Sniper’s $5K Bankroll Challenge – Grinding Through a Loss

What is the purpose of DFS? To have fun and make some money. Period. End of Story.

Now the question we are all trying to answer, how do we do that? Here at DFS Army, we focus not just on providing player picks but slate strategies and bankroll management. Read our bankroll management Ladder System articles to learn more about what my bankroll management challenge will be based on. DFS Army Ladder System | Ladder System 2.0

The $5K Challenge

Starting September 15, 2020, I will be starting with $5,000 in my account with the goal of doubling up and making $5,000 in profit. This is going to be a grind, it’s not a get rich quick scheme, and I hope you come along for the ride with me.

I prefer niche sports, as you can see in my outline below. The important thing here is a plan and discipline. I would encourage anyone looking to take DFS seriously, to come up with your own set of rules to fit your sport interests. One last thing, I primarily play on DraftKings so that’s what I will be using here, but the same system can be used on FanDuel.

My Outline

Here is a list of the sports / slates I will attack and the percentage of bankroll I will dedicate to each. Discipline will be key and these are the only contests I will be playing, I’m not doing anything else on the side.

  • MMA – 10%
  • NASCAR (Cup Series) – 10%
  • Soccer (4+ Game Slates) – 10%
  • NFL (Main Slate) – 7.5%
  • NFL (Early Slate) – 2.5%
  • NFL (Tiers) – 2.5%
  • Golf – 2.5%
  • NASCAR (XFINITY & Truck Series) – 2.5%
  • Soccer (2-3 Game Slates) – 2.5%
  • Tennis (Majors Only) – 2.5%
  • Esports (LOL) – 1.5%
  • NFL Showdown – 1.5%

Now, following along with the Ladder System, here is how I will break up the above per slate:

  • Head-to-Heads – 40%
  • Double Ups – 20%
  • 3 & 5 Mans – 20%
  • 10 Mans & Quints – 10%
  • Small GPPs – 5%
  • Large GPPs & Satellites – 5%

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Now for the fun stuff, playing and tracking. Approximately twice a week I will post my results and discuss some of the lineup construction that went into the slates. Here we go!

Starting Bankroll (9/18) – $4,997.85

Slate: NASCAR Xfinity – Amount Entered $117

Okay, so not getting tilted is going to be a very important thing during this challenge. Because this was a really good lineup that suffered from some bad NASCAR variance thanks to early accident. I still won plenty of head-to-heads and three-mans even with a negative score in my lineup. Shout out to BradyMiller on staff for the plays here but McLeod wrecking starts us off on a down note.

Slate Profit: -$39.00

New Bankroll: $4,958.85
Total ROI: -9.33%

Xfinity Profit: -$39.00
Xfinity ROI: -33.33%




Starting Bankroll (9/19) – $4,958.85

Slate: Soccer Short Slate – Amount Entered $105

Yes, sir! This was a sweat because of goalkeeper as Manchester United looked pretty awful but a solid approach from top to bottom we hit pretty much all double ups, head-to-heads, 3-mans, and 5-mans. I’ll never sneeze at a 44.48% winning day especially when the biggest favorite actually loses 3-1. I dropped some updated plays in Slack Chat throughout the day as lineups came out and the Army was all-in on Costa so it was a goo day overall.

Slate Profit: $46.70

New Bankroll: $5,005.55
Total ROI: 1.02%

Soccer (Short) Profit: $87.25
Soccer (Short) ROI: 44.48%





Starting Bankroll (9/19) – $5,005.55

Slate: League of Legends – Amount Entered $67

This was a train wreck and I’m happy to get out with any money. Both favorites lost in a slate that was made for GPP instead of cash games and ladder. Still in the green overall for eSports so I’ll just take this on the chin and move on.

Slate Profit: -$38.33

New Bankroll: $4,967.22
Total ROI: -5.35%

eSports Profit: $48.92
eSports ROI: 24.22%







Starting Bankroll (9/19) – $4,967.22

Slate: MMA – Amount Entered $387

First big slate of the challenge and it was a rough one. TJ Laramie was a -300 favorite and he put up a zero. That’s incredibly  hard to do in MMA. In hindsight, playing him was a mistake as I should have sacrificed my favorite punt (Alpar) in order to get up from Laramie to chalky Chimaev. Mistakes happen, we learn from it and move on. Downswings are going to happen and it really sucks its at the start of this series but I will stay the course.  Should mention that I did hit a top-30 in a GPP that actually helped this from being even worse. Another fortunate break is that all of my head-to-heads were picked up.

Slate Profit: -$273.45

New Bankroll: $4,693.77
Total ROI: -30.62%

MMA Profit: -$273.45
MMA ROI: -70.66%


Starting Bankroll (9/19) – $4,693.77

Slate: NASCAR – Amount Entered $480

Well this slate went much better than the MMA slate. Still couldn’t turn a huge profit because Newman got bogged down in the back but overall Brady, Taco, Nilly, and Larkin were on point. Kyle Busch was my carry here and Preece was a fantastic lower owned play. Keslowski ended up being bad chalk but honestly with his position, for a ladder I would continue to eat it. Glad to get a little back from MMA and head into NFL Sunday.

