This article is part of our DraftKings LoL series.
DraftKings offers a wide variety of contests for each of the four major regions involved in League of Legends: China's LPL, Korea's LCK, Europe's LEC, and North America's LCS, as well as North American academy slates on Mondays. Users construct a team of six players and one team slot using a salary cap of $50,000. Each player you choose has a set price, and you must roster at least one from each position: Top Lane, Jungle, Mid Lane, AD Carry (bottom lane), Support and Team. Additionally, there is a captain slot, also found in most other sports in their "showdown" formats, which scores 1.5 times the fantasy points of a player in a regular lineup spot. Please read the contest rules provided by DraftKings here: https://www.draftkings.com/help/lol.
Europe and North America compete in best-of-1 formats, which is more straightforward than Korea's or China's best-of-three series. There is more volatility in best-of-1s, which makes upsets more likely. In best-of-3 series, Draftkings' offers 20 extra points per player if their team completes a 2-0 sweep, in lieu of points from a third game they won't have to play.
When building rosters, you want to focus on winning teams and a stacking approach, rather than selecting at least one player from each team. A popular lineup construction is four spots from one team and three spots from another, usually with a jungler from one of the teams as captain. All of this is price and slate dependent, of course, as it would be better to play an ADC or Mid Laner in the captain spot; however, favorites are priced so highly in the captain role that it's difficult to do. League of Legends is different than most DFS sports in that losing teams and players rarely score enough points to be worthwhile, especially in best-of-1s.
Here is my general advice for roster construction for League of Legends contests on DraftKings:
- Top Lane: Top lane is the most volatile position on the map. Top laners usually have the lowest kill participation on the team, which limits their upside because they won't get as many kills or assists as other roles. A bad top lane performance could also result in more deaths. Top lane is usually priced as the third-highest role, but it's often difficult for most top laners to fully pay off their salaries if they aren't heavily involved in the game flow. On certain teams, top laners act as one of the team's "Carry" options and are more worth paying up for, but this is completely team and slate dependent.
- Jungle: Jungle is a bit of a wild-card position as well, as they are dependent on players in other positions. Junglers will typically pick up more assists because they look to give kills to their mid laners or bottom laners, who are usually the ones who carry games. Junglers are often priced cheaper than top laners but can outscore their top lane counterparts because they are involved in more kills. Using a jungler in the captain spot is a solid play if you cannot fit a bottom laner or a mid laner.
- Mid Lane and AD Carry (Bottom lane): The two main carry roles, mid laners and bottom laners, are usually the main sources of damage on their teams and, therefore, often hold the majority of their team's kill shares. Using a mid laner or bottom laner in the captain spot is highly preferred, but it is often difficult to do because they are the most expensive players on the slate. AD Carry can be a somewhat safer role to use as they have longer range than most other roles and have a dedicated support player looking to peel for them in fights.
- Support: Support is the cheapest player role, but it's the role that can often have the highest "floor." Supports are designed to do just what their name entails: support the rest of the team. Because of this, they often pile up assists, which are easier to grab than kills. Supports can sometimes outscore junglers and top laners based on a higher number of assists and a high kill participation share. While using a support in a captain spot could be viable for cash games, it caps upside in GPP because supports aren't looking to pick up the more valuable kills when they can help it.
- Team: With the bonus in mind, the team slot gets a bump in best-of-3 series, while it is deemphasized in best-of-1s. Most teams that win their game in best-of-1 formats will score similarly to other winning teams. Team is a decent spot to "punt" in best-of-1 games if you have to, as losing teams can sometimes still pay off if they take enough objectives during the game.
- Stacking: Simply put, if you're not stacking, you're likely not winning. Stacking is the best way to construct lineups because League of Legends is a very correlative game. Common lineup constructions will stack four spots from one team and three from another. Positionally, stacking an AD Carry with their support has heavy correlation, while mid laners and junglers is another common combination. Junglers have free roam of the map, so they can be freely stacked with anyone else on their team.
This information is all very general, but it's a good place to get started on what to look for if you're jumping into daily fantasy League of Legends for the first time. If you'd like to discuss specific slates with RotoWire contributors and subscribers, you can join our Discord chat here.