Late Swap Frequently Asked Questions
When do you use Late Swap? Is it only if one of your players is injured?
Not necessarily. You can do it that way. If you want to just use the Late Swap feature, when you have a player that’s out. That’s totally reasonable. You’re still getting edge over not doing that, obviously. You’re certainly getting edge over just doing a global swap on DraftKings. So if you’re short on time, you’re on your phone or you’re out… away from your laptop and you just want to do a quick plates off if there’s just major news, you can do that. For me, I generally will run Late Swaps before every single set of games locked. Tonight, I think there’s some games at 4:30 and then there’s some at 5:00 Pacific and then a couple of late ones as well.
I’ll probably run Late Swap before every set of games, assuming that projections update. You can tell on our Slack channel, we have notifications when Sims start and stop. You can also tell on this last updated timestamp if the projections have updated. For me, I think any sort of edge that I can get from Late Swap, I want to take advantage of. Even if it’s just… there were unexpected starters or there’s just some minor change in the projections, even if it’s just a couple points here and there, I like to run it every time because I want to take advantage of the up-to-date news and it’s really easy to run it late. So opposite.
There’s really no reason not to, unless… I think the reasons not to actually are if you’re again short on time, and you just don’t have the time to run the Late Swap after… before every lock, or if you’ve done a lot of changes to your builds, kind of post build managing exposures, or if you’ve used our filter tool and unselected certain lineups, and you’ve done a lot of tinkering to your builds to really kind of get them to where you want to be.
Late Swap will still account for your exposure adjustments. We’ll still respect the min to max exposure, but if there’s not huge changes, you don’t necessarily need to run Late Swap before every game locks. It is extra time that you’re having to stand during the evening to do that. Even though it’s quick, it’s still… I wouldn’t say it’s hugely necessary, but if you want to get the most out of the tool, I would say it’s worth it to run before every set of games lock, assuming that our projections have updated.
I sort of see it as a priority ladder, right? There are certain situations where you definitely want a Late Swap. This is when there’s an injured player that’s unexpected, that’s actually in your lineups. That means you literally need to get that player out and you’re going to Late Swap or do what are the features that we have that’s called quick swap.
Then if there’s a significant injury, that’s a little below, but you’re probably are going to want a Late Swap. When there’s minor injuries, you could test it out. You can do a Late Swap. You can actually see how much your lineups have changed from it, and then you can say, okay, do I want to use this? Do I not want to use it? You don’t have to use the Late Swap, but you knew this sort of cast it out and just see, okay, how much are my lineups changing? Do I actually want to do this? But there’s certain situations… There’s actually an injured player in your lineup. So we’re just going to definitely want to do it instead of just going to the drafting stage and trying to manually do it yourself.
I mean, just adding onto what Max said. I think basketball’s a little unique in the sense that if you’re in the game, you’re going to get some stats and minutes tend to have like a much stronger… or playing time tends to have much stronger correlation with fantasy points than another sports. If there’s some guys announced the surprise starter or there’s a surprise injury, often the projections will change enough to where you’re going to want to Late Swap. Now for me personally, I tend to use Late Swap about 50% of the time, and I don’t run it before every game. But if there’s a surprise starter or a surprise injury, then I think it absolutely makes sense to do it when that happens, because oftentimes you will have significantly different optimal lineups than you did before the lock.
Does Late Swap change your initial lineup building process?
I definitely do. If there’s an early game, especially if there’s an early value play that might not be as good of a value play, if there’s some injury later, I’m going to just use these max and min ownership buttons that are buttons [inaudible 00:00:42] in the [inaudible 00:00:44] process to actually suppress some of these players’ exposures in my lineups and increase it with players who are in later games, because that’s going to give me the opportunity later to make a better Late Swap. If you use a guy who’s a pretty good value and use him a lot, and then he fails and then there’s this huge value opens up later, that’s a huge missed opportunity that I want to be able to not miss. I want to take advantage of it. So, absolutely.
