DraftKings Strategy Course 102
Where do you start? You need to know the game you are playing. This is the DraftKings Daily Fantasy Strategy Course, and getting to know how scoring is different on DraftKings is a big help. There are a few big scoring factors that can cause you to have a different strategy in comparison to another site. We walk through each sport scoring and talk how they influence decision making and lineup building strategies.
NFL scoring on DraftKings is very similar to other sites in the industry, with the major difference being a full point per reception scoring system. This means if a player makes a catch, they get one fantasy points. Possession receivers have more of an advantage here, and cheaper running backs and wideouts can be more of use. Adam Humphries for Tampa Bay wasn’t a big touchdown scorer, and often very cheap. An eight catch day for 67 yards was nearly 15 fantasy points. This also makes pass-catching backs much more viable, and adds to the floor/ceiling of names like Alvin Kamara.
Interceptions and fumbles are just -1 on DraftKings, and that plays a big factor for taking more turnover prone players. It won’t kill your quarterback score if he has a few interceptions. This is why people loved to torture themselves playing Blake Bortles, because often it worked after a few interceptions. Interceptions and fumbles might not mean a lot when it comes to your fantasy scoring in that moment, but it does kill your players drive where future fantasy points could have been scored.
DraftKings has a unique set of bonuses for players crossing over a certain amount of yards. If your quarterback throws for over 300 yards, he gets a +3 bonus. When a running back and wide receiver cross over 100 yards, they get a +3 bonus. These usually are looked at as added bonuses for players, as we project who has potential to hit these milestones. Special teams return touchdowns count as six points, so if your receiver also returns punts and gets a punt return touchdown, he gets +6. If you also pair that player with that team’s defense, we call it a double dip, and you get a total of 12 points.
DraftKings has kept the same scoring system in baseball for some time now, although you used to get a negative for caught stealing. This is no longer a part of their system, but stealing bases is an overlooked part of it. You get +5 for a stolen base, which would be +8 or +7 if you factor in how they got on base. It is the equivalent of hitting a double.
Your other offensive scoring stats are pretty standard. Each total base is more points for your hitter, and the highest is a home run with +10. This is also combined with the RBI and Run scoring. If you are hit by pitch or walked, it is a +2 for your hitter. When selecting hitters, guys who can accumulate 10+ points in one swing is where you should be looking. Guys who tally up points by walks and singles need a bit more help when it comes to fantasy scoring.
Pitching is a big portion of your fantasy points generated, and the most crucial to your lineups succeeding. Pitchers acquire fantasy points through innings pitches, strikeouts, and getting a win. Strikeouts are very important, because they create the upside and floor for your pitcher. Here is where DraftKings differs from a site like FanDuel. They takeaway -0.6 for hits against and base on balls against. Because of this scoring, your pitcher scoring can really fluctuate. Pitchers that don’t rely solely on contact become better fantasy options.
A pitcher might go seven innings allowing nine hits and two earned runs, but only have three strikeouts. This is how the scoring system can make a pitcher have less upside. This is an addition to the earned run, which is -2. There are added bonuses for complete games, complete game shutouts, and no hitters.
While some of the industry went towards a newer scoring format weighting steals and blocks higher, DraftKings kept them at +2. This means that a guy like Hassan Whiteside has slightly more value on a site like FanDuel where they score blocks +3. It also creates a little less randomness for value players hitting weird value because they had four steals in a game. It is what the industry standard was from the beginning, and they have kept it the same.
Turnover scoring is also another big difference. Just -0.5 for turnovers his a big deal. When Russell Westbrook has eight turnovers on FanDuel, which is -8 fantasy points. On DraftKings it is just -4. Turnovers don’t hurt you as much as they do on some other sites. This gives advantages for players that score plenty of fantasy points, but also do have high turnover rates. DraftKings also awards players for hitting a three point shot with a +0.5 bonus. That means when Steph Curry goes off for eight threes, he is getting more value on a site like DraftKings. Assists are also worth slightly more than rebounds, but not by much.
DraftKings has bonuses for getting a double-double and triple-double. It is +1.5 for a double-double and +3 for a triple-double. We can use Russell Westbrook as an example, who is Mr. Triple Double. His ceiling is much higher on DraftKings because of the triple-double bonus and -0.5 turnovers.
