Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Process Points. 6.21.

Lesson of the Week: Delicate Balance

That was a rough one. Across my play on three sites (FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo), I had around a -80% ROI for the week. It was a crazy and frustrating week on many levels. My daughter was sick (so she couldn’t go to daycare, which threw off my process), she struggled to sleep, and there were two nights last week when I actually got less than two hours of sleep because I was up with her. Then I got sick, and I had some commitments on Friday night and Saturday that threw off more of my process from the first four weeks. Just a lot going on — and it showed.

For those of you who read the NFL Edge last week, you will know my writeup of the Tampa Bay game was pretty much spot on — I talked about how Brady would want a bounce-back game after the clunker in New England. The Miami defense was not one to fear, and I predicted this as an explosion spot, and that “Tom Brady is not one to take his foot off the gas early and will likely stay aggressive deep into this game, even with a lead.” How does someone who wrote something like that then play a large number of lineups across three sites and not have ANY Tampa Bay double stacks with the WRs? Zero. About 1% of my total lineups had Brady, and those were on FanDuel and double-stacked Evans//Brate or Brown//Brate. I played Brown as a standalone play as well at a decent clip, but the fact remains that this is a game I dug deeply into and researched, wrote an article for thousands of subscribers, and then didn’t even follow my own advice!!

There are many other things I had “right” and “wrong” this week, but I use the Tampa Bay example for the lesson part of the article this week because it highlights something bigger: I was distracted. With everything going on in my life, I still tried to play my normal volume (actually slightly higher than normal after a couple of good weeks). DFS is a huge part of my life and contributes to how I provide for my family — from both writing and long-term profits — yet, somehow, the rest of “life” got in the way, and I didn’t recognize it or adjust.

There is a great quote from Alan Stein that I often use in my coaching — “how you do anything is how you do everything.” The idea of the quote for players is that if they are sloppy in many areas of their life (routine, schoolwork, sleep habits, eating, etc.), then they will also be sloppy on the court and never realize their potential. They will never have the discipline needed to be great at the thing they really love if they do not also have discipline in other areas of life. On a micro (weekly) level, I think this is an important lesson for us to take into our DFS play. Obviously, DFS is not everything. It is just a part of life that we happen to take pretty seriously and has financial ramifications. There are many other things in life that we must balance, and when that balance is thrown off for a week, we need to recognize that the chaos we are dealing with in other areas is likely to spill into our process. The most +EV thing I could have done last week was simply recognizing what was happening around me, pumping the brakes, and lowering my volume. When most people reflect, they want to focus on the football things they got right and wrong from the previous week, but sometimes it is more important to think about the “why” and be able to zoom out and be honest with yourself. Everything in life is a delicate balance, and when that balance is thrown off, it is hard even to be the best version of yourself — let alone the best out of thousands of people fighting you for first place.

Lineup Reviews 

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 weekly 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 ($500k Spy, Single Entry, $100)

The “story” I was telling: I really like how this lineup turned out. The core stack here (Lawrence // Laviska // AJ Brown) was a game that I was high on and ended up scoring 56 points. Trevor Lawrence and AJ Brown were both tackled inside the one-yard line. Laviska Shenault was inexplicably ignored for 3+ quarters by a team that struggled to generate offense (then busted a 58-yard play when they finally got the ball in his hands). The ingredients were there; they just needed a couple of things to break differently. As I outlined in The Oracle last week, I was high on Waller this week because he had the potential to lap the field at his position, and getting him in there at sub-5% was a great play I’ll take any day — he had some missed opportunities for big plays and TDs that just missed. I ate the Mattison chalk here, and a big hat tip to JM on the Kadarius Toney play. He’s someone that I was considering throughout the week, but after listening to JM on the Angles podcast, he became more of a staple for me on DraftKings. Finally, the Chubb-Allen correlation was the right play but the wrong Chargers receiver. I played Chubb with Mike Williams on Fanduel and Yahoo but sided with Allen on DraftKings because of the price difference. I thought that game was going to be overlooked and wanted to snap up Chubb’s price decrease. I can’t say that I saw the 89 combined points coming, though.

Worst Lineup ($200k Three-Point Stance, 5-max, $33):

The “story” I was telling: I always want to have early exposure to these young rushing QBs with upside. I paired Trey Lance with Brandon Aiyuk because Aiyuk had been playing a lot, and I was hoping there was a connection between them from camp. Remember, Aiyuk was forced to practice with the second team (i.e., Lance) a lot during his stint in the “doghouse” — and a player of Aiyuk’s talent at $4,500 in a game they may have to throw a lot, it just made sense to me. I referenced my thoughts on Hopkins in last week’s The Oracle article, and he made for a great correlation piece with the SF players. Obviously, Barkley’s early injury was bad for business but based on Devontae Booker’s output, I think Saquon also would have done very well. I played Jefferson // Hockenson as leverage off the more popular RB’s from that game — unfortunately, it appears teams are not allowed to score 20 points in games involving the Vikings anymore. Good to know. The Williams // Edwards pairing is one thing I don’t love in hindsight for this lineup. I liked the play, but it really wasn’t necessary with all the other things going on in this lineup — I already had two players under 5% owned, leverage on the chalkiest player on the slate, and no players who were projected over 20%. The risk associated with pairing those two players from a questionable game environment wasn’t worth the “upside” that a best-case scenario would have provided. My thought process was that I liked Waller this week… which led me to play some Fields + Mooney // ARob stacks with Waller… which led me to focus more on this game than it deserved.

Week 5 Results: No cashes from this roster block this week. Such is life. As outlined above, we just need to get the process back in order and have some more discipline. GPP life is high variance as is, no need to throttle that up from things I can control.

Week 5 Investment: $792

Week 5 Winnings: $0

Estimated Yearly Investment: $14,000

Yearly Winnings: $1,300