This article is part of our Umpire Analysis series.
Instead of giving you a standard piece of strategy this week, I figured I would talk specifically about an exciting tournament that FanDuel will showcase beginning July 7. What's so special about this tournament? Well, you could win $60,000 on a $25 entry fee, for starters.
The tournament in question is called "Survive or Revive," and will run until a winner is crowned July 28. As you may have guessed, this is not simply one tournament played out over a number of weeks. Instead, it contains different contests that run on different days (eight in all), which you can enter to try and win your share of a $300,000 prize pool. The manner in which you enter, however, is entirely up to you.
You can read the full rules of the tournament here, but I want to provide a quick run down of the particulars before discussing some strategy for the event. As mentioned above, the tournament is made up of eight different contests that run over a multi-week span. You can enter the tournament up to 25 times during the first four rounds, with the remaining four rounds only consisting of players that have advanced from previous victories. The tournament continues until we reach the final round of 52, at which point, all remaining players receive a percentage of the prize pool.
FanDuel players would do well to consider entering this tournament at least once at its lowest rung, as the risk/reward calculation, combined with whatever edge we feel we posses, practically demands it. The question is: How best to play it?
It goes without saying that the first concern is the size of your bankroll. Certain players will be afforded the luxury of starting by buying multiple entries into Round 4 ($200), while others will have to stick with the $25 starting point. The obvious advantage of starting higher is we automatically fade some of the field, but the increase in price may hinder us from entering as many lineups as we'd like for later rounds.
No matter which step we begin on, however, it's important to remember that the operative word is "survive." It's always been my strategy that 50/50s (which is essentially what we'll be playing for most of the tournament) call for more solidly built lineups that take less chances than a tournament where perhaps only 10 percent of the field gets paid. This means we likely want to stay clear of the cheap pitcher who has iffy numbers and a good matchup, and really focus on the reliable plays of the day. While we may not be able to stack premium Rockies at Coors Field under this strategy, we need to play to the fact that first place gets the same prize as 1,667th place (in the case of Round 1).
Since we are simply looking to advance, it may be a good idea to have a few different lineups built in order to give ourselves some options. When pursuing this strategy, however, one has to be careful not to overdo it, as too many distinct lineups in one contest will invariably lead to excessive overlap and/or players that can weaken the structure of an overall team. If we take the time to research the games of the day, it's likely that no more than four different lineups will be sufficient in order to maximize our chance of producing entries with the best players in the best possible situations. Since our 25 maximum entries extend through the first four rounds of the tournament, we can choose to enter lineups in subsequent rounds if we fall below our expectation of entries that make it through.
While the odds may be long for getting to the money, innovations such as multiple direct entries into a variety of contests makes the "Survive or Revive" tournament one that is likely worth trying, particularly when considering that we can get in at a relatively cheap price. By concentrating on the format, and building lineups accordingly, we can give ourselves the best chance at walking away with some big money.