So, you want to hang with the pros when it comes to daily fantasy football. Me too. But that’s a tough proposition when you have limits on your time, not to mention your embarrassingly flat wallet.
Hard to beat the best minds in DFS when they can devote 30 hours a week to fantasy football while you plug away at a real job for 40 hours and try to fit family and friends into the little free time you may have.
Lucky for guys like you and me there are plenty of expert help websites out there that can somewhat level the playing field. I use a few free sites just like you and even listen to a couple of podcasts to help me with my lineups.
But those sites are available to everyone, so I’m occasionally tempted to try premium sites to bump me up a level or two.
Last month I checked out Fantasy Labs to see it it would help me win more consistently. The site was created by a few fantasy pros, including Peter Jennings (aka CSURAM88) and Jonathan Bales.
The cost? $59 per month. Not cheap, but not a big price tag for those who are putting up a few hundred dollars per week on daily fantasy football.
What’s $59 if it helps you win say 30% more contests which could equal $600 more per month in winnings if you were winning $500 on a weekly basis already?
I didn’t go into this test run on Fantasy Labs with the intention of sticking with it long term. I simply do not bet enough on DraftKings (yes it’s betting and yes should stay legal) to warrant keeping the service longterm.
I just wanted to be able to do a proper review with a full 30 days use.
I play only on DraftKings, and this review is only for NFL action, so keep that in mind as we move on to the review.
The main thing that will appeal to most DFS players is the player models. The website has pre-installed models that are based on what Bales and Jennings like to use in various contest types. You can also set your own metrics to optimize the lineup models the way you think will work best.
For example, you can start with the Bales model that works best in big money pools (GPPs) then tweak it to make it more relevant to Vegas lines, discounted players, or projected median points. Those are just a few of the options that can be adjusted as you try to beat the sharks in a million dollar contest or just a head to head match with another fish like yourself.
The pre-installed models can be tweaked and renamed to save in your folder. The pro models don’t get removed as you tweak, as they stay in a separate folder.
The models are easy to use and are the biggest time saver I found on Fantasy Labs. If I wanted to use the lineup model I liked best to choose my team for a bunch of head to head games, that would take about ten minutes. That saves a ton of time over researching every scenario throughout the week to see injury reports, trends, weather, etc.
Just relying on the player models is not enough, though.
You still need to make sure the players you pick aren’t late scratches at game time. You do need to consider other news updates as well.
That’s easy to do with the “Player News” tab. @adamlevitan keeps the site updated with relevant events that could make or break your weekly bankroll allotment.
Maybe the most powerful part of Fantasy Labs is the “Trends” feature. This section can lead you down a dark rabbit hole of NFL knowledge or enlighten you so you can hit it big in daily fantasy football. It is more time consuming than the lineup models, but I believe the Trendsfeature could set you apart from the field in a GPP tournament and also allow you to beat the average Joe more consistently. And maybe help you compete with the sharks of DFS.
It would take more time than I had to properly use the Trends to their full potential. I took 30 days use the site, but I have a busy schedule that doesn’t allow me to sit for hours a day on Fantasy Labs.
An hour a day for 30 days could really make the average DFS player three times better in my opinion.
Trends are that powerful and I also think a person who watches no NFL action at all could use Trends and the lineup models to be profitable long term on DFS. If any investor out there would like to deposit $500K into my DraftKings account, I’ll be happy to test that theory for one full year.
There is a lot of free content on Fantasy Labs. The NFL home section offers player rankings with tabs that show you the bargain players, some upside, trends, etc. You have to know what you’re looking for here, but it’s still very helpful and doesn’t cost $59 per month.
The site has a ton of helpful videos on how to use their NFl product. If you go in without any tutorial at all you will be lost unless you are a spreadsheet guru. My head was spinning with all the data as I jumped in without reading the instructions. I had to backtrack and get some directions so I could use the site to its full potential.
Here’s a few key questions that my trial run answered for me on Fantasy Labs:
What worked best? The player models. I tweaked the lineups only slightly so as to rely on the experts’ data. I had no trouble defeating average players on DraftKings head to head.
Will it do all the work for you? Sorta. It can if you focus on the data only and don’t forget to check injury reports as game time approaches.
Is it easy to use? As long as you take the time to watch the tutorial vids.
Fantasy Labs is a powerful tool overall so you need the time to learn how the site works and how to adjust your player models. Trends mode requires plenty of study time to see all the available factors leading up to weekly matchups.
You also need to track how you are doing in your win / loss column on whatever DFS site you use.
Is Fantasy Labs worth $59 per month? For the right demographic it would be. It’s not worth it to me since I don’t wager more than $15 a week. If I had won $500 or more in a GPP during my 30 day test I would have a different opinion maybe.
If you are betting over $1000 a month already on DFS, then $59 more a month is nothing, especially if it gives you a significant edge.
As for my experience, I was thoroughly impressed with the NFL product over at Fantasy labs. The site was not glitchy or slow. The data is overwhelming, but we are talking fantasy football, so that is the norm.
The guys who put the site together know their business as they are experienced fantasy football players. The site even offers a live chat during normal hours for any questions you may have. I had a couple of questions that were answered in a timely fashion to my satisfaction.
To sum up my review of Fantasy Labs, I’ll simply say that it works if you make use of its powerful features and are wagering enough each NFL week to make the monthly cost irrelevant.
It’s not for the average Joe, but it could make a serious DFS player more money over the long haul and even increase his
“luck” as he tries to become the next DFS millionaire.
4.5 of 5 stars.