The start of a new season is always an exciting time. It doesn’t matter what the sport - NFL, NBA, AFL or NRL - the chance to watch your teams run out for the first time for the season always gets the juices flowing.
The best thing about the first game is that everyone is on an even slate. Every team. Every player. A chance to start fresh. Previous years are forgotten, and everyone starts with the same amount of hope for the season that lay ahead.
And it’s the same for daily fantasy sports coaches jumping into their first contests of the season…or is it?
We’ve heard of some DFS coaches, and even some sports bettors, who like to sit back in the opening games of a new season to get a feel for the form of teams and players before jumping in. They prefer to watch and learn rather than betting on the early action.
The question is…why?
Some of the greatest edges you will ever find as a DFS player or a sports bettor can come in the first matches of the season. If sportsbooks and DFS competitors haven’t adjusted their pricing to the new season as well as you have, then there’s potential for money to be made.
The new season will bring a lot of changes to just about every team. They might have a new coach or a new game plan. They might have traded some personnel in or even out of their squads. They might have drafted in some new young talent. They might have freshened up some injuries and they might just be up and about and ready to go!
All of these factors (and more) can play a role in the performance of a team and individuals in the first game of the season. If you’re stuck thinking about how they did last year, then you’re behind the eight-ball. But if you’re in tune with the changes, then you can find an edge over those still stuck with their heads in last season.
So how can you find that edge?
As we often say in these strategy articles, it pays to do your research!
Watching pre-season matches isn’t always the most stimulating activity, but it often pays as you’ll see who is moving well, who has had a good off-season and who might have a renewed role in a team dynamic.
Follow the latest news on teams through their official team websites or social media channels as often they’ll share insights, interviews or even footage from behind the scenes that might help you identify players who have improved in the off-season.
Jump in some online forums. They are often a great source of rumours - some might be nonsense but you might find some gold in there from a source who has information that others might not have seen.
Get down to training! Not always the easiest activity for everyone, but if you’re living close to a local sports team, you can often go and watch them train and you’ll get a firsthand account of progress and potentially information that no-one else has seen.
Don’t be hesitant about jumping into the opening round of a new season. See it as an opportunity to get ahead of the pack before they all catch up. Back your research and your knowledge and lean more towards finding value based on new information rather than historical data that may no longer be relevant. You might find it the most profitable time of the entire season!
For more great DFS strategy and tips, head to Daily Fantasy Rankings