Odds are, if you are reading this, you have heard someone say that. It’s true that MME seems like a huge advantage for those who can afford it, but for those who can’t or don’t want to, it doesn’t mean you can’t be highly successful as well. I have made well over $400k in profits in DFS since 2014 (almost $300k in the last 3 years) and have never won with 150 lineups in a contest. Never.
Let me repeat that:
I have tried it a few times and even toyed with optimizers, but it just wasn’t my thing. Every big win I’ve had has been in a tournament where I entered somewhere between 10 and 40 lineups. The people who are putting 150 lineups in are able to use far more combinations of players, but they are also taking on way more risk; and realistically speaking, how many of us can afford to max enter these contests? 150 lineups in a $20 Milly Maker is $3k a week!! An 18 week season means you’d have $54k in entry fees for the season. GPPs are highly volatile and even the best players can go through long downswings. It would be easy to be down $10k in a few weeks, and then what??? If at that point you can’t keep going, then you shouldn’t have tried that path in the first place.
So if you can’t match the people max entering, what’s the answer to compete?
Of course, finding those “right players” and narrowing a player pool can be extremely difficult. Every week of the NFL season you can search sports and fantasy sites or look on Twitter and find suggestions or picks of players that “experts” love for that week. In a given week, you can probably find a well-known person or someone with a large following that is touting or recommending almost any relevant player. There is always someone who will say “this guy has been killing it, get him in your lineups!!” or “he’s been struggling recently, but he’s due for a bounce back; this is the week!!” and there is enough information out there that they can almost always find a narrative or statistic to support their position.
With all the information out there, my experience has been that the hardest part is not finding which players to play; but rather, choosing which players NOT to play. The information overload is a very real thing and can be overwhelming and damaging to your process. I had to fight through this myself and learn from my mistakes to find ways to filter through the noise to stay true to my DFS core. On Sundays during NFL season, when the early games kick off, I relax for a bit and have lunch while I watch the games and check ownership percentages. By about 12:20 (central time; 20 minutes after kickoff), I close the computer and make a conscious effort not to check my lineups until the end of the 3rd quarter — there is just so much football ahead of you, there’s no reason to be sweating them earlier than that. I had a lot of weeks where I would be watching RedZone on a Sunday and through about three quarters of the early games it felt like all my guys I was really high on for the week were having great weeks. Then I would look at my lineups and not have any that were sitting in great position. How could this be?? In evaluating my mistakes after the week, my conclusion was almost always the same: my player pool was too big. The player pool would start out reasonably sized but then slowly grow as news came out or I adjusted to different things happening or players I liked and “didn’t want to miss out on.”
If it feels like Mike is speaking directly to YOU here, that’s because he’s speaking directly to a TON of DFS players here. This is one of the most common problems to face…and learning how to conquer this problem is one of the most valuable things you can do in DFS!
This course is designed to outline a process for selecting your player pool for a given week of GPPs. Many people are visual learners, and even for those of us who aren’t, seeing things in a visual or organized way can be very helpful. The basics of this process or “system” are pretty straightforward — there are five areas I evaluate for a player in a given week. If they meet my criteria in an area, I check the box. If they don’t meet the criteria, I don’t check the box. Some of the areas I allow for ½ credit. Some areas are completely objective, while some are more subjective to your opinion or perception. Once I’ve evaluated all the areas, I tally the checks and see what their score is out of 5.
I have found this system to be very helpful for narrowing my player pool and avoiding landmines.
There isn’t a definite number of “checks” required for me to play someone, but it helps to organize the “better” plays, and if there is someone you like who has a somewhat lower score, it forces you to think about and weigh whether they are really a good play or if they are best avoided. Usually the players with the most boxes checked will be more popular plays, but this system will help you identify players who are popular that maybe shouldn’t be. I have found this system to be very helpful for narrowing my player pool and avoiding landmines. The more players you are using in a given week, the more likely you are to have one or two who have bad weeks sneak into what otherwise might be a top end lineup. I developed this system in a kind of backwards way — those weeks where I couldn’t understand why I didn’t do better, I would go back and look at what players I had used and did some trial and error to figure out what I wanted the criteria to be. Through back-testing, I was able to locate which players who had failed should have been more obvious to avoid — and also, a few players I wasn’t on (usually due to personal bias or some other factor) that I should have more strongly considered. This course will lay out the 5 areas and how to use them. These areas are:
This course will lay out a lesson for each area, along with the criteria I use. You can alter or adjust the criteria for your own preferences and playing style…but the system will force you to evaluate and make decisions with conviction. Hopefully this system can help you avoid those “what if” Sundays that I’ve experienced, and you can learn from my mistakes rather than your own: saving you quite a bit of money (trust me: learning from your own mistakes can be expensive!), and putting you more quickly on the path to profit.