Life has a lot of guided principles. These are just a few that guide mine in DFS. As a reminder, I’m not a DFS Pro. With a full time career and family, I do not have time to deploy enough effort to make a run at becoming a professional DFS player. I do however make regular withdrawals from multiple sites, been to a live final, and haven’t redeposited since my initial jump into DFS. I consider DFS a supplementary income stream that I take seriously. I believe given the time, I would have no issue making the transition to full time pro. You can take what I write with a grain of salt as it’s my own perspective on how to be successful at DFS.
Principle 3: Writing
It’s almost what you were forced to learn in school for over a decade seems actually useful and has a purpose in your life. Just like reading, writing has immense value for your process. Now full disclosure here, I don’t really like to write. I’m sure most of you are in the same boat as well. The thing is, being successful at anything generally means doing tasks you don’t like doing. I’ll break down why it’s important and even if you don’t have an audience, how it’s still valuable.
It puts your view into perspective: For DFS, having to write out why you picked certain players and what situations will reinforce your process. It forces you to think more about what you’re doing and articulate it. It’ll make you look deeper into the why a player is in a good spot and why you’re playing him that night. Especially if you take the extra effort to write it out to your audience, whether it’s one person or thousands. Having to articulate not only to yourself, but to others (pretend or otherwise) holds you accountable to not skip on the meat of why you’re playing one person over the other.
It gives you a reference point the next day: Did your line up flop? Are you kicking yourself because you played Giannis over Westbrook? Do you even know why you played Giannis over Westbrook? Having written out notes or article to go back to whether you take down a GPP or hit dead last gives you perspective into your own thought process. You’ll know exactly why you played which players and for what reasons. You’ll be able to make a determination if the night before was a fluke because someone found a new floor or ceiling that wasn’t part of your algorithms before. It gives you the confidence you’re making correct choices day in and day out and exposes weaknesses to your process.
It subconsciously makes your research faster: The daily practice of writing out your thoughts, looking up the facts behind it, and planting a flag in the ground will make your subconscious routines for research fire faster. You’ll start putting the pieces to the puzzle together quicker, allowing you to either widen or deepen your process for the night. To clarify, when you widen your process you start looking at more players in more spots to see if you’re missing anything. To deepen is to do just that, dig deeper into specific players to uncover the nuggets your average Joe is going to miss, dictating whether or not someone is a good play or an amazing play.
Pro Tip #4: Write articles and publish them: We have a free blog service on DFSArmy.com. If you don’t like it, there are hundreds of places to get a free blog site. Really don’t like writing? Record it and post it on YouTube. The reasoning is when it’s public you’re going to put more effort into it. A lot more effort. Short hand scribbles become full sentences. Each player blerb turns into a formula of information. It cements more into your brain.
Copying is the best form of flattery: If you don’t even know how to get started, you’re in luck. If you have access to this article, it means you have access to every article ever written on DFSArmy.com. There’s also a ton of free articles written all over the web. Copy a format you like and go from there. Do you like Donut’s quick data filled articles? Or maybe my long, drawn out MME articles are your style. Copy it and fill in the blanks each night. Here’s an example of Donut’s article player blerbs:
Emmanuel Mudiay – He played 28 minutes next to Frank Ntilikina and took 14-shots and finished with 10 assists. He has shown in the past he can score in bunches when given the minutes and usage. He’s only $3,900 and if he’s going to play nearly 30-minutes and take double-digit shots he’s someone I absolutely love today. A 29.5% usage rate from a near min-price guard is fantastic.
Here’s a template to get you started
Player Name – He played <x> minutes next to <team mate> and took <x> shots and finished with <x> assists. He has shown in the past he can score in bunches when given the minutes and usage. He’s only <salary and site> and if he’s going to play nearly <x>-minutes and take double-digit shots he’s someone I absolutely love today. A <x> usage rate from a near min-price guard is fantastic.
This format makes you check nearly every stat and tie in multiple tools you should be using every day anyway. It’s also highlighted in a lot of how to and basic articles on our website.
Principle 4: Use the tools at your fingertips
We live in the age of information. The days of needing to shell out thousands of dollars for an education have passed and unless you’re specifically trying to break into a profession, it’s not really needed. You don’t need to seek out a mentor or find a class or even leave your house. Want to learn Photoshop? Google “How to use Photoshop tutorial free.” Want to learn how to golf? You Tube “Free golf tips for a beginner.” Here’s the really interesting part about it though: Almost no one decides to act on this information.
When I talked with some of the best in the industry, one thing they all mentioned was putting in the time first to get where they are now. They’re talking about taking in the initiative to learn how to code in R, reverse engineer stats on Basket Ball Monster, project scores based on numerous factors, and everything in between. You have all the tools on the net to learn all of this stuff for yourself. Ask yourself why you haven’t yet?
If your excuse is you don’t know where to get started, I can guide you in a direction. Whether or not it’s the right one is another topic because the way I learn and digest information won’t always be the same way you do.
How to do research:
Creating projections introduction:
Things to read:
How to program in R:
I put links to a minimal amount of content, most of which is free. I would start with all the free content I could find and go from there. In some cases, it’ll be enough information. Others, you might need to dig deeper.
Pro Tip #5: Throw a narrow net on touts.
There are a lot of people out there who claim to be experts. My advice, pick a few you trust and stick with them. Everyone has a different point of view or slant regarding players and picks as well as the reasoning behind it. I’ve touched on this in the previous article but I’m bringing it up again because I keep getting messages from people talking about how they look at no less than 20 different resources for each slate. Pick some and ignore the rest. You’ll end up second and third guessing plays every night. You can’t play every player so don’t try to and if you do, it’s probably not going to end well.
As a father and husband with a full time career, it’s getting harder all the time to crank out articles. I’ll have a few more of these throughout the season though as I have time to write during lunch breaks and at night.