If you're been playing daily fantasy sports for more than a week, chances are you know the name Saahil Sud, formerly known as "maxdalury" on FanDuel and DraftKings. Taking it a step further, if you've been playing DFS more than a week, chances are you've lost money to Sud.
Sud is a fantasy sports legend, arguably the most successful player in the history of DFS. The guy has piled up millions in winnings, and now, he's giving back to the community from which he has lifted so much cash. His help comes in the form of his strategy site, RotoQL, which offers tools and resources for DFS players. For the NFL season, Sud has produced a series of strategy videos, and we'll go over them here in the next few weeks.
For the first couple of videos, Sud discusses his thought process when deciding on which QBs to use in DFS.
In cash games, generally speaking, Sud is looking for lower-priced QBs in good matchups. Ownership isn't a concern.
Sud first talks about what metrics he's looking at when evaluating QB play. First and foremost is average yards per attempt. For AY/A, anything over 7.0 is generally considered good, and that's the baseline Sud is looking for as well. Higher AY/A indicates more probability for big plays, which put points on the board quicker and lead to more possessions overall. Another big factor, of course, is the betting line.
High betting totals mean more points. Home QBs whose teams are favored is the rule of thumb, as those QBs have historically produced the most fantasy points. Interestingly, there's a bit of a bell curve in place, as Sud's research shows that QBs on either side of a spread 10 points or more have depressed fantasy output. QBs for underdogs in these games generally don't get many TDs, and favorites are handcuffed by second-half game script that calls for a steady diet of running plays.
A couple of extraneous factors also play a role. It's also important to look at the weather, particularly late in the season. Games with high winds make it more difficult to pass downfield for big plays, which are essential to high fantasy output. Rain and snow also depress fantasy scoring to a lesser extent. Finally, there's rest time. Historically, QBs on a short turnaround to the Thursday game perform significantly worse than QBs on full rest, so they should generally be avoided.
When it comes to big guaranteed prize pool events, some of the factors are still the same. We still want to look for QBs on teams with high expected team points, which can be seen by looking at the team totals in the betting market. Touchdowns per game is the most predictive stat when it comes to gauging which QBs will score the most fantasy points.
It's critical to have your QB paired with at least one pass-catcher on his team. This is fairly common knowledge, but Sud quantifies it with a number: for every fantasy point a QB scores, a WR on his team has his own expected fantasy total increase by 0.355 points. A simple QB/WR stack was the most common stack anchoring top-10 lineups on both FanDuel and DraftKings' biggest contests last year. Over 40 percent of top-10 lineups on both sites featured such a stack.
Ownership is another key component for selecting a QB in a GPP lineup. Counterintuitive though it may be, picking a QB in a slightly tougher matchup may pay dividends, as those with the softest matchups will be most targeted by the other players in the field. RotoQL also provides a wire resource that aggregates mentions from a number of fantasy sites, which can help gauge which QBs will be the most popular. Most of the ownership will be soaked up by the top three or so guys, so going outside of that box will usually be a good bet for a low-owned player.
For both cash games and GPPs, the most important thing to look at when selecting a QB for your DFS team is expected number of points scored by the player's team, with a strong lean to QBs in games that are expected to be decided by single digits. If you want an easy rule of thumb, it's best to go with small home favorites. QBs with high AY/A who are playing in good weather are the safest bets to do well.
Building on that, it's also important to also think about ownership and stacking options when building GPP lineups. A team with a good stacking option is critical to help pile up points and maximize upside. When it comes to ownership, try to figure out who the top three most popular guys will be, and look elsewhere for the best chance to make a unique lineup.
If you haven't tried RotoQL yet, check out the site today and start learning from the world's No. 1 DFS player. His tools and lineup builders could help you become a winning DFS instantly.