Fantasy football strategy: ‘Rush Hour’


“Rush Hour” is not just a difficult day or two for Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, it is the most important hour in a Daily Fantasy Manager’s day.

“Rush Hour”, can be defined as “the hour you have after the football team sheets have been released, but before the lineup lockout time”. It’s an essential component of fantasy football strategy.

The more lineups you have created, the more precious each second becomes. If you are solely a cash game player (with one main lineup), then this hour is great for you, as you won’t feel so much pressure, and you can take solace in the fact that other managers may not be able to prepare as well as you.

The managers who really feel the pressure during “Rush Hour” are those who have entered as many as 50 lineups in one tournament. Once all the team news filters in, fantasy managers have to deal with the repercussions of one player not playing.

When you create 50 lineups, the aims are twofold; to get as many cashes as possible, while allowing you the most possible shots at winning. These aims are slightly counterintuitive, as the best way to get as many cashes as possible is to enter as many “safe” teams as possible and the best way to win is to have your high variance picks perform well.

If you spend £200 on entries in one event and all of them cash, you will make around 66% on your investment in the MondoGoal weekly £10k (as the minimum cash is £5 per team).

However, winning the event gives you a £2,000 return on a £3 investment (a whopping 66,566.66% ROI). This allows different fantasy managers to adopt different strategies, depending on their goals.

A 50-lineup strategy is not just a selection of players who will do well, it includes many different contrarian plays, some with “Chains” and some with “Nukes”.

Lineup headaches

Although they are competing against each other, they are a unit; as profit or loss comes as a total on the event, not on each individual entry. The puzzles created when multiple players a fantasy manager thought will start are, in fact, on the bench can create a huge headache.

Not only do you have to find a replacement player, you need to have the budget to do this. If the replacement for your chosen player is more expensive, it can be a real problem.

An example of this could be; Wilfried Bony is projected to start and Sergio Aguero is predicted to be benched for Manchester City at home to Sunderland, and the team news shows the reverse is true

If you want Aguero in some team compositions (based on “Chains” of favourites), you will have to rejig a whole lot of things in some cases, which is time-consuming. This can lead to rushed decisions, or worse, failing to take out a non-starter.

There are some sites that allow scripts, which are programmes that allow players to make mass edits or mass enter events. However Mondogoal’s terms and conditions outlaw this.

There are ways to combat the pressure of “rush hour”, everyone will have their limits, each person has a different tolerance level for it. Here are some ways that you can take the pressure off.

“Rush Hour” tips

Follow every Premier League Club on Twitter. if you do not have a Twitter account, open an account. You do not need to post, but the information you can gather is astounding. The team lineups are released one hour before kickoff.  You can also follow me @JonnyChapman1.

Copy and paste each team into a Google document. You now have all the information you need in one place, this makes switching between screens a lot easier. If you do not have a second monitor for your PC, it would be a wise investment for any aspiring Daily Fantasy Sports Manager.

Track the number of players you have in each tournament team. It’s astounding how many teams you can enter, then you look through and think, “If Philippe Coutinho does not perform this week, or worse; gets himself a red card, I am taking a bicycle to a demolition derby”. You can track players by making a spreadsheet (free on Google Sheets) and simply keeping a tally of your picks.

Try to prepare for the unexpected. Sounds impossible, but it reminds me of my father’s words when teaching me to use a saw: “You can always take more away, but you can never add”. Point is, it is a lot easier to get in a replacement who is cheaper, than a more expensive one.

If you have a lot of teams that could be affected by an essential and more expensive replacement, work out in advance, ways to get them in.  A long-winded way of saying “plan ahead”, or you could end up with some very weak compositions, just to fit in one player.

If you have any other methods used to help you prepare during “Rush Hour” let us know in the comments below.  Good luck to all of you this weekend!

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About Author

Seasoned poker and Fantasy sports player and enthusiast. Former VIP player manager at PokerStars.