In daily fantasy basketball, there are two main goals to playing. One is to win, which likely means increasing your balance, and the other is not to go broke and have to deposit more. Having fun is the ultimate goal, of course, but winning is usually the tonic for fun, and going bust is no fun for anyone.
So, with that in mind, one of the most frequent questions that gets passed along from new players in DFS is how much to play nightly and how to grow your financial footprint in your efforts.
The key to managing your bankroll, which is the industry terminology for your deposit, is to be disciplined. I know, right off the bat, that doesn’t sound like much fun, but living to play another slate is fun, indeed, and a solid strategy for long term growth.
What Games To Play
Firstly, the common industry advice is to use 50/50 games (where half the contest wins and the other half doesn’t) and head-to-head games to build that bankroll, building up enough to comfortably get involved with some tournament games, which pay a lesser percentage of the participants and, usually, requires a higher score to win.
This is a good strategy, but I’d add another wrinkle. Look for 50/50 games that allow only a single entry into contests. This is key, especially for new players, because it keeps you from competing with larger bankroll competitors that are going to flood multi-entry contests with lineups and drive the fantasy point threshold for winning even higher.
It’s easy to get caught up in the 1st prize in a tournament event and start chasing that, but a balanced approach to each night will keep you playing those slates and position you better to take a run at larger tournament prizes, not to mention sustain you while you improve your roster construction skills and research.
How Much To Spend
You don’t want to spend more than about 10 percent on any given slate, even if you feel like your lineup can’t lose that night. Stuff happens in any sport, and it will likely happen the night you push all your dollars into a slate and suddenly you’ve lost 75 percent of your bankroll. That’s usually when a surprise benching happens or your rostered center for the night gets sick just before tip and well after lineups lock and you’re eating a bagel and essentially checking out of those contests for the night.
Knowing you’ve been disciplined and spending a reasonable amount allows you to move past that fluke a lot easier than if you went all-in. It’s hard to do, especially when you start to think that your lineup is sooooo good that, if it was in every tournament, why, you’ll be swinging like the high rollers that are in the high dollar entry contests.
So let’s say you deposit 50 dollars into FanDuel, DraftKings, FantasyAces or whoever. On FanDuel, you can find single entry 50/50s for $2 and they have a single entry tournament contest for a $1 entry (Dribbler) that you can enter for the fun of competing for the larger win beyond the 50/50 output and start to get the feel of what you’ll need to win in those contests.
Patience is Essential
If you are managing things right and you are that good, you’ll be building up your bankroll soon enough to the point where 10 percent of your current footprint will be ample to participate in bigger tournaments.
Also, there are plenty of times, especially after a tough slate the night before, where you’ll want to catch up or win in all back in a single slate. The emotions start to get the best of you and, before you know it, you’re in for more than you were the night before. Tough nights happen. Lucky nights happen. The key is not overreacting too much to either with your bankroll. Protect it from yourself and stay disciplined in your nightly input.
It doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s the best way to consistently enjoy playing daily fantasy basketball. And, soon enough, the delayed satisfaction of seeing a steady, rising bankroll is the payoff.