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How Understanding the Rules Can Lead to Profits

Daily Fantasy Football Tips for DFFB Players: How Understanding the Rules Can Lead to Profits
by Hoai, Veteran Fantasy Footballer,

Outside of paying the entry fee and not stiffing the league, the single most important thing a fantasy football player should do is to read and understand the league rules. It doesn't matter how much information you have, how long you have been playing or how much time you spend studying. It's all a waste of time if you don't look at how rosters are constructed and how points are scored. Every league is different, and the variances in rules can affect how you draft but, more importantly, who you draft.

To those rebels who live dangerously by using the same draft strategy regardless of the rules, I just want to say "Don't change a thing." Guys like you increase my chances of making a profit and can play in my leagues any time! For those of you who joined Draftstreet to make a profit, I've read over the rules and wrote down a few tips that I think will help players both new and old.

Generally speaking, the rule that affects drafting strategy the most in Draftstreet leagues, is roster composition. The rosters consist of 2 QBs, 2 RBs, 2 Flex (RB, WR or TE), 2 WRs, 1 TE and 1 DST. In a 10 team league, that means that 20 QBs, at least 20 RBs, at least 20 WRs, at least 10 TEs and 10 DST are selected, and the flex can be a RB, WR or TE. Realistically, the flex positions will mostly likely be evenly split between the RBs and WRs with TEs rarely flex-worthy. So in summary, most drafts will consist of something like 20 QBs, 30 RBs, 30 WRs, 10 TEs and 10 DSTs being selected.

Much like buffet food and network TV talent shows, the Draftstreet scoring system is designed to appeal to the masses and doesn't change drafting strategy from traditional leagues. It's basically the same generic scoring system that is the template for most leagues with the a half point per reception (PPR) added. The two things to highlight are that passing TDs only count for 4 points and the half point PPR. The chart that displays the scoring breakdown shows yardage totals in decimal form. For those old school types like me who want to know how many yards earn a point, 25 passing yards and 10 rushing or receiving yards equal a point with each yard counting because of the decimal system.

DST scoring is suppressed somewhat because interceptions and fumble recoveries are only worth a point and sacks only net half a point.

To understand how the roster composition and scoring system affect your drafting strategy, it is best to break it down to how it affects each position.

Quarterback: Doubling the number of starting QBs, from the traditional one QB per team to two per team, transforms one of the most abundant positions to the second most scarce. Increased scarcity means increased value, and with two thirds of the starting QBs in the league in play (and even less during a bye), waiting to address QB late in the draft means you'll be picking from some undesirable choices. Even though the QB position is made more valuable by roster construction, the need to panic during a draft and reach for one early is mitigated by the scoring system. QBs only earn 4 points for passing TDs and 1 point for every 25 yards which makes the scoring margin between the top passers and the mediocre ones less than in other scoring systems. This system also favors running QBs who can earn 6 point for rushing TD and also pick up sneaky points on the ground. So be cognizant that QBs will be going earlier than in most other formats and that running QBs are more valuable.

Running Backs: With at least 20 starting RBs and up to 20 more in play as a flex, every viable fantasy RB will be drafted. The traditional scoring that rewards 6 points for each rushing and receiving TD and 1 point for every ten yards and half point PPR means that the RB position remains the most valuable and the scarcest. This doesn't change from most leagues.

Wide Receiver: Give or take a few guys, the number of RBs and WRs should be about the same, but the fantasy value of WRs is relatively low compared to RBs and even QBs because there is an abundance of draft worthy WRs every week. Only getting half PPR and the lack of bonuses for long TD receptions means that WRs lose relative value to QBs. I think there is value on gambling with an elite WR with a good matchup early, but if you construct your team by taking WRs later, there will be plenty of decent options after the rest of your roster is filled.

Tight End and Defenses: No great change in TE and DST values in this formant. TEs who score like WRs should go early, and the rest can be taken late. DST scoring is somewhat suppressed in this format, but since you shouldn't pick them until the last round anyway (in a snake draft), it shouldn't matter.

Finally, use the rules to your advantage. A small investment in understanding how the rules affect player values can give you a leg up on the rest of your competitors and pay dividends.

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