What is a salary cap?

In most daily fantasy sports competitions, contestants are awarded the same amount of play money to spend on players. Player cost is based on their past performances and future projections, among other things. Each site has their own secret algorithm of player value, so people wouldn’t exploit it. The general rule on every DFS site is that more quality players are going to be more expensive. For example, site Fantasy Factor has a salary cap of $50,000 in play money, with an average player cost of $5,000. Most expensive players cost $10,000. That is why a salary cap regulation makes things interesting. It disallows contestants to choose all the best players, and players must choose wisely on whom are they going to spend their salary cap.

Do you need to use all of the salary cap?

Math would advise you to use all available cap and pick players in order to spend every fantasy dollar. However, more money doesn’t necessarily mean more productivity. Sometimes a best possible lineup of the day can be made with only 75% of the salary cap. Nevertheless, most people still try to use all of the cap and regularly spend more than 95% of the available money.

Right player vs the right position

Not all sports are the same. In basketball, positions don’t matter as much and high production can come from all 5 positions. But in football or baseball, things are a little different. In those sports, major production comes from more consistent positions. In football, you will want to spend more of your salary cap on quarterbacks and running backs and in baseball on pitchers. Pitcher Chris Sale costs the maximum salary of $10,000 on Fantasy Factor, but he is second in the league in fantasy points per game, trailing only Mark Scherzer who costs $9,900. Picking those pitchers will be expensive, but it will be money well spent.

Different contests, different strategies

Different fantasy contests require different strategies. In 50/50 games you need to end up in the upper half of contestants to get paid, and it’s the same whether you finish first or 50th out of 100. Therefore, it’s better to opt for more consistent players who are very likely to score fantasy points, so you don’t want to allocate your cap on risky picks. In GPP (guaranteed prize pool) games opting for a stable production will less likely bring you results. In those games, only the top percent of the contestants cash out, so you need to make sure you achieve high scores. You need to stand out from most contestants by picking more outside the box. It’s a high-risk, high reward environment.

Keep track of winners

In all aspects of life, it is good to look at people who are successful and DFS is no different. If you continually study lineups who win contests you will surely pick up a few things. It will definitely help you to maybe have a different look at certain players and to allocate your salary cap more efficiently. Good luck with your pickings!

Give DFS a try over at Fantasy Factor!