Head-to-Head (H2H) Contest Breakdown
The following information is an excerpt from the Contest Selection section of the Ultimate Guide, our 19-chapter DFS e-book that outlines the overlooked foundational pieces necessary to be a profitable daily fantasy sports player.
"There are a handful of certain contest types that you’ll see on both FanDuel and DraftKings. In this section, we’ll tell you exactly what each contest is and when you should play that type of contest. Most DFS content sites give you a quick glance as to what a H2H contest is, for example, but none will give you the level of detail that is required to be successful in DFS."
How much of the prize pool the site keeps (rake): 6.5% - 10%
Your return on investment if you win: 1.8 - 1.9X
Percentage of field that cashes: 50%
Heads up. 1v1. Me versus you. Whatever you want to call it, Head to Head contests are the simplest to understand. Just score higher than your opponent and you’ll nearly double your entry fee.
Some DFS players love H2H contests for the sheer competition. Others love it because it allows you to diversify your lineup across a multitude of different opponents. The rest love it because it’s the easiest contest to win.
Head to Heads are the lowest risk (and lowest reward) competitions in DFS. For this reason, they should make up a significant portion of your bankroll allocation if you’re driving a long-term, slow-earning investment vehicle.
When to play H2H:
Because of the volatility of a 1-on-1 matchup, it’s never wise to invest your entire daily allocation into one Head to Head contest. For example: If you have a Beginner or Starter bankroll, and you’re spending 2 percent of your roll on tonight’s slate, you should never play just one $2 H2H contest. Instead of using your entire daily investment against multiple players, your winnings now rely on a single opponent. This isn’t ideal.
As a rule of thumb, you should only play H2Hs if your allocation for a particular slate allows you to play against 5 or more different opponents. This will allow you to diversify your allocation against multiple sets of lineups. The more opponents you can play, the “truer” your returns will be. Look at it this way:
If your score for the night is in the 75th percentile on DraftKings, you would win 75 percent of your contests if you played every single DraftKings user in a H2H. If you only play against three opponents that night, you could win anywhere from 0 to 100 percent of your contests. This type of volatility is not what we’re looking for in Head to Heads.
In H2Hs, especially in lower stakes contests, there isn’t a ton of game theory. Simply play the best plays, and you’ll generally come out on top. There isn’t a need to look for “low-owned” guys or sleepers -- put out your best lineup, regardless of their projected ownership, and force your opponent to show that he/she also knows the best plays.
Head to Heads are always a piece of the portfolio for successful DFS players, especially the top 1 percent. Even if you’re a high-risk, high-reward player with a focus on larger paydays, H2H contests can provide stability to your bankroll and help keep you afloat during even the roughest of cold streaks.
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