I've taken some detours lately, but today I'll be returning to my series examining each of the primary daily fantasy sites, their roster structures, scoring systems, and the types of players that are most useful for each particular site. Today's focus is FanDuel. If you haven't heard yet, the subject of a previous entry in the series, Daily Joust, is no more. As such, the metrics have all been recalculated using the new eightsite average, if you're wondering why they look a little different.
Previous Profiles:
DraftKings 
Draft Day 
Fan Throwdown
FanDuel Profile
Uniqueness: 7th (Hitting), 2nd (Pitching)
Scoring System Quirkiness: 4th (Hitting), 4th (Pitching)
Roster Quirkiness: 6th
Pitching Premium: 3rd
Among those who don't play daily fantasy or who are just barely familiar with it, FanDuel is the site that they're most likely to be familiar with. They've received big funding and advertise all over the place. So let's see what sets FanDuel apart from the rest of the pack.
Uniqueness
Uniqueness is a measure of how differently players score on a particular site relative to the average daily site. Uniqueness serves as a good estimate for how much your strategy needs to change when playing on a given site. (Note: Pitching Uniqueness only includes starting pitchers despite some sites utilizing relievers.)
Site 
Hitting Uniqueness

DraftKings 
3.7%


3.6%


2.9%


2.7%


2.6%

Fan Throwdown 
2.5%

FanDuel 
2.2%

DraftDay 
1.7%

Site 
Pitching Uniqueness

DraftDay 
11.6%

FanDuel 
7.7%


7.1%


5.3%


3.5%

DraftKings 
2.4%


2.3%

Fan Throwdown 
1.4%

As we saw last week with DraftKings, FanDuel's Uniqueness scores are on opposite sides for hitting and pitching. Except for FanDuel, the pitching is the unique one and the hitting conforms more to the rest of the industry, instead of vice versa. If you're a daily player new to FanDuel, you may be fine to use your previous knowledge of hitters, but you may need to rethink the way you evaluate pitchers.
Scoring System Quirkiness (Hitting)
Scoring System Quirkiness is a measure of how much a given site's scoring system differs relative to the average daily site. Since sites award points on different scales (i.e. DraftDay gives 20 points for a HR; FanDuel gives 4 points for a HR), category values are listed in relative terms (all relative to the number of points awarded for a home run  so if a single is worth 1 point and a home run is worth 4 points, the value of a single is said to be 25 percent.)
Category

FanDuel

Average

1B

25%

26%

2B

50%

50%

3B

75%

76%

HR

100%

100%

RBI

25%

31%

R

25%

27%

BB

25%

22%

SB

50%

50%

CS

Not Used

12%

HBP

25%

20%

K

Not Used

5%

GIDP

Not Used

4%

SAC

Not Used

2%

Out

6%

3%

Site 
Hitting Quirkiness


125%


65%


48%

FanDuel 
44%

DraftKings 
43%

DraftDay 
42%

Fan Throwdown 
40%


39%

FanDuel uses all of the most commonly used categories and toes the line when it comes to the relative value of each. The lone exceptions to this are Caught Stealing (which half of the sites use and the other half don't) and Outs. These boost FanDuel's Quirkiness score a bit, but it's still in a cluster at the bottom and isn't enough to boost its Hitting Uniqueness score, which is second lowest because of how little Outs are weighted. A hitter would have to make four outs to negate the impact of just one single, making them a secondary or tertiary consideration when evaluating hitters, at best. You could give a small boost to high OBP hitters like Joe Mauer and Billy Butler, but don't go overboard since their edge won't be huge.
Scoring System Quirkiness (Pitching)
Scoring System Quirkiness is a measure of how much a given site's scoring system differs relative to the average daily site. Since sites award points on different scales (i.e. StarStreet gives 15 points for a win while DraftStreet gives just 1.5 points for a win), category values are listed in relative terms (all relative to the number of points awarded for a win).
Category

