Note: All information and resources found on Mantelligence.com are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. We therefore (and I hope this is obvious) do not guarantee that you'll make any money. To be honest, you'll probably lose it. Fantasy football is hard, and is also arguably gambling. If you have a problem with gambling, I suggest you seek help.
So you've been playing daily fantasy football...
…and you’re ready to take your game to the next level... to start winning more games and start earning more money?
Well, check this out:
Today, I'm going to show you a revolutionary technique that will greatly increase your chances of winning:
The CPD2 Analysis Technique.
CPD2 is an advanced analysis technique that gives you deep insight into players' consistency, their projected performance and whether they're worth their salary price.
It's so effective because it will help you to easily find that week's best players... at the best prices.
And below, I'm going to show you step by step how you can implement this powerful daily fantasy football strategy to dramatically increase your chances of winning.
This post was made possible by Yahoo Daily Fantasy Sports, the only fantasy operator to offer both full season fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports.
An Advanced Guide to Winning Daily Fantasy Football
CPD2 is based on, and builds on, the concepts and strategies that I covered in our Primer to Daily Fantasy Football.
So... if you haven't read that article yet, I highly suggest you do so before learning CPD2. If you've already read it, you can skip the first two sections (which are a recap) by using the table of contents below or by clicking here.
Pick the Right Type of the Right Type of Contest
The most important rule to help you consistently win money playing daily fantasy football is picking the right type of contest.
While I covered this fully here... as a quick recap:
…but since you have such a higher chance of winning, you're likely to win more consistently. It won't help you get rich quickly... but it will help you to slowly make money over time.
Now, of 50/50 contests, there is a specific type of 50/50 contest that should help increase your chances of winning... look for contests that have:
- A high number of players. More entries means a larger sample size... which means less variance... which means less risk of being knocked off by an abnormally high scoring team (like you might in a 1 v 1, head to head match).
- A lower entry fee. Not only does this mean less upfront financial risk, but also, since the more experienced players are drawn to games with higher payouts, you're more likely to face a level playing field
Here's the bottom line:
The best type of contest to play is a 50/50 contest... with a high number of players and a low entry fee.
*For more information on the right type of contest, check out these resources:
3 Must-Know Tips to Winning 50/50 Contests
In our Primer to Daily Fantasy Football, I list 7 tips for winning a 50/50 contest... below, are the 3 most important:
Tip #1: Draft the right type of players
Want to know the secret to winning 50/50 contests?
Draft consistent players.
...And here's why:
To win a 50/50 contest, you just need to score higher than 50% of your competition. This means you're not shooting for the highest possible score... you're just aiming for an above average score that beats half of your competitors.
What does this mean in practical terms?
To win 50/50 contests, don't draft boom-bust players... draft players who score consistent and predictable fantasy points. They're a safe bet and will help you get your above average, winning score.
For more info on rule #1, click here.
Tip #2: Capitalize on weaknesses... play the matchup
When you’re playing daily fantasy football, one of the most important things you can do is exploit weak matchups.
A stud WR is being defended by a weak corner, an all-star QB is facing a weak secondary, a powerful RB is facing a terrible rushing defense, etc.
Seeing these weak matchups and capitalizing on them can mean big fantasy points for you.
For more info on rule #2, click here.
Tip #3: Stack but spread
One of the easiest and most effective daily fantasy football strategies is stacking.
Stacking is when you pair a QB and his star WR or TE. If your QB throws a touchdown to the WR/TE, you score points on both ends of the play.
You also want to be sure to spread the love...
First, don’t draft a QB and a RB on the same team.
Chances are if one does well, the other won’t. Think about it:
There are only going to be 3-4 touchdowns per game... and on each touchdown, only the QB or the RB can score fantasy points.
Second, don’t pick more than 2 players on the same offense, per lineup.
Don't “super stack” by drafting a QB/WR/WR or a QB/WR/TE all from the same team.
If you do this, you're putting all your eggs in one basket and not diversifying your risk. What happens if the QB doesn’t have a good game… or worse, gets injured?
The CPD2 Analysis Technique
Before we dive into CPD2 I want to make something clear:
This daily fantasy football strategy is incredibly easy to follow and easy to implement... but it does take time (around an hour per week).
With that in mind:
If you want to win playing daily fantasy football... CPD2 is one of best analysis techniques there is to help you. It reveals the best players, at the best prices, and gives you a serious edge over your competition.
