Biggest Bankroll Mistakes DFS Players Make

Poor bankroll management is one of the biggest issues I see from DFS players. Bankroll management is especially tough in DFS because the range of outcomes is so large that it is hard for most users to understand how big the swings can be. Some of the contests are so big and so top heavy that you could win twice in one week and then not win again for years without anything changing in your process just by random variation. With these types of swings, it is very easy to get overconfident in your process or feel worse about your process than is warranted. This inconsistency can be further multiplied if you are employing a +EV strategy of going for first as the Sims properly encourage. As such, it is important to keep your expectations in check, even when your recent results have been very good or bad. With these large swings in mind, what are some of the best ways you can correct your DFS bankroll mistakes and improve bankroll management?

Here I will provide my DFS strategy advice for the Stokastic Sims, contest selection and other bankroll management tips to help you sharpen your process.

If you want more advice from me, you can check me out every Thursday in the Stokastic Discord. I do Office Hours there and answer all your questions about DFS strategy advice, bankroll management, Stokastic tools and anything else you want to bring to the table!

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Bankroll Management and Strategy: Common DFS Bankroll Mistakes

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Not Playing Within Your Means

If you are playing an amount of money that you aren’t comfortable losing on any given day, even if it is technically within your bankroll, you won’t be willing to play optimally. Employing a successful DFS tournament strategy means shooting for first place and not worrying about missing out on minimum cashes. Furthermore, shooting for first place means taking chances on players that others are afraid to play because they aren’t likely to do well most of the time. If you are risking more than you are comfortable losing, you won’t play these risky players and will lean into players that feel safer, which will limit your chance of winning.

Not Playing to Your Strengths

Common questions I get are, which contests should I play, how many lineups should I build, etc. The truth is any answer I give is for how I play optimally, and that may not be how anyone else plays optimally. I max-enter most GPP contests and prefer the contests that are pretty top heavy. But if you are a great double-up player, this information does you no good and can actually do you more harm. If you are great at double-ups and not as good at large-field GPPs, play the double-ups first and foremost!

If you want to expand your game, find another contest that is closely related to double-ups — maybe something like a 100-man, single-entry GPP. This will start to introduce you to what it takes to win first without having to beat thousands of users. It also allows you to focus on a single entry without being overwhelmed by having to make a lot of lineups and how you are allocating your players between lineups. From there you can keep expanding to bigger contests or more entries. However, if you find that you don’t enjoy this route, it’s easier to ease back to a contest that fits your skillset better.

Everything works the same way in reverse as well. If you are good at making a lot of entries and winning bigger contests, don’t automatically jump into playing head-to-head contests against every player in the head-to-head lobby. Just like how you don’t want to play above your means in terms of entry fees, you don’t want to play in contests that you haven’t learned how to play.

One way you can shortcut this learning curve, at least for larger-field tournaments, is by using the Sims since they will make you good lineups for the largest-field tournaments. But even then, you should study the types of lineups that the Sims are giving you, get a feel for how much risk you are willing to take on with certain players, the types of lineups that you like to play, etc., so that you can tweak the Sims as you feel fit to meet your personal style and amount of risk you are willing to take on.

Not Taking Advantage of the Under $3 Contests

This is another example of not getting ahead of yourself. If you were starting to train for the 100-meter dash, you would start by racing against your local high school team, then maybe a college athlete before directly going against an Olympic athlete like Usain Bolt. The under-$3 contests are perfect for this because both DraftKings and FanDuel don’t allow experienced users to play in these contests. They won’t allow you to enter these either after you’ve played enough entries. So make sure you are playing in these contests, and ideally only these contests, for as long as you can since they will be the easiest to win. They may not have that $1 Million first-place prize that you see in other contests, but they will allow you to be profitable a lot quicker, and you can play within your means and try out new strategies while learning in these contests!

Managing your bankroll isn’t the most exciting topic, as it won’t help you instantly win first place in a tournament. However, managing your bankroll is a big key to extending the longevity of your DFS career. It is very likely that the best player to ever play DFS quit before they had their first big hit and just didn’t understand the variance in the game and how good they were or were going to be. Make sure you are smart with your bankroll so you don’t fall into the trap of these DFS bankroll mistakes.

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Steve has been a life long sports fan supporting the Cubs, Colts, and Bulls. Growing up he would spend countless hours listening to the Cubs on the radio and perfecting Andre Dawson's swing or Michael Jordan's fade away. He has played fantasy sports since the 90's and has won a wide variety of season long leagues and online contests in NBA, MLB, and NFL. He started playing DFS in 2014 which took his fantasy sports obsession to another level. During the 2018 NFL season he won the World Fantasy Football Championship as well as a Milly Maker and several $100k prize payouts. He has also had multiple six figure wins and live finals appearances in NBA, MLB, and MMA. You can contact him on Twitter at @SteveBuzzard

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