Leveraging In-Game and Late Swap Strategies in DFS

Most DFS players will "set it and forget it" when it comes to their lineups. However, if you use in-game adjustments and late-swap tactics you can get an edge over the competition.
Leveraging In-Game and Late Swap Strategies in DFS

When you’re ready to squeeze every last ounce of performance from your DFS lineup, we have a couple of game-changing strategies that will make the trick — in-game adjustments and late swap tactics. 

These are not just fancy terms; they’re strategic moves that can turn the tide in your favor. And with money on the line, we’ve got to do everything we can to squeeze out a W.

So, let’s take a look at what in-game adjustments and late swaps are and how you can make the most of them for your DFS lineup.

In-Game Strategy: The Art of Staying Agile

In-game strategy is all about being flexible and responsive as the game unfolds.

We wish there was more science behind this, but it’s more of an art with a gut feeling.

This is particularly relevant in sports where player performance can significantly fluctuate during the game, such as the NFL or even NHL. Those sports take a brutal toll on their bodies, and some players embrace it and kick it into high gear in the latter half, whereas others slowly start to taper off.

Here’s how you can leverage this strategy and crush the competition—

  • Keep a close eye on player performance. Monitor how players are performing in real time. If a star player seems off their game, or maybe they limped off the field but are not necessarily listed as “out,” it might be time to consider alternatives.
  • React to game flow. Understand the dynamics of the game. If a basketball game is more defensive than expected, adjust your lineup to favor players who excel in those conditions. Take out your solid offensive players and swap them out for the defensive powerhouses.
  • Use platforms for real-time data. Use apps and platforms that provide real-time stats and data. Just about every score app has the in-game stats listed. You can use this to your advantage to make decisions on the fly. We personally love the layout and flow of the Yahoo Sports app.

Keep in mind that not all DFS platforms have games that allow in-game adjustments. It really depends on the type of game format you’re playing.

Late Swap: Your Last-Minute Lifeline

Late swap is a feature in some DFS platforms that allows you to change players in your lineup after the first game has started but before the players in question have begun their games. 

Like in-game adjustments, some game formats allow this while others do not.

However, for those who do, here’s why it’s a fantastic strategy—

  • Adjust for last-minute changes. Player injuries, lineup changes, or even weather conditions can impact player performance. Also, pay close attention to the opposing team’s lineup, as that will affect the performance of your players. Late swap lets you adjust your lineup to accommodate these last-minute changes.
  • Capitalize on lesser-known information. Sometimes, crucial information about a player or game comes out just before it starts. We typically see this on social media sites like X, but you’ve got to keep an eye out for it. Late swap gives you a window to use this information to your advantage if your opponents aren’t paying attention.
  • Reduce the risk of a zero. If a player in your lineup isn’t going to play, a late swap allows you to replace them instead of taking a zero. Sometimes, we just don’t know if a specific player will start. 

For late swaps, you have to keep your ear tuned to the industry. It takes a trained eye and quick reaction to capitalize on last-second changes.

If you’re attentive and fast, you can absolutely destroy the competition and look like a boss.

Examples Using Late Swaps

Still a bit confused about how and when late swaps work? Don’t worry; we’ve got a few examples that should help guide you along your way.

  • NBA DFS. Let’s say Damian Lillard gets injured during warm-up. Really, the only way to know this is if you’re watching the game live and the commentators mention it or the beat writer tweets about it. With a late swap, you can quickly replace them with another player from a later game.
  • NFL DFS. Weather conditions can significantly impact NFL games. While we don’t typically follow the weather closely for every game, we’ll check it out if there’s a weather pattern heading through. A sudden change in weather right before a game can be an excellent reason to use a late swap. However, you really have to know and understand the player’s performances in different weather conditions. This is particularly true when you start considering southern teams playing in the northern states.

Tips for Maximizing These Strategies

Now that you’ve got a good idea of what in-game adjustments and late swaps are, here are a few tips to make the most of them.

  • Stay informed. Keep up with the latest news and updates right until the game begins. Follow various Twitter accounts and watch the game chat feeds for any unexpected changes.
  • Be prepared. Have a list of potential replacement players ready for quick swaps. If an injury pops up, but you don’t have someone who can fill that role, it’s a wasted opportunity. You have to be super fast, so having the potential on stand-by will help you make these changes.
  • Understand the platform rules. Familiarize yourself with the specific rules of late swaps on your DFS platform. For example, with Underdog Fantasy once your lineups are set, that’s final. However, with OwnersBox, they do offer late swaps. So be sure to know your DFS platform!

Stay On Your Toes and Capitalize on Changes

In-game adjustments and late swap strategies are like having a secret weapon. 

They require you to be alert, informed, and ready to make quick decisions. However, mastering these tactics can significantly improve your chances of success.

Most DFS players we talk with don’t use these tactics, so they’re easily one of the best ways to get an edge on the competition. Don’t be a “set it and forget it” player; stay on top of your lineups all the way through game time.


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.