So, without further ado, here is CPD2:
In 50/50 games, we’re looking for consistency... and one of the best measures of a player's consistency is their floor.
Their floor is the lowest number of points that they’re expected to score that week (in other words, an estimated baseline).
There are a couple great tools for analyzing a player's floor... but my favorite by far is Rotogrinder’s consistency stats tool. It's accurate and incredibly easy to use:
Step #1: Open Rotogrinder's consistency stats tool. Here's a screenshot of what it looks like:
Step #2: Select the fantasy football operator you play with (for example: Yahoo) and click NFL.
Step #3: Select the correct position (QB, RB, WR, TE) and click season (or last season if it's early in the current season).
Step #4: Sort the data from highest to lowest floor points, by clicking on the word "Floor". Here's what the sorted data will look like for the top QBs (as of the posting of this article):
You can see that Wilson’s expected floor is 22.52 points, whereas Brady’s is 14.93.
Step #5: Highlight the data for the top 10 players, then copy and paste these numbers into an Excel doc or a Google Sheet.
As you can see above, this tool displays a handful of other metrics (like ceiling, %2x, %3x, etc.). These metrics will tell you how big a player has the potential to go... not how consistently he plays well.
...And what's the key to winning 50/50 contests?
So... grab the floor data (we'll analyze this further in step #3) and jump to the next step.
Fantasy football is big business ($11 billion per year big).
...And because of this, there are people who've made a career out of estimating how many fantasy points players will score each week.
By nature, these numbers aren't 100% accurate... they're predictions.
...But here's the thing:
These analysts are pros. Not only do they have a lot of experience making their predictions, but they also use a ton of data to do it (a player's recent performance, the defense of the opposing team, etc.).
So... while these predictions aren't perfect, they'll give you an educated guess at a player's future performance.
There are countless sources for this data, but my favorite is FFToday. FFToday has been giving fantasy football advice since 1997 and they do a damn good job of it.
What's more, getting the data from their site, to use for CPD2 is incredibly easy:
Step #1: Go to FFToday.com's player projection tool. Here's a screenshot of what it looks like:
Step #2: Pick the correct position (QB, RB, WR, TE) and the current week.
Step #3: Select the fantasy football operator you play with (for example: Yahoo) from the drop down menu (see the red arrow above).
Step #4: Sort the data from highest to lowest projected points, by clicking on the word "FFPts." Here's what it will look like for the top QBs (as of the posting of this article):
You can see that Cam Newton is expected to score 29.7 points, Russell Wilson 27.7, and Drew Brees 23.4.
Step #5: Highlight the data for the top 10 players, then copy and paste this into your Excel or Google spreadsheet.
On its own, this data is invaluable. It will give you a great idea of which players will do well next week (which is obviously incredibly important)...
...but in the next step, we're going to conduct an even deeper analysis of it.
Here's the thing:
Floor and projection data are great, but since each player has a different salary (and costs a different amount), it's hard to compare the price-to-point value of individual players.
But check this out:
In this step, you're going to combine the floor/projection data with the salary figures to create one universal, easily comparable metric:
Cost (dollars) per point.
Cost (dollars) per point will show you exactly how much each point (from a specific player) will cost you.
Let's say that one player costs $1.50 per point and another costs $2.33 per point.
Which would you choose?
Of course the first player... and this is why cost per point is so powerful. It cuts through all the data and gives you one clear number to compare players with.
Pretty great, right?
...And here's the best part:
Since you've already pulled all the data into a spreadsheet in steps #1 and #2, calculating these numbers is quick and easy:
Calculating cost per point (floor)
Step #1: Add a column to the right of the %6x column titled "Cost/Point (floor)".
Now, to determine Cost/Point (floor), divide a player's salary by their floor points. Using Russell Wilson from the spreadsheet below as an example, this would be $36/22.52 = $1.60.
Step #2: Do this same division for the remaining 9 players (see this tutorial for a fast way to do this) and your final product will look something like this:
What does this data mean?
The cost per point (floor) is the amount that each expected floor point will cost you. Using Russell Wilson as an example, every floor point he's expected to earn will cost you $1.60.
