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2 months ago

How to Find Value in Daily Fantasy Contests on Fanteam

In today's article, we will talk about how to analyze player pricing in daily fantasy contests. We will also provide you with easy-to-grasp formulas and touch upon other tools you might use to pick line-ups that will make you a winning player.

Dynamic pricing on FanTeam makes each game week unique, requiring a different approach to team creation every time you sit down to pick a team. Picking the most expensive players is simply not going to cut it, besides, you won’t likely be able to fit more than 3 premium players anyways, due to budget restrictions. 

Low-priced players are also priced like that for a reason and most likely won’t score a ton of points. There are some diamonds in the rough hiding behind low price tags, and unreasonably priced Goliaths, waiting for you to waste that precious team budget on them as well. 

Let’s talk about what makes a player’s price justified, what players are undervalued or overpriced, and what tools we have at our disposal to understand who is who.

 

Point per Million Invested Ratio

The most important concept you have to understand to be successful in playing daily fantasy in Europe is the point per million invested ratio. 

First of all, let us consider fantasy points without the money invested aspect.

Understanding how many points your players must yield for your fantasy team to win is key. Looking at Fanteam’s main tournaments this season (2-2,5k entries), we may deduce that 100 points is roughly what we should be shooting for. Bear in mind that some game weeks are rather low-scoring, with 80+ points enough to clinch victory. On the contrary, 100 points sometimes is not enough to even make it into the top-20. There is no proper way to predict it, so we are sticking with a rough average of 100 points for the sake of simplicity. 

Speaking of 11 players you must pick for your team, it translates into this formula: 

100 points/11 players = 9,09 fantasy points per player. 

Having established that roughly 9 points per player is what we are aiming to get for when creating your fantasy lineup, remeber, not all players are created equally. We can not expect defenders to outscore the attackers regularly (Newcastle being an exception, rather than the rule this season). Neither should we expect all our players netting exactly 9 points each. Captaincy also plays a role, since the captain’s points are doubled. 

Given the fact that prices for players vary from 3 million to 15, our next objective is understanding how many points we are expecting a certain player to get relative to his price. 

Rather conveniently, the budget in Fanteam’s main events stands at 100 million. I hope you remember how many points is needed to climb to the very top of the fantasy pyramid. It is 100 points in case you have forgotten.

100 million/100 points = 1 point per 1 million invested. 

An easy-to-grasp formula, but let us look at a few examples nonetheless. 

Mane (at home to Brighton) is priced at 14,2. Picking him for our fantasy team, we should be confident he can bang 14 points to justify his price tag (3 points for a full match + 1 impact point + 1 point for a clean sheet + 5 points for a goal, + 5 points another goal). 

Also, we are hoping he is not subbed prematurely (1 less point for NOT playing a full match), given a yellow card (-1 point), a red card (-3 points). A penalty shot caused and a foul followed by a converted free-kick also yield negative points. 

Are you getting your money’s worth in this particular case? Is 14 points a realistic target for Mane this game week? 

Different fantasy enthusiasts will answer this question differently, and that is precisely what makes daily fantasy sports so fun and exciting. 

When picking a defender, someone like Fernandez (priced at 5,3, playing at home against Southampton), we are hoping he gets at least 5 points according to the formula.

A rather realistic expectation with Newcastle given a 36% to win and a 31% for a clean sheet. A defender is given 2 points for playing a full match, +1 impact point if his team wins, +4 points for a clean sheet. Given the odds, we have a decent chance Fernandez gets around 5 points, justifying our investment. In the best-case scenario, he gets on the scoresheet and makes our investment even more profitable in relation to the point per $ invested ratio.

 

Tools to Estimate Point Returns

Is there a way to estimate how many points a player will get? We can never know for sure, of course, but bookies odds, team and player form are your primary tools to estimate potential point returns for a player. 

Clean sheet odds are essential when considering which defenders to pick. Take a look at the team’s chance to win the game as well. Fanteam’s scoring encourages you to pick players from teams that would win (+1 impact point per player). Bookies odds help you single out teams with the best chances of walking away with a victory. In general, it is advantageous to pick players from these teams. 

When contemplating which attacking players to pick, consult teams’ total over 2,5 goals odds. The better the odds for a particular team to score many goals, the more enticing the attacking picks from this team are. 

 

Matches & Bookie Lines 

Home Away 1 X 2 CS H CS A >2.5 H >2.5 A
EVE CHE 27,14 25,19 47,67 19,00 29,69 14,29 25,82
BOU LIV 13,05 19,00 67,95 10,44 38,31 8,84 41,13
TOT BUR 69,31 19,95 10,74 42,79 10,67 38,31 6,91
WAT CRY 40,73 28,92 30,36 32,20 26,10 17,43 12,67
MCI MUN 74,67 16,44 8,89 45,67 9,05 45,67 6,23
AVL LEI 22,73 24,14 53,13 15,57 30,65 13,01 30,16
NEW SOU 36,74 29,79 33,47 31,25 29,14 15,08 13,57
NOR SHU 32,39 27,02 40,59 24,05 28,11 15,57 19,79
BHA WOL 35,08 30,21 34,71 32,20 31,67 13,01 12,84
WHU ARS 27,79 23,29 48,91 15,08 24,68 19,19 32,20

Legend

  • CS H - Clean Sheets Home
  • CS A - Clean Sheets Away
  • >2.5 H - Total over 2.5 Goals Home
  • >2.5 A - Total over 2.5 Goals Away

 

Budget restrictions rarely allow you to pick players from heavy favorites in their respective matches. These guys usually come with a heavy price tag attached to them. That is where the team’s and player’s form comes into play. Choosing a player on fire into your lineup, hoping he gets on the scoresheet despite his team’s low chances of winning the encounter, is a legit strategy. These players might be underpriced based on fixture difficulty, capitalize on their form instead. Finding these underpriced hidden gems is what the best DFS players do on a regular basis. 

The so-called eye test helps identify players in good form. I strongly urge you to watch games or at least game highlights regularly and make notes on who is cruising. Analyzing advanced metrics (xG, xA, penalty area touches, shots in box, etc.) also helps find players who might be flying under the radar. Luckily for you, we post the top-20 players chart along with bookie odds and clean sheet chances chart on a weekly basis. You may find them here. 

Individual to score odds might help you with picking your captain. We provide you with safe and differential captain selections in our weekly EPL preview articles here at DraftGym. 

 

Conclusion

We hope the formulas and other tools we have provided you within this article help you pick winning lineups when playing Daily Fantasy in Europe! Make sure you check in regularly to make most of our sortable charts and preview articles for slates with thousands of euros up for grabs at FanTeam and Bethard.

Alexey Bobrov
Author

Alexey Bobrov

Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch mostly on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with over 1300 tournaments played and a 50% ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As the chief editor at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.