When playing daily fantasy sports, the volume of data you have to consider is often overwhelming. What’s worse, trying to assemble all of that information yourself into a coherent, digestible, and usable form is downright impossible.
RotoQL software solves these problems by processing this wealth of player data and presenting it through a smart, cohesive user interface.
In this RotoQL review, I evaluate the best and worst aspects of this popular DFS research tool. Specifically, I will detail how their feature suite can help you quickly research daily fantasy sports and effectively build winning lineups.
At its heart, RotoQL is an extensive DFS database comprised of player information gleaned from a variety of online sports sources. Think of it as one of those travel sites where you get a whole bunch of different prices on a flight or a hotel in one interface.
RotoQL is an effective DFS analysis tool because it gives you a wealth of information about players, teams, and stat projections presented in a logical and easy to follow format. You can then leverage that information and quickly build lineups across the best DFS sites.
Sign-up to experiment with the RotoQL software for free.
A complete suite of tools for research, lineup configuration, contest management.
The logical flow from the big picture down to minute details is fantastic.
A great one-stop shop for your DFS needs, but only if you're willing to put in effort yourself.
Premium and Pro versions offer excellent value for both low-volume and high-volume players.
Considerations Before you Invest in RotoQL
However, prospective users should understand that players like Saahil make money in fantasy sports by performing tons of research and exercising wise bankroll management. If you are not willing to put a considerable amount of time into your player research, you won't get the best return on your RotoQL subscription.
How RotoQL Differentiates Itself
Most daily fantasy research tools hide their core functionality behind a paywall. In other words, you can't try their best features unless you pay for a premium membership or sign-up for a short, one-time, trial period.
One of my favorite things about RotoQL is that they provide access to most of their premium tools every day, for free. The catch is that you can only leverage the tools against data from completed games.
Still, this is an excellent way to experiment with the tools and get familiar with the interface before you hand over your hard-earned money! I haven't seen this level of openness with any other DFS tools on the market.
How to decide if RotoQL is the best DFS tool for you
If you are willing to invest time into becoming a profitable DFS player, the next logical step is to find the right tool to organize your research. Lineup optimization software helps you avoid the pitfall of performing player research with no organized or repeatable process.
RotoQL offers many research tools that help you develop and streamline a winning process. Even better, once you have completed your player research, the RotoQL optimizer makes it a breeze to export your lineups and import them into your favorite DFS site.
But not everyone will get great results from RotoQL. The table below lists some qualities of an effective RotoQL user.
Qualities of an effective RotoQL User
Qualities of an ineffective RotoQL user
I'm not suggesting that only DFS veterans should consider using RotoQL. Everyone has to start somewhere. But the newer you are to DFS, the more money you'll likely have to invest to get up to speed.
The three types of users that would benefit most from RotoQL
Now that we know the qualities of an effective RotoQL user let's take a closer look at some specific types of players that would benefit from a RotoQL subscription.
1. The ambitious DFS player looking for a competitive edge
The developers of RotoQL built it with every level of DFS player in mind. As such, there are different pricing tiers based on the volume of DFS contests that you play.
If you've had some success with DFS, RotoQL can provide the edge you need to broaden the gap between you and your competition.
2. A fantasy football player in seasonal, big money leagues
If you think RotoQL is only for DFS players, you’d be mistaken. Even though your pool of players (i.e., your seasonal league roster) is small in traditional leagues, you still technically build an optimal lineup every week.
Take all the tools RotoQL offers and apply them to your seasonal team, week to week. In money leagues with high entry fees, a RotoQL subscription could help you make wise roster decisions.
3. Sports bettors seeking better player data and organization
Let face it, DFS and seasonal leagues are just another form of sports betting. If you are looking to beat the house, you should apply the same principles you use to defeat a H2H opponent or win the office pool (solid research and data-driven wagers).
Even if you don’t need the optimizer tool in RotoQL, there are still useful player metrics to exploit. You can leverage the insights it provides to gain an advantage in any form of sports gaming.
Picking the appropriate pricing plan for your game
RotoQL offers several pricing plans, with each subscription tier building on the functionality of the previous plan. In total, they offer six different subscription packages.
Is there a RotoQL free trial?
While RotoQL does not technically offer a free trial, you can request a full refund for any of their paid plans within the first three days of purchase.