Yeah. I think I do probably a little bit less of the adjustments in my initial build for Late Swap. I think the main thing for me is I just don’t care that much about my exposures for the later games so I don’t need to… Because I know that I’m going to be late swapping, I’m not going to be worrying too much about my exposure or projections for those later-game players which obviously it’s not… I probably could be doing a little bit more strategy, like Max said, of having maybe more of the later-game players or trying to take advantage of it.
But I think a lot of… Especially newer players, might see, for example, a questionable tag on LeBron James and lower his exposure because you don’t want to… if he gets rolled out and you don’t want to get caught with a bunch of LeBron James’ that you’re trying to swap out.
But with Late Swap, there’s really not much of a reason to do that, unless it’s really like that’s the only game at the end of the slate, there’s no other options in that price point, then you might want to think about, “Okay, maybe I’m going to be stuck with no other options.” But especially for a slate like tonight where there’s, I think, two games late and there’s probably other players that we can swap to, especially with Portland, sure, we can do some swaps there. I wouldn’t care about having 50% LeBron James in my initial ability, even if he’s questionable, even if he is unlikely to play. That might make me even more want to have a lot of him just because his ownership is going to be so deflated. And I think, just anecdotally, anytime I see that question, we’ll tag on a player and then I look at their ownership later on in the slate, it’s always way lower than it should be. So I think for me, it’s just more I don’t make the changes that I might have without Late Swap.
Do you ever use Late Swap before lock?
No, I don’t, unless you’re really tight on time. So right now, I don’t have any exposure caps, but if I had set some min and max exposures on my build, those would carry over here. And so if I had set a bunch of those and I don’t want to redo, I just want to swap with my same exposures based on the new news, I might do that. I might also do a quick swap if, say, I have my lineups and somebody from an early game is a late scratch, and so two minutes before lock, somebody, Embid or something, gets ruled out and I just need to really quickly get them out of my lineups, that’s when I would use maybe quick swap. But, for the most part, I would just run a new build and apply it, just use the field contents with lineups and apply it rather than using Late Swap, if it’s before a lock.
How do the different Swap methods work? Which should I use?
First of all, quick swap is basically like a better version of DraftKings or FanDuel’s global swap. So essentially we will look for all out players. If you just go by default, we’ll take all out players that are in your lineup and we will replace them with the next best available player for whatever position they’re in. So again, say LeBron James gets ruled out. I would just do this quick swap. It would just replace LeBron in every lineup with the next best player for that lineup. It might not be the same player in all of them, it might be a different player in half lineups and another one in the other half, but it’s basically a really quick way so we don’t have to rebuild all the lineups. It’s only affecting the lineups that have that player.
And it’s also going lineup by lineup. With the global swap tools on DraftKings, FanDuel, I’m assuming Yahoo, the way it works is you pick a replacement for it and you have to pick a player typically who’s under, who has less salary than the player you’re replacing, or if you pick someone that’s over, again, either way, it’s going to blanket, replace that person in all of your lineups. Either you’re going to be leaving a lot of money on the table, or it’s not going to work on a lot of lineups. What we’ll do is lineup by lineup, figure out how much salary of left and maximize that use, and then show you who got in, who got out and all of that.
I have a question. How quickly do we get the out status updates? And is it possible to designate a player as out if they don’t have an out status?
We get those status updates very quickly. The SIM itself that updates the projections can take a little bit longer because a player being out will affect the rest of the game or rest of the team, certainly. But in terms of the actual out status, we’ll get that very quickly. If a player gets ruled out within a minute or two, really, you can go to quick swap and just use the all-out players, but if I just uncheck LeBron here, or if I set his projection to zero, and then I go to quick swap and I just apply it, it’ll actually remove him from all of your lineups.
If you set the projection to zero.
