Impact of Weather and Ballpark on Daily Fantasy Baseball

Setting a daily fantasy baseball lineup for games to play at FantasyAces.com or DraftKings.com takes a lot of research and analysis – but two factors that top daily fantasy baseball players look at are what the weather is at various ballparks that day as well as what kind of ball park will the game be played at.

Below is my analysis of the impact of weather and ballpark on Daily Fantasy Baseball and why you need to consider it when you are creating lineups each time you play.

Weather

  • Rain

There are three types of weather that effect daily fantasy baseball and baseball in general. The first is precipitation. I want to begin by saying on average just over 1% of baseball games are rained out each fantasy baseball season so this is sometimes overblown. Even though only 1% of games get rained out there are usually only one or two games that have rain in the forecast. When looking at those games I go to weather.com to check out the exact percentages of rain for each hour. If there is a substantial chance of a rainout you should avoid all players from those games. If the weather looks like it is going to clear up but their might still be a little bit of rain, than it is OK to take hitters for your daily fantasy baseball lineup, but not OK to take any starting fantasy pitchers from that game. The reason is, if there is a 30+ minute delay the pitcher will get tired and have to be taken out of the game. The hitters will be fine and play the rest of the game.

  • Wind

The second type of weather that can affect daily fantasy baseball is wind. Wind is a factor in places like Chicago (the Windy City) where the wind can drastically change on a night-to-night basis. The only way the wind should influence your picks is if it is blowing more than 20mph. If the wind is blowing in towards home plate the pitcher should get a slight bump up and the hitters a slight bump down because long fly balls will more likely stay in the ballpark. If it is the opposite and the wind is blowing out then hitters will get the bump up and pitchers the bump down.

  • Cold Temperatures

The third type of weather that affects daily fantasy baseball is cold temperatures. When the weather is cold during the early or late part of the MLB season it is good to select pitchers pitching where it is cold as hitters have a tougher time hitting the ball in cold weather. On the flip side it is good to avoid hitters in cold weather games. Obviously the opposite is true in the summer months of the baseball season as the heat and humidity can cause the ball to fly further giving a bump in value to fantasy hitters and a downgrade to fantasy pitchers.

Ballpark Factor

The next thing I am going to discuss is the impact of ballpark factor on making daily fantasy baseball lineups. There are baseball parks with either shorter distances to the fence or where the ball travels further because of the climate – this is where hitters should be used more. An example of this is Coors Field. One thing that I must warn you about is that DraftKings factors ballpark factor into their salary algorithm so ballpark factor should not be used on their site. Fields like Petco Park favor pitchers because the ball does not travel as well and the fences are further back than usual. Use these articles Hitter Friendly Ballparks and Pitcher Friendly Ballparks to help you decide which stadiums to target and which to avoid.

 

RECAP: Always check the forecast to make sure your player’s game will not get rained out. Playing all players whose games are played already gives you a slight edge because many people do not check forecasts and play fantasy baseball players in rained out games. Lastly use wind, extreme temperatures, and ballpark factors to help you select your daily fantasy baseball players.

 

Make the Best Picks For Daily Fantasy Hockey Playoffs

Exploiting Statistical Trends Will Give You a Decisive Edge

Daily Fantasy hockey is all about making informed decisions. Even so-called gut decisions are founded in prior conceptions and opinion. Continually expanding your knowledge and understanding of the sport is vital to success. NHL Hockey’s ongoing analytical and statistical movement offers powerful and innovative ways with which to make sound daily fantasy hockey picks; it’s in exploiting these statistical trends that you’ll find your edge against the competition.

One of the Top Daily Fantasy Hockey sites is DraftKings.com. DraftKings is an official partner of the NHL and has some of the biggest prizes for Fantasy hockey players. If you are going to be playing fantasy hockey…you may as well play for the big cash!

 

1) Consider Puck Possession

A rule of thumb for any NHL Hockey playoff pool is to make fantasy selections within contending teams. The most productive player won’t serve much purpose once his team has been eliminated from the playoffs. What’s unintuitive here is that a team’s final placement in the regular season standings is not always the most accurate predictor of post-season success.  Goal differential, particularly at even-strength play, is another oft-used evaluator for NHL teams. Unfortunately, this metric also falls short as a predictive tool for NHL playoff success. As it happens, it’s a possession metric called Fenclose that holds the most predictive power. Fenclose, a derivative of Fenwick (and by extension, corsi) is much simpler in nature than its reputation would indicate. In essence, it’s a shot differential that considers both those on goal and those missed at even-strength. Fenclose acts as a proxy for puck possession and correlates very well with scoring chances. As the following chart plainly shows, it also has staggeringly good predictive power.

