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Intermediate NFL DFS: Salary inefficiencies

We continue our breakdown of NFL DFS. In this section, we look at salary inefficiencies, with definitions and some basic strategy.

Latavius Murray #28 of the New Orleans Saints runs with the ball during a game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on November 24, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

In daily fantasy football, like in most things, getting the fundamentals down is integral toward laying a foundation of knowledge to build from as you progress as a player. For DFS, that means understanding how salary inefficiency plays into your DFS strategy.

Salary inefficiency


Salary inefficiency is when a player has been priced for the week but gets a boost due to some outside force like an injury, suspension, benching, etc.


When making your lineups for the week, you’ll need to be fully aware of anything that might cause a starting player to miss a game. A missed game by an offensive skill player means that usually a less expensive player will see an uptick in work. Deciding if the price and matchup are worth rostering the upgraded player is still important, but there are times when the value is too good.

You may feel like a player who is rostered in 80 percent or more of lineups is someone to fade for a chance to zig when others zag. It is worth exploring a fade, but in most cases like this, playing the strong value play is the right move.

If the player is going to be on such a large percentage of rosters, there is a good reason. That makes the odds high that you won’t find a better play for the price. If that player does end up being a great value play, you were smart to go with the crowd and if he turns out to be a dud, you are still going to be okay due to the big percentage of lineups with him. Yes, a dud from the player everyone has would be great if you faded him, but you still need to have picked the right players instead and the odds are against you.


Fading an extremely popular value play in tournaments is a way to go, but it also isn’t a move you must make. Finding differential in your other players is still available to you and being 100 percent contrarian isn’t the best strategy for longterm success in GPPs.