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A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

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100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 54: Interested in Playing Daily Fantasy Football?

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I’m going to be doing some work for FOX Sports this year, giving advice on how to play daily fantasy football on DraftKings. My first post was on the similarities and differences between daily fantasy and season-long. Here are the similarities:

If you’ve played season-long fantasy football for even a moderate duration, you know that there are general principles—many of which are consistent with any sort of marketplace—that you need to follow to have success.

Well, weekly fantasy football is no different; it’s a marketplace—perhaps a purer one than season-long leagues—and the same general concepts still apply. One of them is scarcity. Why is Jimmy Graham a first-round pick? Not because of his bulk points, but rather because he’s an extremely scarce resource at his position—an outlier in comparison to his peers.

The same is true in weekly fantasy, too; Graham costs a lot of money because he is a scarce commodity. In the same way that you need to determine if a first-rounder is too steep of a price to pay for Graham, you need to figure out if using X-percent of your salary cap on him is wise.

As in season-long leagues, consistency is also a major component of weekly  fantasy football. While season-long owners need to focus on both seasonal and weekly consistency, though, daily fantasy owners are concerned solely with the latter. The manner in which you create your weekly fantasy lineup is in large part dependent on how much you can trust their anticipated production—how consistent they are.

An underrated aspect of season-long fantasy football is the use of game theory—strategic decision-making that attempts to best exploit value based on the thoughts and actions of your opponents. Well, weekly fantasy football is filled with elements of game theory—specifically in tournaments, where you’re trying to juggle finding value with creating a unique lineup, which necessitates predicting which players will be popular among other users.

Finally, just like with season-long fantasy football, weekly fantasy football boils down to a fundamental understanding of risk and reward. If you can accurately assess a player’s floor and ceiling—his range of potential outcomes in a given week—you can be a successful weekly fantasy player.

Read the differences over at FOX Sports.

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