Puck Possession Stats

As you follow that chart in a counter-clockwise fashion starting from the top right, you see a marked increase in playoff appearances as well as success in the later rounds. What’s perhaps the most telling is, since the 2007-2008 season when these data were first made public, only one team has made the finals sporting a sub-50% rating.  The Fenclose analysis is a good stat to look at if you want a better idea of a team’s chances of going deep in the NHL playoffs.

 

(+) Los Angeles Kings

The Kings currently lead the league in Fenclose. They might not crack the top-five in the standings, but they’ve got as good of a chance as anybody to make a cup run.

(-) Anaheim Ducks

The top team in the NHL isn’t even in the top half of the league in possession. Their 50.5% rating has them at 16th behind the Predators. It’s going to be a fantasy feeding frenzy to grab Ducks players, but they’re far from a lock to make the third round.

 

2) Spot Overachievers

NHL Hockey, perhaps to an even greater extent than other major sports, is a game of luck. Over 60 minutes of game time, randomness and chaos are dominantly influential towards the outcome. Over an 82-game season these effects tend to wash out quite a bit, but in the short post-season they’re particularly important. While it’s not entirely productive to simply attribute all success to “puck luck”, there are ways to identify overachievers using basic statistics. One of those leading the way in hockey’s analytical revolution is Eric Tulsky and in the graphic below, shows how irreproducible on-ice shooting percentages are at 5-on-5.

NHL Playoffs

I decided to plot in Excel the correlation between NHL regular season and NHL playoff on-ice Sh% for players having made 17 or more appearances in the post-season in any of the last two years. Here’s what I found:

NHL Playoffs Graph

This graph indicates that a team’s Sh% while a player is on the ice is extremely unlikely to remain consistent from the regular season going into the playoffs. It is an unequivocal truth that shooting percentages are primarily driven by luck, and given how reliant a player’s production is on the latter there is a huge advantage to be gained through the ability to identify overachievers. The league average 5 on 5 Sh% varies between 7.0-8.0%. Players with on-ice scoring rates exceeding this mark by a substantial margin are not likely to carry over their inflated production into the post-season.

(-) Ryan Getzlaf

While it’s unfair to dismiss Getzlaf’s production this season, it’s clear he’s benefitted from unsustainable puck-luck. He’s a good choice for any playoff pool, but I wouldn’t use my first few picks on him

 (-) Dion Phaneuf

With Dion Phaneuf on the ice, the Leafs are scoring on 11.6% of their 5 on 5 shots and saving 94.6% of shots against. Given what we know about repeatability, I wouldn’t expect that to persist.

 

3) Emphasize Special Teams

Special teams, while crucial to success in the regular season, are of particularly vital importance in the NHL fantasy hockey playoffs. Capitalizing on this fact can really provide an advantage over other fantasy players. In each of the last four NHL hockey seasons, the playoffs have seen a larger number of power play opportunities per game than during the regular season. As such, you should place additional emphasis on special teams. Known PP producers will thrive in these conditions. Additionally, teams with poor penalty kill efficiency could find themselves at a disadvantage. Be sure to take this into consideration when making your fantasy hockey picks.

(+) Patrick Sharp

In addition to playing on a powerhouse Blackhawks squad, Patrick Sharp ranks second on his team in PP time allocation and PP points behind only Patrick Kane.

(-) Brad Marchand

Despite being a reliable even-strength point producer, Marchand only features in 11% of the Bruins’ PP time and hasn’t registered a single powerplay point all season.

Written by Manny – @MannyElk

Thanks for reading!

 

DraftKings Late Swap Tips

Some people love the late swap…some hate it, but the DraftKings late player swap is a strategy that you need to be aware of and know how to use to your advantage to make money at DraftKings.com.

What Exactly Is Late Swap?

Most daily fantasy sites lock in your lineup once the first game begins, however DraftKings only locks in players when their respective games begin. Fantasy golf is the exception to this at DraftKings – all players lock in for their daily fantasy golf contests regardless of tee times. Late player swap gives you the ability to edit your lineups and remove or replace players that are late scratches as long as you do it before their game officially begins.

