How I Won a FanDuel FFFC Seat and a Shot at $2,000,000

This past weekend was very exciting and nerve-racking for me, but also very rewarding. In my first crack at attempting to qualify for FanDuel’s Fantasy Football Championship (FFFC), I produced on 183 point lineup that placed in the top 2 of a $25 qualifier, awarding me 1 of the 100 seats that will be given out for the FFFC by the years end.

fanduel FFFC quaklified lobbby


What is the FFFC?

For those of you unfamiliar with daily fantasy football, let me explain the FFFC. The FFFC is the fantasy football tournament of the year. It’s hosted live in Las Vegas in December by FanDuel. There is no way to directly buy into the FFFC, the only way one can play is to qualify via one of the several FFFC qualifiers every week on FanDuel. These qualifiers range from $10 buyin to $1000 buyin. In the end, 100 people will qualify over the coming weeks and play out a tournament that pays out $15,000 for 100th place and $2,000,000 for 1st. For those of you familiar with online poker, this is essentially the WCOOP Main Event on Pokerstars, but with much better odds to win. The entire weekend is a lot of fun as well, FanDuel is hosting a party at Marquee as well as putting us up in the Cosmo for the entire weekend. They also plan on flying whoever wins home in a private jet. The whole thing should be a lot of fun!

Why I used Several Entries in the FFFC Qualifier

I entered a total of 20 different lineups into the FFFC qualifier. For those unfamiliar to Daily Fantasy Football, that seems like quite a few, but you’ll actually find that many players entered as many as 50-100 lineups into the qualifiers. The key to winning large daily fantasy tournaments is two-fold. While, obviously, you need to have a lineup with all the right picks, you also want to enter a bunch of different lineups with a plethora of different combinations of players that you like. The goal is to find a winning combination of players from a pool of 20-40 that you predict will perform well. A player like Gio Bernard was one of the staples of most of my lineups (I really loved him this week, he was my top pick on the homepage), but players like Thomas, Nelson, Graham and Asiata were players I used in less than 1/3 of my lineups. In reality, I got lucky here in many ways (this goes without saying) and the reason I was able to hit big in one of my lineups is simply because I entered so many.

That being said, there was good reason for all these picks and I’ll explain each of them below.

The Team

FFFC qualifier lineup


Rodgers and Nelson – One key factor to every winning daily fantasy football lineup is picking a good QB WR combo. In football, QB and WR production is closely correlated and for a very simple reason: when a QB completes a pass, a receiver must have also completed a catch. When you choose a QB and WR on the same team, any positive play from that receiver will also help the QB. This is especially true for TDs, where the receiver will be awarded 6 points but his QB will be awarded 4, automatically giving your team a significant 10 point boost. Rodgers was one of my favorite QBs of the week, along with Andrew Luck and Nick Foles, for a few reasons. First off, the Packers were projected to score 27 points by online sportsbooks, which was one of the highest totals of the week. The matchup was also particularly good for Rodgers, the Jets run D is very good while their pass D is simply mediocre. With Eddie Lacy coming off a concussion it was likely the Packers would be forced to pass a lot to score those 27 points. Not surprisingly, all 3 Packers TDs were through the air.

As a quick aside, one mistake I see a lot of new daily fantasy players make is not paying up for the #1 WR to go with their QB, instead going for the cheaper #2 or #3 receiver. While this may work out on occassion, you’ll likely get burned. I absolutely was going to go with Jordy Nelson here and I’m glad I did.

Asiata – I actually didn’t love Asiata because you never know if a RB will get all the carries or if a young 3rd stringer will surprise. That being said, Asiata is a massive human and certainly was going to see the goal-line carries. Against the Pats poor run D, he seemed like a worthy gamble, and he showed last year he was capable of some big games. He significantly outperformed his salary in a way I didn’t expect but it worked out nicely for me.

Giovani Bernard – As I mentioned before, I loved Bernard. He had 6 receptions on 10 targets in week 1 and he’s clearly the go-to guy in the Bengals offense. Atlanta has a weak defense all around so I expected a talented player like Gio to go off. I was also a little bit lucky here, AJ Green getting injured during the game clearly got Bernard more looks in the passing game, but he was clearly a great play regardless.

Demaryius Thomas – Thomas actually underperformed given his salary but had a solid enough game where he didn’t hurt my team. With Wes Welker still out the Broncos offense only has 3 legit options at receiver, Thomas’ would have to be targeted a lot in the pass game so I felt his floor was high. Even in a slightly disappointing game he performed well.

Golden Tate – This pick didn’t work out well, but as one of my lowest salary players, it was an ok miss. By the way, I love Tate this weekend against the Packers, he’s still $5,000 and gets targeted often in Detroit’s offense.

Jimmy Graham – Graham is the type of big time player (like Calvin Johnson or LeSean Mccoy) you want on any tournament team. He can have massive games like this one even when his matchup isn’t totally ideal. On the road especially, QBs like to go to their favorite targets so it doesn’t surprise my Graham had a big game here.

Bullock – He was one of several kickers I used and his salary fit, not much more to say here.

Washington Redskins D/ST – You usually don’t think Redskins when you think defense but they’re matchup at home against Jacksonville was a great one. Jacksonville is totally barren in the talent department and Washington does have a solid pass rush and a return guy in Andre Roberts who can break one for a score. I didn’t expect 10 sacks here but it definitely helped!

The last thing you may have noticed is that aside from Rodgers and Nelson, none of my players play for the same team. The reason for this is that player performances on the same team (Aside by QB and WR) are inversely correlated. This is because if one WR, RB, or TE touches the ball, the other WR, RB, or TE’s can’t touch the ball. A good play from one player means one less good play for another. In qualifiers like this, you absolutely need to get in the top 2, so having any players together on your team with reverse correlations will likely be a huge mistake.

How Can I Win a Seat?

FanDuel runs these FFFC qualifiers every Sunday, and there are a range of buyins. There’s a $10 qualifier that awards 2 seats, a $25 qualifier that awards 1, a $200 qualifier that awards 1, and a $1000 qualifier that awards 1. While the $1000 qualifier obviously gives you the best chance of winning, I recommend entering several lineups in the $25 or $10 qualifier.

In terms of strategy, reading our articles as they are posted throughout the week should be a big help, and visiting our forum  can be a great resource as well. If you haven’t signed up for FanDuel already, you can sign up using this link and receive a 100% deposit bonus up to $200. Or, simply use the promo code ‘DFW’ at sign up. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing one of you at the Cosmopolitan in December.

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.

no banner found

Daily fantasy sites