What a crazy week. My results were very, very bad. A few years ago, I would be reevaluating everything about my process and approach, distraught at such a terrible performance. I’ve learned, however, to remove emotion from the equation and step back to evaluate the big picture….
In Week 9, the five highest team totals were as follows: Bills, Cowboys, Chiefs, Ravens, Dolphins. The Bills, Cowboys, and Chiefs offenses all had catastrophic systemic failures, combining for only three offensive touchdowns — one by Travis Kelce and two by a third-string Cowboys WR — and no skill players breaking the 100-yard bonus barrier. None of those three offenses even broke 300 total yards as a TEAM. The Ravens offense had a good showing, but it was the Lamar show with none of their four touchdowns going to relevant players. The Dolphins offense was a shell with Tua Tagovailoa unable to play, scoring only 17 points and 262 total yards against a horrible Texans defense.
When weeks like that happen, I’m just not going to win. I’ll often build lineups around some less popular spots and will fade a specific game or two that is projecting well, but a week where you pretty much have to avoid the top FIVE projected offenses just isn’t going to be a week where much good happens for me — and I’m okay with that. The worst thing someone can do after a week like this is to say, “OK, next week, I’m not going to play ANY of the top five projected offenses!” We know that the NFL is random, and a week or two like this every season is likely to happen. However, this was the worst week I’ve ever seen. So many high-end offenses not moving the ball at all is so very rare. Usually, when those “failures” happen, it is the result of ancillary players stealing the touchdowns or a team scoring 17 to 20 points rather than the upper 20’s or higher they are projected for. This week there wasn’t even a “sharp, alternate way of attacking a popular spot” — it was more or less if you had a roster with two or more players from those teams you were almost certainly dust, or at least not in the hunt for a top-end finish. I definitely made some mistakes in some roster constructions and exposures, but that doesn’t mean that a complete teardown of my process is in order.
If you were like me this week and built for first place by attacking the top teams/game environments but trying to be smart and creative about how you do it, at this point, all you can do is “walk it off.” Like a player who twists an ankle and needs to keep moving to get past it….if you go sit on the bench and take your shoe off (i.e., blow up your process), it’s just going to swell up and make things worse. Be a champ. Walk it off.
As outlined in my +EV Primer course (you can find in the Marketplace – either by itself or in the bundle with my player pool course), one of my approaches that keeps me from getting too high or low week-to-week is playing consistent contests and approaching them from a season-long perspective and using that to evaluate my play and ROI. This season, in this article, I will be tracking my progress on a weekly basis as I play the Single Entry (SE), 3-max, and 5-max tournaments in the $20 to $150 price range on DraftKings main slate for all 18 weeks. Rather than sweating or worrying about my ROI every week and “hoping to cash,” – my goal for the season is to maximize profit relative to that long-term investment total. The results of a given week are irrelevant.
Each week I will review the best and worst of my 11 lineups from my “Roster Block” of SE/3-Max/5-Max. Below are this week’s results, and you can find more information about my process/theory for this in my Week 1 Process Points article
Best Lineup ($200k Three-Point Stance, 5-Max, $33)
The “story” I was telling: This is a roster that, in hindsight, I probably got too cute on. Building around LAC-PHI was sharp, but the optimal way obviously would have been to use a LAC TE (Cook) with Devonta Smith as the bring back. Either way, given the ownership of that core stack, I went further off the board than I needed to on the rest of the roster. I wanted a piece of Dallas on every roster, and Pollard had actually been averaging 13 opportunities per game over the last three games entering Week 9. With the uncertainty of the RB position lately, I liked the idea of him seeing that usage with a chance for more with a Zeke injury or Cowboys blowout (as the spread suggested). While I still stand by the thought process, he is a play that would make sense with a chalky Lamar stack rather than a low-owned, off-the-board play. I also question the ceiling of my three WRs not involved in the game stack. All were good plays that can help you cash, but none of them are particularly prone to explosive plays/games, and the odds of all of them hitting ceilings (which is what you need at WR to win a GPP) were pretty low — especially as all of them were there as floating plays and not correlated to anything.
Worst Lineup ($600K Power Sweep, 3-Max, $150):
The “story” I was telling: I was heavy on the Bills this week and went with the double stack of Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis. I expect Diggs to have a massive game at some point in the near future and wanted to be early to that party. Meanwhile, Davis’ snap count and routes were growing with Dawson Knox out, and his super cheap price tag let me play Allen in a unique way and opened up the rest of my roster to use players I liked. The uniqueness of the Buffalo stack allowed me to play chalky RBs whose roles I was very confident in. I wanted access to Dallas on every roster and liked Schultz in an every-down role, while I also am very high on Jeudy and think he will be a low-$6k range WR by the end of the year. Hardman was access to the Chiefs offense, and the final piece — Ravens D — fit with my remaining salary and was a nice hedge off my heavy Justin Jefferson exposure on my other rosters.
Week 9 Results: None of my 11 lineups cashed this week. As discussed throughout the article, that’s the nature of the beast, and there will likely be some weeks like this throughout a season. At the midway point in the season, I’m down a little over 50% on my investment (half of my yearly investment). Given the nature of the contests I am playing, and the limited number of lineups played in this type of structure, it’s really not that bad of a return. Remember some of the things talked about in prior lessons — my roster blocks through nine weeks have produced a total of 99 lineups. Statistically, my chances of a top 0.1% finish that will make the season are not that great. I’ll gladly take a lower return on a weekly basis to increase my chances of eventually finding a top-end payout.
Week 9 Investment: $792
Week 9 Winnings: $0
Estimated Yearly Investment: $14,000
Yearly Winnings: $3,180