Can playing 1-day fantasy baseball help you get the girl?

Posted by Josh Levin-Scherz on April 24, 2013

 

 How do guys routinely “punch above their weight class”?  There are a few different ways, but mostly they make money.  Lots of it.  Thankfully, there’s a way for any fan to make money if they know their baseball—play 1-day fantasy on DraftKings.com.  If you could win $20,000 in a 1-day fantasy baseball contest, wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

On April 12th, two fantasy baseball players rode a great day at the plate by David Wright to tie for first in the DraftKings 1-day $150,000 contest.  The two baseball fans split 1st and 2nd place and each took home $35,000.  It was a small fraction of the tens of thousands of dollars given out by DraftKings on a nightly basis.

Regular fantasy sports can provide a good opportunity for bragging rights, and if you are lucky a few hundred dollars in winnings at the very end of the season.  There are, however, plenty of downsides.  You’re screwed if your best player gets injured, you need to remember to set lineups literally hundreds of times, or you go on vacation and don’t have internet access.  DraftKings.com came up with a way to avoid all that.

DraftKings.com offers 1-day fantasy sports contests with real prize money across all the major sports. It’s perfect for the guy who likes constant action and instant gratification in the form of nightly payouts.  The biggest payout currently available on DraftKings is the $100,000 MLB Spring Fling.

It’s easy to play. You simply select a roster of players under a salary cap and earn points based on their performance.  For a limited time, DraftKings has a first-time 100% Deposit Bonus for all new users.

Playing automatically adds excitement to the dog days of the MLB seasons. Behind every strikeout and home run there’s an opportunity for cold, hard cash. A word of warning: Winning becomes quite addicting.  Just ask the winner of our biggest contest ever—he took home $100,000 by picking a great team during Week 16 of the NFL season.

So what are you waiting for? There are a few ways to get started right now.

 

Get a piece of the $100,000 MLB Spring Fling on May 17th.  This is the big daddy (1st place gets $20k!) and you can qualify now for as little as $5

David Wright helps fans win $35,000 in 1-day fantasy baseball game

Posted by Josh Levin-Scherz on April 24, 2013

On April 12th, two fantasy baseball players rode a great day at the plate by David Wright to tie for first in the DraftKings 1-day $150,000 contest.  The two baseball fans split 1st and 2nd place and each took home $35,000.  It was a small fraction of the tens of thousands of dollars given out by DraftKings on a nightly basis.

 

There’s a way for any fan to make money if they know their baseball—play 1-day fantasy baseball on DraftKings.  If you could win $20,000 in a one fantasy baseball contest, wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

Regular fantasy sports can provide a good opportunity for bragging rights, and if you are lucky a few hundred dollars in winnings at the very end of the season.  There are, however, plenty of downsides.  You’re screwed if your best player gets injured, you need to remember to set lineups literally hundreds of times, or you go on vacation and don’t have internet access.  DraftKings.com came up with a way to avoid all that.

DraftKings.com offers 1-day fantasy sports contests with real prize money across all the major sports. It’s perfect for the guy who likes constant action and instant gratification in the form of nightly payouts.  The biggest payout currently available on DraftKings is the $100,000 MLB Spring Fling.

It’s easy to play. You simply select a roster of players under a salary cap and earn points based on their performance.  For a limited time, DraftKings has a first-time 100% Deposit Bonus for all new users.

Playing automatically adds excitement to the dog days of the MLB seasons. Behind every strikeout and home run there’s an opportunity for cold, hard cash. A word of warning: Winning becomes quite addicting.  Just ask the winner of our biggest contest ever—he took home $100,000 by picking a great team during Week 16 of the NFL season.

So what are you waiting for?  Start earning now.

Can’t Miss Prospects: Wil Myers, Zach Wheeler?

Posted by JKD on April 23, 2013

It always seems to take some time for the baseball season to hit its stride.  This early in the year, all analysts can seem to talk about is sample size.  Hot starts and cold streaks don’t mean much after 162 games, but in the daily fantasy realm, sometimes the only things that matter are hot and cold streaks when every contest is determined on a sample size of one.