Best Uses For The DraftKings Late Swap

  • To Replace Injured Players

This is an obvious one, but if a player is a late scratch or is benched due to injury or disciplinary reasons, you can quickly edit him out and put in a player that will play. For this strategy to work, you need to create yourself some outs by researching back up players at each position in case someone is unexpectedly not playing. Making sure your FLEX position is playing a late game is a key strategy here.

  • To Improve Your Odds Of Winning Contests

Going into late games or with fantasy football, the Monday night game, you can estimate who your opponent has on their team. The player is blocked until game time, but using the salary cap and players that have already played, you can deduce who your opponents likely have. This strategy works if you have the lead because you can swap your player out for the same one your opponent has guaranteeing yourself a win. If it turns out that you are losing to your opponent and you deduce that you have the same player, you can take a chance on another player and hope that he outscores your original choice to win your contest.

  • To Hedge Your Picks

So you have the lead going into the Monday night game and have a WR on each team. What if they don’t both get the points? If you want to try to protect your lead and not get burned, then stack both WR from the same team. Yes you will get less points potentially, but you also guarantee that if one receiver is going to go off on that team, you will have him.

  • To Be More Flexible With Fantasy Picks

Most people don’t like to spread fantasy picks throughout the day or the whole weekend for fear that late start players or players playing later in the week end up being scratched. With the late swap, you can pick players for later start times knowing that you can still remove and replace them later. For fantasy football, you can pick guys on Thursdays and put in questionable players for Sunday with the protection that you can edit them out if they end up being downgraded to “OUT”.

How To Use Late Player Swap Most Effectively

The flex position is your friend. If you are taking players in the late games/next day’s games, try to put them into the flex position. The advantage is that you can look at picking various positions and not be locked into a straight position swap. In fantasy football, you may swap from a WR to a RB; in fantasy baseball, you can swap a position other than pitcher and the same late swap tip works for fantasy basketball. Late game players should always be your flex guy. Also, put in a high priced player if possible, that way you aren’t constrained by the salary cap because the player you need to swap is a low cost value play.

 

The fact that you can still edit DraftKings lineups up until game time is a great feature that very few players take advantage of. If you are going to be a real player in daily fantasy sports, learn to use the feature and take advantage of your opponents. The difference between winning and losing in DFS games can sometimes involve finding all the angles and taking advantage of them…and this includes the late player swap strategy.

 

How To Build A Bankroll For Daily Fantasy Sports

So you have decided that you want to earn some extra income by playing Daily Fantasy Sports for real money…

A noble venture, until you dig into your pockets and see that you aren’t as flushed with cash as you want to be.

No worries! We have some daily fantasy sports strategies and tips on how to build a daily fantasy sports bankroll so that you can start to make regular withdrawals and live the lifestyle you deserve.

Let’s start with the most important 1st step…

Get All The FREE Money Being Offered

There are many ways to get FREE money and start your bankroll “on the house” just by joining a new DFS site.  Here are what the “Big 3” have to offer:

  • FanDuel.com – you can get up to $200 and a FREE entry into a real money contest
  • DraftKings.com – you can get a FREE entry into a real money contest
  • DraftDay.com – you can get a deposit bonus of up to $250

In other words, scrape together a starting bankroll by joining using the links above and the companies will match your deposit by 100% – doubling up your initial deposit.

Play Freeroll Contests

Even if you are ready to play in real money fantasy leagues, you may as well play in any FREE contests that sites are offering. It costs nothing to play, and if you win, it’s just more money to add to your bankroll.

Play 50/50 Games

Most big daily fantasy players start out grinding it out in 50/50 games. You will not make a ton of money in a short period of time, but you should make a slow and steady profit over the season. You can play a number of games and if you have good skills in fantasy sports, you will be able to add to a bankroll over time. Because the odds of going on a losing streak is rare playing 50/50 games, you can take a shot and play larger $20 – $100 games.

Manage Your Bankroll

Only newbies blow their bankroll in their first week of play! A typical player will only play 5-20% of their bankroll each night, so that even if you get on a cold streak, you will still have enough money to get yourself back on track. If you play just 5%, you will be able to weather the storm longer. If you play 20% of your account, your bankroll will disappear quicker. Never play more than 5% of your total bankroll in a single game.  In other words, if your starting bankroll is $500, the max entry fee you should ever play is $25.

