Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.11 – Playing the Field
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 1
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 2 – Having Second Thoughts
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 3 – The Used
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 4 – The Law of Diminishing Returns
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol. 5 – Something Smells Gamey
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.6 – Going Around and Around with the Round Ball
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.7 – Processing the Process
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.8 – Match Game
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.9 – Guess Who?
Benny “The Eagle”: Vol.10 – Risky Business
I love grocery shopping. I’m the cook for our family, and as such I’d like to be in control of the ingredients I’m cooking with as much as possible. I’m not as neurotic with it as I am about how the dishwasher is loaded, but it’s close. CUTLERY GOES IN HANDLE DOWN!
For years I shopped at Safeway. I was raised on Safeway. I knew where everything was. It was comfortable. Then I started looking at flyers and realized I was paying an extra dollar a pound for ground beef for the sake of being comfortable. So, I became a Sobey’s shopper. Sobey’s is great I said to myself, nothing could be better. It’s clean, it’s organized and there’s no hidden donkey meat anywhere. I could still go to Safeway if I felt like it so I could drink Starbucks while I shopped for Doritos, but Sobey’s seemed the more sensible choice most often. Everything changed again though when I realized that Costco sold more than giant TV’s, Kraft Dinner, and sweat pants. I have never saved so much money by spending so much money! Shopping around can pay off kids. Don’t be blindly loyal to one place when there are so many options around.
If you’re relatively new to the DFS scene, you likely signed up through one particular site and have played there regularly. You’ve possibly even become fiercely loyal, bought logo t-shirts, and been embroiled in Twitter flame wars decrying how awful other sites are. Maybe though, you’re just a better person than I am. Either way, there is certainly a lot to be said for spreading out your exposure beyond just one DFS site and set of rules. If you understand the scoring rules, pricing tendencies, and lineup restrictions that different sites offer, you can find increasing ways to get an edge on your competition.
There’s a lot of similarities to be found in NBA DFS scoring across the industry. If a player scores points, you are rewarded with the same amount of points. OUTSTANDING! Rebounds and Assists are worth a little more than points scored as they are simply less common. For a long time, I just straight refused to play on FanDuel because I HATE negative points. There is not much worse than watching your little icon march backwards in the standings, not because another player passed you, but because one of your players messed up. Negative points are AWFUL. That being said, it’s really only the difference of half a point between sites, so I’ve learned to get over it. The biggest differences worth actually being concerned with are the bonus points available on DraftKings and Yahoo. Getting an extra 1.5-3 points can make a big difference in large field tournaments, so it is certainly worth targeting players with well-rounded skill sets that are capable of scoring double digit stats in multiple categories. It shouldn’t be something you hyper-focus on, but it’s certainly worth taking into account when deciding between two similar players.
|Point||+1 PT||+1 PT||+1 PT||+1 PT|
|Made 3pt. Shot||+0.5 PTs||N/A||+0.5 PTs||+0.5 PTs|
|Rebound||+1.25 PTs||+1.2 PTs||+1.25 PTs||+1.2 PTs|
|Assist||+1.5 PTs||+1.5 PTs||+1.5 PTs||+1.5 PTs|
|Steal||+2 PTs||+2 PTs||+2 PTs||+2 PTs|
|Block||+2 PTs||+2 PTs||+2 PTs||+2 PTs|
|Turnover||-0.5 PTs||-1 PTs||-0.5 PTs||-1 PTs|
|Double-Double||+1.5 PTs||N/A||+1.5 PTs||N/A|
|Triple-Double||+3 PTs||N/A||+1.5 PTs||N/A|
The real difference between DFS sites is found in lineup construction. Point Guard (PG), Shooting Guard (SG), Small Forward (SF), Power Forward (PF), and Center (C) are all positional designations that are easily understood and have been around forever, even if they have been largely replaced by number designations in the real game. The Utility (Util) spot is essentially a flex position that you can fill with any player you want. You tend to get the most consistent production from PG and C night to night as PGs handle the ball most often and Cs spend most of their time under the basket. SG and SF on the other hand tend to have more volatile scoring patterns.
