Use 'late swap' to your advantage in fantasy
Feature can add/remove players from lineup even after games have started
With DraftKings giving away tickets to winners of the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com, including tickets to the All-Star Game and World Series, there's no easier, and cheaper, way to catch a game this summer.
One of the little-known tricks that few novice daily fantasy players use is DraftKings' "late swap" feature. The feature allows you to add and remove players on your Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com lineup, even after a date's games have started. As long as the contests for the players being swapped have yet to begin, you're good to go.
The late swap adds a few new wrinkles to the game that can, and should, change your strategy. The most obvious is that you can remove players who get scratched just before the first pitch. Late scratches aren't incredibly common, but they happen. If your starting pitcher gets yanked with elbow soreness just before the game begins, it's clearly helpful to be able to sub him out of your lineup.
Another overlooked benefit with the late swap is that you can add or remove players based on how you want to construct your lineup. When you set your daily fantasy lineups, the goal is to create the best group of players with the information you have at your disposal. Well, after some of your hitters or pitchers have played, you have new information available.
Let's say you're playing on a Sunday, with half of your players in the earliest set of games, and the other half playing late. Your early bats crush the ball -- five home runs from three players -- so you have a really great shot of taking down the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com on that date.
You may want to play it safe with a lead, but all of your late hitters are on the same team -- a high-risk, high-reward scenario. You could use the late swap feature to diversify your bats, subbing in one or two hitters from different teams to limit some of the risk surrounding your lineup. And if needed, you could potentially increase your upside by pairing teammates together using the late swap. That would be the best option if your early players don't meet expectations.
On a related note, you can swap late to get away from players who might be really popular in a tournament. This is particularly useful in the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com because one of the best ways to win is to field a unique lineup. If some of your under-the-radar, early picks don't pan out, and all of you have left are players who you think will be really popular, you won't have much of an opportunity to gain ground on the field. If possible, you should use the late swap to add players who go against the grain. Those players might not even be the best values, but they'll give you the highest probability of "catching up" from a deficit because others won't use them.
To make a late swap, click on the "My Lineups" tab, then click "Edit" on any lineup you'd like to change. Any players whose games have yet to start will have an "X" next to their names. You can click the "X" to remove them from your lineup before adding any other players who have yet to play.
Jonathan Bales contributes DraftKings-related content to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.