Friday, October 22, 2010

Bum Hunting In Daily Fantasy Sports

I'd been saving this post for an earlier publish, but with all the activity lately I had to push it back.

Now that football, hockey and basketball are all about to be in full swing, there's an explosion in traffic at the daily fantasy sites like Fan Duel and Fantasy Sports Live. With this increase in traffic comes an interesting mix of new players, casual players and "Serious Business" players, like yours truly.

Any fantasy player that plays TO MAKE MONEY, will try to find an edge in the games and exploit that edge to a maximum advantage.

There's nothing wrong with profit motive. That's why I play the games. However, my experience shows that the way to maximize your profits is not by beating up exclusively on new and casual players.

If I find a weak opponent and chase him mercilessly - taking every matchup at every opportunity - he will leave the fantasy scene permanently, bearing only the small reward of those brief contests.

My competitor Blinders recently wrote this post claiming that he has a method to play only exclusively new and casual opponents. He is basically calling himself a "Bum Hunter" - playing only the weakest competition to extract maximum advantage in contests.

Now there is a difference between game selection and bum hunting. Employing game selection means choosing contests that are within your skill level and risk level (including bankroll). Good players can play other experienced players - with both utilizing game selection.

Bum hunting is chasing down the weakest competition, wherever they may be. In Blinders' example, he is hunting down newbies in the smallest dollar games by using profiling in the matchup process.

So what is all of his bum hunting worth? A bunch of $5 contest wins over 14 weeks of the NFL season? Running off dozens of new players that might have stayed if they had easier opponents out of the gate? Not much to brag about IMO.

There are several other regulars out there that are also bum hunters. I'm not going to name any names, but some of the top players try to avoid regulars at all costs.

Let me tie this all together for you with two points:

1) If you want to make serious money in daily fantasy, you have to play serious opponents. These are the players with the deep pockets. No crying that a player is too good. Hang with the good players (within your bankroll) and you'll have days worth writing about.

(Also, learn to win at more than one sport if you want to have more than bubble gum money in your pocket.)

2) Spread your action out equally amongst all opponents, good and bad. I cannot emphasize this enough. This is a major key to my success.

I might see 2-3 contests available against a weak opponent, but I will take only one. Why? I want him to win the other two contests. I want him to stick around and bleed off all of his other winnings to me. In the long run, I will make more off of him than the bum hunter could make.

Don't forget that spreading out your action will reduce your risk exposure. If you score well on a given night, you will win most of your contests (regardless of the opponent). If you score poorly, playing a wide variety of opponents will still likely garner you some wins (thus saving some bankroll).

Ideally, on any given night my action will be EQUALLY spread out amongst all possible opponents.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Good post. It's worth noting that Blinders is exaggerating the extent of his bum hunting. He's responsible for somewhere between 1%-2% of the NFL volume (measured by dollars) on Fanduel in October.