Let's compare the cost per point (floor) for two of the league's current top QBs: Andrew Luck ($1.58) and Ben Roethlisberger ($1.99). You can see that, strictly from a cost/expected floor point perspective, Luck is a much better deal than Roethlisberger.
Pro tip: The more games a player has played, the more accurate this data will be (you can find the number of games played in the GP column).
For example... Zach Mettenberger's 5 games of data are less accurate than Russell Wilson's 14 games of data.
Calculating cost per point (projected)
Step #1: Add a column to the right of the Player column titled "Salary", then pull the current salary data from a tool like Rotogrinder's consistency stats tool.
Step #2: Next, add a column to the right of the FFPts column titled "Cost/Point (projected)".
Now, to determine cost per point (projected), divide a player's salary by their projected points (FFPts). Using Cam Newton from the spreadsheet below as an example, this would be $35/29.7 = $1.18.
Step #3: Do this same division for the remaining 9 players (see this tutorial for a fast way to do this) and your final product will look something like this:
What does this data mean?
The cost per point (projected) tells you how much it costs for each point a player is projected to score in the next game he plays.
At just $1.18 per point, Cam Newton is clearly a better deal than Aaron Rodger at $1.63 per point.
In the next step, we're going to combine these numbers with your knowledge to set the best possible lineup.
We have a lot of raw data... and now it's time to put it all to good use.
To make things easier, I like to make one master spreadsheet that has all the relevant data... like this:
When I create my master spreadsheet, I only include the players with the 5 highest floor points... because remember:
To win a 50/50 contest, the most important thing is consistent players (and a great measure of consistency is floor data).
So... of the players with the 5 highest floor points, who do you see as the first and second best?
Let's break things down:
First, rule out Andrew Luck who is currently injured. Next, let's cut Palmer and Roethlisberger. They have the two lowest floor/projected points and the two highest costs per point for both floor and projected points.
So who does that leave us with?
Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.
From the data above, you can see that either player is a great choice for your fantasy lineup. Both have a high floor, both are projected to score a high number of points and both are relatively affordable given their cost per point for both floor and projected points.
So what do you do?
Here's where you need to incorporate the rest of your general football knowledge and daily fantasy football strategy and skill to make the best decision.
Who has the better matchup? Is one playing on the road while the other is playing at home? Is one of the QB's starting WRs injured? Etc., etc., etc.
Pro tip: If you enter in more than one 50/50 contest, it's a good idea to diversify your lineups (part of tip #1 from our Primer to Daily Fantasy Football).
After you do your analysis for each position, I suggest you take the top players of your analysis (like Russell Wilson and Cam Newton above) and mix them up to create a handful of different lineups.
So you've used the CPD2 analysis technique and your daily fantasy football knowledge/skill to craft a great lineup.
Here's the mistake most daily fantasy football rookies make at this point:
Overlook the D/ST.
They write it off as something that's too hard to predict or not worth their time...
...but in the words of fantasy pro Michael "Rath" Rathburn:
The idea that D/ST is insignificant could not be further from the truth, and often the players who win large-field tournaments in weekly fantasy football are the ones who have the top scoring D/ST units."
And get this:
Picking a great D/ST usually isn't that hard. According to Rath, historical data shows that home teams average 20% more points than road defenses.
Pretty crazy, right?
He continues to say that, historically, the D/ST sweet spot is a combination of three things:
- A home team
- Who is favored
- And is playing outdoors
Find a team that meets all three criteria and chances are you'll have a great D/ST to finish off your fantasy dream team.
Pro tip: On top of the three above, try to find a defense who's playing in bad weather. As you can imagine... bad weather usually means more turnovers and more points for you.
Notes On the CPD2 Analysis Technique
CPD2 is a great technique, but I by no mean guarantee you'll win using it.
While it gives you some incredibly powerful insights, you still need to combine its results with your football knowledge and daily fantasy football skill.
Daily fantasy football is a game of skill that requires research, specialize knowledge, and practice. Tip #2 in our Primer to Daily Fantasy Football was "Practice before you Pay"... and with that, I highly recommend you practice the CPD2 analysis technique on free contests (to see if it works for you) before implementing it on paid contests.
CPD2 is a powerful daily fantasy football strategy that will give you deep insight into a player's consistency, their projected performance and whether they're worth their salary price.
It's designed to help you to make hugely better lineup decisions and dramatically increase your chances of winning in 50/50 daily fantasy football contests.