Understanding the roster and scoring format of the DFS provider you choose to use is very important for potential success. In this article we will discuss the different MLB scoring and roster formats across the three main DFS platforms: Draftkings, Fanduel, and Yahoo.
If you are a beginner to DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports), my strong recommendation is to use Yahoo to start because the competition level is much easier and gives you a great way to get your feet wet without the big fish trying to prey on you as you learn.
If you want to start at a more advanced level, FanDuel and DraftKings are where you will want to go. I personally prefer DraftKings because I like being able to start two pitchers in my lineups. I have also played FanDuel a lot and would recommend it to someone who wants more roster flexibility with hitters because they offer a utility spot.
In general, these three providers are quite similar in how they score hitters, but quite different in how they score pitchers. I have a weighted breakdown below of the scoring for hitters that shows that the overall variation in hitter scoring between providers is minimal.
The variation in pitching scoring is much more dramatic, and there are also some roster format variations between providers. Here are some of the main differences you will find between providers:
- FanDuel offers 9 roster spots compared to 10 for Yahoo/DK
- FanDuel only has 1 pitcher spot
- FanDuel offers a Utility spot for hitting and combines C/1B
- DraftKings has 10 scoring categories for pitchers, compared to 7 for Yahoo and 5 for Fanduel
FanDuel has differentiated itself by offering a slightly different roster format than the other two providers, as well as a simplified scoring format for pitchers.
|Home Runs (HR)||10.4||26.5%|
|Runs Batted In (RBI)||1.9||4.8%|
|Bases on Balls (BB)||2.6||6.6%|
|Stolen Bases (SB)||4.2||10.7%|
|Hit by Pitch (HBP)||2.6||6.6%|
|Home Runs (HR)||10||25.6%|
|Runs Batted In (RBI)||2||5.1%|
|Bases on Balls (BB)||2||5.1%|
|Stolen Bases (SB)||5||12.8%|
|Hit by Pitch (HBP)||2||5.1%|
|Home Runs (HR)||12||24.6%|
|Runs Batted In (RBI)||3.5||7.2%|
|Bases on Balls (BB)||3||6.2%|
|Stolen Bases (SB)||6||12.3%|
|Hit by Pitch (HBP)||3||6.2%|
Comparing Weighted Scoring (Hitting)
As you can see in the table and chart below, the overall variation is minimal between how these three providers weight each stat. FanDuel gives a little less weight to the batted-ball action (single, double, triple, HR) and a bit more weight than the other two in runs and RBIs.
|Hit by Pitch||6.6%||5.1%||6.2%|
One of the most important things in DFS is knowing the site scoring rules, expecially in regards to pitching. How a site scores a pitcher can have a major impact on who you best options will be. And because these three major providers differ greatly on how they score pitching, one pitcher may be a top-tier option on FanDuel, but a second-tier option on DraftKings.
Because scoring differs so dramatically from site to site (and because salaries do too) this is why I highly recommend anyone who wants to take DFS seriously to find a fantasy advice website to subscribe to so that you can get as much information and help possible on a day-to-day basis.
FanDuel tries to keep it as simple as possible, where DraftKings has a lot more to think about which can be fun for baseball nerds like myself. Yahoo kinda settles in the middle, offering a mix between the two in regards to scoring categories.
|Earned Run Allowed||-2|
|Bases on Balls Against||-0.9|
|Earned Run Allowed||-2|
|Base on Balls Against||-0.6|
|Complete Game Shutout||2.5|
|Earned Run Against||-3|
All three providers are unique in their own way in how they offer their classic version of DFS MLB. As I said previously, DraftKings is my favorite because I am a baseball nerd and appreciate the second pitcher spot and extra scoring categories to digest into assembling a daily lineup. FanDuel would be ideal for the player who is looking for experienced competition and increased prize pools, but wants a simplified scoring format and more roster flexibility.
For beginners, I strongly recommend Yahoo because the competition level is much lower. Yahoo gives you a great opportunity to get your feet wet in an environment that has very similar roster and scoring to that of the two major players (FanDuel and DK), while playing in an environment that isn’t loaded with professionals and experienced players.