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100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 79: Consistency in Cash Games

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At DraftKings, I wrote about the importance of consistency in cash games:

NFL Head-to-Head and 50/50 Strategy

In both head-to-head and 50/50 games, you want consistency. If you average 150 points with half of your lineups scoring 100 points and the other half scoring 200 points, you’re actually not going to be a profitable heads-up player. If you could find a way to score around 150 points each time, however, you’ll be nearly unbeatable over the long-run.

To back up that idea, let’s take a look at some more DraftKings data on the average scores in different league types.

h2h1

This is awesome stuff. You can see the average top tournament score (197) and average score that finishes in the money (157) dwarf the numbers in head-to-heads and 50/50s.

Looking at those head-to-head and 50/50 leagues, the average top score in the latter is much higher than that in the former, which is to be expected since there are just more lineups (sometimes many more so) in 50/50s. Nothing strange there.

But here’s what’s most interesting to me. The average “in the money” score in head-to-heads (143) is three points lower than that in 50/50s (146). Since the top half of entrants get paid in both league types and we’re dealing with a huge sample size, you’d expect the numbers to be equal. You’ll have more outliers in a 50/50 since there are more lineups, but if you took the same sample of heads-up lineups, you’d think that the score distribution and average would be the same.

But it’s not. Further, despite a higher average “in the money” score in 50/50s, the average overall score is one point lower than in head-to-head leagues. That means the deviation between the average score and the average winning score in 50/50s (17 points) is a lot higher than the same deviation in heads-up matches (only 13 points).

Here’s my explanation for the difference that, if true, could really alter the way you enter both league types: people are approaching 50/50 leagues with the wrong strategy. It initially seems like 50/50s might be more difficult since the average “in the money” score is three points higher than in heads-up matches, but I don’t think that’s the case.

Instead, I think many daily fantasy players are approaching 50/50s with a high-variance strategy much like what you might seek in a GPP. So there’s a wide gap between the best scores and the average scores that increases the overall average, but the outlying top lineups might be throwing off the mean.

Read the rest at DraftKings.

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