Exploiting Value Plays and Finding Hidden Gems in DFS

Not all players shine like the stars of the game, and when those players have a breakout game, you want to be the one that has them on your lineup. Here's how to do that.
Exploiting Value Plays and Finding Hidden Gems in DFS DFS is akin to embarking on a treasure hunt, where the most astute explorers can uncover hidden gems and exploit value plays to outsmart the competition. At least, that's how some of us see it. But it's not always as easy as it sounds. We're taking a look at the intricacies of finding these undervalued players in DFS, offering practical, actionable advice that goes beyond generic tips. We've got some tips for you to identify potential breakout players and strategies to construct winning DFS lineups. The Art of Finding Hidden Gems in DFS There's a bit more to your DFS lineup than just picking the most expensive players you can afford and hoping to win. The key here is to win. To really stand out, you need to find players who are going to put up massive points, and nobody else is thinking of adding them to their lineup. Understanding the DFS Landscape The first step in identifying value plays in DFS is understanding the dynamics of the game. DFS, unlike traditional fantasy sports, requires a keen eye for short-term performances and matchups. It's essential to stay updated with the latest player news, injuries, and team dynamics. We follow a list of websites and Twitter profiles that give us some insight into the latest on the players. FOX Sports (@FOXSports). Offers comprehensive coverage of NFL player injuries, with detailed injury reports for each team. It's useful for updates on players' practice participation and game status. Pro Football Focus (@PFF). Provides in-depth analysis and statistics on NFL players, including injury reports. The site is known for its detailed player performance data and rankings. Pro Football Network (@PFN365). Delivers a wide range of NFL player news, including injuries, fantasy analysis, and transactions. It's a valuable resource for both general news and fantasy football insights NBC Sports - Rotoworld (@Rotoworld_FB). Rotoworld from NBC Sports offers detailed information on player injuries, transactions, and fantasy analysis across various teams and positions. It's a comprehensive source for updates in the world of football, especially useful for fantasy football enthusiasts. Analyzing Player Matchups: Look for players facing weaker opponents or those who benefit from favorable matchups. For instance, a wide receiver facing a team with a weak secondary can be a goldmine. Use statistics and matchup data to uncover these opportunities. How you do this is to take a look at the game matchup and see how the opponent is ranked on the other side of the ball. If you're on the hunt for a WR or RB, look at how the other team does against passing or against the run. You might just find a gem about to have a career game. Emphasizing Opportunities Over Reputation Often, players from less popular teams or those who haven't yet made a name for themselves provide great value Their low ownership in DFS can be advantageous. Focus on their opportunities, like targets in football or shot attempts in basketball, rather than their reputation. Sometimes, we find these players as backups to the star. For example, Christian McCaffrey is undoubtedly RB1 for SF, but if he's hurt, you might see Elijah Mitchell, their RB2, try to make a name for himself. Leveraging Advanced Analytics Utilize advanced statistics and analytics tools to evaluate players. There are a lot of tools out there, so we're not going to cover them all here; just know that there's no shortage. Metrics like 'Expected Points Added' (EPA) in football or 'Player Efficiency Rating' (PER) in basketball can reveal players' true potential beyond traditional stats. Keeping an Eye on Emerging Trends Be proactive in identifying emerging trends. A player getting more playtime due to a teammate's injury or a young player starting to bloom can be key insights for your DFS strategy. If you can snag one of these players on your lineup, you can absolutely dominate your competition and rack up quite a few Ws before everyone else jumps on board. Crafting Winning DFS Strategies Balance Between Stars and Sleepers A winning DFS lineup strikes a balance between star players and sleepers. Allocate a portion of your budget to high-performing, reliable players and use the rest to take calculated risks on undervalued players. The way this strategy works is that the stars keep your team in the running for the win. They tend to be consistent. However, the sleepers are what put your lineup over the edge to lock in the win. It's not always a sure-shot win, but this is how you gain the advantage. Diversifying Your Lineup Although some swear by stacking (it has its place in the market), we recommend avoiding putting all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your lineup across different games and positions. This approach reduces risk and increases the chance of stumbling upon a breakout performer. Using the Late Swap Wisely In platforms that allow late swap, keep an eye on late-breaking news and adjust your lineup accordingly. This can be a game-changer, especially in reacting to last-minute lineup changes or injuries. Not all platforms allow late swaps, but a few do. The leading platforms that support late swaps are DraftKings, FanDuel, and OwnersBox. Monitoring Weather and Venue Conditions In outdoor sports like football and baseball, weather and venue conditions can significantly impact players' performances. Tailor your picks based on these factors for an added edge. Some players thrive in adverse weather conditions such as rain or snow, while others just can't keep their footing. Take advantage of the weather and look at the player's history to see if he has breakout games with bad weather. Engaging in Continuous Learning DFS is dynamic, and continuous learning is crucial. Engage in DFS communities, follow expert analysis, and learn from your successes and failures to refine your strategies. Keep checking back here because we're constantly posting the latest picks and the hottest trends when it comes to DFS. While we're good at what we do, don't just take our word for it. Follow DFS subreddits and Twitter accounts to get an even better idea of who's hot and who's not. Set Your Lineup with Some Hidden Gems When it comes to DFS, the thrill of unearthing a hidden gem or capitalizing on an undervalued player is unmatched. There's something about seeing your points skyrocket on a player you took a chance on. By combining thorough research, strategic thinking, and a bit of intuition, you can consistently identify value plays that others overlook.

Exploiting Value Plays and Finding Hidden Gems in DFS

DFS is akin to embarking on a treasure hunt, where the most astute explorers can uncover hidden gems and exploit value plays to outsmart the competition. 

At least, that’s how some of us see it.

But it’s not always as easy as it sounds.