Personal preference can have a lot to do with which site you prefer to play on. On FanDuel, your lineup construction has to fit within pretty rigid parameters. You don’t have a lot of wiggle room if you really want to play more than one C on a given night. This can make lineup construction tricky on some slates as a number of the best value plays are often centers. DraftKings and Yahoo offer a little more flexibility in putting together your lineup as they give you a guard flex position, a forward flex position and a utility spot that you can use for any player from any position. This provides you quite a bit more freedom in getting all the value plays you want in your lineup so you can have cap space to roster your projected top performers. Finally, you get FantasyDraft. FantasyDraft is like Vegas: just about anything goes on FantasyDraft and no one even blinks an eye. In general, this kind of open lineup construction cuts down on roster overlap in contests and gives you the freedom to play the players you want to play, rather than being stuck with players you don’t like in a position you have to fill. DailyRoto regular RonPaul has had a lot of success there seizing the opportunity provided to build unique and successful lineups. There are certainly advantages to playing in environments that give you the ability to create teams you like from solid projections, rather than being forced into players you’d rather not roster.
DFS is a game about value and upside. Every day brings a new set of games and a new set of salaries. A good player one day may not be the next purely based on cost and opportunity. Understanding the salary structures and tendencies on different sites is essential to building winning lineups. A cursory glance at this list shows one of these things is not like the others.
What’s the deal Yahoo? You won’t allow Canadians in your contests AND your salary cap is only $200? It certainly makes them stick out from the pack, but it also makes it much more difficult to compare pricing across the board. FanDuel is in its own little world with nine man rosters and a $60,000 cap, while FantasyDraft shares scoring similarities with DraftKings but doubles the salary cap.
There may not be a lot of actionable information from the salary caps themselves, but differences in pricing tendencies from site to site certainly provides some angles to be worked. FanDuel is much looser in their pricing and tends to take longer to react to changes. This allows you to fit in a few more stars than you would be able to on other sites and take advantage of low prices on players who have seen increases in production due to their role on their team. You have fewer hard decisions to make with looser pricing. On a surface level this sounds good, but it also means that those working with less information or those with less skill have a more level playing field with those who are sharper. DraftKings on the other end consistently has quite tight pricing that forces you into difficult decisions night in and night out. You can’t afford a mistake here and still hope to hit the cash line.
Nit-Picky Lineup Restrictions
Finally, there’s the little details of lineup construction that vary from site to site. You often won’t run into trouble with these restrictions unless you are max entering the Sunday night two-game degen slate. But who amongst us hasn’t done that lately?
DraftKings – You must have players in your lineup from two (2) different teams. You must also have players in your lineup from two (2) different games.
FanDuel – You must have players in your lineup from at least three (3) different teams, and you may have up to four (4) players from one team.
FantasyDraft – You must have players in your lineup from at least three (3) different teams, and you may have up to five (5) players from one team.
Yahoo – You must have players in your lineup from at least three (3) different teams, and you may have up to six (6) players from one team.
Baseball and hockey are sports far more affected by lineup stacking than basketball. Statistical success in basketball just isn’t nearly as closely correlated with teammates success as these other sports. That being said, there are certainly times when stacking a particular game with a high over/under makes sense. If you have a number of players that you feel strongly about but can’t fit them into a lineup due to these aforementioned constraints, consider playing those players on a different site that will allow it.
At the end of the day, the lesson is to spread out your exposure a bit. See things from different angles and perspectives. Broaden your horizons. Live a little. Find success in games that fit your playing style, allow you to play the players you feel are most important, and have some fun with the various different contests and styles available to you. It’s a great time to be alive!
Entry fees this week:
Winnings this week:
Net this week: -$8.00
Bankroll: $291.26 (+91.26)
I think I only had time to play two nights this past week. Between sick kids and other responsibilities, don’t feel bad if you have to skip a night or two. After all, it’s a game for most of us, not a full-time job. If you don’t have the time in a day to do the research and build good rosters, just save your money for another night rather than throwing away a bunch of money on 5 minutes of research on the late night degen slate. That was the EV difference maker for me this week. Don’t be like me kids! Stay in school, do your work, and only play slates you’ve put in the work for!
Good luck in all your games this week folks. We’re all in this together.