Slate Profit: $32.90

New Bankroll: $4,726.67
Total ROI: -18.47%

NASCAR Cup Profit: $32.90
NASCAR Cup ROI: 6.85%




Starting Bankroll (9/20) – $4,726.67

Slate: Soccer Short Slate – Amount Entered $109

Let’s Go! Destroyed this Sunday morning slate thanks to Trossard and the Liverpool D+GK stack (which I was pumping in Slack all morning). I also feel like we got even for the bad GK variance earlier in the week as Alisson comes up huge. These are the kinds of days our ladder is built for as we cashed across the board…on our way back to green.

Slate Profit: $123.5

New Bankroll: $4,850.17
Total ROI: -9.43%

Soccer (Short) Profit: $170.20
Soccer (Short) ROI: 79.53%






Starting Bankroll (9/20) – $4,850.17

Slate: PGA – Amount Entered $110

How do you overcome two guys missing the cut? By placing three in the top-10. I was pretty worried for this lineup when my stud Morikawa bogeyed on 18 to miss the cut on Friday but Casey righted the ship- and Oosthuizen was steady as she goes to actually bring in a profit.

Slate Profit: $35.10

New Bankroll: $4,885.27
Total ROI: -6.75%

PGA Profit: $35.10
PGA ROI: 31.91%






Starting Bankroll (9/20) – $4,885.27

Slate: NFL (Early) – Amount Entered $124

Thank you Josh Allen. My main went insane Noah Fant gave me some leverage at the TE position to make this a winning slate. In hindsight I just avoided the Henry chalk bust that made this a really good slate. McCaffery will always be someone I look to jam in on DK (too bad he’s hurt now). I like the early slates because it’s all at one time rather than sweating late games and losing money. Now we can focus on the rest of the day.

Slate Profit: $88.20

New Bankroll: $4,973.47
Total ROI: -1.46%

NFL (Early) Profit: $88.20
NFL (Early) ROI: 71.13%





Starting Bankroll (9/20) – $4,973.47

Slate: NFL – Amount Entered $375

This idea was given to me by the Geek itself. I’m running 5 separate ladders all evenly split up. As you can see my Dak lineup went off and if not from a dud from Julio Jones it may have done some serious damage. Overall, I had two good lineups one mediocre and two busts for an overall winning slate. That’s all I care about, grinding out profit. Fun Sunday, on to the next.

Slate Profit: $43.70

New Bankroll: $5,017.17
Total ROI: 0.78%

NFL (Main) Profit: $43.70
NFL (Main) ROI: 11.65%






Starting Bankroll (9/20) – $5,017.17

Slate: NFL Tiers – Amount Entered $109

Sometimes in DFS, one decision can kill you. Ekeler in a vacuum was just fine…too bad that Aaron Jones was chalk in the tier and put up 48.60. Hard to come back from that. Still took some H2Hs down but overall a crappy Tiers ladder that halts the momentum.

Slate Profit: -$69.40

New Bankroll: $4,947.77
Total ROI: -2.26%

NFL (Tiers) Profit: -$69.40
NFL (Tiers) ROI: -63.67%







Starting Bankroll (9/20) – $4,947.77

Slate: NFL Showdown – Amount Entered $74

I didn’t expect this game to shootout so I tried the kicker as a captain method to catch the rest of the points. Well, when the game blows out and every other captain hits, you end up in a shit ton of trouble. So, a pretty awful end to Sunday, luckily I like the Monday showdown slate quite a bit.

Slate Profit: -$50.60

New Bankroll: $4,897.17
Total ROI: -4.32%

NFL (Showdown) Profit: -$100.00
NFL (Showdown) ROI: -68.97%






Starting Bankroll (9/21) – $4,897.17

Slate: Soccer Short Slate – Amount Entered $123

Split slates can be tricky and my lineup construction got pretty jacked up with the Man City starters. Happy to salvage a break even slate considering I had to put in Coady and an overpriced Sterling. I actually got bailed out by a late Jesus goal as well so all things considered, this is a win in my book. Soccer continues to be my bread and butter…maybe join us in Slack?

Slate Profit: -$6.00

New Bankroll: $4,891.17
Total ROI: -4.35%

Soccer (Short) Profit: $164.20
Soccer (Short) ROI: 48.72%






Starting Bankroll (9/21) – $4,891.17

Slate: NFL Showdown – Amount Entered $73

Kamara goes HAM and putting him at captain was the move that made the difference. Playing it safe with the kickers and quarterbacks seemed like a straight forward build but it more than gets the job done here to cash pretty much across the board. The roller coaster weekend finishes where we began, at about even, but we got a lot of play for our money and learned a couple lessons along the way.

Slate Profit: $67.60

New Bankroll: $4,958.77
Total ROI: -1.60%

NFL Showdown Profit: -$32.40
NFL Showdown ROI: -14.86%





Final Thoughts

As I mentioned last time, this is going to be an absolute grind. We also had a pretty awful MMA slate that made a dent in our bankroll but we recovered and continue to roll, especially in soccer. Hopefully next week we stay in the green longer than for a slate or two but overall, this is a good learning experience that not everyone can win all the time. It’s about putting your money in the best spot possible and keeping up with the process.

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