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100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 94: Contrarian Strategies in Daily Fantasy

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At 4for4, I discussed how to implement a contrarian strategy to daily fantasy:

I just completed a high-stakes draft in which I selected Arian FosterDarren McFadden, and Mike Wallace—three players I thought I wouldn’t own heading into the 2013 season. One of the reasons is because, with a massive grand prize payout, I was really implementing a risk-seeking strategy.

But I also jumped on those players because there are currently concerns regarding their potential production. Foster hasn’t taken a single snap in the preseason, McFadden is probably one-in-100-trillion to play all 16 games, and there have been poor reports out of Miami on Wallace all preseason.

None of that is inherently beneficial, of course, but all of that information is known by everyone drafting. The risk surrounding each player is already priced into their draft slot, meaning there’s a decent chance to acquire value. All three players—and others such as Josh GordonJustin Blackmon, and Ryan Mathews—are getting drafted as if everything that we know could go wrong will go wrong. But we just don’t know that yet—McFadden might play 15 games this year, yet he’s getting drafted as if he’ll 100 percent be out for at least a month—and it creates value propositions.

Such a draft strategy—one in which you acquire value by purposely going against popular opinion—is known as a “contrarian” approach. The idea is that you can “buy low” on players who the public is fading, understanding that the risk associated with them is already factored into their cost, yet the potential reward isn’t.

A Contrarian Approach to Daily Fantasy

Not only should you be using a contrarian approach to daily fantasy, but one is probably essential to your success. Daily fantasy is a marketplace even more so than season-long fantasy; players are priced to reflect public opinion, so you need to find value where others aren’t looking.

Check it out at 4for4.

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