We have already hit our stride at DraftKings, with the $300,000 Hardball Hit Parade that started the season already past, and with users already accumulating points in the Chase for the Crown II.  We have contests going on every day for every type of user, so how do you win them?

I’ve already talked about – and will keep talking  about – the importance of choosing your pitchers, what with their ability to rack up points and the percentage of your salary cap they eat up.  The thing with hitters is, it REALLY IS all about sample size… so you drive yourself crazy looking at daily pitching match-ups and career splits and weather reports and descriptions of the wind shear in right field at PNC Park in April.  Because when you spend money on hitters, you are not buying the performance, like you are in basketball when top players are guaranteed some production just by stepping on the court, you are buying probabilities.  The more you spend on a hitter, theoretically, the more likely he is to do well for you.

But we all know that’s not ALWAYS the case.  So how do you go about building a lineup?  Just like in any daily fantasy game, the first thing you do is identify as many cheap options as you can that you think have the potential to help you win a game.  This leaves you with as much money as possible to spend on those “high probability” guys… ie, the expensive ones.

And yeah, sure drive yourself crazy analyzing potential lefty-righty bullpen matchups and day-night splits, but sometimes a guy is cheap just because they AREN’T consistent, and no matter how much research you do, choosing them is nothing more than a shot in the dark.  But there are a few other reasons a player might be cheap, reasons with a little more promise: maybe he has a long track record of success, but is coming off an injury, or just a down year… or maybe he has no track record at all.  Unlike seasonal leagues, you don’t have to worry about prospects taking up bench spots while they’re still in the minors, but once they do get called up, you better pay attention.  Because while any random $3,000 hitter can go 4-4, with these resurgent players, or guys coming back from an injury, or rookies just hitting the scene, you are not just taking a random chance, you are actually finding value by buying the consistency – just like the more expensive guys – only without the price tag.

wilmyers

And that is where guys like Wil Myers come in.  You HAVE to know when this guy gets called up.  There certainly seems to be no scarcity of opportunities on the Rays, so he will get a shot – and if his talent translates right away, you have a value play on your hands before the price to draft him gradually starts to match the production.    This is a guy who hit 37 HRs in the minors last year and is hitting .300 so far on the year this season – those kinds of numbers can help you win a fantasy tournament, so even though you are not in a yearly league, you need to have on your radar.

And there are others, like Jurickson Profar (TEX) and Oscar Tavares (STL), and they might very well have the same or even more potential than Myers.  Profar was rated by some experts as THE #1 prospect in all of minor league baseball, and Tavares is consistently rated as a top-5 prospect, but the key to caring about these guys in 2013 is their path to actually getting big league at-bats, and with the loaded lineups boasted by Texas and St. Louis, the opportunities just don’t exist for them like they do for Myers.  And that is why Myers might be owned in your seasonal league while the other guys aren’t.  But Profar, for example, is already the centerpiece of trade talks with teams like the Marlins and others, and whether a trade, an injury or his own stellar performances at AAA get him an opportunity to play,  you have to be paying attention right away, whether for your roto team or your DK drafts.

The same can be true for pitchers.  Sometimes it just takes longer to trust a young arm because you only get to see them every 5 days – unless we’re talking about one of the very best prospects, it can take weeks before you’ve seen enough to trust a guy.  Last night, for example, Jonathan Pettibone got his first start for the Phillies, throwing 5 and 1/3, giving up 6 hits, no walks, and getting 6 strikeouts.  A solid outing, to be sure, and Phillies fans are probably psyched, but one game against the Pirates is probably not enough for you to run him out in your lineup for his next start.  Now, Jose Fernandez, on the other hand, is a top-20 prospect, who is averaging more than 1 K per inning so far in his three starts, impressive for a 20 year old.  But he might be hard-pressed to find W’s pitching for the Marlins, which is why if Zach Wheeler takes the mound for the Mets anytime soon, and immediately strikes out a dozen guys, you might not want to wait to take notice…

