Rigid and Flexible Roster structure
With the ever evolving daily fantasy sports offerings by all of the major sites, it is necessary to take a step back and understand the specific roster structure that each site offers and how this affects you as a player. We will focus on the four main sites: FanDuel, DraftKings, DraftStreet and DraftDay. Since it is now officially NBA season we will focus on roster structure specific to the NBA.
As you can clearly see in the table above FanDuel and DraftDay contain the exact same roster structure. Focusing solely on the predefined 5 NBA positions and offering no flex option they can be defined as the most rigid. DraftDay does offer some player flexibility by having some players qualify at multiple roster spots. This does offer DFS grinders more roster flexibility than on FanDuel, which has each player only qualify at one specific roster spot.
DraftKings is the next site on the list by offering a G/F and Utility spot that allows grinders flexibility beyond the predefined 5 NBA positions. The player eligibility at DraftKings is also far more flexible than even DraftDay by having almost every player eligible for multiple positions.
The most flexible site by far is Draftstreet. By completely throwing out specifications within the guard and forward positions it essentially forces you to fill one center position and the rest can effectively be used as utility positions. With the strictest player salaries but most free roster structures, Draftstreet caters to the more advanced daily fantasy sports player by giving them numerous opportunities to create distinct edges over lesser opponents.
What this means for your playing style?
Although daily fantasy sports is often compared to poker (and rightfully so) the definitions used to define playing characteristics does not easily translate from poker to daily fantasy sports. For example, in poker, a person could be described as TAG (tight, aggressive) or LAG (loose, aggressive) fish or a number of other acronyms and names. These player descriptions do not fit into daily fantasy sports. If we are looking to use a comparison, defining a trader is more correlated with daily fantasy sports. In trading a participant can be defined into three main categories: Fundamental, Technical, or Quantitative.
A fundamental daily fantasy sports player would be the person who reads all of the latest articles, is grinding twitter for all of the latest industry news and hitting up the experts for their advice. They then take this fundamental information to construct their team. Most new players would fall into this category and that is fine, the issue is that this sort of playing style fits better on sites that have a more flexible roster structure. For example, if you have read the articles that lay out the best plays from the experts for that day and you have your pool of players you are looking to fit into your roster what site is going to be the easiest to fit as many players as you like into roster spots? It will be DraftKings and Draftstreet but most new players start on FanDuel.
Technical daily fantasy sports player will be the person building projections and doing analysis in some sort of spreadsheet setting. From here they can build solvers or algorithms to generate the best possible scoring team. Defining and constructing a lineup with this sort of information is much easier on a more rigid, structured site like FanDuel. It is much easier to breakdown each specific position and the amount of points per dollar you need from each position if that position is better defined. This is why technical players are much better off and have found far more success on FanDuel.
Quantitative is a hybrid between technical and fundamental along with some other variables mixed in. It is hard to define but takes you to a whole new level of mastery. It can easily be said that people like Condia and some other high stakes grinders are on this level. They have an understanding of the game that most can only dream about. Some of it is talent but a lot of it is hard work and dedication. This sort of player can play across all sites and roster structures with relative ease. Constructing and building lineups is something they do in their sleep. They all have some variations for how they build rosters but most pro players can be lumped into this group.
The beautiful thing about daily fantasy sports is the amount of options we have before us. Depending on your personal strengths and what type of individual you are, you may find more success on one site versus another so all should be tried at some point.