How to Avoid Tilt in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

Avoiding tilt in daily fantasy sports isn’t as easy as it may seem.

You do your research on how to win DFS profits at fantasy football, design your fantasy football strategy and you finally paid up for Tom Brady. He was trashing opposing defenses all season, and you told yourself that this would be the week you were getting in on the action. You’ve managed to finagle him into every DFS lineup, and you kick back to watch the opening kickoff of what’s sure to be a high-scoring affair.

90 minutes later, halfway through the third quarter you begin to feel sick. Tom is clearly struggling on his way to a terrible outing. Every second that ticks off the clock leads you closer to the inevitable realization that you are losing ALL of your Fanduel lineups today. Discouraged and frustrated, you log into the Fanduel lobby and see a new round of late afternoon games are starting. You decide to move up in stakes in an attempt to recover your losses…..

Does this situation seem familiar? Whether it’s Sydney Crosby, Clayton Kershaw, or LeBron James it doesn’t matter. We’ve all been there. It’s a terrible feeling when the odds fall out of your favor and DFS profits fall, but it’s also a “normal” aspect of this hobby we all love.

So the question is, if negative variance MUST occur, how do we avoid tilting as a result of it? I’d like to share with you a few helpful hints that I keep in mind at all times. These daily fantasy sports tips have seen me through some of the roughest bad beats.

Daily Fantasy Sports Tip #1

Just Walk Away

When you’re upset, the first thing you need to do is break the routine. This may seem obvious when in a clear state of mind, but when the only thing you can think about is how much money you just lost you’d be surprised at just how far from your mind this concept is. Our natural inclination is to win back DFS profits we’ve just lost, but approaching daily fantasy sports from this perspective can only lead to heartache.

Depending on your level of discipline you may simply need to close your browser, or you may need to do something as drastic as going outside for a walk or driving somewhere for a little while. Remember, it’s crucial that you begin the process of “letting go” of a bad beat as soon as possible. Sitting at your computer screen with the website still active will only further induce rage, which will then lead to making poor decisions.

Daily Fantasy Sports Tip #2

Take Your Mind Off The Loss

Once you’ve walked away, you can then begin to re-focus your attention on something else. This will be different for each individual player, but everyone has a “happy place” (like in the movie Happy Gilmore) that they can retreat to for comfort amidst the storm.

For me it’s playing with my daughters, listening to music, or playing Magic: The Gathering (I know, I’m a nerd). Find your happy places and get there as soon as possible.

Daily Fantasy Sports Tip #3

It’s No Longer YOUR Money

Once you’ve removed yourself from the situation it’s time to face the facts. You don’t need to win your money back because IT’S NO LONGER YOUR MONEY. I honestly believe 95% or more of all daily fantasy disasters could be avoided if people would drill this simple notion into their skulls. From the moment you click “submit” your buy-in no longer belongs to you. It’s gone. You can’t win that specific money by doubling your stakes in a tilt session. You must practice proper bankroll skills through the dry spells, and learn to view buy-ins as “investments” that either yield profit or loss. It’s worth examining your investments to determine whether or not making that same one multiple times will be profitable long term, but you must come to grips with the fact that previous investments are finalized transactions.

Daily Fantasy Sports Tip #4

Life Goes On

One of my favorite theories in poker is Mike Caro’s Threshold of Misery. In a nutshell it makes the case for every person having a point at which they have reached their maximum threshold of misery. At this point compounded losses no longer matter.

Let’s give an example.

Suppose you have a $1,000 bankroll and feel comfortable playing 7-10% of it each night. You lose the 10% on a bad beat and are now down to $900. Tilt sets in and you choose to chase the money you lost the night before. You now have 20% or $180 in play. You lose. All of it. Your seemingly healthy bankroll is now down to $720. At this point you’re down more than you’re comfortable losing, and additional losses seem irrelevant. The truth is every single dollar you keep yourself from losing matters, and when you’ve reached a point where you can no longer feel the pain of compounded losses you MUST remember that life goes on. You will regret that extra $50 you threw away at some point down the road.

Daily Fantasy Sports Tip #5

Know Yourself

I don’t sweat my lineups in real time. Now granted, part of my job is to watch games and extract information. Following along with (and getting pissed about) lineups in real time leads to distractions. I know myself well enough to realize that for me, following along with my lineups in real time makes me much more susceptible to tilt. I choose to check my lineups in the morning the next day, and by then any sting of defeat has been washed away by the excitement of building new rosters.

I can’t say what’s right for you, but examine how certain scenarios cause you to feel. If activity X causes feelings of tilt then perhaps it’s best to alter your behavioral approach to daily fantasy sports.

Investing in a lineup optimizer can also assist your bankroll as well, our personal favorite in Daily Fantasy Nerd.

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below and let me know if there was ever a time that going on tilt caused you to lose an amount of money that you later regretted.

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