DFS Strategy: Fantasy Baseball GPPs

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Should you go all-in on a core group of players like Trevor Story in a GPP?

One of the great debates in the DFS baseball sphere is over the topic of multi-entry versus single-entry GPP play. A single-entry tournament is one where, regardless of your bankroll, you are permitted to enter only one lineup. On the other hand, the standard GPP format is multi-entry, with a gamer being free to enter anywhere from one to the particular sight’s maximum limit based on field size. On DraftKings, a GPP with a few thousand entries will have a limit of 200 per person.

The proponents of single-entry tourney play will claim that it is a truer test of skill to be forced to go all-in with one lineup than it is to spread your plays among a set of lineups that incorporate a number of additional players. These single-entry fans tend to believe that they are at a huge disadvantage in multi-entry GPP play and are being ‘bullied’ by bigger bankrolls that can afford to spread wider. The downside to single-entry tourney play is that the single-entry limit necessitates a smaller field and therefore a smaller prize pool.

Fans of multi-entry GPPs come from a couple of different angles. First, there are the players who enjoy entering multiple lineups, covering various opinions that they have on a particular card. These players come in many different sizes. Lots of gamers will enter two teams, a decent-sized group will enter five or six, and a small core of pros will enter 50, 100, or 200.

Then there are the players who will put in only one entry, but are lured by the massively larger prize pool than they could find in single-entry tourneys. These players, unlike the more vociferous core of single-entry players, do not feel that they are necessarily at a disadvantage due to bankroll and realize that every entry that is not an optimal lineup is to their advantage.

Once deciding to give multi-entry a try with your own set of teams, there are a number of ways to go about it. The route you choose really depends on your bankroll, the size of the slate, the size of the tournament, and your confidence level in a particular lineup or starter.

In terms of bankroll, while you are certainly more likely to cash entering 10 lineups as opposed to one, we are still playing a high-variance game. Baseball is not predictable on a daily basis, particularly with hitters, and it is not at all unusual for a lineup of great hitters in a very good matchup to give you nothing.

Great hitters produce over the long-haul of a season, but consider that a batter reaching base in 40% of his plate appearances is considered elite. That leaves a lot of disappointing events. Now add in the volatility of tournament play where only 20% cash and only the top 1% typically hit a big return and you can see where this can chew up bankroll rapidly for the multi-entry player.

While it might be nice for the little red message indicator on top of the DraftKings screen to be letting you know you ‘won’ $65, the $330 you bought in for with your 10 lineups puts it into a different light.

Some multi-entry players like to bank on a small core of players they ride on all of their lineups and vary the combos that surround them. You will often see that the elite multi-entry gamers have 95% of their lineups with the same starting pitcher and main lineup stack. They will then use a bunch of fill players around that base to make multi-entry lineups. The theory is that when the core that they are most confident in goes off, they will always be in position to take down the tournament.

On the other hand, when that core doesn’t perform, they are prepared to get almost nothing in return. They are not playing it safe for the min-cash or anything if all goes wrong. Their mantra is ‘You have to be willing to die in order to live.’ When their core does perform, not only will they be in prime position to take down the main prize, but they will also be cashing a good number of their entries in top prize placements.

Other multi-entry players will be either supremely confident in their starter and will run a bunch of entries with different hitters around that starter. Or they will have a starter they love, as well as a lineup stack they love, and will shuffle different #2 starters around that base.

A final group of multi-entry players will do a complete 180, and have mostly different players from lineup to lineup. These players are showing less confidence in a core and are essentially buying insurance against a zero-dollar return downside. Their likelihood of a cash increases due to lineup diversity, but they will not be cashing a whole group of entries, as will the multi-entry guys who go with a certain core that ends up going off.

Multi-entry play has many benefits in a high-variance game such as daily fantasy baseball, but the way you choose to go about venturing into these waters all depends on your own personal comfort zone and bankroll.

Now, take what you’ve learned and sign up for DraftKings. DraftKings offers a 100% up to $600 sign-up bonus that’s released as you play. Use the code P5S when you create your account.