If you’re thinking about getting more involved with daily fantasy sports, then you will need specific strategies on your side so that you can take it as seriously as possible. Value is one of the more widely used strategies, even if it is used incorrectly in many cases. We don’t have enough space to illustrate how value works in each and every instance you might want to use it, but we can give you a pretty decent overview of what value is and how to use it.

What is Value?

In the most basic terms, value is the concept of how much you are spending in salary compared to how many fantasy points you are earning. Another way to phrase this is how much you are spending per point you earn.

The goal of DFS is to have the highest score at the end of the day. Value provides you with a way to stretch your salary further so that you can splurge on a few top level athletes and still have enough talent to get you to the top.

How to Evaluate Value

Evaluating value will differ a bit from sport to sport, but the basic concept remains the same. You want to look at how many fantasy points you can expect from an athlete versus how much you will have to spend for them. Let’s say you are looking at a second tier running back, and you come across two players who have the exact same projected point outcome. The higher value player here would be the one with the cheaper salary. If you can spend $4,000 and get 12 fantasy points, spending $4,100 to get those same 12 points is just wasted money.

Here’s a slightly tougher example. Let’s say there are two pitchers that you are considering. One has a price tag of $8,000 and is expected to give you 32 points, while the other costs $9,000 by is projected to give you 37 points. Which pitcher has the higher value?

A simple points per dollar formula will answer this question for you. 32 points at $8,000 equals 0.0040 points for every dollar spent. 37 points at $9,000 equals 0.0041 points per dollar making the $9,000 pitcher a slightly better value pick.

This is where things get tricky. Yes, the more expensive player is a higher value pick, but that doesn’t mean he’s the best. In fact, things are so close here that the extra fraction of a point you earn can more than easily be made up for elsewhere on your roster, especially since it’s a huge amount of difference in money that we’re talking about. These kinds of plays are advanced level judgment calls that you will learn how to make as you gain more experience, but it’s worth at least mentioning here to get you pointed in the right direction.

Site Differences

One of the things that you will quickly notice is that certain things work on some sites and not on others. FanDuel and DraftKings have slightly different scoring systems with each sport, and they have different salary requirements. Some even have different roster positions that need to be filled. An effective drafting strategy takes the unique features of each site into account when making decisions about which athletes should be included and which should be avoided. Value, you will quickly find, does not translate equally from site to site. The more time you spend at a certain site, the more noticeable it will be if you decide to start using another one. Again, be aware of the differences so that you can use them to your advantage.