Sunday, Feb 2nd — Early
Bye Week:
49ers
Bears
Bengals
Bills
Broncos
Browns
Buccaneers
Cardinals
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Colts
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Lions
Packers
Panthers
Patriots
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Redskins
Saints
Seahawks
Steelers
Texans
Titans
Vikings

Best Roster Construction?

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People often ask what the best roster construction is. The answer?

It depends…

DFS is a game of nuances. Each week is different from any other week, and — as you are fully aware (sharp player and OWS family member that you are) — each week is its own unique puzzle that has to be creatively solved.

I recently tweeted the following quote from Colts’ head coach Frank Reich, and it fits nicely with what I’m about to share:

“…I try to encourage people to cultivate good habits and positive thoughts. Have a clear vision of where you are and what you want to accomplish. Then put all of your energy toward doing those things. It’s deceptively difficult, but it’s what energizes me every day.”

This thought can be further summarized as, “Think Big // Focus Small” — which is really the only way to accomplish something big, and to get absolutely as far along your path as you are capable of going. In order to accomplish something big, you have to first “think big” — but then, you have to learn how to focus on just one small step at a time…constantly moving forward along the path that will lead to that big payoff at the end.

In the same way, anyone can get lucky with a single big DFS weekend — but if you want to achieve consistent success in NFL DFS (and be able to kick off September literally knowing that you will have some extra money in your bank account at the end of the year), you need to know the “small steps” that you can take each week to get there. And one of the most important steps for me is “Beginning roster construction.”

I’ve been saying this for years in various places — but now that we have this awesome Resources & Glossary section for the OWS fam, this is a great “permanent home” for this thought…

So many DFS players begin their roster construction at the top. They examine all the hyped or high-priced guys on a slate and figure out who they want to (or “have to”) play. And then, in order to fit these players, they end up taking thin value options that block them from ever truly maximizing their full roster’s potential. They take “whoever fits” at the bottom (often finding ways to convince themselves that a particular cheap play is a good play), rather than starting from the bottom and working to the top.

Every week, I start my process from the bottom. I determine which value plays I feel most comfortable playing. And I let that dictate how I will build my roster from there.

If there is plenty of value at multiple positions, I know I can approach the top of the price range however I want.

If there is strong value at only one position (or if there is one position that has clearly superior value), I assess that value play from as many angles as I can to make sure I will be comfortable with that decision regardless of outcome — and then, I lock in that guy. That guy essentially becomes the anchor of my roster. No matter what, he’ll be there, and he will dictate how the rest of my roster shapes up.

(What to do on weeks with no clear value?)

So, again: Plenty of strong value on the week? Mess around with various roster approaches — mixing and matching value plays and higher-priced studs to find out what you feel will give you the most Pure Floor & Ceiling.

Limited value on the week? Lock in what you feel is the absolute best Source of Certainty at the lower ends of the price range, and then see how that shapes your roster from there.

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Note: These thoughts apply most directly to cash games, single-entry tourneys, smaller-field tourneys, and high-dollar tourneys — which should absolutely, 100% be the backbone of your bankroll-building strategy. In all those Tourneys for the Tourists — the ones with a huge field, a massive payout to first place, and a ludicrous drop-off in the payout structure from there — you have full creative license to take on less “Certainty,” and to target various Upside approaches that leave logic by the wayside. Remember: you should absolutely play in these tourneys (they’re fun, and with the right set of approaches it can definitely be possible to hit that top prize), but they should not be the backbone of your bankroll-building strategy.

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DFS 101