Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Building A Sharper Player Pool: Checking The Boxes

By MJohnson86 :: 2021
Rated 5 out of 5
6 Ratings


by JM

From Lesson 1:

  • “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.”

Sound Familiar?

This might be the single thing I hear most often from DFS players: ‘My player pool was too big.’ I ‘didn’t want to miss out on that guy in case he had a big game.’

The Solution?

Until now — in spite of this being one of the biggest issues that DFS players run into — OWS has not had a solution in place to help you overcome this problem. How do you go about building a sharper player pool? — a player pool you can feel confident had you in +EV* territory, even if things didn’t work out in your favor that week?

Because…that’s one of the biggest issues, isn’t it? Even with an ultra-sharp process, approach, etc., you won’t be profitable in GPPs every week. And if you don’t KNOW that you’re leaning into a quality approach to your play, you can find yourself second-guessing yourself and changing up your approach every single week.

So…Why Do We Have This Course?

This course gives you everything you need in order to KNOW that you are sharpening/optimizing your player pool every week — putting yourself in position to bank on profit over time.

*What is +EV?

“EV” (a term you’ll come across often in DFS) stands for “expected value.” I’ll often say, in my writeups or podcasts, “If we played this slate a hundred times…” The thinking being: crazy things will happen on the small sample size of a single slate. But if we could play out these slates, with these matchups, over and over again, what would give you the highest return on your investment? What approach would have the most positive expected value?

There’s a course for that, too. It’s called “The +EV Primer :: How To Lock In Positive Expected Value.” It was also created by MJohnson86.


Click for full outline(!)

Lesson 1 ::

Sharper Pool || Bigger Profits

Mike shares his DFS journey, and lays out the basics of building a sharper player pool.

Lesson 2 ::

Box 1 :: Volume

Mike dives into Volume: exploring what “volume” means by position, and examining the ways in which he uses volume to assess and understand individual players in relation to his DFS rosters.

Lesson 3 ::

Boxes 2/3 :: Matchup // Game Environment

Mike explores the similarities and differences between Matchup and Game Environment (two categories that most DFS players, and even most DFS touts, mistakenly group together! — much to their detriment), and takes a look at the angles we can lean into for properly assessing each of these “boxes.”

Lesson 4 ::

From this lesson ::

A huge mistake people make is having lineups with TOO LOW of ownership levels

Mike takes a look at what TRULY matters about ownership projections/percentages, and how to properly use them.

Also From This Lesson ::

The key to ownership is how a lineup works together and making lineups that can win

I absolutely love this lesson…

Lesson 5 ::


Since 2015, I (JM) have been preaching a very similar system to what Mike lays out in this course: “Talent, Matchup, Opportunity, and Price.” But “talent” has been the most ill-defined of these categories, as talent — borrowing from what Mike says at the top of this lesson — is subjective. Talent is also, however (as he also says at the top of this lesson!) an extremely important aspect to consider when selecting players. So how do we assess “talent”? This lesson provides a tremendous foundation for understanding HOW “talent” fits into our decision-making process in a week-in, week-out manner.

Lesson 6 ::


Mike wraps our roster-building process by taking a look at the way defenses fit into our decision-making, including how we should balance matchup, ownership, and talent, and how many defenses we should be considering each week in our sharpened player pool.

Lesson 7 ::

Putting It All Together

Mike ties everything together, through the lens of a roster of his that took down a $200,000 win in Week 17, 2020


  • This is a VERY foundational DFS course. By this, I do not mean it’s a very “basic” course. Instead, I mean it’s something every DFS player should have in their foundation!
  • If this is the perfect course for you, at this exact point in your DFS journey, you probably know this already (you can hear this course speaking to you, from how perfectly it intersects with your needs as a player!). But even if this isn’t “exactly the course you’ve been looking for,” it’s a tremendous coaching-sidekick that can put you in position to stop asking “What if,” and to start, instead, being able to enjoy “What happened.”

But Don’t Take Our Word For it >>>>

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Customer Reviews On This Course

Rated 5 out of 5
6 ratings
Very good0%
Rated 5 out of 5
August 31, 2023

As JM backdrop states “Have a boat.. I’ll teach you how to fish” This course lives up to this moto! No matter your DFS experience there are tools in this class to add to your tool box.
MJohnson86 breaks down the process he uses to narrow down his player pool. This process is one that is easy and can be repeated. A DFS player should always be tinkering and adjusting their process this course will help you analyse how you are building your player pool and can be used as reference when hitting a rough patch.
If OWS keep churning out course like this one they might be out of a job soon

Bryan Becker
Rated 5 out of 5
August 30, 2023

Just another case of why OWS is such a valuable tool in my DFS toolbox. The topics and build structures and concepts he so easily explains are only taught here. Well done and I always re-read these before each season to stay sharp and refreshed. I play low-volume small field $50-$150 SE/3EM entry contests and this course really hits on the type of contests I play and style.

Rated 5 out of 5
September 7, 2021

Great course. Provides a framework and structure to really focus on your process and criteria for establishing a player pool.
Helped me realize mine was not robust as it could have been. Lots to rework and I know it will pay off in the not too distant future.

Mike Pici
Rated 5 out of 5
September 4, 2021

Thanks so much for putting this course together! I’ve read through the course three times already and have taken away a new insight each time. I look forward to incorporating the ideas that you outlined into my process this year. BEST OF LUCK!

Rated 5 out of 5
September 4, 2021

Probably the piece that hit home for me the most. The herd mentality has often been what led me to my final pool selections and of course, it didnt usually end well. This course has drove home the point that I need to own a process and dont allow FOMO (fear of missing out) cause me to waver in my final selections. Will refer to this EVERY week as I start my pool analysis!
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