Fantasy Sports, Real Money

Fantasy Sports, Real Money

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Have you seen the ads? Who hasn't, right? How did it all happen? Is DFS gambling? Is it legal? And what's next for this industry under attack? These are just some of the questions answered by award-winning author Bill Ordine as he traces the background of the curious federal law that opened the door for the billion-dollar play-for-money sports-contest industry. Who was behind the pivotal carve-out? How did daily fantasy rise so quickly? And where is it likely to land now that the DFS genie is out of the bottle? More important, Fantasy Sports, Real Money shows you how to get into the game and compete, with strategies the pros use and case studies from players who've won millions. This is the first DFS book to cover football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and even golf, with game plans for setting lineups, maximizing value within the salary cap, finding pricing inefficiencies, playing against (or avoiding) experts, and identifying overlays, as well as many other angles being used right now to get the money in this provocative sports-betting offshoot.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 22.86mm | 397g
  • Las Vegas, United States
  • English
  • 193539665X
  • 9781935396659
  • 2,890,911

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All you need to know about Fantasy Sports The History of Daily Fantasy Sports The birth of traditional fantasy sports, way back in 1962 (as envisioned by Bill Winkenbach)
The Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League (GOPPPL)
Fantasy baseball's origins: the Rotisserie League
Gambling latches on to fantasy sports; record-keeping businesses spring up, combine to form the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, and the Internet facilitates everything
A deep look into the infamous "carve-out" from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that ostensibly legalized fantasy sports
How the carve-out led to daily fantasy sports
The rise of the big websites: FanDuel and Draft Kings Getting Started How to choose the right website for you, then register and deposit
Read the fine print of the bonus-promotion codes
Contests, lineups, how points are earned, and sweating the games Basic Concepts Traditional versus daily fantasy sports
Differences in the games among the major websites
Types of contests, the salary cap, the rake and rakeback
Bonuses, participation programs, comps, and free play
Bankroll considerations, skill vs. luck
DFS sharks, grinders, pros, and the donkeys
Floors, ceilings, variance, and standard deviation Fantasy Football The big draw for DFS, though it's not actually a daily event
Differences among the websites
The lockdown, use of statistics, the Vegas line, projections and value quotients
Player positions, correlations, and correlative circumstances, defenses, special teams, and kickers Fantasy Baseball The rules according to the different websites
Which contests are for you?
Making sense of the money line
The depth and breadth of baseball statistics, plus regressions and reversions
Player positions, batting order, and correlations
The ballpark, weather, umpire factors Fantasy Basketball Rules, scoring, online tools, stacking, and key points
Fantasy Hockey
The thin participation field of hockey
The website differences, scoring, and the importance of correlation and stacking
The holy goalie and the penalty-points controversy Fantasy Golf The Vegas odds, consistency, recent performance, and the golf courses The Future of Daily Fantasy Sports Is there a future?
Regulation, enemies, and allies of DFS, and the changing nature of fandom EXCERPT Quarterbacks In assembling winning football lineups, you start as if you were putting together a real NFL team--with a quarterback. The most reliable position in terms of fantasy points, the quarterback is the keystone of a DFS roster. That's not to say that quarterback is routinely the position that produces the most points for your team. In fact, if you're making the right roster calls, the guy who spikes in your lineup should be a wide receiver or a running back, especially in GPPs. The mathematical quirk you need to appreciate is that although quarterbacks, as a group, represent the highest-scoring position in daily fantasy football, wide receivers and running backs have higher variance, or the swings up and down from their fantasy points average. So as an owner, you certainly hope to pick wide receivers and running backs who perform on the high side of variance. Still, you have to put quarterbacks on your teams who unfailingly are among your top four scorers if you hope to be a consistent winner (especially in cash games), exactly because they occupy the position that has the least variance and, consequently, the most predictability. What's a good quarterback fantasy points total? It varies among websites, but as a guide, on FanDuel, the average for the 30 NFL quarterbacks with at least nine games during the 2014 regular season was about 16.5 points a game. On DraftKings, the average for the same 30 quarterbacks was about 17.5 points per game. Of course, "value" is relative to what you pay for the player. So by that measure, you'd have done a solid job selecting QBs if they gave you 2.10-2.15 points for every $1,000 you spent on FanDuel. On DraftKings, where the basic salary constructs and rules for points are slightly different, a good return would have been about 2.60-2.65 points per $1,000. Just as pitching is the key position where you can't afford to miss in baseball, quarterback is the position in football where you need to get a reliable result. Quarterback in football is not nearly as critical as pitcher in baseball, but it's still a foundational position for putting together consistent money-winning lineups. The scoring differences between the major DFS websites for quarterback haven't been as significant as they have at some other positions. On FanDuel in 2014, a QB earned 4 points for a passing TD, .04 points for a passing yards (i.e, 1 point for 25 passing yards), and 2 points for a 2-point conversion pass. On the negative side, quarterbacks took a hit of -1 point for an interception and -2 points for a lost fumble. They accumulated the normal statistics of 0.1 points for a rushing yard (i.e., 1 point for 10 rushing yards), 6 points for a rushing TD, and 2 points for a rushing 2-point conversion. Quarterbacks also earned any receiving stats in the rare instance of a quarterback reception. The points were the same on DraftKings, with the notable exception that a QB got 3-point bonuses for a 300-yard passing game and a 100-yard rushing game, and a lost fumble was just -1 point. So when sizing up the two sets of scoring rules, one real differentiator for daily fantasy football is that on DraftKings, prolific passers who routinely throw for 300 yards have a bit more value compared to QBs in offenses that are less pass-dominated. On FanDuel, quarterbacks score slightly fewer points than on DraftKings (primarily because there's no 300-yard passing bonus). But relative to the other offensive skill positions on FanDuel, quarterbacks tend to score a greater proportion of a fantasy team's overall points. That's due, in part, to fewer points awarded for pass receptions made by wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs on FanDuel compared to DraftKings. While quarterbacks and pitchers share the DFS commonality of being the starting-point position for assembling lineups, there's considerable difference on whether you elect to use a sizable chunk of your salary cap on the position. In baseball, especially in cash games, it's almost always a good idea to spend whatever it takes to get an outstanding pitcher. However, in football, because player point production is tied to weekly matchups, coaching scheme, and likely game flow, you can sometimes save on the quarterback and use that saved cap salary elsewhere.
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About Bill Ordine

A former sports writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun, Bill Ordine has been studying daily fantasy sports since its inception. He follows the business side of the exploding industry and has interviewed the game's winners and theorists. He lives in Baltimore, MD.
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