Developing a Plan for the 2016 Daily Fantasy NFL Season: Part one Setting Goals

Part one, Setting Goals, of the four part series, Developing a Plan for the 2016 Daily Fantasy NFL Season

Developing a Plan for the 2016 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 (DFS). If this is your first season playing NFL daily fantasy that is great news! Welcome aboard! We at Footballguys have made a commitment to DFS and we will help you along with your journey. Feel free to reach out if you ever have any questions.

Let's start by setting some realistic goals prior to the NFL season. If you are just starting out with DFS, your first goal should be to break-even and to learn from the experience this season. Often times, new players fall into the “get rich quick” illusion of grandeur. Winning large guaranteed prize 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. After a few losing weeks, some of these players that had unrealistic expectations now have a sour taste for DFS. The first rule is to risk only what you are willing to lose on a weekly basis. The money invested is part of your entertainment budget, similar to going out with friends or to a movie. Make sure to follow along with the action and learn from your mistakes every week. A positive aspect of DFS is that each week is a new opportunity to assemble a winning roster! If you stay updated with Footballguys content, there is a good chance that you will become a profitable player in a short amount of time.

For intermediate players and above, the main goal should be profitability.  For most experienced players, a reasonable 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 need to 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.

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. The goal for most advanced players should be to measure your results on a monthly basis. There is too much week-to-week variance with NFL DFS to set weekly monetary goals. After setting a benchmark for your win rate in cash games, you now must properly allocate your weekly bankroll to achieve your benchmark. 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 monthly. After you achieve your monthly benchmark of 60%, I recommend raising your goal to 62% for the next month 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 DFS final. 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 already 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, prior to the season, before entering any qualifiers. Also, I recommend targeting specific weeks of the NFL schedule that you feel you have an edge with the upcoming matchups. I would then spend a higher percentage of your qualifier bankroll entering multiple lineups that week.

This NFL season will bring continued growth to the DFS industry. 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. 

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