Interviews, Daily Fantasy

6 months ago

Talentfrei: Advice from the Best DFS Basketball Player on Fanteam

Talentfrei, a DFS player from Germany, has made a fantasy breakthrough this year, nearly tripling his all-time profit on FanTeam. He sits on €50K+ in total earnings, is a big fan of numbers and is the all-time NBA profit leader despite never having watched a single game from start to finish! We talked about how he pulls this off, what aspects of the game he thinks are the most important for being a successful DFS player and where to start if you are trying out Daily Fantasy on Fanteam for the first time. 


You turned a 40K profit in 2021, what is the main reason for your success this year?

I had been playing profitable on Fanteam before, but in 2021 I've increased my volume a lot. I am very conservative with my bankroll management and usually put up less money than I could, but an increasing roi % gave me a bit of confidence. So I think it's both, playing more entries as well as using better strategies.


Let’s talk about those new strategies...

I developed some tools in python that help me with lots of grindy data work and prevent me from getting bored and doing something else than playing fantasy.

I think I’ve also improved a bit in lineup selection. I now try to enter lineups that I feel have a positive expected outcome in the long run. I stopped throwing in too many combinations of different players just to get exposure fearing to miss out on a big individual result. I feel covering all possible outcomes is a losing strategy.

You top the all-time profit charts for basketball on FanTeam which is not really popular in Germany. Where did the love come from?

Basketball does have its supporters in Germany, especially the NBA, but it's very niche... not even close to football. To be honest, I’ve never watched a whole NBA game in my life but I know some people in Germany play basketball on Fanteam, especially the top DFS players from Germany like quirrel and nevermind721.

My love is for the numbers, not for the sports. I do think that daily fantasy sports can be extremely entertaining when watching games and seeing your players score (love CSGO here), but I don't think watching games has a lot to do with your success as a player.


Who are your strongest rivals here at Fanteam? Any new quality players emerging?

Playing the big €15k NBA tournaments during the winter months, my toughest opponent was probably '2_weak' who I was a new player at that time. 

I think the best overall player on Fanteam is 'top'. But there are many outstanding players out there like 'TTriBL', 'quirrel77', 'khan', 'nevermind721', etc. Even the 50th place on the all-time profit leaderboard has almost a €20k net profit, so there are many successful players, both old and new.


Are you trying to focus mostly on basketball nowadays?

Basketball is definitely the sport I have had my biggest success in so far. Sadly, the NBA tournaments on Fanteam got downsized to a tiny remainder, but I hope it will be revived next season.

I think I play every single sport that is available on Fanteam with some success. For me, the biggest fun in DFS is to create new strategies, so I like all kinds of different sports even though I sometimes barely know the rules. 

Fanteam is ever-evolving, introducing new sports and changes to the platform. What has been the most significant this year?

I like the uploading function that allows you to enter teams via csv input. What I love most though is Fanteam's continuous ambition to offer bigger prize pools for its users.
Read more: FanTeam 1Million Euro 2020 Game: Rules, Tips and Strategy

Anything you would like to add/change on the platform?

The only specific change I would like to see is a more complex scoring matrix for daily football games (shots, tackles, crosses etc.). But I understand that the current system is easier to attract new users, the FPL crowd in particular. 

In my opinion, Fanteam offers a unique product - a truly skilled-based game. You can have a sustainable winrate and be profitable because you are playing against real human players and not against the house. Daily Fantasy Sports has many more similarities with Poker than it has with sports betting. 

I urge FanTean to promote their product as a platform where ambitious players can actually make money instead of losing it all on a random gambling site.


The upcoming SCOFF tournament has a 500,000 prize pool. What do you think of such huge tournaments, how many Final tickets have you already won?

I really like those huge events. Not so much for playing it myself, because they are very much hit or miss, but I think they are a great way to get more people on board so that they can see how big Daily Fantasy Sports in Europe is becoming. So far I’ve got 8 tickets and I will try to get the maximum of 10 until it starts.

Speaking of new players, what is the easiest DFS sport to get into?

I think the easiest DFS sport is classic football,  full squad (11 players) slates. If you follow some very basic rules, the gap from the top players will be relatively small.

  • Avoid picking players from opposing teams in the same lineup
  • Stack players from the same team (3+3+3+2)
  • Spend most of your budget

I would also like to mention that single-game slates are probably the toughest games on Fanteam to beat for new players, although they look the simplest.

Read more: €500,000 SCOFF Tournament: Overview and Tips to Qualify

Could you give some advice for someone trying out Fanteam for the first time?

The most important advice I could give is to single out the best players in each DFS discipline. Track their entries in tournaments and try to understand how they build their lineups. Don’t focus too much on individual player research, try to create strategies that can be used as templates in future slates as well.

Always try to improve your game, be patient, sometimes even the best DFS players have downswings of €5000 or more. 

Many new players think they don't stand a chance against players who can afford to put in more lineups than them, but that’s simply wrong. It's actually easier to achieve a good ROI (return of investment) with lesser entries than scaling your investment to 20 or 100 lineups per tournament. Focus on quality when building lineups, not quantity.


A few tips on bankroll management would be great to hear from you as well.

I think this question must be answered individually because it depends on many different aspects (type of games, number of entries, risk approach, etc.). I deposited multiple times until I finally had a bankroll to play with. 

I would say if you are already playing and are turning a small profit, you should not risk more than 5% of your bankroll on a single slate, but it really depends.

Talentfrei getting ready for a FanTeam slate in his home


Many people will be playing the Euro season-long game, what would your strategy be if you entered just a single team? 

For the group stage, I would look for outstanding individual value (such as Ramos, Memphis Depay, Insigne, Ronaldo). After wildcarding for the playoffs, I would only focus on the few teams which have the best chance to win the tournament and stack those teams.


Are you contemplating making DFS your full-time job in the near future?

I think it's definitely doable, however, focusing on Fanteam only seems a bit risky. But I am positive that DFS will remain an important part of my income going forward. 

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Alexey Bobrov

Alexey Bobrov

Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2500 tournaments played and a 30%+ ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content 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.