Setting your MLB Lineup

fd-101-300x300Welcome to FantasyDraft 101, the only series designed to teach you how to play daily fantasy sports and win big on These articles are designed to teach the basics step-by-step, in order to educate beginning players and assist them in becoming the best competitor they can be. With little to no prior knowledge on the topic, these are the fundamentals to setting competitive daily fantasy baseball lineups.

Setting a Lineup

The first step to daily fantasy is understanding the concept of how to build a roster. A roster consists of 10 total positions divided into four separate varieties: you’ll need two pitchers, three infielders, three outfielders and two utility players. Pitchers consist of either the day’s probable starting pitchers or relief pitchers. The smart play almost always is to select two of the pitchers scheduled to begin their team’s specified games. Infielders are defined as any players whose positions are listed as catcher, first base, second base, third base or shortstop. Outfielders are defined as any players whose positions are listed as left field, center field or right field. The utility positions allow you to start a hitter at any position of your choosing. Utility spots are the daily fantasy equivalent of a buffet. Infielders and outfielders make you stick to the menu so to speak whereas utility spots let you choose whatever you are feeling.

Now that we understand the different positions that have to be filled, how do we fill them? Each player is assigned a value for a given slate. In order to place that player onto your roster, you will essentially be charged his cost. Each roster is allotted a $100,000 salary cap. Similarly to Monopoly money, it is not real money and does not actually cost $100,000 to use, but rather requires a user to strategize in order to fill out a roster using fictional dollars. For instance, the $100,000 cap does not allow the best player at every single spot to be taken in a particular slate. If the roster’s total salary costs a combined $100,001, it will be deemed ineligible and cannot be submitted. Where do you find the salary cap on the lineup screen? The arrow identifies where it can be found on the image below:

As you add players to your team by clicking the arrows next to their names, FantasyDraft will keep track of the amount of salary that has been used. In the picture above, for instance, if you roster both Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez, you would have spent $45,900 out of the available $100,000. That means there is $54,100 in available salary to spend. In order to fill out a valid roster, there must be enough salary left at each position to at least roster a minimum priced player (which is usually $4,000). If splurging is your preference, feel free to throw big money at five players as long as at least $20,0000 remains for the final five spots ($4,000 per remaining open spot). As you include additional players on your roster, FantasyDraft will automatically show you how much salary is remaining both in total and the average remaining on each additional player. Arrow one in the picture below displaying the roster screen shows where you will find the average remaining salary to spend on each additional player, as well as the total remaining salary. The second arrow shows where you will find whether or not your lineup has been accepted as valid. Aside from exceeding the salary cap, the lineup will not be considered valid if all the positions have not yet been filled in, similar to the example.


Conversely, once a roster has been filled out by all the appropriate requirements, the screen will dictate the roster has now become “valid”. Besides staying under the salary cap and filling in all the roster positions, a roster must consist of players from at least two different teams, players from two different games and no more than five players on one team. The example below shows a properly filled out lineup with all of the requirements fulfilled.HowToLineups3

Players are selected from multiple games, multiple teams, and are within the salary cap constraints (with $100 to spare). Do not feel like you must spend exactly $100,000 on your lineup every night, as players’ prices do not directly correlate to their nightly output. This concept will be further covered in later articles. Once the lineup status is listed as “valid,” you are ready to get started playing. Simply click the “Play” button and the lineup will be submitted into the selected contest. You are ready to go join additional contests with either the same lineup now, or you can even get creative and make different ones!

Now that you can successfully create a lineup, stay tuned for more FantasyDraft 101 lessons to come. The second edition of the series will focus on understanding basic baseball statistics to assist in creating the winning lineup. Don’t miss out!

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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