Free, Express, & Express Plus (not shown in the image below) plans are only supported through their mobile app (RotoQL Express). The three upper tiers (Premium, Pro, & VIP) support mobile but also provide access to the feature-rich desktop application.
Breaking down the mobile-only subscription plans
If you're on a budget, or only want to use the mobile-ready DFS tools, a Free, Express, or Express Plus plans may fit the bill. You can access all of these plans by downloading RotoQL Express from either the Google Play Store or iTunes.
What you get for free in RotoQL Express
If you download the app, you'll notice that the only free feature is the Latest News feed, sourced through RotoWire. While you won't get a ton of value from the newsfeed, it does have a few useful filters:
- DFS site (DraftKings, Fanduel, or Yahoo!)
- Sport (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, or GOLF)
- Game Format
Finally, you can choose only to show Major news, which will just relay player updates that could profoundly impact your DFS lineups.
Benefits of an Express subscription
From inside the app, you can upgrade to the Express pricing tier. This plan lets you do quite a bit more (for a single sport):
- View daily cheat sheets of the top DFS plays
- Dig into player analytics
- Generate optimal lineups
- Other advanced roster controls
Upgrading to an Express Plus plan
RotoQL has recently added a third subscription plan to their mobile app called Express Plus. This plan is the same as the Express plan but allows you to leverage the tools for every sport.
Breaking down the feature-rich, desktop plans
If you're a serious DFS player, you'll want to consider one of the top-tier RotoQL plans. These three plans unlock the full potential of the software on desktop screens.
To get the most from the top-tier plans, a desktop screen with a broad viewport is essential. This is because you'll need considerable screen real estate to process all of the data.
As you can see in the screenshot below, a lot is going on.
A RotoQL Premium plan provides access to the core features
The cheapest of the top three pricing plans is the Premium package. For $29.99, this plan offers the bulk of the useful RotoQL features that DFS players need.
The primary limitation with Premium plans is that you can only analyze one DFS sport. For DFS players who only compete in single-sport contests, this is probably the most sensible plan.
Pro Plans unlock advanced features and support for multiple sports
A Pro level subscription provides the same mobile access and lineup optimization features of the Premium plan but adds a few key components. First, you can analyze up to three sports of your choice. Currently, RotoQL supports the five sports shown below.
Pro subscriptions also incorporate the stacking and grouping features, something you'll need if you regularly play in GPPs with high payouts. The RotoQL cost jumps to $59 at the Pro tier, but it provides the best value of any package and is a must for DFS players who compete in multiple sports.
VIP is the ultimate tier for serious DFS players
The top-tier plan at RotoQL is the VIP package. This plan will run you $99.99 per month. VIPs get everything in the Pro plan plus the Real-Time Trending Players feature and unlimited sports.
For DFS players looking for the most significant edge possible, the VIP level is for you.
Picking the right package for your DFS habits
Although it shouldn't come to much of a surprise, RotoQL thinks their VIP plan is the best choice. They say this is because players in this tier will do whatever it takes to win (and don’t you want to win??).
RotoQL does admit that the Premier plan the most popular choice. And I agree that this plan makes the most sense for people who are looking to break into DFS and start generating positive cash flow.
I wouldn't consider the Free or Express plans unless you must configure your lineups on the go. They don't provide the data depth that you need to be effective.
The Best Features of the RotoQL Tool Suite
When you initially access the individual features of RotoQL, you may experience a bit of sensory overload. As I quickly learned when writing this RotoQL review, it takes some time to get accustomed to the wealth of data.
Users can ultimately decide how far they want to go down any particular fantasy rabbit hole. RotoQL does an excellent job of presenting information on players, games, and news about both.
Research tools provide quick access to quality plays
The Research page is where most people start when preparing for a new slate of games. This page contains of two interfaces: Insights and Cheat Sheet.
The Insights interface ranks the top players by value
The Insights section provides useful metrics that help you quickly identify value plays. It includes data like how many points per passing attempt a quarterback has over his last sixteen games. This interface also lets you know which players have been consistent or volatile compared to other players at the same position.
Research cheat sheet condenses the hottest players to a single page
The cheat sheet view combines the top plays across all positions, assigning a fire rating to the top players at each position. I like this view because I can quickly survey the hot players and quickly lock them into my starting lineup.
Note: The fire rating is calculated based on the best value plays for DraftKings (read my review of DraftKings) and FanDuel only.
