I am often asked the question, “what is it that makes you good at DFS?” There are a lot of things that go into DFS success, but what I believe is one of the things I am best at is being able to “think like a coach.” What I mean by that is that football is a game played by humans, who are fallible, and decisions made by coaches have a far greater impact on the outcome of games than in almost any other sport. The use of statistics and analytics can be great and very predictive, but understanding the human elements that could alter those projections can have a huge impact on how you evaluate plays and being able to see angles that won’t show up on a spreadsheet. Here are a few examples of “thinking like a coach” from Week 9 and things that wouldn’t naturally show up from looking at box scores but make sense from a coaching and theory perspective:
These are just a few examples of ways we can think outside the spreadsheet and box scores to make decisions and try to gain an edge. It is easy to overthink these things sometimes, but there are usually a few situations each week where things just “make sense” if we think deeply about them that aren’t going to project a certain way. As we approach the midway point in the season and coaches fight for their jobs, teams adjust to injuries, young players show themselves as deserving of more opportunity, and older players show themselves to be nearing the end, there will be a lot of chances for us to “think like a coach” and see the things that “make sense” before they happen.
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 ($600k Power Sweep, 3-Max, $150)
The “story” I was telling: I loved everything about this lineup except one player….David Johnson. The thought process was that with Mark Ingram out of town and Houston likely to trail, he’d be the preferred pass down back. This is an instance of having no reason to force a bring back (which I always preach), but falling into the trap of something that may “make sense” in some ways but likely limits my ceiling and likelihood of a first-place finish. I would have been much better off moving down from RSJ and BUF D to the really cheap TE and DEF options like Arnold and WAS D — that would have allowed me to move off Johnson to a RB in the low $6k range. I was very happy getting the Rams passing game, which was very likely to lead the slate in TDs, double stacked with sub-10% ownership from each piece. Najee, AJ Brown, and Godwin were three of my favorite plays of the week for their locked-in volume due to their roles and with teammates who would be out, so I wasn’t worried about ownership there, but Najee at sub-5% was a nice bonus.
Worst Lineup ($300K Red Zone, Single Entry, $50):
The “story” I was telling: I know winter is coming, but that sure is a lot of snowflakes!! The Burrow/Higgins pairing is something I wanted exposure to in that matchup with the Jets. I wasn’t confident in a Jets bring back, which looks like a mistake in hindsight, but I was very wary of Mike White being able to move the team — kudos to him for a great performance. This lineup looked very different prior to the late inactive news as I moved to Pitts and Swift at that point. The Gibson/Jeudy correlation was a leap of faith on the game environment turning fruitful and a couple of players seemingly better from injury — Jeudy in his first game since Week 1 against the worst (or close to it) secondary in the league, and Gibson, who wasn’t on the Friday injury report at all, so I thought there was a decent chance he returned to a normal workload in a game against a team without its top six linebackers.
Week 8 Results: This week, I cashed two of my 11 lineups for $450 total. Certainly not my greatest week, but continuing to learn and grow from my mistakes. Excited for Week 9!
Week 8 Investment: $792
Week 8 Winnings: $450
Estimated Yearly Investment: $14,000
Yearly Winnings: $3,180