Bankroll Management


It is important to stay disciplined with the money in your bankroll when playing DFS. I am defining bankroll as the total amount of money you have available to play with on

Bankroll Management

Inexperienced players tend to play a larger portion of their money on a given night than they should and blow through it because they do not know any better. This article is designed to suggest a skillful way to use money on a nightly basis.

It does not matter how much money you have at hand, because bankroll management is all based off of percentage of overall available balance. You do not ever want to risk more than you are willing to lose on a given night. It is also important to spend carefully enough to that ensure a cold streak will not bankrupt you. For that reason, I suggest playing no more than 10-15 percent of bankroll in a given night. If you have $100 in available balance, that means no more than $15 on any given night. The amount put on the line should depend on confidence in your lineup/the slate overall. If you do not feel like you can put together a lineup that really stands out in a night but still want to play, risk closer to five percent instead.

A rule that has been stapled into my head by some of my mentors is to always play less, never play more. This especially comes into play when on “tilt.” Tilt is a term for the feeling you get when things do not go well and the urge to act irrationally that immediately follows. If you are amidst a bad night, do not go spending big on the late slate just to try and win money back. That is the definition of poor bankroll management. My advice is to develop a plan before you ever start playing and to stick to it.

The plan should include the breakdown of percentages to spend on cash games versus tournaments as well. It is wise to spend more money nightly in cash games than tournaments. There is a greater probability of finishing in the PayoutZone in cash games (~50 percent chance) than tournaments. Although FantasyDraft pays the deepest payouts I’ve seen (25 percent in their guaranteed contests including tournaments), the odds decrease for cashing in tournaments. Therefore it is important to invest more in games with profit sustainability than tournaments. Sure, one tournament hit could make your entire month, but the odds of that hit are significantly lower than doubling up in a 50/50. It always makes sense to wager enough in cash games so that you make a profit even if you lose all of your tournaments. 

Example: You have $100 in your bankroll. You want to play a typical night ($15 worth). A $5 50/50 pays out $9 to the winners. Play two entries in that contest and $5 in tournaments, therefore if you win your 50/50’s, you will win $18 in total versus the $15 you began with. Preferably, the higher the differential of cash games to tournaments the better.

If instead you only play one $5 50/50 and play $5 in tournaments, then you would actually lose $1 if you won cash games and lost in tournaments. That strategy just is not profitable in the long run, so make sure you stay on track! Hopefully this will guide you in the right direction to becoming a responsible, winning daily fantasy player. Remember always play less, never more if there is ever a question.

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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