Games interface gives context to player match-ups
The Games interface provides analysis of games that are part of the current slate. It lists the point spread, a projected score for each team, and (most importantly) a break down of each player's projected fantasy points for that game.
This interface is a smart starting point if you have a match-up that you believe creates favorable match-ups. Find an underdog, identify a consistent player on that team, then use them as a basis to build low-cost but high performing lineups.
The Players interface dives deep into metrics
The Players page is where you start to realize that the further you move along the navigation bar, the deeper you are digging into player metrics. It lists every player by position, with so many stats that you can spend hours absorbing the data.
Here is a breakdown of the stat categories on the Players page. Each category contains one or more statistics.
The Optimizer is the essential tool that pulls everything the together
The RotoQL Optimizer is the bread-and-butter tool that all subscribers covet. It is where you'll generate potential lineups based on any number of inputs.
You could start your research from the Optimizer and venture into the other research interfaces as needed. Alternatively, you could perform your player analysis first as you build up knowledge then apply what you've learned in the Optimizer.
Becoming familiar with the layout of the RotoQL Optimizer
The left panel includes News and Settings sections. This portion of the Optimizer provides supplemental information, filters for the Optimizer algorithm, and can also trigger overlays that make it easier to research players without having to leave the page.
The News section is pretty straightforward, providing fantasy-relevant player information. As a matter of fact, the newsfeed displayed is identical to the one presented through the RotoQL Express app I covered earlier.
The Settings panel in the sidebar allows you to configure the software will optimize your lineups.
Here is a list of functionality available in the Settings panel, some of which we'll discuss below.
The Player Manager pane is where you fine-tune your lineups
This Player Manager interface is the screen where you'll spend most of your time configuring lineups. It's where you will leverage your research and specify your lineup preferences for the optimizer algorithm.
You indicate your lineups preferences through the following actions:
- Locking a player into all generated lineups
- Liking a player to boost their occurrence in lineups
- Excluding a player from all lineups
- Projecting the point output for a given player (optional)
After you have indicated your lineup preferences, you can then click the "generate optimized lineups" button. RotoQL will then display several lineups, the first one being the lineup that the software thinks will generate the highest point total.
Stack lineups to take down big tournaments
Stacking players is a popular DFS strategy for configuring lineups in GPP tournaments. Because these contests have tons of entrants, but only a small percentage of the players win a prize, your goal is to configure rosters with high collective ceilings.
Successful tournament players often configure rosters that are boom-or-bust, for example choosing a QB/WR duo that connects on multiple touchdowns. The Stacking area of the settings sidebar makes it easy to integrate these player combos into your generated lineups.
For example, let's say you want to stack a quarterback and running back from the same team in each of your generated lineups. First, you define your stack criteria.
Leverage Stack Research to choose the top Stacks and Groups
The Stacks and Groups feature lets you efficiently stack players (from the same team) and group players (from different teams) in the same lineups. You can research, compare, and save stacks and groups right from the Optimizer interface.
Trigger the Stack Research interface from the side panel. You'll see a wealth of filters and data to help you quickly identify the best stacks for your lineups.
You can slice and dice this data as needed, then save whatever stacks you'd like to incorporate into your lineups.
Easily make lineup adjustments across multiple contests
One of the most time-saving RotoQL features lets you make lineup adjustments across numerous DFS contests. If you've ever realized that you need to remove a player from several contests, right before rosters locks, you know how painful this can be.
The Multi-Lineup Manager lets you download all of your lineups from any of the most popular DFS sites, quickly make roster modifications, and then upload the adjusted lineups back into the DFS host. So if you have one player in all your lineups, you can bulk swap him out in just a few steps.
Here is an example of how you could accomplish this with DraftKings contests.
Appraise player popularity with Real-Time Trending Players and Teams
Many DFS features and metrics are common across all research tools: lineup optimization, player projections, stacks, Vegas odds, etc. But the Real-Time Trending feature from RotoQL is unique.
This interface displays (in real-time) how often contest entrants are utilizing specific players and teams. The Interest metric expresses how hot (or cold) a player is by comparing their expected interest to their actual utilization in lineups.
Trending Players is a smart place to double-check your lineups before rosters lock. If you notice that interest in one of your players has gone cold, there is probably a reason you need to investigate (maybe check the News Research section).
