Thursday, Sep 29th
Monday, Oct 3rd

Inside Sonic’s DFS Mind


In this Q&A series, we’ll take you inside the minds of our DFS analysts at One Week Season! Consuming content such as this can help you gain a much deeper understanding of what you’re getting right (and what you can be improving) in your DFS play! You can find Sonic on Twitter right here, where he goes by @Sonic_nhpain…because he goes by nhpain on DraftKings…but we know him as Sonic.

Greatest DFS memory (Loss/Win) – What did you learn?

Kind of an easy one here. Week 11, 2019. Took down the Millionaire Maker on DraftKings. I learned that the hard work can really pay off and it’s possible to actually be on the right side of luck and variance. 

I recapped the whole story in my Tournament Mastermind course, where the first four lessons are free.

Describe a moment when a part of your DFS game clicked?

There was a time a couple of years ago when I realized just how unpredictable NFL football really is. I started making lineups with the 2nd or 3rd most likely outcomes in mind. That organically led me to some lower owned plays without having to say, “Hey, I need to make a lineup with contrarian elements.” We study ownership and leverage so much (and we should!) but there are ways of getting there by simply realizing that football players are human beings…and humans do completely unpredictable things every day. Anyone with children in their lives has seen this at a micro level!

When did you discover your unique angle?

November 3rd, 2018. After meditation, my wife asked me why I kept humming this horn line…and what freaking song is that from? We ended up asking a group of horn players busking on the street. They worked it out and played it, It was “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder. Mrs. Sonic said, “Is there a football guy named Duke?”

I went home and made a bunch of lineups with Duke Johnson. He scored 26.9 at $3800 and 1.8% ownership and I had a real Milly sweat. Finished 22nd but I was hooked on exploring the angle of using intuition to mine for unique plays. 

How do you deal with your DFS Psych?

Balance. I keep my budget balanced by never putting more money in play than I can afford to lose. I keep my emotions balanced by remembering that I’m lucky just to have the opportunity to play. Taking a step back and looking at the big picture. Realizing that the well-being of my friends and family is what really matters. It’s easier said than done sometimes, of course. Mike Tyson said that everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth. Everyone has a plan until an end zone drop costs you $7k. 

Explain your tourney selection strategy any given week?

I’m a GPP maniac so I generally ignore cash games and shoot for the moon. I’ve recently put a focus on entering at least some contests with fewer entrants. Sometimes a 200 point lineup will get you 1,000th place for a $150 prize in the Millionaire Maker but if entered into the 50k Chop Block, that same lineup could yield more like $1500. The massive upside isn’t there but the chances of reaching the ceiling are dramatically greater.

Do you have a favorite Tourney?  And Why?

I’ll always play the Millionaire tourneys because a Milly sweat is like nothing else on earth; but I really like the payout structure on DK’s $9 Slant. It’s cheap enough to enter and they pay over 20% of the field with a 2x min cash. 

What is your goal this year? (DFS or Personal)

I have some lofty DFS goals. I’d like to be one of the very few to have won multiple Millionaire tournaments. 

But personally, given all that has transpired in 2020, I’d just like to survive and advance. 

What part of your DFS game do you want to improve?

Time management. Need to be more efficient with my time leading up to lock. I need to spend less time on minutia and leave myself time to step back and look at the slate as a whole. This requires a certain command over the tools with which I am working. Fantasy Labs has emerged as my optimizer of choice, so I’m immersing myself into it until it becomes 2nd nature. 

Anything else you want to add?

One observation I’ve made in my travels is that our collective experiences have led us to where we are right now. If we can draw upon these lessons and utilize these skills we’ve picked up from various sources, our individual upside is limitless. When I was 8-10 years old in the late 70’s (yep, I’m a fossil), both of my parents worked long hours so I was left alone…a lot. I ended up creating an entire baseball league with imaginary players. I would find different ways to simulate games and I’d keep (paper) stats for each game. On sunny days I’d hit a tennis ball and allow Max, my golden retriever, to “field” it and return it to the batter’s box.  Any balls that didn’t leave the driveway were an out. In-between the garage and the garden was a rare triple, and over the wood pile was a home run! On rainy days I’d use a deck of cards and designate certain pairings as outcomes. A pair of jacks or better was a home run, unless you were a slugger. 77 or better goes yard for those guys. Fast forward a few decades and here I am, using those skills I developed in my lonely childhood days to grind DFS contests on this new thing called the “internet.” I only wish Max was still around to share my winnings.