This week’s lesson will be relatively short, but it is extremely important to think about and be constantly aware of it. In DFS, we are constantly evaluating matchups, looking for tendencies, finding changes in opportunity, and gaining an edge in each particular week. However, I think that the focus on all of those things can very easily take you away from an important and fairly obvious concept of being successful. That concept is playing very good players. I dive deeper into some of these concepts in the “Talent” lesson of my Player Pool course in the Marketplace, but the idea is that we can’t get blinded by on paper things that may or may not actually influence things on the field. There are two places from this week that I want to highlight as prime examples of this:
A bigger picture lesson to take away from this is to check out your exposures across your lineups every Sunday morning, especially if you are playing a decent number of lineups, and make a list of what percentage of each player you have. Look at your top tier of most owned players and evaluate them strictly on the basis of talent and how critical they are to their team’s offensive success (forget about the defensive injuries, DVOA, narratives, etc.). Sometimes those secondary types of players will work out, but over the long-term, if your top-owned players are not very talented or critical to their team, you are likely going to be fighting an uphill battle.
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 ($300k Red Zone, Single Entry, $50)
The “story” I was telling: I was very high on the LAC/CIN game for this week as it was the 2nd highest total game on the slate and also the 2nd closest spread, something I pointed out in my Sunday morning thoughts in the Inner Circle Channel of the OWS Discord. Getting those three pieces at such crazy low ownership in this spot was outstanding, and frankly, could have been a lot bigger if a couple of fluky things hadn’t happened in the late 3rd to early 4th quarter. Next, I went with a Godwin-Pitts stack as I loved Godwin this week, and Pitts gave me a high-upside way of playing Godwin differently than most of the field would be while allowing my TE position to be correlated. I played Sony Michel in most lineups as I felt great about his spot and usage, and he just opened so much else up for your roster. The final three pieces of this lineup were made in conjunction with each other. Another thing I mentioned in the IC Discord channel was that I liked playing Eli Mitchell with a SEA passing game piece because a scenario where he has a good game (getting a lot of scoring opportunities and still being used late in the game) would be a scenario where the Seahawks were scoring points, and the Seahawks were almost guaranteed to not have success running the ball here which meant that would have to come through the air. (Note that if you take away the 73 yard TD run on a fake punt, the Seahawks RBs had 58 yards on 23 carries). Therefore, I went with DK Metcalf as a correlation play with Mitchell, hoping to leverage the two off each other. The Washington defense plays into that strategy as well, as playing Mitchell instead of Gibson was a bet that Mitchell is going to outscore him, and part of that would/could be that Gibson fails, or at least is substantially outscored by Mitchell. One scenario for that happening was a low-scoring game and/or WFT defense dominating and maybe taking away some of Gibson’s ceilings with a defensive touchdown. While it didn’t work out or pay off here, that’s a play I really like to make where multiple roster spots are betting on outcomes of not only their specific games but also in the context of the whole slate.
Worst Lineup ($400k Spy, Single Entry, $100):
The “story” I was telling: I played a lot of Gardner Minshew as a min-price QB who has proven to be decent in the past and is playing the Jets was just a straight process play for me. Most of my Minshew lineups had Goedert as the stacking partner, but I went with Quez Watkins here to leverage his huge snap share and explosive abilities in a unique way that few people would be using for Minshew. Next, there was a couple of familiar correlation plays as I had Godwin-Pitts again and played Mixon with Mike Williams as another way to be exposed to that LAC/CIN game. I decided to go again with WFT defense (I really liked them this week because the Raiders passing game was so popular, and I thought they had a high chance of failure due to their personnel’s talent being so depleted). I had two options with how to use my last two roster spots…..I could use Antonio Gibson as a correlation with WFT, which would leave me with $8,200 for Justin Jefferson, or I could play JT with Marvin Jones. I chose wrong. In hindsight, the answer looks obvious, but my thought process was that Jones would be played mostly in Kupp lineups, and Kupp lineups wouldn’t have JT, so that would be super unique to play Jones and hope his big game comes with the Rams spreading out the production while JT has a ceiling game and dwarfs Kupp’s score. Regardless of how well-intended my thought process was, that’s about three levels too deep for the contest I was in and all of the other differentiation I had already put on the roster. Watkins, Pitts, and Jones were all relatively thin plays “in a vacuum,” and I could have had just one of them and been plenty unique for this lineup/contest.
Week 13 Results: I only played eight lineups this week, instead of eleven, as I put an entry in the $555 Milly instead and didn’t want to overextend how much I was playing for the week. Of those eight lineups, four of them finished in the money. My player pool was very good this week, and I was targeting the right spots, but I was on the wrong side of a couple of plays and was hurt by the TE position as I played mostly Goedert (which looked great until Kittle dwarfed him) and had some Pitts with TB WRs, which I love in hindsight with sub-5% ownership but obviously hurt me with how things played out.
Week 13 Investment: $582
Week 13 Winnings: $450
Estimated Yearly Investment: $14,000
Yearly Winnings: $5,075