RotoWire Partners

DFS Football 101: TradeSports College Football

Jerry Donabedian

Donabedian is an Assistant Football Editor at RotoWire. He writes and edits articles and covers breaking news. A Baltimore native, Donabedian roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.

Over at TradeSports, the basic contest offerings – pre-game and real-time – remain unchanged. However, there’s been a major adjustment to the pre-game contest layout, one that should be a welcome change for daily gamers.

Previously, the pre-game contests allowed users to see the shares matched and percentage bought/sold on each stock. This created an interesting aspect of strategy, as gamers had to weigh the decisions of others, in addition to which stocks offered the best value.

For example, let’s say you joined a six-entrant, winner-takes-all contest based on a real-life game involving the Los Angeles Dodgers. If the cheapest stock available was ‘Yasiel Puig to hit a home run’ at a price of 20, you might heavily invest in that option, as it offers the highest upside. If you were the only one to heavily invest, and Puig did in fact go deep, you’d almost certainly win the contest.

However, let’s say you sign up and see that someone else has already undertaken the aforementioned strategy. If you stick with it, not only do you need Puig to homer, but you also need to outduel the other person when it comes to the other stocks. Now, even if you think the price is an excellent value, it’s probably unwise to put all your weight behind Puig homering.

Under the system where you could see the shares matched and the direction of trading, there was an advantage to acting first, and also an advantage to acting last. On the one hand, you could ‘claim’ the Puig stock early, making it unwise for anyone else to join in. On the other hand, you could wait until the last second to trade, which would give you the maximum amount of information about your opponents’ decisions.

While this created an extra layer of strategy, it also meant timing played a large role, which wasn’t ideal for many players. Personally, there was more than one occasion in which I signed up for a contest with the intention to trade at the last second, but then got distracted (usually by food and/or beer) and never made my trades.

Now, following the change, the pre-game contests won’t display info on other gamers’ actions until trading is closed. There’s no longer an advantage to act first or last, as your decisions won’t be known by anyone else.

However, as is the case for pretty much any sports contest, it’s still wise to consider what your opponents might do. If a stock immediately sticks out to you as offering excellent value, there’s likely someone else thinking the exact same thing. This is in the same spirit as the strategy of avoiding the most obvious picks in salary-cap games.

What’s New?

In addition to the adjustment to all pre-game contests, there a few other exciting things happening over at TradeSports.

For starters, the long-term, real-time contests now include college football, joining the MLB, NFL and NBA offerings. Thus far, the college football contests are based on either the Heisman Trophy winner or eventual national champion.

The national champion contests are offered at $11, $106 and $530, with the $11 entry contest including a $200 prize premium. Hurry up and get in if you’re a college football fan, as the $11 entry only has 20 spots, and the prize pool has been doubled courtesy of TradeSports.

As for the Heisman contests, there’s one with an $11 entry fee, and one for $106. The stock options are Jameis Winston (FSU), Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Braxton Miller (Ohio State), Bryce Petty (Baylor), Todd Gurley (Georgia), Brett Hundley (UCLA), Everett Golson (Notre Dame), T.J. Yeldon (Alabama), Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), Mike Davis (South Carolina), Connor Cook (Michigan State) and Nick Marshall (Auburn).

Trading has yet to heat up, but Winston figures to emerge as the favorite. I think Auburn’s Marshall and Wisconsin’s Gordon will offer the best value, although Oregon’s Mariota and Georgia’s Gurley are also interesting options. Golson is being hyped as a Heisman candidate, but I’m not buying it for a second with a group of QBs this strong.

Looking ahead to the real belle of the ball, TradeSports is testing out its NFL offerings with some free contests – both real-time and pre-game – based on preseason action. I’ve easily preferred the pre-game contests for baseball, but am looking forward to the real-time contests for football, especially when it comes to the prime-time games on Thursday, Monday and Sunday nights.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jerry Donabedian plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: jd0505, DraftKings: jd0505.