Strategies for Capitalizing on Different Scoring Systems in DFS

Every DFS platform has variations in how they score each metric. Knowing these variances and how to make the most of them can give you an edge over the competition.
Strategies for Capitalizing on Different Scoring Systems in DFS

DFS is an arena where understanding the intricacies can greatly enhance your winning chances. One of the most crucial nuances is the scoring system employed by various platforms. These systems can vary greatly and influence which players are most valuable.

By tailoring your strategy to capitalize on these differences, you can gain a significant edge over the competition.

What works with one system might not work with another, but we’ll guide you on how to make the most of each.

Understand the Scoring Nuances

The first step to capitalizing on scoring systems is to thoroughly understand the nuances of each platform’s scoring system.

Whether it’s points per reception (PPR), bonuses for long touchdowns, or points for defensive actions, knowing these can help you identify undervalued players who excel in specific categories.

Keep these in mind when you’re playing on whichever platform you choose—

  • Football (NFL DFS)
    • FanDuel. Emphasizes touchdowns, offering 4 points for passing TDs and 6 for rushing/receiving TDs. There is a 0.5 PPR (Point Per Reception).
    • DraftKings. It offers full-point PPR, which benefits receivers and pass-catching backs. It also provides bonuses for 300+ passing yards, 100+ rushing yards, or 100+ receiving yards.
    • Yahoo Fantasy Sports. It is similar to FanDuel but includes slightly different points for defensive stats and full-point PPR.
  • Basketball (NBA DFS)
    • FanDuel. Points are awarded for points scored, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. Turnovers detract points.
    • DraftKings. Similar to FanDuel but includes a bonus for double-doubles and triple-doubles and a slight variation in point deductions for turnovers.
    • Yahoo Fantasy Sports. Offers a scoring system akin to FanDuel but with its own set of point values for each statistical category.
  • Baseball (MLB DFS)
    • FanDuel. Points are generated from hits, runs, RBIs, home runs, and stolen bases for hitters. Pitchers gain points for innings pitched, strikeouts, and wins.
    • DraftKings. It includes points for walks and penalizes hitters who are caught stealing. Pitchers lose points for earned runs.
    • Yahoo Fantasy Sports. A balanced scoring system that rewards both pitchers and hitters, similar to DraftKings but with unique point allocations.
  • Hockey (NHL DFS)
    • FanDuel. Focuses on goals, assists, shots on goal, and goaltender stats like wins and saves. There’s a penalty for goals allowed.
    • DraftKings. Similar to FanDuel but adds points for shots blocked by players, adding value to defensive players.
    • Yahoo Fantasy Sports. Combines elements of both FanDuel and DraftKings’ scoring, with unique tweaks to points for defensive actions and goaltending performances.

Knowing a few of those will set you up to draft the right players for the right league.

Leveraging Player Selections and Matchups

It all comes down to the draft, as with any DFS game. Getting your player selections right out of the gate will go a long way in maximizing your points, even if there are late-swaps in the league you’re playing in.

Optimize Your Lineup Based on Scoring Potential

Once you’ve got a handle on the scoring systems, the next step is to select players who are positioned to maximize those points.

This involves looking beyond just the star players and finding value in those who excel in the specifics of the scoring system.

For instance, in a PPR league, a running back who catches a lot of passes may be more valuable than one who doesn’t, even if they rush for more yards. Take a look at Aaron Jones, the RB1 for the Packers in 2023; he racked up 30 receptions throughout the season, resulting in 233 yards and 1 TD. That’s even after he was out for part of the season.

Analyze Matchups for Hidden Gems

Matchups are critical, yet overlooked, in DFS, as they can significantly impact a player’s performance. Studying matchups means considering the opponent’s defense against the positions you’re looking to fill.

For example, a wide receiver going against a team with a weak pass defense could be a goldmine in a full PPR scoring system. Similarly, a pitcher facing a team that strikes out frequently could lead to a high-scoring game in MLB DFS.

These are key areas to look at when you’re setting your lineups for the game. It does take quite a bit more time to look at all of the matchups, but this will most likely end up with more points than you’ve anticipated.

Adapting Strategies for Platform-Specific Rules

It’s one of the reasons why we play on so many different DFS platforms. There are so many variances in the types of games and scoring situations for each DFS app and knowing how they vary can set you up for success.

Embrace Platform-Specific Features

Each DFS platform has its own set of rules and features that can affect your strategy.

For instance, DraftKings allows for late swap, enabling you to change players in your lineup if a later game’s players have not yet started. This feature can be leveraged to adapt to last-minute lineup changes or player injuries, offering a strategic advantage. Another big DFS player that allows late-swap is Underdog.

Other platforms, like OwnersBox, don’t allow late swaps, so you’ll need to keep that in mind when you’re bouncing from one platform to another.

Understand the Salary Cap Implications

Managing your salary cap effectively is one of the most important factors in DFS.

Different platforms may have varying impacts on player pricing based on their scoring systems. A player who is undervalued on one platform might not be on another.

It’s essential to identify these discrepancies and build your team accordingly, ensuring you’re getting the most value for your selections.

One of our favorite DFS tools for tracking salaries is LineStar. You can get a premium account and compare salaries for various players across all leagues and platforms. Here’s what they’re tracking for the NBA right now.

NBA Player DraftKings Salary FanDuel Salary Difference
Isaiah Hartenstein $5600 $7400 +21%
Andre Drummond $4800 $6300 +18%
Alec Burks $3100 $4300 +15%
Mason Plumlee $3100 $4300 +15%
Bol Bol $3400 $4600 +15%

Just a quick look at comparing these two DFS platforms and their salaries, you might notice that you can get a great deal on Hartenstein and Drummond when you’re on DraftKings, but they might not be worth it over on FanDuel.

Maximizing Winning Strategies

Now that you know what to look for, here are a few strategies to help you make the most of these variances.

Keep an Eye on Player Trends and News

Staying updated with the latest player trends and news is critical.

A player’s performance can be influenced by numerous factors, including injuries, playing conditions, and even off-field issues. 

Being one of the first to act on this information can provide a significant advantage. That’s why we follow a plethora of sport reporters on X/Twitter so we can get the updates in real-time.

Max Out Your Tools and Resources

Several tools and resources are available to help analyze data and optimize lineups.

These range from software that can simulate outcomes based on statistical analysis to forums where enthusiasts share insights and strategies.

As we mentioned, one of our favorites is LineStar. There are others we discussed in other posts.

Leveraging these resources can help refine your strategy and increase your chances of success.

Practice and Learn from Experience

Like any other skill, becoming proficient at DFS requires practice and a willingness to learn from both successes and failures. 

Participating in a variety of contests can help you understand different dynamics and improve your decision-making process. 

Reflect on your performance to identify what worked and what didn’t, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

There’s no “right answer” for any platform, but you can leverage our recommended strategies to create something that works best for you.


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.