Yeah, I think it’s setting it to zero. It’s not the unchecking because that’s the max exposure. If you set them to zero, you run the quick swap, it’ll swap him out of all your lineups. But generally, if he was ruled out, if I just clicked refresh projections, or even if you’re on another page and you’d go to entries, it’ll update him, mark him as out, and then you just have to do the quick swap. Again, that’s generally not the last swap that I’ll do. I’ll do that right after the news comes out just to make sure I get him out of the lineups. And then once the SIMs update, then I’ll do a late swap, which will actually rebuild all the lineups so that you can get more of the other Lakers that benefit from him being out and get the full benefit of that tool rather than just the quick swap, which I think the value is more just having the really quick changes there.
Yeah. Before we jump into the full late swap, a couple of things I just want to touch on. To Danny’s point, we’re always investing in faster and better sources of data. We’re very happy with where our injury news setup is right now. We’ll react very quickly by throwing up the out status tag as soon as we get that information. However, because the way we create our projections is by simulating them out thousands of times, it’s going to take sometimes five or 10 minutes to get fully updated projections. In those cases, it’s really tight. We do speed up the process. You can trust us that we’ll update the out as fast as possible.
One related question we got on this is that if I saw a player out, does it only change that player at that position? Or does it optimize the entire lineup and switch out other players in the lineup as well? That was from Jeff. For that question, if you’re using quick swap, while we will use as much salary from each individual lineup, it is only handling that specific player and it will not touch the rest of your lineup. That’s where the full late swap functionality really comes in. And Matt, if you want to just touch on that a little bit.
Yeah, like Andy said, the quick swap will only swap out that one out player. With late swap, what we’re doing is we send all of those lineups to the builder and the builder is going to lock in the players whose games have already started, so they’re locked into your lineups. Then, basically the rest of the lineup will just rebuild based on the new projections and all of your other settings. We do account for correlation and ownership, and we use the smart diversity with the SIMs in the same way.
If you run late swap, all we’re going to do is just lock in those players that obviously can’t be moved because the games have started and then the rest of the lineup will change. Then we’ll do that individually with every single lineup that you have and make sure that they’re unique so that you’re not going to have duplicate lineups, if the best possible lineup is the same for two of them. We’ll make sure that they’re unique just like with your original builds. You end up with 150 or however many lineups you swapped, you’ll end up with a new set of lineups that account for all of the changes and projections. We’re essentially re-optimizing, rebuilding those lineups.
What we always recommend when it comes between quick swap and late swap is if someone was ruled out, always do a quick swap. It’s the same reason why we replaced dummy lineups right away is you just want it as insurance, make sure you’re not going to be screwed if you don’t have enough time to get the full swap in or anything else. Always do quick swap, always upload those lineups as soon as you know someone is out and then see what you have time for.
Should I do a different Late Swap for each contest I’m playing?
Yeah, that’s a really good question. So, a lot of it depends on your time and then it also depends on the nature of the swap and the players that are… That changed. So if you have time, if you have… However long it, I mean it doesn’t take that long to run the slots, but so if you have time and you want to do a different swap for each of your contests, especially if you had done different builds for each of them, then I think that’s great. And that’s probably going to give you even better lineups because we’ve set these default settings based on the size of the contest and the entry limit. So if you want to really get the most out of Late Swap, I think you can run a different one for each contest.
For me personally, I, because I generally entering a lot of different contests and because, there are scenes running all the time and stuff. Sometimes there’s only five minutes left before I need to get the lineups in. And so I usually will just run a single Late Swap.
And I think really especially when there’s big news, if there’s a major player injury and you have suddenly new value that’s popping up, I don’t care too much about those differences between the slider settings, because that’s so much less important than the value you’re getting from the new projections and the new players that suddenly you have a lot of leverage from. So, again it really just depends if you’re doing a different bill for each of your contests initially and you have the time to do that for Late Swap, by all means, do that. Just keep in mind that there is a time constraint and if you’re short on time and you just want to do a single Late Swap for all your contests, there’s nothing wrong with that. And you’ll still get a lot of edge if there’s that big news and you’re counting for that.
