Last Saturday while I was scrambling right before lineup lock with the news that two of my favorite plays were scratched, Alexander Radulov and Tyler Toffoli, I was reminded of an important concept in DFS that I've never really touched on in this article. And that concept is bankroll management.
I'm not going to pretend I have the perfect answer on how to manage your bankroll. In fact, I think it's one of my weakest areas. Sometimes I enter more contests than I "should" or I play slates just to play, even if I don't necessarily have a good feel for it. Both of those are things I wouldn't recommend someone do, yet at times it happens.
The best advice I can give when it comes to this isn't what exact percentage of your account balance you should play each night, or what contests you should enter. Rather, the rule I try to live by is to play at most the amount of money I would be okay losing on a given slate. If that "upcoming entries" dollar amount makes you uncomfortable, you're probably playing too much. Everyone is going to lose in DFS at some point, and you need to be able to survive those losses and the downswings you'll inevitably run into.
Sometimes these losses are caused by things you have no control over. Like on Sunday when Max Pacioretty was scratched two minutes before lock, or on Tuesday when Aleksander Barkov was scratched five minutes AFTER lock. In both of those cases you were getting an automatic zero and there was nothing you could do about it. It sucks, but it's part of the game. If you had a majority of your bankroll tied up into those players, well you'd be at risk of ruin. So keep that in mind when entering contests. If you were to lose every dollar you entered right now, would you be okay with that? Could you still play tomorrow if you wanted to? If the answers to that are no, you're probably playing too much.
But that's enough talking about losing, if you're still reading this it's because you want winners. We've got a bit of a smaller slate today as compared to the past few weeks, so ownership will play a bit more of a factor. I think the Toronto vs Edmonton game will be the one that sees the most with Toronto, specifically Auston Matthews, leading the way. Otherwise, things should be fairly spread out. We've got seven games to choose from so let's get to it. Here are some suggestions on how I'm handling the night. All players and prices are from