DFS Strategy: Rain, to Play or Not to Play
Todd Zola helps you decide whether to play based on the weather
Rain, rain go away come again another day.
Or maybe not.
While injuries and replays have been in the spotlight so far this season, a secondary story is the rather crappy weather the Midwest and east coast has endured in April. For daily gamers it has been especially frustrating.
There are two schools of thought with respect to risking part of your bankroll on nights when weather may influence if a game is played and if it is, whether the starting pitchers will have the opportunity to toss the number of innings necessary to be daily line-up viable.
STAY OUT OF THE DEEP END
Especially on nights where several games are in peril there are those the contend the pool will be even more full of sharks than usual and its wise for the minnow to steer clear. The thought process is only those really paying attention to the weather reports will have teams entered into the various contests and chances are, these guys really know what they're doing. It's already tough enough to compete with the volume player; when the field isn't thinned out by those that would normally play, cashing will be even more difficult.
GO FOR IT
On the other hand, as much as fantasy baseball purists want to deny it, there is a gambling feel to the daily game and a little rain isn't going to stop this element from laying down some cash. So if you are diligent and focus on using players with games sure to go off then you can gain an edge since some of the gamblers will have goose-eggs in their lineups from postponements.
I look at this conundrum in two different manners.
- Tourneys versus cash games
- Volume versus more casual players
TOURNEYS VERSUS CASH GAMES
Taking down or even placing in a tournament requires some good fortune while cashing in heads up, small winner-take-all or 50/50 type contests usually involves a more conservative approach. The additional risk emanating from spotty weather feeds into the variance associated with tourney play and is a detriment to smaller contests so even if this seems counter-intuitive, I actually like playing in the GPPs when there is risk some games will be canceled. I figure I'm going to need some luck to take down a tourney so an environment that fosters even more luck is beneficial.
I'm not going to go nuts with my bankroll, but in this instance, the axiom "saving it for a rainy day" rings true. I'll throw an extra team or two into a GPP without doing my normal hedge in cash contests.
In order to gain an edge, I'll look for a game others are likely to fade and use players in that contest. Living in the northeast, I may have an advantage since there are several venues close enough that I may have more of a feel for what will actually happen and not have to rely on Internet weather forecasts. That said, chances are we all have a friend living in an area with suspect weather. Why not pick up the phone and catch up? It can't be that hard to slip "hey, how's the weather" into the conversation. Then apologize by e-mail later. You know, about how your cell phone "dropped" the call right after you found out the rain was tapering off and it looked like things were clearing up.
VOLUME vs CASUAL
As suggested by the above my lean here is likely counter to what may seem like smarter play. I'm not a volume player and I don't play one on TV (or the Internet). But I'm more than casual. My total entries across the sites are low double digits - very low.
If I were a volume player, I suspect I'd be taking rainy days off. Volume play is as much controlling the odds as it is anything else and the potential of rain outs really skews things. There are 180 days to play, is sitting out a handful over the course of the season really going to put a dent in my earnings potential?
However, as a very low volume grinder, I see this is as an opportunity to take advantage of the uncertainty by risking a little more than usual but not being goofy. My approach is while I want to win money and can certainly use it, I'm not counting on it. I make sure I can pay my bills regardless of my daily game revenue. I make sure I can take trips to visit family and the like without having to hit on a tourney to make it happen.
Not everyone can say the same thing.
So I don't mind digging into the money I've hidden under the Monopoly board,
Speaking of which, the weather outside is frightful. I've got some GPP lineups to enter.
And I hear Fantasy Alarm has this great new tool that projects player's bang for the buck that day on all the major sites.