Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
Every week when I sit down to write this piece, I think to myself, “what would I want to read?” My primary goal in playing DFS is to win a boatload of money. I know I share this goal with many of you, but I bring this up to say that I will consume any content that I feel could get my mind and decisions closer to winning a massive first-place prize. So with this lofty goal in mind, when we came up with “Willing to Lose” last season, I felt like, ‘hey, you know what, I’ve seen some things when it comes to who takes down a million dollars each week. So we’re going to get bold, we’re going to stand on islands on our own, and although we’re going to be wrong many times, if we can repeat this over time, we put ourselves in position to take down a huge prize at some point.’ The concept of being willing to lose is an ironic strategy but it is absolutely unique to OWS, and it’s the right description of the mindset we should strive for to be playing for first place.
As we have reflected each Sunday this season and studied the lineups that have taken down mega GPPs, I’ve seen how there’s really no consistency or pattern in what type of lineups win first place. And while that’s a confidence-deflating thought, I’m choosing to look at this through a positive lens. Last Sunday in Week 10, for instance, what some would call a cash game lineup took down the big Milly Maker on DraftKings. I’ve seen completely uncorrelated lineups win one million bucks, as I’ve seen backup QBs and third-down running backs sit on those winning rosters. This is all to say that in this article, my goal is to create a safe zone. I want you to think of Willing to Lose as the Planet Fitness of DFS articles. A judgment-free zone, where a lightly used 30% snap share WR, or a road underdog two-down RB, or an unathletic and immobile QB can win you life-changing money.
I’ve now produced ten Missed Opportunity articles on OWS this season, and each one gets more frustrating. Hindsight will always be 20/20 of course, but I learn and reflect, and account for it in next week’s builds, and then another outcome shows itself. I should have come to this conclusion sooner but learning each week how to account for the infinite permutations that can come to life is paralyzing. We cannot possibly account for all of these outcomes. The only way I know how to play is to stack chips on certain plays and hope for the best. Build with process and live with the result. And to do that, while being different, is to take on risk and add a flavor of illogic to any build you come up with. So with this, I’ll continue to beat this drum: you are unique. The best way to be unique and build for you is to think independently. Even if you are not winning, you are growing and getting sharper by the day. We have plenty of NFL left to play this season, and your big takedown is coming this week.
This is a fascinating slate and one that reminds me of Week 2 this season. Back in Week 2, if you recall, we had four games in the late Sunday window, and all of the over/unders trumped the early games. There was conversation all week as to how few were too few players to put on a roster in the early window. Some were discussing that flat-out avoiding all those games would be +EV and contrarian because who wants to sit on zero points three hours into the slate?! And this was all correct, in a sense. But how did this slate play out? Here are those four games, you’ll probably remember Cowboys/Chargers the best…
Three of the four late games went over their totals, with the lone exception being the one game which most of us had the most exposure to: DAL/LAC. The DK Milly Maker was won with all players in this late slot, with the exception of Cooper Kupp, who went nuclear against the Colts. It’s not that history will repeat itself, but it’s important to recognize when slates seem similar, and this Week 11 layout does feel similar to Week 2.
This week, we have only three games in the late window, but much of the focus will be on one game: Cowboys/Chiefs. Beyond this game, we have a clustered set of four other games sitting between 47 and 50 total points. If you’ve read anything I’ve written this season, you know this is my crop of game environments to choose from (IND/BUF, GB/MIN, AZ/SEA, and CIN/LV). And as we may lose Kyler Murray in the AZ/SEA matchup, I’m naturally moving off that game as a full-stack and onto these other three. The challenge immediately becomes, how can we focus here, and be different from the field? Well, let’s start things off …
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