Most daily fantasy sports players misunderstand the popular term “contrarian.” Being contrarian does not mean blindly selecting low-owned players or making unconventional decisions. It involves thoughtful analysis, understanding game dynamics, and identifying opportunities where the consensus opinion may be flawed or overlooking certain players. Ultimately, being contrarian requires a balance between differentiating your lineup and making calculated decisions based on sound reasoning and analysis.
Contrarian Roster Construction in DFS Sports
One way to be contrarian is by employing unique roster construction strategies. Instead of following popular lineup constructions, such as rostering two high-priced running backs in NFL DFS, consider alternative approaches. For example, you could build a lineup with a stars-and-scrubs strategy, focusing on one or two elite players and filling the rest of the lineup with value picks. This strategy allows you to differentiate your lineup and potentially gain an edge if the higher-priced players perform exceptionally well.
The Domination Station Optimizer allows you to sort your player pool by value on the very front page! Spot those underpriced players in minutes and simply lock them into your lineups while you free up salary cap space for your anchor studs.
Differentiate Specific Player Selections
Another way to be contrarian is by selecting players who are not highly owned by other DFS players. This involves identifying under-the-radar or overlooked players who have the potential to outperform their expected value. Look for players who may be undervalued due to recent poor performances, injury concerns, or unfavorable matchups. Conduct thorough research and analysis to find hidden gems who can differentiate your lineup and provide a competitive advantage. Don’t be afraid to use our Chalkboard Tool and compare players at the same positions side-by-side and dollar-for-dollar.
Exploit Game Script Variations
Game script refers to the predicted flow of a game, including factors such as the pace of play, projected score, and potential game outcomes. Being contrarian in game script means taking a stance that goes against the consensus expectations. For example, if a particular NFL game is expected to be a high-scoring shootout, most DFS players may target players from both teams. However, you can be contrarian by focusing on a specific team’s players, anticipating a different outcome. This approach allows you to gain an edge if the game unfolds differently from the consensus expectation.
Exploiting game script works particularly well in single-game showdown type slates where making unique lineups is key to winning.
Targeting Secondary Options in High-Profile Games
In high-profile games or matchups that attract significant DFS attention, most players will naturally gravitate towards the star players or popular options. To be contrarian, consider targeting secondary options within those games who may be overlooked but still have the potential to deliver strong performances. These players may have lower ownership percentages and can provide a competitive advantage if they outperform expectations.
For example, in an NBA game featuring two superstar players who are likely to draw high ownership, look for the supporting cast on either team. Identifying role players who can step up and contribute significantly to their team’s success can give your lineup a unique and contrarian edge.
Employ Advanced Game Theory Contrarian Concepts
Advanced game theory concepts can help you gain a contrarian advantage by understanding the strategies and tendencies of your opponents. One such concept is leverage (along with our Chalkboard Tool, we have a Leverage Tool for this exact concept), which involves selecting players who are not necessarily the highest projected scorers but have the potential to outperform popular players at the same position. By leveraging ownership percentages, you can gain an edge if your contrarian picks outperform the heavily owned players.
Bonus Contrarian Concept: The “Stack and Fade”
Additionally, consider stack and fade strategies. A stack involves selecting multiple players from the same team, such as a quarterback with his wide receivers in NFL DFS. This approach can differentiate your lineup and capitalize on high-scoring games or specific team performances. On the other hand, a fade strategy involves intentionally avoiding popular players or teams that are expected to be highly owned. By fading a heavily owned player or team, you can gain an advantage if they underperform or if other players in your lineup outperform them.
Most DFS players know about stacking. They still don’t stack enough. Max out the stack size a particular site allows (4 on Fanduel, 5 on Draftkings, 6 on Yahoo!) and exploit a recreational player’s tendency to play too safe. By overdoing it a smidge, you take an otherwise sensible lineup and make it slightly contrarian by doing what others are not willing to do…giving you an advantage.
Implementing advanced game theory concepts allows you to think strategically about player selection, ownership percentages, and overall lineup construction. By understanding the tendencies of your opponents and making calculated decisions based on leverage, stack, and fade strategies, you can effectively be contrarian and increase your chances of success in DFS sports.
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