FanDuel Strategy Course 102
The FanDuel strategy course is a great source to get you introduced to playing daily fantasy sports (DFS) on FanDuel. We talk lineup construction, cash and tournament strategies, and research techniques. One important factor is knowing the site’s scoring systems for each sport. Because they vary from site to site, this can mean different ways to build your lineups. A quick example would be FanDuel has just .5 per reception scoring, where other sites might have full point per reception scoring. This means certain players have more value on another site compared to FanDuel.
The biggest difference between FanDuel and a site like DraftKings is that FD is just .5 PPR scoring. This means each reception is only .5, compared to the point per reception (PPR) scoring that other sites may offer. This can alter strategy a bit, as guys like Julian Edelman rely on that full PPR scoring. They don’t have as much value on a site like FanDuel, mainly because they aren’t big touchdown guys either. This scoring makes touchdown and yardage a bit more important when targeting wide receivers. This also takes some appeal away from pass-catching backs. That six catches for 60 yards isn’t the same on FanDuel where that is only nine points, compared to 12 on a full PPR site.
Interceptions can derail a quarterback score, but not so much on FanDuel. Passing touchdowns are four points, and traditionally we have seen interceptions be negative two. They are just negative one on FanDuel, and it makes you worry less about a quarterback who can have touchdowns negated by interceptions. A fumble loss for any offensive player is negative two against you. That turnover is a bit more crucial. Defensive fantasy scoring can be a bit fluky, but finding teams that generate sacks, turnovers, and touchdowns are key. A matter of taking a five from your defense instead of 13 can be a major swing for where you finish in the field.
One thing to note is if an offensive player is also a punt or kick returner, and they score a return touchdown, you get that six points added on. Tyreek Hill paired with the Chiefs defense was a common strategy for what we like to call a double dip. If Hill scored a punt return touchdown, both him and the Chiefs D/ST would get six points. Overall it is a pretty standard scoring system. You have your six points for touchdowns in any non-quarterback position, and the same goes for 0.1 fantasy points for each yard.
FanDuel changed their fantasy scoring for baseball over recent years, mainly to just make the totals higher. The value has stayed the same. Each total base on a hit goes up by three points. The addition of adding a decimal to runs and RBI has made tying less likely when going up against others. Stolen bases are six points, which is equal to a double. But in addition to getting on base, that usually adds up to 8-9 points within a single sequence. It is often a forgotten aspect of research because it is tougher to predict, but guys who have SB potential in addition to either power or getting on base have huge upside in this scoring.
As for pitchers, FanDuel did a wise thing in adding points for a quality start, and lowering the value on getting wins. There was nothing more tilting when a pitcher went seven innings, allowing two earned runs, and either didn’t get the win or had the bullpen blow it. Now it is just slightly less tilting. Either way, a quality start is worth four points, while a win is another six points. Getting the combined is an important ten points needed from your pitcher. Strikeouts can cancel out earned runs. They drive a pitcher’s scoring, and this is why strikeouts are the first place to look when choosing a starting pitcher. A pitcher that pitches five innings, allowing one earned run, and three strikeouts only gets 21 points. Now a pitcher that goes five innings allowing three earned runs but strikes out seven gets 27 points.
You are going to want guys that hit for power and rack up strikeouts on the mound for succeeding in baseball. Chipping away with walks and singles can be a tough way to accumulate points. This isn’t a surprise, as this is the standard strategy across each site in the industry.
NBA scoring on FanDuel comes in pretty simple, but there are some differences between them and other sites that dictate a change in strategy. FanDuel added a decimal on rebounds and assists to lessen the likelihood on tying. An assist is worth just slightly more than a rebound. Assists are important, because they can average out to more fantasy points than rebounds. It isn’t something to weight too heavily when choosing players, but just be aware of it.
Where FanDuel really changes strategy is the minus one for a turnover. If James Harden scores 25 points but has seven turnovers, well he really just scored 18 points because you are getting other stats negated. This differs from a site like DraftKings where a turnover is just -0.5. Players that have higher turnover rates lower their fantasy outcomes on FanDuel. You might have already seen this instance where once again a James Harden or Russell Westbrook look like they are having huge nights, but the near double-digit turnover column hurts their score.
Blocks and steals used to be a universal two points across the industry. When the NBA fantasy official scoring changed it to three points instead of two, FanDuel adopted this scoring change. This gives more value for a player who can rack up blocks and steals. A Hassan Whiteside might not be a prolific scoring center, but his ability to block shots makes him a tremendous play on FanDuel at times. For instance in a game where he blocks six shots, that adds up to 18 fantasy points. This scoring change also gives some value to guys who don’t have a ton of usage or production. A few blocks or steals can make a pedestrian line be of value on FanDuel.