And one thing we should have touched on in the last question, but it does apply here as well is a lot of this, whether it’s just Late Swap or just how you’re actually building your lineups comes down to time. If you are a professional and have all day and are playing a sport like NFL or baseball, where you typically have a good amount of time between when you know the final confirmed lineups and the game starts, yeah you should be built doing separate builds for the different contests types and getting as precise as you can, because all those customization will add edge to your strategy. But if you’re doing this on the side, if you’re doing it for support like NBA, where you just simply don’t have that much time, you’ve got to make compromises. And so what we always recommend when it comes between quick swap and Late Swap is if someone was ruled out, always do a quick swap.
It’s the same reason why we replaced dummy lineups right away, is you just want as insurance make sure you’re not going to be screwed if you don’t have enough time to get the full swap in or anything else. So always you quick swap, always upload those lineups as soon as you know someone is out and then see what you have time for. And I would say, do a Late Swap build across all of your contests, then get that in if you have time. And then if there’s still a little bit more time left, you could pick say your higher dollar buy in contests and do a specific swap for those. And it’s really just fitting the process into to how much time you have available based on minimizing risk. And then based on just getting the most customization and effort into those higher dollar contests. Yep.
So one thing that the Entry Editor can do as well is, and I think we touched on this a little bit, but maybe we didn’t is you actually just do a Late Swap for specific contests, right? You could say, I just want to do a Late Swap for the minimax, or I just want to do a Late Swap for my single entry or whatever. Right? And so the question is, A, can you do that? And B, do we want to do that? And when would you do that? Do you get what I’m asking?
Yeah. Matt, do you want to, so I think we touched that a little bit where just to summarize what we were saying before is that if you had an unlimited amount of time, you would want to be as precise with your Late Swaps as possible and do them for specific contests at that in-lab different [inaudible 00:04:31] them, but it’s finding that balance based on how much time you have available, whether it’s because lock is, not lock, but tip-off is coming right up or because you just simply don’t have that much time, maybe dinner’s coming up, but Matt do you want to show how people actually do that?
Right. I just, I would love to just demonstrate, how do you do it for just a specific contest? Or how do we make that?
Yeah. So, right. So it’s pretty easy to [inaudible 00:04:58] Late Swap just based on whatever contest is checked here. So I can uncheck and just check the minimax and then run a Late Swap just for that. And that’ll just swap the minimax, maybe I’ll check all of them and, or I’ll just want to run it for a single entry or something. I can check my single entry contests and swap that way. And then I’m just swapping for the single entry contest. So it’s pretty easy to do that way. And so yeah, if you have the time and then you can change your settings and only run it based on the single entry settings, which are more conservative with smart diversity and ownership because they’re smaller contests. So yeah, that’s how I would do that.
And we also categorize your entries for you as well. Right. You can say just [crosstalk 00:05:54] the satellite, just do it for GPP. Just do it for you, right?
Yep. So you can choose it from the dropdown here. I generally don’t play cash, but if you play cash, you can just select cash and then run your Late Swap just for that contest type as well. That’s probably, that would be the simplest way of doing it. So that’s kind of the in-between between just doing one Late Swap for everything and doing one for each individual contest, let’s just base it off of the type of contest. It’s cash especially you really want to have different settings there. So if you’re running GPP, lineups and cash, I would recommend doing different Late Swaps unless you really have no time. I would separate those out because obviously for cash, you just want the best projected lineup period. And for GPP, you want to care more about those other factors.
What sliders should I use for Late Swap?
Before you jump in, Matt, I just want to give some context in that, what is going to happen when you open this, is that it will pull in the sliders from your most recent build to give you as a starting point. You can make adjustments, but the starting point of what you see will be the sliders from your most recent build. And then from there, Matt, are you making any adjustments? Or how do you approach that?
