Welcome to the weekend, Brainiacs! I hope you are, like me, going to be playing some daily fantasy games this weekend. (You can even play against me tonight if you are so inclined... This is the link to the game: goo.gl/QkDRu)
I've been doing some thinking about strategy relative to those daily sites like FanDuel. It is a compressed period of time so there can be some variance. The best way to combat that is with frequency.
However, frequent play may not be something you can keep up with right away. In fact, one of the best things about daily fantasy is the ability to get your fantasy fix over a short period of time. So, with that
as a backdrop allow me to present some of my mind's wanderings about daily fantasy:
On most sites you really need to nail your starting pitching selection. This is going to be the core of your team and the place where you have the best chance of scoring big points. What I like to do is narrow down my list to maybe three or four that seem to be in a good situation. I generally don't look at the dollar cost at this stage, though I do tend to eliminate the most expensive starting pitcher or two.
Take a look into recent matchups for both the pitcher in question and the team he is facing. Focusing on this one area will allow you to streamline your homework more effectively and make the best selection. In other words, what I am saying is that you've got to get the SP position right even if it is at the expense of other selections. With a daily game you have a finite amount of research time, so spend it wisely.
As you examine these matchups give them grades. You may end up with a B+, a B, a C+, and an A. At that point compare the prices for the pitchers to determine the best value. The A matchup is the best, but if that pitcher is $8,400 and the guy with the B+ matchup is only $7,200 you should really pocket the difference to use at another position.
With pitchers and also the other position players you need to consider recent track record and matchup, but also look at the park factor. I think I probably weigh park factor too heavily, but it seems to me that any edge I can give a player in a one-game scenario is worth it. Matchup and recent history are the most important factors, but park factor can be the difference maker for you.
Another thought on position players. I like to mix a few established studs with good matchups with a few guys that aren't household names but who have been on fire lately. Known guys with matchups and unknown guys on a streak. It seems to be a good mix that can get you to where you need to be salary-wise as you construct your roster.
Good luck with those daily fantasy games, folks! Have fun with them.
And, if you want to join me on FanDuel tonight I'd love to have you. The event I am in has a $10 entry and $2,400 in the prize pool. There are also $0 events if you want to play without spending any money. Either way, click here and you can navigate from there.
If you do play in my event and you happen to beat me, let me know and I'll write about it here, on Twitter, on tumblr, and over at Google+. (If you want the notoriety!) Good luck this weekend!