Being Unaware Injury and Replacement

In daily fantasy, particularly football, injury and injury replacement play a key role in making great lineups. Players get injured all the time, and their backups are almost always low salary players. Some of these players have big potential, and if you miss the boat on them, it will hurt you badly.

This happened to me late in the season last year, when Adrian Peterson got injured and the starting RB for the Vikings became a guy named Matt Asiata. I may have heard Asiata’s name in passing during the week, but didn’t even give a thought to playing him. He obviously is not a name player and probably not a very talented RB, but when a minimum salary played becomes the #1 RB, the likelyhood he will outperform his salary is astronomical. Asiata ended up only getting 60 yards, but rushed for 2 TDs, and was a key part of the winning lineup in the FanDuel Sunday Bomb that week.

Becoming a winning daily fantasy player takes a lot of work and involves a lot of study, but if you avoid these 3 mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to that winning lineup.

 

View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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