MLB DFS Strategy: FanDuel Rules and Basic Do's and Don'ts

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This is a free article from our MLB premium DFS strategy series. See the rest of our premium DFS strategy articles here.

Welcome back to another season of daily fantasy baseball. Spring training is over and teams are back to their respective cities and ballparks for the start of the season. Major League Baseball modified Opening Day this year to include three games on Sunday instead of just one. This is great for daily fantasy and lineup building a day early!

This following article is meant to give you a basic look into the daily fantasy baseball game on FanDuel. We will have a look at the new scoring structure, position eligibility, basic lineup construction and some do's and don't when playing on FanDuel.

 

Position Eligibility & Scoring

The following are the positions you must fill out to complete your lineup on FanDuel:

FD Roster

 

Here is the scoring which FanDuel has incorporated this season:

FD Scoring

 

The first thing you may notice is the inflation of the points. It is actually three times as many points for each stat a player accumulates which will give us much higher scores on a daily basis. It will be important to recalibrate what you once thought would be a winning score on FanDuel.

Another big change in the scoring on FanDuel is the removal of negative points for outs by hitters. This will help us find more value in weaker hitters who are batting near the top of the lineup. The floor for these players will be much higher as you won't have to worry about outs while the opportunities will remain as the player should receive at least four plate appearances.

 

Lineup Construction

Now that you know what you receive points for it's time to build your lineup. The most important part of lineup construction for MLB is your starting pitcher. You only roster one on FanDuel and the position, on most nights, will be a large part of your final score.

If you are comparing a pitcher and a batter who have a bad night, the pitcher can still add positive points to you lineup without the win. For instance, a pitcher who goes six innings, strikes out seven, but gives up four runs will still yield you 27 fantasy points. A hitter who has an off night going o for 4 will get exactly zero points.

The first place to look when selecting your pitcher is the Vegas lines. They tend to do a really good job in figuring out value and win probability. Paying up for your starting pitcher, especially in cash games is a great way to lock in large percentage of your expected points.

If you are looking to differentiate yourself in tournaments you will have to take some risks on some less talented pitchers who are going to be lower owned. This doesn't mean getting reckless and choosing big underdogs. The key is to find value in a pitcher by looking for positive home/road splits, left/right splits, strikeout rate, and other more advanced factors that will be covered in later articles. The #1 takeaway is that starting pitching is extremely important and should take up a large majority of your preparation and research.

After selecting a pitcher you can turn to your offense. The most important factor in selecting your hitters will be placed in the batting order. Players at the top of the order will receive more at bats and ultimately more opportunity to score fantasy points. The process in which we target these hitters has gotten easier as FanDuel has removed negative points for outs. Start by targeting teams facing a weak pitcher. Dig a little deeper and find batters facing weak pitchers with strong splits.

Stacking your hitters from one team has become a staple in daily fantasy baseball and if you aren't doing it you will be left in the dust. FanDuel allows you to stack only four players from the same team (including pitcher). The most common stacks are the #1 through #4 hitters or the #2 through #5 hitters. It is different for every team. Most teams will implement a right handed hitting heavy lineup if there is a left hander on the mound. This can create some value in hitters with heavy splits who get moved up the order. The one thing to caution on when looking at value hitters with strong left/right splits is when the game gets in the later innings that batter could easily be replaced by a player with better defense of opposite splits.

This covers some basic strategies when playing daily fantasy baseball on FanDuel. Stay tuned to RotoBaller as the team will be hitting on more advanced strategies (Park Factor, Advanced Metrics, Contrarian GPP Approach, and much more) as the season progresses. Good luck this season!

Don't forget to also check out our MLB DFS Strategy: DraftKings Rules and Basic Do's and Don'ts to get all of the information you need to win in both DFS formats.