Yeah, so it’s an interesting question. I think, by default, I’m not making too many adjustments to the sliders for Late Swap if there hasn’t been big news. So I will usually make minor changes at the slate progresses. As there becomes fewer and fewer games left, you don’t need the smart diversity as much because we have fewer players to choose from and any changes to projections that there have been, we want to take advantage. The whole point of Late Swap is to get the edge from taking advantage of those changes. And so the lower the smart diversity, the more you’re accounting for those for projection. So especially if there are big changes where there’s a major player that’s ruled out, or a surprise starter, I will lower smart diversity, especially a lot, because I want to make sure that I’m getting as much leverage out of that player as I can.
But even without those major changes, I’ll usually lower sliders a little bit as the slate progresses, just because the diversity doesn’t matter as much when there’s fewer players to diversify. And then with ownership fade because ownership is important as a whole, but as we get later into the slate, the ownership of those players is less important, I think, than the edge you’re getting from the projection changes. So if I would recommend personally, if there’s a big news, LeBron gets ruled out and you want to account for that change, I would just set ownership fade to zero and set a lowest smart diversity because… I mean, I might even just set them all to the left because you want to really just get as much of the projection edge as possible from the new starters, rather than trying to diversify too much and trying to get too cute with the sims. You just want to really get that leverage.
Yeah. I’d love to add onto this because I think, one thing is, just to clarify, your lineups probably are not going to be tremendously different whether you kept the settings that Matt was just at, or you do it to zero in a Late Swap scenario. Because, let’s say it’s seven o’clock Pacific time, there’s two more games left, and we’re swapping your lineups. It’s the difference between, if someone’s way better, he’s going to be way better than majority of the sims, and using our simulation data, it’s going to come to mostly the same conclusion. And so, I don’t think it’s a huge deal personally, but this is more advanced stuff of how much you want to consider our simulations versus how much you want to consider average projection when doing a Late Swap. If you want to consider average projection more, you’re going to move the sliders to the left. If you want to consider our simulations data more, you’re going to move the sliders to the right. And so it just depends on what you want to do. And sometimes it makes sense, right? What Matt is saying is, in the later games where you might just want to do a Late Swap based mostly on average projection, and that’s fine. In that case, you want to move the sliders more to the left.
Are the same slider settings used for all of my contests when Late Swapping?
Yes. Unless you select each contest individually, or by style, and do a separate swap for each of them.
Do the projections update automatically or do you need to manually refresh?
Each time you load the site, we will automatically update the projections, but if you’ve left the site open you will need to manually refresh the projections by clicking the “refresh” button in the top right corner of the app (below the account management link).
How do min and max exposures work with Late Swap?
For normal builds, the way that our min/max exposure works, is that we build a pool of 500 to 1500 lineups and then we sort those and filter those down. So when you set min-max exposures, what you’re really doing for a normal build, is you’re starting from that pool of 1500 and then you’re filtering those so that you’re pulling different sets of lineups from that pool to get your final 150 or 20 or however many you want. For Late Swap, we don’t build that whole pool. We’d swap the however many lineups you actually have in your entries, and so when you set this min/max exposure, we don’t have a pool to draw from, we’re just sending those exposure settings to the builder when you run the light swap and then the builder is accounting for that as it builds. So it’s just…
I just wanted to clarify that part of it because it might not be fully apparent off the bat that it’s a little bit of a different process where Late Swap is not just pulling from that big pool of lineups like a normal build.
Is it normal for almost all of my lineups to change when I Late Swap?
The earlier in the slate you are when you late swap and the higher your Smart Diversity, the more your lineups will change. In most cases the changes themselves won’t be major, but most lineups still will be different than they originally were and that isn’t cause for concern.
Does Late Swap use Projected Score or Saber Score?
So essentially how the builder works, normally, not the Late Swap, but just for normal builds is that you’ll set your settings for correlation, ownership and smart diversity, and then the builder will take those settings and it’ll account for those settings as it’s building. So it’s going to incorporate correlation into your lineups and it’ll incorporate ownership fade into the lineups and the smart diversity kind of controls how the sample of Sims that we’re pulling from it’s when we’re creating those. So that’s already accounting for those sliders and that’s sort of in a way that is accounting for Saber score.
