Oh yes folks, we are back to the Promised Land! Football is upon us once again. If you are like many of us we have already visited the DK NFL tab and have begun deciding where to put our bankrolls to use. At first glance you will notice DK has the eye candy right there on top as usual. If you sort by Tournaments and Free-$100 you will see the two milis leading the way. Nobody should ever sway you from taking your shot downfield, especially in Week One of a new season, but the contests are absolutely horrendous. The $100 Mili has a very large field of 28,000 and first place gets a whopping 40% of the payout. The $5 Mili has a field of almost 1.2 million. That’s larger than the population of San Jose California. So if you are feeling lucky go for it. Just know they only pay out 1.5x and 1.6x of your entry fee if you are lucky enough to cash.
OK, let’s face it; most of us will have a couple of Mili entries. It’s what we do right? But after you have your fun it will be time to get serious. As you navigate down the list of tourneys, train yourself to focus on the payout structures. You don’t need a fancy plug in to do this for you. Its 4th grade math. Below is what we look for when picking winnable GPPs. When I say winnable I mean giving yourself a shot at taking one down, but also trying to double your money if you come up short. This is the best way to stay in the game for the entire season and beyond.
As mentioned up top, the $100 Mili pays 40% of the entire purse to first place. This is what we call a top heavy tournament. What you are shooting for is a 10-12% payout to first and a 30% payout for the top ten. This flattening of the payout structure, although boring as hell, will keep you in the game longer until you can pop a big win.
Yes these exist if you look for them. Simply put these contests pay 22%-26% of finishers. Keep in mind 50/50’s pay out the top 50% of finishes and Double Ups around 43.5%. That’s not very far from 26% in my GPP brain. How many times has your cash game lineups finished second or third? I’m not saying turn into a blended player. Many great players buy cars for their daughters every season by playing strictly cash games. All I’m saying is think of the 22%-26% tourneys as a dovetail approach using cash game and GPP strategies. Of course you want to finish first, but when you don’t, give yourself a shot at recouping some cash so you will be ready for the next week.
2X Min Cash
In a nutshell 2X Min Cash doubles your money if you finish in our top 26% sweet spot. See how we are building a system here? Try to find smaller field contests that pay out close to 26% of finishers with a min cash of 2X. If you can do this every week you will have a more sustainable DFS life. Does this mean you shouldn’t enter a 1.67X min cash? Heck no it doesn’t. If you find a 1.67X that pays out 27% of the finishers go for it!
Small Field Size
Let me start by saying every DFS player should be building a bankroll that pushes him/her to playing smaller field tourneys for higher entry fees. The downside you may say is you will be in there with the big boys every Sunday. Well time has taught many of us that even with advanced optimizers that factor in a tackles shoe size, these guys are all just dudes that are beatable unless they have their 150 lineups fired up. So field size matters. The smaller the field size means there is less chance of someone rostering a 3.35% 4K Greg Olsen in week one and he scores his only TD of the season. Yes this happened in 2020 and he was on the winning Mili on DK. It still stings because some of us clicked his name in week two and got zero FPs. I digress.
Limited Entry Contests
The quickest way to flame out in DFS is to click on contests that allow 150 max entries. If you give an average DFS player a good optimizer and a large bankroll, he/she will crush you and your limited player exposure. Lucky for us Draftkings does a very good job of providing a variety of single entry contests. There are also three entry, five entry, and even some twenty max entry tourneys as well. It’s up to you to decide which you should enter each week. Generally try to pick your limited entry with the smallest field size you can find for reasons stated above, over and over. In week one the NFL 10K Nickel 3 Entry Max really stands out and meets all our or criteria. Top prize is a cool 1K, first gets 10%, and almost 23% of finishers will double their entry fee. With three lineups you increase your chances of a takedown. Best of all the field size is only 2378.
Let me wrap with what I call the Single Entry trap. If you poke around on Draftkings you will eventually end up looking at the NFL 300K Fair Catch Single Entry. At first glance it may look like all systems go right? It’s a SE. The top prize is 10% of the total with the top ten only getting just under 27%. It pays a little over 20% of finishers and it’s a 2X Min Cash. The problem lies in the field size. At 29,400 it’s huge. So I’ll ask the question…What really gives a DFS player an edge? Playing smaller field contests? Or blindly entering limited entry tourneys without looking at the bigger picture. The greater the entries the greater the chance of some wing nut clicking on this year’s Greg Olsen.
FYI, Guru is cranking out content like crazy. See link below! Can’t wait for football!
Good luck in week 1… Peace, and as always, stay safe out there.