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 Sports (DFS) NFL Season, we will make sure you are prepared to avoid any devastating punches to your bankroll.
Part 2: The importance of having a weekly process
During the regular season, NFL highlights and news can be overwhelming. Every Sunday night I write down a weekly plan for myself where I plan to focus my time over the next week. Time is the most valuable asset that we all have in our lives.
For anyone that is married or with children, family time should always come first. But if you are reading this article, I am sure you are trying to squeeze in some fantasy football! I make sure to plan any work commitments, planned appointments, or chores that need done. If these commitments are completed early in the week, it is less stressful for me when I am preparing my daily fantasy process. I have a routine as far as game analysis and game selection every week during the NFL season. By keeping up with a weekly schedule, I feel that I am more prepared prior to kickoff. Here is a rundown of my weekly NFL process broken down by day(s):
It is difficult to focus on 8-10 games at the same time on Sunday. I have found it more enjoyable to relax on Sunday and simply root for my hometown team or fantasy team rather than trying to analyze every one of the games. One of the best perks with the DirecTV Sunday Ticket Max is the Short Cuts. These are edited 30 minute versions of games. I spend the majority of my time on Monday and Tuesday's watching these 30 minute Short Cuts from every game. Early in the season, I try to analyze each team to determine what their coaching staff is trying to feature. I ask myself, "From whom does this offense generate its production?" By watching the Short Cuts early in the season, I am able to pick up on the small details that are not always emphasized in highlight reel packages of the game. An example of this is Devonta Freeman last season. During Week 2 and Week 3, Atlanta’s coaches were giving Freeman every opportunity to be the bell-cow in their offensive system. If you jumped on the Freeman hype train early enough last season, surely you reaped the rewards! For those of you that do not have access to NFL Short Cuts the next best thing is to read a detailed write up from a professional who has analyzed the games. We at Footballguys offer this through our Game Recaps. Every Monday, we release a game recap with detailed stats and analysis for every skill position player. You will have an advantage over your competition if you spend the time to read these detailed recaps. My next step is to reconcile my wagers over the past weekend. I take into account my cash game selections and my opponents lineups. We will review this process in more detail in part 4 of this series, Analysis of the previous week.
After I have thoroughly analyzed the previous week, I am ready to start preparing for the upcoming week. I try to hold off looking at upcoming matchups, salaries, etc. until after I have completed the previous week analysis. The first step of analysis is reviewing the Vegas lines and totals. These are the most accurate projection of what to expect the upcoming week so I start there and monitor any changes with the Vegas lines throughout the week. Footballguys staff writer John Lee releases an article titled, Vegas Value Chart, early in the week during the season. This is a valuable article written to help determine where to focus your attention the upcoming week.
Next, I want to start registering for games early in the week, especially on Tuesday's. Winners are paid out early Tuesday morning and I have found that most novice players prefer to get their winnings back in play as soon as possible rather than waiting for the weekend. If you are playing cash games, make sure to post/scoop some head-to-head games on Tuesday's as this will help increase your overall return on investment. If playing on multiple sites, it is even more important to start to get your action in play earlier in the week.
For my lineups, I enter a placeholder lineup and don't look into the individual matchups until later in the week. I prefer to spend my time researching team and player’s news and hold off building my lineups until the end of the week. I try to get my hands on as much valuable information as possible. In DFS, information is where you gain your edge over your competition. Make sure to keep up with the Footballguys daily e-mail updates from Joe Bryant as these contain a wealth of information. I also utilize Twitter for team and player information.
I continue to register head-to head games as well as other types of cash games, such as 50/50 or double ups, and guaranteed prize pool tournaments (GPPs). I prefer to start registering for these games early in the week for a couple of reasons. One, I want to get my money in play before the contests fill. If you hold off until Saturday night or Sunday morning many of these contests will already be filled. Two, I have a detailed plan of how much money I want to have in play broken down by type of contest. If I start earlier in the week, I am more likely to reach my pre-determined goal. We will review this process in detail in part 3 of this series, bankroll allotment and diversifying game types.
After the injury reports are released on Friday, we are able to gauge if any injuries will potentially impact any games. Perhaps a starting RB is out and now his backup will make an impact with his cheaper DFS salary. I break down my possible cash plays and GPP players by site. Salary and matchup will often dictate my optimal cash lineups on each DFS site. I prefer to do my own analysis prior to reading any player recommendations from any DFS analysts. I try to watch as many NFL fantasy podcasts as possible during the week so I am prepared prior to Sunday morning. When I find many trusted DFS analysts on the same player as myself, I feel more confident in my process and the selection. If my starting player does not produce up to expectations, so be it. I want to make sure that I made the correct decision on the front end. If I find many respected DFS analysts on the same player that is not on my radar, I take some time to look at the complete situation to make sure I did not miss anything. It helps to share your thoughts with any friends who play DFS. If you have any DFS questions, feel free to reach out via Twitter to myself or any other staff here at Footballguys. We are here to help you!
Saturday PM/Sunday AM
Early Sunday morning can be very stressful if you are not prepared. After I feel that I have gathered a sufficient amount of information, I start building my lineups. On Sunday morning, I review Vegas lines and totals to see if any game has moved significantly from earlier in the week. Also, I review player props to see if anything stands out. The most important thing to review on Sunday morning is the inactive report. Footballguys posts the inactive report as soon as it is released for each team. I also monitor Twitter throughout the morning for any late breaking news.
Sunday after Lineup Lock
Kick back and enjoy the games with family and friends. Daily Fantasy Sports are a much more relaxing experience if you are watching the games rather than continuously monitoring the game logs on your computer/phone/tablet. There is no quicker way to find yourself in the doghouse than to neglect your family every Sunday during the NFL season!
In the next article, we will discuss bankroll allotment and diversifying game types.