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Developing a Plan for the Daily Fantasy NFL Season

Part one, Setting Goals, of the four part series, Developing a Plan for the Daily Fantasy NFL season.

Developing a Plan for the Daily Fantasy NFL Season

  • Part 1: Setting Goals
  • Part 2: The importance of having a weekly process
  • Part 3: Bankroll allotment and diversifying game types
  • Part 4: Analysis of the previous week

"Everyone has a plan 'til they get punched in the mouth."  -Mike Tyson

In this four part series, Developing a Plan for the Daily Fantasy NFL Season, we will make sure you are prepared to avoid any devastating punches to your bankroll.

Part 1: Setting Goals

What do you want to accomplish this NFL season? The answer to this question probably depends on how long you have been playing daily fantasy sports. If this is your first season playing NFL daily fantasy that is great news! Welcome aboard! We at Footballguys have made a commitment to daily fantasy sports and we will help you along with your journey. Similar to other fantasy contests, I recommend that all players risk only what they are willing to lose on a weekly basis. I would look at the money invested as part of your entertainment budget. Similar to going out with friends or to a movie. If you follow along with Footballguys content, there is a good chance that you will become a profitable player in a short amount of time. For players that are looking to earn some serious money or an additional side income, the opportunity is there if you have a plan and are willing to put in the time and analysis.

Let's start by setting some realistic goals for the NFL season. The first goal of every player should be profitability. If you watch sports, it is difficult not to come across television commercials showing DFS players winning shiploads of money. Winning these large tournaments takes both skill and an enormous amount of luck. Some players unsuccessfully chase these large prizes for weeks or months on end without a plan. I recommend limiting your tournament entries to 10-15% of your weekly bankroll allotment. The goal is to fund your tournaments through profits from your cash games. But to successfully accomplish this strategy, you must be profitable with your cash games. When playing cash games, you should know your expected win rate. To stay ahead of the game, you need to have a winning percentage over 55.6% in cash games. Anything lower than this percentage and you will lose money over time. With proper game and opponent selection, I believe it is realistic to achieve a 60% win rate in NFL cash games. Many professional players have achieved win rates of 60%-70% over the past few seasons.

Rather than setting monetary goals for the season, I recommend setting a benchmark for your win rate in cash games. If you properly allocate your weekly bankroll and achieve your benchmark, the money will follow. Perhaps you strive to achieve a 60% win rate in your cash games this season. You can determine if you are achieving this goal if you have a tracking system in place. We will discuss this in more detail later in this series. If you have any previous daily fantasy experience, you can review your past history to determine your win rate and your return on investment (ROI). The best site to review this is the bankroll tracker on I recommend reviewing your results on a weekly basis and your benchmark quarterly. After you achieve your quarterly benchmark of 60%, I recommend setting a goal of 62% for the second quarter of the season. Your goal should be continuously evolving over the course of the season.

Another goal for many players is to qualify for a live final this NFL season. By qualifying for a live final, you put yourself in a position to win some life changing money! But, chasing qualifiers without having a plan is a reckless use of your bankroll. Winning a qualifier is difficult as many are top heavy and only pay out the top spot. Most qualifiers have the trip costs already built it. Thus, this type of contest often plays out more like a lottery with a large amount of luck involved. If you are determined to qualify for a live final, I recommend that you set aside a separate bankroll before entering any qualifiers. Also, I recommend holding off until there is a week in the NFL schedule that you are comfortable with the matchups. I would then spend a higher percentage of your qualifier bankroll entering multiple lineups that week.

This NFL season will bring massive growth to the DFS industry. Millionaires will be made every week this season! But even if you don't win the largest tournament on the weekly schedule, there is still a substantial amount of money to be made if you have a plan and put in the time and analysis. Make sure to spend some time prior to the season setting goals. In the next article, we will discuss the importance of having a weekly process. 

If you have any DFS questions, feel free to contact me via twitter:  @shiposki75.