How to Win Head to Head Matchups in Daily Fantasy Sports

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The commercials are everywhere about average dudes depositing a minimal amount of money to win “millions” in daily fantasy football. The ads are very appealing as it seems like cashing in one of the big pots is like picking a lottery ticket while knowing the winning numbers. The truth is, it takes a lot of skill to win one of the 100,000 entrant grand prize pool tournaments.

While winning a tournament involves literally every variable to fall into place, there is a DFS game with much better odds – the head to head games. Of course in a one-on-one game both players have equal 50/50 odds, but it is much easier to beat that one person that 99,999 others. The windfall of prize money isn’t as good in head to head games compared to tournaments, but they do present a great way to double your money. Make no mistake though, the expert ‘shark’ players are just as prominent (if not moreso) in head to head games as they are in tournaments so follow these basic strategies to improve your chances of getting the W.

Lineup Construction

No matter what type of daily fantasy game you play (head to head, 50/50, tournaments) lineup construction will always determine whether you win or lose. In head to head games the strategy behind building a lineup is to go with the guaranteed points. Finding ‘sleepers’ or contrarian picks against the general public is too risky. Instead you want your few lineup differences to outperform the variations in your opponents’, focusing on guaranteed floors instead of possible ceilings.

Investigate Your Opponent

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Besides the lineup the second most important consideration in a head to head game lies within your opponent. Instead of jumping into a game blindly, research your opponent’s profile and see their career winnings. Some players on the major sites literally have thousands of wins under their belt and are wise to avoid if just starting out. Instead, try to find head to head matchups with players of your same skill and experience level by clicking on their profile or searching their user name and viewing their stats.

Start off With Low Cash Games

What you’ll quickly learn is that big sharks still lurk in the small ponds on daily fantasy sites. Think about it, 100 guaranteed wins a night in $2 pools is still a free $200 bankroll builder which is appealing to any player. That being said, you’re best bet to starting off in head to head matches is to play multiple lower cash games instead of one or two higher priced ones. This works especially if you’re playing multiple different lineups as you can fine tune what strategies work and which ones don’t without breaking your bank.

Don’t Contradict Yourself Across Multiple Games

Finally, if you’re playing multiple head to head games a night don’t take losing as a given. Some people will hedge their bets without even realizing it, taking a right wing and a center against their own goalie or a quarterback and wide receiver combo against their selected defense. Plan on winning every game, every night otherwise you’re simply at the roulette table betting on both red and black.

Head to head games are by no means ‘easy’ or ‘free’ money but they do provide a great learning tool to help fine tune the strategy behind constructing a winning lineup. You can learn DFS while also winning some money which makes head to head games a much better educational tool than student debt-inducing guaranteed prize pool tourneys.

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