Alternatively, if you see a particular player is trending up, maybe they were elevated into the starting lineup? This late-breaking news can indicate valuable late additions to your rosters.
RotoQL gathers trending data from all manner of DFS and sports sites (even sites like Twitter). This tool refreshes the trend data every 30 seconds.
Access DFS Guru projections for an additional monthly fee
If you're willing to spend an additional $9.99 per month, you can purchase an add-on to your RotoQL subscription: DFS Guru’s projections. With this service, you get access to a premium source of projection information.
But who is the DFS Guru and why should you pay even more for these projections?
Unfortunately, RotoQL doesn't go to great lengths to make the DFS Guru's identity public. But through some ingenious Internet sleuthing (Google), I think I've discovered his true identity.
Mobile app support for DFS, seasonal leagues, & sports betting
While the desktop is where RotoQL shines, there are also a few RotoQL apps targeted at different audiences. Here is a quick summary of the three mobile applications developed by RotoQL.
1. SquadQL - Lineup optimization for seasonal fantasy players
RotoQL recognized that while daily fantasy sports is a cash cow, many fantasy players still prefer seasonal leagues. Luckily, all of the projection data that they integrate to their DFS tools is also applicable to traditional fantasy leagues.
SquadQL allows you to sync with your CBS, ESPN, and Yahoo! season-long leagues to import your lineups. Once imported, SquadQL will provide the same valuable player news and lineup recommendations that you enjoy in their DFS tools.
2. RotoQL Express - Player cheat sheets and lineup management
I provided an overview of RotoQL Express earlier in this article. The free version of this app offers some basic news feeds, and all paid subscribers get access to weekly cheat sheets that give the top player recommendations.
RotoQL Express user reviews don't exactly set the world on fire. On the Google Play store, the average customer review rating is 3.7 stars.
3. BetQL - Algorithmic advice for general sports gambling
Billed as The App to Outsmart Vegas, BetQL evaluates current lines and suggests the best value bets of the day. You can track how Vegas lines move throughout the day then use this information to dictate how you bet on sporting events.
Reviewing RotoQL - Is a Paid Subscription Worth it?
In this RotoQL review, you've learned that it is a robust tool that can help you research and create quality DFS lineups. However, it is not some magical software that will make you an instant millionaire.
RotoQL puts more data into your hands so you can create optimal lineups more efficiently. If you love playing DFS, but you want to make your research phase more efficient, RotoQL could be the tool for you.
Let's break down RotoQL as a whole to see how it excels and where it may come up short.
A comprehensive tool suite that goes beyond the optimizer
People come to RotoQL for the Optimizer, but the tools are much more than that. In addition to their flagship optimizer, they also provide:
RotoQL also publishes RotoQL University, a collection of five free courses that can help take you from a DFS notice to a legitimate competitor. There are video lessons that introduce you to daily fantasy sports, provide basic strategy advice, and discuss sport-specific DFS strategies.
The usable layout affords smart and fluid workflows
This best part of RotoQL is the logical organization of its lineup optimization suite. You can accomplish a lot without having to navigate through pages and pages of information.
I can’t think of another tool that pulls so much together and logically organizes it through a single interface. When it comes to UI design and usability, RotoQL is the best DFS software I've found.
An introduction of views would be an interesting addition
The abundance of data in RotoQL is an all or nothing approach. It can take a while to become effective as you get a lay of the land, and there are no shortcuts.
That's fine. It just means it could take a bit longer to become proficient.
But I think it would be interesting to introduce a basic view for beginners, maybe with fewer metrics. A simpler interface could help newcomers get accustomed to the layout more quickly. They could then transition to the advanced view once they understand how the tools tie together.
You'll get out what you put into this tool
For all that it offers, RotoQL does not claim to be a DFS silver bullet. If you do the bare minimum, don’t expect the software to make you rich overnight.
But if you take the time to learn the software, thoroughly research the players, and learn to leverage the unique features like Trending Players, you have a good chance to improve your performance in DFS contests.
Remember, RotoQL provides the software and data. It's your job to use these tools effectively.
RotoQL is priced at a premium but delivers on value
No software can magically transform you into a DFS savant, but RotoQL puts you in a great position to be successful. To get the most value from this software, you'll likely need the Premium package at a minimum.
Compared to other DFS tools, RotoQL is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. But I believe the unique features and wealth of data justify the RotoQL cost.
