Variance - What is it and How to Use it?

Variance is a setting that’s often applied when making tournament DFS lineups. The purpose of using variance is to naturally spread exposure to the players you’re getting while also approximating how real life results vary. We’ll go over some tips here on variance and how to use it.

What is Variance?

Variance changes a players’ projection for each lineup that’s generated by the optimizer. If a player is projected for 10 points, and you use a variance of 50%, that means that the players’ projection will be somewhere between 5 and 15 points for each lineup that’s generated. Because the variance is applied before every single lineup, the projection for that player will be different for each lineup.

Why use Variance?

A player’s projection is their mean outcome for the slate. Adding variance better approximates that a player’s performance will generally vary in a range that’s around the mean value. When it comes to DFS, using a variance spreads out your player exposures naturally.

Our Variance

Our variance is derived to approximate a player’s ceiling based on factors such as their projection, the position they play, and how volatile their profile is. We can use a variance to ensure that a player’s projection can reach their ceiling when lineups are generated. For example, a wide receiver with a projection of 5 points should have a much higher variance than a quarterback with a projection of 25 points, because the wide receivers range of outcomes is much wider than the quarterbacks.

How to Use Our Variance

We recommend using Variance for MME builds of 10 lineups or more. We don’t recommend using variance for cash or single entry builds. You can select “THE SOLVER low” or “THE SOLVER high” variance to use in your builds from the box shown below. This will auto-populate the Variance column with our values. The default option for Variance will remain 0s, and you still have the ability to set your own variance by position when Default is selected in this dropdown.

Establish The Run customers also have access to an “ETR” variance. This will populate the ETR recommended variance values for MME builds.