Daily Fantasy Football: Evaluating young talent in training camp

Training camp and the preseason is a great time to evaluate the young NFL players in order to be successful at Daily Fantasy Football.

Training Camp! Two little words, so many emotions. It is the start of the NFL season, and if you want to be successful at Daily Fantasy Football in 2019, it is the time when you should start paying attention. Unlike season-long fantasy football, timing is paramount in DFS. The first few weeks often offer the best odds at a big payout in large pool leagues. This is a quick guide to what to look for in training camp and how to leverage that information into early-season success.

Evaluating Young Players

NFL training camps are really tough for outsiders to assess. As observers, we don’t really know what it is the team is working on from drill-to-drill. We don’t know what the assignments are play-to-play. We are operating at an information deficit that makes evaluation opaque at best. Still, there are things to learn. Specifically, young wide receivers and defensive backs are giving much clearer evaluation pictures and these happen to be areas that have huge impacts on Daily Fantasy Football, particularly in the first 3-5 weeks of the season.

Do you need me to tell you that Julio Jones is awesome and that if he’s matched up against a pass defense that struggles to cover wide receivers, you should consider him even at a premium price? I sure hope not, but if you do need that from me, consider this it. What you can use from me are insights about players who can differentiate your lineup and offer surplus-value relative to the cost.

In training camp, we need to focus on the fourth, fifth, and sixth wide receivers. Focus on the battle for nickel defensive back and the third safety spot. An important question to ask is, “Who is this year’s, D.J. Moore? But so is finding the Dede Westbrook or Adam Humphries that can pay off massively when it comes time to fill into that slot next to Julio when his matchup is too good to pass up.

Training camp will start to tell us who these guys are and the preseason games will solidify who is for real. Raise your hand if you had Geronimo Allison in your Week 1 starting lineup in 2018…I’ll wait. I see no hands. That might be a function of the passive involvement of the written word, or it could be that he was in less than five percent of the Week 1 lineups. If you did have him, then you only scored two fewer points from that slot than the elite money someone paid for A.J. Green or one more point than someone who paid for Adam Thielen.

While you are always going to have core plays, and you should, having the most differentiated lineup in all places is a losing proposition. Identifying the inefficiencies and leveraging them is the only way to win in large pool play and winning is the whole point.

Article originally written by Ryan Winters

Ryan Winters is a writer for the Pro Football Network covering Daily Fantasy Football. You can follow him @WintersNFL on Twitter.


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