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100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 84: Daily Fantasy League Structure and Rookie QBs

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At 4for4, I continued my work on daily fantasy strategy with this article on how to structure your leagues. Here’s a peek:

Heads-Up as the Foundation, Double-Ups as a Complement

In my article on how to play heads-up and 50/50 leagues, I suggested that head-to-head leagues should be the foundation of your daily fantasy repertoire. The reason is that the more you play, the less volatility you encounter. As you enter the same lineup into more and more heads-up leagues, the range of outcomes you experience is likely to resemble a bell curve and you become more likely to “get what you deserve.” If you’re a long-term winner, that’s a good thing. If I had entered the same top 15 percent lineup into 1,000 heads-up leagues, I would have taken down around 85 percent of them.

You can also use 50/50 leagues to increase your upside a bit. I recommend 50/50 leagues to those looking to quickly build a bankroll because, unlike heads-up leagues, they offer a lot of volatility. If you enter the same lineup into a bunch of double-ups, you could legitimately win or lose every one, which is very unlikely in heads-up leagues. Double-ups increase both your risk and your reward. For most, they should be a complementary piece of the pie.

The percentage of your bankroll that you place down on heads-up and 50/50 leagues will always depend on your expected winning percentage, but if you’re looking to grind out profits, at least three-quarters of the cash you have in play in a given week should be in those two league types.

Also, I found a cool article on the value of rookie passers in 2-QB leagues. There’s a reference to some work I’ve done on first-year quarterbacks:

To see how fantasy quarterbacks have trended upwards over the years, take a look at the chart below, from the chapter on rookie quarterbacks in the book ‘Fantasy Football for Smart People: What the Experts Don’t Want You to Know‘ written by Jonathan Bales:

Graphic used with permission from Jonathan Bales.

In 1-QB leagues you’re less likely to take a chance on rookie quarterbacks in your fantasy league, especially when it comes to using a valuable draft pick on him. It’s fine to watch a rookie play a few games to gauge if they should be waiver wire consideration, but you’re most likely not going to draft him. And if you do draft a rookie quarterback to your fantasy team, you’re not going to be using a high draft selection.

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