zachwheeler

Chase for the Crown II: $5 Million in Guaranteed Prizes

Posted by JKD on April 17, 2013

The Chase for the Crown II: Diamond Edition has begun.  If you played on our site last year, you probably remember the original Chase from last summer, but if not, here’s the deal: throughout the course of the MLB season, we will designate certain contests as “Featured Chase for the Crown Events,” and while you compete normally in these contests, you will also be accumulating Chase points, which… well, they’re not bad things to have, as they are used to determine who gets to participate in the Chase II Grand Finale Event in September.  There are only 40 spots for that contest up for grabs, and they are filled in two ways only: 20 spots will go to the Weekly Leaderboard winner in any of the Chase for the Crown weeks and the rest will go to the top 20 finishers in the overall season-long Crown Leaderboard.  Those lucky forty will battle it out to win their choice of four dream vacation packages: a VIP trip to Vegas, a Caribbean getaway, a World Series trip or an MLB roadtrip that will allow you to catch some great baseball action in several different cities.

You win points based on where you finish in the various Chase contests, and the more entrants a contest has, the more points are up for grabs:

Screen shot 2013-04-16 at 9.09.14 PM

There are also qualifiers going on for the bigger contests all the time, so you can take a minimal entry fee and play your way into a spot in a much bigger contest.  And once you’re in that bigger event – whether you won a qualifier to get there or bought your way in –  anything can happen.  You can earn huge cash prizes on the spot, and you can start to accumulate Chase points as well – and all it takes is one excellent week to earn your spot in the Finale.

Just in case you’re afraid you aren’t going to stumble onto the Chase contests by accident, and you want to make sure you’re playing the right events, they are simple enough to find: just go to the Chase page for a full contest schedule as well as standings (the Chase page can be found by clicking “Promo Events” in the navigation bar right from our home page).  Or, because we wanted to make sure this was as easy as possible, you can just sign up for contests the same way you always have, directly from our home page, and simply look for the ones marked with the “C” icon.  Point is: these are just regular contests, with an added bonus… so there is no reason NOT to participate and, in fact, you might not be able to avoid it if you tried.  For example, there are three Chase contests going on tonight, for a total of $11,500 in guaranteed prizes – that’s right, on a random Wednesday.  There are four major contests over the summer that you wouldn’t want to miss even without the Chase going on: $100,000 guaranteed contests in May, June and August, with a record-breaking July contest that guarantees $500,000 in prizes in a single day, with $125,000 to the winner.  And all you have to do is play in any of these contests or the many others that will be designated as Chase contests throughout the year.

So familiarize yourself with our new scoring system, and start studying pitchers.  In your seasonal leagues, picking the right hitters is key, but on a day to day basis, picking which hitter is going to go off out of so many options can seem nearly impossible – which is why there is nothing much more than a $6,000 price tag (or, looked at another way, no more than a $3-4000 difference between #1 and #200) for offense.  Pitching, on the other hand, can get expensive.  And the less money you spend on pitchers, the more consistency you can buy on offense, so deciding whether you should spend $13,000 on Clayton Kershaw (25 K’s and 2 wins in three starts, 33 fantasy points per game) is a big deal.  Nail those pitching choices and you will compete, whether you are going with Carlos Gonzalez ($6,300, 11.7 fantasy points per game), or Austin Jackson (DET, $3,800, 11.3 fantasy points per game). Simply put, you have to get your pitcher right when they take up such a large portion of your payroll, so if Kershaw is the only guy you’re sure of, you do it.  And then before your next contest, spend some extra time researching guys like the two Red Sox pitchers I wrote about in the previous blog, or looking into any other youngsters performing well sooner than expected or veterans experiencing a bounce-back year or some guy who finally seems to be solving his control issues – anything to give you an edge.  If youth, age, injury or control issues are keeping a pitcher’s price down but you see the potential for him to outshine those low expectations, you will be able ride some cheap gems to awesome cash prizes and the vacation of your dreams… if you’re right.