Guaranteed Prize Pools Are Tempting…

Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs are the big tournaments offered by sites where if you come in 1st, you usually score thousands (or even millions) of dollars. There are some DFS players that only play GPPs and they sometimes make a good living, but you are playing against good competition and only about 20% of the field cashes in. Smart daily fantasy players will only risk 1-10% of their bankroll each night on GPPs knowing that it’s not uncommon to go on stretches of not cashing in for a few days. GPPs are a risky proposition for someone looking to become a DFS player as a profession.

Do What The Pros Do

Guys that play daily fantasy sports for a living will mix and match between 50/50 and GPP games, while playing mostly Head to Head games. Religiously they stick to their bankroll management, so that they can survive any losing streaks. Concentrate on your research on making the best lineups, don’t blow your wad and you too will pocket some good cash playing daily fantasy sports.

 

DFS Strategy Guide For Beginners

So you heard about something called Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and thought it may be worth checking out. You’ve been kicking ass playing your buddies in season long fantasy leagues and now are ready to make some real money like others are doing. But you are new to DFS and need some solid strategies to rely on to get started…

Below we have some basic strategies for beginners to get you into the DFS game. Bookmark this DFS Strategy Guide so that once you get your feet wet, you can read up on other, more detailed, strategies on the site that will help you take your game to the next level.

The Basics

Daily Fantasy Sports are fantasy games that can be played in just one day. You can pick a lineup, find an opponent, make a wager and win money all in the same day. No more worrying about losing a guy for the season, suffering through slumps or falling so far down the standings that you lose interest before the season ends. Every day can be a different challenge with new opponents, a different fantasy lineup, new games and higher stakes.

Know Which DFS Site(s) To Play At…

Throughout the site we have focused on the 3 top daily fantasy sites out there today. Our Site Reviews help summarize the sites, but each offers different games and different experiences. They are the top 3 for a good reason, so joining any one of them is a good play and a safe experience. Some players join all 3 and then figure it out from there. It’s FREE to join all of them, and you can play games for free to see if you like the set up and then decide which site you want to play at more regularly. Some players play at one, some play at multiple sites (but that’s another strategy for a later time).

Opponent Selection…

Some sites, like DraftKings, have a beginner section that allows you to only play players that have played less than 50 games. This way you play with other newbies and aren’t eaten by a “DFS Shark”. If you want, you can create a private league, get your friends in, and just play each other to get a feel for the site too. (HINT – Send your buddies to our site and they can also get the best bonuses for each site!)

Bankroll Management…

This is probably the most important DFS strategy… Your season long league was easy. You pay an amount for the year and that was it. With DFS, you need to decide how much you’re willing to play with for the season and then spread it out as evenly as possible. If you blow your wad the first week…you may not feel up to playing any more.

Here are some ways to maximize your DFS bankroll:

  • Get Deposit Bonuses (use the exclusive bonus links found on this site) – All 3 sites match your deposit and throw in free contests so that you have more money to play with!
  • Play FREE Contests – Just by joining with our links, you get automatically entered into FREE cash games. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or join our newsletter and you will get additional info on other FREE fantasy contests throughout the year.
  • Don’t Play Against The Big Boys To Start – Start at the bottom (vs. the fish) and work your way up. Build your bankroll slowly…you should never play more than 20% of your total bankroll in one day and never more than 5% of your bankroll on any one contest.
  • Keep Records – Keep a journal or spreadsheet of every game you play, including your winnings and losses, entry fees, bonuses and even names of opponents (if you play small field or head to head games).  This data will be priceless once you become a DFS veteran.

Pick Your Spots…

Top DFS players know when things just don’t look right. If you create a lineup, and in the end you aren’t happy with it, just walk away and play another day. The beauty of DFS is that you don’t need to play every day – you just need to play on the days you think you can win.

Learn From Your Mistakes…

Did you lose all your games the first time out? Don’t give up…learn from your mistakes! See what your opponents did in picking a lineup, then figure out why you lost. Like keeping records, reflecting on your wins and losses is HUGE for gaining knowledge and becoming a DFS pro. Even when you win, still look at what your opponents did, maybe they picked a guy you never thought of picking and you could have done even better.

If DFS was easy, we’d all be rich! Just like your season long league, you still need to do your research and pick the best players for each contest. Come back and read up on our other DFS strategies and check out our DFS Strategy Guides for each sport as you advance, there are many tips you will be able to use to take your game to the next level.

Now…get started and you will be on your way to making lots of cash playing daily fantasy sports!