FanDuel

Average

W

100%

100%

Outs

8%

13%

K

25%

30%

ER

25%

31%

H

Not Used

8%

BB

Not Used

8%

HBP

Not Used

7%

SV

Not Used

38%

BS

Not Used

10%

CG

Not Used

26%

SH

Not Used

14%

L

Not Used

15%

No No

Not Used

22%

PG

Not Used

6%

Site 
Pitching Quirkiness


144%

DraftKings 
138%

DraftDay 
132%

FanDuel 
83%


78%


74%


67%

Fan Throwdown 
62%

FanDuel has the second highest Pitching Uniqueness score and a Pitching Quirkiness score in the top half of sites, and it's pretty easy to see why. They use a very bare bones approach to pitcher scoring, using just four categories. Some sites use as many as 12, and no others use fewer than six.
You'll notice that Outs, Strikeouts, and Earned Runs are all given less weight than the eightsite average, which drives up the relative value of Wins. As a result, highwin pitchers (those with strong offensive support and strong overall skills) hold extra value in FanDuel. How they come about those skills, however, is of less concern. Since there is no penalty for walks, a guy who can manage to pitch well despite allowing a lot of walks will have some added value. Of course, these kinds of players are often highstrikeout types, but the value of strikeouts are depressed a little, which will cut into this value. Finding one with a modest strikeout rate but tons of groundballs may provide the most relative value. I'm thinking guys like Trevor Cahill, Jeff Locke, Wily Peralta, maybe Jake Westbrook. Of course, the offense is the bigger consideration, so finding a guy (much less several of them) that fit this mold perfectly and is a highwin pitcher is difficult.
Roster Quirkiness
Roster Quirkiness is a measure of how the roster structure of a given site differs from the average daily site.
Position 
FanDuel

Average

C 
1

1

1B 
0

0.4

1B/DH 
1

0.5

3B 
1

0.9

1B/3B 
0

0.3

2B 
1

0.9

SS 
1

0.9

2B/SS 
0

0.3

OF 
3

3.0

U 
0

0.8

SP 
1

1.4

P 
0

0.6

Total 
9

10.8

Site 
Roster Quirkiness


174%


96%

DraftKings 
57% (T)

Fan Throwdown 
57% (T)


57% (T)

FanDuel 
56%


54%

DraftDay 
52%

FanDuel's greatest roster quirkiness comes from its lack of a utility player and its use of a single pitcher. The average site uses two, some use three, and just one other site uses one. This makes it both more important to select the right pitcher each day and makes selecting the right hitters super important (because pitching can't bail you out). It's an interesting dynamic.
Pitching Premium
Pitching Premium is a measure of how valuable each pitcher spot is relative to each hitter spot based on each site’s scoring system. So on Fan Throwdown, for example, the average pitcher is 47 percent more valuable than the average hitter.
Site 
Pitching Premium


76%


75%

FanDuel 
71%

DraftKings 
62%

DraftDay 
49%

Fan Throwdown 
47%


34%


25%

FanDuel makes up for its use of a single pitcher by implementing a high Pitching Premium. On just two other sites (one of which also uses just one pitcher in its roster structure) does a pitcher have more relative value than a hitter. Still, hitters outnumber pitchers 8to1 on FanDuel, so if you hope to win on FanDuel, you need a good day from your offense.
Methodology for Creating Each Stat
If you’re like me and want to know what goes into the sausage, here is how I arrived at each stat that I created. If you don’t care, then you’ve reached the end of the article. You are now free to leave.
Uniqueness is calculated by first looking at how every player scores in each of the eight systems. They are then recalculated on an index scale, comparing each player to the site’s average player so that all sites are using the same scale. Then a new average is created for each player of his score on each of the eight sites. We examine how far each site’s score is from the eightsite average as an absolute value. When we average these out for all players for all sites, we get an estimate of each site’s “uniqueness.” I used fullseason data for all hitters with at least 300 PA, all pitchers with at least 10 Games Started in 2012.
Scoring System Quirkiness is calculated by first putting all stats on the same scale (relative to Home Runs for hitters and relative to Wins for pitchers). I find the eightsite average value of each stat, compare how each stat’s scoring varies from that average, then average out all the categories for each site (with each category weighted the same).
Roster Quirkiness is calculated by finding the eightsite average of how many players are required at each roster position, then comparing how each site’s roster structure varies from that average, and average out all the roster spots for each site.
Pitching Premium is calculated by first scoring out the average daily line for all hitters with at least 3 PA in game (a proxy for starting the game) and all starting pitchers for each of the eight sites. I then compare how much more valuable pitchers are than hitters using data from a recent sixyear stretch of games.