Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Above The Field. 14.21.

Breaking Rules and Smashing Slates 

Up until now, we’ve read the studies that show how the top 1% of large field tournaments tend to adhere to certain statistical parameters. We know that an overwhelming percentage of these rosters fall within the cumulative ownership range of 75%-125%. We’ve learned that the majority of these successful rosters employ a quarterback stacked with one or two pass catchers and an opponent. From this analysis, we’ve developed a set of rules that govern our process and provide a foundation upon which our roster decisions are made. 

But what happens when new variables are introduced that suggest success might best be achieved by taking a different path? Will our minds be open enough to notice? Humans are creatures of habit. We are generally quite anxious and insecure when things aren’t in their familiar places. There exists a danger in being so conditioned in our routine that we may fail to notice that the very game we are playing has changed. 

If people followed all of the rules, all of the time, we wouldn’t have the Theory of Relativity, Rock n Roll, or the iPhone. Eek! Pushing rules aside, even for a moment, allows the creative mind to think freely and flow without restriction. 

“By all means, break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well.” —Robert Bringhurst

If you’ve read this article over the past year or two, you’ve probably detected a theme. A common thread that links each week’s review of successful tournament players. There’s a specific point I’m trying to get across. 

There is more than one way to do this. Be YOU. 

Find out what works best for you and…well…do that

I’ll stop short of telling you to play the way you are most comfortable, though. Sometimes doing things that are intentionally uncomfortable is necessary for growth. DFS often serves as a microcosm, a training ground upon which we sharpen our life skills. Stepping out of our comfort zone occasionally is a critical component in our evolution as human beings. So, whether you are playing DFS tournaments or navigating life’s expansive range of outcomes, the optimal way to handle any endeavor is to be true to yourself. Just make sure you’ve tried a bunch of stuff, broken a few rules, and lived with the results. That way, when the next decision point comes, you’ll know more about who this “YOU” person really is. 

Week 13 Milly Review

Congrats to our 1st place finisher, kland304, on his magical Minshew skinny stack that featured additional correlation in the form of Rams DST/Sony Michel and Jamaal Williams/Justin Jefferson. 

Adam Levitan’s research taught us that 13% of the field utilizes a tight end in the flex, while this approach only appears in 9% of the top 10 lineups. Therefore, TE in the flex is substantially suboptimal over time. However, using this data to never consider playing a TE in the flex would be a mistake if that particular slate’s puzzle pieces suggested it was advantageous.  

If there are multiple tight ends that are projected to outscore the RBs and WRs at their price points and they come at lower ownership, then what a huge mistake it would be to leave the optimizer’s little “TE in the Flex” button unclicked. It requires some additional rules to make sure the opto doesn’t go crazy putting guys like Jared Cook and Gerald Everett in lineups together, but that’s not difficult to notice and rectify. 

This week, our award for most impressive display of strategy and testicular fortitude goes to cardinals19191. This sicko ran 150 lineups and cashed 138 of them. WTF? Delving in deeper to his allocations, it’s easy to see how he got there. 

Seeing the success of this approach makes me want to abandon my hand building throughout the week and just mash 150 lineups in the optimizer right before lock. cardinals19191 didn’t overthink this situation, did he? Using only 43 players in the entire pool, cardinals19191 said: “Minshew is $4000 and going to start against the Jets. Lock him. Sony Michel is going to start at RB for a home favorite with a high point total and he costs $4300. Lock him.” 

Hunter Renfrow was a low aDot floor play at one point but with the subtraction of the Raiders other passing options, Renfrow is the main weapon in the passing game. He’s even getting end zone looks now. 

By spending a grand total of $8300 on Minshew and Michel, getting to 78% Cooper Kupp was not difficult. 

With all of the ownership on Antonio Gibson, I love the move to cap him at 14% and move the bulk of RB2 ownership to a low-owned David Montgomery.

Obviously, if any of these players had busted we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. Survivor bias is a thing, but in this case, the planets aligned for these players and cardinals19191 was rewarded for their astute perspective on how to exploit this slate. In some ways, he simply took what DraftKings and the field gave him. 

Rules were broken here for sure and they were made for a reason. 

Stacking is generally optimal 
Cardinals19191 ran 145 lineups with his QB naked. 

Stay under that 125% ownership threshold
Cardinals19191 had over 60 lineups that eclipsed that mark including one lineup that was 179.5% owned and duplicated 8 times. That lineup tied for 418th place and made him $150. 

“If you can’t solve a problem, it’s because you’re playing by the rules.” – Paul Arden.

Week 14 may be a “double-stack bring-back” week or it may present a brand-new angle, ready to be exploited. Will you be conscious enough to notice? Be in the moment…and maybe your big moment will come.