The other way that we accompany sliders is post build. After we build those 1500 lineups for your pool, we then we’ll rate each lineup based on, we’ll just have their Projected score, which is just the sum of the projections for the players. And then we’ll have the Saber score, which accounts for these three sliders and the Saber score and Project score are used to sort and filter your full lineup pool to determine which of your 1500 lineups is actually going to be in your selected lineup set. That’s kind of the background into how the Saber score works.
For Late Swap, because we don’t build the whole lineup pool, Saber score and Project score don’t really matter. So it’s actually, the answer is sort of neither because we’re not doing any sorting of a lineup pool with Late Swap. All that matters is how they’re being built. So we are building the lineups based on ownership and correlation and based on those slider settings. So in a way, I guess it’s closer to Saber score because we do account for those settings, but we’re not sorting them in any different way. We’re literally just taking each lineup and rebuilding it based on the settings that you provide and the players that are lots.
And just to reiterate too, if you want control of that, don’t want any of those factors to play a role. You can just turn on cash mode or just manually put all of the sliders to off like that. And then it’ll just use projections from there.
How do I get Late Swap to match the exposures I’m looking for?
So for me, one thing you can do is just focus more on projection than on the exposure. Sometimes it’s easier if you’re just getting way too much of a player, more than you’re comfortable with, it might be easier to look at the projection and see, “Why am I getting so much of this player? Do I need to lower the projection to help with that?”
The other thing is that sometimes… If there aren’t that many games to swap, it can be hard to get the exact exposures that you want because some of your lineups just aren’t very swappable, or it’s hard to get those exact exposures. One thing you can do is make your settings less restrictive so that when you do your Late Swap, maybe lower your main salary a bit. Maybe you had set it to $49,500. And so we’re not able to swap some of your lineups to get within the exposures that you want because there’s not enough salary. You can lower your mean salary, maybe lower your mean projection, try to get a bigger pool of players to pull from. That’s something that I would try. Messing with the player projections and see if you can maybe get a little bit more or less of a player that way. I don’t know if Max and Danny, you have any thoughts?
Yeah, I think the thing is if a game has already started a player is going to be locked, so we’re working within restrictions and sometimes you can’t get exposure as you want.
If everyone’s game has started in a lineup, we’re not going to be able to Late Swap your favorite player into that lineup because there’s literally nowhere to put them if there’s only like a few places. If you really… Like a center that is benefited from some injury and you already have all your centers where you played their game started, we’re not going to be able to get exposure to that person or get a lot. There’s just a lot of constraints. So it’s going to be hard to get exposure exactly right in a Late Swap, for sure. And I think you have to worry about that.
Especially on FanDuel where there’s not the multi-position eligibility, so it’s a lot harder to fit in exactly what you want.
Right. And one thing that is important to point out is that if you do find it important in your build process to have a lot of rules and really control exactly how the lineups are built, that’s fine. But you have to understand that as the remaining options become fewer and fewer is less to do, but what makes SaberSim’s Late Swappers so different than the other tools is that with traditional Late Swap tools, they say you have 150 lineups, and they’re going to try to swap all 150 following the rules that you put in. If they can’t, you are not going to get any line of spec, it’ll say, “We couldn’t do it.” Whereas what we’ll do is we will rebuild and Late Swap as many of the lineups as we can while honoring your rules and your salary ranges and everything else.
And then when we hit a wall and there’s no more left for us to build, following that, we’ll throw up a message that says, “Hey, we were able to rebuild 70 out of those, 150. Do you want us to, for this last 80, rebuild your lineups without those restrictions?” And so what that will do is let you get as close as mathematically possible to the rules you had in place before throwing them out. And so it’s not an all or nothing proposition like it is with other tools. And that’s one of the big things we really do want to stress with this is that if you want that extra control, we’ll let you get as much of that as you can. But when Matt just says, “That’s it,” then we’ll build the rest in whatever way possible.