Evaluating the Effectiveness of Different Scoring Systems in DFS

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: April 18, 2024
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Different Scoring Systems in DFS

DFS attracts millions of fanatics who want to assemble dream teams that perform better than those of their competitors. A pivotal element of DFS strategy is understanding the various scoring systems used by platforms.

These systems can significantly impact player valuations and game strategy, and if you want to be at the top of your game, you have to apply a different strategy for each. 

Understanding the Basics of the Different DFS Scoring Systems

Different DFS platforms have unique scoring systems that can significantly influence how you pick and prioritize players. Well, it should, anyway. We'll show you why you shouldn't have a consistent strategy that spans multiple platforms.

For instance, DraftKings awards a full point per reception (PPR), boosting the value of pass-catching running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers. On the other hand, FanDuel uses a half-point per reception, which slightly reduces the impact of receptions on scoring, meaning you might want to prioritize other positions.

Being familiar with these variations can go a long way for you assembling competitive lineups that are tailored to the scoring nuances of each site.

DraftKings

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DraftKings scoring places a premium on player involvement in the game. While this isn't only limited to the NFL, that's where we see it more prominent.

Quarterbacks, for example, score 4 points for a passing touchdown and receive a bonus for 300+ yard passing games. This system favors high-volume passers

Take a look at Patrick Mahomes who is known for scoring high passing yards and touchdowns. He is even more valuable here. Rodgers on the other hand, absolutely crushes it on passing TDs but doesn't get quite as many passing yards as Patrick.

The full PPR also boosts the stock of running backs and receivers who are frequently targeted in the passing game. When playing on DraftKings, combining stats like these makes it even more appealing to stack your roster.

FanDuel

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FanDuel's scoring system, while similar to others like DraftKings, has a few notable and distinct nuances. It awards only 0.5 points per reception, impacting players who may not gain tons of yards but catch many passes.

This adjustment can lessen the value of players like Christian McCaffrey, who thrive in full PPR formats due to their high reception counts. Evan Engram, though he was 4th in receptions in 2023 with 114, was still unable to hit 1,000 yards, which would make him more valuable in FanDuel.

FanDuel's system requires a balanced approach, favoring players who can contribute significantly in multiple aspects of the game.

Yahoo Sports

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Yahoo DFS closely aligns with traditional fantasy scoring but adds unique adjustments for their DFS side of the house. That's probably because they're one of the OGs when it comes to fantasy sports in general.

It balances rushing and receiving points, helping diversify your selections across different positions. This platform prefers players who consistently perform well across all facets of the game rather than those excelling in isolated areas.

When setting your lineups for Yahoo, you want to look for consistency and not necessarily explosive stats in any given area.

Underdog Fantasy

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Underdog Fantasy throws in an interesting twist with its Best Ball format, where players draft a team at the start of the season, and the system automatically selects the optimal lineup each week. It's more for those who don't have the time to dedicate to setting their lineup each week or night.

Scoring emphasizes long plays and touchdowns, making high-impact players particularly valuable. This approach simplifies management while still demanding strategic drafting and a keen eye for sleeper picks and breakout candidates.

OwnersBox

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OwnersBox offers weekly fantasy contests with a scoring system that includes innovative features like super-flex positions, allowing users to use an additional QB, which is not commonly found on other platforms. Most of the time, if another platform offers a flex position, it's typically limited to only a few positions.

This option increases the importance of high-scoring positions, such as quarterbacks and starting pitchers, in your lineup strategy. You don't want to waste a super flex on a tight end, no matter how good they are.

On top of that, their performance-based scoring includes bonuses for milestones like 100-yard games, which can turn a good performance into a great one based on just a few plays.

Strategies for Maximizing DFS Success

Understanding and adapting to the scoring system is just the beginning of truly racking up the fantasy points in DFS. So, we've put together some strategies that can help you draft winning teams.

Emphasize High-Volume Players

Look for players who are indispensable to their team's offense.

Running backs who are guaranteed 20+ touches or wide receivers who see double-digit targets are generally safer bets in just about any league.

For example, Dalvin Cook in the Minnesota Vikings' setup tends to have high rushing attempts, making him a strong candidate in all formats. In the NBA, a player like LeBron James, who consistently logs high minutes and has heavy involvement in the Lakers' offense, offers a similar reliability. For baseball, consider a pitcher like Max Scherzer, who often pitches deep into games, increasing his chances for strikeouts and wins.

Keep in mind that some of these players will demand a high salary, and you might not be able to afford much more than them.

Utilize the Flex Position Wisely

The flex position can be a game-changer.

Opt for players in this spot who have high upside and the potential for a breakout game. An under-the-radar player like D.K. Metcalf could provide immense value, given his ability to rack up yards and touchdowns, even if he's a riskier play due to inconsistency. A utility player on an MLB team who can fill various roles due to roster changes or matchups against particular pitchers can be invaluable in this position. These are guys that will stay in the game regardless of what happens.

This will be a bit different with the OwnersBox super flex as you'll want to focus on consisten high scoring positions, especially if you can get a deal.

Watch for Injuries and Matchups

Injuries can open up opportunities for lesser-known players to shine.

If a RB1 is out, the RB2 might carry the load and outperform his value. That's why understanding defensive matchups is crucial. A player facing one of the league's weaker defenses could have a standout game, even if they are an RB2.

Where we really see the most value in injuries if it comes up to a game-time decision. If you're following the news, you can get a late swap in before other owners in the league.

Daily Research and Adaptation

DFS is dynamic, with player values shifting weekly (or daily in the MLB).

Stay informed with the latest news, injury reports, and matchup analysis. Adjust your strategies accordingly to stay ahead.

This might mean tracking which NBA players are on hot streaks or getting more game time due to team strategy shifts. Baseball requires close attention to slumps, streaks, and even weather conditions that could affect their game.

Why the Right Strategy Matters

The right strategy hinges significantly on the scoring system in play, and each platform has slightly different scoring systems. By tailoring your approach to accommodate the specific dynamics of DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo, Underdog, or OwnersBox, you can maximize your team's scoring potential and improve your chances of success. 

It's not just about picking the best players but picking the right players for the right system. Study the systems, adjust your picks, and watch for those game-day dynamics that could turn your average lineup into a winning one.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.