Clayton Kershaw

On another note, we are hosting a “Boston Strong” benefit contest tonight.  If you are interested, the entry fee is $5 and the top 5 finishers will win a DraftKings T-Shirt.  All entry fees will be matched at 100% by DraftKings, and then all proceeds will go to support those affected by the tragic act of violence that occurred at the Boston Marathon this past Monday.

Buchholtz, Lester Providing Pitching Value for Red Sox

Posted by JKD on April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon

There might not be any daily fantasy games for running marathons, but the Boston Marathon affected our games today nonetheless.  In one of baseball’s longest-running traditional scheduling quirks, the Red Sox are currently playing a game against the Rays that began at 11:05 am, planned that way to end sometime around the time the end of the race.  In past years, we’ve seen Pedro and Manny and Ortiz and Paplebon and others roaming the streets near the finish line in their uniforms amidst crowds of Bostonians.  But why should you care?  No Red Sox, and no Rays available for your lineups for most of today’s contests.

The pitching matchup for this game, though, was Hellickson – Dempster, so maybe no one you would have chosen to play anyway.  Which is lucky, because both of these teams have had some other very useful pitching options.  Last night, Buchholtz went 8 innings, gave up only 2 hits and 4 walks, and had 11 K’s for the shutout win.  This improved his record to 3-0, with a 0.41 ERA, 23 K’s, a WHIP under 1.0 and at least 7 innings every time out.  And the amazing thing is that he has been the Sox best pitcher, but not by much: Lester is getting just more than 6.0 innings in his three starts, with a 2-0 record, 0.95 WHIP and a 1.42 ERA.

If you’ve been playing our baseball games, you have probably noticed the scoring changes we’ve implemented since last year.   The net result is that pitching performances like the ones from Buchholtz ($8,000) and Lester ($9,200) have them averaging 31.0 and 23.1 points per game, respectively.

Good pitching has always been the dominant factor in winning baseball games, and now it is the dominant factor in winning daily fantasy games as well.  The 23 points averaged by Lester is well more than any offensive player, with most of the top performances averaging something in the vicinity of 8-12 points, with some small-sample size anomalies.  And, appropriately, pitchers are therefore more expensive, as Buchholtz’s $8,000 price tag is also well more than any batter.  The very best players at the plate cost around $6,000, and this means two things – not only does it mean choosing pitchers is important, it also means that there is only about a $3,000 difference between all batters across the league – they are simply too hard to predict.

But predicting good pitching performances?  THAT can help, because the difference between low-end cost pitchers and the top-end guys can be as much as $5,000-$7,000, making finding value plays a good way to be able to stock up on more expensive (and therefore somewhat more reliable) options at the plate.

Basically, there is much more of a chance to either fill up or leave some salary cap room with the SP slots than anywhere else, so you need to choose wisely.  You definitely want to check the injury reports, and the weather, because a rain out or short start can eliminate your chances to actually accumulate points.  You definitely want to think about pitcher’s parks vs. hitter’s parks, but this really only affects a few games each night.  And you REALLY want to pay attention to match-ups.  You are already doing that with your hitters, I am sure, avoiding the toughest pitchers, but making sure to do it the other way around is probably even more important, due to the higher cost and bigger point potential associated with your pitchers.  You can look at this a number of ways, but the simplest, and a good place to start, is just looking at the total runs scored of the opponent, a number that only gets more valuable as the season goes on and we get a more meaningful sample set.  And pretty quickly you will learn that you might want to avoid having your pitcher face the Mets or the Cardinals or the Tigers… but you’d probably be ok with them facing the Nationals and downright happy about a meeting with the Padres, Pirates or Marlins.

And lastly, you need to make a decision when you see a start like Buchholtz’s first three games: is this a fluke or is it going to continue?  Because he’s priced like a run-of-the-mill 3rd or 4th starter, and he is putting up fantasy points like a Cy Young winner, at least so far.  And if he continues to look anything at all like he did last night deep into the season, his price tag has no place to go but up and he can help you win some tourneys along the way.

buchholtz