DFS For Beginners: Myths vs. Reality

“Tell me lies

Tell me sweet little lies”

If you play DFS long enough and talk to enough DFS players you will realize that Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 hit “Little Lies” is apropos when discussing our favorite hobby. Tall tales, excuses, misdirections, exaggerations and, unfortunately, flat-out lies are commonplace amongst many players. As a new player all of this misinformation can be confusing and sometimes disheartening. I’m here to bust a few of these “myths” and put things in perspective for you!

Myths vs Reality

Myth: Some players win all of the time 

Truth: NOBODY wins all of the time 

I hear it all of the time. People write it everywhere. We all see pictures posted online intended to “prove” it. People claiming they “always win”. It is simply not true. NOBODY wins all of the time. Football DFS is an excruciatingly difficult “game” to win at. It’s difficult because no matter how much research you do, how well prepared you are, how much you think you know, human beings still have to go play football. Nothing is guaranteed in professional sports.

Be skeptical when you hear these claims. Ask yourself why the pictures of winnings are never of consistent high dollar wins. If someone won “all of the time” wouldn’t logic dictate they’d be playing in the highest dollar games available? I’ve never seen anyone who was profitable more weeks of the season than not. I’ve been profitable for my last 3 compete seasons. It’s not because I win every week but because I have some big wins sprinkled in between my losing weeks. There are more losing weeks than winning weeks for me. If you aren’t winning every week it doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you a DFS player.

Myth: Winning at Football DFS is easy if you’re a big fan and pay attention!

Truth: Nope

I know what I’m doing. I’m as immersed in Football DFS as one average human can be. I watch between 15-17 HOURS of fantasy programming each week, listen to another 5-8 HOURS of fantasy football podcasts each week. I also create custom spreadsheets that include every stat you can think of, for every team, every week. Yet I lose all of the time. Everyone loses all of the time. What I’ve found is a system that works for me and has made my hobby a profitable one. However that system doesn’t pay off all of the time. Why? Because the results of humans playing football is not something you can predict accurately on a consistent basis. Nobody can. My system limits risk while rewarding trends and consistency. My system works enough that I make money, overall, in Football DFS. That’s about all you can hope for.

If you regularly focus on those three things, some amazing things can happen for you in DFS. Just not every week.

Myth: You have to play Mass Multi-Entry (MME) to really make any money or compete 

Truth: I’ve made plenty of money without having ever done a MME strategy

While it doesn’t necessarily hurt your chances to go with MME it doesn’t guarantee you profit. Others employing MME is NOT the reason you are losing at DFS either, not choosing the right lineup is. The fact of the matter is that if you chose the right lineup, you win. Regardless of how many entries anyone else has. Focus on your game, not what others are doing, because your game is the ONLY thing you can control in DFS.

Myth: There are fantasy players you MUST start every week!

Truth: While some players are more consistent than others they all have weeks where they underperform and, more importantly, DFS is not a one player game

Don’t get caught up in the hype. Don’t listen to your buddy talking about how not picking a certain player is “stupid” or “crazy”. There are no locks in DFS, period. Beyond that, DFS is about more than finding the best player in fantasy. It’s about building the best TEAM in fantasy within the confines of a budget. Every major winning lineup I’ve had did NOT include the top fantasy performer of that day. By jumping on the hype train and blowing your budget on the best player in fantasy you may be dooming your week. Build the best team, let the loudmouths chase “the man”.

Even the Experts Lose

There is a person on tv (no names named here!) that is considered the leading fantasy expert in America. He’s been playing fantasy football longer than some of you have been alive. His entire life is fantasy football. He has a research staff of 4 people and their entire, FULL-TIME, job is to research fantasy football and the players that he picks. Despite all of the before-mentioned facts, he’s wrong on fantasy picks all of the time. Every other fantasy show has similar experts that make bad picks every single week. So when the stranger at the bar, six drinks in, starts in on how he “always” wins at fantasy football just know that he isn’t sharing facts with you, he’s trying to convince you. 

A Final Note

Don’t be discouraged by a bad week or even a few bad weeks. Success at DFS is more of a marathon than a race. Stick with it. See where you failed and note where you succeeded. Use that info to build a solid strategy. Trial and error.

Study hard, draft smart, have fun!

For more follow me on twitter @TonyFlowersinCO and make sure to join our sports forums.

Tony Flowers

Die-hard DFS player, MMA junkie, lifelong Pro Wrestling fan and, most importantly, father to an amazing son.

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