Hockey scoring brings a lot of strategy to the table because of the way it is scored. Goalies having success is crucial to your lineup having success. A win is a whopping 12 points, and each save is 0.8 fantasy points. A goal is -4, and if your goalie receives a shutout, an added bonus of eight is tacked on. You can see how this can accumulate to be your leading scorer most nights. 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. Taking goalies who face a lot of shots is important, because saving 40 and allowing two is better than saving 20 and allowing two. Goalies who face a lot of shots and goalies that are in good spots to get a win are the big factors for when selecting a goalie.
As far as skaters go, you have your assists and goals that weight the most in the scoring setup. There are sneakier ways to rack up fantasy points. Of course shots on goal is going to correlate with goal scoring, but say those shots don’t go in, a player having seven shots on goal can add to him having a safe floor. Players who block shots can add on +1.6 points each blocked shot, which is another way for a player to add to his floor or ceiling.
Power plays and short-handed points are added onto goals and scoring. This gives players who are on the top two power play lines an advantage. It is pretty tough to research and bank on short-handed points because they are less likely and somewhat fluky. If they do get a short-handed point, it is a +2. Power play points are easier to research, because we can view opponents who give up penalties and power play goals. Power play lines also show us who has the ability to rack up fantasy points.
College football scoring follows NFL scoring, so a lot of the same logic applies here. There is a difference in scoring, because FanDuel roster construction doesn’t allow you to choose a defense. There is no need to worry about defensive stats, which is a good thing when looking at the way college football is played. The big one still is the .5 scoring for receptions. It adds more of a focus on yards and touchdowns for skill players and less on receptions. Now, don’t get us wrong, receptions do still add up, just not the same.
Interceptions won’t kill you on FanDuel, where they can on other sites. A quarterback who throws three touchdowns and three interceptions is okay on FanDuel, where on another site almost half of those touchdowns are wiped out given the negatives. Punt return and kickoff return touchdowns for players that are also RB or WR apply like they do in the NFL scoring.
College basketball scoring is about the same as NBA scoring for FanDuel, with the only difference being blocks and steals are worth two points. Players who can generate blocks and steals still have worth, but one dimensional players who don’t produce much else don’t have the same weight as they do in the NBA. Turnovers are still -1, where this is a factor you need to keep an eye out for when selecting players. That freshman point guard who can put up 20 points but also turn the ball over six times has a lower outcome because of this stat.
You might be a bit curious as to how golf scoring works, because every other sport comes off as fairly simple. Golf scoring is pretty easy to understand, as stroke scoring is what you would expect. A birdie or eagle is going to net you the most positive points, a par is only worth 0.5 points, and then bogeys and double bogeys will get you in the negative.
The overall finishing position is also crucial for scoring. The top 40 will gain fantasy points depending on their position. A first place finish will have your lineup gaining 30 points, where a finish like 18th will give you four points. Putting together golfers that will finish inside the top 40 is where you want to be looking. In addition to their stroke scoring and bonuses, this can make be the icing on the cake for a top tier scoring player.
FanDuel offers up some bonuses for golfers, which you should be aware of. A streak bonus where a player has two or more consecutive holes under par will add on +0.6 per hole the streak occurs on. Having a round with 5+ holes under par will give you a big bonus of +4. The most you can earn from a bonus is +5 when a golfer has a bogey-free round. These are all runs and stats you can find within researching golfers, which can help drive up their fantasy scores.
Soccer isn’t a major fantasy sport, but FanDuel has contests for quite a few leagues ranging from MLS to the Premier League. Scoring is very close to how hockey is scored for fantasy purposes. Your goals and assists have the most weight, but shots on goal is where you can generate a ton of fantasy production. Shots on goal are plus five, and three of them would equal what a goal equals. If Harry Kane has five shots on goal, he has already racked up 20 fantasy points. Now if one of those shots goes in, we are looking at 35 points.
You can find lesser fantasy produced stats like tackles, chances created, clearances, interceptions, and blocked shots to add up in your player’s fantasy outcome. These aren’t stats to rely on, but a player who can contribute across the board will be able to provide a safe floor even if they don’t score or assist on a goal. Defenders can get a +5 bonus for a clean sheet, which is not allowing the other team to score over the 90 minutes. However, defenseman have to play the entire game to get the bonus. If a team records a clean sheet, but your defenseman was subbed off in the 60th minute, they will not receive the bonus.
Goalies are important, as they are in hockey. It is a chance to get a good floor in for fantasy production. Clean sheets have the biggest impact at +10, and the same goes for a win at +7. Finding teams that still allow shots without allowing a ton of goals is the biggest plus. A goalie who has just two saves all day isn’t going to have a high ceiling compared to a goalie who has six or seven saves. Goalies are rarely subbed off, but the same rules apply for a goalie as they do a defenseman in the clean sheet bonus.