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I’m proud to say I’m a fantasy sports nerd. Being an NBA junkie from a young age, basketball has always been one of my favorite hobbies. But once I realized the pros were out of my reach (lol), managing my own fantasy team has been a fun way for me to keep those hoop dreams alive.
It used to be that you could only play fantasy sports in season long leagues with friends or office coworkers. But with the advent of daily fantasy sports, the entire paradigm has shifted. You are now able to compete in daily or weekly leagues, with people you’ve never even met. If you’ve been even slightly involved with fantasy sports for the past few years, I’m sure you’ve heard of either FanDuel or DraftKings. Maybe you’ve even played a game or two on there.
For the past 4 years, I’ve been exclusively playing DFS basketball on FanDuel, with my volume and winnings increasing each season. (Last season I made over $9,000) I love daily fantasy!
There’s one thing I want to make crystal clear before I start my RotoQL review: these results are not typical.
Most people who play on FanDuel or DraftKings, are small losers. But so are most stock traders. So are most people who participate in any pastime that blends skill and chance.
Which is exactly why I still recommend playing daily fantasy sports mainly for entertainment. Just like how you might play a $50 office fantasy league; except DFS comes with much more potential for gains/losses due to its instant nature.
How Am I Able To Win?
For me, playing on FanDuel has been a great way to monetize a hobby into a side hustle. When I tell my friends how much money I’ve been able to make on it, they are usually pretty surprised. They ask me how I’ve been able to win consistently every season.
The answer is simple:
- Educating myself
- Finding an edge.
1.) When FanDuel first came out, there was no software. There was no game theory; no literature on the subject. Fast forward a few years and now there are dozens of websites loaded with information on how to improve your game. (My two favorite resources: Rotogrinders and DFS Reddit)
2.) More impressive than these strategy sites however, is the projection software that’s now available to the average player. These companies offer a seriously huge edge to anyone who’s using their services. It’s my guess that in the near future, you won’t be able to win without the help of such software. The advantage is that significant.
When it comes to DFS lineup optimizers and projection software, you have plenty of options. I’ve purchased subscriptions to all the major platforms and each have their own set of pros and cons. After testing each one, I’ve found RotoQL to be the (current) best.
It’s my favorite by a long shot and I have no doubt their software has significantly improved my results. In this review, I hope to show you how I use it to consistently outperform my competition on FanDuel.
Let’s jump right in.
(At the time of this writing, the NBA season has yet to start, so all the screenshots and examples here will be from their NFL offerings.)
Making Sense Of The Software
When you login you are greeted with the RotoQL dashboard. Here you can break up the games by sport and site. RotoQL currently offers projections/optimizers for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and Golf on FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo.
Using and navigating the software will take some getting used to, but they did a good job in making it simple and straightforward with ‘no frills’. It shouldn’t take you more than a day or two to get the hang of it!
On the main page, you are able to see their optimized lineup for the day.
RotoQL uses projections for expected player performance, as well as their own algorithm to determine the highest scoring lineup combination for any particular day.
If you’ve played DFS before, you know that accurate projections are everything. If you were able to consistently tell which players will outperform on any given night, you would be making money hand over fist!
Projecting player performance without software is essentially educated guessing. Most DFS players will take a look at the slate, find which games look “good”, look at defensive match-ups, and then try to pinpoint how many fantasy points that player will score.
The advantage of having a program like RotoQL, is that it removes all of the tedium from your guessing. Their projections will take into account all of those qualifiers, and then some. It allows the more-serious DFS player to focus on higher-level thinking: like picking players who can outperform but are also under-owned; etc.
Although their Lineup Optimizer is probably their bread & butter, another feature I love to use is their games tab. It provides a lot of good info in a convenient format. You’re able to drill down each game on the slate, and see which players have good match-ups with the “DvP” column, and how each player is projected to perform. Along with that you are able to see their salary cost and consistency rating.
If you click on a player in the games tab, you can drill down further into their past performance. You’re able to see if they’ve been hitting value according to their salary, how often they post a ‘dud’, etc.
Note: The information looks overwhelming at first, but you’ll quickly grow to love it!
The last screenshot of the software we’ll look into is of the player’s tab. It’s the area where I spend the most time doing my research. Since RotoQL provides their projections and optimized lineups for you, I like to spend a lot of my research time looking for reasons for me to make ‘conviction’ picks for the night.
The importance of each analytical stat will differ on what game you’re playing (NFL, NBA, etc.) – but the one consistent stat, and probably the most important, is the Projected Value tab.
When using RotoQL, pay special attention to the players they think will be most valuable for the night. Value is everything in daily fantasy sports. Everyone knows Lebron James will rack up fantasy points, but if he costs half of your total salary, and all your opponents pick him as well, he’s not a good value pick. The ‘secret sauce’ in daily fantasy is picking the cheapest player who will produce you the most points, who is also the least likely to be owned by the rest of your competition.
Ok, so you know what the software looks like and what it can do. The biggest question left is: how much?
RotoQL offers a bunch of different pricing tiers to best suit your needs. They have plans that are forever free – all the way up to $100 per month. Each tier offers different features and gives you access to different parts of the software, you can check out the exact differences for yourself on their site.
But suffice it to say that the free version is free for a reason. You only get access to the player news feed, which you can get on any other website like ESPN.
And while I love the trending player and multi-lineup manager features; I am iffy on if the $60 or $100/month versions will be worth it for the ‘casual’ player. Those features are more suited for extremely high-volume players.
I definitely would not recommend the $10 per month plan, as all you get is the ‘cheat sheet’ – which I never even bother using.
I personally use the $30 per month plan. It has all the core features of RotoQL: their lineup optimizer, player projections, and player research, and it’s worth it’s weight in gold at it’s price point.
Some Final Thoughts
If you want to be successful playing daily fantasy sports, you still need to have sound bankroll management, good game selection, and all your other fundamentals down. RotoQL can’t solve those problems for you. It’s not some magic pill that will make you an overnight millionaire.
What it is however, is a tool that will give you a significant edge over your competition. I’ve found their projections to be extremely accurate, and personally plan to keep paying for their service unless something changes.
If you’re looking to take your DFS game to the next level, or were already in the market for a good DFS optimizer: I highly recommend you sign up for RotoQL.
Good luck this season. 🙂