The Greatest “Cheat Sheet” In DFS
Each week in The Oracle, OWS team members will take on the key strategy questions from that week’s slate :: sharing their thoughts on how they plan to approach these critical elements from a roster-construction, game theory, and leverage perspective.
Thanksgiving week provides a great amount of fun and football – which is great!! However, it also squeezes essentially three main slates in an eight day window which can be a bit overwhelming. Obviously things get very busy for us with the extra content to create, but also for subs who have jobs and family obligations on top of trying to be prepared and locked in for three slates with entirely different contests and dynamics.
With all of that in mind, are there any adjustments you make to your approach and strategy on a week like this to account for the changing dynamics of the situation?
I have a really boring answer here….no, I don’t change anything about the Thanksgiving week for DFS. This is where I show how truly degenerate I am, in that I specifically set extra time aside this week for DFS. We don’t put on a big-deal Thanksgiving, and while occasionally we travel to see family for it (which does then put a damper on any DFS play), generally speaking I prioritize DFS this weekend because it has historically been one of the most profitable weekends of the year to play. I also usually take an extra day or two off of work this week, if not the entire week, to make sure I have enough time available.
I think everyone needs to be realistic with themselves with their own individual answer to this one. For me, I simply view the additional slates as more data points from which to realize equity. That means losing players get more exposed to losing and +EV players get to realize their equity quicker. But I also have to realize that not everyone is in the same situation as myself, meaning how you (we, I) handle additional slates on a short week can (and should be) completely different. The beautiful thing about growing in the DFS space is that the lessons we learn and how we grow are directly applicable to life, in that we have been training ourselves to make better decisions after taking in all the information, formulating our assumptions, and approaching decisions through critical thinking and in-depth analysis. So, how would YOU handle this slate? Did you have enough time to think through the slate, to build rosters, to think critically?
A few things to touch on here. Firstly, in Hilow’s answer, he mentioned “the growing DFS space.” To that point :: two of my three under-22-year-old nephews were deep into DFS builds throughout this holiday week; we’re definitely seeing a wave of younger DFS players coming in, which is incredibly awesome in a space that was a bit static for a couple years. Secondly, in Hilow’s answer, he mentioned being realistic about your own individual answer to this one. I couldn’t agree more. Which brings up my “thirdly,” which is that both Hilow and Rotomaven were having “second Thanksgiving” on Friday (Thanksgiving with the side of the family they hadn’t had Thanksgiving with on Thursday), and I’m sure they aren’t the only people in the DFS community who had big family events on Friday (or Saturday, or all weekend) this week. If YOU are able to buckle in for your normal DFS prep, this slate provides a nice edge, as there are a lot of people who are going to “still be playing” in spite of less time to prepare. That edge might not play out in your favor in the small sample size of one week; but over time, edges like this are clearly going to make you money. With that said, you also need to make sure you are not one of those players who is donating money to players who are better-prepared than you. On Wednesday night this last week, I settled into my roster construction mode for the Thanksgiving slate…and after about an hour, I realized I just wasn’t building rosters that I felt were giving me a clear edge. The slate wasn’t set up favorably for me, and my mind wasn’t “in it,” so I decided to play extremely light volume on Thanksgiving rather than giving away money. If you reach Saturday night and realize that you are part of the edge for someone else this week, pull back on your play. There will be another slate that you can hit!
I think the biggest thing to understand here is a concept that most people struggle with in all walks of life – self awareness and realistic expectations of yourself. Each person’s situation is different and this weekend there are a lot of things going on. It is important for us to realize when we “have it” and when we don’t if we want to be +EV in the long run. Money saved is worth just as much as money won, and if you aren’t prepared like you normally would be then you should adjust your play accordingly. Don’t give up the edge you’ve worked so hard for by burning money on poorly built lineups.
Once again here we are, talking about the lack of scoring this NFL season. Taking a look at the Week 12 Main Slate, we have hit a new low with no games with a total of 50 or higher and only three that have a total over 45 (and one of those three is a game where the Dolphins are favored by 2 touchdowns!!). While it can be a bit frustrating, we must always keep in mind that with uncertainty comes opportunity. We just saw a Thanksgiving slate where the NE // MIN game totaled 59 points despite a lowly 42.5 game total. Which of the games on the main slate stands out as a chance of surprising for a back and forth affair? Also, what factors do you look for in trying to identify these spots?