Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
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Willing To Lose 10.23

Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries

There are parallels to be drawn between evaluating NFL coaches and DFS content providers. Let me explain. First, NFL coaches have to build a team and a coaching staff, manage players, personalities, and media, and then decide which players go on the field. Then, they are also tasked with making adjustments, both in-game and during the week, to further optimize the following week’s game plan. Importantly, their decisions are questioned by many fans and media members, who then ultimately build either support or skepticism for the coach as the season(s) go on. And the more these coaches have a platform, the more we start to learn about their biases, tendencies, preferences, and more.

DFS content providers are a unique breed. I’ll say we here, as I am fortunate to have a platform to contribute to OWS, but in general providing DFS coaching, strategy, and optimization to the masses (no matter how big or small) is complex. The stakes are a million times smaller, but every content provider balances the overall DFS landscape to sift through the important and unimportant information to put together coherent, unique points of view that readers can consume. With the size of the industry now, the amount of noisy data that exists has never been larger, and while most spend the bulk of their time publishing content, we also want to build lineups that can win. Similar to NFL coaches, the content and rosters need to be adjusted each week, could be adjusted in-contest (late swap), and then each week the slates clear and the process starts all over again in the search for the elusive ever-optimal lineup. Also similar to coaches, content providers have fans, people who either support or scrutinize them, and the more content they put out, the more we learn of tendencies, biases, preferences, and more.

Evaluate the Evaluators

Evaluating the success or failures of both of these cohorts directly ties into the last points here. While it’s easy to read, react, and form opinions, keep in mind a concept called evaluate the evaluators. You should always be thinking of this, because all of the output we consume from coaches and content providers has an attached bias or a predetermined structure, and it’s important to think about everyone as non-perfect. 

Evaluating the evaluators is a simple concept. It forces you, the consumer, to think for yourself, and be a natural skeptic. Thinking of NFL coaches, do we know if we can trust Robert Saleh to put the best man for the job under center for the Jets? No, we don’t know if he can be trusted there. But do we trust he can build a defense with his best 11? Yes, we do because of his history and success as a DC. Do we think Sam Howell can really be this good, or do we think he is boosted by a new OC in Eric Bienemy? Likely, the latter. So if Howell leaves this offense, our expectations should shift. Further, was Geno Smith just in bad situations his whole career before last season? No. So his reversion to the mean that we’ve seen in 2023 really could have been slightly more predictable. Players can emerge from bad coaching, and coaches can emerge from bad players.

Every single word you read or listen to in the DFS space should be taken with your own spin on it. Most DFS providers have won big in the past. Those performances will be anchored in their writing. For instance, you will almost always get game stacks with me. For some 150-maxers, you’ll get the large player pool guys and the tight and narrows. When you read an article that lists out what seems to be every high-priced WR that week, think of this. Every content producer has a style, and it’s up to you, the consumer, to uncover that style and work it into the way you understand what you read or hear. If I had a nickel for how often I can predict a matchup but played the wrong players, well, you know. So when you read the rest of this piece below, know that I’m typically wrong about the given players, but more often than not some of the logic I can provide will help you more.

It’s yet another shiny example of why teaching a man to fish is longer-lasting than simply giving a man a fish.

Brandon Aiyuk + 49ers // Jaguars

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