Players new to daily Fantasy Sports (FS) enter an exciting world full of possibilities. There are, however, some common mistakes that should be avoided. These can end it heartbreak and money lost. It’s always best to be prepared and do some research before jumping in. To that end, here’s a list of some common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
6 Beginner Mistakes to Avoid in Daily Fantasy Sports
- Bankrolling problems. As in any gambling situation, wins aren’t guaranteed. Even Fantasy players who are extremely experienced can find half the stars in their lineup injured in a game. Though advertisers would have the world believe there’s fast and easy money to be made in FS, that’s not the case. It’s not advisable to put money otherwise allotted for rent or bills into a game, no matter how fantastic the lineup. Think of this as a long play. Only invest a small percentage of the possible bankroll into each lineup submitted. There will be losing streaks and winning streaks. Good players don’t bet it all at once. A slow and steady approach nearly guarantees net profit in the long term.
- Accepting opinions. As a new player, it’s important to ask questions. Putting one’s pride aside to ask for an opinion or guidance can be very helpful. However, be mindful. Following “expert” opinions constantly isn’t wise. Bear in mind that many “experts” analyzing the games don’t have any stakes in them. They’re therefore delivering a combination of analytics and opinion without always distinguishing between the two. Don’t put hard-earned money on the opinion of someone with no cash at play without thinking it through. Fellow players who have invested in a lineup will often give great advice—which contradicts another player’s great advice. Take it all in, but do so in an effort to develop your own technique.
- Ignoring matchups. Picking exceptional players is the first step in creating a lineup. However, ignoring who that player is up against is a big mistake. Knowing how those individuals work against one another will go a long way toward predicting their performance. It’s also worth noting matchups because you don’t want to choose both people by accident. If they’re playing one another, when one succeeds, the other probably isn’t doing as well. This can negatively impact the results of your lineup.
- Playing the stars. It’s easy to become enamored by certain players. When there’s a media buzz or a huge high-point streak, it can be tempting to focus on them. However, these “stars” generally use of a large portion of your allotted salary budget. Additionally, it’s highly likely that many people will play them. Try not to get swept up in the craze. Let the stats, the matchups, and a balanced budget be your guide. Choosing solid players at slightly lower rates is often better then betting it all on one prized player. The more capable hands your money is spread across, the more likely you are to profit.
- Allowing a bias. If you’re a sports fan, you likely have a home team to root for. It can be a lot of fun to incorporate your favorite players and city pride into a Fantasy lineup. However, letting the heart rule over the head isn’t a good idea in this arena. Becoming attached to players who you want to win on the live field doesn’t induce success. Remain balanced, and keep the goal in mind. Use your home team when you can, but always build the best possible lineup first.
- Quick changes. Many new Fantasy players find themselves researching far in advance, setting a lineup, and then walking away. Others tend in the opposite direction, making changes up until the last possible second. A happy medium must be found. Do the research and create a lineup. Continue to be apprised of new information, and make changes if need be. However, don’t second guess well-researched choices at the last minute for no reason.
As you kick off your FS career, remember the above. By avoiding these beginner’s mistakes, you place yourself in a much better position to hit the ground running. Keep a level head, think through your strategy, and always build the best lineup based on facts. You’ll be set up for success in no time.