We’re taking a look at the intricacies of finding these undervalued players in DFS, offering practical, actionable advice that goes beyond generic tips.

We’ve got some tips for you to identify potential breakout players and strategies to construct winning DFS lineups.

The Art of Finding Hidden Gems in DFS

There’s a bit more to your DFS lineup than just picking the most expensive players you can afford and hoping to win.

The key here is to win.

To really stand out, you need to find players who are going to put up massive points, and nobody else is thinking of adding them to their lineup.

Understanding the DFS Landscape

The first step in identifying value plays in DFS is understanding the dynamics of the game. 

DFS, unlike traditional fantasy sports, requires a keen eye for short-term performances and matchups. 

It’s essential to stay updated with the latest player news, injuries, and team dynamics.

We follow a list of websites and Twitter profiles that give us some insight into the latest on the players.

  • FOX Sports (@FOXSports). Offers comprehensive coverage of NFL player injuries, with detailed injury reports for each team. It’s useful for updates on players’ practice participation and game status.
  • Pro Football Focus (@PFF). Provides in-depth analysis and statistics on NFL players, including injury reports. The site is known for its detailed player performance data and rankings.
  • Pro Football Network (@PFN365). Delivers a wide range of NFL player news, including injuries, fantasy analysis, and transactions. It’s a valuable resource for both general news and fantasy football insights
  • NBC Sports – Rotoworld (@Rotoworld_FB). Rotoworld from NBC Sports offers detailed information on player injuries, transactions, and fantasy analysis across various teams and positions. It’s a comprehensive source for updates in the world of football, especially useful for fantasy football enthusiasts.
Pro Tip: See who’s following these accounts and who’s following those. You can find even more Twitter accounts to follow just by digging through. You’ll be amazed at some of the advice that comes from other DFS pros.

Analyzing Player Matchups:

Look for players facing weaker opponents or those who benefit from favorable matchups. 

For instance, a wide receiver facing a team with a weak secondary can be a goldmine. 

Use statistics and matchup data to uncover these opportunities.

How you do this is to take a look at the game matchup and see how the opponent is ranked on the other side of the ball. If you’re on the hunt for a WR or RB, look at how the other team does against passing or against the run. You might just find a gem about to have a career game.

Emphasizing Opportunities Over Reputation

Often, players from less popular teams or those who haven’t yet made a name for themselves provide great value

Their low ownership in DFS can be advantageous.

Focus on their opportunities, like targets in football or shot attempts in basketball, rather than their reputation.

Sometimes, we find these players as backups to the star. For example, Christian McCaffrey is undoubtedly RB1 for SF, but if he’s hurt, you might see Elijah Mitchell, their RB2, try to make a name for himself.

Leveraging Advanced Analytics

Utilize advanced statistics and analytics tools to evaluate players.

There are a lot of tools out there, so we’re not going to cover them all here; just know that there’s no shortage.

Metrics like ‘Expected Points Added’ (EPA) in football or ‘Player Efficiency Rating’ (PER) in basketball can reveal players’ true potential beyond traditional stats.

Keeping an Eye on Emerging Trends

Be proactive in identifying emerging trends.

A player getting more playtime due to a teammate’s injury or a young player starting to bloom can be key insights for your DFS strategy.

If you can snag one of these players on your lineup, you can absolutely dominate your competition and rack up quite a few Ws before everyone else jumps on board.

Crafting Winning DFS Strategies

These are all great tips by themselves, but where they really shine is when you apply them to a DFS strategy.

Balance Between Stars and Sleepers

A winning DFS lineup strikes a balance between star players and sleepers. 

Allocate a portion of your budget to high-performing, reliable players and use the rest to take calculated risks on undervalued players.

The way this strategy works is that the stars keep your team in the running for the win. They tend to be consistent.

However, the sleepers are what put your lineup over the edge to lock in the win. It’s not always a sure-shot win, but this is how you gain the advantage.

Diversifying Your Lineup

Although some swear by stacking (it has its place in the market), we recommend avoiding putting all your eggs in one basket. 

Diversify your lineup across different games and positions. 

This approach reduces risk and increases the chance of stumbling upon a breakout performer.

Using the Late Swap Wisely

In platforms that allow late swap, keep an eye on late-breaking news and adjust your lineup accordingly.

This can be a game-changer, especially in reacting to last-minute lineup changes or injuries.

Not all platforms allow late swaps, but a few do. The leading platforms that support late swaps are DraftKings, FanDuel, and OwnersBox.

Monitoring Weather and Venue Conditions

Patrick Mahomes in the Snow

In outdoor sports like football and baseball, weather and venue conditions can significantly impact players’ performances.

Tailor your picks based on these factors for an added edge.

Some players thrive in adverse weather conditions such as rain or snow, while others just can’t keep their footing. 

Take advantage of the weather and look at the player’s history to see if he has breakout games with bad weather.

Engaging in Continuous Learning

DFS is dynamic, and continuous learning is crucial. 

Engage in DFS communities, follow expert analysis, and learn from your successes and failures to refine your strategies.

Keep checking back here because we’re constantly posting the latest picks and the hottest trends when it comes to DFS.

While we’re good at what we do, don’t just take our word for it. Follow DFS subreddits and Twitter accounts to get an even better idea of who’s hot and who’s not.

Set Your Lineup with Some Hidden Gems

When it comes to DFS, the thrill of unearthing a hidden gem or capitalizing on an undervalued player is unmatched.

There’s something about seeing your points skyrocket on a player you took a chance on.

By combining thorough research, strategic thinking, and a bit of intuition, you can consistently identify value plays that others overlook.

 

Matt Brown


Head of Sports Betting and DFS

Matt’s love for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, coupled with a deep understanding of football, hockey, and baseball, shapes his innovative thoughts on Hello Rookie. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and a M.S. in Project Management.