Daily fantasy sports sites are catering to player’s insatiable desire for more daily fantasy football. With the NFL still a half month away, that means DFS sites offering NFL preseason daily fantasy football is doing its best to fill the void.
With regular starters only playing a fraction of NFL preseason games, daily fantasy football this time of year requires a different mindset than during the regular season. Otherwise you’re just throwing darts.
NFL Preseason Poses Opportunities for DFS Players
First things first — NFL preseason contests aren’t for everybody. FanDuel even decided against offering NFL preseason contests due to the unpredictable nature of the game, fearing the contests might drive away casual players before the most lucrative time of year.
Despite Fanuel saying no to the preseason, daily fantasy sports sites such as DraftKings and FantasyDraft are offering these contests in force, with the later featuring some very impressive preseason freerolls so far. And with two weeks and four slates still remaining before the real season kicks off, there is still plenty of time to try out these unique games.
So what do you do as somebody who loves daily fantasy football but have a hard time taking the games seriously? Is it worth it and more importantly, how much fun are these contests?
Even the most hardcore and successful daily fantasy sports fan is going to have difficulty with preseason football with many important questions to ponder before setting lineups. How many quarters is a player going to play? Are they even going to play? Are high salaries of regular season starters — FantasyDraft has regular season type salaries while salaries on DraftKings are the same for everyone — worth the price during the preseason?
While it’s easy to dismiss the preseason games for some of the new challenges, for anybody doing due diligence there is arguably a greater advantage for these games when the learning curve is arguably much steeper and there is less information for DFS players to find. And If you don’t care about that, maybe you and Aaron Rogers would enjoy the preseason more if you just played more DFS.
So how do we make the most of these preseason contests?
Some Tips for Setting NFL Preseason Lineups
In no particular order, here are some of our top general tips for approaching the remaining NFL preseason daily fantasy sports contests.
1) Don’t bank on star players – This one is obvious. The top players are hardly going to play any of the game, so assume they are only going to earn a fraction of their normal full game performance. This is especially true in FantasyDraft’s preseason leagues because lineups are based on regular season value. DraftKings, on the other hand, has set all salaries to $5500, an endorsement of the relative unpredictable nature of these games if there ever was one.
2) Assume a much larger player pool – Because the regular starters are only going to play a quarter or two, the number of players with potential value is much larger — possibly 3 or 4 times larger than the pool of players one would normally consider for a regular season game. Nearly everyone is a potential stud in preseason DFS.
3) Research, Research, Research – Ok, we never want to go into a daily fantasy sports contest blind, but we can get a much bigger edge this time of year by having a finger on the pulse of what is going on in the preseason. Pay attention to Twitter, read articles from beat writers or news sites such as RotoWire or ESPN’s NFL Nation. Also, listen to what the coaches are saying about who might be getting some extra time or snaps.
4) Training camp standouts – The players that impressed during training camp are a good place to start to get clued in to who might be playing more snaps. Who was getting the buzz during training camp?
5) The preseason changes from week to week – The closer to the start of the season we get the more the regular starters will play. Keep in mind this is going to vary significantly by coach and team. Generally speaking, by Week 3 and Week 4 of the preseason, starters will play more or less the first half.
Honorable Mention: Prediction Sites – Thinking of waving the white flag and waiting until the start of the season before playing NFL preseason DFS? If you have no clue where to start or don’t want to go through the effort of making your own picks, there are some good resources available online to do the work for you. Here was one Rotowire’s thoughts on Week 2.
Where to Play NFL Preseason Daily Fantasy
If you’re still skeptical of this NFL preseason thing — and honestly, we can’t blame you — and don’t want to risk your own money there really isn’t anywhere better than the huge preseason freeroll running at FantasyDraft. With $75,000 in prizes this week alone, there really isn’t a reason not to throw some excrement at the proverbial wall and see if it sticks.
If plentiful real money action is what you are after DraftKings has the largest selection of contests this NFL preseason. All salaries are set at $5,500 so if you know what you’re doing, you really might be able to clean up on some of the contests over the next couple weeks. A full selection of contest types are available at DraftKings including tournaments/leagues, head to head, 50/50s, double ups, multipliers and satellites and qualifiers.