However, I would like to see DFS Guru projections added to the Pro & VIP packages as a standard feature.
RotoQL Reviews & Documented Success Stories
The consensus around the web is that RotoQL's lineup optimization software ranks among the best in the industry. But as with most DFS research tools, people who have success will leave glowing reviews while those who don't will think the tool is useless.
In the end, you'll have to decide for yourself.
Users who have had success using RotoQL
RotoQL is happy to publish success stories from users who have used their software to win big tournaments. Here are a couple of screenshots from their user testimonials, showing how two users were able to win $487,000 and $40,000 respectively.
Alternatives to RotoQL Software
RotoQL is a fantastic DFS research tool, probably one of the best. But as we've already learned in the RotoQL review, it's also not the cheapest tool.
If you're not sure that RotoQL is the best software for your needs, here are some alternatives you may want to consider.
RotoQL vs Draft Dashboard
Draft Dashboard is a useful DFS analysis tool that offers a very attractive introductory rate of $1 for a full 30 days. After that, the price goes to $39.99 per month (a little more than RotoQL's Premium plan). Draft Dashboard does not have a tiered pricing system, it's one plan at one cost.
One advantage Draft Dashboard has over RotoQL is that their subscription includes support for three major sports: football, baseball, & hockey (they're adding baseball in 2019). For the same money, you'll only have access to a single sport at RotoQL.
I also feel the Draft Dashboard interface is simpler than RotoQL's, but their level of metrics also do not match RotoQL. If you're a beginner and feel like the RotoQL interface is overwhelming, I'd advise heading over the Draft Dashboard and trying it out for month (essentially for free). Read my Draft Dashboard review for a more detailed look at their product.
RotoQL vs Daily Fantasy Nerd
Both RotoQL and Daily Fantasy Nerd support popular and data-rich lineup optimizers. However, RotoQL has a much larger overall feature set.
The stacking and grouping options are much more robust at RotoQL, and their Trending Players and Teams feature is also unmatched at DFN.
One feature that Daily Fantasy Nerd has which RotoQL does not is the Bankroll Tracker. This tracking tool be a useful feature if you're playing a large volume of contests and looking to track and fine-tune your contest selection.
If you're looking for a bare-bones optimizer for a single DFS site, Daily Fantasy Nerd ($24.99/mo) is slightly less expensive than RotoQL ($29.99/mo). To find out more, read my review of Daily Fantasy Nerd.
RotoQL vs DFS Army
Tool for tool, DFS Army is no match for RotoQL's advanced feature set. But for this daily fantasy players on a budget, DFS Army has a price point that is very attractive.
For a monthly price of $35 (no yearly plans available), you get access to most of their tools and lineup optimizer for every sport and multiple DFS sites. That's hard to beat.
DFS Army caters largely to daily fantasy newbies. They emphasize community collaboration by supporting numerous forms and chat interfaces (using Slack).
If you're still learning your DFS craft, and looking to save a few bucks, you should definitely give DFS Army a try. I wrote a review of DFS Army with more details.
RotoQL vs Fantasy Labs
Fantasy Labs has a much sleeker user interface compared to RotoQL. I think this is a product of the fact that they don't have quite as much data as RotoQL.
Compared to RotoQL, Fantasy Labs also has a larger number of content channels. They have a team of writers and broadcasters that produce quality articles and podcasts.
Where RotoQL does have the advantage is its ability to integrate your custom projections, something that Fantasy Labs does not offer.
FantasyLabs is slightly more expensive than RotoQL, currently listed at $59.95 per month.
RotoQL vs Fantasy Cruncher
Fantasy Cruncher is known for supporting more sports than any other DFS research tool. On their site, they claim support for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, CFB, GOLF, MMA, CFL, NAS, and the WNBA.
Some knocks against Fantasy Cruncher is that it's slower than other optimizers. But unless you're building 100's of lineups, this shouldn't be an issue.
Buying support for a single sport at Fantasy Cruncher will run you about the same as a Premium RotoQL membership, $29.99 per month. However, they do offer a high-value plan ($50 per month annually) that provides access to every single sport.
Concluding this RotoQL Review
For anyone looking to advance their DFS game, RotoQL would be a great addition to your research toolbox.
Will it turn you into a DFS millionaire overnight? Probably not. But it can help you can a consistent edge. If you're already a decent DFS player, this edge may be enough to increase your winnings significantly.