Moxyball DFS University: An Introduction to MLB DFS on FanDuel & DraftKings for the 2016 Season
It’s almost that time of year. What time of year, you ask?
The best Sunday of the year: MLB Opening Day.
With Opening Day just around the corner, we wanted to give you a vital introduction to daily fantasy baseball.
Before you can get started with any DFS sport you need to know the scoring and roster construction.
- On FanDuel they tripled the scoring from last year (so don’t be caught off guard when your lineups score 100+ points on a regular basis)
- FanDuel removed the -.25 points for recording an out from hitters this year
- On DraftKings they removed the negative points for caught stealing
- On DraftKings pitchers get bonus points for complete games, complete games shutouts and no hitters
Some of the above changes are more meaningful on a day-to-day basis than others, but it’s critical that you have a strong handle on the scoring intricacies.
Now let’s take a look at the roster construction of each site:
Player Restrictions (particularly noteworthy for “stacking” purposes)
So now you have the basics down pat, especially when it comes to roster construction and key scoring changes that have been made on both sites.
Tips for Getting Started
- Starting lineups are key in MLB. Unlike other sports where even if your player is not starting he still has a chance to pick up fantasy points, that is much less the case with MLB DFS. Sure, someone can come in as a late-game replacement or for an injured player, but there is far more risk associated with exposing yourself to that scenario. You want players that are in the lineup and preferably hitting at the top of the order. The higher the player is in the order the more plate appearance they will see and more plate appearances equal more opportunities for fantasy points.
- A great place to check starting lineups is Baseball Press.
- Weather also plays a consideration in MLB DFS. Unlike other sports, sometime like rain can have a significant effect – especially if it’s heavy enough to cancel or postpone a particular game. Weather cancellations lead to zeros from the players in that game. The best source for weather information is to follow Kevin Roth on Twitter.
- Vegas totals are excellent leading indicators for DFS production. In general, you want to target pitchers in low scoring games and hitters in high scoring games.
Roster Construction Tips
- Pitchers are the most important player for MLB DFS – particularly when it comes to cash games. Target a pitcher that is not only going to get you the win but also likely to pitch deep into the game and give you plenty of strikeouts (7+ is an excellent projection to look for). The more innings pitched and more strikeouts a pitcher gets, the more points you will score. It’s just that simple.
- Home Runs are not the only thing you want to look for. Sure, home runs lead to plenty of points in a flash – but getting on base and scoring runs is plenty valuable, too. Don’t overlook batters with high on base tendencies (especially in cash games).
- Remember to target hitters at the top of the lineup like we discussed earlier in the article. More at bats equals more opportunities to score fantasy points. An easy concept to understand, but critical to long-term success.
- Stacking hitters is a common and viable roster construction strategy. Hitters from the same team are directly correlated with one another. When a player gets a run batted in, another player is going to get credited with a run. If you have both players on your team you get credit for both of those statistics. For those familiar with NFL DFS, the concept is similar to a quarterback throwing a touchdown pass to a wide receiver.
- Note – stacking in baseball tends to be a slightly more favorable strategy in its basic form, as you typically won’t see prolonged success with QB/RB/WR stacks, for example.
- Ballparks matter, as do ballpark factors. Unlike basketball where it really doesn’t matter where a player is playing, MLB ballparks can either add or take away from your hitters. Some ballparks are built to produce more runs or are played in altitude where the baseballs travel farther – like Coors Field. On the other side of the coin, some parks tend to be more favorable to pitchers and give up fewer runs – like Petco Park.
This article may not cover absolutely everything you need to know, but it’s a great place to start.
Make sure you bookmark Moxyball and come back daily. We have exciting content plans that will help you become a stronger DFS player to ultimately win more DFS cash!