This article is part of our DFS Baseball 101 series.
The funny thing about fantasy sports is that we all want to brag about how good our teams are doing or how much money we won at daily the night before. That said, the ugly truth is that nobody wins every night or every season. There are slumps, losing streaks, dry spells – call them what you want. Sometimes it's just unfortunate luck caused by injuries, bad trades, or busts, while on other occasions, it's just that we flat out made the wrong call.
So how do you handle a slump in DFS? Rather than changing your approach entirely and getting away from the things that led to success in the past, here some of the strategies I use whenever I hit that proverbial bump in the road:
1. Face reality. Streaks are bound to happen due to the nature of baseball and high variance. The goal is to play enough where you can ride out the variance – a lot like how professional blackjack players play. They know they have to see X number of hands in order for the system to play itself out on the positive end.
2. Look to see where you are making mistakes. Are you seeing results with pitching but missing on hitting?
3. Take days off. If need be, get your mind right and take a breather. It's okay to still follow baseball as if you were partaking in DFS, but give yourself a mental break.
4. Reduce the amount of your bankroll in play. While mired in a slump, scale back 25-50 percent until you get back on the winning track.
5. Look at what sites you are profitable on and only play on those for the time being. It's all about regaining that confidence.
6. If you can stick to only playing on one site, this is the best approach. Focus on getting back to winning in the situation that provides the highest likelihood of success.
7. Look at what contests you are the most profitable in. If you are losing money in GPPs, stop playing them. If you are winning double-ups, but losing head-to-heads, avoid them until you right the ship.
8. In the contests you are playing, look at the winning teams the next day. Who did they play? What was the angle? What were the ownership rates?
9. Look at your own ownership percentages. If you have a bunch of guys less than 5-percent owner and you are losing, that means you need to reevaluate your research on how you are picking players.
10. Do you find yourself overanalyzing and changing rosters repeatedly? There is something to be said about "set it and forget it". Stick with your gut unless circumstances require you to make a change on a player (weather, not in lineup, injury, etc).
11. Be careful on relying on too many sources. Do you find yourself trying to read 20 websites and then take a consensus of the players people write about? There is some merit to this, but it can also screw with your strategy if you are relying on too many sources. Stick with your own research and 2-3 sites that have proven results.
12. Are you taking too much risk? Cheap pitchers getting blown up, expensive hitters not returning value? Sometimes taking more steady, less flashy players can provide the stability required to get back to your winning ways.
13. Cut back on the number of lineups you are playing. Stick with a single cash game lineup and a single tournament lineup until you get back in the win column.
14. Take a very conservative approach with pitching and only go with heavy favorites (in terms of Vegas betting lines) with a line of at least -150 and with O/U totals of 7.5 or less. You can even go as far as to only take National League pitching or just target the weakest teams like the Braves, Padres, Phillies, and Reds.