Goalies can be your backbone for a lineup, where it takes some weight off your skaters to generate fantasy points. This is sort of a connection to how pitchers are in baseball scoring. You want a win, which is three points, but you also want a goalie to have a lot of saves. It is +0.2 per save, and generally 30+ is a good number of saves for a goalie. There are a few ways to look at goalie scoring, and one is weighting the win heavily. Using Vegas to find heavy moneyline favorites can point you in the direction of goalies that are more likely to receive a win. When you have a goalie that faces just 20 shots, but allows one goal or two, it is different if he saved 30 shots instead. Goalies also get a shutout bonus of +2.
There are other ways to generate fantasy points outside of goals and assists. Each shot on goal is +0.5, and the same goes for blocked shots. Players that shoot a lot can rack up fantasy points without finding the net. Defenseman who block a lot of shots can add to their floor for production. You also have another bonus of getting a short-handed point which is when your team is on the penalty kill. There isn’t a powerplay bonus, which is different from a few other sites. You still want to look for players on the power play because of their enhanced chance of scoring, even if it doesn’t give you bonus points.
College Football came back this past year, and it has the same scoring as NFL. The only difference is there is no roster spot for defense so there is no defensive stats. There are special teams stats, where a return touchdown is applied to the running back or wide receiver who returned it. Fumbles and interceptions are just -1, so turnovers do not hurt you as much as some other sites.
Just like NFL, it is a full point per reception scoring. This gives advantages to slot wide receivers and wideouts that generate a lot of receptions, but maybe don’t find the end zone as much. Pass-catching backs also get a boost here. In addition to this scoring, we have the same bonuses for awarding points to players who get above 300 passing yards or 100 receiving or rushing yards.
College Basketball also followed College Football returning, and this follows the same scoring system as NBA. Turnovers are just -0.5, which is a plus for college basketball. Players also receive bonuses for triple-doubles and double-doubles. Because college basketball is lower scoring, fantasy scoring is as well. Finding players who can notch these bonuses will give you a major advantage over the rest.
DraftKings was the early pioneer in DFS golf. They have a really in-depth scoring system, which has made it one of the more popular fantasy sports on their site. Their per hole scoring is broken down by strokes lost or strokes gained. For example, a double bogey is worth -1, where a birdie is +3. It is a simple system where positive strokes gained net you positive fantasy points, and vice versa.
Getting collective golfers that finish high on the leaderboard is important. Of course it signals that they had a positive few days on the course, but your tournament finish is linked to more scoring. If your golfer finishes first in the tournament, he is getting +30. If another golfer finishes 10th, he is getting +7. If your golfer misses the cut, just the stroke scoring and bonuses are counted from the first two holes.
There are a few bonuses to recognize, as a hole in one is linked to a +5. If your golfer has all four rounds under 70 strokes, he also gets a +5. Bogey free rounds are +3 for each round where your golfer did not register a bogey or worse. When a golfer goes on a run, of three birdies or more, you get a +3 for the streak. These are important stats to find and see how golfers do hitting these types bonuses.
Soccer is another sport that DraftKings jumped into early, and they have quite a few soccer leagues in their lobby. You can play Champions League or a few of the major European leagues, and also MLS. The scoring is very similar to hockey, yet there are a few more ways to generate fantasy points out there. We will start there. A goal and assist is the biggest way for your players to score, but players that take shots also can rack up points. Each shot is worth one point, and if it is on goal, it is worth another. Crosses are +0.75, which can be from open play, set pieces, and via the corner kick. If your player draws a foul, it is a +1, and the same goes for winning tacks and intercepting passes. Because scoring is lower in soccer, DraftKings does well to make sure players are generating points without having to score.
There are ways to lose points, like getting a yellow or red card. Both of these will cause negative points. If you concede a foul, it is also negative points. If your player misses a penalty kick, it is a whopping negative five. The goalie is very important to your lineup. A win and clean sheet is highly valued, where each are +5. Finding teams that are playing lesser offenses and more likely to win can lead you to safe goalies. Saves and penalty kick saves are also where your goalie can rack up fantasy points. If your goalie lets one in, it is negative two. In tournaments you can play goalies against better teams in hope they rack up a ton of saves and only let in 0-1 goals.