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Ultimate Guide Chapter Preview

Below is a chapter from our Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Profitable DFS player, our 19-chapter DFS e-book. The Ultimate Guide is broken down into three sections -- Bankroll Management, Contest Selection, and Bigger Picture Strategy -- and provides guidelines and examples for becoming a successful DFS player. Our co-founder, Brian Jester, highlights the principles and strategies that he used to help him win a $1 million prize on DraftKings.

Understanding Exposure

If you ever check out any DFS content or listen to DFS pros talk about their lineups, the one word that always comes up is “exposure.”

“You need to have exposure to this stack tonight.”

“I liked the Cardinals D/ST -- I was over-exposed to them in GPPs.”

“I faded Russell Westbrook hard, zero exposure tonight.”

Unfortunately, this word isn’t even discussed in the realm of bankroll management in the DFS industry -- it’s solely discussed as how many times a particular player is in your set of lineups for a slate.  While your exposure to different players is important when you’re making multiple lineups, bankroll exposure on a particular slate is far more critical to your DFS success.

In our Daily Plug, we will actually recommend how much of your bankroll should be “exposed” on a given slate.  You should never be going into a slate blindly entering contests for a random percentage of your bankroll -- there should be reasons for every decision you make in DFS, including your finances.

Here are just some of the factors to consider when determining how much of your bankroll you should play on a given slate:

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Size of the slate

  • Larger slates (more than 10 games in daily sports): You should have less exposure on these slates because of the sheer number of options in the player pool. If you expose more of your bankroll on these slates, you’ll inevitably talk yourself into playing a greater number of players. Spreading yourself too thin is a common mistake when creating multiple lineups.
  • Medium-sized slates (6-9 games in daily sports): This is the sweet spot for most sports. There are enough players in the player pool to give yourself options, but not enough to be overwhelmed. This is the easiest slate size to project ownership (see below), so it’s generally the easiest to determine how much of your bankroll should be in play.
  • Small Slates (5 games or less in daily sports): Nearly every time there is a short slate, we recommend using just 1 to 2 percent of your bankroll. There are tons of overlap in lineups due to the small player pool, causing success to be determined by just one or two players on your roster. This isn’t the best place to gain an edge.

Projected Ownership

  • Projecting ownership for various players is a difficult task, especially if you’re doing it on your own. We have projected ownership in all of our Occupy Models, giving you an easy look at who the popular and under-the-radar plays will be for any given slate. In sports where we don’t offer an Occupy Model, we discuss ownership at a high level in the Daily Plug.
  • Analyzing ownership projections and how they correlate/differ from your projections/rankings or our Occupy Model rankings largely plays into your contest selection for a specific slate (more on this in our Contest Selection section).
  • But depending on the type of player you are, you may come across situations where your ownership analysis means you should put a higher percentage of your bankroll in play. For example: If you’re a high-risk, high-reward player, and many of your top plays project to be lower-owned, you’ll have a greater edge in your leagues and GPPs. The higher the edge, the more of your bankroll that should be allocated.

Top-Tier Plays

  • Using a tiered approach in your rankings (both for DFS and season-long fantasy sports) is a smart way to draw the line in your comfort/confidence level among groups of players.
  • Depending on how many top-tier plays you have at each position -- and how those plays correlate with projected ownership percentages -- you can figure out how many lineups you should create and how much of your bankroll you should expose.
  • If there are multiple top-tier players at each position, you can make two or more lineups to spread your exposure across different player sets. Because the risk isn’t consolidated in one lineup (or on one group of players), you can afford to allocate a higher percentage of your bankroll. Because your secondary lineups will still be composed of top-tier players, you’ll still be putting your money in positive-expected value (+EV) situations.

Betting Odds

  • Betting odds are a major factor in DFS decision-making, as line movements and betting percentages that are revealed after a line opens offer new information that is not priced into DFS salaries.
  • Depending on how the betting odds landscape is looking for your top-tier plays, you should choose to invest more or less money on that specific slate. For example: If your two favorite pitchers on an MLB slate have seen their moneylines drop precipitously throughout the course of the day (indicating the betting markets have less faith in their teams earning the win), that should cause some hesitation on your part. It would be wise to lower your bankroll allocation.
  • The best part of our Occupy Model is that it shows real-time betting odds information for each player on a slate. You’ll be able to instantly see how the top plays are affected by the betting market, allowing you to easily adjust your daily or weekly bankroll allocation.

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