***This will be the first article in a series of posts that will discuss daily fantasy baseball strategy, and the topics are an introduction and how to factor in the elements of weather when constructing a lineup.
The milestone development in fantasy sports came in 1980 with the advent of Rotisserie League Baseball, which was so aptly named after the restaurant (La Rotisserie Francaise in New York City) where the idea was formed and where the pioneer participants of the league would meet to play. Of course today, we just simply refer to that type of fantasy scoring system as “roto,” short for “rotisserie.” So if you have been playing fantasy sports for years and thought that the term “rotisserie” had some other special meaning besides a style of roasting meat, then think again. It’s about as simple of a way to have given a moniker to the game, but sometimes simplicity is best.
From that New York City restaurant blossomed an addicting trend that really began to explode in the mid-1990’s coinciding with the internet boom. For thousands upon thousands of enthusiastic sports fans, playing fantasy sports has made actual sports even more interesting to watch and follow throughout the season, and the industry just continued to grow when the new millennium began. In 2006, a number of fantasy sports operating sites began to offer daily fantasy sports (DFS) games where participants could draft a team for a single day and win or lose money accordingly. It has the same concept of season long fantasy sports leagues that are based on point scoring systems, (i.e. players earn or lose points based on their performance). But it wasn’t until 2009 when daily fantasy sports began to garner more attention with the introduction of FanDuel who is considered to be the current leading DFS provider in the industry (though DraftKings is hot on their tail). Ever since then the daily fantasy sports industry has grown exponentially with several sites paying out millions of dollars in winnings each year.
Sports purists may argue that fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports in particular taint the purity of enjoying sports and rooting for your hometown or favorite teams, and that they bring in bandwagoneers and too many casual, unintelligent sports fans. But the fact of it is daily fantasy sports games are helping the sports themselves grow so much by getting thousands of individuals more interested in a wider range of sports and in a variety of ways. People attend more live sporting events and increase viewership via televsion and/or streaming app services for these sports that they may not otherwise pay attention to, and these individuals are becoming more familiar with the teams, players, and nuances of the games, which is good for the fan bases.
For instance, as a child I was introduced to the NHL by one of my childhood best friends whose aunt married the owner of an NHL franchise. So I attended a lot of games with the perks of meeting the players in the locker room and getting free souvenirs and such (I’ve got Eric Lindros’ broken hockey stick still sitting in my closet after 20 years). I enjoyed watching the sport and all, but never having played hockey myself, it wasn’t as interesting to me and it wasn’t a must for me to watch all the games. But with the growth of daily fantasy sports, I have become increasingly interested in the NHL and have gotten to know a lot of the players’ and teams’ qualities and tendencies. And I even won a pair of tickets to the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend by getting 1st place in a tournament on DraftKings.
However, baseball is a sport that I have always been in love with, and fantasy baseball has been a hobby of mine since the mid-1990’s when I would log on to MSN on my father’s account via the dial-up network on the home’s second phone line. So recently, DFS for baseball has been engulfing me and I have learned a lot about playing the game and what it takes to win. A lot of the things that I have learned have been through experience and now I would like to share some of the knowledge that I have gathered.
Generally speaking for most DFS sites out there, each player in the player pool is assigned a dollar amount which is his “player salary.” When choosing players for your lineup, you have to fill each position slot in your lineup without going over the salary cap. For baseball, the position slots that need to be filled will vary from site to site as some sites may require you to pick two starting pitchers, or some sites may require you to pick two corner and two middle infielders as opposed to a player from each separate infield position. Also, the player salaries and point scoring systems will differ on each site. So it is important to be familiar with these settings on whichever site that you choose to play on. Continue reading